Greetings sports fans and welcome once again to a very special edition of Vegas Valley Sports Beat the little column that is never afraid to call bullshit. It’s another beautiful day here in the Las Vegas valley. The temperatures were below freezing overnight but the sun is shining brightly, there are 30 inches of fresh snow in Lee Canyon, and all is right with the world.

Today, for the first time ever we are hoping to have a guest author semi-live on the column. A lady who writes novels and a free book on animal rescue under the pen name, Mistral Dawn. I had a lovely discussion this morning with Misses Dawn on Twitter and I promised to preview her latest novel, Taken By The Huntsman for her after I was mostly forced to express concern over her writing style by the author herself.

To that end, I invited Mistral Dawn to submit a synopsis of this novel to my inbox and answer some writing-related questions but as of this time she has yet to respond so it goes to press without her input which is more than she has any right to expect, all things being equal.

I stand corrected. Miss. Dawn did in fact respond but, just like every other reply I have received from her since early this morning, she has been nothing but rude and dismissive of every opinion that doesn’t jibe with her own. All I did was share an anecdote with her and away we went.

Taken By The Huntsman (Spellbound Hearts Book 1) by [Dawn, Mistral]

I made many attempts, in good faith, to do right by her and all I got for my effort was more of her nasty attitude. If this was one of my novels she would be the star of a very nasty chapter but this is journalism and so I’ll remain impartial and try to stay to the high road since Mistral Dawn seems determined to defend the low road so vociferously.

At the invitation of Miss. Dawn, I read an excerpt from Taken By The Huntsman which she had posted on Twitter this morning and since I have nothing more to go upon than the poorly written materials she has allowed anyone to see I can only describe her overall demeanor and her writing style as being juvenile at best.

Her page on Amazon describes, Taken By The Huntsman in this fashion. (sic)

Discarded and ignored by those around her for most of her life, Cassie is a lonely human woman struggling to find her place in the world and meaning in her life. Cadeyrn is the Erlking, the leader of the Wild Hunt, a hundreds of thousands of years old Fae who has always known his purpose. He has spent his entire long existence tracking the criminals of Fairie and punishing them for their crimes. 
While hunting for the murderer of a child who has escaped to Earth Cadeyrn comes across Cassie and realizes that she is the one that the great mother goddess has designated as his soul mate. He kidnaps her and takes her to his fortress in Fairie to protect her from his many enemies. He knows she will be angry and that he’ll have to work to earn her trust, but he finds his task to be even more challenging than he had thought it would be due to Cassie’s difficulty in opening her heart. 
Will Cadeyrn be able to convince Cassie that the bond between them is real and earn her love?


This poorly written blurb, typographical errors intact, is seemingly the work of none other than Miss. Dawn herself. This is a perfect illustration of my point. Anyone else might have used Grammarly but the daring 30 something lady chose to go it alone for some reason. Reasons which this reporter was unable to ascertain due to Miss. Dawn’s failure to stand behind her work and give an impartial interview.

This blurb, when taken together with the blurb which she stated was random and had absolutely nothing to do with the scene, nor seemingly with the question she posted as a “form of advertisement” is evidence enough. Perhaps it makes sense to her but not to me. Miss Dawn went on to say that she did not want any constructive feedback, or a pat on the back all she wants are sale$.

Honestly, I couldn’t tell. From the author’s kitten profile picture and her painful abuse of the English language to her painful abuse of her friends, namely myself, the entire package comes off as plebian and careless at best and I will not read the entire novel unless it is presented in a more professional manner befitting any writer worth their ink pen.

Why you might not ask? I’ll tell you why anyway because I promised Miss. Dawn that I would be fair.

As a novelist, journalist, poet, playwright, TV comedy writer, stand-up comedy writer, copy-writer, national award-winning essayist, artist, cartoonist, pro photographer, short-story writer, and especially as a life-long consumer of the written word I am deeply insulted by Miss. Dawn’s dedication to mediocrity in fiction. That coupled with her lack of common courtesy and then taken together with her unimaginative “advertisement” and the sloppy manner by which it is penned? I think anyone would be insulted that an author thinks so little of them as to offer up less than honest work such as what I have witnessed today.

Posting a kitten in lieu of her author’s profile photograph might be cute to her family, Facebook, friends, and to whomever else Miss. Dawn chooses to share it with on social media. And believe me, that’s fine; I often post pictures of lions and whatnot on my Twitter page too just for fun or to make a statement. But when I take the time to go to an author’s webpage to check them out for work or for fun I don’t think it’s very cute at all.

The kitten is cute as a button, but placing it as one’s profile picture for an author of serious fiction or non-fiction is unquestionably the epitome of unprofessionalism. It can be translated directly as carelessness and laziness on the writers part and in turn sounds to me, the potential reader, like two words that rhyme with duck and you. Neither of which I find appealing enough that I care to read her fictional works any further and she is fully aware of this because I told her so right before she blocked me.

Miss. Dawn either does not get it or she chooses not to get it. Either way it changes nothing and her juvenile attitude came shining through this morning during our impromptu, but candid, discourse on this very same subject. This is the fairest review I can give her or her fictional novel due to her refusal to be more forthcoming and speak for herself in a fair and impartial venue.

July 28, 2015- One reviewer named Avid Reader wrote this review of Taken By The Huntsman. 4 Stars. Very good story, a little amateurish

This is an interesting take on the face and the Wild Hunt. The Erlking is incredibly reasonable and willing to compromise to accommodate Cassie, whose reasoning powers crumble near the end of the book. The beginning of the story is mostly an information dump, but it’s an interesting information dump. There are some punctuation errors and some incorrectly used words as well as places where language could be tightened and the use of active verbs increased. But I really enjoyed the story. A good story trumps compositional errors. 
So while Miss. Dawn might claim as before that my assessment was based upon relatively short shrift, so to speak, it is accurate and I stand behind it 100%.

Many of Miss. Dawn’s 72 posted reviewers agree that while the storyline is a good one, the details can be overly descriptive and lacking dialogue where it would have moved the story along better. Few of the editing and formatting issues got overlooked by the readers, the way they are ignored and/or defended by the author.

That being said, I would like for you all to please turn your kindest attention now to the one book I truly did enjoy and which is free to all readers on Amazon. That is her non-fiction book aptly titled,

Animal Rescuer’s Guide To Staying (Relatively) Sane.

I was able to read a fair sampling of the book and I can honestly say I was more than just a little bit surprised then to discover that Miss. Dawn actually does know how to write correctly, and quite well at that. On the other hand, it also makes it that much more insulting to consider the other book but I’ll let that slide in the spirit of detente.

Clearly, the author of this book cared for the subject matter deeply and it shows in her attention to many details that many people might not otherwise think about when they set out to rescue an animal. Her usage of quotation marks around the words “manual” and “expert” is overly self-deprecating in my estimation. I have not seen the full manuscript but it’s clear that Mistral Dawn did, in fact, do her homework for this one and well-done to judge by the cover. Wink wink ;c)

Seriously though, the cover evokes images unbidden of a crazy cat lady tossing cats at passersby ala The Simpson’s but the posted reviews give witness to a continuous pattern of the skilled storytelling ability and level of conscientious professionalism which the introductory chapters set down in her first words.

On Amazon, Mistral Dawn describes this book as;

A short, tongue-in-cheek “manual” on how to do animal rescue as an individual, while still retaining some of your marbles. The guide addresses some of the common challenges and missteps that the author has found over a decade and a half of doing rescue out of her home. It also includes a small collection of answers to some frequently asked questions about cats and cat behavior.
**Note: This work was written by a layperson and is intended for entertainment, not as a substitute for expert advice from a veterinarian.

I agree with these other reviewers as I found Mistral Dawn’s work to be a quite thorough, informative, and well-structured manual that any animal rescue worker expert or novice, will be enriched by reading even if it’s to varying degrees it is still enlightening to read. Unlike her fiction, it is clear to me that she did her due diligence before she sat down to write this book. Now if she will rewrite the other books with that same passion and dedication to the project she might hit the bestseller list in spite of herself.

Good luck in your future writing endeavors Mistral Dawn. I hope you grow a thicker skin soon though since you dislike criticism so much otherwise you are going to be hurt a lot and I don’t care to see that happen so unnecessarily.

I know and you know you can do better than that, Miss. Dawn, and you should be ashamed of yourself for rushing it to press unpolished as it is. If you paid any Beta readers for advice I would sue them to get my money back because they lied to you, my young friend. It needs further editing by a professional.


July 7, 2018 – I, too, didn’t understand the one star from a reviewer. This booklet was chock full of great information about adoption, fostering, caring for, and introducing rescues into your home. I volunteered for a collie-rescue and needed to know all the things Ms. Dawn suggests in her book. I was an intake worker (by phone, mostly) I also adopted and fostered several collies, along with caring for the collies I already had in my house. Everything mentioned in this book are considerations you need to take a new pet into your family–human and animal.The book was well-written and easy to follow. 5 Stars. Adopting, fostering and caring for a new pet.

January 8, 2018 – Good advice to people who are just starting to be animal rescuers or volunteers. Some of the points are good reminders even for animal rescuers who have been doing it for longer periods of time. Saying no is very important. It keeps you sane, and is in fact a way to protect the animals that you already are taking care of. 4 stars. Good advice

March 1, 2016 – This cute little book was both entertaining and informative to read with lots of very useful suggestions. The author clearly loves animals and finds joy in them which is both refreshing and endearing. Ultimately this is a successful and engaging read that will make you smile and also give you much needed information. 5 Stars. out of 5 stars… entertaining and informative to read with lots of very useful suggestions. The author clearly loves animals and finds …

January 7, 2017 – Someone who calls themselves, Mizary wrote;

Not really a good book. Had no real information or quality to its subject! One Star. One star.

About Mistral Dawn