Tuesday, January 17, 2017

OOTD & Giveaway | Winter Wardrobe Staple: Nude Blazer c/o SheIn

Winter Wardrobe Staple | Nude Shawl Collar Blazer 

c/o SheIn


I'm back with another OOTD! I'll be getting a tripod soon, so bear with the mirror selfies for just a little while? 


I ordered this minimalistic shawl collared blazer (and a black quilted jacket) and I honestly couldn't find a single fault with either.



I ordered a size M for this one and it fits a little loose on me, so I guess I should have gone a size down. Other than that, I love the make, the fabric, the color (exactly the shade I was looking for) and the quality.










Get the look


Nude Shawl Collar Blazer here
Black, Chunky Sole Boots similar here


MORE Blazers


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 16th February 2017 and there will be one winner. The prize is sponsored by me as a thank you to DDE's awesome loyal readers. The giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook, Pinterest, Google, Twitter, Bloglovin or Instagram.


  • One random winner gets a 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

Monday, January 16, 2017

Interview with Michele Beresford, author of Mr. Kiwi Series

Doodles, doodles everywhere congratulates author Michele Beresford on the release of her book, Mr Kiwi and the Trouble With Mr. Mow-It-All (A Mr. Kiwi Book One)! Let's welcome her on the blog for an interview with DDE today. Read on!


1. How did you decide to write Mr Kiwi and the Trouble With Mr. Mow-It-All?

My Kiwi husband and I were on a road trip. I was kidding with him, making up a story about him that rhymed. We were laughing but it was so good, I started writing it down. 

When we returned from the trip, I put the story in my desk. I decided to illustrate it and make it a book two years later. 


2. Can you tell us what kind of research went behind Book One in the series?

My story is completely from imagination but the research came in the illustrations. I am an experienced mural artist. Painting scenes confined to conventional paper sizes took a few weeks of research, trial and error. It was a challenge to paint in such a limited space. 


3. Do you decide the character traits before you sit down to write the book, or as you go along?

I was so inspired on the trip that the story just poured out of me. I write speculative fiction under a different pen name and I find all of my writing comes to me in a similar way. I am enveloped in a wave of inspiration and I must write it all down (feverishly sometimes) before the muse is gone. 


4. Who's your favorite character from the book and why?

While Mr. Kiwi saves the day, my favorite character is Boomer the Dog. He is the unsung hero of the story. 


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

My husband and I went to dinner and shared a bottle of wine at our favorite restaurant.


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

Inspiration wrapped me in her warm embrace, encouraging the story and art work.  In stark contrast, the digital format to see the book to publication was a bit of a nightmare. Luckily, Emerian Rich, a wonderful author, colleague and magazine editor gracefully picked up the project and worked her digital formatting magic in my stead. No really, she really is magic!  If not for her help, I fear I might not have seen Mr Mow-It-All to fruition. 


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

I'm a professional harpist and I play under my stage name, Michele Roger. I have 2 CDs on iTunes and I'm working on a third harp CD this year. 


8. What do you like to do when you are not writing or reading?

I love to cook!  My specialties are French and vegetarian dishes, but I love to learn new recipes and try them out everyday. 


9. What's next?

I'm writing and painting the second book in the Mr Kiwi series. "Bullies Can't Throw Gumboots" It will be released in early Fall of 2017.  


10. Lastly, any special thoughts for the readers?


The more fun that we as parents, teachers, aunts, uncles and authors make reading books for children, the better the world will be in the future. I sincerely believe every time we read together, we take a step towards making our little corner of the world a better place. 




Mr Kiwi and the Trouble With Mr. Mow-It-All

(A Mr. Kiwi Book One)

by Michele Beresford


Publication Date: December 6, 2016
Published by: Beresford Media
Page count: 10



The first book in the Mr. Kiwi Series, "Trouble With Mr. Mow-It-All" teaches children the value of working together. 

As the kids of Spring Hill prepare to host the soccer championship, they get together with Mr. Kiwi to clean up the field. Robby brings his home made robot, Mr. Mow-It-All to do all of the work instead. The robot goes haywire and it's up to Mr. Kiwi and his dog, Boomer to save the day.

A portion of the proceeds from all of the Mr. Kiwi book series goes to fund the Kiwi Children's Garden Fund. The fund provides scholarships to small groups who wish to start or preserve children's gardens.



Buy the book


Amazon

A portion of the proceeds from every sale of the book is donated to the Kiwi Children's Garden Fund.  This fund helps to support children's vegetable gardens and their success and education.




About the author



Michele Beresford is an American who fell in love with New Zealand, the culture and one of it's blokes.

She loved the bloke so much, she married him and was inspired to write the Mr. Kiwi series. She is also a Food and Travel writer.  


Friday, January 13, 2017

Worthy of this Great City by Mike Miller | Book Spotlight

Worthy of this Great City

by Mike Miller


Publisher: JAM Publishing
Published: November 3rd 2016
Page count: 252
Genre: Fiction, Philosophy, Contemporary


Ruth Askew is a minor celebrity gone crazy in public. Con Manos is  a journalist on a mission.

Add some highly incompetent philosophy, Philadelphia politics,  and the purported end of virtue.

Loosely based on actual unbelievable events, Worthy Of This Great City is a scathing study of profound stupidity as evinced by some distinguished members of City Council, an easy listening radio station, a disorganized charity, a prestigious newspaper, and other criminals operating within a post-truth, morally uncertain city.




Buy the book



eBook | Print




Q and A


Q.  What inspires your writing?

A. A lifelong search for the words I need. That’s a combination of enormous need or ambition and an appreciation for the power of language. I was into sculpture as a kid and I wanted to have that degree of mastery over words, to sculpt with words. I have this great delusion that once I can do that I can do that I can reshape my life. So for me there’s no greater thrill than getting something right, reaching one of those breakthroughs when you understand what you’ve been writing about all along.


Q.  What writers have most influenced your work?

A. Salinger. When I first read Franny and Zooey as an adolescent I was astounded that a book could express my private questions and concerns, could consider such matters important in life and in literature. It set me off on a different course, and for that I’m incredibly grateful. And Twain for Huck Finn with his clear vision and moral independence.


Q.  Tell me about Worthy of This Great City.

A. We have two characters involved in a satire of city politics and scandal. Ruth Askew is impulsive, proud, stumbling clumsily around looking for ideas about God, all that. Like all of us, Ruth eager to take pride in her gifts but gifted at avoiding responsibility for her actions. Con Manos practices brutal truth; he’s Ruth antithesis, and examines her through the lenses of philosophy, law, and journalism. But be careful, because I’m playing a game with the narration. Something else might be going on. 


Q.  How did you choose your cover?

A. Well, that’s a story, because I never wanted to put too much emphasis on the externals, only on text. Covers ultimately have to do with brick-and-mortar shelf space. I’ve termed Worthy a B-game book to keep the focus on content. So I used one of my own photographs, one that seemed to capture the mystery and promise of City Hall’s corridors. It’s golden and beautiful and makes for a cover everyone immediately hated, I assume because it isn’t what a cover is supposed to be. I sort of love that response.


Q.  Did the experience of publication surprise you, or has it been pretty much what you expected?

A. Well, I stopped doubting myself. I could see from various critiques exactly what the reader did or did not grasp of what is after all a very complex, layered work structured to read easily. It can be appreciated simply as a satire or as philosophy or as a commentary on narration and the novel. I think that’s correct, in a way. It reflects the complexity of every living moment, and the ease with which we necessarily ignore that marvelous complexity. Anyway, somewhere along the way other people’s opinions stopped mattering to me, and as a typically insecure writer I find that remarkable.


Q.  Are you working on something new?

A. Yes. It’s about immigration law, a political asylum case, but I don’t want to get into more detail because almost certainly everything will change. As in Worthy of This Great City, the fact of the narrator is important. And again as in Worthy, places and times sometimes move subtly, with no sharp edges but merely a shift in influence.  


Q.  You clearly see both fiction and publishing as in transition?
 
A.  Radical transition. The novel is infinite; it’s a world of unexplored possibilities of both structure and content deserving and capable of advancement, evolution. By which I definitely exclude pathetic tricks of cosmetics and inserted media. Whatever the fashion, text doesn’t need to apologize. But I think we’re entering a new era where major publishing houses produce mainstream, commercial products but also act as distributors, and indie authors are as respected as indie filmmakers. 



About the author



If you know my website and Twitter addresses (asmikemiller.com and asmikemiller, respectively), you must realize Mike Miller is only an author name. It's not a matter of privacy or secrecy; anybody can find me with minimal effort. It's about keeping things separate. My writing is about what appears on the page. It's not about my personal politics or religion or history. 

Worthy Of This Great City is a B-game book. I'm ambiguous about this, being interested in money like most people, but I don't want to compete with a slick professional cover or smooth editing so I've stuck to a sort of reasonable, human middle ground. I value those things for what they are, of course, but I see them as artifacts, part of a system of publishing that fought like hell for a week's worth of shelf space, that fought to catch the eye, not the mind or heart. 

As my character Con Manos says: "It's a revolution, isn't it?" I say: Why fight on the side of the enemy? Why imitate and thus perpetuate a business model that stifles originality? Just to show you can? Unless, of course, you're fighting to attract the eye, not the mind or heart.

I've played some games with this novel - my first, incidentally. Played with the idea of narration to begin with, and who can be speaking after all. Get all very literary and see Mikhail Bakhtin, e.g.









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