Who Is Mistral Dawn?

Mistral Dawn is a thirty-something gal who has lived on both coasts of the US but somehow never in the middle. She currently resides in the Southeast US with her kitty cats (please spay or neuter! :-)) where she works as a hospital drudge and attends graduate school. Taken By The Huntsman is her first effort at writing fiction and if it is well received she has ideas for several more novels and short-stories in this series. Please feel free to visit her on FaceBook or drop her a line at mistralkdawn@gmail.com

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

#Agent Thoth's #Personal Log: Day 686


Hey Everyone! :-)

Agent Thoth discusses more of the trials and tribulations associated with living with hominids. Incidentally, if you've missed Agent Thoth's earlier entries, you can find them here: Thoth's Journal


Department for the Preservation and Confirmation of Intelligent Life (DPCIL)
Agent Thoth's Personal Log

Day Six-Hundred-Eighty-Six:
As I previously mentioned, cardboard containers are left outside my domicile at erratic intervals and to mysterious purpose. My hominid-servant never fails to retrieve these containers; however, she also never fails to thwart all my attempts to examine them before she meddles with them.

Naturally, once she has handled the containers, I can no longer vouch for the integrity of the contents. I can offer anecdotal evidence surrounding the appearance of certain hominid artifacts after one of these containers have been emptied. But, of course, such does not equate with the same standard as actual observation and recording.

I will continue to investigate this phenomenon and report back with any new developments. On a side note, I have also been considering various methodologies for preventing hominid interference in my studies. Again, I will be sure to report back with any additional data on this front.


Those dastardly hominids and their interference! ;-) You may have noticed that Agent Thoth has a new look. I hope you like his new picture as much as I do, but I'd love to hear your thoughts, either way. Feel free to let me know what you think in the comments. ;-) Happy reading, everyone!


Tuesday, January 30, 2018

When The Powerful Feel #Fear...


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I've got a little more of Alyce's adventure to share with you, today! Enjoy! :-)

Excerpt from sci-fi satire novel:
"As I said, the people who are powerful fear that the rest of us will one day wake up to the fact that we can force them to share if we just work together. So, they use a lot of different strategies, some of which we've discussed, to keep us divided. But, when people get too angry and start to take action, they'll try to use the police to disrupt any protests and bully the protesters into backing down."

"Are the police part of the ruling elite in your society?" asked Squid-boy.

I shook my head. "No. That's part of the genius of their strategy. Cops are just working stiffs like the rest of us. Most of them are good people and they become police officers because they actually do want to help others and keep them safe. But the way the powerful have structured the legal system makes it almost inevitable that the police will end up at odds with the communities they're supposed to serve. And that means that regular people end up viewing cops as 'the enemy' and, so, cops end up returning the favor and viewing regular people as 'the enemy', too."

"When, in reality, it's the people who are pulling the strings who are the enemies of both groups," murmured Yax.

I pointed at him. "Bingo. That's it, exactly."

"But how does your legal system set up such a dysfunctional dynamic?" asked Squid-boy.

"Oh, there are lots of ways. One is the drug laws we talked about, before. They criminalize normal human behavior and then selectively enforce those laws. People will take drugs because it feels good to them to take drugs, and it doesn't really matter what the laws say. The people in power know this, that's why they make such laws. And they're careful to only criminalize the drugs that poor people tend to prefer; the drugs that are more common among the rich are either not illegal or there are less severe penalties associated with possessing them."

"So, they set up a situation where police feel they have a right to peer into people's private affairs," said Yax.

"Yep. And, let's be honest, just making laws like that is a huge overstep of authority by the government. After all, it's one thing for the government to regulate the manufacturing of goods or to mandate certain warnings be issued about the likely effects of a given substance. But who are they to tell consenting adults what they may or may not put into their own bodies? Why should free citizens allow their personal, private behavior to be controlled like that?"

"So, the laws surrounding these mind-altering substances only exist to create tensions between law enforcement officials and the rest of the community?"

"Pretty much."

"Then why do your people allow these laws to exist?"

"Well, that goes back to the divisions that have been created between people with different skin colors and between people from different parts of the country. Again, the drug laws aren't enforced equally and they don't apply equally to all drugs. So, the government uses propaganda to make it seem like some drugs are more dangerous than they are and those are generally the drugs that are typically used by people who are poor or who have darker skin or both. So, that makes people with lighter skin or people with slightly more money start to think that the people in the communities that are associated with the drugs the government has convinced them are dangerous are dangerous themselves. So, they vote for politicians who want to keep the drugs illegal because they think that will protect them from the people. Also, the corporations that manufacture pharmaceuticals want other drugs to be illegal because they are competition for those corporations. And, so, the corporations bribe politicians to keep those laws in place. So, there is more than one reason for the laws."

"But can't the people who live in the communities that are most affected by these laws organize to change them?" asked Squid-boy.

I nodded. "They can, and some of them have started to do that, but it's not easy. Those tend to be the communities that are the most disenfranchised. The laws we talked about before that keep people from voting tend to affect those communities the most. Plus, they are generally poor, which means most of the people who live in them work two or three jobs just to put food on the table, which doesn't leave them with a lot of time or energy for political engagement."

Yax frowned. "That seems awfully convenient for those who are in power."

I snorted. "Of course it is, that's how they designed the system. Also, you have to keep in mind what happens when the people in those communities finally do come together to protest." I pointed at the robots dressed like militarized police in the exhibit we were standing in front of. "This doesn't usually end well for the protesters."


Monday, January 29, 2018

Something Worth Watching?


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I'm back today with another video I wanted to share.  Last week, the most popular politician in the US, Bernie Sanders, participated in a Town Hall at which Medicare for All was discussed. Now, I'll warn you, it runs for about an hour and three quarters, but it's definitely worth watching. Representatives from all different parts of the healthcare system were present to answer questions and there were even international healthcare experts there who answered questions about how the single-payer healthcare systems in their countries worked and whether they were popular among their people, or not. Basically, the concept of instituting a Medicare for All, single-payer system in the US was dissected and analyzed and a lot of really interesting points were discussed. So, I hope, despite the length, you'll join the more than one million people who have watched this Town Hall and take the time to listen to what these people had to say. Peace!



Sunday, January 28, 2018

Easy, Hearty #Recipe For #Wintertime!



Hey Everyone!! :-)

With cold weather here, I'm always looking for something warm and hearty to curl up with in front of the TV. This recipe is quick and easy to make and does a wonderful job of filling you up. Enjoy! :-)

Ingredients:
3 cups vegetable stock
2 cups dry red wine (your favorite kind)
1/2 cup tomato paste
2 20 oz containers button mushrooms sliced
1 20 oz container baby bellas sliced
3 large onions chopped
3 cups kale chopped
6 cloves garlic minced
2 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp thyme
3 tbsp rosemary
2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
6 tbsp flour
4 tbsp olive oil
6 tbsp butter
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large, deep-sided skillet or saucepan, add the olive oil and onions and cook until the onions soften. Add the mushrooms and continue cooking until the mushrooms soften and the onions caramelize. Add the garlic and stir to combine. Add and melt the butter and add the flour and cook until the flour browns. Whisk in the wine and use it to deglaze the pan; make sure all the flour lumps break up. Allow the wine to simmer for a couple of minutes and then whisk in the tomato paste. Add the stock and the rest of the seasonings. Cook until the sauce thickens, taste, and adjust seasonings as necessary. Add the kale and continue cooking until it begins to wilt. Remove sauce from heat and serve warm over rice, pasta, or potatoes with a side of garlic bread.

Bon appetit!


Saturday, January 27, 2018

Lovestruck #Authors & #Bloggers #ValentinesDay #Giveaway! $100 #Cash #Grand #Prize! #Free To #Enter!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

There's a new giveaway for Valentine's Day!  Please take a moment to check out the Lovestruck Authors And Bloggers Valentine's Day Giveaway!!  There are lots of awesome books and prizes!! :-)  It's free to enter, there are over 30 prizes, and the grand prize is $100 cash payable through PayPal!! :-)  Now isn't that worth taking a few minutes to check out? ;-)   Here are all the details:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you so much for stopping by today!  And don't forget to check back tomorrow for the next installment of Mistral Dawn's Musings! :-)




Friday, January 26, 2018

Introducing Author Assist!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

My friend Karina Kantas would like to tell you all about some exciting services she's offering. Karina, take it away! :-)

Karina:
Author Assist supplies services for new and established authors. Managing Director, Karina Kantas has been working in the industry for over 25 years. She is a published author of ten novels and many more freelance nonfiction publications and a radio host with her own prime-time show.

“I know how much it costs to write, publish and market a book. I know the time it takes to write a book and how much it means to an author to get their work out there. I’m here to take some of the stress and time-consuming promotion from the author.”

Not only does Author Assist work as a VA, PA and publicist, she also teaches her clients how to market and promote themselves successfully.

Here are some of the services Author Assist provide:
Blog tours
Event and party hosting
Seasonal and Holiday Promo Blitz
Book reviews
Setting up and the promotion of DayCause campaigns.
Branding & Logo designs
Narrations
Voice Over
Ebook cover designs
Book trailers
Amazon Rankings
Blogging
Newsletter sign ups
Book mark designs
Teasers and banners design packages
Brainstorming sessions


Over 410 million listeners have enjoyed ArtistFirst Radio in just the past 64 months!

ArtistFirst Radio's "Author Assist Host: Karina Kantas" is a LIVE one-hour prime-time worldwide promotional radio show on the ArtistFirst RadioNetwork, broadcast about independent authors, their books, their lives and their struggles as an indie author. It's a comfortable fun chat with some music thrown in for good measures.

There is also a Q&A session where Karina will be answering promotion and marketing problems.


ADVERTISING OPPORTUNITIES
~ 30-second radio ID gets played on the break of my show -
~ Get you book/graphic banner posted on my show page on the artist first radio network -
https://www.artistfirst.com/kantas.htm
~Your book to be mention on air.
~ Author will have a professional, recorded ad created for them and it will be added to the network and be played in between broadcasts throughout the weeks. So it will be added to the advert roll.


There is so much competition for authors especially on social media that it's getting harder to be noticed. Narration is used to sell audiobooks. But what about using narration as a promotional tool?
I narrate in video and audio. A small, up to six minutes’ excerpt from a book or story. This narration is not unique, but it does need to be crafted well. When done correctly it can be one of the strongest promotional tools an author can have.

The reading needs to tease and entice the listener/viewer into buying the book. This take time, patience, and talent.

I narrate in all genres and will help the author choose the best excerpt to use.


An author needs to have a book trailer that is eye catching, dramatic and will make the viewer want to go out and buy the book.
A thirty second or a ten-minute trailer will NOT work. And you do NOT need to pay hundreds of pounds or dollars to get the job done.

It is my job to put the trailer together, tell your story in images, music, and very little text.


If anyone is interested in these services, you can contact Authors Assist via email kkantasauthorassist@gmail.com or Send Karina a PM via the Author Assist FB page, and she will get in touch with you A.S.A.P https://www.facebook.com/KKantasAuthorAssist

A full-service sheet inc prices is available on request as are testimonials and references.


Taking booking for 2018 limited places available. Don’t miss out. Book now.





Thursday, January 25, 2018

#APC #Spotlight: Darker Stars by Chess Desalls!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I've got Chess Desalls in my APC spotlight, today! Chess is an active and supportive member of the  Authors-Professional Co-op Facebook group and her new release, time travel sci-fi novel, Darker Stars, looks great! Here's the description:
Travel talents have evolved far past what the Time and Space Travel Agency imagined, leaving it unable to keep travelers under its control. Silvie Hall is a descendant of Chascadia, Aboreal, and an ancient Earth. The Remnant Transporter talent flows through her blood, giving her the ability to transport silhouettes from different times and places to help heal lost loved ones. But will it be enough to stop the darker talents that threaten her legacy and her home?
If you think this sounds like something you might enjoy, go ahead and grab your copy here:


Thank you all so much for stopping by! Happy reading! :-)



Wednesday, January 24, 2018

#Agent Thoth's #Personal Log: Day 682


Hey Everyone! :-)

Agent Thoth discusses more of the trials and tribulations associated with living with hominids. Incidentally, if you've missed Agent Thoth's earlier entries, you can find them here: Thoth's Journal


Department for the Preservation and Confirmation of Intelligent Life (DPCIL)
Agent Thoth's Personal Log

Day Six-Hundred-Eighty-Two:
Today, the juvenile felid discovered the dangers of venturing outside my domicile at this point in this planet's revolution around its star. My hominid-servant tends to limit her exposure to the elements when the temperature drops, so his opportunities for escape were limited. Still, he persisted and his patience was rewarded…in a manner of speaking.

My hominid-servant opened the door to my domicile because someone had left a cardboard container outside. As a side note, these containers seem to appear at random intervals, however I have not determined either their origin or their purpose, which is a line of inquiry I will pursue at a later date. When she stooped to retrieve the package, the small pest took his chance and squeezed past her to escape into the world beyond.

His victory was short-lived, however, as the moment he passed beyond the threshold of my domicile, he found himself over his head in the frozen precipitation that had accumulated on the ground outside. Since I have personally experienced such a surprise I can empathize with how disagreeable he found the situation.

Fortunately for the tiny beast, my hominid-servant took pity on him and retrieved him from his chilly predicament. She brought him back inside my domicile and wrapped him in one of her textile panels until his body temperature returned to the acceptable range. Thus far, he does not seem to have suffered any serious aftereffects because he has spent the last several hours interfering with every observational study I have attempted to initiate. Which is par for the course for the teensy terror.


"Oh, the weather outside is frightful..." ;-) You may have noticed that Agent Thoth has a new look. I hope you like his new picture as much as I do, but I'd love to hear your thoughts, either way. Feel free to let me know what you think in the comments. ;-) Happy reading, everyone!


Tuesday, January 23, 2018

A Rose By Any Other Name Would Smell As Sweet



Hey Everyone!! :-)

There's something I've been thinking about for a while that I wanted to talk about. It's something a neighbor of mine said right after Doug Jones won the Senate election in Alabama, and I didn't write about it right away because I wanted to chew on it for a little bit. The comment on its surface was offensive, but I think it's actually worse than just the superficial bigotry it expressed, so I thought I'd share what happened and then share my thoughts. And after you read it, I'd love to hear what all of you think, too, in the comments.

So, as I said, this was just after the election, and several of my neighbors were standing around discussing it when I walked by. They called me over to ask what I thought about it, and I told them the truth. I'm glad that a known pedophile isn't now a member of Congress, but I think that at best Doug Jones can be expected to hopefully not completely suck as a Senator.

Doug Jones is a neoliberal who doesn't support single-payer healthcare or any of the other populist priorities that all Democrats should be backing at this point, but aren't, and I have a feeling he'll do a whole lot of nothing for a couple of years and then be replaced by a Republican who, hopefully, isn't a Christian Taliban pedophile. Because it's Alabama and I seriously doubt a do-nothing Senator like I expect Doug Jones to be will do anything to win over the Conservatives in a deep-red state like that. If he were actually a progressive who would work hard to help working people and who would stand up and fight for the interests of regular Americans, then I think he would stand a good chance of being reelected. But as things are, I don't have much confidence in that possibility.

It was at that point that my neighbors started sharing their concerns about the election and the conversation, in my opinion, turned ugly. One of them stated that the reason he didn't like the outcome was that he thought it would result in an overemphasis being placed on the interests of people of color by candidates in future elections. Well, okay, he didn't use the phrase "people of color" and he wasn't nearly that polite in expressing his viewpoint, but I'm not going to repeat what he actually said. That's the gist of what he said, and I'm pretty sure you all are smart enough to fill in the blanks.

Anyway, I left the conversation after that, since it was going nowhere productive and I've already discussed with those particular neighbors my feelings about such language. But it left me thinking about what he said. You see, I find myself having a hard time figuring out what interests people of color might have that I wouldn't want political candidates that I support to focus on.

I found myself making mental lists of the issues I've seen reported on where people of color seem to be coming together to take a stand about something. The first thing that came to mind was the BLM movement. Well, I have to say that I agree with them that police officers shouldn't be allowed to murder unarmed Americans and that if they do murder unarmed Americans they should be held legally responsible and go to prison. So, I can't really object to that being made a priority; if it were, I think we'd all be a lot safer.

Then, I thought of Standing Rock and the No DAPL movement led by Native Americans. That's another case where I have to say I agree with them. I think allowing multinational corporations to usurp private land over the objections of the owners of the land in order to further poison our planet and exacerbate the effects of climate change is a bad thing. So, I have to say I would be in favor of political candidates making that a priority and protecting the interests of regular Americans against the predation of big corporations.

So, then, I thought of what else might qualify as something I've noticed a number of people of color supporting, and the fight for a $15/hr minimum wage came to mind. Here, again, I have to say I'm in favor of it. I think anyone who works a fulltime job should earn enough to support themselves and their family. Honestly, I'm not even sure why anyone would be against that. So, again, I can't think of a downside to having political candidates make this a priority.

And on and on it went. The right for women to have full autonomy over their bodies. For access to safe, affordable birth control and to have the right to choose, without government interference, whether to carry or not to carry a pregnancy to term. Making a college education accessible to everyone by publicly funding tuition for state universities. Ensuring our regulatory agencies are doing their job and keeping our public water and food supplies safe, and that they're holding to account any corporations that jeopardize American lives by tainting our food or water sources. Yep, yep, yep. I agree; those are all good things to have political candidates focus on.

In fact, I couldn't think of a single example of anything that I've noticed large numbers of people of color supporting that I would be against. It almost seems that their interests are essentially the interests of any American who isn't a member of the 1%. In fact, with all of the issues I've mentioned, it's not just people of color who are fighting for them. People of all backgrounds are coming together to bring these concerns to the public's notice and to encourage politicians to make them a priority.

Yes, in some case, maybe many cases, people of color have taken a leadership role in these fights, but why is that a problem? If anything, the rest of us should be grateful to them for stepping up and doing the work. Which made me wonder what, specifically, my neighbor was objecting to so strenuously. Because, I assure you, there isn't anyone who lives in my neighborhood who wouldn't benefit from all of these issues being made national priorities.

Which led me to what I think the real problem is: the perceived divisions in our society that are instigated and encouraged by fear-mongers like Trump. These divisions are pointless and harmful. As I've already pointed out, most Americans have the same interests. It's only the interests of the rich and powerful that diverge from those I mentioned above. And, therefore, it only makes sense to look at the rich and powerful when investigating who might want to keep regular Americans divided and fighting among ourselves, rather than uniting in opposition to those who are trying to crush us all.

Frankly, I'm hoping that people like my neighbor will come to their senses and realize that what they're asking for is exactly what they say they're afraid of, just by a different name. I'm hoping that the majority of Americans will realize that reality so that we can all begin working together to overthrow the oligarchs and take back our country. Is my hope in vain? I don't know. It will depend on if Americans, by and large, are as smart as I think and hope they are. And only time can answer that question. But I'll keep on hoping and I'll also hope that the rest of you will join me. Because only by working together can we can fix the system and make America a great place for all of us to live.

Peace!


Monday, January 22, 2018

Something Worth Watching?


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I'm back today with another video I wanted to share. This one is about a particularly disgusting manifestation of the influence of the Christian Taliban in the US today. Just imagine if someone you love is in the ER, their life hanging by a thread, and the doctor on duty refuses to treat them for some arbitrary reason.

Don't think it could happen to you? Well, I'll give you a 'for instance' you probably haven't thought of. As I've mentioned in the past, I was raised in the Jehovah's Witness cult. People in that cult think that blood transfusions are morally wrong. So, how would you feel if you or a loved one was in the hospital and you needed a blood transfusion but your doctor was a Jehovah's Witness and they refused to order the transfusion you needed because it was against their religion? Does that sound like it would be a good thing to you?

If not, then you might want to call your elected representatives and tell them to take action to keep this from happening. Because if the government starts making decisions about who gets to live and who has to die based on their religious beliefs, how long do you think it will be before you end up on the wrong end of that equation?





Sunday, January 21, 2018

Easy #Cheesy #Snacks #Recipe!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

With the Super Bowl coming up in a couple weeks, I thought I'd post one of my favorite, easy snack recipes. Enjoy! :-)

Ingredients:
1 tub Alouette or Rondele garlic herb cheese spread
2 cans crescent rolls (whatever brand you like)
2 onions chopped fine
1 20oz container button mushrooms sliced
16 broccoli spears or asparagus spears
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to tasted

Put the olive oil and onions in a skillet and saute them until the onions soften. Add the mushrooms and salt and pepper and continue sauteing until the onions caramelize. Cool completely.

Open the crescent rolls -- you know the kind, you peel off the wrapper and then pop open the can against the edge of the counter -- and spread them out flat. Spread the cheese spread in an even layer over both cans of rolls. Separate the rolls into individual crescent rolls along the dotted lines with the cheese side up. Place a spoonful of the onion and mushroom mixture in the center of each roll. Place a broccoli spear or asparagus spear on top of each roll and roll the dough up around the spear, keeping the mushroom and onion mixture inside. Bake according to package directions and serve warm.

As always, I prefer my snacks without meat. But, for those who are so inclined, you could easily add a slice of ham or roast beef to each roll before adding the mushrooms and onions. Just be careful to adjust the salt in the mushrooms and onions so that you don't make the rolls too salty since both the deli meat and the cheese have a lot of salt in them.

Bon Appetit!






Saturday, January 20, 2018

Lovestruck #Authors & #Bloggers #ValentinesDay #Giveaway! $100 #Cash #Grand #Prize! #Free To #Enter!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

There's a new giveaway for Valentine's Day!  Please take a moment to check out the Lovestruck Authors And Bloggers Valentine's Day Giveaway!!  There are lots of awesome books and prizes!! :-)  It's free to enter, there are over 30 prizes, and the grand prize is $100 cash payable through PayPal!! :-)  Now isn't that worth taking a few minutes to check out? ;-)   Here are all the details:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you so much for stopping by today!  And don't forget to check back tomorrow for the next installment of Mistral Dawn's Musings! :-)




Friday, January 19, 2018

#APC #Spotlight: The Crown Of Stones: Magic-Price by C L Schneider!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I've got Cindy L Schneider in my APC spotlight, today! Cindy is an active and supportive member of the  Authors-Professional Co-op Facebook group and her dark fantasy, sword and sorcery novel, The Crown Of Stones: Magic-Price, looks great! Here's the description:
Born of the Shinree, a fallen race reviled for their inborn addiction to magic, Ian Troy is no stranger to scorn. His people, drugged to quell their deadly spells, are bred and sold as slaves. Conscripted into the army at a young age, Ian was made to fight in Rella's long-standing war against the brutal Langorian invaders. For six years, he battled as the queen demanded: without magic. But as Rella's defeat became imminent, Ian defied orders and turned to the Crown of Stones, an ancient Shinree relic of untold power. Harnessing its magic, he brought peace to the realms, but at an unthinkable price.

A decade later, Ian is still haunted by the tragic aftermath of that day. Living as a bounty hunter in self-imposed exile, he curbs his addiction with wine and regret. But when a fateful encounter with a pretty assassin brings Ian's past crashing into the present, his addiction is awakened. The land he gave up everything to protect is once more in jeopardy, and denial is no longer an option. To save the realms, Ian must embrace the one thing he fears most: his own power.

Magic-Price is the first installment in The Crown of Stones Trilogy
 If you think this sounds like something you might enjoy, go ahead and grab your copy here:


Thank you all so much for stopping by! Happy reading! :-)



Thursday, January 18, 2018

#January2018 #IndieBooksBeSeen #Indie #Author #Books #Monthly #BookReview!



Hey Everyone!! :-)

It's the 18th again, so time for my #IndieBooksBeSeen monthly indie author book review!! Enjoy! :-)


The Cat Who Wanted A Dog by Micki Peluso:
This is an adorable story about a cat who learns that sometimes his troubles aren't as troublesome as they first appear. The story is cute, the pictures are cute, and it's just a cute book overall. Having been the mom to a mixed furry family at times, I can relate to many of the details in this story. Five stars, and don't forget to print out the pictures so you, or the munchkins in your life, can color them in.




Wednesday, January 17, 2018

#Agent Thoth's #Personal Log: Day 678


Hey Everyone! :-)

Agent Thoth discusses more of the trials and tribulations associated with living with hominids. Incidentally, if you've missed Agent Thoth's earlier entries, you can find them here: Thoth's Journal


Department for the Preservation and Confirmation of Intelligent Life (DPCIL)
Agent Thoth's Personal Log

Day Six-Hundred-Seventy-Eight:
I am beginning to believe there may be a physiological connection between the local weather conditions and my hominid-servant's hypothalamus. At first, I thought it was only psychological. Because any time she glanced out one of the transparent portals and observed any frozen precipitation, she would immediately increase the number of textiles covering her body.

However, I have now observed several occasions when the outside temperature dropped significantly during her sleeping hours, though the temperature inside my domicile remained constant during that same time period, and my hominid-servant responded by exhibiting extreme reluctance to emerge from beneath the textile panels covering her sleeping platform when it was time for her to rise. Since she was unconscious during the time that the weather conditions changed and has no view through any of the portals from her sleeping platform, there is no way she could have known about the increase in precipitation.

Absent another explanation, I have hypothesized that hominids must have a previously unsuspected intrinsic connection with their environment. The possible mechanism for such a bond is unclear to me, but I will endeavor to discover more about this phenomenon and report back when I have additional data.

Uh, oh! A mystery! ;-) You may have noticed that Agent Thoth has a new look. I hope you like his new picture as much as I do, but I'd love to hear your thoughts, either way. Feel free to let me know what you think in the comments. ;-) Happy reading, everyone!


Tuesday, January 16, 2018

There's A #Fire Burning And It Can't Be Put Out


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I know it's been a while, but with the holidays and everything, I fell a little behind on my writing. Still, I'm back on track, now, and I've got a little more of Alyce's adventure to share with you! Enjoy! :-)

Excerpt from sci-fi satire novel:
I followed the sound of his voice and found him standing next to an exhibit that showed a group of robots holding signs and…dancing?

"What in the pink and purple heck…?"

The tall alien waved at the display. "Pay no attention to the 'droids' movements. It's just more maintenance routines to make sure their movement programming is working. Please just focus on the rest of the exhibit."

I did as he asked. The setting was a city street. The robots closest to me were, as I said, holding signs. They were dressed like regular civilians you might find anywhere in modern America. Farther down the street there were more robots, but they were dressed like police and carrying plastic shields and dangerous-looking batons. I knew what this was supposed to be.

Sighing, I nodded and said, "Yes, this ties into it, but it's a bit of a long story to get there."

"In what way?" asked Yax.

"Well, people aren't marching just because of the laws that make it difficult for them to vote. It's more of a 'one thing leads to another' situation."

"Being denied the ability to help choose one's government isn't sufficient reason to protest for your people?" asked Squid-boy.

I rubbed my temples. "It is. But it also isn't. Like I said, it's a long story. You have to understand everything in its historical context. The anger and resentment that are coming to a head now have been building for centuries."

"Centuries!" exclaimed Squid-boy. "Why has it taken so long for people to take action?"

I rolled my eyes. "It hasn't. Haven't you been listening to what I've told y'all? This is part of an ongoing struggle. People have been fighting this fight for generations. There have been changes, victories, but there has all been regression. Every time people start to think that maybe the fight is over, that, just maybe, true equality is within sight, other people with their own agendas organize and push back against the progress that has been made. The details are always slightly different, voter ID laws instead of poll taxes and the like, but the results are ultimately the same. And those who want justice are forced to fight for it again. It's a cycle."

"Why is it a cycle?" asked Yax. "What motivates some of your people to seek to disenfranchise others?"

I threw my hands up in the air. "Y'all really need to start listening, ya know? It's always the same thing. The rallying cry might be different, but it's always the same thing. The people in power, those who have a lot of money, find ways to divide everyone else so we won't unite and force them to share their power and their money. It always boils down to that. Whether the powerful are yelling 'States' Rights!' or 'Anti-American!' or 'National Security!' it's always the same thing: money and power and how to get away with hoarding them both."

"I understand that. What I find hard to believe is that so many of your people keep falling for it."

I shrugged. "Why? What could be easier? All they have to do is create privation and then tell those who are suffering that some other group of people who are suffering just as much, or more, is the cause of the suffering. Nothing could be simpler. People who are struggling are always going to be looking for someone to blame for their troubles. All those in power have to do is pick a convenient scapegoat and let nature take its course."

"It's that easy?" asked Squid-boy.

"Pretty much. Like I said, they've already got centuries' worth of resentments that have been simmering just under the surface to work with. All they have to do is stir the pot a bit, maybe turn up the heat, and bingo! Instant division."

"And it just keeps working? No one ever catches on?"

I glared at him. "You're repeating yourself, Squid-boy. Like I said, some people catch on. But they're usually not the ones who are shouting the loudest." I pointed at the exhibit of people marching. "This, here? This is where those in power start losing control of the fire they started."

Monday, January 15, 2018

Something Worth Watching?


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I'm back today with another video I wanted to share. This one highlights an ongoing problem that directly speaks to the reason we need to overhaul Congress. The problem I'm talking about is not just the fascistic, Big Brother-esque government surveillance of citizens who are supposed to be free, though that's certainly a problem worth talking about. No, what I'm referring to is the fact that people we've elected to do a job for us are brazenly refusing to do that job. They seem to believe that there are no consequences if they betray us in favor of serving their donors. And the saddest part is, up until now, they've been right. There have been no consequences. But we can change that.

Unfortunately, we have to wait until we can hold elections to before we can truly fix the problem. So, in the meantime, take a look at this video and find out if your representative is someone who voted in favor of this bill. It might be too late to change their vote on this particular piece of legislation, but you can contact them and let them know you see what they're doing and you aren't happy about it. If they get enough calls like that, it might make them think twice before voting the wrong way on the next bill. If not, well, 2018 midterms are coming. Peace!




Sunday, January 14, 2018

Chocolate Banana Bread #Recipe!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I don't know about you, but when it gets cold outside I start thinking about baking. This is one of my favorite wintertime recipes. Enjoy! :-)

Ingredients:
1 cup flour
1/2 cup powdered cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup chocolate chips
4 overripe bananas
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter melted
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla


DIRECTIONS:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. In a different bowl, mash the bananas with a fork and then stir in the butter, oil, and egg. Then add the brown sugar and vanilla. Stir until smooth and then add the dry ingredients a little at a time until everything is completely mixed together. Fold in most of the chocolate chips, but keep a few to sprinkle over the top.

Pour the batter into a greased 9-by-5-inch loaf pan and sprinkle the rest of the chocolate chips on top. Bake for 50-65 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out mostly clean. Allow the bread cool in the pan for about 15 minutes, then run a knife around the edges of the bread and remove it from the pan. Let the bread finish cooling on a plate, and then cut into slices and serve it with a little whipped cream, if desired.

Bon appetit!

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Lovestruck #Authors & #Bloggers #ValentinesDay #Giveaway! $100 #Cash #Grand #Prize! #Free To #Enter!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

There's a new giveaway for Valentine's Day!  Please take a moment to check out the Lovestruck Authors And Bloggers Valentine's Day Giveaway!!  There are lots of awesome books and prizes!! :-)  It's free to enter, there are over 30 prizes, and the grand prize is $100 cash payable through PayPal!! :-)  Now isn't that worth taking a few minutes to check out? ;-)   Here are all the details:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you so much for stopping by today!  And don't forget to check back tomorrow for the next installment of Mistral Dawn's Musings! :-)




Friday, January 12, 2018

A Little Taste Of #Summer's #Heat To Keep You Warm Tonight



Hey Everyone!! :-)

With winter fully upon us, I thought it might help cheer everyone up a little to remind us all about summertime. Enjoy! :-)

Excerpt from Bound By The Summer Prince:
In his hand he held a large tart filled with red fruit jam. Scooping the jam from the tart with his fingers, he spread it over her belly, breasts, and thighs.

Giggling, she arched an eyebrow and said, “Now what do you intend to do?”

He smiled in return. “Let me show you.” Bending over, he licked and sucked the sticky sweetness from her stomach. His lips nibbled at and caressed her body, as his tongue swirled and lapped at her skin. He took his time, but eventually her belly was clean. Nipping at the slight bulge of flesh below her belly button, he rolled his eyes up to look at her and grinned.

Moving to her side, he lay down beside her and put his hand on the part of her he had just cleaned. “Now, comes the difficult decision.” He slid his hand up towards her breasts. “North?” and then down towards her pubic hair. “Or south?”

Roni opened her mouth to respond, but he kissed her and then put a finger to her lips to silence her. “Uh, uh. You don’t get a say.”



Want to find out what happens next? You'll find hours of fun among the Summer Fae here:


Happy reading, everyone!! :-)


Thursday, January 11, 2018

#APC #Spotlight: Blood Loss by Lu Whitley!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I've got Lu Whitley in my APC spotlight, today! Lu is an active and supportive member of the  Authors-Professional Co-op Facebook group and her paranormal, horror, urban fantasy novella, Blood Loss, looks great! Here's the description:
Join your favorite Book Boyfriends, Jaromir Ragnarsson & the ever-wonderful Stein, nearly 400 years before the events of BloodMarked (The Fraktioneers #1) in this all new prequel novella!
Cursed to live in the shadows, Jaromir Ragnarsson wanders the world, searching for a sign. What he finds wasn't exactly what he had in mind.

Nearly four hundred-fifty years after a fateful meeting with a Wyrd woman changes his life, Jaromir is no longer alone. His adoptive son is the light of his long life, and he believes he will do anything to keep him safe.
When that belief is tested, will he have the strength to do what is necessary?
Even if, no matter what he chooses, he loses?
If you think this sounds like something you might enjoy, go ahead and grab your copy here:


Thank you all so much for stopping by! Happy reading! :-)



Wednesday, January 10, 2018

#Agent Thoth's #Personal Log: Day 673


Hey Everyone! :-)

Agent Thoth discusses more of the trials and tribulations associated with living with hominids. Incidentally, if you've missed Agent Thoth's earlier entries, you can find them here: Thoth's Journal


Department for the Preservation and Confirmation of Intelligent Life (DPCIL)
Agent Thoth's Personal Log

Day Six-Hundred-Seventy-Three:
We have reached the portion of this planet's revolution around its star where the ambient external air temperature drops significantly at the latitude and longitude at which my domicile is located. This poses little trouble for me, as my domicile is sufficiently insulated and the climate control systems sufficiently effective so as to maintain my environment within comfortable norms.

Regardless of the fact that my domicile remains comfortable in spite of the local weather conditions, my hominid-servant seems preoccupied with ensuring adequate warmth both for herself and for me and the juvenile felid. She has produced quite a few new textile panels, which she leaves strewn about my domicile. Anytime she is stationary for more than a few minutes, she covers herself in these panels until it is nearly impossible for me to get a reading on any of her vital signs.

To make matters worse, if my hominid-servant observes me or the small pest engaged in any resting activity, she has begun taking it upon herself to cover us with textile panels, as well. I have tried explaining to her that this is unnecessary as my fur supplies adequate insulation for my person, especially considering the mildness of the atmosphere inside my domicile. But my pleas have fallen on deaf ears. Hopefully, this obsession with the temperature on my hominid-servant's part will pass soon.

*sigh* Hominids sure can be irrational, sometimes. ;-) You may have noticed that Agent Thoth has a new look. I hope you like his new picture as much as I do, but I'd love to hear your thoughts, either way. Feel free to let me know what you think in the comments. ;-) Happy reading, everyone!


Tuesday, January 9, 2018

#Interview With Susanne Leist!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

Please join me in welcoming accomplished author, Susanne Leist!  Susanne, can you please tell us about yourself and how many books you have written?

Susanne: I’ve spent a major portion of my life pursuing business interests. I have an M.B.A. in Finance. I’ve had jobs in budgeting, financial analysis, and commodities. After staying home with my children, the field of finance didn’t call to me anymore. I was tired of the backstabbing and greediness. I wanted to follow my creative talents. I began to write. Once I started, I couldn’t stop. I’m still writing and writing.

Me: Congratulations on following your passion! :-) What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?

Susanne: I’ve written one book, The Dead Game. It is the first in a series. T.V. inspired this book. The Dead Game began as a mystery with clues and dead bodies. I was following in the path of the murder mysteries that I love to read. Then the story turned darker. The town’s residents hid inside during the day and came out at night. The T.V. shows, Supernatural and The Originals, played with my mind. The Dead Game has vampires and human vampires.

Me: Wow! Sounds interesting! :-) What are you working on now?

Susanne: I am presently working on book two in The Dead Game series. I’m almost finished. About twenty pages to go.

Me: Yay for sequels! ;-) What authors, or books, have influenced you?

Susanne: I love to read. I have many authors who have inspired me. To name a few: Agatha Christie, Arthur Conan Doyle, Edgar Allen Poe, Allistair Maclean, Brad Meltzer, Linda Fairstein, Lisa Unger, Heather Graham, and on.

Me: There are some great authors on that list! Poe is one that I particularly enjoy as well. He's like the literary equivalent of thick, dark chocolate. What are you reading now?

Susanne: I’m reading All I Want for Halloween by Marie Harte. I found it at Barnes & Noble, the brick and mortar store. I liked the cover. I still prefer to read books as opposed to digital.

Me: Cool! For those who might consider reading your book, what would you tell them to expect?

Susanne: Dear reader, you can expect to be entertained and surprised. I like twists and turns. I also enjoy to do things a little different than other books in the same genre. The same is boring.

Me: I agree! What is your favorite part of being an author?

Susanne: I can create my own piece of art that can be around long after I’m gone.

Me: So true! Do you have a day job as well?

Susanne: Nope. I read and write. In between, I shop and go swimming. And if my husband’s lucky, I make dinner.

Me: Lucky you! :-) What are the hardest and easiest parts about being a writer?

Susanne: The hardest part is promoting. I love making banners and videos, but it’s hard to snag readers’ attentions from the vast multitude of books on the market. My Kindle and Nook are 99 cents, but authors give them away for free. It’s a challenge to compete.

Me: I think you're echoing the laments of many indie authors. ;-) What genre do you place your book in?

Susanne: On Amazon, it falls into Vampire Suspense. On Barnes & Noble, it’s on Paranormal Suspense.

Me: Wonderful! And is there anything else you'd like to tell your readers?

Susanne: Please give indie authors a chance. We work hard and we do it for love.

Me: Amen! And so these fine folks can find your labor of love, are there any links you'd like me to post?

Susanne: Yes, thank you.



Me: Perfect! Thank you so much for joining me here today, Susanne, and thank you to everyone else who dropped by as well. Don't forget to check back tomorrow for the latest in Mistral Dawn's Musings! :-)



Monday, January 8, 2018

Something Worth Watching?


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I'm back today with another video I wanted to share. You may remember, I've posted a few times about the fight to restore Net Neutrality. This video gives an update on that fight and shines a spotlight on why no real action has been taken. Just in case you'd like to make a few phone calls, or something. ;-) Peace!




Sunday, January 7, 2018

Dinner Without The Fuss #Recipe!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

With the holidays over and all of us back at the daily grind, I find that sometimes I just want a really simple, uncomplicated recipe that doesn't require a lot of crazy ingredients that I have to go out and buy special, but still tastes amazing and warms me up on a cold winter night. This recipe is something that you can make with staples that most people keep in the house and it's one of my favorites. Enjoy! :-)

Ingredients:
1 large potato sliced into thin rounds
6 eggs beaten
1/2 cup broccoli chopped
1 small tomato chopped
1 onion chopped
1 cup button mushrooms sliced
2 cloves garlic minced
1 12oz can vegetarian onion soup or vegetable stock
8 tbsp butter
6 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp flour
1 tbsp sage
1 tbsp thyme
2 tbsp hot sauce (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

Parboil the potato and then drain and toss with two tablespoons of olive oil and salt and pepper. Set it aside in a bowl. In an oven-safe, deep-sided skillet, melt two tablespoons of butter and add the onion. Sautee until the onion is soft and add the mushrooms and garlic. Sautee until mushrooms soften and onion is caramelized. Remove the onions and mushrooms from the skillet and set them aside.

Add two more tablespoons of butter and two tablespoons of olive oil to the skillet. Add the potato slices to the skillet in single layer and brown them on the bottom. Add two more tablespoons of butter and two more tablespoons of olive oil to the skillet and flip the potato slices over, keeping them in a single layer. Add the eggs to the skillet and sprinkle the broccoli and tomato pieces over the top. Put the whole skillet in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit and bake until eggs are completely cooked, approximately 20-25 minutes.

In a small pot, melt two tablespoons of butter and sprinkle in the flour. Stir constantly until the flour starts to brown. Whisk in the soup or stock until all the flour lumps are smoothed out. Add the hot sauce (optional), thyme, sage, and previously cooked onions and mushrooms. Taste and adjust salt and pepper and seasonings as necessary.

Cut the egg and potato pie into slices and serve hot with gravy on top.

Bon appetit!









Saturday, January 6, 2018

#Interview With Ammar Habib!



Hey Everyone!! :-)

I've got another special guest to introduce to you all, today. Please welcome Ammar Habib! Ammar, can you, please, tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.

Ammar: Hello! My name is Ammar Habib. I am an award-winning and best-selling author based out of Texas. My writing background is that I have written 7 books. 4 have been published and three more will be releasing throughout next year.

Me: Sounds like you're a busy man! :-) What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?

Ammar: My latest book is Dark Guardian: Legends. It is the third part of my Dark Guardian Series, which was started by my first novel, Dark Guardian. This novel was inspired by the idea of “legacy”. What does it mean to be a legend? What does it mean to have a life which is a torch for others to follow? Those questions are what inspired the writing of this newest novel.

Me: Interesting! What are you working on now?

Ammar: I’m currently working on a narrative non-fiction project with my agent! We recently finished the proposal and are starting to shop it around.

Me: Sounds like fun! :-) For those who might consider reading your book, what would you tell them to expect?

Ammar: My Dark Guardian Series is definitely a character-driven superhero saga! It has thrills, suspense, mystery, and a bit of romance. The entire series takes readers on a roller coaster of emotions that so far most readers have definitely enjoyed, from what I am hearing. Although the plot is definitely intense, the main character, Ethan Daniels, holds true as the central point of the series.

Me: It's awesome that you're getting so much positive feedback. :-) What does it mean to you to be an author?

Ammar: Being an author means many things. You’re a world-builder. An action hero. A cowboy. A wizard. You’re whatever you want to be. As an author, you live vicariously through your characters (I sometimes even find myself thinking about them!). Therefore, you’re a wearer of many hats, and get to keep a piece of each character with you long after you’ve written the story.

Me: Very true! :-) What are the hardest and easiest parts about being a writer?

Ammar: Honestly, the easiest part for me is doing the actual writing. The hardest part for me has always been the business aspect of the industry: getting published, gaining traction, gaining awareness, etc. But I’m defiantly overcoming this hurdle one step at a time!

Me: I think most authors would agree with you there. What is your writing process? Is it a set process or more fluid? What inspires you?

Ammar: My writing process always begins with a theme. I ask myself, “Why should readers read this? What do I hope they get out of it?” As entertaining as I hope my stories are, I want them to hold some sort of moral lesson or theme for the audience as well. At the same time, I don’t want to slap readers in the face with this ‘theme’. Instead, I want to show it in the characters and story arc. So I take a lot of time in figuring out who my characters are. As far as pre-writing goes, I probably spend more time fleshing out the characters than I spend on anything else. Many times, putting in the effort to create three-dimensional characters is the separator between good and great work. However, with that said, my writing process is very fluid. I like to try and create an outline before I go into the actual writing. But many times I find myself starting the first draft before I’ve even finished my outline. The inspiration comes in bursts so I try to capitalize on those bursts as much as I can. I find that being too stringent in my writing process can actually become a hindrance. As far as inspiration goes, I honestly draw inspiration from everywhere. I’ve had a huge imagination since I was a child, so that is usually my biggest source. I have a hard time switching my imagination off, which can be a problem when somebody is trying to talk to you and you’re imagining a battle scene in your head! The other place I really draw inspiration is from the world around me. I try to stay observant because sometimes the best inspiration passes by right in front of you!

Me: Ah, a planner. ;-) What advice do you have for new/aspiring writers?

Ammar: I’ve learned a lot about the industry over the past few years. What I’ve seen is that along with filmmaking, it is probably the most subjective industry out there. A writer may spend months perfecting their story, putting their heart and soul into it, staying up the whole night working on it, only for an editor to reject it with a short sentence of vague reasoning. That’s what can make the industry very frustrating. What I tell people who ask is that you need to write something that you believe in. Don’t worry about what others think about it. If you think it’s a great story and one that needs to be told, then write it! The other thing is that writers need to have thick skin. Editors and agents reject hundreds of works a day, so never take it personal. Even critics give bad reviews all the time. But if you believe in your work and did your best, then never let the opinions of anyone tear you down. Write stories that you’d want to read, regardless of what others say!

Me: True. As with any art, in writing, the beauty is always in the eye of the beholder. Anything else you'd like to tell your readers?

Ammar: I always say that I can never thank my readers enough! An author is nothing with his readers and I am always humbled and thankful for the support of each and every one of my readers!
Me: Absolutely! And so these wonderful readers can find your work, are there any links you'd like me to post?

Ammar:
Links to Works:
https://www.amazon.com/Ammar-Habib/e/B00MMQVI9C

Social Media Links:
www.ammahsenhabib.com
https://www.facebook.com/ammarahsenhabib
https://twitter.com/AmmarAHabib1
https://instagram.com/ammar.a.habib/

Thank you for the interview! I hope your readers enjoy reading the interview as much as I enjoyed answering the questions

Me: You're welcome! :-) And thank you for stopping by, today. Thank you, as well, to the rest of you who joined us, and don't forget to check back tomorrow for the latest in Mistral Dawn's Musings!


Friday, January 5, 2018

#Animal #Rescuer's #Guide To #Staying ( #Relatively ) #Sane! #Free! :-)



Hey Everyone!! :-)

Just a reminder, for those who haven't checked it out yet, I've collected all my animal rescue/care posts together and published them as a small book.  If you'd like, you can download the book for free from Amazon, Smashwords, B&N, Kobo, and iTunes.



Thanks for stopping in today, and don't forget to check back tomorrow for the next installment of Mistral Dawn's Musings! :-)