Sunday, September 17, 2017

Giveaway & OOTD Back to Basics | Navy Maxi Dress c/o SheIn

Back to Basics | Navy Maxi Dress

c/o SheIn


Another weekend with another outfit post (yaaaas)! This Navy Rayon Dress I ordered from SheIn is super soft and comfortable. I especially love how gracefully flowy it is. Love the cut and the fit (ordered a size XS). 







Get the look


Navy Leaf Floral Print Maxi Dresshere


More Maxi Dresses


What do you think? Tell me your thoughts in the comments down below. Follow me on Instagram for exclusive sneak peeks and updates!



Giveaway


This giveaway will run till 17th October 2017 and there will be one winner. The giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook, Pinterest, Google, Twitter, Bloglovin or Instagram.

  • One lucky winner gets a maxi dress of their choice under $25 from SheIn's online store. 
  • There are two mandatory entries, rest are optional (more entries mean more chances to win!).
  • Open internationally.
  • Enter through the rafflecopter form below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Friday, September 15, 2017

New Release Spotlight | The Summer of Robert Byron by Steven Arnett

The Summer of Robert Byron

by Steven Arnett


Publication Date: August 12th 2017
Published by:  Independent

Goodreads



It’s fall 1966, and Robert Byron has returned to his home town of Blue Spring in Michigan after serving in Vietnam.

Everyone there tries to welcome him home, but he’s unsocial and ends up alienating almost everyone. He pretty much keeps to himself through the winter, until the money he’d saved up in Vietnam runs outs, and he has to go back to work. He meets Jean Summers, a teacher at Blue Spring High School who’d just started her teaching career the previous fall herself, when Robert is hired by her landlord to do some work on the house she’s renting.

They’re complete opposites in personality, but somehow, they’re attracted to each other anyway. The Summer of Robert Byron is their story: Of how Jean tries to redeem through love Robert’s alienation and the dark secret that he has brought home with him from the war. Can she succeed or is it too late to ever really bring him home again?




Excerpt


As Robert Byron walked through the jungle, he was sweating unbearably. He was being attacked by what seemed like an endless army of horseflies. The odors, sweet sour rotten putrid, he hated. Somehow he’d gotten separated from the other men in his platoon, and after days in the jungle, he was half crazy. They must think I’m dead, he thought, or somebody would have found me by now. He wasn’t hungry, even though he was so weak from lack of food he could barely walk. And even though his stomach was empty, he felt like vomiting. Intense pain he felt from being bitten by fire ants for days. He was walking on a trail, but he really had no idea where it led anymore. He thought he might have heard a helicopter far off in the distance but knew he could have dreamed it, that it could have been an echo from a thousand helicopters he had heard since he got to Vietnam. He felt completely detached from the entire life he had known and lived until a few days ago. His might as well have been on an alien planet. His memories of people seemed more like ghosts than real as he walked, terrified that he would step on a mine or that Vietcong would come out of jungle from nowhere and obliterate him with bullets or machetes. Whatever courage he’d had was long gone. He hated feeling like a coward because he’d had it drilled into his head from the time he was three years old to hate cowards. He’d seen how they were laughed at and despised. He wondered how much farther he could go before he collapsed into certain death.

He’d been a great athlete in high school, maybe the best his town had ever had, but now he had a hard time even walking. Then suddenly he came near a clearing and saw a peasant in a rice field with a water buffalo, and for a moment the scene seemed peaceful and wonderful. Except for some soft white clouds, the sky was blue. He moved around the clearing, slowly, quietly, still terrified, doubting again if he would ever get back home alive. Images of his mother and father and his sister Sarah came into his mind. Maybe they think I’m dead like the thousands of other guys here they’ll never find, he thought. Time seemed to stop as he stared almost catatonic at the peasant with the buffalo in the rice paddy and thought how even in the most terrible war, everyday life goes on. Survival. He must survive. He must live and go home again.

He remembered a story his grandfather had told him that his grandfather told him about being in a camp in the Civil War and Grant coming into the camp, everything in chaos, Grant barking out orders and how in a short time everything calmed down, everything became organized. Maybe, maybe back then war had a purpose and was heroic, not like this nightmare of jungle and fire ants and blood and death, fighting for people who hate you.

Finally he started walking again, just far enough from the clearing so no one could have seen him, thirstier than life itself because the water in his canteen had run out a long time ago and it hadn’t rained in days, and he hadn’t come to any rivers or streams. He thought about getting water from the rice field and his thirst blinded him, made him so he could think of nothing else but water and overcame his fear. He drank from it, without, he thought, being seen. He walked slowly around the field and came near a hamlet. On one side of it he saw a woman and an old man by a bamboo shack, and a girl and a boy playing in the dust, so near he could hear them speaking the Vietnamese that he’d heard endlessly for months but still hardly understood a word of. He felt around the wood barrel and steel of his M-16 rifle. He wondered what the odds were that the family would be friendly and considered his chances. In any case, he knew he couldn’t go on much longer. He was dazed and completely disoriented. Half in illusion, half because of some kind of twisted intuition, he went out of the jungle toward the family with his gun pointed toward them. He could see the shock on their face, the same shock and fear he felt himself perhaps. They were about 10 yards away. The boy, about 10 years old perhaps, pulled something out of his worn frayed gown with a half smile half frown. They must have seen me drinking water, Robert thought. He was sure the boy had a grenade in his hand and would kill him. He leveled his rifle, pulled the trigger, and watched as the boy lurched back and was blown to the ground and blood poured out of him. Robert smelled the smoke of the gun and the stink of the jungle and felt a sickness that would never go away. 



About the author


Steven Arnett was born in Detroit, Michigan, in 1951 and enjoys writing fiction and poetry. He attended Michigan State University and the University of Maine. He currently lives in Luxembourg with his wife, Delphine, and daughter, Vivienne.


Monday, September 4, 2017

Interview with Christian Nadeau, author of Seeds of Hatred

Doodles, doodles everywhere congratulates author Christian Nadeau on the release of his book, Seeds of Hatred! Let's welcome him on the blog for an interview with DDE today. Read on!


1. How did you decide to write the Scions Awakened series?

I've been wanting to write for a long while. Back in high school, I would start drafts, but I'd end up letting them go after a few months. I liked Lord of the Rings, but it didn't touch me the way it did some of my friends. I found it too stark black and white, too all or nothing in it's approach whereas I'm all for shades of gray as it makes for more relatable characters on both the antagonist and protagonist sides. As contradictory as it seems, there's also the element of realism I wanted to respect. It's hard to fear for a hero when he can face off against a hundred enemies and come up on top. So, around 2004, I sat down and decided I would write a story and get to the end of it. I had a huge D&D setting I wanted to use (with heavy modifications, I didn't want to write a D&D story), so I thought about another setting with a slight horror feel to it I could use for "practice". I was so naive... 

So, once I'd chosen the setting in which I wanted to tell a story, I had to come up with a story, and a good story needs a theme. Vengeance came right away, the cycle of ongoing hatred, someone wrongs you, you wrong him in turn and when does it stop? After a few cycles, how can you tell the difference between who's in the right and who's in the wrong? 


2. Did you start writing Seeds of Hatred with the clear idea of a series in mind or did you decide that during the process of writing?

Right away, I knew I was going for a trilogy. It's classic, but at the same time, a lot about Seeds and its two follow-ups is about starting with something familiar and trying to go in a different way. For the story I had in mind, I needed to put things in place, explore the build-up to the conflict. In the second part, the conflict will degenerate and war will start to take its toll. Finally in the third part, the conflict will be resolved but in terrible sorrow.  


3. Can you tell us what kind of research went behind Seeds of Hatred?

To be honest, not a lot. There were a few things regarding the lethality of certain blows which I did research on when I was challenged. Most of my research efforts were rather put into building the world, thinking about the history and different interaction of factions throughout this history. 


4. How did you celebrate the sale of your first book?

Actually I didn't! Perhaps back then it's because I'd just realized I'd made a huge mistake and would need to rework the whole novel. And back then, the novel was only available in digital format, so there was nothing really tangible about it. I'm not that much of a celebration guy anyway, but I can't say there wasn't a quiet satisfaction and a whole lot of pride when I got my first physical copies and I could touch the result of my work. 


5. Tell us about some of the biggest challenges or learning experiences you faced throughout the writing and publishing process.

There's two things that stand out as being greater hurdles than I thought they'd be. The first is clearly editing and the second everything related to marketing. Back in 2015, I was so proud, I'd just finished my manuscript which had taken me forever to write and hurried to publish it on amazon. What a mistake! Fortunately, I got a feedback which pointed out the glaring flaws in my first version, but which at least let me know the content had potential. The whole ensuing editing process was an exercise in humility, accepting the challenges and learning to remove parts . Then there's the whole getting your book noticed thing. PR is not exactly my cup of tea (I know I know, a kind of nerd who's not really got at socializing, I'm pretty much a walking cliché there.), so I've been struggling at getting in touch with bloggers and goodreads reviewers to try and build credibility around my book. I understand the wariness of customers toward Indie publishing and author, I've been guilty of publishing something before it was ready.  


6. Tell us something personal about you that your readers may be surprised to know.

I don't metabolize caffeine (or its derivatives)! For me it's just a hot drink which I like the taste of, but I can chuck four espressos and go right to sleep after. Seriously, it actually happened on a road trip where I was co-driver, I drank two red bulls in five minutes and ten minutes later I was sleeping in my seat. Shame on me, I know.


7. What do you enjoy doing when you are not writing or reading?

Playing ball hockey! Not on any really competitive level mind you, I'm playing goaltender in a small organised league with childhood friends. We're pretty bad, but it's still good fun to get together and do some sports. Otherwise, I'm finishing my masters in project management this coming winter semester. I'm also a board gamer, my friends and I we 


8. What's next? Are you working on any other projects to come after the Scions Awakened series?

I'm not working truly on it yet, but I've got an idea for a science-fiction stand-alone or two parters. Main theme will be about chauvinism and how we distort history to make the winning side seem better.


9. Lastly, any special thoughts for the readers?

If you ever purchase my book, or if you have questions you'd like to ask, don't hesitate to let me know what you thought about it on goodreads! 



Seeds of Hatred

(Scions Awakened Book One)

by Christian Nadeau


Publication Date: April 9, 2017
Published by:  Independent
Page count: 506

Goodreads



As a former assassin, a man on the run for years, Marac survived taking on odd jobs, living on society’s fringe, never putting down roots for fear of having to run again. Until he’s hired to steal a trinket from the Brotherhood.

Newly graduated, Soren is ready to shoulder the responsibilities that come with an officer’s commission. Serving in the Brotherhood of Khan is a privilege, one he abandoned everything for. But when an Angel calls on him, he knows his first assignment is more than it seems to be.

As a Lightbearer, gifted with the power to shape light to her will, Alex lived a sheltered life in Tyranor’s monastery. Should the Brotherhood find out what she was, they’d kill her, but the monastery is underground, safely hidden from their prying eyes.

Then it all comes crashing down. A terrible game is played, and when the powerful move, pawns are doomed to be sacrificed.

Are they?




Buy the book


Connect with the author




Ratings and Recommendations by outbrain