Tag Archives: Wonder Woman

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

***

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

***

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, John Howell, John Fioravanti, Peggy Hattendorf, Bette A. Stevens, Nicholas Rossis, Jan Hawke, Gwen Plano, Michelle Abbott, Rhani D’Chae, Harmony Kent, Natalie Ducey, Linda Mims, Jennifer Hinsman, C. S. Boyack, 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?

KIM COX 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, Kim Cox! 

Kim'sLife.png

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

Kim:  I think it’s okay. <She shifts around nervously.>

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

Kim:  My author’s name is my married name, and by the way, before you even ask, I’ve been married for 30 years.

shocked dog

NJ:  Before I ask?  Well, I never!  Moving along…do tell us where you were born?  Do you still live there now?  If not, what city and state are you calling home these days? (I bet she didn’t know I was going to ask those questions, hmmmm!)

Kim:  I was born in Rockingham, North Carolina. I moved to Asheville, North Carolina in 1989 and have lived here since.

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

Kim:  Yes, two sons.

NJ:  Favorite child (if you have any, and be honest…I’m sure they’re not reading this interview):

Kim:  I doubt they are reading this but I’d have to say the one who visits and calls most.

NJ:  Kim, you’d be surprised at WHO’S tuning in to Nonnie’s interviews.  Any pets?  What kind?

Kim:  We have three dogs – two West Highland White Terriers (Scooter & Harley) and one Yorkie/Maltese mix that we inherited from my mother-in-law (Candi).

NJ:  OK, time for our Q&A quick round…Favorite food…

Kim:  Rib-eye Steak

NJ:  Favorite color…

Kim:  Green

NJ:  Favorite sport…

Kim:  Baseball, although, I don’t really watch sports much anymore. I used to play softball and my kids played baseball when they were small. We usually spent summers going from one baseball field to another.

NJ:  Favorite TV Show…

Kim:  I have so many so it’s hard to choose. My favorite new (to me) show is Downton Abbey. I just switched to Amazon Primetime and Hulu. I couldn’t get it on satellite and will be canceling it soon.

NJ:  Favorite Actress/Actor:

Kim:  I’ve always loved Richard Gere, Andy Garcia, Al Pacino, and Patrick Swayze. Sorry, it’s too hard to choose between those four.

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).

Kim:  I don’t really get that angry about anything, but things that upset me most normally happens while I’m driving. Things that irritate me are people who drive 25-30 mph in a 45 or 55. Also someone who runs a stop sign to get in front of me and then pokes along. Non-driving pet-peeve is when someone gets up from the table and doesn’t push in their chair. Television related pet-peeve is when the news people cut into a television show I’m watching to put on a special news report that isn’t an emergency or very special.

NJ:  Are you neat or messy?

Kim:  A little of both. I’m not a neat freak but I’m not really messy either. If I was a neat freak, I would drive myself crazy because my husband is somewhat of a packrat. Every time he leaves the house he comes back with something. He helps his brother with a car wash and the customers leave so much stuff behind when they vacuum out their cars. Lately and thankfully, he’s been cleaning up and getting rid of a lot of stuff.

NJ:  Facebook or Twitter?

Kim:  It used to be Facebook but more Twitter since I joined RRBC.

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.

Kim:  You already know them.  Carol Marrs Phipps and Gordon Bickerstaff.  And there are many others but those two really stick out to me.

NJ:  Nonnie Jules or Wonderwoman? Be honest

Kim:  So, you’re telling me they’re not one in the same! I thought Nonnie Jules was a nickname for Wonderwoman.

NJ:  Well, that was so sweet of you to say, but actually, WonderWoman is the nickname for 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:

Kim:  Gordon Bickerstaff, and Yvette Callerio

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

Kim:  I love their writing styles.  Both Gordon and Yvette write different genres but the first books of their series made me want to jump right into the next one. I couldn’t because I had other reading obligations on my TBR first.

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

Kim:  The One Discovered by Yvette Callerio and Deadly Secrets by Gordon Bickerstaff

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

Kim:  “Into Dark Waters” by Rebecca Reilly

NJ:  What was so great about it?

Kim:  I felt like I was there on the ship. The descriptions were so vivid while being sparsely added the way I like them. You could tell Rebecca wrote the location from experience rather than research.

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

Kim:  Yes.

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

Kim:  The value of the book. Was it entertaining and not boring? Was it well-written and did it make sense?

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?

Kim:  No, I’m not afraid to be honest. Honesty is the best policy. It helps an author improve but I feel that problems should be done privately and not publicly. I normally don’t finish a book if I don’t like it, if it’s riddled with errors or the storyline doesn’t suit me or if it’s boring. I will give it three chapters (sometimes more) before tossing it aside.

NJ:  So, can we call you the 3 Chapter Girl?  I’m forever giving people nicknames?  LOL.  Read any poorly written books lately?

Kim:  No, not lately.

NJ:  Are you an author?

Kim:  Yes.

NJ:  How long have you been writing?

Kim:  About 18 years off and on.

NJ:  What books have you written?

Kim:  Two Romantic Suspense Novels:

ALL THIS TIME

All This Time by Kim Cox

 

and SUSPICIOUS MINDS

Suspicious Minds by Kim Cox

Four Lana Malloy Paranormal Mystery Novellas: Haunted Hearts (http://smarturl.it/HauntedHearts), Get Out or Die (http://smarturl.it/GetOut-Die), The Wedding Crasher (http://smarturl.it/TheWeddingCrasher), Christmas Cruise (http://smarturl.it/ChristmasCruise), and Four Romantic Short Stories.

Of the above categories, I have one of each in process now.

NJ:  Which one do you think is the best?

Kim:  The Wedding Crasher – I seemed to really get into it more than the others and the writing flowed smoothly. Suspicious Minds is my very first published book and will always be special to me.

NJ:  Do you have a blog or website?

Kim:  Yes, I do.  Website: http://www.kimcoxauthor.com/

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

Kim:  Oh wow, I get a chance to name three but I only belong to one organization and that’s RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB. I don’t have the time right now to pursue or devote time to other organizations or to find resources.

NJ:  I’m with you, Kim.  I wish I had the time to devote to others, but my workload says NO!  Anyway, how has RRBC helped you the most?

Kim:  RRBC and I have the same core beliefs about authors promoting authors. I’ve received insurmountable support for my writing—much more than I remember from past organizations. The members are great and very supportive. The club rewards authors for providing support to other members with spotlights, member of the month, books of the month, member of the week, etc.

However, I have to say that the club could be so much more if everyone jumped in and supported the other members. It’s really heartbreaking to tweet your book or someone else’s and get 5 retweets or less when the club is almost 400 members strong. I understand not all are on Twitter and then there are the different time zones. So I’m very happy to get 20, but every tweet should have at least 20 retweets if not more. I will also admit that 5 is probably more than I would have if I weren’t a member of RRBC. And I’m not putting it down by saying this. I just see the possibilities of greatness. I could also be more supportive than I am.

NJ:  Kim, it is very sad and dis-heartening at times to see some of the supportive members give so much, and then there are those who don’t bother to give at all.  But, my belief is that if you do what you know you should be doing, and not worry about those that aren’t doing what they should be doing, then you will get what you deserve…and maybe it will eventually click with some, when they aren’t getting what they feel they should be getting, that to get, you have to give.  With some people, sadly, all they understand is “taking” and there’s not much we can do about that.  Here in RRBC, we seek out and recognize the “givers,” and that’s what’s important.   But, it is so nice when members DO recognize all that RRBC does for its members, so thank you for stating the obvious, which, clearly, some “seem” to miss.

Kim, since you’re sitting on the SHELF, you’re obviously an RRBC member and you’ve shared some wonderful things about the club.  Anything else you’d like to share?

Kim:  As I said, RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB is wonderful and the most supportive organization that I’ve found anywhere. The members make you feel welcome right from the start. I’ve had a #PUSHTUESDAY spot, Member of the Week, and Book of the Month. I’ve won prizes during special events. I love it!

NJ:  Well, that’s all awesome to know!  People may say:  “WOW! She’s sat in a lot of seats here!”  But, they have to understand, that is what happens when you really get involved in RRBC, and you give.  You end up getting so much more.  Kim,  have you come across any other online entities like our fabulous club?

Kim:  None can touch it.

NJ:  I agree.  Many have tried and are still trying, but we have a secret weapon.  So, would you recommend RRBC to your friends and family?

Kim:  I will and I have.

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

Kim:  I just want to encourage all RRBC members to support one another as best they can. Just take a few minutes a day to get online, sign in to twitter, put #RRBC in the search bar, click on “Live”, and re-tweet all the RRBC authors and the club’s tweets you can. You don’t have to spend hours to be supportive. Just few minutes a day will help. If you see other members being a bit more supportive, just do a little extra for them to show your appreciation.

And by the way, the best way to show your appreciation to another member is to tweet the book(s), website, or blog of the author who tweeted and re-tweeted you, and of course, purchase, read, and review their books. My kindle has over 100 books of just RRBC authors. Some were free or 99 cents, so keep your eyes open for deals because you don’t even have to spend a lot to support.

NJ:  Very well said, Kim!  You made great points, some I wouldn’t have even thought of suggesting myself!  I’d like to thank you for joining me ON THE SHELF today, and my apologies for my tardy!  I’m not sure how much our guests are going to love this interview as I only had to pull out one of my funny-faced dog friends.  These members come here looking for some serious drama, and Kim, you didn’t bring much.  By the way, I love that, but some of these folks (like Micki Peluso and Joy Nwosu Lo-Bamijoko), come here looking for some “mess!”  LOL!   Anyway, I apologize again but sometimes, my workload is just so overwhelming…but that’s about to change!!!   I’d also like to thank you for those very kind words about RRBC.  We always like hearing that our members are happy!

To my guests, please support Kim 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 Kim 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!


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.)

b7a351c92f470a90c7b8b2.L

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, as is Jan Hawke / @Jan Hawke.  I met them through RRBC, both are friendly and give their 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.  I also read Jan Hawke’s, Milele Safari, which was a moving tale of love and loss.

 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!

I think that other author’s blogs are a valuable resource for writers. Kim Cox  https://kimwrtr.wordpress.com and Author Central on Amazon is also a great resource. You can ask questions and join chats/forums if you have queries about anything to do with your work.

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

Lizzie:  RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB!  I cannot thank Jason Zandri enough for introducing 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!

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

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

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

warhag

(I will definitely let Jan explain this one)

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

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

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

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

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

English bulldog funny face

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jan:  Cool colours – blue-greens mostly

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

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

big eyed confused dog

Huh???

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

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

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

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

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

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

NJ:  So, basically, this is you…

Dog sleeping on treadmill

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jan:  You already know them…

NJ:  I do?

Jan:  Yes, Nonnie Jules and Harmony Kent.

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

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

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

Fat Wonder Woman

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

Jan:  Ted Farrar and Harmony Kent.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jan:  Dreamers by Ted Farrar.

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

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

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

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

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

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

NJ:  Read any poorly written books lately?

Jan:  Oh, yes – more than one!

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

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

NJ:  Are you an author?

Jan:  Yes

NJ:  How long have you been writing?

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

NJ:  What books have you written?

Jan:  MILELE SAFARI

Milele Safari original cover by Jan Hawke

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

Rave Soup

NJ:  Which one do you think is the best?

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

NJ:  Do you have a blog or website?

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

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

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

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

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

Jan:  Definitely RRBC!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

John Fioravanti 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” our Current “SPOTLIGHT” Author, John Fioravanti!!! As you can see, John likes to dance and he is boogying to one of my favorite tunes, PRETTY WOMAN!  (Actually, I call it my theme song because as you know, every STRONG, GORGEOUS LADY NEEDS ONE!)  John is also the newest, and most welcome addition to our Governing Board here at RRBC!  He has joined our membership dept. and serves as our Membership/Incentives Director.  You wanna join us?  See John.  You wanna give us something?  See John.  Watch John Work!  He enjoys it, and that’s exactly the kind of energy we need on our TEAM!

photo (4)

NJ:  Since John chose his own music today, I have to tell you my story behind this particular song.  I am in love with Julia Roberts!  Anything she’s ever done, I’ve seen it!  A real beauty, inside and out, that one is.  Now, Pretty Woman (the movie), is my all time favorite.  Loved it so much, that when I visited Cali for the first time back in 2008, I had to find that hotel that the movie was shot out of and I had to wear a black and white ensemble/dress w/matching hat, as she wore in the movie (you should see me standing over a vent on the ground, with my dress being blown up like Marilyn Monroe’s in that famous pic of hers).  The only thing that was missing the day I wore the Julia Robert’s black and white ensemble, was the shop on Rodeo Drive with the nasty, snobby store clerks.  I so desperately wanted to go into one and ask if they worked on commission, so I could spew that famous line of Julia’s:  “Big mistake!  Huge!  Well, I gotta go shopping now!”  So, enough about me and my girl-crush, Julia R.  Before we get started, how does the “shelf” feel to you, John?  Is it comfy?

John:  I’m usually not good with heights, but having your company on this shelf helps a lot!

NJ:  {John got himself into a little hot water with me a couple of days ago, so friends, get ready for a lot of brown-nosing on his part today}.  Let’s start by confirming whether or not your author name is your birth name or a pen name?

John:  Yes, John Fioravanti is my birth 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?

John:  I was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. When I was four, my parents moved to the small town of Dundas, Ontario (on the west end of Hamilton), where I grew up. I’ve lived in Waterloo, Ontario, since 1973.

NJ:  Married or single?

John:  I’m married to Anne for 41 years now.

photo

NJ:  Awwww, look at dear, sweet Anne.  She’s such a sweet heart, you can tell from the photo.  Kids or no?  If yes, how many?  Sons or Daughters?

John:  We have 3 kids: 1 daughter, 2 sons.

NJ:  Favorite child (and be honest…I’m sure they’re not reading this interview).

John:  I’ll take the 5th on that one – even though I’m a Canadian!

NJ:  John, if you wanna go stealing our laws and rules, you have got to become American! I will let you “slide” this time, but don’t do it again. This is not Bravo Television’s game “I Plead The 5th!”  This is Nonnie’s game:  “You Sit Your Hiney On This Shelf You Sing Like A Bird/ or Spill Your Guts,” whichever you’re most comfortable with.  Any pets?  If so, what kind?

John:  None now. We’ve had two Cocker Spaniels, one Cockapoo, and a Maltese Terrier over the years.

NJ:  Favorite food…

John:  Steak!

NJ:  Favorite color…

John:  Royal blue

NJ:  Nooooo!   That is my favorite color!  It was the color of my wedding!!!!!  Wow!  I feel my anger for you dissipating a little.  Just a little, don’t get to comfy way up here.  What’s your favorite sport?

John:  Hockey (what else!)

NJ:  Uhhhhhh, I don’t know.  Hide & Seek, maybe? -________-  Your favorite TV Show…

John:  NCIS

NJ:  Favorite Actress/Actor…

John:  Mark Harmon, Julie Roberts

NJ:  Like Mark Harmon, LOVE Julia Roberts!!!!  Good answer!  Couch potato or workout nut? Be honest.

John:  Converted couch potato. Now I have a personal trainer who works me hard three times a week!

NJ:  Good!  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).

John:  I have a hard time with bad, discourteous drivers!

NJ:  That’s all you got?  Bad, discourteous drivers?  Really, John?  They’re light weights.  I have them as snacks.  I expected you to say something like TERRORISTS, or something!  Well, moving on…are you neat or messy?

John:  Neat Freak!

NJ:  I knew there was some reason I loved you, Fio!  #NeatFreaksUnite!  Everyone else on that island!  Facebook or Twitter?

John:  Facebook is my comfort zone. I’m still trying to get comfy on Twitter – mainly because of RRBC.

NJ:  See, I’m not a FB fan, I like easy and for me, Twitter is easiest. OK, well, to each his own.  Now, 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.

John:  On Facebook: Kenneth Tam; on Twitter: the folks of RRBC.

NJ:  Oh, don’t wanna upset anyone, huh?  So you generalize it…we’re all your favorites, huh?  -_________-  Okie Dokie then. Nonnie Jules or Wonderwoman? Be honest

John:  Nonnie Jules… you’re the real deal! Wonder…who?

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

John:  I don’t know many. Kenneth Tam & Jacqui Tam

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

John:  I love Kenneth’s Sci-Fi novels and his alternate history novels. He is also a very good friend. Jacqui (his mother) is an accomplished author in her own rite. She wrote a very moving non-fiction account of her father’s battle with Alzheimer’s.

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

John:  The Human Equation and Standing Tall.

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

John:  Standing Tall by Jacqui Tam.

NJ:  What was so great about it?

John:  It was very well-written, informative, emotionally moving, authentic.

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

John:  No – not until I joined RRBC recently.

NJ:  Well, first I will say I’m glad that your joining us impressed upon you the importance of “reviewing,” and secondly, I think that was the same for a lot of us.  I didn’t post “book” reviews  before RRBC, and look at me now! What do you think readers should base their reviews on?

John:  The book’s writing style – was it hard to put down? Did it measure up to the accepted standards of the book’s genre?

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?

John:  That is a tough question. Yes, I find it hard because I want to be supportive. So far I haven’t had to write a review for a book I thought was terrible.

NJ:  Read any poorly written books lately?

John:  No, I haven’t. I have read books I didn’t like because of the subject matter.

NJ:  Are you an author?

John:  Yes I am.

NJ:  How long have you been writing?

John:  I’ve been writing for a long time – over 30 years – for my students at the beginning.

NJ:  What books have you written?

Getting It Right in History Class (2002)

A Personal Journey to the Heart of Teaching (2007, 2008, 2010, 2014)

A Personal Journey to the Heart of Teaching by John Fioravanti

NJ:  Which one do you think is the best?

John:  I think “Journey” is the best. It is my story, written as an inspirational piece, aimed at young teachers and anyone else who would enjoy an inspirational story. It won an IPPY Bronze in 2008.

NJ:  I just put it on my TBR list. Sounds like my kind of read!  Do you have a blog or website?

John:  My wife and I started our own publishing company in December, 2013, called Fiora Books. Our blog is on this website – they are called Fiora Posts.

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

John:  Rave Reviews Book Club; GR; and LinkedIn author groups

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

John:  For helpful information: LinkedIn author groups. For support and inspiration: RRBC

NJ:  How were you helped by them?

John:  I met Chris Ward from the UK on LinkedIn – he helped me with marketing strategies + he’s the one who introduced me to RRBC.  What can I say about RRBC? I ’ve learned so much about supporting fellow members, slowly getting to know some, receiving support every single day!

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?

John:  I am so impressed! I enjoy the online relationships with members I’ve met, and wish I could meet these folks in person! I think every Indie author/publisher would benefit from the club, and I think readers get to meet some quality authors and be steered towards some excellent books.

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

John:  No I haven’t. RRBC and Nonnie Jules are very unique.

NJ:  Why, thanks, Fio…would you recommend us to your friends and family?

John:  Indeed – already have!

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

John:  Cherish the Written Word!

NJ:  John, typically I try to look my best for my guests and I would have to say I do a pretty good job of it.  You, my dear, based on your behavior this week, didn’t deserve me at my best, so I decided to have a few twinkies, cookes, ice cream, cake and a little too much watermelon…you know, junk food.  I also chose to not work out before you came, so you enjoy the best me you’re going to get today, Mister!…

Fat Wonder Woman

John, you have made our interview on the SHELF today, a most pleasant one!  To my guests, please support John by picking up a copy of his newest release,

You can also support John by visiting his blog stops on his 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 John aka “Fio”  was on the “SHELF” today, tell them he sent you.  Make it a great day, my friends.  We’ll see you next week, right here on the SHELF” with another interesting guest!!

Ronesa Aveela 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” our Current “SPOTLIGHT” Author, Ronesa Aveela!!! 

Face_of_Ronesa

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

Rebecca:  Yes, but it’s a little scary sitting here for the world to see.

NJ:  Really?  Oh, honey, I love being way up here for the world to see!!  Let’s start by confirming whether or not your author name is your birth name or a pen name?  I mean, if you’re not too uncomfortable to answer -__________-

Rebecca:  It’s a pen name, but Rebecca is what my mother wanted to name me. There’s a story behind why she didn’t get to, but I won’t bore you with that, but I will tell you that neither Rebecca OR Ronesa are my birth names!

NJ:  Huh?  Guys, please ask R&R that question after the show.  We only have an hour here.   Tell us where you were born?  Do you still live there now?  If not, what city and state are you calling home these days?

Rebecca: I was born in New Hampshire. The old hospital where I was  born, Emerson Hospital, is now part of Keene State College.  Guess that’s why I like learning. I don’t live in the same home town that I grew up in, but it’s in the same county. I’m still in NH, the only state with no state income tax or sales tax.

NJ:  Married or single?

Rebecca: Happily single. Never married.

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

Rebecca:  No children. My youngest sister lived with me for quite a while, so I had her children around. They were plenty fun. I didn’t need my own.

NJ:  So, which of your niece and nephews, was your favorite? (And be honest…I’m sure they’re not reading this interview):

Rebecca: In regards to my niece/nephews. The oldest boy was probably my favorite, mainly because his mother had him when she was quite young. I practically was his mother at times.

NJ:  Pets?  What kind?

Rebecca: Currently no pets. I live on a busy highway. But my family had plenty of pets while I was growing up. Cats, dogs, rabbits, chickens, birds, a turtle, and even a white rat.

NJ:  What’s your favorite food?

Rebecca: Turkey soup.

NJ:  What’s your favorite color?

Rebecca: Blue.

NJ:  Favorite sport?

Rebecca: I’m not a sports fan, but when I was younger, my mother and I would watch the Red Sox (baseball).

NJ:  Favorite TV Show?

Rebecca: I have three that I watch. Once Upon a Time. Vampire Diaries, and its spinoff, The Originals.

NJ:  Favorite Actress/Actor?

Rebecca: Bette Davis. She was just so sassy!

NJ:  Oh, I loved Bette, too!  She was phenomenal!  When that woman played Baby Jane, I could have died and gone to heaven, she was so good at it!  OK, couch potato or workout nut? Be honest.

Rebecca: Couch potato. Or computer potato. All I do these days is sit at my computer, both for work and writing-related activities.

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).

Rebecca:  Arrogant know-it-alls who enjoying making others squirm when they do or say something wrong.

NJ:  Oh, you met her, too, huh?  Hahaha.  OK, so tell us, are you neat or messy?

Rebecca: Definitely messy. I like to clean up my work space after a project has been completed, though.

NJ:  Glad you said you liked to clean up, though.  I was about to suggest you be banned to that island!  Have you heard of it?  The one for all the messy folks?  Yes, if you should ever end up there, say hi to my hubby and oldest daughter.  Facebook or Twitter?

Rebecca: I understand Twitter better, but I think Facebook offers more depth to anything you want to push out to your fans/friends.

NJ:  Hmmm, interesting.  I tend to favor Twitter more.  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.

Rebecca:  Nonnie and her team, and Alex Cabal (owner of Scribophile).

NJ:  Well, that was the sweetest thing to say!  Thanks, Ronesa!  Now, here’s the life or death question, meaning, if you answer incorrectly, you could be met with an untimely “accidental”/potentially fatal fall from this very high shelf. -________-  Nonnie Jules or Wonder Woman? Be honest.

Rebecca: Wonder Woman has had her 15 minutes of fame; she’s old news. Nonnie Jules is the new trend.

NJ:  Whew!  You hesitated too long, you had me worried there for a minute.  That’s why I kept inching closer and closer to you.  Didn’t mean to frighten you (as I scoot back down on the shelf).  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:

Rebecca: RRBC’s, Harmony Kent is one. And another one I discovered on GR {we don’t say the full name of this entity here} is Lasa Limpin.

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

Rebecca: I like stories that are different from plots you’ve read before. Both of these authors have unique tales to tell and a distinctive voice, and great descriptions.

NJ: I’m sure Harmony will be happy to hear this from you.  She is a gem, you know.  Name two favorite INDIE books that you’ve read:

Rebecca: Well, I guess the books from the above authors: The Glade (Harmony) and Uplanded (Lasa).

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

Rebecca: I’d like them to read mine, but I probably can’t say that, so let me look at my list. I’ve read so many great stories lately. There’s a book that’s still being written that I find intriguing. It’s called “McGuffy’s Law.”

NJ:  Uh, Ronesa, if it’s still being written, how did you read it?  (NJ:  Might she be a mind-book reader?)  But, OK, tell us what was so great about it?

Rebecca:  It’s a spiritual tale about puppies and God’s warriors. The puppies choose their owners. It’s not your typical fast-paced novel, but it shows how the puppies help their chosen owners.

NJ:  OK, sounds odd, but hey, different strokes for different folks, right?  After you read books, do you post reviews?

Rebecca:  Always.

NJ:  That’s awesome to hear!  Good for you!  What do you think readers should base their reviews on?

Rebecca:  If you’re a writer yourself, I think you should write a review looking at the book as both a writer AND a reader. With the writer’s eye, you are looking at the structure of the story, grammatical errors, punctuation problems, POV, and other issues. But first and foremost, you should look at it as non-writers look at it, people who are looking for good stories. Is it interesting? Is it a story worth telling? But, I find I cannot give someone five stars if their book has an overabundance of errors or is poorly written, no matter how great the story is.

NJ:  I’m with you there.  Poorly written and too many typos, which I call hiccups, makes for an uncomfortable read as well as a not-so-easy read.  I want my reads to be enjoyable and I want them to flow smoothly.  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?

Rebecca: I try to be honest, but also kind, although recipients who receive any negative feedback may not think so. It’s not that I’m afraid they’ll be upset with me but I don’t want to trash anyone’s hard work. There is always something nice you can say. But if you don’t point out problems, too, you won’t be credible as a reviewer and the author can’t grow. But as an author myself, I also now know how much work goes into writing, so I don’t always point out things that I would have if I were critiquing the novel. I would expect people to be honest reviewing mine, too. It may not be a book everyone will enjoy.

NJ:  Ronesa, have you read any poorly written books lately?

Rebecca: I started one or two that I couldn’t finish.

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

Rebecca: If I ever DID make it through terrible books, I don’t think I would post a review. If I could contact the author, I might make some suggestions for places he or she could go to make improvements.

NJ:  Oh, so you’re not telling?  OK.  Are you an author, Ronesa?

Rebecca: Yes! First book was published in July of this year. So exciting.

NJ:  Which personality published?  Rebecca or Ronesa?  LOL, I’m just teasing…but the more that I think about it, I’m not. -_________-  How long have you been writing?

Rebecca: I wrote my first story in high school, many years ago. I have one that I’ve dabbled with off and on, but I didn’t really get into writing seriously until about two years ago when my friend asked me to help her with her story.

NJ:  What books have you written?

Rebecca:  “Mystical Emona: Soul’s Journey” is the first book in a series of three (and maybe even a couple prequels), but each can be read as a separate story. I hate to leave the reader hanging. Only the first chapter of the second is written. We took a break and started writing a non-fiction one about the rituals and customs in “Mystical Emona,” digging deeper into the ancient Thracian origins. That one will be out around December.

NJ:  Do you have a blog or website?

Rebecca: Yes: http://mysticalemona.com/

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

Rebecca: In order of when I came across them. 1) Scribophile.com is a writer’s group. I found this after a publisher kindly rejected “Mystical Emona” and provided feedback from their readers. They suggested finding other readers, so I came across this group. It changed my life as a writer. I put “Mystical Emona” through three major rewrites from the suggestions people gave me, and I’ve made the most wonderful friends for life. (Look me up if you join!) 2) Rave Reviews Book Club!  I found this when we were close to publishing. (Thank you, Kathryn Treat, for the invitation!) You need reviews, right? Well, then I found out it was more than just getting reviews. Great support here, too!  3) GR. Another place you can get reviews, and also a way to get your novel visible to others.

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

Rebecca:  As far as helping with my writing, I have to say Scribophile, but I also see how supportive RRBC  is.

{Sounds of woman screaming for help} woman-falling-down

NJ:  OH, RONESA!  I’M SO SORRY! I’VE NO IDEA HOW THAT HAPPENED!  HERE, LET ME HELP YOU UP.  Are you OK?  Good, well let’s continue.   How were you helped by that OTHER organization?  {NJ mutters under her breath:  You know the one that almost got you killed a moment ago  -__________-}

Rebecca:  Scribophile really helped me hone my writing skills—all those subtle POV slips you are unaware of, what filters are and how to eliminate them, action vs. dialog tags, and so much more. Now, the great support continues here at RRBC. Taking me under your wing and shouting out to the world.

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?

Rebecca:  Like writing, it’s a lot of work. But pleasant work. You all are such busy little ants preparing for success. You all work together great as a team.

NJ:  Ronesa, you are so right on all counts.  We are as busy as an army of ants, although our army (Governing Board) is a lot smaller.  Have you come across any other online entities like RRBC?

Rebecca: No. And I was looking for a while for a place to cuddle up and get comfortable.

NJ:  And then you found us?  How sweet.  Would you recommend RRBC to your friends and family?

Rebecca: Yes. Well. Most of my family and friends don’t read and write (novels). But I’ve met plenty of people in the writing world who I’ve encouraged to join.

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

Rebecca: I just want to let you know how honored I am to have been selected. You have a lot of supportive people out there.

NJ:  Thank you so much for joining us here today, Ronesa!  That was an enjoyable interview until your little mishap?  Are you sure you’re OK?  {NJ doesn’t want any lawsuits or anything like that.  Her shelf isn’t fully insured yet}.  You have made our interview on the SHELF today, a quick one, but a most pleasant one!  To my guests, please support Ronesa by picking up a copy of her book, MYSTICAL EMONA:  SOUL’S JOURNEY, with its brand new cover!  You can also support Ronesa  by visiting her blog stops on her tour which ends on Saturday.  You can find the tour line up here.  Lastly, I’m sorry for the confusion.  Ronesa asked to be called  Ronesa, then she referred to herself as Rebecca the entire interview. {Shaking my head}.  Just know, Ronesa and Rebecca are one and the same.  

MysticalEmona_BookCover

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

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