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

Friday, January 20, 2017

#Spotlight For An #Enlightening Quiche by Eva Pasco!

BOOK TEASER for AN ENLIGHTENING QUICHE (An heirloom quiche recipe and baking rivalry turn up the heat in a small town during the aftermath of a tragedy).

An Excerpt from Chapter 10:

Augusta: “I wish you’d find a good man to settle down with by the time your next one comes around!” The crux of Oncle Emil’s “flirty in your thirties; finished at forty” pronouncement at last year’s milestone birthday fĂȘte hit my psyche with the displacement of an earthquake’s aftershock when the forty-first made landfall. Settling down with any one of the misfits I found myself attracted to, while shunning decent enough men like Ray Provost, a ticking time bomb by profession, unsettled those who positioned themselves along the periphery of a gladiatorial arena, helpless to shield me from deep wounds self-inflicted by engaging in morally destructive behavior. Hooking up is one thing. Falling in love with any of the riffraff I bedded, a dim prospect aligned with descending the rungs of a ladder into an abysmal abyss. Stuck in a holding pattern, I didn’t want to fall in love only to have my heart broken into irretrievable pieces.

Before the spectacle of the upcoming candle blowout took place, during one and the same period of grace leading up to Thanksgiving, a stranger’s downward climb precipitated even more disgraceful conduct which eventually put me in the bad graces of those detrimentally affected by my actions. On my own collision course with destiny, hitting Blackstone’s rock bottom seemed the only way I could ever gain enough insight to navigate through dire straits and orient my moral compass toward beau chemins.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

#APC #Spotlight: #Touch Of The #Irish By Savannah Morgan!

Hey Everyone!! :-)

Today, I've got Savannah Morgan in my APC spotlight!  Savannah is an active and supportive member of  the  Authors-Professional Co-op Facebook group and her erotic fantasy romance short story collection, Touch of the Irish, is one of my favorites! Here's the description:
Touch of the Irish: A Collection of Short Erotic Fantasies
Eros has done it now.
After a fight with Psyche, Eros went on a drunken rampage shooting his leaden arrows at perspective lovers. On Valentine's Day, no less! Now that he and Psyche have made up, Eros is scrambling to find some way to save his victims.
Where does cupid turn for help?
None other than his ex-flame Aine, Goddess of the Faeries. Aine has things well under control until she realizes three names were left off her list of victims. What is a Goddess to do when all her best-trained fey are already helping others?
She calls on her faeries in training. Three unsuspecting fey get the chance to make a god’s mistake right when they are sent in to help the last three victims of Eros. Dragons, Wolves, and Majickal Beings are all fair game in this race against the clock and finding the happily ever after for three lucky ladies.
All 3 stories in one complete box set.
Book 1: Dragon's Lair
Book 2: Wolfe's Heart
Book 3: Immortal Pair
Intended for audiences 18 and over. Strong sexual content. Violence. Language. M/F/M
As I said, I've read this one and I think it's really great. If you want to give it a try, you can grab your copy here:

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

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

#January2017 #IndieBooksBeSeen #Indie #Author #Books #Monthly #BookReview!

Hey Everyone!! :-)

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

Supernormal by Stuart Kenyon:

After the events of Subnormal, Paul Kelly and his brother's widow, Jenni, are trying to raise her non-verbal, autistic son in post-war England. The country is reeling after their civil war and the bombing by Russia, and times are tough. The public's memories of the horrors of life under the Unity party and the dictator, Alison Latham, are fading, and people are looking for someone to blame for their current troubles. Will that scapegoat turn out to be the very people who rescued them from slavery?

What do you do if you're accused of a crime that you're innocent of, but the entire media seems bent on spreading a false narrative in which you're guilty? What happens when facts cease to matter and no one bothers to consider the evidence? How do you convince people of the truth when you aren't allowed to have a voice?  These are just some of the questions that Supernormal seeks to explore.

Once again, Stuart Kenyon explores some of the most frighteningly relevant themes in our current political climate. The effect of a corporate media beholden to the government is examined. When those in power have a stranglehold on information, what happens when they lie to the people?  And how long does it take before an oft-repeated lie is widely accepted as the truth?

Mr. Stuart also uses Supernormal to explore one of the ugliest parts of human nature. Namely, the inevitable search for a scapegoat during difficult times and how that tendency can be used by those who seek to control and manipulate others for their own ends. And how easily people allow themselves to be deceived this way simply through complacency and a lack of healthy skepticism towards claims made by those in power.

This book repeatedly brought to mind parallels in current events.  The way Noam Chomsky's Manufacturing Consent seemed to play out with terrifying accuracy during this last election was something that I thought of often while reading Supernormal. The way the media manipulated voters and how evidence and facts were rarely asked for or offered.

But the scariest thing, to me, were the similarities I saw between how those classified as Subnormal were talked about and treated in this story and how certain minority groups are being treated and spoken of now. Because Mr. Kenyon is correct. When people are in hard times, they do look for someone to blame. And someone with bad intentions can use that to cause a lot of harm. Hitler did it with the Jews in Nazi Germany. And, from his rhetoric, I fear that Donald Trump is trying to do it now with Muslims and Mexicans.

The problem is, as Mr. Kenyon's story illustrates, it isn't those in worse circumstances who cause the trouble. It's those who benefit from that trouble, those in power, who cause it. And all scapegoating innocent minorities does is allow those who would fleece a populace for their own ends to continue doing so without interference or being held responsible for their actions.

As is also demonstrated in Supernormal, those who speak the truth under such circumstances are rarely thanked. In fact, people tend to resent them for making them feel uncomfortable. But facts don't depend on popularity, they are what they are. And Mr. Kenyon did a fabulous job of underscoring that conundrum.

Once again, this was a riveting, thought-provoking story that I thoroughly enjoyed. The action was a little slower to build in this book than it was in Subnormal, but it's definitely worth the wait. If I had one criticism, it would be that I don't think Mr. Kenyon's portrayal of a post-nuclear attack is terribly realistic. If Russia truly nuked England, I doubt very much anyone would be able to live there afterwards, or anywhere else in Western Europe, for that matter. And that's if it was a relatively restrained attack.  But this is fiction, so that's probably a minor detail.  Overall, this is definitely another five star read by Mr. Kenyon, and I can't wait to see how this series ends!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

#Agent Thoth's #Personal Log: Day 462

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 Four-Hundred-Sixty-Two:
My hominid-servant has introduced into my domicile one of the felid creatures that resemble the form DPCIL agents utilize for missions on this planet. This particular felid is an infant of its kind and not yet trained in even the basic courtesies these less advanced creatures generally subscribe to. To compound the injury, my hominid-servant failed to even consult me before acquiring the creature! I am too distressed by this development to give a full report at this time. When I have restored my internal equilibrium, I will provide more details regarding this travesty.

What a nightmare!! Poor Thoth! I wonder if our intrepid DPCIL agent will be able to recover from this latest insult. 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!

Monday, January 16, 2017

Something Worth Watching?

Hey Everyone!! :-)

I'm back with more videos I thought it was important to share. Actually, what I've got for you today are two playlists from TYT Politic's YouTube channel. Both playlists have to do with the poisoning of American citizens by our government. One playlist focuses on the water crisis in Indiana and the other focuses on the water crisis in Flint, Michigan. They are a series of interviews with scientists, lawyers, activists, and regular people who are being forced to live with these poisons and are suffering the consequences. Once again, Jordan Chariton has done an outstanding job of investigating and reporting on these situations, and hopefully if we all help to spread the truth something will be done to help these people. So click on the links below and get watching. ;-)

Sunday, January 15, 2017

A #Saucy #Sauce Can Make The #Difference!

Hey Everyone!! :-)

Today, I thought I'd share my recipe for tomato sauce with you. There are so many dishes that call for either a lot or a little tomato sauce, and the quality of the sauce can make or break those meals. Hopefully, you'll think this sauce is as good as I do. :-)

8 large tomatoes or two large cans of tomatoes
1 large onion finely chopped
10 cloves of garlic minced
1/2 cup chopped basil (fresh is best but dried will do in a pinch)
4 tbsp chopped or dried oregano
2 tbsp chopped or dried parsley
2 tbsp fennel seeds
4 tsp vegetarian Worcestershire sauce
1 cup red wine (Burgundy or Merlot work well) or 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup Pecorino Romano cheese grated
1 chili pepper deseeded and chopped or 1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
Salt and Pepper to taste

Put the olive oil, garlic, onion, fennel seeds, the pepper if you are using it, and any dried herbs you are using in your sauce pot and heat on low until the oil begins to sizzle. Stir the contents of the pot over low heat and allow the seasonings to infuse into the oil a bit, and then add the wine or wine vinegar, salt and pepper, and Worcestershire sauce continue stirring.

The tomatoes can be added either whole or as a puree, depending on how chunky you like your sauce. If you are using canned tomatoes, you can just add them directly from the can or put them in a blender and puree them and then add them. Canned tomatoes usually need to be cooked a bit longer so that the metallic taste disappears. If you add the tomatoes whole, you can use a potato masher to mush them up in the sauce pot so that they'll cook down into a sauce. If you are using fresh tomatoes, you can add them with or without the skins. If you like the skins, either add them whole or puree them in a blender and add them. If you want the skins removed, place the tomatoes in boiling water for a couple of seconds and then shock them in ice water. The skins should rub right off with a paper towel. Again, mush them up so that they'll cook down if you add them whole.

Slowly stir in the tomatoes or tomato puree and fresh herbs, but reserve half the parsley and half the basil. Bring the sauce to a boil, stirring continuously, and then reduce the heat and allow the sauce to simmer for an hour or two, stirring occasionally. Stir in the grated cheese and the reserved herbs and taste the sauce. Adjust the salt and seasonings to suit your taste and allow the sauce to cool. The sauce is better the second day, so allowing it to sit in the fridge overnight is a good idea.

If you'd like a slightly chunkier sauce, you can also add mushrooms at the beginning when you cook the onions. A teaspoon of harissa paste instead of a chili pepper adds a slightly sweeter spice to the sauce. A cup of milk or half a cup of cream stirred in at the end makes the sauce creamier.

As with other things, I prefer my tomato sauce without meat. But if you want to add meat, you can add Italian sausage or ground beef to the pot before adding the garlic and other ingredients. Just make sure you cook the meat completely before adding anything else because food poisoning sucks. You can also add pre-cooked meat or meatballs to the sauce when you add the olive oil and other ingredients.

Buon Appetito!

Saturday, January 14, 2017

For The #Love Of #Books #Valentine #Giveaway! $135 #Cash #Grand #Prize! #Free To #Enter!

Hey Everyone!! :-)

There's a new Valentine giveaway!  Please take a moment to check out the Love Of Books Valentine Giveaway!!  There are lots of awesome books and prizes!! :-)  It's free to enter, there are over 100 prizes, and the grand prize is $135 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! :-)