Tag Archives: The Good Mommies’ Guide

LIZZIE CHANTREE in “WHO’S ON THE SHELF WITH NONNIE JULES?”

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

Today, I have with me on the “SHELF” Current “SPOTLIGHT” Author, Lizzie Chantree

Lizzie Chantree photo 10

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lizzie:  Married.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gorilla clapping

(Woo Hoo!  She has a dog!)

 

NJ: Lizzie, what is your favorite food?

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

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

Big belly wonder woman.jpg

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

Lizzie:  Blue. Every tone of blue.

NJ:  OK.  What about your favorite sport?

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

big eyed confused dog

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

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

NJ:  Favorite Actress/Actor:

Lizzie:  Meryl Streep.

 NJ:  Couch potato or workout nut? Be honest .

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

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

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

 NJ:  Good response.  Are you neat or messy?

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

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

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

NJ:  Yes, Twitter is my thing, too.  Name two of the most supportive people you’ve met on either Facebook or Twitter? Hurry and tell us so we can become their friend.

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

 NJ:  Nonnie Jules or Wonderwoman? Be honest.

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

 NJ:  Of course, it does.  Thanks, Lizzie!  I also watched her as a child and whenever there are re-runs on of the show, I still stand up (look around to make sure no one’s watching) and I spin and spin and spin, until I have on my imaginary WW attire!  Takes a lot more spins than it did when I was younger, and could spin faster but… anyway.  So, everyone knows the names Mark Twain and Stephen King but how about you give us two names of some INDIE authors that you favor:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NJ:  Are you an author?

Lizzie:  Yes!

NJ:  How long have you been writing?

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

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

BABE DRIVEN

Babe Driven by Lizzie Chantree

LOVE’S CHILD

Love's Child by Lizzie Chantree

FINDING GINA

Finding Gina by Lizzie Chantree

NJ:  Which one do you think is the best?

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

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

Lizzie:  I do.

My blog is: https://lizziechantree.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lizzie:  No.

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

Lizzie:  I have! All of them!

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

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

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

To my guests, please support Lizzie by picking up a copy of one of her books above.   You can also support her by visiting the blog stops along her tour which ends on Saturday.  You can find the tour line up here.

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

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GORDON BICKERSTAFF in “WHO’S ON THE SHELF WITH NONNIE JULES?”

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

Today, I have with me on the “SHELF” our Current “SPOTLIGHT” Author, GORDON BICKERSTAFF!  Gordon comes bouncing in to the tune of JAILHOUSE ROCK (with Elvis, of course), because of some info he shared with me during our interview.  I just want him to feel comfortable…and at home here. 

Gordon Bickerstaff other photo.jpg

 

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

GB:  So far so good. I’ve taken my acrophobia pills, headache pills, truth serum, done my exercises, and I have a large glass a of Shiraz at the ready!

NJ:  Well, that all sounds great so, here we go!  Let’s start by confirming whether or not your author name is your birth name or a pen name?

GB:  Birth name Gordon Ferguson Bickerstaff. No pen name, unless you mean my STATE PEN, prisoner #987654321 aka Tricky Bicky III.

Police officer with folded arms

(Not sure what Gordie aka Tricky Bicky did, but my buddy here, Quickfinger Bill, is on standby!)

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?

GB:  Born in Glasgow, central Scotland, and currently living about 15 miles from where I was born. Glasgow used to be in a terrible state but it is much better now.

NJ:  Are you married or single?

GB:  Married to Emily for 40 years.

NJ:  (I wonder if Emily knows about his stint in STATE?)  Kids or no? If yes, how many? Sons or Daughters?

GB:  I have two daughters. One is a physicist and one is an accountant. I am proud of them but also greatly relieved. I know when I am no longer here, they have everything they need to live good lives. Both are well balanced, confident and kind. They have a good mom who guided them well. They are both married, and I have one granddaughter and one grandson. One from each daughter. Like me, they believe in everything in moderation!

NJ:  Well, aren’t you a proud Father?!  I always love to hear dads go on and on about their kids, especially their daughters.  I have one of those dads at home.  And Gordon, since you have a granddaughter, you should definitely gift her mom with a copy of “THE GOOD MOMMIES’ GUIDE TO RAISING (ALMOST) PERFECT DAUGHTERS!”

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It’s an awesome guide!  So, out of the two daughters, which is your favorite? (And be honest…I’m sure they’re not reading this interview).

GB:  I most certainly do have favorites. My favorite physicist is my oldest daughter, and my favorite accountant is my youngest daughter. It’s tough.

NJ:  What a great response!  I was holding my breath there, for a minute.  So, any pets? What kind?

GB:  None at the moment. For 18 years we had a West Highland terrier, and a couple of years ago she had to be put to sleep after a stroke. It took us almost a year before we could walk again down the pet food lane in the supermarket. Naturally, in my first book, “DEADLY SECRETS,” I created a special role for her, and even used her real name, and some of our experiences with her.

NJ:  Oh, how sad.  We have a couple OF 4-legged babies and one is nearing that age, where, sometimes I’m afraid to go upstairs to her room…you know?  But, glad you were able to keep yours alive in your book.  So, share with us your favorite food.

GB:  Emily cooks a fantastic fillet steak with fried mushrooms, a few French fries, some greens, home-made tomato chutney. I love it.

NJ:  OK, and your favorite color?

GB:  I live in Scotland so the weather is often cloudy and wet. I love sky blue because it is such a treat – we don’t see enough in our part of the world. Sky blue = lovely day.

NJ:  Gordon, I don’t think any of us get enough of those beautiful days, no matter where we live.  What’s your favorite sport?

GB:  For doing, I used to do judo and was on the university team when I was a student, and even won a Scottish Universities team championship medal. I think I’ve still got a bruise from when we beat Edinburgh in the final – they weren’t expecting to lose. When we lived in Carnoustie, I ran a judo club in a local school for kids. For watching – I watch football (soccer) and tennis. During the Olympics I’ll watch the judo and dream.

NJ:  What a great story!  Would you like to share with us your favorite TV Show?

GB:  ‘FRINGE’ was my kind of show. I like ‘HOMELAND’ and ‘GOT’ and my eldest daughter recently introduced me to ‘SONS OF ANARCHY’. I didn’t fancy it, but she gave me the first season, and it is good. I bought all the remaining seasons. Still watching and enjoying ‘THE WALKING DEAD’ – it’s not the zombies you need to worry about – it’s the humans! Great stuff.

NJ:  Well, I’ve never heard of FRINGE and GOT or even SONS OF ANARCHY, for that matter, but HOMELAND, I’ve heard mentioned and as far as THE WALKING DEAD, nope, for me, it’s the monsters that keep me awake at night.  I don’t fear humans at all.  So, Gordon, who’s your favorite Actress/Actor?

GB:  I like Morgan Freeman and Sean Connery – I like quality. I like Rachel Weitz and Judi Dench. When I read James Paterson’s Alex Cross books – I hear Morgan Freeman in my head speaking for Alex Cross, and telling me the story. Almost like an audio book.

NJ:  I haven’t read nor seen Alex Cross in a movie yet, but have heard good reviews.  Maybe I’ll check it soon.  Are you a couch potato or workout nut? Be honest

GB:  I exercise daily to nourish my body. I am a great believer of ‘everything in moderation’. Too much exercise wears cartilage in my joints, and too little makes my circulation sluggish. I have a small one meter trampoline, and I jog for three songs once or twice every day. I like to jog to the music of ABBA – Mamma Mia – here we go again! It is enough exercise to push my blood to every corner of my body to deliver oxygen and nutrients, and remove carbon dioxide and waste (the real value of exercise).

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).

GB:  Big peeves such as child and animal cruelty upset me, and would be worth a punch. Smaller peeves don’t bother me. Life has made me tolerant. Now, I don’t care – if someone is an idiot – why bother about other people’s shortcomings if you can’t do anything about it?

NJ:  Are you neat or messy?
Emily likes the house clean, neat and tidy – I know my place! I do make a mess when I’m doing DIY (no not deliberately – it just seems that way) but thankfully Emily sees it as her job to clean up the mess. If I had to do the DIY work, and then clean up the mess – I’d probably do less DIY.

NJ:  Facebook or Twitter?

GB:  All of this social media stuff is new to me. Only started Twittering a year or so ago. Don’t do FB. One of my daughters set up FB for Emily so we can see photos of the grandkids. I’m getting the hang of Twitter, but it does consume time, and I’d rather be out walking, reading or writing.

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

GB:  Up until this year I didn’t read indie writers. I read mainstream paperbacks. I have read a lot of James Paterson, Lee Child, Patricia Cornwell, Tess Gerritsen, and similar writers. So I am behind the curve with indie writers. RRBC has opened my eyes, and I have started to read indie on a Samsung tablet. I’ve read and enjoyed several, but if you only want two – Kim Cox, Maggie Thom.

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

GB:  Publishers require most traditional published writers to stick to the formula. So I have noticed repetition. Indie writers can publish equally well crafted stories, plausible, good characters, entertainment, and not be channelled into repetition. In that way they are more refreshing.

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

GB:  ‘REVENGE’ by Bill Ward and ‘PROGENY OF A KILLER’ by J. M. Shorney.

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

GB:  I’ve read very good indie books but there is only one book that would definitely appeal to everyone in the whole entire world. It’s called… em… Oh dear… I’ve deleted it from my tablet.

NJ:  What was so great about it?

GB:  It was free, and it had a really lovely cover.

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

GB:  Having read a lot of paperbacks – I didn’t. Now, I’m reading indie, I have and I will. I still read mainstream paperbacks, but don’t review them.

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

GB:  What they have enjoyed. Characters, story, ending. I don’t like books with vague or unresolved endings. I don’t dwell on the negativity.

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?

GB:  I don’t worry, and I’m sure most authors accept that reviews are subjective. Give ten people a book to review, and you will get ten different perceptions. I am honest, but never overly critical. I spent over 30 years assessing students, and I know that negative comments and criticisms are worthless. Positive does produce improvement. If a book is rubbish I wouldn’t bother to review. If I bother to write a review it is because I liked the book. I don’t delve in nitty gritty specifics. I accept that on one reading, I will not know/understand every nuance in a book. I enjoy my reading, and I don’t want to be bogged down with nit-picking. Time is too precious to waste.

NJ:  Read any poorly written books lately?

GB:  I have started a couple that I didn’t finish. I am a bit fussy about what I like as a reader, so a book should not be condemned as poor because I personally couldn’t get into it.

NJ:  Well, from all the mentions above, we know that you are an author.  How long have you  been writing?

GB:  I’ve done two academic books. Three fiction novels with a fourth on the way!  Academic stuff for 30 years, fiction for 5 years. I hear all my former students shouting, ‘… and we thought it was all fiction.’

NJ:  What books have you written?

GB:  First three books are a trilogy. ‘Deadly Secrets’/’Everything To Lose’/’The Black Fox’. Although each one is a stand-alone story in its own right, there are story arcs that move through the trilogy. Available on Amazon, Nook.
Deadly Secrets Amazon US
Everything To Lose Amazon US
The Black Fox Amazon US

NJ:  Which one do you think is the best?

GB:  ‘THE BLACK FOX’  brings story arcs from the first two books to a satisfactory conclusion. I like good endings. I played around with several endings. Took advice from a few people, and created an ending that I am very pleased with. I think I’ve done a great job with main character Zoe Tampsin. She is a Wonder Woman, but with human flaws. Anyone interested in my experience of writing a trilogy can find more here http://www.pinnacleeditorial.co.uk/2015/02/writing-trilogy/

NJ:  Do you have a blog or website?

GB:  Yes, click here. A small repository for sample chapters etc.

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

GB:  RRBC, Twitter, and Facebook.

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

GB:  RRBC

NJ:  How were you helped by them?

GB:  See my piece ‘WHAT RRBC HAS DONE FOR ME‘… here

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?

GB:  Supportive, and encouraging. Every author should join.

NJ:  I agree, Gordon.  RRBC IS the place every author should join!  Have you come across any other online entities like it?

GB:  No.

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

GB:  Yes.

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

GB:  Thank you for having me. It has been a great experience. PS… I haven’t really been in the STATE PEN!

Dog researching on the computer

“UH, Tricky, our research proved otherwise.  Now, you take care and stay out of trouble, ya hear?”

Smiling dog

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

The Black Fox by Gordon Bickerstaff

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

If you missed Gordon’s RAVE WAVES BLOGTALK Radio interview on BRING ON THE SPOTLIGHT, catch the archived version.

John Fioravanti always does an awesome job with these interviews, and this one is no different so you want to check it out!

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

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

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

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

Wonder-woman

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

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

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

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

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

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

NJ-Host:  Married or single?

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

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

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

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

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

NJ-Host:  Pets?  What kind?

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

Wonder Woman Dog Costume

NJ-Host:  Favorite food?

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

NJ-Host:  Favorite color?

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

NJ-Host:  Favorite sport?

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

NJ-Host:  Favorite TV Show?

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

NJ-Host:  Favorite Actress/Actor…

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

Melissa-McCarthy3

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

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

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

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

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

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

NJ-Host:  Facebook or Twitter?

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

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

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

NJ-Host:  Nonnie Jules or Wonderwoman? Be honest

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NJ-Host:  What was so great about it?

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

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

NJ-Guest:  I most certainly do!

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

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

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

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

NJ-Host:  Read any poorly written books lately?

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

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

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

NJ-Host:  Are you an author?

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

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

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

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

Wonder Woman tied to car

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

Wonder Woman in Blue Dress and glasses

NJ-Host:  What books have you written?

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

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

BOOK TRAILER

TGMG on BN counter small pic

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

BOOK TRAILER

DDNF1

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

NJ Cover Design-1

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

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

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

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

WATCH NONNIE WRITE!

BOOKS BY NONNIE

ASK THE GOOD MOMMY

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

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

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

NJ-Guest:  Are you seriously asking me that?

NJ-Host:  Nonnie, you promised!

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

NJ-Host:  How were you helped by them?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Check out our Board Member Book Blitz Trailer!

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

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

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

Day 8 of the “JUST MY TWO-CENTS” Blog Tour!

Hello, and welcome to day eight of my two week-long, “JUST MY TWO CENTS” Blog Tour  and  today I’ve decided to stop by the most awesome book club in cyber-land!   I’m sure by now you all have heard of RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB…it’s all the “rave” with almost everyone in the Indie publishing arena and if you haven’t joined yet, you can do so by clicking the JOIN tab above!

Next month will mark the anniversary of my burst onto the social media scene and during that time, I have published three REALLY GOOD books and have learned so very much about the industry.  Although I’ve been a writer for most of my life (actually, I was born one), I only just became a published author in 2013.  Some might say, “In that short amount of time, what does she know?” Well, I’m here to tell you that “SHE” has learned a lot!  “SHE” has taken the time to hone her skills in the writing department as well as her knowledge.  “SHE” has taken the bull by the horn and run full speed ahead in building her author platform and establishing herself in the writing industry.  “SHE” is making her name KNOWN.

On each stop of my tour, I will give you my TWO-CENTS on a particular topic from the writing industry.  I hope that what I am imparting, you will take, mull over, and then act on in the best interest of YOU.

With that being said, here is JUST MY TWO CENTS ON…

ALWAYS BEING WILLING TO MAKE IT BETTER AND BETTER

To date, I am a published author with 3 (really good) books under my belt.  As a new author, back in the early part of 2013, it took me only 17 days to pen “THE GOOD MOMMIES’ GUIDE TO RAISING (ALMOST) PERFECT DAUGHTERS!” and I was so excited about it, I went back and forth over it with a fine tooth comb.  Then, I wanted to challenge myself to see if I could write a novel.  See (in my mind), the only way to prove that you are a REALLY good writer, is to try your hand at Fiction because that’s where the real creativity comes into play.  Well, I did write a novel, and it was pretty good, if I must say so myself (but you don’t have to take my word for it, check out “DAYDREAM’S DAUGHTER, NIGHTMARE’S FRIEND” on Amazon).  I’m sure if you’re an author, it will not surprise you to know that it took me more than 17 days to write this novel.  Oh no, it took me months and months of research, days away from my family travelling to the city which my story was set out of, and it took a lot of my blood, sweat and tears.   I wrote this book while I was fully awake and sometimes I was writing it in my sleep.  So in writing it in my sleep, why was I shocked to find that AFTER I had hit the publish button on KDP that my debut novel, my beautiful new baby, was greatly flawed?  It was flawed because since the book held 71 Chapters and almost 400 pages, I was fully aware that there had been many times, in trying to get it finished, that I was sleep-writing and I was also aware of the amount of time that it would take me to proof it again and again.  But, I was committed to having only the best of my work on display.

Incrementally, I revised and proofed “DAYDREAM’S DAUGHTER…” bit by bit.  I took that book down and put it back up so many times, I thought that Amazon was going to somehow flag me and say, “Hey, ENOUGH!” But, they didn’t, thank goodness.  They allowed me to continually improve on my work and because of that, it’s one of the reasons I’m glad to be a self-published author as we are given the ability to improve and make corrections or changes in our work, which I know some traditionally published authors who aren’t afforded this luxury.  With me, this is a must-have in our field.

I am a stickler for (almost) perfect writing and right now I hear some of you saying “but there’s NO such thing.”  Wait a second, I said (ALMOST) PERFECT WRITING.  No one is perfect, I’m aware of that, but let me tell you, I strive for it in everything I do.  And when you strive for that which some say is unattainable (I beg to differ), you set yourself apart from the others who would be just like the masses…regular.  I don’t ever want to be known as just “regular.” I always want to stand out, be known for the un-norm, because why would you want to be just like everyone else?  Where’s the fun in that?

If you are a follower of mine, you know that I speak (a lot) about this market of ours being flooded with “junk.” Well, let me tell you where junk comes from.  Junk comes from the writers who publish work that needs MAJOR WORK, yet they still put it out there anyway.  I have come across tons of these kinds of writers;  some who I have even taken the time to share that it would be in their very best interest to take their work down and to clean it up a bit, OR to even start over from scratch.  Some have taken this advice and have “cleaned” up their mess and turned that mess into something worth me spending my hard-earned money on and something worth reading.  Others, NOT SO MUCH!  These are the ones who don’t take critiques (help) very well and will defend their “junk” to the end.  And to those I say, “Why don’t we talk about the weather” as I refuse to spend my time trying to convince someone that they are truly flooding the market, if you know what I mean.  (I try not to use the “J” word too often, but sometimes it can’t be helped).

Always being willing to make your work better and better and always looking for ways to improve on your writing is what will separate you from the masses.  If you want to be just like everyone else, “average” or sometimes even worse than that, then go on and hit publish and send your junk out into the airwaves and hope that someone will “accidentally” buy it.  BUT, if you want to be taken seriously as a writer and if you want to be known for putting out the BEST WRITTEN WORK, then always be willing to listen, heed the advice of those who are qualified to advise you in this area, and never sit back on your laurels and just “wait” and “hope.” See, I don’t write for me.  I write for the world, in hopes that my books will forever grace the book shelves of the masses who collect and appreciate the classics and “good,” strong writing.

After many a “take-down” and “put back up” of my books, if someone shares with me today that they found one comma out of place (and please do tell me if you find such horror in one of my books) I would take it down again in a heartbeat just to make it better for you, my readers.

So, there you have my two-cents on ALWAYS BEING WILLING TO MAKE IT BETTER AND BETTER.   You can take my advice or you can leave it, but don’t expect me to run out and purchase your work if you don’t care enough about me as a reader to want to continually improve upon it.  Again, that’s just my two-cents!

Thank you guys for stopping by and allowing me to share with you today.  If you’d like to follow my tour, please do so at www.nonniewrites.wordpress.com and do share your thoughts with us!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:                                                                     

 NONNIE Jules grew up loving books and everything about them.  She has traveled the world, jumped out of planes and climbed many mountains, all thanks to the wonderful world of literature.  She lives with her husband and two daughters on a very quiet strip of land in Louisiana, where red dirt roads and pick-up trucks go hand in hand.  She is the Author of three great reads at present:  “THE GOOD MOMMIES’ GUIDE TO RAISING (ALMOST) PERFECT DAUGHTERS,” 100 Tips On Raising Daughters Everyone Can’t Help But Love!; “Daydream’s Daughter, Nightmare’s Friend” (a novel);  and “SUGARCOATIN’ IS FOR CANDY & PACIFYIN’ IS FOR KIDS!” Nonnie is also Founder and President of the widely-known Rave Reviews Book Club, as well as being a sought-after book reviewer with a strong “eye” for perfection. 

She continues to write from many different genres and hopes to teach and touch minds and hearts alike with her very unique style of writing.  She loves positive feedback on her writing and personally responds to each and every email.  Nonnie can be reached at nonniewrites@yahoo.com, on Twitter @nonniejules, and do follow her blogs WATCH NONNIE WRITE! {www.nonniewrites.wordpress.com} and ASK THE GOOD MOMMY {http://askthegoodmommy.wordpress.com}.

Nonnie’s feet are firmly planted in her two most important platforms:  Parenting & Support, where she continually invites the masses to join her.

BUY LINKS:

“THE GOOD MOMMIES’ GUIDE TO RAISING (ALMOST) PERFECT DAUGHTERS,” 100 Tips On Raising Daughters Everyone Can’t Help But Love!www.amazon.com/dp/B00CP62O56;   www.createspace.com/4355124

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“Daydream’s Daughter, Nightmare’s Friend”www.amazon.com/dp/B00GLM2VVM;   www.createspace.com/4386308

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“SUGARCOATIN’ IS FOR CANDY & PACIFYIN’ IS FOR KIDS!”www.amazon.com/dp/B00IRIA0I4

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