Tag Archives: Reviews

@WendyJayneScott in “WHO’S ON THE SHELF” WITH NONNIE JULES – #RRBC

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 this “SHELF,” YOU are an open book! Even if I have to pry you open!

Today we have a very special guest on the SHELF with us,  member, WENDY SCOTT.  Wendy is our “SPOTLIGHT” Author for the month of June and we are celebrating her all month long.  This week, she gets to sit on the shelf with me!

Scan_20170527 (2)

(Now that looks just like Wendy, doesn’t it?)

NJ:  Before we get started, how do you like the design and feel of my new shelf?  We’ve made it more comfortable in 2017, in that we want all of our guests to feel at home…that’s if they’re coming from a nice and neat one, and we also wanted the lay out to be a bit safer….you know, we’ve had a few accidents up here on this shelf.  So, comfy?

Wendy:  I don’t have a great sense of balance so I appreciate the addition of the padded stirrups. Wonderful view of the RRBC book shelves, filled with highly acclaimed authors like John W. Howell, Gwendolyn Plano, Harmony Kent, Beem Weeks, and a few signed copies by Nonnie Jules.

NJ:  WOW!  Impressive!  (That’s a sure way not to ‘almost’ have an ‘accident.’ … throw my name in there, too).  

English bulldog funny face

Wendy, Let’s start by confirming whether or not your author name is your birth name or a pen name?

Wendy:  I use different versions of my name for various genres. Wendy Scott for Fantasy, WJ Scott for Children’s, and Wendy Jayne for Romance. So I suppose that makes me a split personality.

Dog rolling his eyes

(A split personality?  Really, Wendy…don’t you think I get enough of dealing with ‘personalities’ on a daily basis, as it is?  I’m gonna need you to keep that in check during this interview, OK?)

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?

Wendy:  I was born in Invercargill, (the frozen bottom of the South Island), New Zealand. When I was nine we moved to the tropics: Blenheim, (top of the South Island). In 1999, I crossed the ditch and lived in Adelaide, South Australia, for five years (wine country). Currently, residing in Hokitika, West Coast, New Zealand on our 3 ½ acres of paradise.

NJ:  Married or single?

Wendy:  My partner and I have been best buddies for over 25 years. One day we may wed on a Hawaiian beach or a Vegas Elvis Chapel, but hey you can’t rush these things.

NJ:  Any kids?  What kind?

Wendy:  Two kids; the one with hooves, horns, and startling blue eyes is Iron the goat (mother’s name Maden, sister’s name China). The human kid, our preteen birth child is Layk, named after our favourite lake: Lake Kaniere.

NJ:  If you’re not there already, when you’re old and cranky, which one will keep you at home to care for you themselves, and which one will immediately throw you into a nursing home and only visit you at Christmas?

Wendy:  Layk has All Black (NZ rugby team) aspirations so here’s hoping he can keep us in the style we wish to become accustomed to. He has offered to build us our own shack.

NJ:  Any pets?  What kind?

Wendy:  Many four-pawed friends. Two dogs, Boss (SPCA well behaved dog) he’s the size of pony with the heart of a teddy bear, and we inherited Zuki, a Bichon Frise, the size of a teddy bear, with the mentality of a Rottweiler (who barks when people are leaving???). Two SPCA rescue cats (reject Russian Blue brothers), Zippy and Zappy.

NJ:  Zippy & Zappy…Hahahaha!  I love those names.  So, Wendy, what’s the food that’s so good to you, you go to bed dreaming about it, and you forego breakfast just to get to it?  I expect that this is also the food you’ll be sharing in our upcoming RAVE SOUP FOR THE WRITERS’ SOUL “Good Eats” Cookbook, right?

Wendy:  Raspberries and chocolate. Mmmmmmm.

NJ:  OK.  That, you will never have to worry about coming up missing out of the board member lounge fridge.  So, what’s your favorite color:

Wendy:  Purple, of course.

NJ:  Of course?  That one went over my head, Wendy, but let’s move on to your favorite sport.  I hope there’s not an ‘of course’ attached to that, too.

Wendy:  Watching my son’s rugby. I still don’t understand all the rules, I’ve been barred from running onto the field, but I can wear the team’s hoodie and yell from the sidelines. Go Kiwis!

NJ:  Favorite TV Show…

Wendy:  SciFi Geek: Firefly /Stargate (yes, I’ve watched all 10 seasons more than once, and Stargate Atlantis).

NJ:  Yep, you won’t have to worry about me calling to talk about that show with ya!  So, how about your favorite Actress and Actor…

Wendy:  Morgan Freeman and Jodie Foster.

NJ:  I like Jodie Foster, too.  She is such a star!  I used to like Morgan until he did that ‘thing’… now, I don’t care to watch him in anything anymore.  But, anyway, do you like to exercise to stay fit OR do you not mind just letting it all go?

Wendy:  I believe you lose it if you don’t use it. I hike, bike, and hit the gym for Body Combat and Box Fit (something very satisfying about putting on boxing gloves and smacking things).

NJ:  Wendy, I so agree.  My pink ones keep me out of the slammer, for sure!

Boxing gloves

Biggest pet peeve that makes you want to spit nails?  (For the record, NJ does not condone violence, but she does believe in being honest so she admits that there are those times and there are those people, who do cause her to want to spit a few nails in the direction of their foreheads.  Hey, just being honest.  It’s the only way I roll).

Wendy:  Some people’s inability to master the engineering feat of changing a toilet roll. Seriously, it’s not that difficult, and it’s just plain good manners.

Puppy and tissue

NJ:  Uh, is this how you do it?  Wendy, be careful who you ask to change the toilet roll, OK?  So, are you neat or messy?

Wendy:  I’m a writer not a domestic goddess. I thrive in chaos.

 NJ:  OOOOOOOOK, so you weren’t at all bothered by the puppy and the mess above?  Got it.  Facebook or Twitter?

Wendy:  Twitter, I love the randomness.

NJ:  We’ve come to realize that the internet is giving way to tons of budding friendships.  Who would you say is the one person you’ve connected with the most…your internet BFF or buddy?

Wendy:  I’ve reconnected with a girl friend from our teenage years and it’s like the missing years never occurred.

NJ:  Well, good for you!  Wendy, here’s the most serious question of the entire interview…who do you favor most:  Nonnie Jules or WonderWoman? Be honest, now.  You don’t have to worry about Wonder Woman…she’s at the movies right now.

Wendy:  Is this a trick question?  I was under the impression they are one and the same. Wonder Jules!

NJ:  Hahaha, Wonder Jules!  I love it!  I like that one better, let’s start using it instead!  We all know that Wonder Woman has her truth lasso and Nonnie has…well, just her truths, in the no-nonsense way she forces us to be honest and tell it like it is, whether it makes others uncomfortable or not.  In your opinion, which one does a better job of making the world a better place?  You can be honest here, too.

Wendy:  I suspect Nonnie’s truth lasso is like an electric dog collar. Wander too far from the truth and you get zapped!

NJ:  I love it! And you’re so right.  I do like to remind folks when they act as if they’ve forgotten.   Name two favorite INDIE books that you’ve read:

Wendy:  Jazz Baby by Beem Weeks, and Finding Katie by Harmony Kent.

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

Wendy:  Silvana The Greening by Belinda Mellor.

NJ:  Great!  Written  by an RRBC member, too!  What was so great about it?

Wendy:  I wish I’d written it! Fantasy literary story telling at its finest.

NJ:  Oh, my!  I may have to pick that one up!  Wendy, after you read books, do you post reviews?

Wendy:  Yes, for those books I read through to the end.

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

Wendy:  Their reading experience of how the story and the characters engaged them. I expect well edited books with believable 3 dimensional characters, a gripping storyline, and a satisfying ending.

 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?

Wendy:  I choose books to read that I expect to enjoy, and I’ll often check out the opening sample to review the writing style. I believe you can tactfully state improvement suggestions. I don’t award 5* lightly, to gain my 5 stars the story has to be exceptional. My reputation as an author is on the line.

NJ:  Read any poorly written books lately?

Wendy:  My time’s too precious to waste on poorly written or edited books, I abandon them, and read books that capture and hold my attention.

NJ:  So you see, people, some of us don’t even waste our time reading books all the way through if it’s clear that they haven’t been properly edited or, they’re not reads worthy of even having been published in the first place…because there was no care given to how important those issues would be to a reader.  How many poorly written books have you read that you gave high marks to in your reviews, when you knew they were horrible?  Be honest, I won’t ask you to name the books here in public.

Wendy:  I don’t review them as I didn’t read them past the opening pages. If it was a specific request by an author I will send them a summary of the issues I encountered that stopped me continuing i.e. POV lapses. telling rather than showing, repetition, information dumps, too much backstory, pace, dialogue tags ,lack of character development etc. Usually this is obvious within the first chapter.

NJ:  There are some INDIE authors who have come onto the scene and have given our literary playing field a new look.  Can you name two INDIE authors who have done this in your eyes?  And, how have they changed the field for us?

Wendy:  Texas author, Jan Sikes, as Marketing Director of RRBC, is actively out there continually promoting RRBC books online and she and Nonnie are working to get RRBC books into bookstores.

Nonnie Jules created RRBC from scratch and within a few short years has steered RRBC into a dynamic and thriving author support network where honest reviews are encouraged.

NJ:  Well, thank you, Wendy.  It’s not every day we get to hear that folks think so highly of us.  Are you an author?  Are you a good one?  C’mon, we love honesty here.

Wendy:  I’m a multi-award winning author who strives to lift the bar with each successive book.

NJ:  Well, good for you!  How long have you been writing?

Wendy:  My writing journey began in 2003 when I attended a six week course on ‘How to write a novel’.

NJ:  Are you able to take constructive criticism of your written work?

Wendy:  Yes, it’s part of the editing process, and with reviews I look for common themes to address with future works. I’ll always be a student of writing, continuing to grow my literary skills.

NJ:  Name two books that you’ve written?

Lodestone, Book 1,

Lodestone by Wendy Scott

Hieroglyph, TC’s Adventures Book 1

ws

 

NJ:  Which one do you think is the best?

Wendy:  Hieroglyph has won multiple international book awards.

NJ:  Do you have a blog or website?  I love GREAT blogs, so would you say that yours is written well enough for harsh critics like me to enjoy?

Wendy:  I have several websites and blogs catering to my different readerships.

My main website: http://www.wendyjscott.com/my-blog

Fantasy: http://www.authorfantasy.com/fantasy-author-blog

Children’s: http://www.authorchildrens.com/childrens-author-blog

http://www.hieroglyph.ws/

http://www.tails-wjscott.com/

Please come and visit you are always welcome.

NJ:  Thanks for that open invitation.  I think I will drop by each one.  Wendy, which online resource or organization has helped you as an author the most?

Wendy:  Drum roll …… and the winner is …..RRBC!

NJ:  Noooooooo!  I never would’ve ‘thunk’ it!  LOL! How were you helped by this amazing club that I keep hearing so many great things about?

Blushing dog

Wendy:  So many different ways. At first I was blown away by all the features – there’s always something new on the go (interviews, tweets, awards, blog parties, trailer parties, book conference, RWISA, anthology etc). But the best part is the people, real authors, real stories, and real connections. This is a community I’m proud to support.

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

Wendy:  No, RRBC is a unique global community.

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

Wendy:  Absolutely! I’m always encouraging authors to join RRBC.

NJ:  Wendy, but we’re not just for authors.  You should encourage readers to join, as well!  What’s your most favorite program or place here within RRBC?  (#PUSHTUESDAY, RAVE WAVES shows, Block Parties, Writers’ Conference & Book Expo, BOOKS OF THE MONTH discussions, “ON THE SHELF” interviews, etc.)

Wendy:  How can I choose? I do love listening to all the RAVE WAVES shows and I’m honoured to join in as a host for BRING ON THE SPOTLIGHT.

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

Wendy:  Thanks RRBC, Nonnie Jules, and the RRBC Board for befriending me!

NJ:  Thank you so much for hanging out on THE SHELF with us today, Wendy!  You are one of RRBC’s finest!  If you all haven’t, you should take notice of how Wendy shares all the pages of our online catalog onto social media.  I mean, there may be others doing it, but I’ve not seen anyone else doing it, so, we should all thank Wendy for sharing our books (and also, follow in her footsteps).

To my guests, please  pick up a copy of one of Wendy’s  books or all of them (you will not be  disappointed!).

Have you joined RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB yet?  Well, here’s your chance!  And, since Wendy was on the “SHELF” today, tell them she sent you.  Make it a great day, my friends…or not.  The choice is all yours!   We’ll see you next month, right here on the SHELF” with another INTERESTING GUEST!!

Advertisements

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!

Focus on Better #1: Writing From Different Worlds -#RRBC

This year, we (the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB) are lending great focus to  getting better…improvement of our selves, improvement in our lives, and because we are a literary organization, improvement of our writing, has moved to the forefront of our mission. It is time that we ALL stand out.  Some of our members already do, but because it is not our goal to leave any of our RRBC family behind, we are going to push one another, until we are all standing on solid (equal) ground.  If you’re not there in the upper echelon of the writing club, then those who are, will not rest until you are planted firmly beside them.  Let’s become each others keepers.  As the great Martin Luther King, Jr. once said:  “I cannot be all that I can be, until you are all that you can be,” so on that premise, we won’t rest until each and every member of RRBC, has reached their highest pinnacle of success in all their written work.

This series, “FOCUS ON BETTER,” will empower and enlighten you.  They are lessons meant to open your eyes to all the possibilities that await you, once you seriously embark on the journey of becoming, not just an average, mediocre writer, but a phenomenal one, whose words are highly sought after by Connoisseurs of the written word. Yes, those are the folks I want to appraise my books…because they are the ones who know truly good writing when they read it.  They can discern junk from jewel and ultimately, their reviews are the ones that matter most to me, as they should to you.  This series is also meant to make you an even better book reviewer.

Today, our focus is on WRITING FROM DIFFERENT WORLDS.  As a book reviewer, I have come to the conclusion that writers from the US & Canada, write a tad bit differently from those writers in the UK and beyond.  You see, the United Kingdom writers tend to write without much punctuation, whereas, if you’re writing it properly in the US, there is a specific place for stop signs and red lights, for green lights that let you continue with the flow of traffic, and even the yellow ones that ask you to pause for a bit.  We already know that some of their (UK & even Canada) words are spelled differently than ours (US), as well;  organization (organisation), catalog (catalogue), centerpiece (centrepiece), and misbehavior (misbehaviour) are just a few of those words.  But, does any of this make their writing incorrect?  For a long time, I thought it did, and so I graded accordingly in my reviews of such work.

After a time of reading so much work by many writers from the UK, writers whose work I enjoyed, aside from the variations of country, I came to the conclusion that their writing wasn’t wrong, it was just the way it was done in their country.  It was at that time, that I decided to use a different scale for their writing, as opposed to my standard scale (my own) of those writers from the US.  I could no longer penalize writing, that for a few variations in spelling, was pretty good reading.  As far as the punctuation end of it, I still struggle, as some work that I have read from writers from the UK, never allow you to pause and take a breath before your eyes begin to cross.  That’s a huge problem for me and probably will continue to be so.  I ask those writers to have a little empathy for those of us who are accustomed to driving on the right side of the road.  I’m sure you wouldn’t want us to have a brain-crash, which is customary when we’re given the freedom to just go go go, without any regard to running into the other words in front of us.  I mean, run-on  sentences are against the law, aren’t they?  Maybe that’s just in Nonnie-land….hmmmm.

What I’d like for you all to take from this today, is to give the other side a chance, whether you’re a word-Connoisseur from the US or from the UK.  Recognize the differences in our writing that are there because of the side of the ocean we’re from, and not just blatant errors and mistakes that some would be quick to believe…are from a lack of knowledge in the field.  Maybe we, in the RRBC, should create a new scale of review to be used for books from the UK, which in all actuality, are well-written, aside from the variations of country that separate us in the area of writing.

Now, I’m not saying that all books, whether from the US or the UK, should be given a pass…just because.  Absolutely not!  No matter where you’re from, there is no arguing that good writing is still, good writing.  I’m merely suggesting that we dig a little deeper, to discern the real junk from the jewels, because no matter where you’re from, THAT should be standard!

We’ll see you next time on FOCUS ON BETTER, for another enlightening topic that can only help you to grow into the best version of you, as a writer.

there-will-al

What are your thoughts on this topic?  We’d love to hear them!

 

 

 

#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.

Rhani D’Chae in “WHO’S ON THE SHELF WITH NONNIE JULES?”

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

Today I have with me on the “SHELF” one of our fabulously supportive members,  Author, Rhani D’Chae!!! She comes in doing a James Brown skip dance, to the theme song of STARSKY & HUTCH.

20141119_103800-1

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

Rhani:  It’s not bad. It’s no feather bed, either, but…it’s not bad.

NJ:  -___________-  {No, she didn’t!… This is surely a woo-saaaaa moment. Calm down, Nonnie.} Well, OK, let’s start by confirming whether or not your author name is your birth name or a pen name.

Rhani:  It’s neither. I’ve used several identities over the years, and since this is the name I had when I wrote Shadow of the Drill, it’s the one you see on the cover.

NJ:  {Is she being a little snippey with me?  I don’t think I like her tone at all.  Hmmmm…let the scooching begin.}  Tell us where you were born.   Do you still live there now?  If not, what city and state are you calling home these days?

Rhani:  I’m not sure what state I was born in. I am adopted and my parents and the information on my birth certificate reflects that. They never wanted to talk about my birth mother, or my life before they got me. I traveled a bit in my younger days, but I  currently live in Tacoma, WA.

NJ:  {Note to self:  chip on shoulder because of childhood, maybe}.  Interesting, so are you married or single?

Rhani:  I was married once, at the ripe old age of 16, but it was a case of being young and stupid, (I was young, he was stupid) so it didn’t last long. I’ve had some LTRs, but have never remarried.

NJ:  LTRs?  I will assume that means Long Term Relationships.  {Why can’t people just spell stuff out?} *Sigh*  Kids or no?  If yes, how many?  Sons or Daughters?

Rhani:  I have given birth to two children, although I only claim my seeing eye son, who currently lives with me. I also have a daughter, who I gave up for adoption. I was too young to be a parent, and thought she would do better in a more stable environment. I am also the head of a festive performance family, and consider them to be my kids as well. Family is so much more than DNA.

NJ:  I will agree with you there.  You don’t have to answer this favorite child question if you don’t want to.  But, seeing as though you have “other” children, why not humor us?

Rhani:  My favorite child is my son, James, although my heathen child, Ann Kershul-D’Chae, is a very close second.

NJ:  Heathen child?  We’ll talk later.  Do you have any pets?  If so, what kind?

Rhani:  I’m a cat person, and am currently staff to nine furry little dictators. Two of them, Spencer Ali and Seeley Booth, are strays that we feed, but the others are indoor cats and rule the house with little iron paws. Two of my cats are on Twitter, which is a constant source of entertainment for us.

NJ:  {Another note to self:  This is why we got off on the wrong foot.  I don’t like cats;  she’s a cat-lady.  Actually, I’m not too fond of cat-people, either.} So, here comes the fun questions…what’s your favorite food?

Rhani:  Lobster

NJ:  Favorite color…

Rhani:  Black

NJ:  Favorite sport…

Rhani:  Football

NJ:  Favorite TV Show…

Rhani:  The Walking Dead is probably my favorite, although I like several others. I write best while watching TV so…

NJ:  Favorite Actress/Actor…

Rhani:  Currently, my favorite actress is Melissa McCarthy. She’s so talented and is one of the best comedic actresses I’ve seen in a long time. My favorite actor is Paul Michael Glaser, absolutely. He’s a wonderful actor, yes, but he also had the courage to be part of a unique team in a breakthrough role that was long overdue. That series, and that team, became the foundation for my boys. Because of that, he’ll probably always be my favorite.

NJ:  {Bingo!  We have something in common!}  Rhani, Melissa is one of my faves, too!  You’ve got good taste in acting!  Couch potato or workout nut? Be honest.

Rhani:  I’m a mixture of the two. I’m not and never will be a workout nut, but I walk two miles a day, and have a few machines that I use. This is mainly to keep my sugar level down, but I’m also trying to lose some weight.

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).

Rhani:  I absolutely hate it when I speak to someone and they don’t acknowledge that I said anything. I don’t mean asking a question as much as I mean a statement. Most people know that a question requires an answer, but if I say that it’s a hot day, I’d like some kind of response so that I know you heard me. Even an “Uh-huh” would be acceptable. I don’t think that’s asking too much.

NJ:  I’m the same way!  When I am in the market (or anywhere) and I have spoken to someone, and I KNOW they heard me…I could have passed them on by, after having spoken to them, but if they don’t respond, I turn around and go back and look them in their face (closely) and repeat:  “GOOD MORNING!”  That’s just rude of folks!  That’s when I want to stomach-punch and slap somebody at the same time.  (oops, NJ lost her cool for a moment.  Had a flashback and thought she was in Walmart and someone didn’t speak back).  Let’s move on from that topic, Rhani. So, are you neat or messy?

Rhani:  I’m not a clean freak, nor a slob. I guess I’m kind of in the middle.  “Organized clutter” works well for me, although I do tend to go on strike when I don’t get help around the house.

NJ:  Facebook or Twitter?

Rhani:  Twitter by far! Facebook has it’s good points but it moves too slowly for me.

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.

Rhani:  Patrick J Russell (@patrussellbooka). He is probably the most indie supportive person I know on either site. He’s also writing with very low vision, and has recently been dealing wih some pretty drastic personal issues, so I find him to be an inspiration. He’s an amazing man, and indie, heart and soul.  Nonnie, I have to say that you are the other one.

NJ:  Awwwww, well Rhani, that was so sweet of you to say.  I feel the same way about you.  (Nonnie scootches back down the shelf, away from Rhani, as she no longer feels the need to “accidentally” shove her).  Who’s your fave…Nonnie Jules or Wonderwoman? Be honest, now.

Rhani:  Nonnie Jules, no question there. Wonderwoman has yet to read my book, and NJ not only read it, she actually liked it!

NJ:  I sure did read it, and not only liked it, I LOVED IT!  And make no mistake about it, I loved SHADOW OF THE DRILL because it was an awesome read and so very-well written!  I should be thanking you for such enjoyment.  So, we all know the names Mark Twain and Stephen King but how about you give us two names of some INDIE authors that you favor:

Rhani:  Oh my goodness, only two? I’ve met several, especially since joining Rave Reviews Book Club. Okay, since I can only pick two – the first one is James Weatherford, author of The Last Soldier; Nature Of The Beast. The other is Beem Weeks, author of the amazing Jazz Baby. .

NJ:  Wasn’t Jazz Baby awesome?  What is it about these authors that you’ve come to like?

Rhani:  Beem is ultra-supportive, and one heck of a writer, and Jim is just a sweet man. He was one of my first friends on Twitter, and has been incredibly supportive..

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

Rhani:  I’m currently working my way through Jazz Baby, and I’m really enjoying it. I also liked Only The Dead by M. W. Duncan.

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

Rhani:  Allergic To Life, by Kathryn Chastain Treat.

NJ:  One of my favorites, as well!  What did you find so great about it?

Rhani:  There are a lot of people who live with physical issues that negatively affect, even dictate, their lives. So I think the message of that book is one that a lot of us can relate to.

NJ:  I agree.  Kathryn is an inspiration to many with all that she has had to live through.  Although, for someone who suffers the way she does, she surely gets around the internet! Have you noticed?  That Kathryn is ALL over the place!  LOL!!  (I just put a target on my back.  Kathryn’s going to get me).  After you read books, Rhani, do you post reviews?

Rhani:  I do if I like the book enough to finish it.

NJ:  I know, some books are so horrible, you just can’t make yourself finish it.  What do you think readers should base their reviews on?

Rhani:  I base mine on what I did or did not like about the book. When I read reviews for a book I’m considering, I just want to know if it’s a good, well written book. I don’t care about the technical crap. So when I write a review, the focus is on how much I did or did not enjoy the read, and why. However, if spelling or continuity errors are too glaring, I will probably mention it.

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?

Rhani:  I try to find something nice to say in a review, even if the book doesn’t really do it for me. The fact that I didn’t like it doesn’t mean that it’s not a good book. I try to step out of my comfort zone and read new things, so if the only reason I don’t like it is because it’s not my genre of choice, I won’t hold that against he book. As for being honest, I call it like I see it. I will always look for the positive, and try to handle the negative with a little bit of tact, but I don’t worry much about upsetting people. Never have, never will.

NJ:  I love your attitude about that!  Way to go, Rhani!  Speaking like someone who read “SUGARCOATIN’  IS FOR CANDY & PACIFYIN’ IS FOR KIDS!”  Have you “tried” reading any poorly written books lately?

Rhani:  Only one, and it was a total frightmare. I met the author on Twitter, and it was his first book. It sounded like it would be right up my alley, so I got it and tried my best to read it. It was definitely the worst piece of crap I’ve ever seen between two covers. I wanted to gouge out my eyes with a butter knife.

NJ:  Where’s your review so I can go and check it out?  No, seriously, why are you laughing?

Rhani:  I didn’t write one, but not out of kindness or sympathy for the author. It was because the words to adequately describe a train wreck of that magnitude have yet to be discovered.

NJ:  And people think I’m brutal!  -_________-  Are you an author?

Rhani:  Yes.

NJ:  How long have you been writing?

Rhani:  Since I was very young.

NJ:  What books have you written?

Rhani:  Shadow of the Drill is my only published novel at this point, although I have others that are awaiting publication.

Shadow of the Drill by Rhani D'Chae

NJ:  Out of your published work and what you’re working on now, which would you say is the best?

Rhani:  I think Shadow is the best, followed by my YA novel, The Last Storm.

NJ:  Do you have a blog or website?

Rhani:  Yes, I do have a new blog, thanks to 4WillsPublishing. I’m new to blogging but I’ve found some pretty interesting things to blog about.  Stop by and visit!

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

Rhani:  Rave Reviews Book Club and Self Publisher’s Showcase are the only two that I have personal knowledge of. Oh, and GR, but I’m not familiar with it and have yet to really use it.

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

Rhani:  That would be Rave Reviews Book Club!

NJ:  How were you helped by them?

Rhani:  They are very supportive, and have given me a great deal of encouragement. Also, my involvement in #RRBC led me to 4WillsPublishing, and that was a very good thing!

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

Rhani:   think it’s an amazing group of talented authors, and anyone who reads or writes books should make it a point to get involved as soon as they can.

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

Rhani:  No, but to be honest, I haven’t really looked.

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

Rhani:  I tell my friends about it on a regular basis.

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

Rhani:  Life is a dance, and though music and partners may change, we only get one whirl around the floor. Make it count in the ways that matter to you, and don’t be afraid to stand alone and boogie to the songs that only you can hear. Be who you need to be, and if you’re lucky, be who you want to be. Most of all, be who you are. I want to thank Pat Russell, Paul Martin from Self Publisher’s Showcase, and the members of Rave Reviews Book Club for being so gracious to someone who was just starting out. I especially want to thank those who were brave enough to read my book and meet my boys.

NJ:  Thank you so much for joining us here today, Rhani!  We are so thankful for the “kind” of member you are that we wanted you to serve as our THANKSGIVING GIFT to all who stop by!  That was an enjoyable interview (well, once we got past the rough spots).   You have made our interview on the SHELF today, a most pleasant one!  To my guests, please support Rhani by picking up a copy of her book, SHADOW OF THE DRILL, with its brand new cover!  You can also support Rhani  by visiting her blog as well as her Author Page at 4WillsPublishing 

Since SHADOW OF THE DRILL was one of my TOP reads this year, please check out the book trailer!  While you’re there, if you like it, please hit the LIKE and SHARE buttons!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

%d bloggers like this: