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, March 22, 2017

#Agent Thoth's #Personal Log: Day 511


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 Five-Hundred-Eleven:
It has come to my attention that I am not the only one the infant felid deprives of needed rest. He also disrupts the sleep of my hominid-servant. What's more, he seems determined to injure her, which concerns me greatly. If she is injured, who will care for my needs and maintain my domicile?

My hominid-servant maintains the fur that grows out of the top of her head in a state of exaggerated length. When she stands on her two hind feet, as is common for hominids, this fur dangles along the posterior surface of her body nearly to her coccyx. I have often wondered if this grooming choice is her attempt to compensate for her lack of a proper tail.

Regardless of her reasons, these long strands present a pouncing temptation as they sway and dance behind her as she moves. However, her extreme height is an effective deterrent for such activities, as she tends to react with hostility if claws are used to scale her lower body and bring the dangling fur within reach. The strategy adopted by the infant felid effectively neutralizes this obstacle, but I am not sure the result is worth it.

When she sleeps, my hominid-servant's elongated fur often hangs over the side of her sleeping platform. This places the strands well within reach, which makes for convenient pouncing. In the past, I did consider taking advantage of this opportunity. However, the noises that my hominid-servant makes when her rest is disturbed deterred me.

The tiny felid, however, does not seem to share my distaste for hominid howling, and he pursues the dangling fur with enthusiasm. On several occasions, he has pounced with such abandon, that I feared he might fracture the cervical vertebrae in my hominid-servant's spine. This would, of course, severely limit her mobility and adversely affect her ability to care for my needs. What's worse, given the primitive nature of this planet's medical science, the damage to my hominid-servant might prove to be permanent in nature.

Thus far, the worst damage the small beast seems to have been able to inflict has been some minor trauma to the musculature that supports my hominid-servant's head. This has resulted in her being more irritable than usual, but she has still been competent to fulfill her primary function. However, as the creature grows, I fear that his increasing weight will escalate the chances of my hominid-servant sustaining serious injury. I will attempt to reason with the diminutive pest and explain the advantages of having a servant who retains full functionality.


My, oh, my. That infant felid sure cause a lot of mischief, doesn't he? ;-) 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, March 21, 2017

Okay, What's Next? ;-)


Hey Everyone!!

Guess what? I've finished the first draft of the second book in the Petri Dish Chronicles! :-)  I've also got a title to share with you, and it is... Duhn, Duhn, Duhn!... Intrinsic Connections!  I also have a cover that I'll be sharing with you soon, so stay tuned. ;-)

What does all this mean? Well, it means I have to go back through the book and edit it, and then send it off to an editor to edit, and then go back through again and make those changes, and then send it to my beta readers to polish it up, and then make those changes. So...it will probably be at least another month, maybe two, before I let the rest of you see it. But, in the meantime, I'll be sharing little peeks. ;-)

Excerpt from Intrinsic Connections, book two in the Petri Dish Chronicles:
Daji glared at her for several more heartbeats. Finally, he turned back to the control panel. "If you have access to the resources that you claim, I cannot stop you. But I will not be a party to potentially starting a pandemic. You may depart at our next port of call; what you do after that is your own affair. I wash my hands of you."

Sighing, Petri closed her eyes. It wasn't the resolution that she wanted, but it was a resolution. She felt Chessie squeeze her hand again, and she opened her eyes and smiled at her friend, squeezing back.

Knowing that Chessie would be with her gave Petri the strength to straighten her spine and sit up in her chair. Daji may have gotten her off Upworld, but that long ago day in an underworld alley had been her real salvation.


Monday, March 20, 2017

Something Worth Watching?


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I'm back today with another video I wanted to share. This is a music video about what's been going on in Standing Rock, and I thought it was worth sharing.  Enjoy! :-)




Sunday, March 19, 2017

The Russians Are Coming! The #Russians Are Coming!


Hey Everyone!

Did you ever see that '60s movie staring Alan Arkin and Carl Reiner?  It's one of my favorites, it makes you think and at the same time is hysterically funny.  Recently, reading the news, I've been wondering if I'm watching a remake of it.  The majority of the media seems obsessed with Trump and his cabinet's connections to Russia.  While I agree that there are indications that wrongdoing may have taken place and could even be serious, and that this warrants an investigation into the matter, I think the constant harping on the issue is not only useless, it's counterproductive.

As far as Flynn's actions go, while I think there are probably grounds for an indictment and prosecution, he has already stepped down from his position. So, as far as national interests go, his ties to Russia are no longer of concern.  When it comes to Jeff Sessions, it's quite clear that he perjured himself. Perjury is a crime, so he should be fired and prosecuted. But why not let the man speak for himself on the issue?


So, since honest testimony is so "essential for justice in America," obviously the man needs to go. He said so himself.  And, yes, I know there are plenty of others in the Trump administration, Rex Tillerson, for instance, whose connections to Russia are also of serious concern. So, yes, a thorough investigation is needed. Trump's financial information, including his tax returns, needs to be made public, and the entire mess needs to be untangled. That's what investigations are for.

But none of that means that the press needs to focus on the Russians 24/7.  Yes, there's smoke there, which means there may also be fire. But there also may not be. And, in the meantime, there are a lot of other things going on that are more urgently important.

Such as the fact that Scott Pruitt, a man with known ties to the oil and gas industries, has been confirmed as head of the EPA. During his tenure as Oklahoma's Attorney General, he exchanged thousands of emails with leaders in the fossil fuel industry regarding what they wanted him to do for them.(1)  At one point, he even copy and pasted a letter written by Devon Energy's attorneys and sent it to the EPA as if it had been written by himself.(1) When asked about this outrage, Pruitt called it "representative government."(1) This is bald-faced corruption, and yet the media has been largely silent about it.

Then, there's Rick Perry, who is now in charge of our nuclear arsenal but who doesn't even know the name of the department he's supposed to lead.(2)  And Ben Carson, confirmed as Secretary of HUD, who, when asked if he would make sure that Trump -- who is heavily invested in real estate -- didn't benefit from the policies Dr. Carson will institute in his position as Secretary, famously responded that, "It will not be my intention to do anything to benefit any American," but he refused to state that he would keep his department free of corruption or ensure that Trump doesn't benefit financially from his appointment.(3)  Again, mainly crickets from the press.

Also, there's the raid in Yemen which resulted in the deaths of over 30 civilians, including an 8-year-old American citizen, and a US Navy Seal, but which failed to accomplish any appreciable goal.(4) This was Trump's first military operation as President and Commander in Chief, and yet he couldn't even be bothered to oversee it personally.(4)  When he was running for President, Trump said one of his strategies to combat ISIS would be to "take out their families."(5)  Is that why so many civilians died during this raid?  Did he do it on purpose? Was his absence from the situation room a ploy to create plausible deniability? Is our President a war criminal? Shouldn't this be investigated too?  Why isn't this story all over the news?

And don't forget Trump's insistence on ramming through approvals for oil and gas pipelines, despite the fact that proper environmental impact studies have yet to be completed.(6)  Could this possibly be because Trump, himself, owns stock in the pipeline companies?(7)  Yeah, he claims to have sold that stock, but where's the proof of that claim?  Why isn't the media screaming about the blatant corruption here?

There are an awful lot of newsworthy issues surrounding the Trump administration, and yet the media continues to focus on Russia, Russia, Russia. To what purpose?  Yeah, Putin is horrible, probably worse than even Trump, but should he be our main concern?  Does anyone honestly believe that Russia is about to invade Montana?  Even if an investigation uncovers evidence of the absolute worst-case scenario, that Russia directly altered the outcome of the 2016 Presidential election -- IE: that the Russians hacked the voting machines and actually changed the results -- a scenario for which there has been no evidence presented, what would that mean?

Does anyone actually want war with Russia?  I certainly hope not. No sane individual, be they American, Russian, or any other nationality, wants to see two nuclear superpowers in armed conflict with each other. I'm pretty sure even Putin doesn't want that, and he's not exactly what I would consider sane. Nuclear war is not something that turns out well for anybody. So what that kind of evidence would mean, practically speaking, would be increasing our computer security, something that we should probably do anyway and we don't need to wait to see if Russian hackers interfered in our election to do it, and probably an increase in economic and trade sanctions against Russia and a break down in diplomatic relations. Basically, we're back to fighting the cold war. Anyone cheering over that prospect? I'm not.

So, maybe, instead of focusing on Russia and its alleged sins, we should focus on the problems we have here at home?  Does that mean we ignore flaws in our security? No, obviously not, I've already stated that any issues with our security systems need to be fixed. But it does mean that we start focusing on the problems that matter and that we can do something about; the dangers that threaten us from within.

Because that's where the real threats to America and Americans lie. We already know to be wary of foreign powers, and our military is more than adequate to the task of protecting us from such threats, that's not what we need to worry about. It isn't the enemy you see coming who will kill you, it's the one who lives in your home and eats at your table, who you've yet to identify, that you need to worry about.

The fact that Wikileaks released emails from the DNC, whether those emails were provided to Wikileaks by Russia or someone else, isn't what's important. If those emails hadn't contained politically damaging material, it wouldn't have mattered that they were released. And the only reason those emails contained politically damaging material was because the leaders of the DNC were engaged in dishonest and fraudulent behavior.

Since they are public servants, it's perfectly fair for the public to scrutinize the conduct of the leaders of the Democratic Party.  This isn't a matter of personal privacy being invaded because they were not acting as private citizens. These are people who represent us, and as such we have the right to know what they are doing.  If they didn't want to be caught committing crimes, they shouldn't have engaged in criminal behavior to begin with. Regardless of who brought the behavior to light.

Which isn't to say that the GOP is innocent. Obviously, they are not. Which is why they should also be investigated. But let's focus those investigations on our own people and hold them accountable, instead of pointing fingers at foreign powers that may or may not have been involved. If Trump is guilty of a crime, let him be tried, convicted, and imprisoned. The same for Pence, Ryan, Shumer, or any other political leader who is or has been involved in criminal conduct. If we're going to clean house, people, we need to start at home.


References:

1. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2017/02/22/oklahoma-attorney-generals-office-releases-7500-pages-of-emails-between-scott-pruitt-and-fossil-fuel-industry/?utm_term=.cb794bbbf311

2. http://www.businessinsider.com/rick-perry-oops-energy-department-2016-12

3. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/ben-carson-warren-hud-money-trump_us_5877b575e4b06df924cb32e7

4. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/donald-trump-not-in-situation-room-yemen-raid-30-civilians-killed-us-navy-seal-dead-first-military-a7561596.html

5.  http://www.cnn.com/2015/12/02/politics/donald-trump-terrorists-families/

6.  http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/02/07/513951600/army-approves-dakota-access-pipeline-route-paving-way-for-the-projects-completio

7.  https://www.forbes.com/sites/timdaiss/2016/11/26/trump-owns-stake-in-hotly-disputed-3-8-billion-oil-pipeline-conflict-of-interest-looms/#6059ad715d00


Saturday, March 18, 2017

#Luck O' The #Readers #Giveaway! $100 #Cash #Grand #Prize! #Free To #Enter!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

There's a new Saint Patrick's Day giveaway!  Please take a moment to check out the Luck O' The Readers Giveaway!!  There are lots of awesome books and prizes!! :-)  It's free to enter, there are over 60 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, March 17, 2017

A #Digital Man Of #Mystery



Hey Everyone! :-)

I thought I'd give you a little blast from the past today and post an excerpt from Rainbow Dreams.  I thought it would be appropriate since I hope to have the sequel out to you soon. :-)  Happy Friday!

Excerpt from Rainbow Dreams:
I would like to know who this 'Impaler' is."

Sighing, Petri closed her eyes and massaged her temples. "No one really knows for sure. There have been stories about him for a long time, but no one knows exactly how long. No one even knows if he really exists, or if it's just a bunch of different swingers who use the avatar."

Picking up her fork, she scooped some of the food into her mouth and chewed. As the flavor penetrated her senses, she smiled. "This is good."

Daji smiled back. "I'm glad it is to your taste. Assuming that this person does exist, and isn't just a front for those who want the protection of a dangerous reputation they haven't earned, who is he? Does anyone have any ideas about the matter?"

She quirked a half smile at him. "Oh, there are lots of ideas. It's just that no one knows if any of them are right."

"What do the rumors say?"

"Some say that he's the result of a new technology created by a mad diddler. They say that he invented tech to make it possible for a person to upload their entire consciousness and personality into the rainbow and for them to remain there permanently."

"Why can people not remain there permanently now?"

"Well, aside from the fact that people can't live without their bodies, and bodies need food and stuff, there's a problem with thought patterns degrading over time."

"I don't understand."

She wagged her hand. "I don't understand it all either, but basically, if someone's consciousness spends too much time away from their brain, the signal breaks down. Eventually, it disappears altogether and the person ceases to exist."

"Why?"

She shrugged.

"So this Impaler has solved this problem?"

Another shrug. "That's one of the rumors. Government scientists have been trying to perfect that kind of tech for centuries, but the rumor says that Vlad cracked the secret and gave himself immortality among the data streams."

He nodded. "What are the other rumors?"

Taking a drink, she gathered her thoughts. "Well, there's another rumor that says he's an AI that somehow gained consciousness. But again, no one knows for sure."

"What is known for sure about this creature?"

"Well, whoever or whatever Vlad is, he is or they are the absolute top of the food chain in Upworld's rainbow. His reach and eyes go everywhere, and nothing happens in the rainbow without the Impaler's blessing."

"I'm surprised a government like the one on this world tolerates the existence of such a being."

She laughed. "They don't have much choice. He doesn't ask their permission."

"But could they not purge the planetary network?"

Nodding, she answered, "The government, the companies, and even the houses have tried everything they could to get rid of him, or at least keep him out of their systems. None of what they tried has worked. The government even shuts down and replaces the central computer core, periodically. But once they reboot the system, there he is."

He goggled at her. "They take the entire planetary rainbow offline to combat this entity?"

"They don't say that's the reason, but it's what everyone thinks."

Shaking his head in disbelief, Daji asked, "So he does have the power to fulfill his promise? He is able to get my ship released?"

She nodded. "Yep. If it exists in the rainbow, he has control of it."

"Will he keep his word?"

She shrugged and met his eyes. "No idea."





Thursday, March 16, 2017

#APC #Spotlight: The Case Of The #Bear Cubs Loss By Luciana Correa!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

Today, I've got Luciana Correa in my APC spotlight!  Luciana is an active and supportive member of  the  Authors-Professional Co-op Facebook group and her young adult, mystery sci-fi novel, The Case Of The Bear Cubs Loss, sounds like a fun read! Here's the description:
Liam, Noah, Emma and Olivia are quite happy. They were invited to visit British Columbia bear Park! They are going together with their father who is studying the Bear population. The famous geneticist is involved in the protection of the furry beasts. It's when they face an unexpected situation. All the momma bear accounted for the project have lost her cubs! The twins can't accept that! How can eight-pound babies disappear? How is it possible if anyone with a brain knows that momma bears are not fun to deal with when their cubs are involved? They know they will solve the mystery. We know it'll be thrilling!
If you think it sounds as good as I do, you can grab your copy here:


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