Tag Archives: Kathryn C. Treat

The Birth of a Wonder – The Short History of #RaveReviewsBookClub #RRBC

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(Image by All-Free-Downloads.com)

On Sunday, December 8, 2013, I remember sitting at my dining room table and staring at my computer monitor…surfing thru my Twitter feed.

After having finished reading a book that had been tagged on Twitter as “#GreatRead!” and being sorely disappointed and wanting to then tag a more truthful review – “#WorstReadEver” (as it was poorly written, in need of a professional edit and proof and so much more), the wheels of my brain began to spin rapidly.

“I’m going to create a forum where I can post honest reviews of the books that I’ve read,”  I said, half out loud.

After creating the forum and giving more thought to how I could make an even greater contribution to the literary world by posting honest reviews of books, I decided that it would be a great idea to offer more under the umbrella of what I had initially planned; more in the sense of creating a community of readers and writers who could also offer and benefit from honest book reviews.

There were a handful of authors on Twitter who I had developed a special rapport with, and the first one that I reached out to was Bruce A. Borders.  Bruce and I had been supporting one another for quite some time and I had read one of his books and knew that he was a good writer, and also a strong reviewer.

“I’m going to form a book club under the umbrella of Rave Reviews By Nonnie Jules.  A forum where authors will come together to support one another, and also a place where readers can expect that the reviews of books will be honest.  I’d like you to join me and serve as my VP.”

“Sounds like a great idea.  I’m all in,” Bruce said.  “Just let me know when you’re ready to start.”

After the site was fully established with the book club and all that it would offer, I reached out to a few more that I had been reciprocating support with, and, who I also knew would be assets to the club.  The late, Kathryn C. Treat was next on my list and she would serve as our first Membership Director up until two months prior to her death.

In the first month of formation, we added over 300 members to our roster.  By month 5, we had over 600 members.  Membership at that time was really inexpensive: it was FREE.

Since one of the asks of the club was that members #Follow one another on Twitter, we soon came to realize that many were joining us simply to grow their Twitter following.  It soon became abundantly clear that they had no desire or intentions to support their fellow members;  they merely wanted to #follow so that they in turn would be #followed.

In our 6th month, we instituted a $25 annual membership fee, which in my eyes was still FREE, especially when you think about all that the club offers.  The advent of the fee was our way of keeping the riff raff off our roster as we sought to add more of those who were serious about what we were working towards.

I had a TEAM of 7 at the time, and sadly, now I can’t even remember everyone’s name as they weren’t on our roster long (for their own personal reasons)…although we continued to support them off the roster.

Contrary to popular belief, Beem Weeks and Marlena Smith (Marlena Hand at that time) were not original TEAM members of the club.  I noticed Beem, as he was one of the few supporting other authors on Twitter just as much as I was.  I knew that he would be a great asset to the club and he has never proven me wrong.  (After the 7 TEAM members, Beem was the 2nd member on our roster in January of 2014.)

Marlena was also a great supporter of others, and there was something about her persona on Twitter that made me KNOW she would be the best Secretary ever – and for all these years, she has been.  When I asked her to join and serve, she stood back and watched for a couple of days before she said “YES!” (This will surprise many of you, but Marlena was the 174th member on our roster in January of 2014.  And, that was before January 14, 2014! The club was a little over one month old!)  So, as you can see, our membership was growing by leaps and bounds – when it was FREE.

Although Shirley Harris-Slaughter was among my core group of those I reciprocated support with on Twitter, she didn’t come aboard immediately.  Her name was added to our roster shortly after Beem joined, and she has never wavered in her support of RRBC.

Fast forward 5 years and many changes to the faces on my TEAM.  We have had some awesome authors to serve on the RRBC board.  There are some who hold Lifetime Memberships, who have given and who continually give of their time to serve the community of RRBC, who I’m sure will be around until the very end.  Some faces joined our TEAM much later, yet have proven to be committed to serving the RRBC community and our agendas of support.  They’re so awesome, I often wonder how I ever got on without them (Wendy Scott, Jan Sikes, Michelle Abbott, Eric Halpenny, and Mary Adler to name a few).

Although some of the names on our roster have changed over the course of these 5 years, the goals and mission which I established on day one, have not.  We are a community of support.  We are committed to being recognized as an establishment of Indie authors, who take very seriously the business of writing and publishing great works.  We believe in lifting as we climb and we stand by the policy that “honesty” in book reviews, is always the road to travel.  We strive daily to ensure that we put forth our best and most professional “author” face ever, so that we are one day placed in the history books alongside other literary greats.  And, with the inception of RWISA (RAVE WRITERS – INT’L SOCIETY OF AUTHORS), we aim to be the very best.

Other long-timers also remain on our roster.  Members like:  Bette A. Stevens, Karen Ingalls, Kim Taylor, Peggy Hattendorf, Ernestine Rose, Bill Ward, Nicholas Rossis, John Howell, Larry Hyatt, Robin Leigh Morgan, Karl Morgan, Carol Marrs-Phipps, Micki Peluso, Marcha Fox, Joy Nwosu Lo-Bamijoko, Rhani D’Chae, Yvette Calleiro and so many more, are all part of this amazing family that we’ve created online.  This list is too extensive to go on, but, these are some of the early joiners. I appreciate each and every one of them for their staying power and loyalty to RRBC.

As with any organization, we have lost members over the years, but, I never concern myself with those who have moved on.  We accept that not everyone understands or subscribes to the theory of commitment and dedication.  If everyone did, that wouldn’t be real life, now would it?  My attention and focus is always reserved for those who remain.

For those members who have left our roster for things out of their control, (i.e. LIFE, etc.) we wish them all the best and we always welcome those members back into the fold, if and when they decide to return.  Many who have left our roster, later realize the importance of RRBC to the literary world and do return, by the way.

And, for every member who we have lifted, promoted and given name recognition to, yet in the end, moved on to try and compete with RRBC, as opposed to remaining and offering the same support to others, they’ve only made room for those who were actually designed to be here;  and, for that, I am grateful.

Until there is no more breath left in my body, RRBC/RWISA will continue to thrive and grow into the powerhouse it was destined to be, and, it will continue on as the most supportive arena for serious writers that it has grown into and that it is known for.

We don’t believe in looking back or dwelling on the past here at RRBC.  Our success lies before us…in the minutes, days, weeks, months and many years to come.  We know that as long as we remember that it’s not about self, but more about community that helps us succeed, we’ll do just fine.

I will end here by saying, “Here’s to another very successful 5 years, RRBC/RWISA!” 

HAPPY 5TH BIRTHDAY!!!

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#RRBC #BlockParty, Why We Keep Her Alive…

Blog Party 1

There will be 3 winners at this stop:

(1) $5 Amazon Gift Card (courtesy of Bruce A. Borders)

(1) 2 FREE books from the Kathryn C. Treat Treasure Chest

(1) Entry into the Kathryn C. Treat VIP Lounge (it’s very private, you know)

Leave your comments below for a chance at these prizes!!!

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WELCOME TO THIS VERY SPECIAL STOP ALONG THE BLOCK PARTY TOUR!

Well, we’re not really keeping her alive, but we are keeping her memory alive, and if you really think about it, you’ll come to realize that they are both the very same thing.

When I started RRBC, there were a handful of people that I wanted by my side as I took this journey…Kathryn C. Treat was one of those people. She served in the capacity of our first Membership Director but what she did, went far above and beyond the duties of that department.

Kathryn loved RRBC with a fierceness I’m not sure any of us could ever have. She and I often spoke over the phone and she would share with me that this club, RRBC, was a life-line for her. At a time when she could no longer work outside the home, this was her job that she came to every single day, up until the day she left us.  She loved and was truly dedicated to this club.

I remember, after Kathryn had been gone for several months, we received two membership applications from people who listed Kathryn as their referring source. I smiled and said to my board, “Kathryn is still recruiting for RRBC from heaven.” And, I truly believe that she is.

Many of you have noticed that there is a page on the site in her honor and that we have several programs, etc. named in her honor, as well. Kathryn deserves every accolade that we can give her, and that is why I will forever keep her, and her memory alive.

Kathryn passed away on 12/21/14 and so that is why we celebrate her on the 21st of each month here at RRBC. Please, if you haven’t already, pick up a copy of her book today! It’s a well-written and truly amazing read.

In Kathryn’s own words…below…(taken from her website)

 

About

After exposure to severe mold in the workplace, I found myself unable to continue the life I once led.  I was forced to quit work and give up many things that I cherished.  At the time I became ill, I was a 45-year-old mother of two.  The mold exposure sent me on a path of immune system dysfunction, severe depression and near financial ruin.  I struggled with the loss of identity, loss of my independence and severe depression.  In 2003 I began to write my book.  I

Me among the daffodils.

felt others needed to know how devastating mold can really be.  It has taken me nearly nine years to complete the book.  Allergic to Life:  My Battle for Survival, Courage, and Hope is now available through Amazon & Barnes and Noble.

It is my hope that my words will help others struggling with mold exposure or chemical sensitivity realize that they can still make a life for themselves, albeit a different life.  It is also my hope that family members, friends, and those in the medical field will come to understand what life is like after mold exposure.

Allergic To Life by Kathryn C. Treat

 August 22, 2013 is the day Kathryn published her first and only book.  Let’s celebrate her book’s 3rd anniversary in grand style!

ALLERGIC TO LIFE Book Trailer (A 4WillsPub production)

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

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

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

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

Wonder-woman

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

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

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

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

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

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

NJ-Host:  Married or single?

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

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

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

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

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

NJ-Host:  Pets?  What kind?

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

Wonder Woman Dog Costume

NJ-Host:  Favorite food?

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

NJ-Host:  Favorite color?

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

NJ-Host:  Favorite sport?

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

NJ-Host:  Favorite TV Show?

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

NJ-Host:  Favorite Actress/Actor…

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

Melissa-McCarthy3

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

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

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

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

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

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

NJ-Host:  Facebook or Twitter?

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

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

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

NJ-Host:  Nonnie Jules or Wonderwoman? Be honest

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NJ-Host:  What was so great about it?

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

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

NJ-Guest:  I most certainly do!

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

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

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

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

NJ-Host:  Read any poorly written books lately?

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

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

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

NJ-Host:  Are you an author?

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

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

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

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

Wonder Woman tied to car

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

Wonder Woman in Blue Dress and glasses

NJ-Host:  What books have you written?

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

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

BOOK TRAILER

TGMG on BN counter small pic

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

BOOK TRAILER

DDNF1

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

NJ Cover Design-1

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

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

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

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

WATCH NONNIE WRITE!

BOOKS BY NONNIE

ASK THE GOOD MOMMY

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

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

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

NJ-Guest:  Are you seriously asking me that?

NJ-Host:  Nonnie, you promised!

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

NJ-Host:  How were you helped by them?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Check out our Board Member Book Blitz Trailer!

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

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

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

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

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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