Tag Archives: Amazon Reviews

#RRBC, DO YOU FEEL SUPPORTED HERE?

Well, are you being SUPPORTIVE?

English bulldog funny face

Some of you might not like what I’m about to say in this blog, but you know what I say to that?  Too bad, get over it and if the shoe fits, then you wear it. (If the shoe doesn’t fit, then sit back, prop your feet up and enjoy the refreshments).

During our  BACK TO SCHOOL BOOK & BLOG BLOCK PARTY last September, and THE HOLIDAY TRAIN “BOOK TRAILER” BLOCK PARTY which was last December, every day tons of prizes were given away and all you had to do for a chance at winning, was to stop by a blog and leave a comment.  During that time, you all showed up in droves.  Many of you, every day, I might add!

Now, our BACK TO SCHOOL BOOK & BLOG BLOCK PARTY and THE HOLIDAY TRAIN “BOOK TRAILER” BLOCK PARTY have ended (until the next time), and although we still have  blog tours going on for our members, such as the bi-monthly blog tours for “SPOTLIGHT” Authors, we already know before the tours begin, who’s going to show up to support.  It’s always the same people, the core of RRBC, the uber-supportive, the few, super-awesome members of the RRBC family.  Why have I labeled “these” members so highly?  Well, they show up and leave comments when there are prizes to be won and they also show up and leave comments, when there aren’t. 

We work hard supporting each other here and we also work hard putting these awesome programs into place for ALL members to enjoy, yet, it’s almost like pulling teeth when we go looking for those members deserving of the seats in the RRBC house.  Sadly, they’re very hard t0 find.

For those of you who are wondering HOW members are selected to fill these seats, well, let me make it crystal clear for all.  We look at each member’s support level.  We look to see how they’re supporting on social media, we look at how they are doing in the reviews department, and we even take notice of how often they are supporting the blog tours and events of their fellow members.

Now, before some of you jump on your high-horse with, “Well, I work every day!” and “I’m too busy with life to just…”  Notice I didn’t finish that sentence because I didn’t want to take that away from those of you who want us to know what you’re too busy with, to drop a little support every now and again around here.  Once you get down, then watch me climb on my high, high horse.  Now that I’m seated here comfortably,  guess what?  I’m pretty sure we all work every day.  I know I do, and although I never leave my home for work, I spend probably 15-18 hours PER day, working here to make this place great for all of you!  Any member of my board can tell you that on a good day, my days begin around 5:30 a.m. and they don’t end typically sometimes, until the next morning, between 1 a.m and 2:30 a.m…sometimes even later.  I’m not asking any of you to work or even function on a schedule like mine because it’s crazy,  but, if you sit in that knowledge for just a moment, then you can appreciate how much time I don’t have, yet, I still find the time to support my fellow members.  I’m just one example.

We have members in our midst who have serious disabilities, but you know what, they are among our elite and our most supportive.  Members who are blind, who are losing their eyesight, who have missing limbs, in wheel chairs, with brain injuries, those who suffer with debilitating diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinsons, Lupus, etc., and yet, they are among our core of usual supporters.  And if they can do it, then there shouldn’t be a hint of excuse in the rest of us.  You know, the rest of us who are extra blessed to have our eyesight, to have all our limbs, to be in total control of our faculties…if they can do it, what excuse could we possibly have, for not?

Some members are even honored with RRBC seats and after they’ve taken all they can, they leave!  After we have pushed them, supported them, BOUGHT THEIR BOOKS, they don’t even stick around to return the support!  That’s infuriating but, we’ll save that for another blog.

Just because we’re not advertising that prizes could be won when you support a “SPOTLIGHT” Author blog tour, doesn’t mean that you won’t be a winner.  You see, when you support a “SPOTLIGHT” Author blog tour, by simply stopping along the tour a couple of days during that week (you don’t have to show up every day), when you support our Member of the Month by dropping by their page and congratulating them and then joining in their #MemberOfTheMonth Monday support day on social media;  when you support our Books of the Month by joining in a monthly discussion, when you tune in to our RAVE WAVES BlogTalkRadio shows and join in the conversation on Twitter during the shows, even when you drop by to show your support of a “SPOTLIGHT” Author’s “WHO’S ON THE SHELF” interview,  then you are positioning yourself to hold your own  fabulous RRBC seat, such as: BOOK OF THE MONTH, “SPOTLIGHT” AUTHOR, MEMBER OF THE MONTH, MEMBER OF THE WEEK, RAVE WAVES BLOGTALK RADIO GUEST, and so many more wonderful opportunities to be supported, that I wish I had the time to list here.

I’m getting off my soapbox now, because I’m getting dizzy being up so high (I really don’t know how some of you do it every day) but, let me leave you with this:  RRBC is an international organization of support.  You couldn’t be in the company of a more loving and giving community.  Why not jump right in, get to know these people who can “push” you, “propel” you and who can be your greatest support system, already in place, when and for whatever you need.   You are the only one standing in your way.  We say this over and over and over again, but I guess it’s just not clicking with some of you…so, we’ll say it again and again and again…to be supported here, you HAVE TO be a supporter here.  Let me put it another way:  those that are most supportive here are the ones who are MOST SUPPORTED here.   I really hope you got it that time, but in the event you didn’t, check out these tutorials on how to become more supportive here at RRBC:

*Writing the Almost Perfect Book Review by Beem Weeks

Take care, RRBC, and we’ll be looking for you to help us close out the month by showing your support at some of our club events, as well.

*BOOK OF THE MONTH CLUB DISCUSSION on Wednesday, 3/30/16, 11 AM Central Time (see sidebar widget for location)

If you can’t or won’t help your fellow man, then please remember, it is within your power to not hurt him, either.

JAN HAWKE in “WHO’S ON THE SHELF WITH NONNIE JULES?”

Hello and welcome to “WHO’S ON THE SHELF?” with yours truly, Nonnie Jules!  Since we are a book club, we had to offer something that included a book shelf.  A lot of interviews merely cover an author’s work or an individual’s career stories.  Here on this “SHELF,”  we get down and dirty and ask the questions no other interviewer dare ask.  We ask the questions that you want to open up a book and find the answers to on your favorite authors and fellow book club members, but no one has dared to cover them.  WE get personal!  Because when you sit on the RRBC “SHELF,” YOU are an open book!

Today, I have with me on the “SHELF” our Current “SPOTLIGHT” Author, JAN HAWKE!  Jan comes in slowly, like a Tiger, tipping up on its prey…to the tune of CIRCLE OF LIFE from the “LION KING,” as we know how much she likes jungles! I just want her to feel comfortable…and at home here. 

warhag

(I will definitely let Jan explain this one)

NJ:  Before we get started, Jan, how does the “shelf” feel to you? Is it comfy?

Jan:  Very! Although I hope it’s sturdy too – if we hear creaking we’d better evacuate as I’m no lightweight!

NJ:  Well, I did hear a little something, but I didn’t want to say anything…(NJ puts on her life jacket.  Tells Jan she’s a little cold).  Let’s start by confirming whether or not your author name is your birth name or a pen name?

Jan:  It’s my married name. However, I’m about to start using another nom de plume for my fantasy writing – Sîan Glírdan, which is Welsh and Elvish for Jan(e) the Bard (literally a wordsmith) after my fantasy elven role-playing persona – the wordsmith aspect does reflect my birth name a little, as that’s a Scottish variant of the clan name ‘Gow’, which was traditionally associated with the occupation of metalsmithing.

NJ:  (You know, when I saw that this interview ran into twelve pages on paper, I thought…no, let me retract, I hoped it was because she had hit the return key too many times, accidentally.  Already I can tell this lady’s got a lot to say).

English bulldog funny face

Tell us where you were born? Do you still live there now? If not, what city and state are you calling home these days?

Jan:  I was born in Plymouth in south-west Devon – the last port of call for taking on European passengers for the Mayflower before it crossed the Atlantic in 1620.
I moved away to the outer London area (when I got married) for nearly 30 years, but we moved back to the South West in 2003 and I now live in a tiny village near Launceston in north-east Cornwall.

NJ:  We were all very sorry to hear of your loss last year.  Would you like to share a bit more with us?

Jan:  Yes, I am recently widowed – 2016 would have been our 40th wedding anniversary so I may do something special to mark the day with some close friends and family.

NJ:  Again, we were, and all are, still here for you, Jan.  You’re not alone.  So, do you have any kids? If yes, how many? Sons or Daughters?

Jan:  No human children – I do have 2 fur baby sons, Toby and Benji who are English Springer Spaniels (well, Benji’s a collie cross-bred, but his nature’s all spaniel!). They’re a handful, but I love them dearly.

NJ:  Which one is your favorite? (And be honest…I’m sure they’re not reading this interview)…

Jan:  LOL! No, they won’t be reading this! I have to say that it’s Toby – even though he’s the youngest, and the one who gets into trouble most. He’s been with me longest, since he was just out of puppy-hood and is still just a big baby. They’re both rescue dogs, so they came to us with those names, but they do suit them.

You have an answer for that already! Before we moved back to Cornwall we always had cats as we didn’t have the space or time to look after a dog properly (I had a minimum 3-hour round-trip commute on a good day!). That meant cats won because they’re a lot less work and see to walking themselves! I couldn’t have a cat now as Toby loves to chase them too much, and hasn’t got the intelligence to take on board that cats are meaner and much more intelligent than him – and I couldn’t stand to see him scratched up…

NJ:  Uh, Jan, I’m sorry that my people didn’t inform you that we’re not allowed to even say the word “cat” on this shelf.  (Somebody’s head is going to roll for this one!)  Jan, what’s your favorite food?

Jan:  Ahhh – well I have a sweet tooth, but my big vices are for chocolate, strawberries and meringues. I do love Italian cooking as well, so pasta and pizza are favourites. I like most things really, although I’m not keen on leafy green veggies – that’s mainly due to my upbringing, though. My mum used to boil anything green to death – with bicarbonate of soda, so it all tasted like stinky green slime! I still have to swallow sprouts whole – if I try to chew them, they just won’t go down!

NJ:  Jan, I’m a green veggie lover and was about to run and enjoy my green smoothie that I have chilling in the fridge now, but you may have ruined that for me.  Try not to ruin this next one for me, OK?  Tell us what your favorite color is, please.

Jan:  Cool colours – blue-greens mostly

NJ:  Before I even heard your response, I said it was green!  #Promise!  WOW!  I’m really good!  So, do you have a favorite sport?

Jan:  Ugh! Not a sporty person at all. Most team sports are anathema to me – although I sometimes indulge in watching large, muddy, muscular men playing rugby during the wintry UK months… I quite like the gladiatorial spirit of tennis occasionally, but that may have more to do with the tradition of eating strawberries and cream (and possibly drinking fizzy wine) while I watch the Wimbledon finals.

big eyed confused dog

Huh???

NJ:  Jan, you’re going to make my eyes pop right out of my head with these responses.  Can you give me a simple one to my next question?  What’s your favorite TV Show?

Jan:  Very, very difficult one (looking nervously in Nonnie’s direction…) It’s a toss-up between The Big Bang Theory and Game of Thrones – so, whichever’s running the newest series.

NJ:  OK, that was a lot less confusing than your response to my sports question, that’s for sure!  Who’s your favorite Actress/Actor?

Jan:  One of each? (shuffles into the deepest recesses of the shelf, away from that edge…) Meryl Streep and the late, great Alan Rickman.

NJ:  I love Meryl!  You can scooch back over now.  Are you a couch potato or workout nut? Be honest.

Jan:  No hedging – physically I’m a couch potato with extra honey-butter and full metal recliner with reiki massager… Mentally and emotionally, I’m Lucy Lawless in full-throttle Xena-mode!

NJ:  So, basically, this is you…

Dog sleeping on treadmill

(SMH = Shaking my head).  OK, Jan, tell us your biggest pet peeve that makes you want to stomach-punch somebody? (For the record, NJ does not condone violence but she does believe in being honest so she has to admit that there are times when she feels like some friendly stomach-punching is a little necessary).

Jan:  Hmmm – have to think about this one a bit. Inconsistency of the ‘do as I say, not as I do’ variety. Particularly people who behave like spoiled little kids, but get antsy when other people do the same to them…

NJ:  “People who behave like spoiled little kids?”  Have you been speaking to my husband, Jan?  Don’t believe a word he says!  So, are you neat or messy?

Jan:  Messier than neat, so long it’s not dirty? Constant and meticulous neatness creeps me out to be honest – I prefer things ‘homesy’ and comfortably casual, rather than leaping around with a duster and plumping cushions the whole time. Plus, Toby and Benji like to make forts out of cushions, so I’d be fighting a losing battle trying to keep them in one place – it’s their home too, after all! 😉
… (I’m still getting the island banishment, aren’t I? 😉

NJ:  Darn tootin’ you are!  Facebook or Twitter?

Jan:  Twitter – it’s simpler and less time-consuming, plus you can ignore it quite easily (well I can). Facebook is a little too much for me really, although I admit it’s quite useful to have an author page on there to point non-bookish friends to, and for random link ups.

NJ:  Twitter’s my choice, as well.  Jan, name two of the most supportive people you’ve met on either Facebook or Twitter? Hurry and tell us so we can become their friend.

Jan:  You already know them…

NJ:  I do?

Jan:  Yes, Nonnie Jules and Harmony Kent.

NJ:  Oh, scooch back over here, Jan.  That was so sweet of you to say, and there’s no way you could ‘accidentally’ fall from way up here after that!  Just no way.  Now, here’s a hard one…Nonnie Jules or Wonderwoman? Be honest.

Jan:  Wonderwho…? Has to be Nonnie – Wonderwoman’s an ad myth (or is that the Wonderbra?).  Anyway, WW and her bra are both over-inflated and I hate wires in undergarments…

NJ:  (Looking up and down at herself in the mirror) I don’t see any underwires there.  What are you talking about, Jan?

Fat Wonder Woman

Anyway, everyone knows the names Mark Twain and Stephen King but how about you give us two names of some INDIE authors that you favor:

Jan:  Ted Farrar and Harmony Kent.

NJ:  What is it about them that you’ve come to like?

Jan:  Ted’s debut novel ‘Dreamers’ is a dark contemporary fantasy that’s at once brutally down to earth and ethereally quixotic, with a large slice of originality. He gave me my very first 5-star review (the first 5-star review he’d ever written too!), because it took him back to smoky campfires out in the bush with a beer in hand, after looking for strange toads and newts all day!

Harmony’s just awesome and always a pleasure to read because she doesn’t get pinned down into any one genre, unless there’s one for quirky! FINDING KATIE is my favourite of hers to date, simply because it’s got the ring of truth about it all the way through, even though it’s subject matter is so dark.

NJ:  Name two favorite INDIE books that you’ve read.

Jan:  ‘A Glimmer of Guile’ by my friend Mary Patterson Thornburg.
I’m also a fan of RRBC’s C.S. BoyackPANAMA was another quirky ‘wee small hours’ book. Any writer that can put Billy the Kid and hoodoo together convincingly has to be a good bet and, as I read more of his titles, I’m turning into this big fan girl

NJ:  ONE good INDIE book you read that was so good you wished the entire world would read it:

Jan:  Dreamers by Ted Farrar.

NJ:  After you read books, do you post reviews?

Jan:  Eventually, yes. I was quite organized up until spring last year and always reviewed right after I finished a book, but since my husband died I seem to need to read more and get to the reviews as and when. I’m trying to get a little more disciplined again because I have about a dozen titles I need to write up now, so it’s getting too unmanageable.

NJ:  Jan, what do you think readers should base their reviews on?

Jan:  How much they enjoyed reading the book. If the story’s good I can forgive bad grammar and typos up to a point, especially if it doesn’t keep tripping you out of the ‘moment’.

NJ:  Are you one of those who are afraid to be honest in their reviews lest the author gets upset with you, or is honesty your best policy, especially in reviews?

Jan:  Definitely to be honest, but keep it polite and constructive. If it’s a gut thing and I can’t say for definite WHY I didn’t like it (usually because I couldn’t finish it) then I most likely won’t leave a review at all, as it’s not worth the effort to try and analyse it to death. If I do know why I gave it the thumbs down and it’s more to do with editorial, than stylistics, and if the storyline had some merit, then I might contact the author with some constructive comments, rather than saddle them with a snarky, destructive 1 or 2-star review.  If a book’s just not your thing and you can’t say anything nice, then don’t say anything – especially if it’s got lots of positive reviews. Why rain on their parade, just because I happen to not like their genre, or using present tense (or whatever) particularly…

NJ:  Read any poorly written books lately?

Jan:  Oh, yes – more than one!

NJ:  Where’s your review so I can go and check it out?  No, seriously.

Jan:  They’re not written up yet – they’ll be polite as they weren’t totally awful, and one had quite a good concept that had been mishandled, rather than completely botched. Also too much telling and not enough showing, but everyone struggles with that at times, of course.

NJ:  Are you an author?

Jan:  Yes

NJ:  How long have you been writing?

Jan:  Seriously, since 2005 on Milele Safari, but I’ve always written for my own amusement on and off since leaving high school – way back in 1974 (you can do the math – I can’t say it!).

NJ:  What books have you written?

Jan:  MILELE SAFARI

Milele Safari original cover by Jan Hawke

Dreamless Roads – a fantasy anthology – (3 short stories in that, BUT THIS TITLE IS NOT IN THE RRBC CATALOG); and 2 shorts in the first RAVE SOUP FOR THE WRITER’S SOUL Anthology:

Rave Soup

NJ:  Which one do you think is the best?

Jan:  MILELE SAFARI – I put a lot of myself into that and much of it was written when I’d had some tough times, so I was drawing on some really dark stuff I’d been going through. Plus, it’s about Africa, which I’m just enthralled with.

NJ:  Do you have a blog or website?

Jan:  My blog is Jan Hawke INKorporated –  and my old website that has a lot of my poetry and artwork displayed, is Jan the Diva

NJ:  Jan, I’ve seen photos of you wrapped in your fancy furs and the first thing that came to mind:  DIVA! LOL!  Would you name three great online resources or organizations that every author should belong to?

Jan:  Of course, RRBC is top of my list, simply because there’s so much you can get out of being a member, as well as helping other folks out, which is always good karma!
LinkedIn’s been useful in a very selective and deliberate way, in that I connected with several people on there (like Ted Farrar) who’ve been instrumental in the learning curve of becoming an indie author and publisher, finding a really good POD supplier, and in fact, referring me onto RRBC too.

As a pure resource, I’m split between Wikipedia and Google Earth as research tools – Wiki’s not always reliable of course, but it’s great for getting ideas on where to go and look for proper sources. Google Earth actually helped me map out an overland trip for my characters from Mwanza on Lake Victoria to the Rwandan border in Tanzania, which was really fun to do and gave me lots to work with, including coffee plantations and a gold mine, as well as the beautiful lake and mountains!

NJ:  Which online resource or organization has helped you as an author the most?

Jan:  Definitely RRBC!

NJ:  How were you helped by the club, Jan?

Jan:  I’m unbelievably hopeless at marketing and promo, so joining has helped me to learn how not to be terrified of Twitter, FB and blogging and also got me into making book trailers, which I hadn’t even heard of before I joined.

NJ:  Since you’re sitting on the SHELF, you’re obviously a RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB member, so what do you think of the club?

Jan:  Online communities can be scary places so I’ve always been drawn to more creative ones and even then the ‘clique-ism’ you can encounter is very draining. None of that with RRBC – you find friends and help everywhere and it quickly gets to feel more like a family scene, especially once you get into the support avenues.

NJ:  I totally agree, Jan.  I’m curious to know, have you come across any other online entities like RRBC?

Jan:  No – certainly not any book clubs, on or offline.

NJ:  Yes, RRBC is truly one-of-a-kind!  Many will try and duplicate but they won’t be able to get it just the way we have it here.  Would you recommend it to your friends and family?

Jan:  Whenever I can decently bring it up in conversation!

NJ:  That’s great, Jan!  Everyone should remember that RRBC membership is not just for authors, it’s for readers, too!  Well, Jan, this shelf is getting hard on my hiney, so we’re going to wrap this interview up. Any final words?

Jan:  Apart from a huge thank you for having me over, Nonnie, just to say to writers who’ve yet to get themselves published (indie or no), keep doing what you love most and take pride in your achievements, even if the reviews and sales don’t come quickly, or at all. You do a remarkable thing in creating something from nothing every time you pick up a pen, or sit down behind that keyboard. If you feel discouraged and need some company and/or help, then RRBC’s there to give it to you – all you need to do is reach out and you’ll find all the understanding, support and, best of all, friends you’ve always dreamt of!

NJ:  Jan, thank you for joining me ON THE SHELF today.  I’m sure you had a good time (being as though you didn’t end up on the floor…hehehe).  To my guests, please support Jan by picking up a copy of her book above.   You can also support her by visiting the blog stops on her tour which ends on Saturday.  You can find the tour line up here.  

Have you joined Rave Reviews Book Club yet?  Well, here’s your chance!  And since Jan was on the “SHELF” today, tell them she sent you. Take care and we’ll see you next time, right here on the shelf, with another AMAZING RRBC member!

**Please join Jan for her RAVE WAVES BLOGTALK Radio interview on BRING ON THE SPOTLIGHT, today at 11 AM CST!  Here’s the link to the show page and you can also tune in directly to the interview by clicking here!**

Joy Nwosu Lo-Bamijoko in “WHO’S ON THE SHELF WITH NONNIE JULES?”

Hello and welcome to “WHO’S ON THE SHELF?” with yours truly, Nonnie Jules!  Since we are a book club, you know we had to offer something that included a book shelf.  A lot of interviews merely cover an author’s work or an individual’s career stories.  Here on this “SHELF,”  we get down and dirty and ask the questions no other interviewer dare ask.  We ask the questions that you want to open up a book and find the answers to on your favorite authors and fellow book club members, but no one has dared to cover them.  WE get personal!  Because when you sit on the RRBC “SHELF,” YOU are an open book!

Today we have a very special guest on the SHELF with us.  Joy is one of our VIP members, that means she’s UBER-SUPPORTIVE, and if you’re a VIP, you get invited to our exclusive VIP Lounge.  Once a month, a random VIP member receives a special gift from the club, and since Joy sent me a letter explaining why she should be a guest on THE SHELF, what better gift to give her! (If you’d like to be a guest on THE SHELF, email me at RaveReviewsPresident@gmail.com and tell me why you should be).

100_0142

NJ:  Before we get started, how does the “shelf” feel to you?  Is it comfy?

Joy:  Very comfy. Thank you Nonnie. I had to move to the hard seat, best for my back.

NJ:  That’s fine.  I want you to be comfortable.  Let’s start by confirming whether or not your author name is your birth name or a pen name?

Joy:  My author name is a combination of my maiden name and my married name. That is why it is that long. It could be longer, but I have omitted a couple more names. The full name would be Joy Ifeoma Nroli Nwosu Lo-Bamijoko.

NJ:  Well, Joy, let me be the first to thank you for shortening that looooooooooooooong name!  Tell us where you were born?  Do you still live there now?  If not, what city and state are you calling home these days?

Joy:  I was born, and grew up in Enugu, Nigeria, a beautiful town on the foot of the hill, even though the name implies that the town is on top of the hill.  At 18, I left Enugu for Rome, Italy, and spent ten years in Rome, studying and waiting out the end of the then civil war in Nigeria. I returned to Lagos, Nigeria, in 1972, and spent three years working as a Radio producer, and twenty-three years as a university teacher. I migrated to New Jersey, USA  in 1996, and taught K-12 for ten years. I retired in 2008 and since then have  lived between Lagos, New Jersey and Los Angeles, USA.

NJ:  WOW!  You’ve lived all over the world, literally….and you know what, you look like a school teacher!  So, tell us, are you married or single?

Joy:  Fortunately separated for over twenty years. My husband, a Moslem refused to divorce me, and I, a Catholic, refused to take the initiative. So we have an impasse.

NJ:  You said Moslem, I do know that you guys use that version in Nigeria as opposed to Muslim.  Hmmmm…interesting fact.  Now back to this husband situation, so you’re still married then?  Now, Joy…I don’t want to see you on any internet dating sites, OK? You look mighty comfy and happy behind that Apple keyboard up there.  Kids or no?  If yes, how many?  Sons or Daughters?

Joy:  I always tell people that I have three kids, and I do. One, my daughter, is biological, and the others, a boy and a girl were inherited. In my culture, we can inherit orphaned kids from within the family. This is how I came to inherit my late brother’s son, and my late sister’s daughter.

NJ:  Now, I like that about your culture.  That is wonderful.  Do you have a favorite child?  And be honest…I’m sure they’re not reading this interview…

Joy:  I will not lie. I love them all, but I have a special spot for my biological daughter.

NJ:  FINALLY!  Somebody up on this darned shelf, speaks the truth!!!!!!  Thanks for that, Joy…but even though I loved you speaking the truth, you are not supposed to have any favorites being a mommy, but since the others are really your niece and nephew, you’re OK with that truth.

NJ:  Pets?  What kind?

Joy:  I am a cat lover, being a Leo. The last time I can remember, I had three of them named, Calico, Frisky, and Wolverine respectively. I don’t keep pets anymore, because of my moving around so often.

NJ:  Why do you move around so often, Joy.

Joy:  I am just a restless soul, Nonnie.  I started travelling when I was quite young and I’m still travelling.

NJ:  Well, I guess the good thing about that is, it lets everyone know you’re not dead, right?  When you get older and you sit still for so long, that’s how people tend to think of you…as a breathing corpse.  Good for you!  We want to know all about you so now we’re getting really (randomly) personal.  You can learn a lot about someone just knowing their favorite food, so what’s yours?

Joy:  When I want to give myself a treat, I go for Fufu. Fufu is made from all kinds of flour paste: rice, semolina, wheat, corn, or oats, and eaten with a variety of soups. I like oat fufu with egusi or okra soup best.

NJ:  OK, you’re throwing out some words and names of stuff that I’m not going to even BEGIN to ask what they are.  We know you have a favorite color and judging from the pics on the wall behind you, and the darling babies in those pics, all in red and black, I’m going to shoot for the combo of red and black.  Am I right?

Joy: Nope.  It’s Blue. It is so calming

NJ:  {Clearly uncomfortable because Joy proved her wrong PUBLICLY}.  Uh, Joy…the next time I’m wrong about something, i’m gonna need you to pretend as if I’m right.  Just in public, you know…I have a reputation for NEVER being wrong and for being one of the smartest folks around. I guess my people didn’t send you THAT memo before you made it to the shelf.  Heads will roll when this interview is over.   Joy, if you’re done correcting me, would you like to share your favorite sport with us?

Joy:  I love taking long walks very early in the mornings. I like inhaling that early morning breeze, and feeling it on my face. Very refreshing.

NJ:  {Here we go again.  Another guest who isn’t listening to me.  Well, she seems to be in her own world with that response, so I’m going to let it go.  Maybe I’ll get down from this shelf early today}.  What’s your favorite TV Show?

Joy:  Downton Abbey for sure.  I am waiting for the new season of the Downton Abbey to begin in January. I love other shows too, which I will not mention because you asked for one, but my favorites are usually English dramas.

NJ:  Thanks for following THAT one question rule, Joy, and for the record, I like English reality.  I can’t have it in my real world, all the catty-ness and fighting and backstabbing, so I have to get it somewhere.  Actually, I’m trying to hurry through this interview so I can watch a replay of one of my Housewives shows AND catch SCANDAL right after.  Do you have a favorite Actress/Actor?

Joy:  George Clooney was my favorite, but he is now taken.  Still, I like the man, his suaveness, and kind heart.

NJ:  I loved him, too!  I was highly disappointed to find out that he would no longer be able to serve as the lover in my dreams, and honey, I loved that man in my dreams!  His new wife better watch her back!  Couch potato or workout nut? Be honest ☺

Joy:  I would say couch potato. After my walks in the mornings, I sit a lot working on my lap top. My doctor tells me that I must sit less, as if I don’t know that.

NJ:  Joy, listen to the doctor, please.  When we are writers, sitting is the worst part of the job, so we must make it a priority to get up off our tushes and exercise more.  It keeps us healthy.  That, and the fact that it keeps our butts from spreading, too. Share with us your biggest pet peeve that makes you want to stomach-punch somebody?: (For the record, NJ does not condone violence but she does believe in being honest so she has to admit that there are times when she feels like some friendly stomach-punching is a little necessary).

Joy:  I cannot stand discrimination of any type. I come from a culture where women are relegated to the background, and I have spent my life fighting it.

NJ:   I’m with you there.  Joy, I must admit, I wouldn’t last one day in your culture.  My hubby always says that if we’re ever on a plane and it’s hi-jacked, I’m gonna be the first one to get hit in the mouth with the barrel of the hi-jacker’s gun.  I don’t know when to be quiet but I surely won’t have a man telling me when I should be.  It’s that confrontational bone I inherited from my grandmother, I suppose.  Don’t like anyone bossing me around.  So, are you neat or messy?

Joy:  I am neat. I do not like clutter.

NJ:  Joy, I knew there was some reason I liked you!  Me, too!  I think that all messy folks (including my hubby and oldest daughter) should be relegated to their own island with no way to get off!  Facebook or Twitter?

Joy:  I prefer Twitter, it is easier to use. I find FaceBook very invasive.

NJ:  I find Facebook to be “something.”  And I have another name for it, but I’m not gonna say it here, because all my church-going friends read my interviews sometimes.  Name two of the most supportive people you’ve met on either Facebook or Twitter? Hurry and tell us so we can become their friend.

Joy:  I have two friends on FB. Enitan Doherty-Mason follows my blogs and reacts to them regularly. Pete Vanlaw and I read and comment on one another’s FB posts.

NJ:  Oh, OK.  They are names I’m not familiar with so you must invite them to join us here.  Nonnie Jules or Wonderwoman? Be honest ☺

Joy:  You really want to know?!  You of course, Nonnie. You were right, you are Wonderwoman.

NJ:  Well, Joy, in all honesty, I’m not the one who refers to me as Wonderwoman, it’s that Team of mine, but thank you so much for being so kind. My Team is the  WonderTeam!  Let’s move on.  Joy, everyone knows the names Mark Twain and Stephen King, but how about you give us two names of some INDIE authors that you favor

Joy:  The Indie authors I know are the ones I met through our great #RRBC.  I have met quite a few, but you said to name only two, so here goes. For now, Rhani D’Chae, and Tamie Dearan.

NJ:  Oh, I’m so glad they’re from the club!  We do have awesome members, don’t we?  And I must say, that I am in love with SHADOW OF THE DRILL!  That Rhani D’Chae is a phenomenal storyteller!  Why don’t you tell us what it is about them that you’ve come to like…

Joy:  Rhani blew my mind with her “Shadow of the Drill” story, and the beauty of the story telling, and Tamie wrote a very entertaining romance. I love romances, and that was the best I have read so far.

NJ:  OK, I’m glad you got to experience what I did with the SHADOW!  Now, name two favorite INDIE books that you’ve read and enjoyed.

Joy:  Apart from the two I have already mentioned, I will not forget the deliciously good story of “Jazz Baby” by Beem Weeks, and the wickedly horrifying story of “Daydreams Daughter, Nightmare’s Friend” by Nonnie Jules.

NJ:  I speak for myself and Beem in thanking you for saying to the world that you took the time to read and also enjoyed our books.  THANK YOU!  Joy, you’re doing pretty good in sticking to just my questions, so name one good INDIE book you read that was so good you wished the entire world would read it.

Joy:  Of all the ones I have already mentioned, I will root for “Shadow of the Drill.”

NJ:  {You know that uncomfortable moment when you are nominated for an award but your best friend gets it instead?  I’m feeling that right now since she had the nerve to not name MY book, right here in my face!  She’s about to get “accidentally”  bumped a little closer to the edge of this shelf}.  What was so great about THAT book?

Joy:  It was just so well written,  and the story gave an insight into the dark side of our world, which we hear about, but which we know very little about.

NJ:  You know, Joy…even though you didn’t name MY book, I’m going to have to agree with you about SHADOW OF THE DRILL and that’s because, you are so on the mark about that book. IT WAS ONE OF THE MOST WELL-WRITTEN BOOKS I’VE EVER READ!  After you read books, do you post reviews?

Joy:  I do now, since I started publishing my own books. I have since gone back and started reviewing books I read before which I did not review.

NJ:  That is very kind of you.  I think there are quite a few of us who had never written a review before we became authors and once we realized the importance of them, we changed our habits.  I’m hoping now that you’ve shared what you’ve done, others will follow your lead and go back and post reviews on past books they’ve read.  What do you think readers should base their reviews on?

Joy:  I like a good and entertaining story, told well. My limits for typos or errors in a story is usually three, beyond that, I will still enjoy a good story, but will penalize it in my rating for the many typos or errors.

NJ:  Oh my, I thought I was a harsh critic!  Are you one of those who are afraid to be honest in their reviews lest the author gets upset with you, or is honesty your best policy, especially in reviews?

Joy:  Not at all. I will always give a hint in my reviews if I find something wrong with the read. Those hints usually determine the way I rate the books. I always try to find something good to say about any book I read whether I rate them high or not.

NJ:  Have you read any poorly written books lately?

Joy:  Unfortunately yes. One in particular was so full of errors, I nearly did not finish it.

NJ:   Where’s your review so I can go and check it out?  LOL.  No, seriously.

Joy:      Like I said, I still tried to find something good to say about the book after my grouse with the errors I found. I would rather give you a link to one of my good reviews. 

NJ:  {NJ:  When I saw that link, for a minute there I thought Joy had REALLY given me a link to a bad review!  LOL}  How long have you been writing?

Joy:  I wrote and published my first two books in the Italian language when I was in Italy. That was over forty years ago. Back in Nigeria, I wrote regularly for newspapers and magazines. I started writing again in earnest, with my first book in English in 2008. I have not stopped writing since then.

NJ:  What books have you written?

Joy:  My Italian books are not available here, and they are actually out of print, but one of them is now being re-printed. Apart from those two, I have two more books; “Legend of the Walking Dead: Igbo Mythologies,” and “Mirror of Our Lives: Voices of Four Igbo Women.”

Legend of the Walking Dead by Joy Nwosu Lo-Bamijoko

Mirror of Our Lives by Joy Lo-Bamijoko

NJ:  I love those titles.  Which one do you think is the best?

Joy:  The two books are in two different genres, and I like them both.

NJ:  Well, it seems the books fared better than your “favorite” kid question.  HaHaHa!  Do you have a blog or website?

Joy:  Yes, I always invite guests to visit my blog at: jinlobify.com, and my websites are:

http://sbprabooks.com/JoyNwosuLoBamijoko/

http://sbpra.com/joylobamijoko/

NJ:  We will have to go check those out and Follow your blogs and sites.  Name three great online resources or organizations that every author should belong to

Joy:  Rave Reviews Book Club of course. I am also a member of the GR, (I better abbreviate it), but I haven’t seen the benefits yet.

NJ:  I’m glad you only used the initials.  Someone obviously sent you that memo on how I feel about that site.  You say you haven’t seen the benefits yet?  Well, have you noticed any profanity, book/author bashing, incredible vileness over there?  Well, you’ve seen the benefits.  Which online resource or organization has helped you as an author the most?

Joy:  Again, Rave Review Book Club, no other

NJ:  So happy to hear you say that.  I’m sure my Team appreciates it.  How is RRBC helping you?

Joy:  To begin with, since I joined #RRBC, my followers have increased on Twitter, as well as on all other online social sites. And here I am sitting on the shelf!   My blog has also been visited several times even by non members of our club. The support I receive has been awesome! Do I continue?

NJ:  No, I think we get the gist of what you’re trying to say.  You absolutely LOVE Rave Reviews Book Club!  Now tell us in one word what you really think of the club…

Joy:  Fantastico!

NJ:  Have you come across any other online entities like it?

Joy:  Nada!

NJ:  Would you recommend RRBC to your friends and family?

Joy:  Yes. I don’t have friends or family members who are authors, but when I do, I will enlist them into our #RRBC.

NJ:  Oh, Joy…they don’t have to be Authors to belong to this club.  Our membership is open to anyone willing to adhere to the Policies and Procedures of the club.  So, keep that in mind and refer your friends who are readers!  This shelf is getting hard on my hiney now, so we’re going to wrap this interview up.  Any final words?

Joy:  Just a few words. This experience, of sitting on the shelf, has been extraordinary for me.  #RRBC has a way of making members feel real good. Moreover, the way it allows members to participate in every activity, gives one a sense of belonging, and the shelf is a wonderful avenue for getting to know ourselves better. Thank you, Nonnie for giving me this opportunity, and thank you great members of our great #RRBC for allowing me to share more of me with you today. May more of us have a chance to sit on it, too, so that we can get to know more of us better. Thank you.

NJ:  Thank you so much for hanging out on THE SHELF with us today, Joy!  You are truly a joy to know.  You have made our interview on the SHELF today pretty interesting…I’m glad you didn’t, you know, accidentally fall off or bump your head against the tree branch or anything like that.  To my guests, please pick up a copy of one of Joy’s books to show her how happy we are that she took the time to share with us today {even though she liked Rhani D’Chae’s book better than mine!…but that’s OK…..*Smiles*}

Have you joined Rave Reviews Book Club yet?  Well, here’s your chance!  And since Joy was on the “SHELF” today, tell them she sent you.  Make it a great day, my friends, or not.  The choice is yours!   We’ll see you next week, right here on the SHELF” with a ANOTHER INTERESTING GUEST!!

Nonnie Jules in “WHO’S ON THE SHELF WITH NONNIE JULES?”

Hello and welcome to “WHO’S ON THE SHELF?” with yours truly, Nonnie Jules!  Since we are a book club, you know we had to offer something that included a book shelf.  A lot of interviews merely cover an author’s work or an individual’s career stories.  Here on this “SHELF,”  we get down and dirty and ask the questions no other interviewer dare ask.  We ask the questions that you want to open up a book and find the answers to on your favorite authors and fellow book club members, but no one has dared to cover them.  WE get personal!  Because when you sit on the RRBC “SHELF,” YOU are an open book!  {WARNING:  SIT ON THIS SHELF AT YOUR OWN RISK!!!}

Today I thought I’d invite myself to sit ON THE SHELF.  I mean, I know how much you all want to know more about the person who writes such confrontational books as “SUGARCOATIN’…YES, I SAID IT!”

{In the background the sultry voice of Ms. Alicia Keys is playing, and she is belting out “GIRL IS ON FIRE! and what an appropriate song for our very own, Nonnie Jules!}

Wonder-woman

NJ-Host: Before we get started, how does the “shelf” feel to you?  Is it comfy?

NJ-Guest:  This is the most comfortable shelf I’ve ever sat on, and let me tell you, I’ve sat on some shelves in my day.  And of course it’s comfortable!  I picked it out!

NJ-Host: Let’s start by confirming whether or not your author name is your birth name or a pen name?

NJ-Guest:  It’s both.  That’s all I’m going to say.  Next question…

NJ-Host:  Tell us where you were born?  Do you still live there now?  If not, what city and state are you calling home these days?

NJ-Guest:  I was born in TX but when I was around 3 yrs old, my parents packed up and moved the family to Shreveport, Louisiana and I’ve been here ever since.

NJ-Host:  Married or single?

NJ-Guest:  I’m happily married.  Notice, I didn’t say he was happily married.  I am only speaking for myself.  He might be wishing himself happily single.  I’m not easy to live with, you know.  Well, you do know.   -________-

NJ-Host:  Kids or no?  If yes, how many?  Sons or Daughters?

NJ-Guest:  We have two awesome daughters together and I have one step-daughter, and I’d advise you not to ask me too many questions about them as when I get started, I don’t know when, or where to stop.  They’re just that fabulous!

NJ-Host:  Favorite child and be honest…I’m sure your children are not reading this interview

NJ-Guest:  I have three favorite children and you’re right, they could give two hoots about anything I’m doing or saying, as long as I am not embarrassing them in front of their friends, which I get a kick out of doing most days.

NJ-Host:  Pets?  What kind?

NJ-Guest:  We have so many pets (I mean, I live on a farm almost), I’m not going to even begin to name them, BUT they all come in the form of dogs, horses, turtles, frogs, etc.  But, just so you know, we do dress them all alike and they typically look like this…

Wonder Woman Dog Costume

NJ-Host:  Favorite food?

NJ-Guest:  Gumbo, of course, I’m from Louisiana.

NJ-Host:  Favorite color?

NJ-Guest:  My, you are nosey, aren’t you?  But if you must know, it’s Sage Green

NJ-Host:  Favorite sport?

NJ-Guest:  I don’t have one.  Not a sporty girl, I’m a real girly girl, don’t like to get dirty or sweat.  I don’t even like to see dirt or sweat. Actually, I’m starting to itch because I’ve said dirty and sweat.

NJ-Host:  Favorite TV Show?

NJ-Guest:  If we’re talking soap operas, Y&R hands down.  If we’re talking television (as if I have time to watch), I am a die-hard “anything on Bravo,” any Housewives-of-anything kinda fan!

NJ-Host:  Favorite Actress/Actor…

NJ-Guest:  Favorite Actress of all time is Julia Roberts (she can do no wrong in my book), but lately I’ve fallen in love with funny lady, Melissa McCarthy.  She literally has me on the floor rolling, crying, screaming with laughter every time she breathes!

Melissa-McCarthy3

NJ-Host:  Couch potato or workout nut? Be honest

NJ-Guest:  I read your interviews so I know that a few of your other guests have responded in the same manner which I’m about to, but I guess it just goes to prove, it’s TRUE.  BEFORE I became a published author (which was just last year), I was a workout nut.  I am very health conscience and do work out every day, even now, but before this writing gig, I was crazy about it.  Now, some days, it’s a chore to get started because I have so many other things going on, that I need to get done and at times, I don’t see exercise as the priority, but once I do get started, I FEEL SO GOOD!  It really makes me feel great afterwards and I highly recommend that you all get off your tush and do it!

NJ-Host:  Biggest pet peeve that makes you want to stomach-punch somebody? (For the record, NJ does not condone violence but she does believe in being honest so she has to admit that there are times when she feels like some friendly stomach-punching is a little necessary).

NJ-Guest:  Well, let me tick off a few things and then I will give you my numero uno pet peeve.  I detest dishonesty, bullying, rudeness, “messy” (and I don’t mean the opposite of neat) adult women and people who don’t verbalize what they need to, but instead resort to behaving like children.  My numero uno pet peeve, I’m sorry, but any of the above will get someone stomach-punched with a vengeance by me!

NJ-Host:  WOW!  You’re a tad bit violent, aren’t you?  I’m almost afraid to ask this next question.  Are…you…NeatOrMessy? {NJ-Host ducks when she gets out the last word}

NJ-Guest:  I AM A NEAT FREAK!!!  Any kind of mess inside my home drives me up a wall, literally!  Mess inside other people’s homes drives me batty, too, so, if there’s mess, invite me over when it’s all be cleaned up.

NJ-Host:  Facebook or Twitter?

NJ-Guest:  Definitely Twitter.  Haven’t gotten the hang of Facebook, probably because I really don’t want the hang of it.  I’ve heard about the drama and bad things that sometimes get posted over there and the drama that brews, etc. so, I’m there periodically, only promoting.

NJ-Host:  Name two of the most supportive people you’ve met on either Facebook or Twitter? Hurry and tell us so we can become their friend.

NJ-Guest:  WOW!  There are just soooooo many, especially my board members.  I mean, you ask, they do. That’s supportive and that’s how we are with each other!   I will just say there are just too many for me to name.  I LOVE YOU ALL!

NJ-Host:  Nonnie Jules or Wonderwoman? Be honest

NJ-Guest:  Whose picture is at the entrance?  That’s right, Nonnie Jules (oh, but even I keep forgetting that Nonnie Jules IS Wonder Woman!)

NJ-Host:  Everyone knows the names Mark Twain and Stephen King, but how about you give us two names of some INDIE authors that you favor…

NJ-Guest:  Again, there are so many but I’m going to stick to your script on this one and give you two:  Nicholas Rossis and Danica Cornell.

NJ-Host:  What is it about them that you’ve come to like?

NJ-Guest:  They are both just so genuinely kind and giving and sweet.  They almost make you want to be a better person because of the way they are. And they are both, extremely talented writers!

NJ-Host:  Name two favorite INDIE books that you’ve read

NJ-Guest:  Now, you’re going to have to forgive me on this one, because I’ve read some really good ones, and I’m surprised to say that because when I first began reading Indie, I was coming across some rough pieces of work, but now, I’m reading some amazing stuff!  So take your pick of any book that’s now listed under NONNIE’S “RAVE” REVIEWS and definitely check back, because there are more that I haven’t even added yet!

NJ-Host:  ONE good INDIE book you read that was so good you wished the entire world would read it?

NJ-Guest:  SHADOW OF THE DRILL by Rhani D’Chae had me on the edge of my seat.  This book was probably #3 on my Top 10 that I’ve read this year.  I won’t mention my #1 and #2, as I really don’t like giving much attention to those that I don’t find to be very supportive of others, so I will keep that info to myself.  I don’t think it would be fair to all of the other supportive authors that we have in our midst for me to go giving public kudos to those.

NJ-Host:  What was so great about it?

NJ-Guest:  It made me feel as if I was sitting in a movie theatre, in the middle of all the action… it was just so well-written!

NJ-Host:  After you read books, do you post reviews?

NJ-Guest:  I most certainly do!

NJ-Host:  What do you think readers should base their reviews on?

NJ-Guest:  I think readers should base their reviews on whether or not the story was written well.  A few typos and minor hiccups that don’t detract from the story are fine with me, because we’re all human, even our editors.  But what drives me crazy about some reviewers is to hear them say:  “There were too many capitalized words.”  You, know, I don’t know when capital letters became criminals…oh, wait, yes I do.  When some genius created the internet, another genius came along and said “Let’s come up with some silliness that they will all fall for.”  And that’s how reading a book with too many capital letters became a bothersome crime for some of you. -______-

NJ-Host:  Are you one of those who are afraid to be honest in their reviews lest the author gets upset with you, or is honesty your best policy, especially in reviews? {NJ-Host, cannot believe she just asked this confrontational NJ-Guest if she was “afraid?”}

NJ-Guest:  Obviously, you’ve not followed anything I’ve done because if you had, you would know that the only thing I fear is God Almighty.  If I have something to say, I say it!  I write my reviews honestly, just as I try to live my life.  If someone doesn’t like the way that I review, then they shouldn’t read them.

NJ-Host:  Read any poorly written books lately?

NJ-Guest:  I have peeked into some that weren’t up to par, and read thru to the end of others that needed some major work but not many lately, I will have to say.  I’ve had to send out some personal notes here and there, and pass on a couple of reviews.

NJ-Host:  Where’s your bad review so we can go and check it out?  LOL.  No, seriously.

NJ-Guest:  The only time that I will post a review about a really horrible book, is if I have reached out to the author personally and privately and instead of listening, accepting the kind advice I’m offering, they defend every MAJOR hiccup that’s in their book and then they go on to say that they’re not going to correct it.  At that point, I feel an obligation to let readers know what they will find when they open that book.  Good authors listen and take advice and continually strive to perfect their work.  You tell me you’ve found ONE typo in my book and the entire book is coming down from Amazon until that ONE error is found and corrected.  Two of you have been kind enough to point a thing or two out to me in the past and I’m so appreciative.

NJ-Host:  Are you an author?

NJ-Guest:  Of course, I’m an author, Nonnie!  What kind of question is that?

NJ-Host:  Well, I’m sorry, Nonnie,  I didn’t mean to offend you.  I ask all my guests that very same question.  Moving on,  how long have you been writing?  Oh, OK, I see you giving me “the” look, I guess I better not ask that question either.  I should know the answer, huh?

{At this point, NJ the Host, pulls NJ the Guest over to the side to have a private chat:  “Listen, Nonnie.  If you’re going to sit on this shelf and be my guest, then you must co-operate like all the other guests, got it?!”  NJ-Guest:  “Got it? Are you threatening me, Nonnie?”  NJ-Host:  “No, I’m not.  I’m merely suggesting you, of all people, should be a better guest to me.”}  We hear a brief scuffle and then:

NJ-Guest:  “Just untie me and I promise to be on my best behavior thru-out the rest of the interview,” which she says with a slight smirk on her face.

Wonder Woman tied to car

NJ-Host:  “Are you sure? Because I’m just doing my job here. OK, now let’s get back to the interview.”

Wonder Woman in Blue Dress and glasses

NJ-Host:  What books have you written?

NJ-Guest:  They are, in order of publication:

*”THE GOOD MOMMIES’ GUIDE TO RAISING (ALMOST) PERFECT DAUGHTERS,” 100 Tips On Raising Daughters Everyone Can’t Help But Love!” 

BOOK TRAILER

TGMG on BN counter small pic

*DAYDREAM’S DAUGHTER, NIGHTMARE’S FRIEND (A Novel)

BOOK TRAILER

DDNF1

*”Sugarcoatin’ Is For Candy & Pacifyin’ Is For Kids” 

NJ Cover Design-1

NJ-Host:  Which one do you think is the best?

NJ-Guest:  Honestly, I think all three of them are really and truly GREAT reads! But, I will tell you the one that means the most to me:  THE GOOD MOMMIES’ GUIDE… this book can change the world.  It can change the lives of children for the better and it is THE PERFECT tool for parents to produce the most awesome kids!  I’ve lived it and am living proof that it works! If you decide to pick up one book of mine, I would hope that it would be this one. It is my mission to leave a legacy of a world filled with (almost) perfect daughters and sons behind, so that all our kids and grandkids, nieces and nephews, can live in a safer world.

NJ-Host:  Gee, Nonnie, I didn’t know you were that profound.  WOW!  I’m a little impressed…I think.  Do you have a blog or website?

NJ-Guest:  Yes, here are my blogs and sites:

WATCH NONNIE WRITE!

BOOKS BY NONNIE

ASK THE GOOD MOMMY

NJ-Host:  Name three great online resources or organizations that every author should belong to.

NJ-Guest:  Honestly, I spend so much time here, buried in coming up with ideas to better Profile, Promote and Propel our members, that Rave Reviews Book Club is the only one I can think of.

NJ-Host:  Which online resource or organization has helped you as an author the most?

NJ-Guest:  Are you seriously asking me that?

NJ-Host:  Nonnie, you promised!

NJ-Guest:  OK, OK…RRBC has been the online resource that has helped me the most! Sheeez!

NJ-Host:  How were you helped by them?

NJ-Guest:  I was the first Book of the Month the club had, because at that time, we only had about 7 members and the majority voted my book in…that may have been 3 people along with myself.  My novel had 1 review when this club started and now it has 68 reviews in a few short months.  Lately though, my books are not being promoted as heavily as they should be because I’m so busy promoting the club and working/helping to make the written work of other authors better, so my work has taken a back seat to all of that.  I’m on this tour this week (and NO, I am NOT a Spotlight Author…my tour is being sponsored by 4WillsPublishing) hoping to get a little support and exposure for my books as well.  You know, it seems that there are some who believe that just because I am the Founder and President of Rave Reviews, that I don’t deserve any support at all.  Well, that’s sad that some would think that way, especially when I work as hard as I do, trying to make this club the best it can be for ALL our members.  I live what I preach, I walk my talk…I DEFINITELY GIVE MORE THAN I TAKE and I definitely give more than I receive.  I do hear from our uber-supportive members how appreciative they are for what I do, and that lightens the load and does my heart good, but for the other parties who are all about “SELF,” I say to you, “You will never get what you feel you deserve until you stop trying to hinder the progress of others. Yes, I Said It!”

NJ-Host:  WOW, Nonnie!  That was powerful and very moving.  Thanks for sharing that with us.  I had no idea.  I’m amazed that some think you deserve to get nothing from this wonderful organization that you’ve created.  Simply amazed!  That just goes to show how truly selfish and ugly some people’s hearts are.  Let’s move on and not dwell on that ugly.  So, we all know you’re the President of the club, what do you really think of the club? Your unbiased opinion, please.

NJ-Guest:  I think Rave Reviews Book Club is the most fabulous thing since brown rice!

NJ-Host:  Brown rice?  {NJ-Host mumbles:  “What’s so good about brown rice?“}  Well, OOOOOOOK then…have you come across any other online entities like it?

NJ-Guest:  Nope, but I keep hearing about all these imposters and impersonators that might be popping up.  I say bring it, because I have secret weapons that are truly hard to find.  Their names are:  Marlena, Harmz, Kathryn, MiMi, Beem, Nicholas and Bruce.

NJ-Host:  Who is your right hand person at Rave Reviews Book Club?  The one you couldn’t get along without?

NJ-Guest:  Well, honestly, I can’t get along without any of them, but Marlena Hand (@mlh42812) is my right hand!  She is truly the glue that keeps us all together.  She took a weeks’ vacation a few weeks ago and I almost cried that she wasn’t going to be here.  Where every file is, every paper clip, where the bodies are buried…she IS Rave Reviews Book Club.  But, lucky for me, even on her vacation she was working and helping me.  I love her so much!

NJ-Host:  Well, kudos to Marlena for helping you out the way she does!  So, which department there at RRBC is the busiest?

NJ-Guest:  By far, our Reviews Dept.  We had a board meeting on yesterday, and let me tell you, we are always thanking Beem (@BeemWeeks) our Reviews Co-ordinator for all that he does.  He is on top of his department!  Can you imagine having to log all those reviews from all those books our members are reading?  He’s awesome!  Get his book, JAZZ BABY!  It was recently a Book of the Month Selection (and you know you can only sit in that seat if your book is good!)

NJ-Host:  Would you recommend the club to your friends and family?

NJ-Guest:  Of course!  But, I spend a great deal more time recommending it to strangers!

NJ-Host:  This shelf is getting hard on my hiney, so we’re going to wrap this interview up.  Any final words?

NJ-Guest:  Yes, I’d like to thank my awesome TEAM at RRBC for all that they do…

Thank you to all our UBER-SUPPORTIVE members, who also give more than they get here!  You don’t know just how appreciated you are!  We adore you and are so glad to have you with us!!!  You know who you are!

Check out our Board Member Book Blitz Trailer!

  Also, please LIKE my page before you leave!  Thanks in advance!

Here’s an archive of my 9/28-10/14 blog tour lineup!!!

Have you joined Rave Reviews Book Club yet?  Well, here’s your chance!  And since I was on the “SHELF” today, tell them I sent you.  Make it a great day, my friends.  We’ll see you next week, right here on the SHELF” with another VERY INTERESTING GUEST!!  Oh, and don’t forget to check out one of Nonnie’s books today.  She definitely deserves our support! Wouldn’t you agree?

Kristy F. Gillespie in “WHO’S ON THE SHELF WITH NONNIE JULES?”

Hello and welcome to “WHO’S ON THE SHELF?” with yours truly, Nonnie Jules!  Since we are a book club, we had to offer something that included a book shelf.  A lot of interviews merely cover an author’s work or an individual’s career stories.  Here on this “SHELF,”  we get down and dirty and ask the questions no other interviewer dare ask.  We ask the questions that you want to open up a book and find the answers to on your favorite authors and fellow book club members, but no one has dared to cover them.  WE get personal!  Because when you sit on the RRBC“SHELF”, YOU are an open book!

Today we have a very special guest on the SHELF with us. Kristy is the winner of one of the “Comment Contests” that was recently held by one of our members.  Yes, I said “Comment Contest.”  All she had to do was stop by one of the stops on the tour and leave a comment and that landed her here!  With me!!!

{THIS INTERVIEW IS SPONSORED BY: 4WILLSPUBLISHING}

MeltingPotKristy

NJ:  Welcome, Kristy and before we really get started, how does the “SHELF” feel to you?  Is it comfy?

Kristy: As comfortable as a church pew without a cushion… JK! I really appreciate the chance to perch on your shelf!

NJ:  So, how about we start by confirming whether or not the name we know you as, is your birth name or a pen name?

Kristy:  Birth name. (Even though I was teased in school, specifically “cheeseburger,” I had trouble parting with Feltenberger, my maiden name, so I kept it as a second middle name).

NJ:  Well, Kristy, tell us where you were born.  Do you still live there now?  If not, what city and state are you calling home these days?

Kristy:  Born in Johnstown, PA, which is known for several horrific floods including The Great Flood of 1889.  I’ve lived in Virginia since 2003 and currently live in Warrenton, VA, which is surrounded by vineyards and horse farms and is a 45 minute drive from DC. I love Warrenton!

NJ:  Wow!  You sound excited about Warrenton!  Good for you.  Married or single?

Kristy:  Patrick and I recently celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary!

NJ:  Well, I guess “Patrick”  means you’re married?  -_____-  Do you have kids?  If so, how many?  Sons or daughters?  Who’s your favorite?  (C’mon, you can tell us)…

Kristy:  No kids…yet!

NJ:  Ooooook, you sound excited about that, too.  -_______-  Any pets running around?  If so, what kind?

Kristy:  My pets are like my kids & Sammie, our youngest dachshund, is probably my favorite but of course I love them all.  We have 3 dachshunds (Gustav, Sammie, and Mopar) and 2 cats (Ross and Phoebe).

NJ:  OK, so we’d like to know your favorite food

Kristy:  Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream

NJ:  So, let us dig a little deeper here, I feel as if we’ve only scratched the surface…what is your favorite color?

Kristy:  Green

NJ:  Mint chocolate and green, so folks we have a GREEN girl on the SHELF with us today. Tell us your favorite sport?

Kristy:  Football – Pittsburgh Steelers & San Francisco 49ers

NJ:  Favorite TV Show

Kristy:  Currently The Bridge, starring Diane Kruger and Demian Bichir

NJ:  Favorite Actress/Actor

Kristy: Jennifer Lawrence and Leo Dicaprio

NJ:  I like both of them, too!  So, are you a couch potato or a workout nut?  Be honest…

Kristy:  Couch potato!

NJ:  So, here’s my favorite question:   What’s your biggest pet peeve that makes you want to stomach-punch somebody?  (For the record, NJ does not condone violence but she does believe in being honest so she has to admit that there are times when she feels like some friendly stomach-punching is a little necessary.  She also feels she is not alone in these feelings).

Kristy:  While there’s many, I’d say one of my top pet peeves is unnecessary small talk!

NJ:  Really?  You’re my kinda interview then!  (You know, they don’t pay me enough to do these long interviews.  And some of these guests, let me tell you…they have more to say than I care to hear).  So, are you neat or messy?

Kristy:  Neat

NJ:  (WOW!  She really doesn’t like unnecessary small talk.  A woman of few words).  Me, too!  Thanks for not bringing any food and drink in here.  I could start on some past guests in that regards, but I won’t.  Facebook or Twitter, Kristy?

Kristy:  Both, but I’m a bit burnt out from social media. Check out this video for a laugh… (WARNING:  this YouTube video is a bit graphic in its’ use of the F-word.  DO NOT CLICK THIS LINK IF YOU ARE UNDER 18 YRS OF AGE!  If you are easily offended, please do not click the link!!!  I mean it!  Don’t click this link if you’re offended by the F-word!  Don’t email me to tell me you were offended, don’t tweet me to tell me you were offended, or you just might hear me dropping a few F-bombs, because YOU WERE WARNED!!!! This link will be removed in 24 hours) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HYZUWi2jbN8

NJ:  -_________- Uh, well we can see that you have a great sense of humor there, Kristy.  Name two of the most supportive people you’ve met on either Facebook or Twitter? Hurry and tell us so we can become their friend.

Kristy:  Katie Cross and Karen

NJ:  Nonnie Jules or WonderWoman?  You can be honest…

Kristy:  I thought Nonnie Jules was WonderWoman!

NJ:  Everyone knows the names Mark Twain and Stephen King but how about you give us two names of some INDIE authors that you favor…

Kristy:  Katie Cross and Mary Chris Escobar

NJ:  What is it about them that you’ve come to like?

Kristy: They’re amazing writers as well as amazing women!

NJ:  OK, name two favorite INDIE books that you’ve read…

Kristy:  Miss Mabel’s School for Girls by Katie Cross and Neverending Beginnings by Mary Chris Escobar

NJ:  ONE good INDIE book you read that was so good you wished the entire world would read it…

Kristy:  The entire House of Crimson and Clover series by Sarah M. Cradit

NJ:  What was so great about it?

Kristy:  The series is incredibly captivating!

NJ:  After you read books, do you post reviews?

Kristy:  Yes, I post on my blog, Amazon, and Goodreads

NJ:  What do you think readers should base their reviews on?

Kristy:  Writing ability and style, the “un-put-downable” factor…

NJ:  Are you one of those who are afraid to be honest in their reviews lest the author gets upset with you, or is honesty your best policy, especially in reviews?

Kristy:  I try to be as honest as possible but I also tend to point out the positives.

NJ:  Read any poorly written books lately?

Kristy:  Thankfully, no!

NJ:  Yayyyyyy!  Maybe folks are starting to listen to all the griping we’re doing about putting out only the best!  Are you an author?

Kristy:  Yes, Young Adult Fiction and Short Stories (There goes her take on un-necessary chatter.  Now, did anyone hear me ask her what genre she wrote under?)

NJ:  How long have you been writing?

Kristy:  I’ve written poems and stories since elementary school.

NJ:  Well, hello there fellow Poet!  Poetry is my first love above all else.  What books have you written?

Kristy:  Jaded, a Young Adult Thriller & Even In Death, A Short Story Collection

NJ:  Which one do you think is the best?

Kristy:  Probably Even In Death because I really enjoy writing short stories.  

NJ:  Do you have a blog or website?

Kristy:  Yes, Keep Calm and Write On: http://kristyfgillespie.com/

NJ:  I love the title of your blog!  I guess sometimes we have to remind ourselves that it’s not all that serious.  Name three great online resources or organizations that every author should belong to

Kristy:  RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB, James River Writers, and GR.

NJ:  Which online resource or organization has helped you as an author the most?

Kristy:  RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB!

NJ:  OK, there goes that excitement again!  But, we’re glad to know that our members are excited about their club.  It is truly a wonderful place to belong, and I’m not just saying that because my name’s on the door.  I’m saying it because it’s fact!  So, tell us, how has belonging here helped you?

Kristy: I really appreciate the author support from RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB, especially via Twitter.

NJ:  Funny you say that, Kristy because we hear from so many members who say that we have taught them so much about Twitter, and now we’re starting to hear the same thing in regards to Facebook… and that’s stemming from some of our members partying over there (LOL).  Since you’re sitting on the SHELF, you’re obviously a Rave Reviews Book Club member, so what do you think of the club?

Kristy:  I love it!

NJ:  Have you come across any other online entities like it?

Kristy: No!

NJ:  Would you recommend it to your friends and family?

Kristy:  Of course!

NJ:  This shelf is getting hard on my hiney, so we’re going to wrap this interview up.  Any final words?

Kristy:  Keep Calm and Write On!

NJ:  Thank you so much, Kristy!  That was an awesome interview…not as wordy as some of the others (and if you’ve joined in on some of the others, you’d know what and “whom” I was referring to). You have made this interview on the SHELF, a most pleasant one!  To my guests, please support Kristy by picking up a copy of her book  “Jaded”  or “Even In Death” below and by visiting her blog.  Have you joined Rave Reviews Book Club yet?  Well, here’s your chance!  And since Kristy was on the “SHELF” today, tell them she sent you! Make it a great day, my friends.  We’ll see you next week, right here on the “SHELF”!!

“Jaded”

Jaded by Kristy Gillespie

“Even In Death”

Even in Death by Kristy Gillespie

SOCIAL MEDIA SAVVY – #RRBC STYLE: “Posting The (Almost) Perfect Review” A Book Review Lesson

Are you new to book reviewing?  Did you read something that was so incredibly good that you want to share it with the world?  Then, today I’m going to tell you how to post the (almost) perfect review.  Now, I am in no way saying that every review you post should be a 4 or 5 star one.  BUT, I am saying that even in the not-so-great reviews, there is still a process.  Below you will find 6 little tips on how to post reviews.  You all know I always like to interject my little two-cents in the most constructive of ways, so here goes:

1)  When you review a book, PLEASE don’t give any SPOILERS.  And don’t give any “SPOILER ALERTS” either, because just as soon as you type the words, the reader’s eyes have already moved across the line and read the SPOIL.  Don’t do that again.

2)  Don’t tell what happens throughout the book and ruin it for the next reader.  If you give the reader of your review a play-by-play, what reason will they have to go out and get the book?  Then you’ve spoiled it for the reader AND the author who missed out on a sale.

3)  Book reviews are either critiques OR raves about a book.  Don’t say, “I didn’t like this book because the girl got raped”, OR “This book wasn’t good because I don’t like reading about children being hurt,” OR “DON’T read this book because all that fantasy/Harry Potter-type stuff is boring”.  {Well, we all know that a lot of somebodys liked Harry Potter, didn’t they?}

When you review a book, you review it on the WRITING, not the storyline the author decided to write about, but the writing. Did the “writing” captivate you?  Was it written so well you couldn’t put it down?  Were the characters written and described so vividly that you felt as if you could almost see them standing right in front of you?  Simply put, WAS THE WRITING GOOD? or WAS THE WRITING GREAT?  And here’s where it can sometimes get a little tricky and a little uncomfortable for some….WAS THE WRITING POOR?  Because honestly, sometimes that has to be told, too.

4)  If you have to write a review that does not warrant a 4 or 5 star rank, please don’t do it in such a manner that you are attacking the author.  Don’t say, “This book was written so poorly that I almost lost my lunch when I started to read it.” That’s a no-no.  And don’t even say, “I don’t like this author because there were too many typos and mis-spelled words, it was hard to get through the story.”  Although I’ve felt these feelings quite often after reading a book, I would never post that publicly.  AND, although I do believe in posting ONLY totally HONEST reviews, if you have to give a review that you THINK warrants a 1, 2 or 3 star rank, then be tactful and kind.  I would say something like, “What I liked about this book was (because there’s always something good you can say.  Dig deep.)” OR, I might say, “What I didn’t like was that I felt as if the author should have edited the work a little better,” OR “The storyline didn’t flow as well as I would have expected it to.  The author started to wander off in some areas, but I feel that with a little more time spent researching how to write a novel, he definitely has the potential to nail it better the next time.”  Reviews are only opinions, people.  And although there are some opinions that you should value more than others, it all comes back to someone’s opinion.

If someone posts a poor review of your work, take the time to tip over (if you can) and check out their written work, or some other reviews they’ve posted.  If you find that their work is poorly written, pour yourself a glass of wine and take a long, hot soak in the tub, while thinking to yourself, “THE NERVE OF SOME PEOPLE!” And this brings me to my next tip…

5)  When posting your reviews, please ensure that you have no mis-spelled words, no punctuation hiccups and that your sentences make total sense.  I’m not going to take seriously the opinion of someone who has left me a review and each sentence of their review holds typos and hiccups.  How can you critique someone else’s work, when your work clearly shows that someone should be critiquing yours? Please “proof & review” before you hit “POST REVIEW.”

6)  I will never post a review under NONNIE’S “RAVE” REVIEWS with a rating of less than 4 stars, but that is not to say that I won’t post a review with 3 stars or less on Amazon, B & N or some other forum, but in all my postings, I WILL offer praise as well as constructive criticism, if warranted.  I will never use my words in a review to tear down, or discourage someone from writing.  Was everyone born with the GIFT OF WRITING?  NO.  But, I do believe that if you work hard at it, you can become skilled in that arena.   And it’s true, EVERYONE CAN’T WRITE AND SOME SHOULDN’T WRITE, not unless they’re willing to put in the time and effort to make it good enough that book lovers want to read it.  Don’t go saturating the market with junk. There’s enough of that out there already.  Take the time to hone your craft and ensure that everything you put out is worthy of the highest of praise. Because if you didn’t take time with it, and I accidentally pick it up, I might not be all that happy -____-

I hope this has helped you as an author as well as a reviewer.  Just my two cents, but you know, they carry a lot of weight in some parts (mostly at home with my husband).

So, tell me, do you have a review process?  If you do, please share it with us!  We’d love to hear all about it!

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