Tag Archives: Interviews

What Does a Good #RRBC / #RWISA Member Look Like?

Funny Face Dog 1

(Well, close…but not exactly.)

I receive so many email messages asking: “Nonnie, what does a good RRBC Member look like?  I want to know because I want to ensure that I’m wearing that same look.” Well, the words may not come out exactly that way, but in a gist, that’s what they’re trying to say.

RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB is a book club, unlike any other book club you’ve ever seen.  We’re different, and where I come from…different is a really good thing!  If you’re a new member, you might wonder how we’re different, OR, what separates us from the one million, five hundred thousand, thirty-two and a half other book clubs out there. (Whew! Breathe).

Since I am the Founder of this club, I am the perfect person to answer that question, but, I’m going a step farther…I’m going to tell you just what an AMAZING RRBC Member looks like.  So, cop a squat (as they say), and prepare to be enlightened.

An AMAZING RRBC Member…

*…takes the time to engage in the RRBC forums, introducing themselves and meeting as many of his/her fellow members as possible.  They want to know who is who, so they’ll know who to throw their extra-special support behind;

*…doesn’t join to see what we can do for him/her.  They join to see what they can offer to others;

*…doesn’t come into the club clueless, take all that they have learned from us and then run off to try and start their own club to compete against us.  No, they take that knowledge that we have unselfishly given to them and they use it to help us grow and grow and grow.  You would be shocked at the sheer number of members who didn’t even know how to log onto Twitter, let alone send a tweet, before they joined RRBC, but boy, once we got them up to speed, we never even see them anymore (because of course, they’re off doing their own thing…I mean, who wouldn’t, though?  We’ve equipped them very well!).  Yes, this is the perfect example of forgetting the hand that fed you…and, the hand that literally taught you how to walk;

*…participates in as many club activities as their little heart can muster!  Block parties, contests, blog tours, book club discussions…you name it…they’re there!

*…ensures that he/she is doing his/her part by remaining compliant within the club.  That entails supporting fellow members by reading and reviewing their books;

*…supports his/her fellow members when they are on blog tours, by following along each day, actually taking the time to read posts, sharing on social media and then, leaving comments.  And, they don’t just leave comments when there are prizes to be given away;

*…takes the time to become familiar with our club calendar, so that they don’t miss out on any of our amazingly fun and supportive events;

*…can be found in the #RRBC #PeanutGallery during our RAVE WAVES BlogTalkRadio shows, sharing their comments and questions for the guests and the hosts;

*…doesn’t just pop up when there is something in it for them specifically…like when their books can be promoted or their blogs can be promoted.  Amazing RRBC members are there all the time;

*…doesn’t only read the BWCU (Bi-Weekly Club Updates) to ensure that the book promo info that they submitted, is included.  They read it all the time because they’re truly interested in what’s going on in our club, as well as being genuinely interested in the good news shared by other members;

*…doesn’t re-tweet only the tweets with their own Twitter handle included.  They take the time to seek out their fellow members’ tweets to show their support of them.  (This is easily done by searching Twitter for #RRBC or #RaveReviewsBookClub);

*…doesn’t keep their name on our roster just to continue to sell their books.  They remain because they believe in our mission and our goals here, and they are dedicated to helping to further the cause of building community support;

*…continually helps us to spread the word of RRBC and all that it offers, so that we are always growing.  They realize that the greater our membership, the greater the support we give and receive;

*…is fiercely protective of RRBC and all that we stand for, and just might challenge you if you try to smear our good name;

…and lastly, an AMAZING RRBC MEMBER is here for the long haul.  The excitement that they felt about our club when they first joined, is the same excitement you will find them with today.  Look around, members like Beem Weeks, Joy Nwosu Lo-Bamijoko, Jan Sikes, Wendy Scott, Shirley Harris-Slaughter, Peggy Hattendorf, Rhani D’Chae, Karen Ingalls, Karl Morgan, Patricia Guthrie, Harriet Hodgson, D.L. Finn, Marlena Smith, Michelle Abbott, Karen Ingalls, Bernard Foong, Stephen Geez and so many more…quite a few of these members have been here practically since the very beginning and they are still here, giving and giving and giving.  But, don’t be mistaken, their giving continually pays off for them.  Don’t believe me?  Well, why don’t you ask them.  I’m sure they’re somewhere wandering the halls of our AMAZING club!

Remember the crazy-faced dog above who looks so excited?  Well, we staunch supporters of RRBC and its members, tend to look like that on occasion, too, as we are so “loopy” for all things RRBC!

So, are you on the fast track to AMAZING within RRBC?  I sure hope so because that’s when all those AMAZING doors begin to open up for you!

LIZZIE CHANTREE 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” Current “SPOTLIGHT” Author, Lizzie Chantree

Lizzie Chantree photo 10

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

Lizzie:  It feels warm and well supported! Is there a radiator underneath this shelf? I don’t like heights, but I was hoping someone might have left some food up here for me.

 NJ:  Food?  There is absolutely no eating allowed on this shelf, Ms. Lizzie.  Now let’s start by confirming whether or not your author name is your birth name or a pen name?

Lizzie:  It’s my married name, which is Elizabeth Chantree. My closest friends and family have always called me Lizzie. I also paint under the name Beth Juniper, which is an abbreviation of my maiden name.

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?

Lizzie:  I was born by the coast, in a town called Southend. I don’t live there now, but it is only a short drive away. I live on the outskirts of London.

 NJ:  Yes, we could tell from your interview earlier today that you were mighty “Brit” as we say on this side of the pond.  (At least the side that I live on).  Are you married or single?

Lizzie:  Married.

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

Lizzie:  I have two beautiful daughters, who are energetic and fill me with inspiration every day.

NJ:  Oh well,  you must read THE GOOD MOMMIES’ GUIDE TO RAISING (ALMOST) PERFECT DAUGHTERS by that uber-Mommy, Nonnie Jules! (By the way , I shall remain in this uber state until my children write that tell-all, they keep threatening me with.)

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So, Lizzie, out of those two amazing daughters, which one is your favorite? (And be honest…I’m sure they’re not reading this interview):

Lizzie:  I really don’t have a favorite. They are both so different. One was poorly for many years when she was very young and still smiled through it all, and the other went through long periods of worry about her sister, but stayed strong and has grown into an amazing young woman. They amaze me!

NJ:  Young woman?  You look like the young woman!  I imagine you to have toddlers!  My goodness, you girls age so well.  OK, moving right along…any pets in the Chantree household?  If so, what kind?  (I sure hope it’s a dog).

Lizzie:  A very fluffy dog named Pepper. She is a cross between a Poodle and a Spaniel. She is an allergy dog, which means she doesn’t drop hair or cause breathing problems for anyone. She carries stones around with her all day and sleeps on my feet, even if I stand still for just a few minutes! I have fallen over her many times. She follows me everywhere.

Gorilla clapping

(Woo Hoo!  She has a dog!)

 

NJ: Lizzie, what is your favorite food?

Lizzie:  All food! My absolute favorite is nachos with chilli con carne, sour cream and cheese.

NJ:  You are much too tiny to love all food.  Honey, this is me loving all food…

Big belly wonder woman.jpg

So, I think it’s safe to say that I definitely don’t love all food.  What’s your favorite color?

Lizzie:  Blue. Every tone of blue.

NJ:  OK.  What about your favorite sport?

Lizzie:  Athletics. But I enjoy lots of different sports.

big eyed confused dog

 NJ:  This next round of questions will go really fast.  You have to be quick in your responses, or you’ll miss something.  Favorite TV Show…

Lizzie:  I love reality TV. I find it all so funny!

NJ:  Favorite Actress/Actor:

Lizzie:  Meryl Streep.

 NJ:  Couch potato or workout nut? Be honest .

Lizzie:  I’m not a couch potato, I move around too much. I love working from anywhere, so I walk to a coffee shop, or go to sit by the sea to write. I love exercise, but I should do more than I currently do.

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).

Lizzie:  People who put other people down. This really, really, annoys me! I don’t believe that kindness is a weakness. In fact it makes you stronger. You don’t have to drag anyone else down to get where you’re going. Lift others up and help them along on their journey. A little kindness goes a long way.

 NJ:  Good response.  Are you neat or messy?

Lizzie:  I’m a neat, messy person. I’m creative! Are there any obsessively neat creative people out there? I love clean surfaces, as I then have a lovely space to sit or work, but open a drawer and you will either find an array of papers, paints and goodness knows what else, or my various flavors of bubblegum, which I hide from the children in my office.  I love bubblegum!

 NJ:  Obsessively Neat?  ME!  Creative?  ME! ME! & ME! So there!   Facebook or Twitter?

Lizzie:  Twitter. I think it’s fabulous. Plus, with 140 characters, you have to be creative about your wording or photos. It’s a brilliant way to connect with readers and authors. I have met so many people who run businesses, sculpt, photograph, travel, design and simply enjoy interacting with others on Twitter. I rarely automate my account as it is full of things I discover daily that interest me. It is time consuming, but productive.

NJ:  Yes, Twitter is my thing, too.  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.

Lizzie:  Only two? There are so many great people out there! Gordon Bickerstaff / @ADPase is a huge support.  I met him through RRBC, and he’s  friendly and gives his time to tell the world about other author’s work, mine included.

 NJ:  Nonnie Jules or Wonderwoman? Be honest.

Lizzie:  You are a bit of a Wonderwoman to be honest, Nonnie! My sister and I used to love watching Wonderwoman as we were growing up. She represented a strong woman with a busy life, who still took the time to help others. Sound familiar…..

 NJ:  Of course, it does.  Thanks, Lizzie!  I also watched her as a child and whenever there are re-runs on of the show, I still stand up (look around to make sure no one’s watching) and I spin and spin and spin, until I have on my imaginary WW attire!  Takes a lot more spins than it did when I was younger, and could spin faster but… anyway.  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:

Lizzie:  I must admit my kindle is jammed packed with indie author’s books I have not tried before, from RRBC. Before joining, I used to pick my favorite genre, which is ChickLit. Now I have stories from all walks of life that I haven’t read before.

I really enjoyed Rebecca Reilly’s, Into Dark Waters and am looking forward to reading more of her work.

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

Lizzie:  Yes. As long as I finish reading the book. As an author I know how important it is to have reviews.

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

Lizzie:  Their enjoyment of the story and how they connect with the characters or theme.

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?

Lizzie:  Lol! I’m not afraid of being honest. I won’t review anything I don’t enjoy, though. I don’t see the point of putting someone else’s work down. I just don’t say anything. I know many people feel a bad review is constructive, but some people take this to the extreme and I don’t think it’s necessary. A good review for a book you loved is just as honest as saying nothing for one you don’t.  If I gave a book I was bored with a top review, then I could see the issue.

 NJ:  Yes, some people do take this to the extreme but you don’t have to tear anyone down to give a poor mark on a review.  I think all are necessary, as long as you’re being honest. Read any poorly written books lately?

Lizzie:  Yes. I have read a few that I started and then didn’t finish.

NJ:  Are you an author?

Lizzie:  Yes!

NJ:  How long have you been writing?

Lizzie:  I started writing as a teen and I have loved reading since I discovered The Hobbit at school. I wrote my first novel, Babe Driven when my daughter was unwell, to keep myself awake at night. I didn’t publish it until her health started to improve, five years later. I didn’t approach any publishers at that time. I read an article about an author who had self-published and the whole process fascinated me. Babe Driven is full of the sunshine and laughter I didn’t have in my life at that time. I was just a whole ball of stress!

NJ:  WOW.  I can’t think of a better way to pass the time, or to relieve stress than writing, myself.  So, what books have you written?

BABE DRIVEN

Babe Driven by Lizzie Chantree

LOVE’S CHILD

Love's Child by Lizzie Chantree

FINDING GINA

Finding Gina by Lizzie Chantree

NJ:  Which one do you think is the best?

Lizzie:  I love them all, but BABE DRIVEN holds a special place in my heart because I was under so much pressure when I wrote it, but I still finished the story. I may have been a hysterical wreck by that time though!

NJ:  Lizzie, do you have a blog or website?

Lizzie:  I do.

My blog is: https://lizziechantree.com

My website: https://writewithsydney.co.uk

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

Lizzie:  RRBC! I’m sure everyone must say that!

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

Lizzie:  RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB!  I cannot thank the enough the person who for introduced me to this book club, just as I had published my first book, Babe Driven. I was trying to learn as much as I could about publishing and months later had been offered my first book deal, but meeting so many inspirational authors was just what I needed to stop me feeling isolated from people by working alone.

NJ:  RRBC has helped so many and been a constant source of inspiration, as well, but how have you been helped by them?

Lizzie:  It helped me to decide to stick with being an indie author for now. I was worried that taking my book down from Amazon for months or a year without another of my books being ready to print, would mean the loss of all of the wonderful people who have enjoyed my first novel and supported a new author on her journey. Who knows, I may have found more book lovers via a traditionally published book, but I didn’t want to loose the readers I already have. There were other factors involved, but it was a really hard decision. I learnt from the experience and the publisher involved was patient, kind and helpful, giving me some breathing space to decide what was right for me at that time.

 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?

Lizzie:  I have met so many talented people and I love to see what they are up to next! I often look at the RRBC website to see whose book I can find and which one to tweet about.

NJ:  Lizzie, have you come across any other online entities like RRBC?

Lizzie:  No.

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

Lizzie:  I have! All of them!

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

Lizzie:  RRBC is a place of mutual support. It’s not here for anyone to sit by the window in the drizzling rain, watching the party from outside. Dive in and tell everyone about yourself. Wave your arms around and tell us who you are. Join the forums and stop by blogs. Raise a glass to your fellow members and shout out about their work. Most of all, enjoy being part of the RRBC family!

NJ:  Very well said!  Lizzie, thank you for joining me ON THE SHELF today!  And thank you for those very kind words of me and RRBC.  And on a personal level, thanks for checking in on me.  (You know what I’m talking about).  It was very thoughtful of you.

To my guests, please support Lizzie by picking up a copy of one of her books above.   You can also support her by visiting the blog stops along 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 Lizzie  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!

#RRBC, DO YOU FEEL SUPPORTED HERE?

Well, are you being SUPPORTIVE?

English bulldog funny face

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*Writing the Almost Perfect Book Review by Beem Weeks

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

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

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

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

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

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

warhag

(I will definitely let Jan explain this one)

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

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

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

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

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

English bulldog funny face

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jan:  Cool colours – blue-greens mostly

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

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

big eyed confused dog

Huh???

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

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

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

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

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

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

NJ:  So, basically, this is you…

Dog sleeping on treadmill

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jan:  You already know them…

NJ:  I do?

Jan:  Yes, Nonnie Jules and Harmony Kent.

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

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

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

Fat Wonder Woman

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

Jan:  Ted Farrar and Harmony Kent.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jan:  Dreamers by Ted Farrar.

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

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

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

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

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

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

NJ:  Read any poorly written books lately?

Jan:  Oh, yes – more than one!

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

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

NJ:  Are you an author?

Jan:  Yes

NJ:  How long have you been writing?

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

NJ:  What books have you written?

Jan:  MILELE SAFARI

Milele Safari original cover by Jan Hawke

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

Rave Soup

NJ:  Which one do you think is the best?

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

NJ:  Do you have a blog or website?

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

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

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

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

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

Jan:  Definitely RRBC!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Peggy Hattendorf 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, Peggy Hattendorf!

DSC02007NJ:  Before we get started, let me apologize for any typos in this interview coming from my end…it is after 2am and I am too sleepy to proof.  Will do that later today!  So, Peggy, how does the “shelf” feel to you? Is it comfy?

Peggy:  Yes, Nonnie,  it’s very comfortable although, I might suggest a cushion or some decorative pillows – just kidding.

NJ:  Angry puppyReally?  {Shaking it off.  I’ve had no “accidents” lately and Micki Peluso and Joy Lo-Bamijoko have been very impressed with me, so I will not let her rattle me.  C’mon, eyebrows, straighten up}  Let’s start by confirming whether or not your author name is your birth name or a pen name…

Peggy:  I do not use a pen name. My given name is Margaret but I have always gone by Peggy. Hattendorf is my married name.

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?

Peggy:  I was born in Santa Monica California. I’m calling Los Angeles home once again after living in several other states and other areas of California for 16 years.

NJ:  Married or single?

Peggy:  Married

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

Peggy:  Yes, I have two children – a son and a daughter. But Nonnie, that’s not all. I’m pleased to say, I have 4 grandchildren. Three granddaughters ages – fifteen, twelve, eleven and a five year old grandson.

NJ:  WOW!  I can tell you’re one proud grandmother, aren’t you?  Three granddaughters?  Have you read “THE GOOD MOMMIES’ GUIDE TO RAISING (ALMOST) PERFECT DAUGHTERS…”?  Favorite child, and be honest…I’m sure they’re not reading this interview…

Peggy:  I would not use the term “favorite child” but I spend considerable more time with my daughter partly because she lives closer to me.

NJ:  Pets? What kind?

Peggy:  We have no pets although we have the occasional raccoon, rabbit or coyote stop by since we live in the hills.

NJ:  Peggy, you sound mighty comfy with coyotes stopping by. Favorite food?

Peggy:  Without shame, lobster with drawn butter.

NJ:  What’s your favorite color?

Peggy:  Every shade of pink.

NJ:  I love pink, too, but it has to be paired with black…always.  Favorite sport…

Peggy:  Swimming

NJ:  I’m not a swimmer, but I sure look good on the beach!

fat girl eating pizza{Don’t judge me! You do what you do at the beach, and I’ll do what I do at the beach!}

So, Peggy, do you have a favorite TV Show?

Peggy:  Nashville

NJ:  Favorite Actress/Actor…

Peggy:  My favorite actress is Helen Mirren and favorite actor is Liam Neeson

NJ:  Liam is one of my favorites, too!  Couch potato or workout nut? Be honest.

Peggy:  Workout nut.

NJ:  Good to hear!  Then we’re kindred souls!  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).

Peggy:  My pet peeve is loud cell phone users in public places like restaurants and airports.

NJ:  Are you neat or messy?

Peggy:  Neat . . . very neat.

NJ:  Now, we are too much alike!  Facebook or Twitter?

Peggy:  Twitter

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.

Peggy:  These two Twitter followers have been wonderful supporters: William Frederick @agentBertram and Major KK @majorKK1. If they are not with us – we should bring them to Rave Reviews Book Club.

NJ:  I think you’re right, Peggy.  So, will you be recruiting these two?  OK, moving on…Nonnie Jules or Wonderwoman? Be honest…

Peggy:  Ah, Nonnie while you do indeed possess Wonderwoman traits like strength, judgment, ability, drive and determination – you are far from a “fictional” character.

NJ:  Peggy, thank you!  That was very kind of you to say!  Everyone knows the names Mark Twain and Stephen King but how about you give us two names of some INDIE authors that you favor…

Peggy:  Andrew Mayne and one of our own members,  PJ Fiala

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

Peggy:  I like their writing styles, character development, and story lines.

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

Peggy:  Hollywood Pharaohs by Andrew Mayne and Castle Cape by C.L. Withers

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

Peggy:  Hollywood Pharaohs. I’m going to read another Andrew Mayne book titled Angel Killer – a Jessica Blackwood Novel.

NJ:  OK, what was so great about the first one you mentioned?

Peggy:  It was well written with an intriguing plot, well defined characters and a fast-paced action driven storyline.

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

Peggy:  Honestly, I try to most of the time.

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

Peggy:  I think readers should base reviews on the following: Was the book enjoyable – entertaining – interesting? How did it flow – did it hang together well? Were the characters well developed? Did it have an interesting plot? In addition, mention any negative issues – such as typos – grammar mistakes – things you found confusing etc. AND – would you recommend the book?

NJ:  Great points you made.  So, tell us, Peggy, 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?

Peggy:  No, I try to deliver honest and constructive opinions.

NJ:  I simply adore honesty in reviews and the people who have no problem giving it. Have you read any poorly written books lately?

Peggy:  Thankfully, no.

NJ:  Are you an author?

Peggy:  Yes

NJ:  How long have you been writing?

Peggy:  I have decades of experience writing technical/operational works and various types of travel articles. Currently, I am the Travel Editor for hers Magazine where I write feature travel articles and Hotel Review Blog Posts. I commenced writing fiction about nine years ago but put the project on hold for a very long time. I resumed writing about seven years ago and finished the first book and am currently working on the second one.

NJ:  Interesting career, Peggy!   What books have you written?

Peggy:  Son of My Father – A Family Dynasty,  on B&N and direct distribution links from my website – www.peggyhattendorf.com

NJ:  Which one do you think is the best?

Peggy:  The one I’m currently writing.

NJ:  Do you have a blog or website?

Peggy:  I have both – http://www.peggyhattendorf.com

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

Peggy: The Write Life, Writer’s Relief and BookBaby.

NJ:  Really?  Rave Reviews Book Club isn’t in that number?  WOW!

Dog researching on the computer{Just give me one quick second, I’m researching these sites because I want to see the awesome profiles they did of you!…Hold on, just one more second…still searching…and searching…and, oh, well…I give up}

NJ:  So, Peggy, which online resource or organization has helped you as an author the most?

Peggy:  BookBaby

NJ:  -______________-  How were you helped by them?

Peggy:  I contracted with BookBaby through their BookShop program for additional e-book distribution channels.

NJ:  Peggy, since you’re sitting on the SHELF, you’re obviously a Rave Reviews Book Club member, so what do you think of the club?

Peggy:  It has proven to have a “sense of community” yet broad enough to have international appeal. Well done.

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

Peggy:  No

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

Peggy:  Yes

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

Peggy:  As I mentioned at the start, some cushions or pillows would be good for the long stretches of sitting on the hard shelf. To end on a more serious note, from one who has founded and built organizations, I know the hard work and effort needed to make an entity successful and you are definitely accomplishing this with Rave Reviews Book Club. So Nonnie – you may be Wonderwoman after all.

NJ:  Thank you so much for joining me on the shelf, Peggy!  To my guests, please support Peggy by picking up a copy of her book, SON OF MY FATHER.   You can also support Peggy by visiting her blog stops on her tour which ends on Saturday.  You can find the tour line up here.  

Son of my Father by Peggy HattendorfHave you joined Rave Reviews Book Club yet?  Well, here’s your chance!  And since Peggy was on the “SHELF” today, tell them she sent you.  Make it a great day, my friends.  We’ll see you next time, right here on the SHELF!!”

Marlena Hand in “WHO’S ON THE SHELF WITH NONNIE JULES?”

Hello, and welcome to “WHO’S ON THE SHELF?” with yours truly, Nonnie Jules!

It’s the interview everyone holds their breath on!  Where guests sometimes have to do a balancing act just to hang on!

photo (18)

{Designed and gifted by the late, Author, Kathryn C. Treat}

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 very own Club Secretary, Marlena Hand!!! To those of us who know just how long her responsibility list is with the club, she’s also known as Superwoman

1Marlena

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

MH:  Of course!! It couldn’t be any nicer!

NJ:  Of course, you’d say that, Mar.  {Mar is a total mini-me}.  Let’s start by confirming whether or not your author name is your birth name or a pen name?

MH:  My author name and birth name are one and the same.  When I finally publish my first novel, I will definitely use my God-given name. I owe that to my parents.  🙂

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?

MH:  Born, raised and still a resident of Cullman, Alabama.

NJ:  Married or single?

MH:  Married

NJ:  OK, well, don’t sound so happy about it,  -_______-  Kids or no?  If yes, how many?  Sons or Daughters?

MH:  Only a four-legged fur baby.

NJ:  Thank, Goodness!  Oh, I’m sorry…for those of you who don’t know, I consistently pray over Marlena’s tubes, because if she were to have a baby right now, while RRBC is growing so fast, we’d have to shut down every time she had morning sickness.  Not only that, we’d ALL have to go on maternity leave while she is on maternity leave because this organization CAN NOT function without Marlena Hand.  Believe me when I say, you all would get by without ME just fine, but Marlena…well, I say we all start praying over her tubes together, right now!  She has agreed to let me know when she’s ready to be a mom to a two-legged baby, at which time (per our contract), I will cease praying over her tubes.   So, Mar, what’s the four-legged baby’s name?

MH:  Harli

NJ:  Nice name.  What’s your favorite food?

MH:  Italian

NJ:  Favorite color…

MH:  Blue

NJ:  Favorite sport…

MH:  Favorite sport to watch?  Baseball.  Favorite sport to play?  Volleyball.

NJ:  You didn’t tell me you loved volleyball!  You know how much I love volleyball…to watch, that is, not to play.  Favorite TV Show…

MH:  The crime shows, like CSI or NCIS.

NJ:  Ahhhh, yes, the shows that turn you into a little detective…and we know how much you like to research, don’t we?

Dog researching on the computer

So, who’s your favorite Actress/Actor?

MH: Julia Roberts & Bradley Cooper

NJ:  Julia Roberts is mine, too!  (I told y’all she is a total mini-me!).  Couch potato or workout nut? Be honest, Mar -_____-

MH: Neither. I don’t workout as often as I should, but I am not one to just lounge around. I’m always working on something!

NJ:  Yes, you are always moving and on the go, which is a good thing, exercise-wise.   I think I’m going to get you one of those pedometers that track your steps so that you will ensure you’re getting in at least 10,000 a day.  I wear mine faithfully and love it!  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…and sometimes not-so-friendly stomach-punching).

MH: Betrayal

NJ:  THAT IS THE WORST!  My hand almost (accidentally) hit you sitting across from me, simply because you said the word, betrayal!   That’s just how much my stomach-punching radar loathes people who betray other’s trust.  Thank goodness, I’m calming down now.  I would NEVER want to accidentally punch my Mar!  Let’s get off that subject quickly!  So, are you neat or messy?

MH: I’m borderline OCD

NJ:  Oh my goodness…I think I gave birth to Marlena.  This child is too much like ME!  #Scary but #Awesome at the same time. Facebook or Twitter, my child?

MH:  Depends on the purpose! Facebook is my connection to high school friends & family. Twitter is my connection to some AMAZING authors.

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.

MH:  Nonnie, you are a HUGE supporter on Twitter. I think everyone can agree to that!  And actually, my biggest supporters on Twitter are all members of RRBC!

NJ:  Do you hear that world?  THE MOST AWESOME SUPPORTERS ARE MEMBERS OF RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB!  Nonnie Jules or Wonderwoman? Be honest.

MH:  Nonnie and Wonder Woman are one and the same, right?

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…

MH: Since I can only name two, I’ll go outside RRBC … Emily Greenwood & Joyce Schneider. (Maybe they’ll see this and join!)

NJ:  {Marlena, don’t think I love you so much that you can’t have an accident up on this shelf.)  What is it about them that you’ve come to like?

MH:  Emily writes historical romance and her books are very well-written and you are immediately pulled into the characters’ worlds. She also writes about strong, independent women, which I love.

Joyce introduced me to my first medical crime thriller and, like Emily, immediately pulled me in. I find the crime scene world rather fascinating. And I love to be put on the edge of my seat, anxious to see what happens next. Joyce does that easily.

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

MH: It’s SO hard to think of only two when I’ve read so many awesome ones. First ones that come to mind would be Jazz Baby by Beem Weeks & A Little Night Mischief by Emily Greenwood.

3rd Try

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

MH:  Sugarcoatin’ is for Candy & Pacifyin’ is for Kids … hands down!!

Sugarcoatin Cover

NJ:  (WOW! And I didn’t even have to pay her to say that!  Hopefully, I don’t get billed later.) Thanks, Mar!  I’m happy you enjoyed it that much!  What was so great about it?

MH:  What wasn’t?! The writing, the message, the quotes…

NJ:  …oh, and don’t forget the FIVE errors that have since been corrected. -_________-  Mar, after you read books, do you post reviews?

MH:  I do.

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

MH:  First and foremost, book reviews should be honest, without being harsh. My method is to give a brief description of the book, followed by my thoughts on different elements of the book – writing, the flow, the character development, etc.

NJ:  Sounds like you’re a pretty good reviewer!  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?

MH:  When I review a book, I try to be honest. I will admit, though, that I reflect more on the positive elements of the book.

NJ:  OK.  Read any poorly written books lately?

MH:  I have not. The last several books I’ve read have been great!

NJ:  You know what, Mar?  Honestly, I have to agree with you.  When I first got into the reviewing biz, oh my goodness, all kinds of literary trash was being dumped over my head, but lately, the Indie world is delivering the goods!

(LITERARY TRASH defined by Nonnie Jules:  A written piece of work that should have had MORE work put into it before it was released, AND when the errors are pointed out to the author, the author makes excuses, instead of rushing to remove and correct/perfect.  “Yes, I Said It!”)   So, Mar, are you an author?

MH:  I am aspiring to publish my own book, but yes, I am a published author.  Right now you can find some of my published work in the Rave Reviews Book Club’s first Anthology:  RAVE SOUP FOR THE WRITER’S SOUL.

Rave Soup own (1)

NJ:  How long have you been writing?

MH:  For as long as I can remember! My first memory comes from 2nd grade, when I was selected to attend a local Young Authors Conference.

NJ:  What books are you working on?

MH:  My WIP is titled (for now!) A Momentary Glance.

NJ:  Do you have a blog or website?

MH:  I do! I have my blog (mylife428.wordpress.com).

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

MH:  Well, obviously, I think everyone that loves to read/write should belong to Rave Reviews Book Club. It truly is a wonderful organization that offers one-of-a-kind support.  I enjoy visiting the Writer’s Digest website for tips and advice, and Twitter is an excellent way to network with fellow writers.

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

MH:  I would have to say Twitter. Mainly because it connected me to the peeps of RRBC.

Dog rolling his eyes

NJ:  “Really, Mar?  Twitter?

NJ:  OK, then…how did TWITTER help you?

MH:  Twitter has helped me connect with some amazing and inspiring people, including fellow writers. If you pay attention, you can learn a lot through Twitter: marketing/promoting techniques, publishing dos & don’ts, etc. And, as I said, if it weren’t for Twitter, I wouldn’t have met YOU and been introduced to this awesome club.

Blushing dog

NJ:  Oh, shucks, you’re making me blush.  Stop it!  As a Rave Reviews Book Club member, what do you really think of the club?

MH:  Rave Reviews is filled with the most amazing people — talented writers, tremendous supporters. It can’t get much better than RRBC. I truly feel blessed that I am able to serve on a Board of some of the best people I know.

NJ:  Well, thank you, again!  You’re singing our praises today, aren’t cha?  Whatdoyawant?  Huh?  It has to be something big!  Let’s move on (while you’re thinking of how to respond to that last question of mine) …have you come across any other online entities like RRBC?

MH: Definitely not!

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

MH:  Oh, I do! Quite often!

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

MH:  I thoroughly enjoyed the interview, Nonnie, and am so grateful for the opportunity to join you on this shelf.

NJ:  Oh, I enjoyed you, too, sweetie.  Hurry and get a book with the author listed as only Marlena Hand, so we can all run out and buy it!  To our guests today, if you’re not following Marlena on her blog or on Twitter, you’re missing out on some grand support!  @mlh42812.  We’ll see you next week with another awesome interview!!! 

Kathryn C. Treat 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,  KATHRYN C. TREAT!!!

IMG_1858NJ:  Sorry for my tardiness, guys.  I had a little scare last night and ended up in the ER, so that caused me to be late to my interview with dear Kathryn.  As you can see, rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerated, so those of you who are celebrating, STOP IT NOW!  Welcome, Kathryn and before we really get started, how does the “SHELF” feel to you?  Is it comfy?

Kathryn:  It is much more comfy than my wicker chair.  Sitting on them sometimes feels like I am sitting on a piece of board.

NJ:  I can see how you can feel that after having to use that method of furniture for so long.  I love wicker, but only when I’m relaxing on my porch.  I know I wouldn’t be able to live on it everyday, so Kudos to you Kathryn for having the kind of strength I don’t.  So, how about we start by confirming whether or not the name we know you as, is your birth name or a pen name?

Kathryn:  My author name is a combination of my birth name and my married name.  I was born Kathryn Chastain and my married name is Treat.

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?

Kathryn:  I was born in Joplin, Missouri.  I haven’t lived there since I was a small child.  I live in the Central Valley of California.

NJ:  Married or single?

Kathryn:  I’m married.  I have been married to the most wonderful man for 38 years.  I am so lucky to have someone who is willing to take on so much.  When my life turned upside down, he rose to the challenge.

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NJ:  I mean seriously, Kathryn, how wonderful can they be after 38 years?  Rising to challenges or not, SOME OF THEM TURN INTO MONSTERS of the worst kind!  You know the ones that sit in front of the television, with their hands stuffed down their pants, watching a football game.  Remember Al Bundy?  I thought he was real!  But ok, let’s move on.  So, I know that you’re a mom.  Girls or Boys?

Kathryn:  I have two lovely daughters.  I also have three wonderful grandchildren. (Uh oh…she’s one of those…here comes the photos of the grandkids *Sigh*)

NJ:  Favorite child (and be honest…I’m sure they’re not reading this interview).  Can we assume it’s the beauty in this photo?  By the way, she’s a dead ringer for you!  GORGEOUS!

Kathryn:  I don’t have a favorite child.  They are each caring and loving women.

NJ:  Any pets?  If so, what kind?

Kathryn:  I love cats and had one for many years.  My husband had to take her when my allergies became so bad I couldn’t have her around me.  I now have a Beta fish that my granddaughter has named Rosa.  We also have an outdoor dog that my husband took in because he was afraid she would get hit by a car.

NJ:  Kathryn, my daughters come home with that story at least 3 times on a slow week. You fell for it?   {Daughters}:  “Mommy, look at this hungry dog I found in the street!  It was almost hit by a car!  Can we keep it?”  {Mean Mommy}:  “NO! Now go put it back in the street!” 🙂  Kathryn, share with us your favorite food? (Gee, my mouth waters every time I say the word FOOD).

Kathryn:  My favorite food would be hot sourdough bread right out of the oven piled high with butter, but I can’t eat it any more.  I love Chinese food and have found a place that will make me a dish without soy sauce or cornstarch.  While the flavor is not the same, it is better than not having it at all.

NJ:  I LOOOOOOOOOOOOVE sourdough bread with tons of butter AND Chinese food is my most favorite!  Heck, I just gained 15 lbs typing this…dang it, Kathryn!  So, what’s your favorite color?

Kathryn:  My favorite color is green, although I seem to have a lot of pinks and blues in my wardrobe lately.

NJ:  You look like a green-girl!  Give us your favorite sport, if you have one.

Kathryn:  I am not athletic and never played sports of any kind.  In fact, I am more of a klutz than anything.  I do enjoy watching Baseball.

NJ:  Favorite TV show…

Kathryn:  I love to watch SHARK TANK.  I think it’s fascinating to see what inventions others come up with.  I also love all cooking shows.  While I can’t eat most foods they prepare, it inspires me to want to try and make a version of the same meal using substitutions.

NJ:  Favorite Actress/Actor:

Kathryn:  My favorite actor has always been James Stewart.  I love all his movies.  My favorites are probably Rear Window and Vertigo.  I once read a biography about him and found his life very interesting.

NJ:  I like him, too, mainly at Christmas time.  So are you a couch potato or workout nut?  Be honest, Kathryn…

Kathryn:  I would probably be called a couch potato. I love to sew and do crafts which usually means sitting.  I used to walk a lot and was a lot more active before becoming ill.  I plan on doing more physical fitness.  It seems every time I get started on a routine I get sick or have an exposure which knocks me back and then I have to regroup and get myself motivated to start all over again.

NJ:  Kathryn, 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).

Kathryn:  Rudeness and lack of manners is my biggest pet peeve.  It surprises me how manners are just not taught to our children any more.  There is nothing worse than someone running into you in a market and just pushing right on by.  There is no “excuse me” or “I’m sorry.” I was not raised that way, my daughters weren’t raised that way, and my grandchildren are not being raised this way.

NJ:  Kathryn, I suggest you start carrying paperback copies of  THE GOOD MOMMIES’ GUIDE TO RAISING (ALMOST) PERFECT DAUGHTERS!”  I hear that the tips in this book work just as effectively on boys, the same as girls, (or adult men, the same as adult women).  So, the next time this happens, just give ’em a book (after you push them back harder!).  Are you neat or messy?

Kathryn:  I think I fit right in the middle.  I am more “Nessy” (if that can be considered a word).  I like things in order and I like a clean tidy house.  I also realize that I have to allow things to slide sometimes and save the energy for myself.  There is a “Spoon Theory”).  You are given so many spoons for each day (6 for example).  It takes 1 spoon to shower and get dressed, 3 spoons to prepare and clean up after meals, 1 spoon to vacuum the house, 1 spoon to clean the  closet.  OK, so now you have used up your spoons and you want to wash laundry and do ironing.  You decide to borrow a spoon from tomorrow.  You continue to borrow spoons from tomorrow until on Day 7 you have no spoons left.  I am learning that I have to conserve my spoons to make it through the week thus I am more “Nessy” than neat.

NJ:  Facebook or Twitter?

Kathryn:  I like the speed of Twitter and the 140 characters forces me to be creative and get to the point.  I have both a personal Facebook page as well as an author Facebook page.  It is nice to link my blog posts to my author Facebook page.

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.

Kathryn:  I am not trying to win points here, Nonnie, but you were one of my early Twitter followers and you have been nothing but supportive to me and my writing.  Another very supportive person on Twitter has been @VickieCaseAuthor.  Vickie is very supportive of me as well.

NJ:  Awww, that was so sweet to say, Kathryn (I know it was honest).  You were one of my first supporters as well, so it was easy reciprocating the support the way we did and still do. And yes, Vickie is sweet and she’s supportive!  Nonnie Jules or WonderWoman?  Be honest (but don’t get kicked off the shelf)  -______-

Kathryn:  WonderWoman!  I am pretty sure you are secretly WonderWoman.  How else could you have accomplished so much in such a short amount of time and still have all this amazing energy?  Maybe you could share a little of that energy with me.  Just a little?

NJ:  Sure, I’m into energy-sharing!  Sending a cup over to you right now!  That’s all you need.  My energy is powerful stuff!  Kathryn, everyone knows the names Mark Twain and Stephen King but how about you give us two names of some INDIE authors that you favor.

Kathryn:  I didn’t know much about INDIE authors until I started writing my own book and began learning about some of them through a website that I came across.  I like both Alana Terry and Don Drewniak.

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

Kathryn:   Alana Terry wrote an amazing historical fiction story that I just couldn’t put down.  Don Drewniak took a story (maybe more of a journal) that his father had written many years ago about his life and turned it into a wonderful and captivating story.

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

Kathryn:  You mean besides DAYDREAM’S DAUGHTER, NIGHTMARE’S FRIEND?  Well, I could include The Beloved Daughter and The Junk Picker.

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

Kathryn:  The book I would choose is I, Win by Win Charles.

NJ:  What was so great about it?

Kathryn:  Win Charles is a young woman with Cerebral Palsy who has refused to let it define her.  She writes her story by dictating it through her IPhone and then has someone transcribe it for her.  This book both inspires and encourages.  She was taught no to let her disability be a hindrance in anything she wanted to do.

NJ:  Sounds like my  kind of book.  I love reads that inspire and encourage.  Kathryn, after you read books, do you post reviews?

Kathryn:  Yes, I leave reviews after reading a book.  I believe in supporting authors by sharing my experiences when reading their books.

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

Kathryn:  The reader should base his/her review on two things.  A review should be based on the story itself and if it stirs something in the reader that makes them want to share the book with others, and how the book is written (whether it flows smoothly and how well it is edited.)

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?

Kathryn:  It is very difficult to leave a negative review.  I am learning to be a better reviewer by being honest.  I always try to find the good points of the book and focus on them.  My star rating will generally be enough to state how well I liked the book.  I don’t believe in being overly critical in my reviews to the point of bashing an author.

NJ:  Well said, Kathryn.  Have you read any poorly written books lately?

Kathryn:  Yes, I have read some poorly written books lately.  There have been some that I just could not finish and give a review.

NJ:  WOW!  Surprisingly, I’ve had the same experience…of not being able to wade thru that, which was causing me distress the more I read.  Kathryn, are you an author yourself?

Kathryn:  Yes.  It is a title I’m still getting accustomed to using.

NJ:  How long have you been writing?

Kathryn:  I have been writing for ten years.  That is the length of time it took me to write my book.  It is my first true attempt at writing but now I have the bug and ideas for other books are beginning to forumlate in my mind.  With some time management and dedication, I hope to get them from my head to paper.

NJ:  I definitely understand having the bug, Kathryn.  It’s a really good bug to be bitten by, isn’t it?  What’s the title of your book?

Kathryn:  ALLERGIC TO LIFE:  My Battle for Survival, Courage and Hope is my first book.  You can purchase my book through my website where there are links to Amazon, Barnes & Noble and a link to purchase a signed copy from me.  My website is KathrynTreat.com.

NJ:  Do you have a blog?

Kathryn:  I have two blogs.  The first one is dedicated to sharing my story and talking about chronic illness and multiple chemical sensitivity.  My second blog, BE MY GUEST, is dedicated to writing and supporting other authors.  I hope that you all will visit both and share your thoughts and comments with me.

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

Kathryn:  I have signed up and follow several online resources/organizations.  The two that stand out the most for me are RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB  (RRBC) and Indies Unlimited.

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

Kathryn:  I have received the most social media support and encouragement from RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB.

NJ:  How has RRBC helped you exactly, Kathryn?

Kathryn:  RRBC is one of those “do everything” clubs.  I have received so much support in terms of Twitter and name recognition!

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?

Kathryn:  Yes, I am not only a member, but the Membership Director!  Where do I begin?  {NJ:  Another long-winded one…*Sigh*}.  This club is phenomenal!  There is so much activity and ways for its members to be PROFILED, PROMOTED & PROPELLED.  Members are supported daily through tweets by members of our Tweet Support Team (TST) and other club members.  Member-author books are displayed prominently in our Online Catalog (BOOK CLUB SELECTIONS FOR REVIEW page).  RRBC offers a BOOK OF THE MONTH where a book and it’s author are promoted for an entire month.  RRBC shines a bright spotlight on authors through our “SPOTLIGHT” AUTHOR program, where authors are featured as guests on many blogs for an entire week;  featured on the RRBC SpotlightChat with Danica Cornell and they also have the honor of being interviewed by our President, Nonnie Jules, in the most sought after interview segment ever, “WHO’S ON THE SHELF,” which is where I’m sitting now.  Members are randomly selected each Tuesday for #PUSHTUESDAY, where our body of active members push and promote this special member HEAVILY for a full 24-hours!  There are writing contests, a Mentor Program and so many other giveaways and Incentives for our members.

There is so much going on here and new ways to promote our members are continually popping up.  What’s not to love about this club?  Are you a member yet?  Mention that you heard about it from me WHEN you join us!

NJ:  -______-  WHEW!  Sure you’re finished, Kathryn?  OK.  Have you come across any other online entities like RRBC?

Kathryn:  I have come across book clubs, but nothing like this club.  RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB is growing rapidly.  There will be others trying to emulate it BUT RRBC has set very high standards, and so copying it would be almost impossible.

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

Kathryn:  I want to thank you, Nonnie, for bringing me on board when you began envisioning RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB.  I have had so many positive experiences with the club and it’s members.  I am enjoying my time in the “SPOTLIGHT” now and also look forward to my time in any of the other fabulous seats here in the RRBC house.

NJ:  Thank you so much, Kathryn!  That was an awesome interview (you were a little long-winded like your friend Mrs. Slaughter, but that’s OK…hehehehe).  You have made our time on the SHELF, a most pleasant one!  To my guests, please support Kathryn by picking up a copy of her book  ALLERGIC TO LIFE  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 yet?  Well, here’s your chance!  And since Kathryn was on the “SHELF” today, well, she already told you what to tell folks, didn’t she?  Make it a great day, my friends.  We’ll see you next week, right here on the “SHELF”!!

Allergic To Life cover

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