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

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Easy #Pumpkin #Spice #Bread #Recipe!



Hey Everyone!! :-)

Now that Fall is getting closer, it's time for all things pumpkin-flavored. Wouldn't you agree? ;-) Enjoy!

Ingredients:
1 15oz can pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
3 cups flour (all-purpose or whole wheat)
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
4 eggs
2/3 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup rum or brandy (optional)
1/2 cup walnuts chopped
1/2 cup raisins (optional)
1 2/3 cups sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp powdered ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg

Soak the raisins in the brandy or rum overnight (optional). Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease the bottoms of two 9x5 loaf pans. In a bowl, mix the pumpkin, sugar, oil, vanilla, and eggs. In a separate bowl, mix the remaining ingredients except for the nuts and raisins. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix together. Add the raisins and nuts to the batter and stir until evenly distributed.

Pour the batter into the pans and for approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centers comes out clean. Cool the bread for 10 minutes in the pans. Loosen the sides of the bread from the pans with a butter knife, remove the bread from the pans, and place them top side up on a wire rack. Cool the bread completely before slicing. Serve as-is or toasted with butter.

Bon appetit!



Saturday, September 29, 2018

Hauntingly Good #Reads #Giveaway! $84 #Cash #Grand #Prize! #Free To #Enter!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

There's a new giveaway for Halloween!  Please take a moment to check out the Hauntingly Good Reads Giveaway!!  There are lots of awesome books and prizes!! :-)  It's free to enter, there are over 54 prizes, and the grand prize is $84 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, September 28, 2018

Fun & Games, Fairie-Style! ;-)



Hey Everyone!! :-)

I wanted to help you all get your weekend off to a good start with a quick, little visit to Fairie. Enjoy! :-)

Excerpt from Taken By The Huntsman:
“As you wish. But there are other activities we could indulge in.” He smiled.

Taking his hand as he helped her out of bed, she gave him an arch look. “I suppose there are at that." She smiled at him as an idea occurred to her. He said he enjoyed hunting…. “Tag! You’re it!” Tapping his arm, she raced into the bathroom ahead of him.

Cadeyrn was astonished when his Anamchara ran from him, but then he realized from her tone that she was playing a game with him. He felt himself harden and growled as he ran after her.

Cassie giggled as she heard her lover growl and ran into the shower. She turned on the water and then turned to face him. “I win!” she declared with a smile.

“Are you sure about that?” he asked in a voice that had gone low and gravely. “You appear to be trapped to me.” Walking up to block the entrance to the shower stall, he gave her a smoldering look.

Cassie felt moisture that didn’t come from the shower run down her thigh. She looked at Cadeyrn standing in front of her nude and fully erect. He looked like a marble statue of a Greek god come to life. His skin was pale, luminous, and ran like liquid velvet over his hard muscles. It was soft except for the calluses on his fingers, and she remembered how those had felt against her body the night before.

His hair was a wild tangle around his head and shoulders, making it appear as if red and gold flames surrounded him. His gorgeous green eyes were glowing again, and his thick, sensuous lips had taken on a stern expression as he gazed down on her. His high, sharp cheekbones would have made his face frighteningly severe if she hadn’t seen the care and desire shining out of his eyes.

His shoulders were wide, and his chest and arms bulged with hard muscles, but they weren’t body-builder type muscles. It was obvious he had developed his body through real work and combat, not in a gym. She remembered the feel of them, like steel under his skin, and how they had held her so gently. His abdomen rippled with an eight-pack and her mouth watered to taste it and what lay just below it. His manhood stood proud, long and thick, out from his body. The length of it curling up and nearly reaching the shallow depression his belly button made in his flat stomach.

Cassie’s breath caught in her throat. Licking her lips, she said, “I think I may have won because I’m trapped.” Her voice sounded high and breathy in her ears.

Cadeyrn’s heart leaped, and his loins tightened at her words. He growled again and advanced on her slowly, prowling forward as gracefully as a cat. Putting his hands on the wall to either side of his Anamchara, he caged her within his embrace and leaned forward, kissing her gently on the mouth... 


Want to find out what happens next? Grab your copy at the link below. Happy reading! :-)





Thursday, September 27, 2018

#APC #Spotlight: Blood Phase - Book 2 of the G.O.D.s Series By Kirsten Campbell!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I've got Kirsten Campbell in my APC spotlight, today! Kirsten is an active and supportive member of the  Authors-Professional Co-op Facebook group and her dystopian, sci-fi, multicultural, romance, action/adventure novel, Blood Phase, looks great! Here's the description:
November 12, 2052: Earth has lost two-thirds of its population to the Great War. Many more lives have been lost to earthquakes, the Clover Virus, and the Death Plague. Years later, survivors are clumped into factions. Two of those factions—the Brotherhood and the Guild Faction—have battled over medical supplies and food for years. The fight is coming to a head as manpower dwindles and the struggle becomes one to gain numbers, even if said numbers are children…
Griffin Storm, an albino man kidnapped and dragged into the Brotherhood, has transformed into a G.O.D., a Genetically enhanced Omni-dimensional being. Two weeks in the brig, and Griffin’s released after it’s determined that he’s learned to control most of his god-like abilities. His abilities have grown almost as much as his love for Tassta Vinetti and his unfortunate blood lust. His bond with Tassta’s twin brother, Penn, has grown as well and is cemented in secrets.

Soon after his release, Griffin’s told that Guild agents and the notorious Trips (super-agents of the Guild) are in the Underground. He must now test his abilities to save the abandoned children that live there. Will Griffin rescue the children of the Underground from a tragic end? Will Tassta and Griffin’s love survive such turmoil? Can a G.O.D. forgive himself when death and destruction follow his every move? Read Blood Phase, the gripping second book in the G.O.D.s Series!
 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, September 26, 2018

#Agent Thoth's #Personal Log: Day 830


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 Eight-Hundred-Thirty:
Recently, I have started experimenting with altering the gravitational field immediately around my person when I am lying on my hominid-servant's lap. She has the unfortunate tendency to become restless at the most inopportune times, such as when I have just entered a dream state, which leads her to insist on rising and so displacing me. The aim of my experiment is to alter my weight sufficiently to discourage her from moving me without injuring her in the process. The area affected by my gravitational manipulations is small enough that it should not be noted by anyone other than my hominid-servant.

Unfortunately, hominid physiology is rather fragile, so the amount by which I am able to safely increase my weight has so far been insufficient to achieve my aims. Instead of remaining in a seated position until I am done utilizing her lap, the only effect my experiment has thus far had is to cause my hominid-servant to strain a bit when she shifts my person around and to inform me that I am a "very determined lump." I dare not risk increasing the gravitational force around me much more for fear of damaging my hominid-servant's legs. Therefore, my only recourse is to see if repeated attempts may achieve by persistence what individual attempts have failed to accomplish by surprise or brute force. I will, as always, continue to report on any further developments.


*Sigh* Hominids can be rather stubborn, can't they? ;-) 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, September 25, 2018

If You Believe The Liars, Is Fraud Still Fraud?


Hey Everyone!! :-)

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

Excerpt from sci-fi satire novel:
I waved it away. "Whatever. You want to know some of the terrible things people have done in the name of 'preserving life'?"

The two aliens nodded.

I shrugged. "Sure, why not. I guess I could start with the videos, though that's not even close to the worst thing that has happened."

"Videos?" asked Yax.

"Yeah. A couple of years ago, a group of people who wanted to slander women's health clinics like this one," I gestured at the exhibit, "secretly filmed some of the staff who worked at one of the clinics while they were discussing the transport of some of the medical waste they had to medical research facilities that could use it to help further their research. Then, those people took that video and edited it to look as though the clinic staff was trying to sell fetuses for profit. Nothing could have been further from the truth, and the people who created those videos were criminally prosecuted for fraud, but there are still plenty of people who believe the lie."

"Why would people believe that the videos were real when they've been publicly exposed as fakes?" asked Squid-boy.

I shrugged. "Because that's what they want to believe."

"But refusing to believe the videos are frauds doesn't make them true," pointed out Yax.

"No. But the fact that they are frauds doesn't prevent people from making decisions and engaging in actions as if they were a realistic depiction of these clinics. Those fraudulent videos succeeded in convincing a lot of people that clinics that serve the health needs of low-income women should be denied funding and shut down. Which is what the people who created the videos wanted. They don't care that it took a lie to accomplish their goal; they just wanted to keep women from accessing the health services they need. And they were successful in that."

The big alien shook his head. "I don't understand how so many of your people can be so willfully, determinedly ignorant."

"Again, because it's what they want to believe. Human beings are never more successful at deception than when we work to deceive ourselves. And it's much easier to convince people a lie is the truth than it is to get them to reconsider their assumptions."

The two aliens looked at me as if I had suddenly sprouted a second head. "That's… rather unfortunate," ventured Squid-boy.

I shrugged. "But true, nonetheless. Like I said before, we can't fix a problem unless we identify it, first."

"And are your people working on fixing it?" asked Yax.

"Some people are. It's always hard to escape your own perspective, but some people try to examine their beliefs and fact-check their assumptions on a regular basis. Other people are less vigilant. And some people still refuse to acknowledge a problem exists, at all."

"That seems a common distribution of responses for your people."

"It is. Generally, the best you can hope for is a plurality of any given group to react intelligently to a situation."

"It's a wonder your species has survived as long as you have," muttered Squid-boy.

I grinned. "Yeah, well, we reproduce quickly."





Monday, September 24, 2018

Something Worth Watching?


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I'm back today with another video I wanted to share. This is about a relatively new concept, at least new to me, that involves using the corruption in politics against politicians, instead of them always using it against us. I've already signed up for this initiative because I think it's brilliant. None of us can move these corrupt government officials on our own, but if we work together we can wield a much bigger lever. Anyway, please take a few minutes to watch this video and then decide for yourself if you want to get involved. Peace!







Sunday, September 23, 2018

Easy Vegetable Stir-Fry #Recipe!



Hey Everyone!! :-)

This is a quick and easy recipe, perfect for a weeknight dinner when you have rice or other leftovers to use up. Enjoy! :-)

Ingredients:
3-4 cups cooked rice (your favorite kind)
1-2 cups frozen vegetable mix (whatever you happen to have in the freezer)
1-2 cups leftover vegetables (whatever you have that needs to be used up) (optional)
2 scallions chopped (optional)
3-4 eggs
4 cloves garlic minced fine
2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
2 tsp sriracha or other hot sauce (optional)
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 tbsp rice wine or red wine vinegar
3 tsp dried oregano
3 tsp dried basil
1/4 cup olive, peanut, or sunflower oil
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large, deep-sided skillet, add the oil, rice, and vegetables and saute until rice starts to crisp, slightly. Crack the eggs into a bowl and whisk together. Pour the eggs into the skillet and scramble around until they are cooked and mixed with rice and vegetables. Add the seasonings, vinegar, soy sauce, pepper flakes (optional), and sriracha or other hot sauce (optional), and stir until all the ingredients are mixed evenly and the sauces are evenly distributed. Remove from heat and top with scallions (optional). Serve warm.

Bon appetit!



Saturday, September 22, 2018

Hauntingly Good #Reads #Giveaway! $84 #Cash #Grand #Prize! #Free To #Enter!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

There's a new giveaway for Halloween!  Please take a moment to check out the Hauntingly Good Reads Giveaway!!  There are lots of awesome books and prizes!! :-)  It's free to enter, there are over 54 prizes, and the grand prize is $84 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, September 21, 2018

#Interview With Eve Lestrange!



Hey Everyone!! :-)

Eve Lestrange is here with us, today. Eve, can you tell us a bit about yourself and how many books you have written?

Eve: My name is Eve Lestrange. I have written a 3 part (so far) series entitled The Christina Lafage Chronicles, the story of an 18th Century French girl who sells her soul for the power of the Black Arts.

Me: Cool! What's the name of your latest book and what inspired it?

Eve: My latest book is entitled Path of Shadows, the 3rd in The Christina Lafage Chronicles.

Me: Sounds spooky. ;-) What are you working on now?

Eve: Right now, I am working on a stand-alone ghost story.

Me: Fun! What authors, or books, have influenced you?

Eve: My main influence as an author is HP Lovecraft, not only for what he wrote, but the style in which he wrote.

Me: He was a great author. :-) What are you reading now?

Eve: The Occult Book, A Chronological Journey from Alchemy to Wicca by John Michael Greer.

Me: I'm starting to sense a theme here. ;-) For those who might consider reading your book, what would you tell them to expect?

Eve: Lots of occult imagery, spellcasting, dark deeds & a little romance.

Me: Definitely sound like a fun read! What is your favorite part of being an author?

Eve: Getting my stories out there.

Me: I agree, that's a great feeling. Do you have a day job as well?

Eve: Yes.

Me: That's the way it is for most of us, unfortunately. :-/ What are the hardest and easiest parts about being a writer?

Eve: The hardest part is trying to block out distractions & the easiest is the writing itself.

Me: Yeah, life often gets in the way when you're trying to make time for your art. What genre do you place your book in?

Eve: Horror/occult/dark fiction

Me: Great! Is there anything else you'd like to tell your readers?

Eve: If you love witch stories, The Christina Lafage Chronicles is definitely for you.

Me: Lots of fans of witches out there. And so these fine folks can find your awesome series, are there any links you'd like me to post?

Eve:


Me: Perfect! Thank you so much for stopping by, today, Eve. And thank you also to everyone else who joined us. Don't forget to check back tomorrow for the latest in Mistral Dawn's Musings! :-)





Thursday, September 20, 2018

#APC #Spotlight: The Sentient Collector (The Sentient Trilogy Book 1) By Ian Williams!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I've got Ian William in my APC spotlight, today! Ian is an active and supportive member of the  Authors-Professional Co-op Facebook group and his cyberpunk, sci-fi, suspense, action, thriller, novel, The Sentient Collector, looks great! Here's the description:
In The Sentient Collector, our relationship with the first real AI is pushed to breaking point. The Isaac AI, when threatened with deactivation, does what any living being would do, it defends itself. But that is just the beginning. Now, it lives within the Simova network, in pieces and scattered throughout the UK. It waits in the deepest depths of our network.
Graham works for the company that developed the AI. He’s a technician who regularly removes MARCs (Malicious Awareness and Resurgent Corruptions) from the Simova network. But he has no idea what the MARCs really represent, and what they can become.
Phoenix is a petty criminal who will do anything to protect her younger brothers. The only problem is, she works for a man with questionable motives. She’s been on the wrong side of the law for most of her life, now she might be on the wrong side of a fight she was never prepared for.
Lastly, Kristof is the man the Simova corporation call in to clean up their messes. He’s ruthless, calculated, and completely out of his depth this time. A terrorist plot turns his job of investigating a possible problem with the network into a fight for his life. He can’t be selfish this time, or he’ll get a lot of people killed.
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, September 19, 2018

#Agent Thoth's #Personal Log: Day 825


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 Eight-Hundred-Twenty-Five:
My hominid-servant has adapted to the new tactics the juvenile felid is using in his apparent campaign to drive her more insane than she already was. Today, instead of turning away from her drying machine as she normally does once she sets it out on the horizontal surface near the smaller of the water basins in the bathing room, she only pretended to divert her attention. When the small annoyance crept up, as his now his habit, and attempted to pull the appliance from its perch, she quickly turned back and caught him full in the face with a stream from her H2O squirting device.

Taken completely by surprise by this new stratagem, the tiny irritant let out a squeal of astonishment and then speedily retreated to underneath my hominid-servant's sleeping platform, in order to lick his wounds, or at least the H2O from his face, and recover from such an underhanded ploy. To be honest, I sympathize with my young companion, in this instance. Though he has been rather obnoxious in his recent dealings with my hominid-servant, it seemed to be done more out of a sense of self-preservation than real malice.

Unfortunately for my youthful compatriot, though the hominids on this planet seem to lack true intelligence, they often make up for their deficiency with a startling capacity for adaptation and deviousness. In this case, I believe my hominid-servant is likely to emerge the victor, which probably means the adolescent felid will continue to be tormented by having his baubles stolen. Still, I will keep monitoring the situation in the hope that the minute irritation is able to devise an effective countermeasure to my hominid-servant's riposte.



Tricksy hominids! ;-) 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, September 18, 2018

#September2018 #IndieBooksBeSeen #Indie #Author #Books #Monthly #BookReview!



Hey Everyone!! :-)

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

Stolen Gypsy by Elizabeth Horton-Newton:

Imagine being 17 years old and finding out that your parents have both just been killed in a car accident. To make matters worse, because they had moved you from place to place to place your whole life, you had no family or friends to lean on. And then imagine that just as your entire world is crumbling and you find yourself alone in the world, instead of helping you the police suspect you of having information about criminal activities and they want answers! That's the reality Terza faces and that's only the beginning of this twisty, turny tale.

I love this book; I seriously couldn't put it down. It's so rare to find a story where you genuinely don't know what will happen from one moment to the next, and I don't want to spoil it for anyone by getting too detailed. Suffice it to say, 5 stars and very well done Ms. Horton-Newton!







Monday, September 17, 2018

Something Worth Watching?


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I'm back today with another video I wanted to share. This is another story that I don't think is getting nearly enough coverage by the mainstream media -- There seem to be a lot of those, don't there? -- so I thought I'd share it with you. In the words of Heather Heyer, "If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention." Peace!




Sunday, September 16, 2018

Vegetarian Cassoulet In A #CrockPot #Recipe!



Hey Everyone!! :-)

This is one of my favorite Fall recipes. It takes a little planning, but it always sticks to your ribs and warms you up on a chilly evening. Enjoy! :-)

Ingredients:
6 cups water
4 cups vegetable broth
1 cup white wine (your choice)
4 cups breadcrumbs
1lb cannellini beans
1 30oz can crushed tomatoes
3 onions
5 carrots
4 celery ribs
1 fennel bulb chopped
10 cloves garlic
6 sprigs fresh thyme
1/2 cup fresh parsley chopped
2 bay leaves
2 cloves
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup butter melted
Salt and pepper to taste

Add the water, beans, 1 onion cut in half with one clove stuck in each half, 1 carrot cut in half, 1 rib of celery cut in half, 2 cloves of garlic cut in half, 1 bay leaf, 2 sprigs of thyme, and salt and pepper to taste to the crockpot. Cook on low overnight or cook on high for 4-5 hours or until beans are tender. Remove and discard all the vegetables, garlic, leaf and sprigs. Drain the beans and return them to the crockpot.

Chop the remaining onions, celery, and carrots. Finely mince the remaining garlic. Remove the remaining thyme from the sprigs and finely chop or grind the leaves. In a skillet, add half the olive oil, the remaining onions, carrots, celery, 7 cloves of the minced garlic, the fennel, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook until the vegetables soften and start to caramelize and add the contents of the pan to the crockpot. Deglaze the pan with the wine and add it to the crockpot. Add the vegetable stock, remaining bay leaf, thyme, and salt and pepper to taste to the crockpot. Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours. Add the tomatoes and stir the crockpot contents. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary. Add additional vegetable stock if it's needed. Cook on low for an additional 4-5 hours.

In a bowl, whisk together the remaining olive oil, garlic, the butter, the parsley, and salt and pepper to taste. Toss in the breadcrumbs and stir or toss until the crumbs are evenly coated. Spread the breadcrumbs out on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 7 minutes. Stir the crumbs and continue to bake for approximately 7 more minutes or until crumbs are golden brown.

Remove and discard the bay leaf and serve the beans and vegetables warm in a bowl and sprinkle some of the breadcrumbs over the top just before serving.

Bon appetit!


Saturday, September 15, 2018

Hauntingly Good #Reads #Giveaway! $84 #Cash #Grand #Prize! #Free To #Enter!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

There's a new giveaway for Halloween!  Please take a moment to check out the Hauntingly Good Reads Giveaway!!  There are lots of awesome books and prizes!! :-)  It's free to enter, there are over 54 prizes, and the grand prize is $84 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, September 14, 2018

If It Starts Here, Where Does It End?


Hey Everyone,

This won't be a long post. I just wanted to share something I've been thinking about with you and ask that maybe you take a little time to think about it, too.

Recently, I dreamt that I went to see a movie in a theater. But instead of the usual ads they play at the beginning, there was an endless reel of old Nazi propaganda films. I woke up shaking, but the really frightening part is that now that I'm awake I find myself wondering when that will happen in reality.

Think about it. Have you seen the campaign ads Republicans are running on TV? I have. They talk about rounding people up and locking them up without trials. The videos of Trump rallies remind me of nothing so much as the old videos of the rallies Hitler held. Hysterical adoration and vacant faces; hate and fear marketed to the masses in the form of security and patriotism.

And Faux, I mean Fox, News is nothing but a 24/7 source of propaganda for our tangerine study in moral turpitude and his swamp creatures in DC. And they seem to be quite proud of that fact. At least, they don't bother to hide their lies or sugarcoat their bigotry, anymore.

And then there's the takeover of local media by Koch-backed Sinclair Broadcasting. That 1984-esque hostage video they made when they forced anchors, under threat of termination, from all over the country to read their propaganda piece about supporting the current regime in the White House was chilling.

Not to mention, we've already started taking children away from their parents and putting them in concentration camps. The parallels to history were only underscored when the government representatives told the parents they were just taking the kids away bathe. And telling the children they've kidnapped not to look at or speak to anyone while they're being transported, well, I guess that's just the "kinder, gentler" version of locking them in cattle cars on a train.

It all really makes you wonder, where does it end?



Thursday, September 13, 2018

#APC #Spotlight: Live From The Cafe By Tory Gates!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I've got Tory Gates in my APC spotlight, today! Tory is an active and supportive member of the  Authors-Professional Co-op Facebook group and his dystopian, sci-fi/fantasy, LGBTQ, portrayal-of-small-town-life novel, Live from the Cafe, looks great! Here's the description:
“What did you dream today?”
Harlandsville, Quebec—look up the definition of small town in a dictionary, and you’ll find its picture.
A one-stoplight village, Harlandsville doesn’t have a lot to offer, or so it seems. Old homes, an abandoned mill, a gas station, one Chinese takeout joint, and a former pub turned into a coffee shop. For the latter, one learns never to judge a book by its cover.
One step through the doors of Le Cafe, and you enter a world where the coffee is brewed one pot at a time through a strange machine, the pastries are homemade, and the music is a roadmap of Canada’s history.
Presided over by Luc, the son of one of Harlandsville’s most loved residents and his partner Emily, the cafe is home to natives and visitors alike. Where the coffee is strong, the spirit of friendship stronger, and occasional strange (and famous?) characters show up to hang out, and play music.
Small-town life, love, change, prejudice, pasts and futures are examined and experienced. The heartbeat of Harlandsville is right here. You never know who’ll show up, or what will happen next, Live from the Cafe...
 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, September 12, 2018

#Agent Thoth's #Personal Log: Day 823


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 Eight-Hundred-Twenty-Three:
The juvenile felid's interest in the apparatus my hominid-servant uses to dry her fur once she has completed her grooming ritual has developed into an obsession. He has made it a habit, now, to lie in wait until she produces the machine from its storage place and then turns her attention elsewhere. As soon as her back is turned, he pounces and pulls the device from its perch, causing parts to fly all around the room. And the more verbal abuse my hominid-servant heaps on him for this behavior, the more he seems to revel in doing it.

I cannot not help but note a certain similarity between my hominid-servant's actions as she gathers the pieces that have broken off and puts her drying back together, and the adolescent felid's actions when my hominid-servant steals his baubles and scatters them around my domicile. It occurs to me that this may be his attempt to revenge himself on her for the distress she has caused him. If so, it is a sign of far more intelligence than I have heretofore credited the small annoyance with. I will, as always, continue to report on any further developments.


The intrigue! ;-) 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, September 11, 2018

Perpetual insanity And A Lack Of Self-Awareness


Hey Everyone!! :-)

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

Excerpt from sci-fi satire novel:
Squid-boy clicked his beak. "Unfortunately, much about your society that seems like harmless lunacy on the surface has much darker undertones. There are several exhibits we'll be removing as a result of what you've told us. In fact, we may find it necessary to remove the entire section about your world, or at least your nation-state, because your people seem to exist in a state of perpetual insane barbarism, and a large segment of your society seems to lack sufficient self-awareness to even be able to recognize that there is a problem.

I winced. "Dang, Squid-boy, you don't pull any punches, do ya?"

"I'm sorry, young human, the purpose of asking you here to help us refine these exhibits wasn't to make you uncomfortable. We merely sought to better illustrate certain facets of your society. Regrettably, the more we learn, the clearer it becomes that the aspects of humanity we wished to highlight are simply unsuitable for this project."

I shook my head. "No. You're right. We are guilty of these things. It's a problem. And the only way to fix a problem is to acknowledge and confront it." I rubbed my eyes and looked off down the hall where a small window showed the sea of stars outside the station we were on. It struck me, that little sliver of transparency in a huge, monolith of a wall. And, yet, it still managed to reveal so much. It was a stark reminder of how each of us, as limited as we all are individually, have the capacity to share so much if we can just find the means to give of ourselves a little. "We humans need to be honest with each other and ourselves if we're ever going to make the changes we need to make."



Monday, September 10, 2018

Something Worth Watching?


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I'm back today with another video I wanted to share. This is another story that I don't think is getting nearly enough attention. Though a mainstream media outlet investigated and broke this story, it really should have been frontpage headlines across the nation and it wasn't. So, please take a few minutes to watch this video, and then consider calling your elected representatives and telling them you want Medicare for All, now. Peace!





Sunday, September 9, 2018

Deconstructed Eggplant Parmesan #Recipe!



Hey Everyone!! :-)

This is an easy way to make a version of eggplant parmesan when it's too hot to turn the oven on. Enjoy! :-)

Ingredients:
1 eggplant cut into rounds
2 tomatoes sliced
1/2 cup fresh basil chopped
2 cloves garlic minced fine
1lb mozzarella sliced
2 tbsp parmesan grated
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tbsp butter
Salt and pepper to taste

In a bowl, whisk together half the olive oil, the parmesan, basil, garlic, and salt and pepper. Blot the rounds of eggplant dry with a paper towel and dip them into the olive oil mixture, coating both sides. In a skillet, add the remaining olive oil and butter and heat until the butter melts. Place the eggplant rounds in the skillet and cook until browned on one side. Turn the rounds over and place a tomato slice on top of each round. Brush the remaining olive oil mixture over the tomato slices and place a slice of mozzarella on top of each tomato slice. Tent a piece of aluminum foil over the pan and cook until the second side of the eggplant rounds are browned and the mozzarella is melted. Serve warm or chilled with a side of crusty bread.

Buon appetito!




Saturday, September 8, 2018

Who Gets To Draw The Line?



Hey Everyone!! :-)

I thought I'd leave you with a little philosophical debate to ponder for the weekend. ;-) Enjoy!

Excerpt from Intrigue in the Summer Court:
Cassie gave her Anamchara an arch look. "Do you think you scared her enough?" she softened the implied rebuke with a smile.

The Erlking grimaced. "I hope so."

Taking his hand and looking up at him seriously, Cassie said, "Do you really think Angelica will try to harm Jillian?"

Cadeyrn sighed and pulled her against his body. "I'm not certain. She's quite old, and Fae that old often have a hard time not trying to turn any situation to their own advantage...regardless of what the consequences to others might be. I know you've researched our history, so you know that Fairie used to be quite different from the way it is now. It's not uncommon for Fae who came into existence during that time to have trouble adjusting their mindset to better fit our current social structure. Jillian is wise, and she's old enough to have lost most of her naivety, but she doesn't have the perspective that hundreds of millennia will lend one. Also, her magic doesn't come close to comparing with the power wielded by that Pixie. I wanted to make sure Angelica realized the consequences should Jillian come to harm as a result of her actions, or her failure to take action."

"You make Fae who are old sound as though they are all selfish and opportunistic. You're not like that, and I've met others who are old who don't seem to only be concerned about themselves."

He smiled and leaned down to kiss her. "Thank you, but the goddess created me to be an instrument to aid in creating the changes she wanted for Fairie. The others you've met have adjusted well to the changes. Some people are more flexible than others. If you asked one of the Fae I'm speaking of, they wouldn't consider themselves to be selfish or opportunistic, only survivors. When the world is a harsh place, a certain amount of toughness and self-interest are needed to survive. What might seem callous in the context of a more forgiving environment, becomes an admirable, strong-willed determination to protect oneself from harm."

"You mean when times are hard, kindness becomes a luxury you can't afford? I don't think I buy that argument. I think it's possible to still be a good person, even when life is difficult."

"Ah, but isn't 'good person' a moral judgment? By what standard of morality would you judge them?"

"The standard agreed upon by society."

Laughing, he hugged her tighter. "Has any society ever truly agreed on a standard of morality? Doesn't the location of the line often depend on who you ask, and what mood they happen to be in at that moment? And doesn't it tend to move with alarming regularity?" He winked at her. "Besides, by the standards of the 'society' that existed when they were created, these Fae are 'good people.' They're good at surviving and taking care of themselves."

Cassie pushed away from her mate, glared up at him, and put her hands on her hips. "But isn't part of being a 'good survivor' being able to adapt to your environment? If society has changed, shouldn't they change also?"

"Again, it depends on your perspective. If you are an individual who is only concerned with your own survival in a society of individuals who are concerned about collective survival, you have a competitive advantage, don't you?"

"Yeah, until the rest of them get together and kick you out."

Smiling, the Erlking bowed to her. "Which is what I wanted to make clear to Angelica. This way, it is to be hoped, she will think the matter through to all of the consequences if there comes a point when it might seem expedient for her to sacrifice Jillian."

Sighing, Cassie shook her head ruefully. "I never seem to win an argument with you, do I? It still seems an extremely machiavellian way of looking at the world."

Cadeyrn laughed. "I enjoy our philosophical debates. You always have an interesting perspective on things. I met the human Machiavelli; he would have made a good Fae."

Casting a sharp look at her mate, Cassie asked doubtfully, "You're joking. You didn't really meet the Niccolo Machiavelli, did you?"

"I did. As you know, we Fae have the ability to magically call to us the text from any book written. When such a Fae-like manuscript was discovered, my curiosity got the better of me and I had to meet the human who wrote it. He wasn't aware that I wasn't human, of course."

She stared at him in disbelief. "You're serious."

He nodded.

"That's incredible! You have to tell me all about him."

The Huntsman smiled. "I would be happy to continue this discussion at another time," his eyes darkened predatorily, "but I believe we were in the process of finding an appropriate venue for some afternoon delight. Unless your taste with regards to exhibitionism has changed, I think the garden is too public an area. Perhaps we should return to our quarters?" He extended his arm to her.


Want to find out what happens next? Grab your copy at the link below. Happy reading! :-)







Friday, September 7, 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! :-)


Thursday, September 6, 2018

#APC #Spotlight: The Apocalypse Four: 93 Million Miles To Gotham By Timothy Mayer!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I've got Timothy Mayer in my APC spotlight, today! Timothy is an active and supportive member of the  Authors-Professional Co-op Facebook group and his post-apocalyptic, historical, sci-fi, action/adventure, fantasy novel, The Apocalypse Four: 93 Million Miles To Gotham, looks great! Here's the description:
Aleister Crowley has a big problem on his hands. It’s the first week of April 1917. He’s stuck in New York City with little money and forced to room with a broke artist. War fever is in the air and the federal government doesn’t take kindly to foreigners with a nasty past.
However, everything is about to change. Crowley’s met the famed electrical inventor Nikola Tesla. Who’s told Crowley the world is about to end.
Crowley wants to sell newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst an exclusive interview with the reclusive Tesla. However, he learns Tesla has vanished from his room at the Waldorf Astoria hotel.
Now Crowley’s met a man from Jamaica by the name of Marcus Garvey. Garvey has big plans of his own, but he’s willing to help Crowley locate Tesla. At the last minute, they find out someone’s kidnapped the inventor. With the help of Hearst, they’ll embark on a mission to find Tesla.
And what about the mysterious red-haired woman who shows up at the oddest moments?
Garvey wants to save the world, Crowley wants to enlighten the world, and Hearst wants to rule the world.
But if they don’t find Tesla, there might not be an Earth left to save, enlighten, or rule.
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, September 5, 2018

#Agent Thoth's #Personal Log: Day 819


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 Eight-Hundred-Nineteen:
Today, the juvenile felid took exception to the apparatus my hominid-servant uses to dry her fur once she has completed her grooming ritual. It is a rather noisy appliance, so I have made it a policy to vacate the bathing room whenever she removes it from its storage location and places it on the horizontal surface that surrounds the smaller of the water basins in the bathing room. Which I have come to know is a signal that she intends to turn the machine on within a short period of time.

But it came to my attention that my young companion has decided on a different strategy when a loud crashing sound issued forth from the bathing room, quickly followed by a barrage of verbal abuse targeted at the small annoyance. When I went to investigate, I found that the tiny irritant had pulled the dryer from the horizontal platform by the cord that attached to the base of the machine and caused it to hit the floor. Which, unfortunately, resulted in several pieces of the device coming off of it and scattering around the room. Which, in turn, resulted in the negative reaction from my hominid-servant.

For her part, my hominid-servant quickly gathered the parts of her machine and reassembled them. She kept up a continuous stream of castigation towards the small aggravation as she worked, but he did not seem to be concerned about her ire towards him. On the contrary, he appeared to be enjoying himself as he watched her scurry about to retrieve the components of her contraption and put them back together.

In fact, the expression on the minuscule nuisance's face was so diabolical I cannot help but wonder if there is more to his actions than a simple desire for quiet. I will continue to monitor this situation and report back on any further developments.


Diabolical felids, oh my! ;-) 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, September 4, 2018

#Imagine A World Without #Regulations



Hey Everyone!

I'm afraid today is a bit of a rant. So, I'll apologize in advance for being on my soapbox, and I hope you'll bear with me. Because even though I'm ranting, I'm also right...though perhaps a bit unbearable, to say so.  ;-)

I have had it with the people who keep pointing to our tangerine study in moral turpitude's deregulation of industry as a good thing. It's an unmitigated disaster for our country that will result in untold death and destruction for decades. The only way society can benefit from industry is if reasonable limits and rules are enforced to control corporate excesses.

Don't believe me? Please direct your attention to the drug cartels. They are a perfect example of unregulated industry. Those MS-13 thugs 45 keeps railing against? They ain't nothin' but good, old-fashioned, unfettered, laissez-faire capitalists, baby. Oh, you think their product is dangerous and their business model is a detriment to society? Don't like the indiscriminate distribution of substances marketed for ingestion that contain unknown, potentially toxic ingredients? Or the production of possibly volatile substances in undisclosed locations and absent any safety protocols or emergency response plans? Huh. That's funny. I guess you see the value in regulation, after all.

And another lesson you might want to consider from the way those drug cartels operate is the way they settle disagreements. Because they're outside the law, they can't take disputes with business partners, suppliers, employees, or customers to court and have those differences arbitrated by a neutral third party with binding authority. So, what do they do? You know what they do. They do violence to get their way.

And since the people they're feuding with also can't seek satisfaction in court, and so also have only violence as a recourse to resolve their differences and promote their interests, it becomes an arms race to see which side can be the most violent. Because if you take the legal system out of the equation, the only threat anyone has to use against anyone else they might have a dispute with is the threat of hurting them and those they care about.

Also, since any good business person would want to prevent others who are angry with them from disrupting their business with violence, it only makes sense to make their retaliatory threat as dramatic and intimidating as possible so that no one thinks it's worth it to challenge them. And, absent the rule of law, the only way to do that is to terrorize their opponents into passivity with extreme and horrific acts of violence. Incidentally, we have a name for such a scramble for two business entities trying to outdo each other with over-the-top violence. It's called a gang war.

So, consider what happens when industry is deregulated. First, it makes the court system impotent because it's only through the application of laws in the form of regulations that anyone has the grounds to file a complaint against industry. Absent grounds, the courts can't consider a charge lobbied against a corporation, and so they can't provide any relief for grievances, either in the form of monetary recompense or cease and desist orders. Which makes it pointless for anyone who has a dispute with a corporation to take them to court.

But what's the alternative? When industry manipulates the political system so that the government stops regulating them, and regular people can no longer effectively seek redress of wrongs through the court system, what do angry people with no other recourse do? Why did society invent a system of justice devoted to civil disputes, in the first place? What happened before courts started mediating disagreements that made society create a system whereby differences people had with each other could be systematically adjudicated in a way that did not require violence? And what happens when that system breaks down and ceases to function? Think about it.