Tag Archives: Rhani D’Chae

Rhani D’Chae 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 the RRBC “SHELF,” YOU are an open book!

Today, we have our current “SPOTLIGHT”Author with us:  “A totally lost Rhani D’Chae. (this is the way Rhani describes herself when she phones me.  It is hilarious!).

(Throwback Thursday!)

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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?

Rhani:  Yes, it’s actually very comfy. I especially like the cushion, and the way it cradles my tired old tookus.

NJ:  Hmmmm, I didn’t know that we were cradling tired, old tookuses, but OK!  Let’s start by confirming whether or not your author name is your birth name or a pen name?

Rhani:  Rhani D’Chae isn’t the name on my birth certificate, but it’s not a pen name, either.

NJ:  Scandalous!  So, Rhani-who’s-not-really-Rhani, 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 was born in Tacoma Washington, and though I spent many years running around the country, I’ve been living here for the past few decades.

NJ:  Married or single?

Rhani:  I got married at 16, but it lasted only a minute or two. It was a case of being young and stupid, in that I was young, and he was stupid. I’ve had a few long-term relationships since then, but am currently single.

NJ:  Any kids?  What kind?

Rhani:  Let’s see, at the top of the list is my seeing-eye-son, James. Then, in order, my heathen kids are: Jon, Timothy, Jeremey, Ann, and Joyce. Jon and Timothy have both passed on, but the rest of my kids are alive and making me old before my time.

NJ:  Rhani, you, yourself are a book just waiting to be written.  #OneInterestingPerson.  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?

Rhani:  That’s an easy question to answer. James is already searching for the cheapest home he can throw me into, and he’s said many times that if it costs more than $4.95 a month he’s going to put a pillow on my face and lay on it. On the other hand, Ann or Jeremey would gladly take me in and make sure that I was well taken care of. Joyce would too, but hers is not a cat friendly household, so it wouldn’t really work for me.

NJ:  Any pets?  What kind?

Rhani:  My roomies and I are currently staff to 10 rescued cats. Nine of them are indoor boys, while one streetwise panfur has taken up residence in my carport, which was modified for his comfort.

NJ:  Rhani, your cat background is the reason I tried to unfollow you on Twitter. Wierd, the unfollow button is stuck on your page.  Dang cat-curse!  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?

Rhani:  That’s a really tough question. I think I would have to say meatballs.

NJ:  WOW!  I just made meatballs tonight for dinner!  What’s your favorite color, Rhani?

Rhani:  Black

NJ:  Favorite sport:

Rhani:  Football

NJ:  Favorite TV Show…

Rhani:  The Walking Dead

NJ:  Favorite Actress/Actor…

Rhani:  I would have to say Joe Manganiello. I’ve been a fan of his ever since True Blood, but I’m even more of one since a friend told me that he would make a great on-screen Decker.

NJ:  Do you like to exercise to stay fit OR do you not mind just letting it all go?

Rhani:  I had to gain quite a bit of weight a few years ago in an effort to save what was left of my eyes. I hate being overweight, and am doing my best to get back in shape.

NJ:  Good luck with that, Rhani.  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).

Rhani:  Cruelty to animals on-screen or in books. I despise any type of animal cruelty, and even though it’s not actually happening to the animal on-screen or in the book, I just don’t think it’s necessary. It throws me out of the story and I will often leave the theater or toss the book.

  dog shocked

NJ:  Uhhhh, OK.  I still don’t like cats, so, there!  Are you neat or messy?

Rhani:  I’m a mix of both. I hate a dirty house but I do get distracted, especially when I’m writing, so things slip by me.

NJ:  Facebook or Twitter?

Rhani:  Absolutely Twitter.

NJ:  LOL, yes, for me, too!  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?

Rhani:  That would be you. LOL. You’re always there when I need input or advice, and it doesn’t matter how stupid my question is. You’ve gone out of your way to help my work be the best that it can be, and you’ve encouraged me in so many ways.

NJ:  Awwww, Rhani…that’s so sweet of you to say.  🙂  Thank you and I’m humbled and honored.  Now, since you feel that way, I know WW isn’t your internet BFF, but I must ask anyway…Who do you favor most:  Nonnie Jules or WonderWoman? Be honest

Rhani:  Nonnie Jules, without question.

NJ:  We all know that WonderWoman 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.

Rhani:  That would be NJ. Wonder Woman isn’t as accessible to us every day people, whereas Nonnie is only a phone call away.

NJ:  LOL!  Yes, that is true.  Name two favorite INDIE books that you’ve read:

Rhani:  Only two? Dog Bone Soup, by Bette Stevens is one of my favorites, and so is Jazz Baby, by Beem Weeks.

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

Rhani:  Dog Bone Soup, by Bette Stevens.

NJ:  What was so great about it?

Rhani:  The character development was great, and it was very well written. It was so authentic it actually took me back in time so that I felt as if I was there with the characters.

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

Rhani:  Yes, I usually do.

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

Rhani:  Speaking for myself, I base my reviews on my enjoyment of the read. I will give a lower rating if there are glaring spelling or editing issues, but I don’t get too hung up on the technical stuff. One of my favorite authors is really not a great writer, but his books are so much fun to read that it just doesn’t matter. I’ve loved his work since the 70s, and I’m a fan of his newer work as well.

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:  Honesty is absolutely the best policy, but I do believe in using tact. If I have to say something that is less than complementary, I try to make sure to mention the positive things as well.

NJ:  Read any poorly written books lately?

Rhani:  Yes, I have, but I can honestly say that none of them were written by RRBC authors.

NJ:  That’s good to hear!  How many poorly written books have you read that you gave a high mark to in your review, when you know it was horrible?  Be honest, I won’t ask you to name the books here in public.

Rhani:  Only one. But I am not a member of the genre it was intended for, so I tried to read/review it as if it had been written with me in mind. As an adult, I knew it was pretty bad, but it wasn’t written for adults. Had I been a member of the age group it was intended for, I would have enjoyed it a great deal.

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?

Rhani:  Suzanne Burke, for one. I read many books that contain vicious characters or brutal acts, but often times it seems that the authors are afraid to take us too far in. It’s almost as if their mothers are standing next to them and telling them that “nice” writers don’t write stuff like that. In Acts Beyond Redemption, Suzanne Burke crosses that “nice” line without hesitation. The result is a gripping piece of work that might not be for everyone, but it sure works for those of us who like our thrillers to be graphic and realistic. It’s a refreshing change from the writers who tap dance around non-gratuitous violence.

Another is Joy Nwosu Lo-Bamijoko. Her book, Mirror Of Our Lives: Voices of Four Igbo Women, tells the stories of four Nigerian women. Their lives are hard, brutal, and fairly typical of what it is to be a woman in that culture. The Indie playing field gives authors the opportunity to write and publish books that contain what some would feel is “delicate” subject matter. Authors who write so openly about the kind of things that are often discounted or completely ignored are finding a home in the world of Indie. And Indie is much better for it.

NJ:  Are you an author?  Are you a good one?  C’mon, we love honesty here.

Rhani:  Yes, I am an author. I’m not a great author, but I think I’m a good one.

NJ:  Rhani, you’re an amazing writer.  Trust me!  How long have you been writing?

Rhani:  I’ve been writing, off and on, since my early teens, so…a really long time.

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

Rhani:  Yes, I am. Constructive criticism can be a great friend to a writer, and I think my work has improved due to some of the constructive criticism that I’ve received over the years.

NJ:  Name two books that you’ve written?

“SHADOW OF THE DRILL”

Shadow of the Drill by Rhani D'Chae 1

 

A PERILOUS THIRST”

A PERILOUS THIRST BY RHANI D'CHAE

NJ:  Which one do you think is the best?

Rhani:   think that Shadow is the better read. It’s a full-length novel, as opposed to a short story like Thirst, so I was able to get much more character depth and development onto its pages.

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?

Rhani:  I have a blog, and I also have a website. Sadly, the last year has been rough for me, and I’ve been very distracted from all things writing. Little by little, I’m getting things back on track but at this point, you would probably find my blog to be totally tragic.

NJ:  OK, in that case, we won’t show up unexpectedly.  Will wait for invite.  Which online resource or organization has helped you as an author the most?

Rhani:  I’ve tried several in my quest to be a successful writer but most of them were disappointments. So the only answer I can give to that question is RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB.

NJ:  How were you helped by them?

Rhani:  The fact that #RRBC members are willing to read and review my books is a huge help in building a reputation as an author. Also, the “word-of-mouth” that they provide on Twitter really helps to bring attention to my work. More importantly, their encouragement and emotional support is both limitless and freely given.

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?

Rhani:  I think the club is the best thing out there for Indie authors, regardless of how long they’ve been writing or how many books they have published.

NJ:  WOW!  What an amazing response!  Have you come across any other online entities like us, Rhani?

Rhani:  No, I haven’t. I mean, there are many groups out there that were formed for the purpose of helping Indie authors to succeed, but they don’t provide the same level of support, encouragement, and input that this club does.

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

Rhani:  Most of my family doesn’t do the whole computer thing, and an online book club is something they have no interest in. I do recommend it to my friends, though.

NJ:  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.)

Rhani:  I love the “On The Shelf” interviews. They’re light, they’re funny, and they give a great behind the scenes look at our friends and fellow authors in the club.

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?

Rhani:  The ability to write is a gift. Cherish it, explore it, open your mind and let it fly free. Allow it to develop and grow, even if it wanders in a direction that’s different from what you had planned. Most importantly, don’t ever tell it that it can’t, because it absolutely can. All it needs is your permission, your dedication, and open access to your heart.

NJ:  Thank you so much for hanging out on THE SHELF with us today, Rhani!  You are one of RRBC’s finest!  To my guests, please  pick up a copy of one of Rhani’s books or both (you will not be  disappointed, I can assure you!).

Have you joined RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB yet?  Well, here’s your chance!  And since Rhani 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!!

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#RRBC Book & Blog Block Party – Quizzing The President

Blog Party 1

Location:  ALL OVER THE WORLD!

# of Giveaways today:  2

(1) FREE Membership or Membership Renewal

(1) $5 Amazon Gift Card

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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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!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NJ:  Pets?  What kind?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NJ:  Have you read any poorly written books lately?

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

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

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

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

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

NJ:  What books have you written?

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

Legend of the Walking Dead by Joy Nwosu Lo-Bamijoko

Mirror of Our Lives by Joy Lo-Bamijoko

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

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

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

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

http://sbprabooks.com/JoyNwosuLoBamijoko/

http://sbpra.com/joylobamijoko/

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

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

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

Joy:  Again, Rave Review Book Club, no other

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

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

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

Joy:  Fantastico!

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

Joy:  Nada!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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