Tag Archives: Harmony Kent

#RRBC Book & Blog Block Party – Quizzing The President

Blog Party 1

Location:  ALL OVER THE WORLD!

# of Giveaways today:  2

(1) FREE Membership or Membership Renewal

(1) $5 Amazon Gift Card

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Good Morning!  My name is Natasha Know-It-All and I’m a reporter with the Raving Reviews News.  Today, we have tracked down the extremely busy President & Founder of RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB, Nonnie Jules.  We asked if she could spare a few moments for a quick Q&A and surprisingly, to our delight, she said “YES!” Although she has limited this to only a 6 Q&A session, we’re happy to have that!  Any little bone she’s willing to throw at us, we’re willing to run after it!  Ms. Jules rarely gives interviews so sit back, relax and take it all in!  Here is her take on quality vs quantity.  #Winning

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Natasha:  Hello, Ms. Jules!  Sharing that I’m so excited to be sitting down with you today would be a great understatement!  I am ecstatic, so thank you, thank you, thank you for this!

Nonnie:  Oh, you’re very welcome.  ‘Tis my pleasure to chat with you, as well.

Natasha:  OK, I know how busy you are, so let’s get right down to business;  just a few questions that came to me last night while doing my research for this sit-down.  I have followed your organization since its inception and if I can remember correctly, at one point, your membership was well over 600.  Can you tell us why you’re around the 400 mark today?

Nonnie:  I’d love to share that with you, Ms. Know-It-All…or, would you prefer that I call you Natasha?

Natasha:  Natasha would be fine, thank you (as she rolls her eyes).

angry dog

Nonnie:  Great!  When I started RRBC, our membership was FREE.  At that time, we were pushing heavily the fact that when you added your name to our roster, every other member on the roster was strongly encouraged to #follow you on social media.  It got to the point that folks were joining us simply to grow their followers list.  It was disheartening to know that there were unscrupulous people out there who would go to such lengths just to grow their followers.  Well, they’d come on board, do absolutely nothing for the club or within the club, show no support for their fellow members and then they’d leave.  When I was completely fed up with these characters, we decided that we would begin charging a fee for membership, a small one, but one nonetheless.  I knew that this would weed out the riff-raff from the serious authors and readers who wanted to truly belong to a community of support, so our fee of $25/annually was instated.  We had much email from members (new and old) who said they would gladly spend more for all that they received, or was offered here. We still have those today who choose not to renew their membership, and for a great majority of those, they joined, put their name on our roster, did absolutely nothing within the club, then looked around one day and said “Hmmm, what is this club doing for me? No one is reading and reviewing my book.”  Well, if you put absolutely nothing in, you probably weren’t getting much out.

Natasha:  OK.  Were you disappointed to see your numbers fall?

Nonnie:  (Laughing) Not at all, Natasha!  Actually, I was excited!  I’m all about quality and not quantity.  I’m not the author who wants to be known for writing MANY books, I’m the author who wants to be known for writing GREAT books, and if that is only ONE great book, I’m happy with that!  All organizations go thru change in membership and if you’ve ever belonged to any, you would know that this kind of change is typical.  I want only the best in my organization and if that means I have only 10 great members as opposed to 100 bits of riff-raff, I’d feel blessed that I had the 10!

Natasha:  It’s pretty evident that you have some folks who have been with you for quite some time.  Why do you think they stick around?

Nonnie:  I have a great many board members, ex-board members, and members who have been here for a very long time, some since day one.  These authors (for the most part) realize the importance of community, and they’ve never found anything like RRBC before.  Authors supporting one another instead of competing against each other?  That’s unheard of!  But, it’s what we do and it is why our core of supportive members remain.  AND, they also see the great benefits to membership here…and those benefits are numerous and all GRAND!

Natasha:  Would you mind sharing the names of some of those awesome members you speak of above?  We’d like to get to know them ourselves!

Nonnie:  Of course!  Bruce A. Borders, Shirley Harris-Slaughter, Beem Weeks and Marlena Hand have been with me practically since the very beginning and you could count them among the founding members group.  Bruce and Shirley are now retired, LIFETIME Board Members, but they are always willing and ready to jump in whenever they are called upon.  I can’t leave without mentioning some of our other awesome-tastic members, as well:  Joy Nwosu Lo-Bamijoko, John Howell, John Fioravanti, Peggy Hattendorf, Bette A. Stevens, Nicholas Rossis, Jan Hawke, Gwen Plano, Michelle Abbott, Rhani D’Chae, Harmony Kent, Natalie Ducey, Linda Mims, Jennifer Hinsman, C. S. Boyack, Jan Sikes, Gordon Bickerstaff, Karen Ingalls, and so many more, and a great big shout-out to those especially supportive newer members, that I’m sure I’ve failed to mention (but you know who you are, and I want you to say so down below!)

Natasha:  Well, OK! That’s quite a list!  What makes these members stand out from some of your past members who you would tag as riff-raff?

Nonnie:  Natasha, these members stand out in my mind because they are so supportive of everyone else.  Their timelines are filled with support of others.  If you’re on a blog tour, you can find them at the door waiting, even before your tour begins (and you don’t have to even offer a giveaway for most of them to follow along), and they make themselves known in the RRBC community…they engage with their fellow members.  That engagement is one of the most important factors to having a successful membership within RRBC.  Our supportive members have to really know you to throw the full weight of their support behind you, so don’t just slap your name on our roster, put your books in our catalog and then expect to be supported in grand fashion.  It doesn’t work that way here.  When you give a little, you get so much more in return!

Natasha:  Everyone knows you’re a no-holds-barred kind of person.  Does it bother you that you are perceived as such, or do you not mind that label at all?

Nonnie:  I’m not a label-person, Natasha, and sticks and stones…right? I learned long ago that I cannot control the actions and thoughts of other people, so I don’t try.  Anyone who follows me anywhere, knows that I don’t live my life based on how I am perceived by others, or what others might think of me.  If you like me, great!  If you don’t, well, that’s your problem…I love me!  And me loving me, is all that matters.  There are too many people who live their lives based on the feelings of others, and when you live that way, you can’t truly be happy.  I mean, if someone is angry with you, you can’t sleep, if someone doesn’t like you, you can’t eat, if someone isn’t your friend, you have a bad day…let me make this crystal clear:  I sleep, eat and have great days so I guess it’s safe to say I’m not one of these people.  I have said, and will go to my grave with this, I will never give ANYONE that kind of power over my life.  For those of you who have relinquished your power to others, take it back.  It’s not at all worth it in the end.

Natasha:  Well, that wraps up this interview!  I wish we had more time with you, Ms. Jules, but we do understand that any moment away from the RRBC Corporate Offices, is a moment lost on supporting your membership, and we wouldn’t want that.  Any final words?

Nonnie:  Natasha, thanks for the interview, I really enjoyed it!   I’d like to thank everyone who is following along and partying with us on our block party this month!  Be sure to leave a comment below to get entered into our daily drawing and there are also two other stops today, so don’t forget to visit the lineup to find out where they are.

If you haven’t joined RRBC, ask yourself “What am I waiting for? Am I being truly supported out here alone or with these other clubs who offer more lip service than actual service?”  I assure you, the sooner you take the leap, the better off you’ll be with the power of RRBC standing behind you!

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HAVE YOU REGISTERED FOR THE WRITERS’ CONFERENCE & BOOK EXPO YET?

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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!**

SOCIAL MEDIA SAVVY – #RRBC STYLE! “Responding To Comments On Your Blog Posts” A Blog Lesson

We’ve been talking a lot lately about “engaging” when you visit blog sites and how important it is to leave comments.  But, today we’re going to dibble just a bit on host responses to comments left on blog posts, or the lack thereof.

How many times have we seen a party of comments being left on someone’s blog post, yet the hosts themselves, never take the time to respond to any?  Could that be one of the (small) reasons why people are hesitant to leave comments?  Maybe they feel as if it’s a waste of their time.  I must admit, that I, too, am guilty of not responding to comments left on my sites (sometimes, not always), but seriously folks, my life has changed drastically since the inception of Rave Reviews Book Club.  It takes TONS OF WORK to maintain this club to its present standards, and yes, the bulk of responsibility, does at times, fall in my lap, so there are days when I can’t seem to find the time to eat or take a potty break, let alone, finding a moment to return to a blog post, which was probably written in my sleep.

Most of us lead extremely busy lives, and although we might all find this to be a very good excuse to use, it’s not.  If we can take the time to write a post which we’d like for others to take the time to read (even if it was written in our sleep), then let’s show our readers the small courtesy of at least a response of some kind, if only a “THANK YOU FOR STOPPING BY!”

Personally, when I leave comments, I don’t care if I get responses to those comments or not (I don’t return to see if there are responses), but I’m not your typical Commenter.  I leave comments because I feel compelled to engage in blog posts that are deserving of my opinions.  So, I’m broaching this subject for the other kind hearts who take the time to engage.

I have raised my daughters to be extremely grateful for everything that is given to them, whether it’s a compliment, a piece of chewing gum, a “bless you” to a sneeze, or any courtesy which has been extended to them.  WHY?  Because NO ONE HAS TO GIVE YOU ANYTHING and NO ONE HAS TO DO ANYTHING FOR YOU.  For those two reasons, we should all be grateful for any small courtesy pointed in our direction.

So, there you have my two cents on why it’s important for hosts of blog sites, and writers of blog posts, to always check their sites periodically or even at the end of each day, for comments from visitors.  They didn’t have to stop by your site, and they surely didn’t have to take their precious time to leave a comment (we all know getting those is like pulling teeth), so let’s show our appreciation and gratitude towards those awesomely, kind hearts.  I’d like to give big KUDOS to John Fioravanti, Harmony Kent & Liz Gavin, who I know for a fact are great at responding to visitors who stop by their sites and leave comments.  Way to go guys!  And KUDOS to all the rest of you who are so much better at this than those of us who slack in this dept., but who are vowing to do better after reading this post.

Remember, their time is precious just like “hours.”

So, tell us, where do you fall in this category?  Are you a slacker like me, or are you one of the greats who realize the importance of showing your gratitude to those visitors who take time out of their busy lives to share their thoughts on blog posts you’ve written?  We’re all in this together, so don’t be afraid to fess up, if you need to.  We’re listening…

Ronesa Aveela 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 I have with me on the “SHELF” our Current “SPOTLIGHT” Author, Ronesa Aveela!!! 

Face_of_Ronesa

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

Rebecca:  Yes, but it’s a little scary sitting here for the world to see.

NJ:  Really?  Oh, honey, I love being way up here for the world to see!!  Let’s start by confirming whether or not your author name is your birth name or a pen name?  I mean, if you’re not too uncomfortable to answer -__________-

Rebecca:  It’s a pen name, but Rebecca is what my mother wanted to name me. There’s a story behind why she didn’t get to, but I won’t bore you with that, but I will tell you that neither Rebecca OR Ronesa are my birth names!

NJ:  Huh?  Guys, please ask R&R that question after the show.  We only have an hour here.   Tell us where you were born?  Do you still live there now?  If not, what city and state are you calling home these days?

Rebecca: I was born in New Hampshire. The old hospital where I was  born, Emerson Hospital, is now part of Keene State College.  Guess that’s why I like learning. I don’t live in the same home town that I grew up in, but it’s in the same county. I’m still in NH, the only state with no state income tax or sales tax.

NJ:  Married or single?

Rebecca: Happily single. Never married.

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

Rebecca:  No children. My youngest sister lived with me for quite a while, so I had her children around. They were plenty fun. I didn’t need my own.

NJ:  So, which of your niece and nephews, was your favorite? (And be honest…I’m sure they’re not reading this interview):

Rebecca: In regards to my niece/nephews. The oldest boy was probably my favorite, mainly because his mother had him when she was quite young. I practically was his mother at times.

NJ:  Pets?  What kind?

Rebecca: Currently no pets. I live on a busy highway. But my family had plenty of pets while I was growing up. Cats, dogs, rabbits, chickens, birds, a turtle, and even a white rat.

NJ:  What’s your favorite food?

Rebecca: Turkey soup.

NJ:  What’s your favorite color?

Rebecca: Blue.

NJ:  Favorite sport?

Rebecca: I’m not a sports fan, but when I was younger, my mother and I would watch the Red Sox (baseball).

NJ:  Favorite TV Show?

Rebecca: I have three that I watch. Once Upon a Time. Vampire Diaries, and its spinoff, The Originals.

NJ:  Favorite Actress/Actor?

Rebecca: Bette Davis. She was just so sassy!

NJ:  Oh, I loved Bette, too!  She was phenomenal!  When that woman played Baby Jane, I could have died and gone to heaven, she was so good at it!  OK, couch potato or workout nut? Be honest.

Rebecca: Couch potato. Or computer potato. All I do these days is sit at my computer, both for work and writing-related activities.

NJ:  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).

Rebecca:  Arrogant know-it-alls who enjoying making others squirm when they do or say something wrong.

NJ:  Oh, you met her, too, huh?  Hahaha.  OK, so tell us, are you neat or messy?

Rebecca: Definitely messy. I like to clean up my work space after a project has been completed, though.

NJ:  Glad you said you liked to clean up, though.  I was about to suggest you be banned to that island!  Have you heard of it?  The one for all the messy folks?  Yes, if you should ever end up there, say hi to my hubby and oldest daughter.  Facebook or Twitter?

Rebecca: I understand Twitter better, but I think Facebook offers more depth to anything you want to push out to your fans/friends.

NJ:  Hmmm, interesting.  I tend to favor Twitter more.  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.

Rebecca:  Nonnie and her team, and Alex Cabal (owner of Scribophile).

NJ:  Well, that was the sweetest thing to say!  Thanks, Ronesa!  Now, here’s the life or death question, meaning, if you answer incorrectly, you could be met with an untimely “accidental”/potentially fatal fall from this very high shelf. -________-  Nonnie Jules or Wonder Woman? Be honest.

Rebecca: Wonder Woman has had her 15 minutes of fame; she’s old news. Nonnie Jules is the new trend.

NJ:  Whew!  You hesitated too long, you had me worried there for a minute.  That’s why I kept inching closer and closer to you.  Didn’t mean to frighten you (as I scoot back down on the shelf).  So, everyone knows the names Mark Twain and Stephen King but how about you give us two names of some INDIE authors that you favor:

Rebecca: RRBC’s, Harmony Kent is one. And another one I discovered on GR {we don’t say the full name of this entity here} is Lasa Limpin.

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

Rebecca: I like stories that are different from plots you’ve read before. Both of these authors have unique tales to tell and a distinctive voice, and great descriptions.

NJ: I’m sure Harmony will be happy to hear this from you.  She is a gem, you know.  Name two favorite INDIE books that you’ve read:

Rebecca: Well, I guess the books from the above authors: The Glade (Harmony) and Uplanded (Lasa).

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

Rebecca: I’d like them to read mine, but I probably can’t say that, so let me look at my list. I’ve read so many great stories lately. There’s a book that’s still being written that I find intriguing. It’s called “McGuffy’s Law.”

NJ:  Uh, Ronesa, if it’s still being written, how did you read it?  (NJ:  Might she be a mind-book reader?)  But, OK, tell us what was so great about it?

Rebecca:  It’s a spiritual tale about puppies and God’s warriors. The puppies choose their owners. It’s not your typical fast-paced novel, but it shows how the puppies help their chosen owners.

NJ:  OK, sounds odd, but hey, different strokes for different folks, right?  After you read books, do you post reviews?

Rebecca:  Always.

NJ:  That’s awesome to hear!  Good for you!  What do you think readers should base their reviews on?

Rebecca:  If you’re a writer yourself, I think you should write a review looking at the book as both a writer AND a reader. With the writer’s eye, you are looking at the structure of the story, grammatical errors, punctuation problems, POV, and other issues. But first and foremost, you should look at it as non-writers look at it, people who are looking for good stories. Is it interesting? Is it a story worth telling? But, I find I cannot give someone five stars if their book has an overabundance of errors or is poorly written, no matter how great the story is.

NJ:  I’m with you there.  Poorly written and too many typos, which I call hiccups, makes for an uncomfortable read as well as a not-so-easy read.  I want my reads to be enjoyable and I want them to flow smoothly.  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?

Rebecca: I try to be honest, but also kind, although recipients who receive any negative feedback may not think so. It’s not that I’m afraid they’ll be upset with me but I don’t want to trash anyone’s hard work. There is always something nice you can say. But if you don’t point out problems, too, you won’t be credible as a reviewer and the author can’t grow. But as an author myself, I also now know how much work goes into writing, so I don’t always point out things that I would have if I were critiquing the novel. I would expect people to be honest reviewing mine, too. It may not be a book everyone will enjoy.

NJ:  Ronesa, have you read any poorly written books lately?

Rebecca: I started one or two that I couldn’t finish.

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

Rebecca: If I ever DID make it through terrible books, I don’t think I would post a review. If I could contact the author, I might make some suggestions for places he or she could go to make improvements.

NJ:  Oh, so you’re not telling?  OK.  Are you an author, Ronesa?

Rebecca: Yes! First book was published in July of this year. So exciting.

NJ:  Which personality published?  Rebecca or Ronesa?  LOL, I’m just teasing…but the more that I think about it, I’m not. -_________-  How long have you been writing?

Rebecca: I wrote my first story in high school, many years ago. I have one that I’ve dabbled with off and on, but I didn’t really get into writing seriously until about two years ago when my friend asked me to help her with her story.

NJ:  What books have you written?

Rebecca:  “Mystical Emona: Soul’s Journey” is the first book in a series of three (and maybe even a couple prequels), but each can be read as a separate story. I hate to leave the reader hanging. Only the first chapter of the second is written. We took a break and started writing a non-fiction one about the rituals and customs in “Mystical Emona,” digging deeper into the ancient Thracian origins. That one will be out around December.

NJ:  Do you have a blog or website?

Rebecca: Yes: http://mysticalemona.com/

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

Rebecca: In order of when I came across them. 1) Scribophile.com is a writer’s group. I found this after a publisher kindly rejected “Mystical Emona” and provided feedback from their readers. They suggested finding other readers, so I came across this group. It changed my life as a writer. I put “Mystical Emona” through three major rewrites from the suggestions people gave me, and I’ve made the most wonderful friends for life. (Look me up if you join!) 2) Rave Reviews Book Club!  I found this when we were close to publishing. (Thank you, Kathryn Treat, for the invitation!) You need reviews, right? Well, then I found out it was more than just getting reviews. Great support here, too!  3) GR. Another place you can get reviews, and also a way to get your novel visible to others.

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

Rebecca:  As far as helping with my writing, I have to say Scribophile, but I also see how supportive RRBC  is.

{Sounds of woman screaming for help} woman-falling-down

NJ:  OH, RONESA!  I’M SO SORRY! I’VE NO IDEA HOW THAT HAPPENED!  HERE, LET ME HELP YOU UP.  Are you OK?  Good, well let’s continue.   How were you helped by that OTHER organization?  {NJ mutters under her breath:  You know the one that almost got you killed a moment ago  -__________-}

Rebecca:  Scribophile really helped me hone my writing skills—all those subtle POV slips you are unaware of, what filters are and how to eliminate them, action vs. dialog tags, and so much more. Now, the great support continues here at RRBC. Taking me under your wing and shouting out to the world.

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?

Rebecca:  Like writing, it’s a lot of work. But pleasant work. You all are such busy little ants preparing for success. You all work together great as a team.

NJ:  Ronesa, you are so right on all counts.  We are as busy as an army of ants, although our army (Governing Board) is a lot smaller.  Have you come across any other online entities like RRBC?

Rebecca: No. And I was looking for a while for a place to cuddle up and get comfortable.

NJ:  And then you found us?  How sweet.  Would you recommend RRBC to your friends and family?

Rebecca: Yes. Well. Most of my family and friends don’t read and write (novels). But I’ve met plenty of people in the writing world who I’ve encouraged to join.

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

Rebecca: I just want to let you know how honored I am to have been selected. You have a lot of supportive people out there.

NJ:  Thank you so much for joining us here today, Ronesa!  That was an enjoyable interview until your little mishap?  Are you sure you’re OK?  {NJ doesn’t want any lawsuits or anything like that.  Her shelf isn’t fully insured yet}.  You have made our interview on the SHELF today, a quick one, but a most pleasant one!  To my guests, please support Ronesa by picking up a copy of her book, MYSTICAL EMONA:  SOUL’S JOURNEY, with its brand new cover!  You can also support Ronesa  by visiting her blog stops on her tour which ends on Saturday.  You can find the tour line up here.  Lastly, I’m sorry for the confusion.  Ronesa asked to be called  Ronesa, then she referred to herself as Rebecca the entire interview. {Shaking my head}.  Just know, Ronesa and Rebecca are one and the same.  

MysticalEmona_BookCover

Have you joined Rave Reviews Book Club yet?  Well, here’s your chance!  And since Ronesa 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”!!

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).

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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!  But, there are so many others, please let me name just a few:  John Fioravanti is a new fave of mine, John Howell because he likes to plow his friends with liquor and I’m all for that, Traci Sanders, Carol Marrs Phipps, almost everyone in the VIP Lounge (boy, do we have fun in there!) but let me stop, I can’t go on, because I’m leaving some wonderful folks out, so 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, Danica, 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 because she KNOWS EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS CLUB.  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…

Harmony Kent is quickly moving into the role of being my left hand!  She is diligent and on point, and also one who is on top of things; Kathryn Treat, Michelle Abbott, Danica Cornell, Bruce A. Borders and Nicholas Rossis are all adored by me.  They are the hardest working team in all the world and I’m so blessed to get to work with them every day.  Please, check out their written work, if you can.  Shirley Harris-Slaughter is an honorary board member and Leader of the Tweet Support Team and she is so appreciated for what she does in that role.

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 9/28-104/14 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?

Harmony Kent 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” RRBC’s  ADMINISTRATIVE ASSTAuthor, HARMONY KENT!!!

20140611_192259

NJ:    Welcome, Harmony!  Or, shall I say HARMZ?  Because that’s what we call her on our board.  But, before we really get started, how does the “SHELF” feel to you?  Is it comfy?

HARMZ:  It’s very comfy, thanks. And CLEAN—and the best thing is . . . No spiders! Lol.  It’s a bit high though (did I mention I don’t like heights? Ah well, it’s a good thing my philosophy in life is to feel the fear and do it anyway! Maybe I’ll get real brave in a minute, and DANCE on the shelf!).

NJ:  Uh, OK…Just no dancing up here.  I don’t have insurance on this place yet.   So, how about we start by confirming whether or not the name we know you as, is your birth name or a pen name?

HARMZ:  Pen name. Harmony is the English translation of my first name, which is Japanese in origin. My surname I took from the county I was calling home at the point I published my first book. Although I no longer live in Kent, my pen name ‘Harmony Kent’ has become my brand name, so I don’t really want to change it at this point.

NJ:  Good, because we like you as Harmony Kent.  I mean, how would you look as a Smarden Kent, or Crundale Kent or even Reading Street Kent?  Hey, wait a minute…that last one could have worked!  Oh, well…if you ever want to change your brand, that last one is a go! So, tell us where you were born.  Do you still live there now?  If not, what city and state are you calling home these days?

HARMZ:  I was born in Catterick, in the North of England. But I never lived there. There’s quite a story behind that one! Do you want to hear it?

NJ:  (Pretends to look at her watch which isn’t even set to the correct time) Oh, no, HARMZ…I wish we had the time but I’m a little rushed today.  I have another appointment after we’re done here.  So, are you Married or single?

HARMZ:  I was supposed to be one baby boy, born in September. The reality was two baby girls born in July. My dad was in the army, and my mum was registered at the family accommodation at the barracks in Catterick. At the time she went into premature labour, she was staying with her parents in Leeds. Instead of the ambulance taking her to Leeds infirmary (about a half hour journey, tops), there was some mix up, and they took her all the way to Catterick! (About three hours away.) They had to pull over twice on the way, as they thought mum was going to give birth there and then. I’m glad she managed to hang on, as my sister and I probably wouldn’t have made it otherwise.  You heard it here, on the shelf, first. An online exclusive! A never-told-before-now story.

NJ:  (Am I crazy, or did I just tell her I didn’t want to hear that story? Another one!  Does Marlena not vet this people?) What an incredible story!  You’re a twin! OOOOOOK, well, moving on (again), are you married or single?  (If she answers single, I will know why.  She’s a mighty presumptious one and she talks entirely too much.  This is going to be a looooong interview!)

HARMZ:  Single, but I’m still hoping!

NJ:  (Mutters under her breath, Yea, well you keep hope alive, Ms. TalksALot) Kids or no?  If yes, how many?  Sons or Daughters?

HARMZ:  No kids. Just lots of cute gremlins who claim to be my nieces and nephews.

NJ:  Whew!  For a minute there I thought you were gonna say Leprechauns!  Skerred me silly.  Inside joke on this one, y’all. (We all must thank Aoife Sheridan for my constant state of terror at the mere mention of critters, creatures, etc, now.).  Any pets?  If so, what kind?

HARMZ:  No pets. I would love a dog, but with my physical limitations it wouldn’t be fair on the dog. I couldn’t look after it well enough, or take it for long walks, etc.

NJ:  Physical limitations?  (Hmmmmm, I would like to know more about that but if you give this woman a foot, she goes 10 miles…so forget about it!) HARMZ, share with us your favorite food? (There goes  my mouth-water again, every time I hear the word FOOD.  Now, I want Wendy’s.  I hate Wendy’s!  That’s probably because Nicholas  has been going on and on about there not being a Wendy’s in Greece anymore.  Now he’s tapped into my sub-con).

HARMZ:  Pizza! I am definitely the Pizza Queen. I have to exert great self-discipline not to eat it every day!

NJ:  Yes, who could not love Pizza?  I think GOD should put everyone who doesn’t like pizza, on an island, with no boats, so they can’t get off.  It’s downright sacriligious to not like PIZZA!!!! So, what’s your favorite color?

HARMZ:  Umm, now, that depends on what mood I’m in! Sometimes blue, other times brown, and then at others… purple. I’m a pretty eclectic personality. (I’m just glad there’s not a bigger story behind this).

NJ:  You look like a purple girl.  Yea, I like to give people colors.  So, give us your favorite sport, if you have one.

HARMZ:  I don’t play sports, and never enjoyed P.E. at all. I used to love walking, and would drive up to Scotland during vacations, and just walk. These days the only thing I can do, whether I’m able to wear my prosthetic limb or am in the wheelchair, is swim. I like to watch tennis on T.V., as well as rugby or the Grand Prix.

NJ:  Favorite TV show…

HARMZ:  Ooh, it would have to be the Game of Thrones. Pretty hard to beat.

NJ:  Favorite Actress/Actor…

HARMZ:  Don’t really have one.

NJ:  You don’t?  I thought everyone had those.  Oh well… So are you a couch potato or workout nut?  Be honest…

HARMZ:  Couch potato. I used to be very active and always on the go. These days, I’ve had to find activities I can do sitting down. Which is how I got into writing in the first place! So, some good came out of my injury.

NJ:  HARMZ, 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).

HARMZ:  Rudeness. In any way, shape or form. I have met rudeness online, but that never gets me as much as when I encounter it in a face to face situation. There is just no excuse. But really, the person such rude folks hurt the most, is themselves. Sadder still, they don’t see it. When I’m done being annoyed, I end up feeling sorry for them, and their miserable lives.

NJ:  Better to encounter the rudeness face-to-face.  That way, one of two things will happen:  *You might have the opportunity to practice your restraint OR *You might have the opportunity to use that stomach-punch technique, I love so much!  Are you neat or messy?

HARMZ:  I used to be a neat freak. Not anymore. I still have a place for everything, but the cleaning doesn’t get done anywhere near as much as I would like. I get there eventually. I’ve learned to find a compromise. Because sometimes, no matter how much I want to take care of a little job here and there, my mobility and/or pain levels just won’t let me. I have no choice but to accept it and let it go. I’ve had to learn how not to be busy.

NJ:  Facebook or Twitter?

HARMZ:  Twitter. I love the brevity of the tweets, and the immediacy of it. I feel a bit daunted by the whole FaceBook thing. I don’t know why, I just do.

NJ:  I love Twitter the most, too.  Probably because I’m old and it’s the easiest for me.  HARMZ, 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.

HARMZ:  Well, apart from you and the club, I would have to name Monica (@authorqspades) who founded and manages The Review Board, and Jazz (@YCorreaFB) who founded and manages the All Authors Magazine. These two ladies have been with me from the very beginning of my online life, and have been so uber supportive I don’t think I could ever repay them! Well, here’s my chance to perhaps give a little something back: Thanks, ladies!

NJ:  That was sweet of you to say, about me and the club, that is.  I don’t know those other people. So here’s your chance to continue on that sweet-streak…Nonnie Jules or WonderWoman?  Be honest (but don’t get kicked off the shelf)  -______-

HARMZ:  Is there a difference? I can’t tell!

NJ:  Why, that’s the most perfect response!  Everyone knows the names Mark Twain and Stephen King but how about you give us two names of some INDIE authors that you favor.

HARMZ:  Bette A. Stevens and Zoe Cannon.

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

HARMZ:  Bette A. Stevens (Member) writes lovely children’s books, and novels for older folks, too. She is such a supportive lady, and I admire her greatly. (It was actually one of her posts that led me to discover Rave Reviews Book Club).   Zoe Cannon writes brilliant YA Dystopian novels, and is a nice person too. Her books ask important questions, and really make the reader THINK.

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

HARMZ:  The whole ‘Torturer’s Daughter’ series by Zoe Cannon and Alan McDermot’s ‘Tom Gray’ Series.

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

HARMZ:  That would have to be White Chalk, by Pavarti K Tyler.

NJ:  What was so great about it?

HARMZ:  It is a hard hitting book, that deals with some difficult issues, and doesn’t pull any punches at the end. Very well written, and well worth a read. But, beware, it’s not light entertainment.

NJ:  HARMZ, after you read books, do you post reviews?

HARMZ:  Yes, always. They are the lifeblood of an author, and very important to prospective readers. I always check out reviews, as well as a book’s sample, before I make a purchase. I am saddened to find that less than 10% of people who buy a book, will leave a review.

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

HARMZ:  The quality of the writing. Definitely not on how the book made them feel! I recently saw a book marked down because it scared the reader! What??? It was obviously well written enough to elicit such a response. The written review was positive, but they gave 2 stars. This makes no sense to me!

I look at a number of factors:

The enjoyment and ‘flow’ of the reading.

The number of errors, typos, etc. Has the book been well proofread?

The quality of the editing, if any. Is the writing passive? Are the plot, pacing and character development well done? Is the ending well rounded?

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??

HARMZ:  I always leave an honest review, and refuse to be bullied into doing anything otherwise. I once received a revenge review (1 Star) from an author who hasn’t even read my book, because I dared to leave him a 3 Star review, within my role as an Awesome Indies reviewer. I reported it to GoodReads, but they chose to do nothing, and the review still stands. Which is a shame, because—having so few reviews to start with—it really brings down the book’s rating. Still, if people bother to compare it to the other reviews, they are bound to see that it doesn’t match up to the others at all.

I decided that no response was the best response. I alerted Awesome Indies to the situation, and they changed their policy, so that all their reviewers are now anonymous under the AI umbrella. It is such a shame that this can happen. The same author also engaged in abusive emails with the president of AI, so all in all not a great guy!

Such unprofessional behavior saddens me deeply. BUT, I will NEVER be coerced into giving a less than honest review. I always try to remain objective in the reviews I give, and always look for something positive to say, no matter how poorly the book might be written. I will certainly never attack the author, or just be plain nasty. It’s not in my nature.

I also try to make comments that the author can use to learn from. I have learnt and grown so much since I first published The Battle for Brisingamen. And it is thanks to honest reviewers! I wouldn’t have known there was a problem without them.

NJ:  Some people just act like children, don’t they?  (Some are just plain crazy!) So, have you read any poorly written books lately?

HARMZ:  Way too many, unfortunately. There have been some books that would have been brilliant if only for some proofreading and editing. I review for a couple of organisations, as well as trying to read as many as I can from the Rave Reviews catalogue, so I see a LOT of books. I am always amazed when I read a book that has two or more typos a page. It’s like: did the author READ their book at all?

NJ:  Are you an author yourself?

HARMZ:  I am!

NJ:  How long have you been writing?

HARMZ:  I started writing in September 2012, after a major life change. My first book was published in May 2013, and there has been no stopping me since.

NJ:  What’s the title of your book(s) so we can all run out and get a copy?

HARMZ:  The Battle for Brisingamen, a Fantasy Fiction Novel. Published May 2013.

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00GNQVPOK?*Version*=1&*entries*=0

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GNQVPOK

The Glade, a Thriller, Mystery, Suspense Novel, Published November 2013, and IndieBRAG Medallion honoree!

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00CNUQCXO?*Version*=1&*entries*=0

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CNUQCXO

Elemental Earth, A Young Adult Fantasy Ficiton Novel, published 31st July 2014.

NJ:  Which one do you think is the best?

HARMZ:  While The Glade will always have a special place in my heart, I would have to say that my latest book is my best. My writing is much tighter, and my voice stronger. I have learned such a lot since I started out, and I feel all of this has come to fruition in Elemental Earth.

NJ:  Do you have a blog?

HARMZ:  I do. You can find me at http://harmonykent.co.uk. Please come along and say “hi”—I’d love to see you!

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

HARMZ:

*Rave Reviews Book Club.

*Some kind of Social Media (twitter has worked really well for me).

*Deviant Art. Not so obvious at first, but invaluable if you make your own book covers. Actually, it’s also great for finding artists who can make them for you. Always be sure to check the copyright and usage terms, and always credit the artist.

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

HARMZ:  Rave Reviews Book Club! Honestly.

NJ:  How has RRBC helped you exactly, HARMZ?

HARMZ:  There is so much support given to each and every member. I feel I have met some good friends as well. I haven’t found anywhere near so much support anywhere else on the web. It is also a great forum for me to continue to help fellow authors, which is something I started doing as soon as I’d published my first book and identified the need to help fellow indies.

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?

HARMZ:  Awesome! I can’t think where I would be without it!

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

HARMZ:  None whatsoever.

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

HARMZ:  Thanks so much for allowing me to sit up here with you, it’s been fun. Even though you have been so nosey! (Just kidding).   I know it takes a lot of time and effort to keep your shelf clean and well stocked, and I really appreciate having the opportunity to climb up here and enjoy the sunshine for a while.

NJ:  Thank you so much, HARMZ!  That was an awesome interview (you were a little long-winded like your friends Mrs. Slaughter & Mrs. Treat, but that’s OK…hehehehe).  You have made our time on the SHELF, a most pleasant one! Finding out about your physical limitations makes us appreciate who you are even more, because you are truly an inspiration!  You’re always upbeat and encouraging to others, it’s a little hard to fathom that there is anything that could be slowing you down, so thank you…we are truly honored to have you in our midst at RRBC. To my guests, please support Harmony by picking up a copy of either of her 3 books.  You can find them all listed on her Author Page at 4WillsPublishing and by visiting her blog stops on her tour which ends on Saturday.  You can find the complete tour line up here.  Have you joined Rave Reviews Book Club or signed or used any of the services at 4WillsPublishing yet?  Well, here’s your chance!  Book your own blog tour here and get your chance to sit on the shelf with yours truly.  It really is an awesome place to be, but remember, to sit here, you have to be a member of RRBC!  And since Harmony was on the “SHELF” today, if you join RRBC after reading her interview here, please tell them she sent you.   Make it a great day, my friends.  We’ll see you next week, right here on the “SHELF”!!

{NOTE:  Harmony is NOT the current “SPOTLIGHT” Author.  This tour is sponsored by:  4WillsPublishing}

The Battle For Brisingamen by Harmony KentThe Glade by Harmony Kent3D-Book cover Elemental Earth

Shirley Slaughter 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, Mrs. Shirley Harris Slaughter!

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

Shirley:  YES! Very comfy and cozy. I cannot believe I’m actually here getting all this attention.

NJ:  Yes, I see that you’re getting a lot of attention this week.  You’re obviously a STAR!  So, how about we start by confirming whether or not the name we know you as, is your birth name or a pen name?

Shirley:  My author name is a pen name. It’s just slightly different from my legal name. I tried a pen name that was totally different from my own once but it didn’t stick and I couldn’t get used to it so I ditched it in favor of what I am using now. I use the middle name “Harris” in recognition of my son’s heritage; and Slaughter which is my present name. You know we women have all kinds of aliases.

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

Shirley:  I was born in Detroit, Michigan and I live just north of it at the West Eight Mile Road boundary in a small bedroom community called Oak Park. It sits right next door to the community I grew up in – Royal Oak Township. Oak Park is a diverse city of Jews, Chaldeans, Caucasians, Blacks and Asians. There are small ranch style homes and large colonial homes depending on what your level of income is. All the streets are closed off. I always say it would be hard for criminals to orchestrate an escape here because the streets are so complicated.

NJ:  Married or single?

Shirley:  I am married to my husband Langston going on 31 years. When they say opposites attract they were not lying. He’s a homebody and quiet. I am on-the-go doing this and that. He has to rein me in sometimes when I get totally out of control.

NJ:  Do you have kids?  If so, how many?  Sons or daughters?

Shirley:  I have a son and my husband has a daughter. We are a blended family which makes for a rockier boat but by the grace of God, somehow we weathered the storms. It wasn’t easy. I think the reason we lasted is because my husband does not allow children to dictate his relationships and he was not letting anyone come between us. Now that’s a determined person and I respect him for knowing where his priorities lie. I have seen examples of that not happening and marriages breaking up because of it. My mother raised us single-handedly and I remember how awful I was to her significant other. Let me stop because I’m going into another realm.

NJ:  Favorite child (and be honest…I’m sure they’re not reading this interview)…

Shirley:  While I love all my children my son is the light of my life and not because he’s mine but because he has always been an amazing child. He was always a hit with other parents so that by the time I came around I felt like a celebrity. But alas, they do grow up and the innocence with them. He turned into a fantastic dad imitating the things he saw me and my husband do.
My step grandchild holds a special place in my heart. Maybe it’s because I always made sure he was included in family get-togethers. That little bit of attention from me has made all the difference to him. He’s 18 now and our bond is stronger than ever. I get a big hug from him every time he sees me. He’s very talented as are all the grandchildren. I am very proud and love each and every one of them. They each have a little bit of our son in them.

NJ:  I think it’s awesome that you can refer to a child you didn’t bear as “my child.” There are so many step-parents who have a hard time doing that so I applaud you for it.   Any pets running around?  If so, what kind?

Shirley:  Don’t have a pet now. I get too emotionally attached and it’s hard when they are gone to let go. I was given a newborn German Shepherd female as a gift and it grew up with my son. When he (Princess) got sick and had to be euthanized, I was devastated and cried like a baby at my job. I actually had to go home. I vowed to never get attached like that again and so I don’t keep pets anymore. Now if my life were to change then I might look into owning one again, but it will be a toy dog that’s well trained.

NJ:  OK, so we’d like to know your favorite food.  You’ve shared with me that you’re a pretty healthy eater.

Shirley:  My husband makes the best homemade spaghetti with meat sauce,,,guaranteed to put on the pounds. I was described once as tiny and cute. Never again will I hear those words. He makes the best chili, mouth-watering beef stews…all those comfort fattening foods. He knows how to blend those flavors. Mmmmm Good! I have no control over the portions. That’s why I got on Weight Watchers. (don’t laugh). Sorry if I got carried away. I love good food and my husband’s company.

NJ:  (Long pause)  Oh, I’m sorry, I was just looking through my notes for the question that I asked about whether or not you enjoy your husband’s company…OHHHHH, there isn’t one, so let’s stay on track here, Mrs. S. Harris Laughter  (LOL) OK, so, we’re going to dig a little deeper here.  What’s your favorite color?

Shirley:  I love warm colors in the brown family. It can make for some interesting outcomes and combinations. I used this color theme in my master bathroom – absolutely gorgeous outcome. My main bathroom was designed using custom made cabinets that were a dark wood finish. So I came up with a rose look by accident. The paint was a light rose so the rugs are rosy with browns and greens in the curtains. I have a white tub I didn’t want and somehow the look came out beautifully. The rosiness of the room reflects off the tub giving it an off rose color look. I was like WOW! How did I do that? I’m a multi-dimensional person so I don’t have just one favorite color. I could name some more.

NJ:  Please don’t.  Let’s move on to your favorite sport…

Shirley:  I used to love the Detroit Pistons but only when they were winning. I’m a fly-by-night kind of fan. I’m not really into sports overall. My mother loved football. Watching football with a can of beer was her idea of heaven. My younger sister loves football too. So does Langston and some of our children. I don’t like it, never have and never will. I don’t get all that violence and I have a problem keeping up with what’s going on. That and playing cards are not my forte. I don’t have a quick wit when it comes to playing cards or watching football. It’s like I’m brain dead or bored out of my mind until there’s a touchdown, and then I wake up.

NJ:  I’m brain-dead and bored with them, too, until a some physical action breaks out (punching, head-butting, etc..LOL).  Then I’m all EYES, “sssshhhhhhing” everyone around.  It’s comical how that physical action can just draw me in.  Just like a well-written book.  What’s your favorite TV show?

Shirley:  I’m a political junkie and I love nature and documentaries. I love Wendy Williams because she knows how to gossip. I love dramatic movies. My attention span is short nowadays for most sitcoms.

NJ:  Favorite Actress/Actor…

Shirley:  I used to love Halle Berry and anything she played in. I love Tia and Tamara, the twins. I loved the actress Melissa Gilbert and watched just about anything she was featured in. There are no real favorites now. It depends on the movie and how the actor/actress comes across. I fell in love with Jamie Foxx when he did Ray. I thought his acting was superb. So was Kerry Washington’s performance. I appreciate a good movie.

NJ:  I appreciate well-written movies.  When I see otherwise, my daughter and I look at each other and say “low budget” and then burst into hysterics laughing.  So, are you a couch potato or a workout nut?  Be honest…

Shirley:  I guess you can throw me in the couch potato crowd when I’m not busy running around. I don’t like to work out so I do stretches and that has helped me tremendously in getting some exercise time in. It’s amazing what a little stretch can do.

NJ:  Shirley, 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).

Shirley:  I am in 100% agreement with you on this. Sometimes I feel like punching out some lights when I am watching politics play out. It is just awful. It makes me want to throw something at the screen when I see how crazy some people really are. Langston (my husband) tells me to stop watching it. But ignorance is not bliss anymore. It’s a necessity to know what is going on in the world and to exercise your constitutional right to vote and not allow anybody to take that right from you. That right is under attack right now.

NJ:  Uh, OK….calm down a little.  It seems when politics are mentioned, your feathers get a little ruffled.  We’re too high up for that, unless you believe you can fly.  Now, which is your favorite, Facebook or Twitter?

Shirley:  I use both Facebook and Twitter. Although I must say, I am now a total Twitter fan after having found new friends who have helped me learn how to actually use it. And I’m still learning. I wouldn’t be on this shelf if it weren’t for Twitter and meeting so many nice people.

NJ:  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.

Shirley:  I know a couple: My cousin Keita Walker on Facebook who just published a book of poems. Unfortunately none of the other relatives have supported me. My good friend Monika Uriel has supported at all of my book events. And she’s not an author. The Board of Rave Reviews Book Club is the only other support system that has gone all out for me and I appreciate that so much.

NJ:  Nonnie Jules or Wonderwoman?  Be honest now…

Shirley:  Oh please! You of course! Who else was I going to name? You’re not going to throw daggers at me. Wonder Woman is a close second. Oh, that’s you too!!

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…

Shirley:  I favor my dear friend and fellow author Mamie Smith (RRBC Member) who wrote a wonderful book on coping with the loss of her daughter. I love the way she writes! I was impressed with her world travels and the fascinating life she’s led. She’s got a great sense of humor which I love and it was nice to know that we had things in common, too.

I was impressed with the fact that Nonnie Jules got into this business for such a short time and managed to sell her newly published books and market them in a way that has really pushed her into the forefront of this crowded field and helped to propel Indie Authors in the process. She is mentioned now everywhere we look. She had a vision and exercised it. I admire that. Everybody is not qualified or capable of pulling off something like a RRBC.  Oh, I’m talking about you!!

NJ:  Why, thank you, Ms. Shirley!  So, what is it about these authors that you’ve come to like?

Shirley:  Mamie is doing an online radio show and is an accomplished retired music teacher who resides in Troy, Michigan. Her husband passed away recently and so she has kept herself busy and active. She has always been supportive of me and followed me to the Detroit Writers Guild, where we served together and left together. We became partners in crime. She has a great sense of humor which makes it easy to be around her.

You, Ms. Nonnie, go after what you want and do not take no for an answer. I love your drive and stamina and your energy. You energize me!  I’m getting tired just thinking about it. And you are funny with a quick wit. You’re also such a sweetheart and you grow on people. I’m just along for the ride because I don’t know where you’re going next and I’m too nosy to get off at the next stop.
Both you and Mamie are go-getters.

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

Shirley“Titanium Chronicles” by Liesl Kaberry (RRBC member) and your book, “Daydreams Daughter, Nightmare’s Friend.”
I was shocked that I actually liked Liesl’s book because I was not a fantasy reader, until now. I’m waiting for her next book and I think I have inspired her to finally finish it.

I must say that your book was not my taste as well. But you wrote it so well that I got drawn into it and am actually looking forward to the sequel because you left me hanging and I don’t like hanging.

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

Shirley:  I don’t remember the title, but I do remember the author, Donald Goines. He wrote a book so good that I was crying and laughing hysterically all at once; like a crazy person. I was so hysterical with the way he was describing the dogs coming after him. He was running through the woods and they got closer, and closer. You could see and feel the whole scene. Suddenly, everything went dark denoting that he had been killed. I started crying and was so out of control that I dropped the book on the floor and continued to cry. I was never so inconsolable in my life. But that book did it to me.  I don’t know if he would have been called an Indie author since his book came out around the sixties.

NJ:  What a great story.  I must remember to shake you so that you can remember the title and he probably would not have been Indie about that time, Shirley. I could be wrong, but I doubt that the term had even been coined at that time.  So, after you read books, do you post reviews?

Shirley:  All the time!

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?

Shirley:  When I have a situation where I have reservations about posting a review, I will try to have a conversation with the writer to express what my concerns are. I think when we have conversations about a current read the pros should be discussed as well as the cons. Even a bad review is a good review because you will not please everybody and the book is still generating a conversation. And frankly, I am a little concerned if everybody gives high marks and no one has a negative remark in the bunch. Sometimes I feel like they didn’t really read it themselves and giving 5 stars based on other people’s reviews. I know my book is a bit controversial and people are shy about controversy. I get that but I don’t like it.  This is why I appreciate your review so much because you approached it from an angle no one else would touch. It let me know you actually sat down and read the book. I love that. Any author would love that.

NJ:  Well, I know that you’re an author so we all would like to know how long have you’ve been writing?  You sound very experienced.

Shirley:  Officially I have been writing since my book launched in 2007.

NJ:  What’s the name of your book?

ShirleyOur Lady of Victory, the Saga of an African-American Catholic Community. I severed ties with my publisher and re-published with Createspace in May of 2014. It’s a great book.  And I didn’t say that, you did!

NJ:  Yes, I did and we all know by now how much I like great, well-written books!  I gave it 5 stars!  Do you have a blog or website?

Shirley:  Why yes I do…here it is: http://shirleyslaughterblog.wordpress.com/

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

Shirley: RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB (of course), Motown Writers Network and Detroit Writers Guild.

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

ShirleyRave Reviews Book Club, where I am now and it keeps me on my toes. You don’t come into this organization to sit down. You come to serve. That’s what I like about RRBC.

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?

Shirley:  Well, where do I start? There is so much about Rave Reviews Book Club to talk about. Like I mentioned, you have to come in ready to serve. That’s the only route to being served. It’s not a new concept, but RRBC has taken it to a higher level. RRBC saved me because I was just about to get off the train and take a nice long rest. It started from a vison – yours. Nobody else thought it up. You are the brains behind this operation and I’m giving credit where credit is due. I would not be in here if not for knowing you.
This club offers something for everyone. There are current reads of author’s books; Spotlights and reviews, various promotions like #PUSHTUESDAY; using the #RaveReviewsBookClub – hashtag gets you noticed and propelled like nobody’s business (but please only use it if you’re a member), with more ideas coming all the time. It’s wonderful! I have had my book looked at and reviewed where it never would have gotten a second look. And I know there is more to come. I am around beautiful people who care about each other and I haven’t seen another organization that gives the support this club offers. You can’t buy it.

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

Shirley:  I can’t say that I have. That’s because no other entity is offering this. But don’t think there won’t be copycats trying to duplicate what you’ve created with RRBC.

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

Shirley: I want to thank you for putting me on the shelf. It’s nice up here. Didn’t think I could climb this high up but look at me now!  I love it!   At RRBC I learn something new everyday. Especially if I take the time to read the website which has a wealth of information. I was just poring through it and stumbled across something that I should have known about but was always out of the loop on somehow. Oh well, better late than never I always say. I’m not the fastest engine in town but I get there. RRBC will get you there if you stick around awhile.

Thank you so much Nonnie for inviting me here. I appreciate you and this club so much. I haven’t had time to catch my breath since joining and now I have the opportunity to be featured and presented to the world.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

NJ:  Thank you so much, Shirley!  That was an awesome interview (you were a little long-winded but that’s OK).  You have made our 3rd day on the SHELF, a most pleasant one!  To my guests, please support Shirley by picking up a copy of her book OUR LADY OF VICTORY:  THE SAGA OF AN AFRICAN-AMERICAN COMMUNITY  and by visiting her 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 Shirley was on the “SHELF” today, tell them he sent you! Make it a great day, my friends.  We’ll see you next week, right here on the “SHELF”!!

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