WELCOME TO #RRBC’S ’20 WC&BE SPONSORS BLOG TOUR! @RRBC_Org @nonniejules

Every year, the sponsors of our annual WRITERS’ CONFERENCE & BOOK EXPO, contribute to our event in such a huge way, that we want to take this time and other times throughout the year, to show them just how much we appreciate their kindness and generosity!  We ask that you support each book along the tour by visiting every stop and picking up a copy of each author’s book.  For each stop that you leave a comment at, your name will be entered into a drawing for a $20 Amazon gift card!  The more you follow along and comment, the more times your name goes into the pot! Lastly, before leaving each stop, please like the page and share to your social media platforms!

Thank you for your support of our Sponsors!

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WINNER OF $20 AMAZON GIFT CARD: 

ANNETTE ROCHELLE ABEN

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Monday, 4/12/21

“Sir Chocolate and the Condensed Milk River Story and Cookbook”

Tuesday, 4/13/21

“Appassionato”

Wednesday, 4/14/21

“The Altar Boy”

(Please pardon the break in the tour.  Day 4 will resume tomorrow)

Friday, 4/16/21

 “Crazy! Hot! And Living On The Edge!!” 

Saturday, 4/17/21

“Breathless”

Sunday, 4/18/21

“The Enigma Ignite”

Monday, 4/19/21

“When Can I Stop Running?”

Tuesday, 4/20/21

“Apollo’s Raven”

Wednesday, 4/21/21

“Open, Shut”

(Please pardon the break in the tour.  Day 10 will resume tomorrow)

Friday/4/23/21

“The Enigma Wraith”

Saturday, 4/24/21

“The One Discovered”

(Please pardon the break in the tour.  Day 12 will resume tomorrow)

Monday, 4/26/21

“Sir Chocolate and the Strawberry Cream Berries Story and Cookbook”

Tuesday, 4/27/21

“No Pedigree”

Wednesday, 4/28/21

“Cherries”

Thursday, 4/29/21

“The Enigma Beyond” & “The Enigma Threat”

Friday, 4/30/21

“Amulet’s Rapture”

Saturday, 5/1/21

“Bravura” & “Cadenza”

THE END!

The winner of the $20 Amazon Gift Card will be posted here on Monday, 5/3/21!  Good luck, everyone!

Robbie Cheadle in “WHO’S ON THE SHELF” w/ @NonnieJules? – @bakeandwrite @RRBC_Org #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 bookshelf. A lot of interviews merely cover an author’s work or an individual’s career stories. Here on this “SHELF,” we get down and dirty and ask the questions no other interviewer dare ask. We ask the questions that you want to open up a book and find the answers to on your favorite authors and fellow book club members, but, no one has dared to cover them. We get personal! Because, when you sit on this “SHELF,” YOU are an open book! Even if I have to pry you open!

Today, we have a very special guest on the SHELF with us, RRBC  member and our March “SPOTLIGHT” Author, ROBBIE CHEADLE! 

Picture for Whose on the Shelf

NJ:  Before we get started, are you comfy?  We’ve made a few changes since you were last here, and I want to ensure they are to my guests’ liking.  

Robbie: I love the design of the eagle carrying a book. The eagle signifies inspiration, victory, speed and pride, all of which are important qualities for writers.

NJ:  Well, thank you.  I’m glad you like our new logo.  I designed it myself!  Let’s start by confirming whether or not your author name is your birth name or a pen name.

Robbie:  I use two versions of my name for publishing purposes: Roberta Eaton is my maiden name and Cheadle is my married name. I use Roberta Eaton Cheadle to publish my YA and adult books and Robbie Cheadle to publish my children’s books and poetry.

The reason I use two versions of my name is to prevent confusion. I wouldn’t like someone to purchase an adult book under the mistaken impression it was for children.

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

Robbie:  I was born in Knightsbridge in London, UK. My biological father died of a heart attack when I was three months old, and my mother decided to move to South Africa. Her sister, Wendy was living in Johannesburg and she offered to take care of me while my mother worked.

NJ:  I’m so sorry to hear about your father, Robbie.  I, too, lost my father early.  Actually, I’ve never met my father.  He died while my mom was carrying me.  So, are you married, single, happily divorced?

Robbie:  I was married for 20 years on the 9th of February 2021.

NJ:  Robbie, we have so much in common already.  We’ll have to chat after the show.  Any kids?  What kind? Do you like them?

Robbie:  I have two sons, Gregory and Michael.  I am very fond of my children … most of the time.

Gregory is a loner, very academic and introverted. He gets these characteristics from me. He is also mathematical, scientific, and logical – he does not get those characteristics from me. He always asks me to test him on his IT, science, and maths. I concede, but I have told him that I think the person who donated the maths gene should suffer through testing him on these subjects – and it’s not me!

Michael is artistic and creative. He is also a last-minute Joe. He takes after me in the first instance and after someone else – maybe the milkman – in the second instance. It causes some interesting clashes to have a laid-back child like Michael living in the same house as three obsessive workaholics. We are lucky to have him to make the sun shine for us.

NJ:  They both seem extra special, Robbie!  But, that being said, 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 started seeking out the A PLACE FOR MOM franchise facility in your area when they were 9?

Robbie:  At the moment, Michael is planning to live in our house. His brother may continue to live in his bedroom [Michael, his wife, and four diverse adopted children will live in the other rooms]. My husband and I will live in the cottage where my parents currently live.

NJ:  Haha.  Well, at least there’s a plan in place already.  Any pets?  What kind?  They act like kids, too, so I have to ask the same question … do you like them?

Robbie:  Two cats reign on our property. Queen Push-Push bestows a visit on me when she feels she needs some petting. The rest of the time she ignores me and resides on my mother’s couch.

Queen Smudge only has eyes for my dad and follows him around like a dog. When he goes out, Smudgy cries for him until he gets home again.

NJ:  Robbie, I could coo and say something clever like, “Oooooo, how cute,” but, they’re cats, you know?  By the way, my daughter now has a cat and whether or not I’m moving over to the other side, is still up for debate in my home.  I can look at this cat, sometimes.  I still can’t look at other cats … so, there’s that problem.  Robbie, what’s the food that’s so good to you, you go to bed dreaming about it, and you forego breakfast just to get to it?  I know it’s not a food, but I dream about coffee and would probably go on a hunger strike if I couldn’t have any.

Robbie:  I am very fond of tea and would struggle to get going in the morning without it. I am not much of a foodie and sometimes I forget to eat if I am doing something very absorbing like writing. I enjoy making cakes for the artwork involved, but don’t have a very sweet tooth.

NJ:  WOW!  A cake maker with no sweet tooth?  That is so odd to me!  But good for you – can you imagine the pounds you pack on if you ate everything you made?  Robbie, what’s your favorite color?

Robbie:  Sunshine yellow

NJ:  Honestly, Robbie, you do remind me of sunshine!  That should be your nic-name – Sunshine!  Your smile is so warm and bright, it lights up the room for us virtually so I can imagine what it does for a real room!  Do you have a favorite sport, Robbie?

Robbie:  I am not very sporty, but if pressed would choose tennis.

NJ:  Oh, tennis is for me, as well.  How about a favorite TV Show?

Robbie:  I don’t watch TV, but I used to watch Friends. I would still be my favourite as I haven’t watched another series since.

NJ:  I loved Friends!  Phoebe, Rachel, Monica and the rest of the gang!   Favorite Actress/Actor?

Robbie:  Oooh, such a hard question when you don’t watch TV or movies. I like Olivia Newton-John in Grease. I wanted to be just like her when I was a girl.

NJ:  No way!  One of my favorite musicals – “You’re the one that I love, the one that I love, woo hoo hoo!”  We have way too much in common!  Do you like to exercise to stay fit OR do you not mind walking around with a beer belly?

Robbie:  I like to walk. Since the pandemic started, I have walked around my garden every day. I like to see the changes in the flowers, trees, and birdlife. I listen to audio books while I walk. I am currently nearly finished A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles.

NJ:  Good for you!  I am one of the few humans in this world who absolutely LOVE EXERCISE!  I’ve a full gym right inside my home so I never have to leave to take up any new anything in the exercise realm.  Robbie, during this pandemic which we are all still living through right now, what is the one thing you find that relaxes you and calms your mind and spirit, aside from walking?

Robbie:  I like to write; it is a meditation for me. I am transported away from my work and home and disappear into a past situation and life.

NJ:  OK, what’s your favorite kind of music?  

Robbie:  I like Broadway music

NJ:  Favorite song?

Robbie:  Open a new door by Angela Lansbury as performed in Mame

NJ:  Slow dance or jumping around the floor making a fool of yourself?

Robbie:  Jumping around the floor, although I did attend months of ballroom dancing lessons when I was in high school.

NJ:  In 15 words or less, what is the most common thing that the people who really know you,  ALWAYS say about you?  For instance, everyone who knows me all say:  “You always know where she stands on things,” OR, “There’s not another like her in the world,” OR, the one I’m most proud of, “God broke the mold with that one.”

Robbie:  How do you fit in all the things you do?

NJ:  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.  Just being honest.  It’s the only way I roll).

Robbie:  I am a perfectionist, so I get upset about small things that don’t bother other people, especially on the work front. My job is pernickety and detailed, and I get upset when people think it takes 5 minutes to update an entire spreadsheet and the related documentation for a stock exchange filing.

NJ:  Perfectionist, huh?  I resemble that remark!  So, are you neat or messy?

Robbie:  Neat

NJ:  Me, too!  The only messy place in my home is my office, but you have to remember that a clean, uncluttered desk is the sign of a sick mind and my desk is way messy!  Robbie, are you nice or mean?  Is that your perception of you, or is that what others think of you?  I’m mean and I know it.  There’s no sense in denying it, because if I did, it would be a lie.  I doubt that many refer to me as nice and I’m OK with that.  Quite often, people mistake your directness for something else anyway, and, I’m OK with that, too!

Robbie:  I can be both. I try to be nice, but I am sometimes mean. This is usually when I am stressed and overworked. I try to help people and am patient when showing people how to do things at work and at home. I get annoyed if people are lazy though, and aren’t motivated to embrace learning and personal improvement.

I have been called a philanthropist by my colleagues because I like to help people in need. I am part of my firm’s outreach programmes and my family also do our own private outreach for select organisations.

NJ:  Good for you, Robbie!  Some of us have been encountering people lately who appear to be sweet, kind and gentle sheep on the surface, but then, there comes a time when they make the mistake of letting their real self shine through.  Have you run into any of those kinds online?

Robbie:  I try to be understanding about people, and not judge them when they do something out of character or that I don’t like. As an outsider, I don’t know what is happening in someone’s personal life that could make them lash out or be upset about something that doesn’t bother me.

Social media doesn’t reflect the truth of peoples lives as people don’t hang their dirty washing out for others to see. They share pictures of the good things in their lives, but rarely the negative things. I had a friend who got divorced and never once had I seen any hint that all was not well between her and her husband on social media. All the photographs were ‘happy family’ types.

It is also much easier to write doubled edged comments on social media when you don’t have the person you are hurting visibly in front of you. These are the downsides of social media, but there are also lots of positives. Like everything in life, you must apply your mind and make your own decisions about things you see and read.

NJ:  That sounds sweet.  I just have a knack for seeing people for who they really are and not for who they would love for the world to believe they are. I call that my “gift” and it serves me very well.  Now, Facebook or Twitter?

Robbie:  They have different purposes and strengths and I use both. I believe I get the best from both too.

NJ:  OK. Snapchat or Instagram?  By the way, I use neither.

Robbie:  I have never tried Snapchat. I do like Instagram. I like the small peeps into peoples lives that photographs offer. I enjoy seeing pictures of flowers, places, and even food and drinks.

NJ:  Now we’re getting into the hard questions – Coke or Pepsi, Robbie?

Robbie:  It has to be Coke. Pepsi isn’t big in South Africa.

NJ:  Diet soda or regular?

Robbie:  Diet, but only 1 a day. I can’t say I limit myself with my tea though. I have about 5 cups of tea a day.

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

Robbie:  Oh, Nonnie, I can’t give you one person. I have so many wonderful supportive friends in the blogosphere. I have found the writing, author, and blogging community to be a generous and supportive one and I have met many wonderful people.

I am in email contact with some of my blogging friends. I especially enjoy older people who have the time to share pictures and fun bits of information about their lives. I like that.

NJ:  Good for you, Robbie.  And you know what?  I enjoy the company of much older people than I do any other group of folks.  They have so much to share and their stories are always so interesting.  Who do you favor most:  Nonnie Jules or Wonder Woman? Be honest.

Robbie:  Ha! Well isn’t Nonnie Jules Wonder Woman?

NJ:  Well, I know that she used to be but, she’s getting way older now – not sure how much wonder is still left in that woman! 

Robbie, we all know that Wonder Woman has her truth lasso and Nonnie has … well, just her truths, in the no-nonsense way she forces us to be honest and tell it like it is, whether it makes others uncomfortable or not.  In your opinion, which one does a better job of making the world a better place?  You can be honest here, too.

Robbie:  I think that Nonnie Jules and Wonder Woman appeal to different groups of people. Wonder Woman is a fictional cartoon person aimed [I think] at influencing mainly young people to discover their truth and live a better life.

Nonnie, on the other hand, could positively influence young people, but her reach would be more among adults who have experienced more of life. I believe it is harder to make an impression on, and change the thinking of, people who are older as they have often been influenced by hardship and bad experiences. Young people are of an open mindset and embrace change with great passion. Older people are cautious and more difficult to shift in their ways. Of the two, Nonnie’s job is harder than Wonder Woman’s.

Robbie:  Thank you, Robbie.  By the way, I have mentored young girls since my eldest daughter was in 3rd grade – so, for about 25 plus years, I’ve molded young minds, believe it or not.  Name two favorite INDIE books that you’ve read by RRBC members.

Robbie:  Of my recent reads [end of last year and this year], the books by RRBC members which have impacted me the most are Mennonite Daughter by Marian Longnecker Beaman and The Jewel, a short story by Breakfiedl and Burkey.

NJ:  ONE good INDIE book you’ve read written by an RRBC member that was so good you wished the entire world would read it.

Robbie:  From a content perspective, it would choose Vanished by Mark Bierman.

NJ:  What was so great about it?

Robbie:  Mark deals sensitively, but revealingly, with the shocking topic of child trafficking. This is a terrible scourge in southern Africa and close to my heart. I can’t bear to think of children being mistreated like this.

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

Robbie:  Yes, always

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

Robbie:  I can’t comment on other readers review, but I base mine on the following 5 points:

  1. Uniqueness / importance of the topic and content. If it’s a fictional story, it should be unique and different. If it is a book with a non-fiction topic, like child trafficking or war, or a memoir, then it should be relevant and meaningful.
  2. Characterisation – How did I relate to the characters? Did I care about them and feel their pain?
  3. Use of language – Was the writing interesting and passionate? Did the writer care about the characters and themes of the book? Did this come across well?
  4. Research – Are there historical or other errors in the book? Was the author able to suspend my disbelief and keep me engaged in the story? Did the behaviour of the characters ring true?
  5. Formatting and editing – Were there errors in the book and was the formatting poor. These are things that distract me as a reader and are correctable. I feel it is necessary to mention poor editing or formatting as a warning to other readers who may find them more distracting than I do. This being said, if a story is engaging, I may miss these sorts of things as my eye jumps over them or automatically corrects them.

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?

Robbie:  I do my best to be honest. As mentioned above, I read quickly and become very absorbed by stories. Things that may annoy other readers may not even blimp on my reading radar. My main objective when reviewing a book is whether I enjoy it and it kept me entertaining, informed, and engaged.

NJ:  Read any poorly edited or poorly written books lately?

Robbie:  No, none that have been very badly edited. Most authors seem to have ways of reducing editorial errors through writers’ groups, the use of private editing services, or Beta Readers. I have read a few books that have been disjointed and difficult to follow. The author has jumped around from scene to scene randomly with no common thread. It disturbs the flow of the book and sometimes the scenes never come together. This is more of a developmental editing point.

*How many poorly written or poorly edited books have you read that you gave high marks to in your reviews, when you knew they didn’t deserve the high marks?  Be honest, I won’t ask you to name the books here in public.

Robbie:  My ratings are largely driven by the quality and uniqueness of the story and the characterisation. I read for pleasure and rarely read a book that doesn’t teach me something new and interesting. I do not read with a writer’s hat on and things that might upset other author-readers do not bother me. I read a lot of classic books and those don’t follow modern writing rules. Many of them go into lengthily descriptions and do lots of telling and not showing, but that doesn’t deter from my rating or enjoyment of the story. Every person’s enjoyment of a story is individual and no two readers will express the same opinion about the same story.

NJ:  Robbie, I beg to differ on that last statement you made – I feel that readers can absolutely have the same opinions of one book.  Either they all notice the hiccups in a story, or they all notice none.  Either they all found that a book was a great read, or they didn’t. 

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?

Robbie:  I think Nonnie Jules has provided an excellent platform with RRBC for Indie authors to learn and develop, meet other like-minded individuals, and also learn from reading and reviewing other writers’ books. RWISA is an extension of this platform for writers who have taken their involvement and learning to a higher level within the club.

There are a number of individual bloggers who have helped me significantly with learning how to blog and respond to comments, put together blog tours, and meet other authors, writers, and bloggers through participating in writing prompts.

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

Robbie:  I am an author, but I am new to fiction writing having published my first children’s book in August 2016. I am learning and can see the progress and development from book to book. I have only recently launched my first adult novel about the Second Anglo Boer War (Great South African War). I am good at research and my pernickety job has stood me in good stead in the genre I believe is my niche which is paranormal historical. I have written several non-fiction publications for work purposes and learned a lot through the editing and publishing process these large volumes went through.

I believe my story ideas are good, my research is excellent, and my writing skills such as dialogue and showing not telling have improved significantly so I think I can now say my books are an entertaining read. I believe writing is an area where you never stop learning and improving.  

NJ:  How long have you been writing?

Robbie:  I have been writing fiction since about June 2015 and published my first children’s book in August 2016.

I started writing non-fiction publications in 2012. My job, however, has involved writing circulars, pre-listing statements, announcements and other formal documents for companies listed on the JSE Limited (Johannesburg Stock Exchange) since 2001. Prior to that, I wrote due diligence reports for use by transaction companies. Reading this over, I see that I have always written large documents.

NJ:  This is the most important question that you’ll get here today.  Are you able to take constructive criticism of your written work?

Robbie:  Yes, as mentioned above, my work has always involved a lot of report writing and documentation and have always been subject to scrutiny and commentary from other advisors including more than one set of lawyers and tax advisors as well as the regulators at the stock exchange. I have learned to accept feedback and comments as a necessary part of learning and personal growth. These same benefits apply to fiction writing and constructive criticism [or in my case developmental editing] from others.

NJ:  How do you handle negative reviews of your work?  Are you able to shake them off and move on?

Robbie:  Yes, negative reviews fall into two categories in my opinion. Comments and criticism that I can address and use to improve or comments and criticism that relate to aspects that are outside my control.

If the comments relate to editing or writing methodologies, then I take them on board and either correct my book [editing issues] or try and improve in the identified areas going forward.

If the comments relate to the genre of the book, its themes or plot, or things like late delivery by the retailer, then I consider them, but generally accept that not everyone will like my book and I can’t control all aspects of its sale.

NJ:  Good answers.  Name two books that you’ve written? 

Open a new door, a collection of poetry 

Open a New Door by Robbie Cheadle

Sir Chocolate and the Condensed Milk River story and cookbook 

Sir Chocolate and the Condensed Milk River by Robbie Cheadle

NJ:  Which one do you think is the best?

Robbie:  They are not comparable as one is for adults and one is a picture book for children. I like to think they are both enjoyable. The poetry book is special to me because it is specifically about life in South Africa and the poems discuss poverty, corruption, beauty, corporate live, and family life. They are quite personal and meaningful to me.

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?

Robbie:  I have two blogs and I have been trying to ensure I read my posts more carefully before sharing. I am making an effort to avoid silly writing mistakes and spelling errors caused by hasted. I was given some advice in this regard and an endeavouring to implement that advice.

NJ:  Good for you, Robbie!  Which online resource or organization has helped you as an author the most?

I belong to a few on-line organisations including:

RRBC

A writer’s group; and

An on-line book club

NJ:  How were you helped by them?

RRBC is a supportive club for authors and writers and provides a platform for learning about writing through its on-line writing conferences, and other programmes. Members can also meet and engage with new authors and learn about their books, as well as participate in on-line meetings to discuss reviews of various books. There are all useful opportunities and I have benefited from them all.

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?

Robbie:  As mentioned above, I think RRBC is a supportive community of talented writers who work together, under the excellent leadership of Nonnie Jules, to provide a lot of interesting discussion groups and learning opportunities for members. As I’ve mentioned before, the opportunities are there for the members to grasp and make the most of, it is up to individuals to do that and become involved to the extent possible for them, given their own life situations and circumstances.

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

Robbie:  No, I think RRBC is unique.

NJ:  We definitely are.  Many have tried to copy our model but there’s only one RRBC!  Would you recommend it to your friends and family?

Robbie:  Yes, definitely!

NJ:  Why, thank you, Ms. Robbie!  Are you a member of the prestigious RWISA?  If so, what do you think of it?

Robbie:  I have not yet achieved membership of RWISA.

From my perspective, RWISA is an extension of the comradery and support provided by RRBC, offered to people who have worked hard at fine tuning their writing and taking it to a higher level.

NJ:  I like your “not yet” …  that means you will one day join us.  I know of no other organization like RWISA where the standard of your writing is first and foremost regarded as top priority, so, I am extremely proud of RWISA

Robbie, what’s your most favorite program or place here within RRBC?  (#PUSHTUESDAY, RAVE WAVES Shows, Block Parties, Writers’ Conference & Book Expo, BOOK OF THE MONTH discussions, “ON THE SHELF” interviews, etc.)

Robbie: I liked the writers’ conference best. I learned a lot of new things during that period and met more members of RRBC.

NJ:  Robbie, it is our most anticipated event of the year.  Now, this shelf is getting hard on my hiney so we’re going to wrap this interview up.  Any final words for our audience today?

Robbie:  I hope that readers of this interview have enjoyed learning a bit more about me and my books and also the on-line platforms, like RRBC, which have helped me develop as a writer and learn about the craft of writing and about publishing and marketing.

Thank you, Nonnie, for this lovely interview and opportunity.

NJ:  Thank you, Robbie, for joining me here today – it was such a pleasure to have you again.  You were with me last October so it was a treat to see some of your changes .  Visitors, I ask that you pick up a copy of either of Robbie’s books above. Please be sure to leave her a comment below as she loves to chat!  

Have you joined RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB yet?  Well, here’s your chance!  And, since Robbie was on the “SHELF” today, tell them she sent you.

Until next time, take care.  We’ll see you in May, right here on the “SHELF” with another INTERESTING GUEST!!!

***

DISCLAIMER:  RRBC does not alter the writing of any guest who has participated in our interviews.  As we do not know the author’s intent in their writing, it is not our place to make any changes, therefore, we post material exactly as it is submitted to us.

How The Professionals Handle Negative Book Reviews #RRBC @RRBC_Org @RRBC_RWISA @Tweets4RWISA

If you follow my blogs, you should know by now that when I post, there will always be a lesson to be gleaned from each post.  This one will be no different.  By now you should also know that I don’t sugarcoat things.  I’ll leave that to those who don’t know how to appreciate a world of truths. 

We’ve all been there … on the dirty end of a negative book review. And although negative book reviews cut some deeper than others, they all leave us with a special feeling – the need for a good cry, or they might even give us a hearty chuckle – that’s if you don’t feel that reviews “define” you, which clearly they do for some.

RRBC was founded almost 10 years ago because of a strong need for a place to go and get truly honest reviews of your books;  a place where the courage to be honest in reviews, was and still is, strongly encouraged;  a place where readers of all backgrounds could read reviews and know that they had come from a place of pure truth – ugly warts and all.

If you’ve ever sat in on an episode of RAVE WAVES “RATERS NOT HATERS,” you know that Shirley Harris-Slaughter is a really great reviewer in that she gives an honest opinion of the books she has read.  And what makes her great at what she does as host of that show, is her courage to be honest about the books she’s read.

Since the inception of RATERS NOT HATERS, many books have been profiled on the show … even mine.  And although we may not like it when the host points out issues in our books, here are three awesome things about this show and its host, that you can always take straight to the bank…

  1. The host never discusses her reviews with anyone before the show.  What you see when you get there is not Bravo reality TV – it’s honest reality, in typical RRBC-style;
  2. Her reviews are always honest and unbiased.  It doesn’t matter how much she loves you, she is going to be truthful about what she has read.  Whether your book was amazing, and even if there were too many hiccups for her to get through the read smoothly, she will always share that truth;
  3. And here is the most important factor that I’d like for you to stew in for a long while:  The integrity of Shirley Harris-Slaughter is above reproach…

…and when I know that her integrity is being questioned and is under attack because someone didn’t like the review she gave their book (especially as host of RATERS NOT HATERS), that’s when you get to hear from me, and hearing from me via this format, is not always a comfortable place.

When we review books, we don’t have to take the time to share with the authors privately the issues we may have found in their books.  If someone does that for you, be grateful for that gift, but expecting that everyone is going to do that, is your entitlement on full display.  I’m the President and Founder of RRBC & RWISA and I’m not entitled to that privilege, so, if someone extends to me that courtesy, I am deeply honored, but in no way at all do I feel it is my right to have it.  No one owes us anything.  We should just be thankful that there are those who are brave enough and who care about us enough, to be truly honest about issues they find in our books, as opposed to walking around with a chip on our shoulder because we’re not being praised (and because someone’s truth hurt our little feelings). 

If you’re going to survive and thrive in this business, you need a thick skin – no, I don’t mean talking the talk about thick skin, I mean walking the walk, and showing the world that you have what it takes to be here and remain here.  If you’re upset about editing issues found in your book, the person or persons you need to take that up with and be upset with, is the person or persons who edited your book!  Please, thank the messenger – don’t attempt to disparage them.

A member recently felt compelled to send Paula a message stating that they didn’t want to post their review publicly of a book they’d read, but wanted to know if they would still be credited for the review.  Yes, they were afraid they might get attacked if they posted their 3-star review with mention of editing issues found in the book.  Is this what we’re being reduced to?  Adults professing to be Professionals yet throwing tantrums, causing some to be afraid to share their truth publicly?  WRONG ORGANIZATION FOR THAT NONSENSE!

So, let me get to the gist of this post and tell you what true PROFESSIONALS do and don’t do when they receive negative reviews or reviews pointing out issues found in their books:

  • If the review was clearly not posted by a “troll,” they thank the person for taking the time to read and review their book and they do it with a sincere heart;
  • They don’t go around trying to drum up support from others stating that someone gave them a bad review because “they must be jealous of me.”  What do you think you have that others might be jealous of?  I’m just curious;
  • They don’t take to social media with passive-aggressive posts about the reviewer, under the guise of only trying to help others get past bad reviews.  No, let’s be honest here, you’re trying to drum up sympathy for your hurt pride when you stoop to that level;
  • They don’t go around seeking validation from others (those they know will only praise them), asking, “Did you find anything wrong with my book?”  Seriously?
  • And after all of the above is said and done, they do absolutely nothing!  They let it roll off their backs and they go about their merry way without nary another word of it.  Professional status, still intact.

That’s how real Professionals handle negative book reviews, comments, or even being profiled on RATERS NOT HATERS – where they rate, not hate! They don’t let it consume them.  They don’t lose sleep over it.  They recognize that a review is only someone’s opinion and they move on from it.  And if they must vent, they do it privately, so as not to alert the world that they can’t handle the truth about their books.  That’s it!  That’s how the real pros handle these situations.  They don’t turn it into something messy, ugly, and divisive.

When you behave in such a manner, all you’re doing is keeping readers away from your books, especially those who you can be assured will be “honest” about your book and its issues.  Who’s going to waste their time purchasing, reading, and reviewing a book when they know the author throws tantrums when they read or hear something they don’t like?  Who in their right mind would bother? 

I want everyone to hear me loud and clear.  I’m not here to win any popularity contests and I’m sure I have more nay-sayers than I do fans.  Why?  Because I stand in my truths and I have no cowardice in my DNA and those two combinations are lethal to some in our literary community.  Actually, Nonnie only cares about the opinions of those who feed, clothe, provide shelter, and love and support her.  If you’re in that class of people, thank you!  So, with that being said, I’m going to always give it to you straight with no chasers, and if you don’t like it, well, eventually, you’ll get over it.  When I am witness to ugly behavior, unprofessional behavior, and adult tantrums, expect that I will speak out about it and call it out for what it is.  Enough is enough.  If this post feels like it’s directed at you, then maybe it is, and you should do a better job of trying to convince others that you are this Professional who can handle constructive critiques of your work, because what you are displaying, is shouting the total opposite of that.

I don’t know how many times I can say that I removed my first novel from Amazon over 4 years ago.  Why?  Not because someone pointed out any issues (but, I wish they would have) – no, it was the opposite.  I looked at it through eyes that have grown considerably since I penned that book and it wasn’t worthy of sitting on Amazon for anyone to purchase. It hasn’t been returned to Amazon and it won’t be until I have the time to give it a proper re-edit.  Now, if I can say that about my own work, know that I, along with the host of RATERS NOT HATERS, will always be honest about what we recognize as issues with yours.  

We’ve had many leave our beautiful club because they couldn’t handle hearing the truth about their writing, and all I have to say to that is, it’s their loss and I wish them the best of luck.  We only grow when we’re being fed the truth and continually challenged to put our best foot forward in our writing.  And by the way, RRBC & RWISA will only cease to function when Nonnie walks out the door.  

What does it make you when you can point out the problems in the work of others, yet you throw a tantrum when the truth of issues with your own work are presented to you as a gift and you scoff at it?  I call it a gift because when someone is honest with you about your work, it is a gift and you owe the donor a huge amount of gratitude.  Stop professing to be and actually work at being.  I’m quite certain that the best version of you, professionally and personally, is waiting to be introduced to the world.

Stop shouting, “You know me, I can handle the truth…” when you really can’t. Stop saying that you want to be told about issues found in your books when you really don’t.  How many of you really do, though?  I don’t want to waste my time bringing something to your attention, only to find out later I’m the subject of one of your tweets.

Thanks for dropping by and I wish for you all a lifetime of Happy Reading and nothing but HONEST REVIEWING!  That’s all that we want to be shared here in our forums – honest reviews.

Lisa Kirazian in “WHO’S ON THE SHELF” w/@NonnieJules – #RRBC @kirazian

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 bookshelf. A lot of interviews merely cover an author’s work or an individual’s career stories. Here on this “SHELF,” we get down and dirty and ask the questions no other interviewer dare ask. We ask the questions that you want to open up a book and find the answers to on your favorite authors and fellow book club members, but, no one has dared to cover them. We get personal! Because, when you sit on this “SHELF,” YOU have to be an open book! Even if I have to pry you open!

Today, we have a special guest on the SHELF with us, RRBC / RWISA member,  Author, LISA KIRAZIAN!

NJ:  Before we get started, how do you like the design and feel of my new shelf?  We updated it in 2017 and in all honesty, I can’t recall any accidents lately, so I think this redesign is working.  It’s time for another new update but maybe later in the year. Are you comfy?

LISA:  Yes — it’s clear and clean, a nice refresh! Like a sunroom or peaceful patio with a comfy chair.

NJ:  Oh, it’s definitely clean and clear of clutter … otherwise, I’d have to ban myself to that island where messy folks are sent.  So, let’s jump right in since we’re running a little behind and start by confirming whether or not your author name is your birth name or a pen name.

Lisa:  My pen name, Lisa Kirazian, is my maiden name. My married last name is Kradjian, which is very similar. So there is sometimes confusion. I was publishing before I was married so it made sense to keep my maiden name as my pen name, but for everything else, I’ve changed my name to Kradjian.

NJ:  How funny that your two last names would be so similar!  Is it a cultural thing – the K – zian?  You can answer that later for me.  Tell us where you were born?  Do you still live there now?  If not, what city and state are you calling home these days?

Lisa:  I was born and raised in San Diego in an Armenian American family. I have also lived in Palo Alto when I was a student at Stanford, in the Bay Area, and in Los Angeles, but San Diego was home from birth to age 24 and then from age 29 until now. I came back to live in San Diego when I got married and have been here ever since. You never think you are going to end up back in your hometown, but I am glad for it.

NJ:  Sounds awesome.  For me, I never assumed that I’d leave my hometown and I didn’t, of course, but others are clearly braver and more adventurous than I am.  So, you’re married.  To whom and for how long?  

Lisa:  Married to my husband Steve for 20 years.

NJ:  20 years – unheard of during these times, would you agree?  Good for you!  Any kids?  What kind? Do you like them?

Lisa:  2 daughters, ages 11 and 15. Yes, I like them. And I love them.

NJ:  Well, of course, we have to love them, but, I’m told sometimes there are some that aren’t that likable.  OK, 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 started seeking out the A PLACE FOR MOM franchise facility in your area when they were 9?

Lisa:  The jury is still out on this one :).

NJ:  See!  Again.  We have to love them…  Hahaha.  Any pets?  What kind?  They act like kids, too, so I have to ask the same question…do you like them?

Lisa:  Australian Labradoodle named Zoe who is 2. Our fluff ball – yes, we love her.

NJ:  Oh, I’d love to see a picture of that one!  She sounds gorgeous.  Maybe have one posted to your RRBC Author Page.  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?

Lisa:  Too many to name! Five rolled tacos with guac from Roberto’s. Very San Diego. 

NJ:  What’s your favorite color?  

Lisa:  Red and Black

NJ:  Favorite sport…

Lisa:  Baseball (I used to play softball)

NJ:  Favorite TV Show…

Lisa:  SNL

NJ:  Really?  I never fell into that like everyone else did.  OK.  Favorite Actress/Actor…

Lisa:   June Allyson.

NJ:  Do you like to exercise to stay fit OR do you not mind walking around with a beer belly?

Lisa:  Clearly, I don’t mind the pudge. But I am working on getting back in shape!

NJ:  During this pandemic which we are all living through right now, what is the one thing you find that relaxes you and calms your mind and spirit?

Lisa:  Praying, number one. Also journaling, watching favorite movies, watching baseball, listening to music.

NJ:  In 15 words or less, what is the most common thing that the people who really know you, ALWAYS say about you?  For instance, everyone who knows me all say: “You always know where she stands on things. You’re never left to wonder.”

Lisa:  “You are funny without even trying.” (6 words)

“Loving for sure.” (3 words)

“You are selfless, kind, hardworking, understanding.” (6 words)

15 total 😉

NJ:  Well, OK!  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).

Lisa:  Too many pet peeves. Gotta work on that. But given that we are in a book club, I’d say people who say “irregardless!” AGHHHHHHH!!!!!!!  STOPPPP!! IT’S NOT A WORD!

NJ:  LOL!  I’m on the floor with that one, Lisa!  But, irregardless of how you feel about the word…it looks like a word to me.  Hahaha!!! 

…So, are you neat or messy?

Lisa:  Messy.

NJ:  Well at least you didn’t beat around the bush about it.  Thank goodness!  Here’s another – are you nice or mean?  Is that your perception of you, or is that what others think of you?

Lisa:  Nice. Amazingly, other say so. I’m not sure I am…

NJ:  Facebook or Twitter?

Lisa:  Twitter

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

Lisa:  An awesome gal and former literary manager named Jenny Frankfurt. We’ve spoken for years, she has given advice on my work, we send each other birthday fundraiser gifts and books, vote the same way, etc., but have never met!

NJ:  How cool!  I have one of those.  Who’s the one person that you’ve met online who makes you laugh the hardest?

Lisa:  The author Anne Lamott, so witty and down to earth and insightful. Love her.

NJ:  Who do you favor most:  Nonnie Jules or Wonder Woman? Be honest.

I’m sorry but I’ve been a Wonder Woman fiend since elementary school. I was obsessed with Lynda Carter and wanted to be her. I collected all things Wonder Woman. I went to the early days of the Comic Con in San Diego when it was just a little hotel room with cardboard boxes of comic books and movie stills, looking for Wonder Woman comic books. I practiced twirling like her. I made my own “bullet proof” wristbands and truth lasso. I have the whole TV series on DVD and can still sing the theme song. I’m still obsessed even now in the Gal Gadot era.

NJ:  That Wonder Woman?  Name two favorite INDIE books that you’ve read by RRBC members:

Lisa:  “Rave Soup for the Writer’s Soul: An Anthology, 1st and 2nd Editions.” To see the breadth and depth of the writers in RRBC is inspiring and motivating — it keeps me on my toes to see not only how dedicated they are but how prolific they are, and how supportive they are of each other.  I love immersing in multiple forms as well, because I’m a hybrid writer myself, working across genres. The anthologies are true snapshots of the club.

NJ:  Glad you like those anthologies.  Give us the name of ONE good INDIE book you’ve read written by an RRBC member that was so good you wished the entire world would read it.

 Lisa:  My favorite piece of writing by RRBC in recent memory is Karen Black’s short story, “A Candle in the Darkness.” (A recent RWISA U grad, no less!)

NJ: What was so great about it?

Lisa:  I don’t want to give anything away in “A Candle in the Darkness,” but I have not been able to stop thinking about it — slow and steady and then taking the reader in an unexpected direction. It affected me because I did not expect the outcome, and it has fascinated me ever since. Plus, it was very visual, very ethereal. And I can’t drive by and look at a roadside motel in the same way again.

NJ:  I’m sure Karen will be pleased to hear that.  Moving on, after you read books, do you post reviews?

Lisa:  Yes.

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

Lisa:  The quality and “heart” of the book, the distinct elements of the author’s craft, and the uniqueness of the story/idea.

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?  

Lisa:  I don’t know them so I can’t be afraid of them getting upset 🙂 But I always season with lots of grace. My father was a professional literary and music critic, as well as a literature professor, and he was always surrounded by people who loved to hear the sound of their own voice in their critiques and lectures and loved putting other authors or artists down to somehow elevate themselves. He always said that no matter how awful a book or play or film was that he was reviewing, he would ALWAYS find something good or noteworthy to say about it, so that the review was balanced. As a writer and a composer himself, he knew how challenging it was. I try to do the same.

NJ:  Read any poorly written books lately?

Lisa:  No. I don’t have enough time to read as much as I’d like, such that I would read so many books where a clunker would even be in there. I haven’t even read all the classics I want to read — and I was an English major!

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?

Lisa:  If you’re talking in the context of RRBC, I would say you and Jan Sikes. You challenge us to raise our game. And you both motivate me to take ownership of the ENTIRE process — not just the writing and revising, but the marketing and social media/web content as well. I do think that’s how writers have to be now, and from now on: they have to take the reins of the entire process but still allow others to come alongside to help, advise, and give needed feedback.

NJ:  No, actually I was speaking generally.  There are some innovators and trailblazers outside of RRBC, but, moving right along – are you an author?  Are you a good one?  C’mon, we love honesty here.

Lisa:  Yes and Yes.

NJ:  How long have you been writing?

Lisa:  Since age 5. I had my first stage play produced when I was 18.

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

Lisa:  Yes. 

NJ:  Name two books that you’ve written.

Lisa:  Bravura and Appassionato 

NJ:  Which one do you think is the best?

Lisa:  Not sure. Bravura is the strongest world-creation. Appassionato is the most relationally raw and honest. 

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

Lisa:  Stanford Alumni, UCLA Extension. RRBC

NJ:  How were you helped by them?

Lisa:  Mentorship from Stanford, practical coursework from UCLA, and opportunities/reviews/exposure from RRBC!

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

Lisa:  It’s fantastic. I am writing about it in one of my guest blog posts this month and have loved writing about it before. It is totally unique in terms of the support and the exposure for writers. And it is ahead of its time in terms of being online and international long before COVID demanded book clubs and writers’ conferences and arts organizations transition their programming online. The fact that we can be online or on a radio show talking with fellow writers from England, Africa, the U.S. and more, is remarkable.

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

Lisa:  Nope. For the reasons I shared above. And I go more into detail about that in one of my guest blog posts this month.

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

Lisa:  I have! But they are not as fully active in their writing yet as they hope to be. Hopefully soon!

NJ:  Are you a member of the prestigious RWISA?  If so, what do you think of it?

Lisa:  Yes. Also a great honor. As writers we always want to be getting better, pushing ourselves more. RWISA represents that for me. It challenges me to keep up my writing and revising on a regular basis. I have a ways to go!

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.)

Lisa:  Writers’ Conference and Book Expo. Hands down. I love all the radio shows and twitter chats, but the conference really shows ALL of what RRBC is and does. The resources, the workshops, the posts, the exposure for writers and folks providing professional services, the feast available to readers, the camaraderie – the prizes LOL! And embedded in all of it is the dedication to encouraging each other. Seeing it all on full display at once is truly exciting.

NJ:  Well, Lisa, I’m so happy to know that you enjoy the WC&BE.  Early-bird registration is open now.  It is an amazing event so we hope to see you there. 

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

Lisa:  Thank you, thank you, thank you! Onward!

NJ:  Thank you, Lisa, for joining me on the shelf today! 

Have you joined RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB yet?  Well, here’s your chance!  And, since Lisa was on the “SHELF” today, tell them she sent you.

Until next time, take care.  We’ll see you in March, right here on the “SHELF” with another INTERESTING GUEST!!!

***

Blog Post Comments – First or Last? #RRBC @RRBC_Org @RRBC_RWISA @Tweets4RWISA

When you’re creating a blog post, how many times do you consider the order of your comments in that creation?  This post won’t be news to some of you, but for others who have never given the order of your comments any thought, this quick tip is just for you.

When someone comments on your posts, most often, if they are voracious readers like I am and will read absolutely anything, they will return again and again to continue to read the comments, if there is an interesting discussion going on about that post.  If that’s the case, no one wants to have to continually scroll through all the comments they’ve already read, to get to the latest ones.

It is for this reason that the order of your comments do matter.  In your Settings, there is a feature that asks which order you prefer your comments to display as.  This is a common feature with WordPress blogs and I’m pretty sure it’s standard across the board with all blog forums.   

If you value return visits and busy chatter on your blogs, it’s always best to display the most recent comments first.

If you don’t have yours set up this way already, then hurry and correct that (writing) faux pas.

Until next time, remember…

The more you learn, the more you earn!  Let’s keep soaking up that literary knowledge, RRBC!

WAIT!  Before you leave, tell us, how do you have your comments displaying right now? 

INDIE PUBLISHED AND DARNED PROUD OF IT! #RRBC @RRBC_Org @Tweets4RWISA @RRBC_RWISA

It looks like we made it out of 2020 alive – all in one piece – none of our teeth are missing – and we still have all our hair (albeit whiter than it was in 2019).  I will bet my bottom dollar that we all welcomed 2021 with open arms.  

RRBC has landed in its 8th year of formation and we are so PROUD to say that!  Talk about staying power!  Well, clearly it lives here!

As we usher in a new year, we’d like to take this opportunity to first welcome Indie Authors from around the globe to join us.  There is no other community quite like ours, and our loyal and dedicated membership will attest to that.

Today marks the first of many posts that we will be sharing for you throughout the year, to learn from, and take the information and implement into your writing life, if you so choose.  We hope that every post proves to be beneficial to you in some way.

I received an email notification the other day from a forum that I subscribed to years ago, where someone inquired as to why Indie publishing was so frowned upon by the traditionally published industry.  I didn’t respond (as I sometimes do) because I wanted to tackle this topic here within RRBC.  One young lady did respond and I have posted her reply to that question below…

“You’re right that self-publishing is still looked down on by a lot of people. There are many reasons why—not all of them justified or accurate I might add. Common reasons I’ve noticed include:

  • The perception that self-published authors couldn’t get a traditional book contract (rather than they didn’t try), and therefore that their book isn’t good enough to be published.
  • The low barrier to entry for self-publishing, meaning that people can publish practically anything, and not all of it is of high quality.
  • The fact that many self-publishing authors don’t hire editors, proofreaders, or designers (because they can’t afford to or didn’t realise they needed to), leading to issues with content, language, formatting, and typos.
  • The reputation of traditional publishers—in having a very long and respected history—while self-publishing is still relatively new to the party and so is seen as the poor man’s publishing.
  • The marketing clout of traditional publishers in promoting their books, vs. self-publishing authors who struggle to market their book, and therefore it goes unnoticed by readers, awards panels, and so on.
  • The notion that you’ve made it as an author when you can physically see your book on a shelf in a bookshop, vs. when you can only download an e-pub version.

That said, as a nonfiction book editor, I’ve noticed that self-publishing seems to be looked down far less in the world of nonfiction than fiction. There’s plenty of respected self-published nonfiction books. I also think the tide is turning a little, and self-publishing will become accepted as the norm.

The sad thing is that I’ve worked with many nonfiction authors who have self-published brilliant books, but they still fail to get many readers due to lack of knowledge about marketing—while some traditionally published nonfiction books catch on with the public despite being pretty average.”

The comments to her response and also to the original poster’s question, were varied and wide-ranging.  Some were credible… while others were just plain ludicrous.

I’d like to make something crystal clear.  The RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB began as, and will end as, an Indie Author organization.  When we began back in 2013, traditionally published authors came knocking on our door and we decided to accept their requests to join, because I knew then, just as I know now, that they have to work just as hard (if not harder) than we do to get their work promoted, noticed, acknowledged, and read.

I quite often complain about the fact that Amazon gave everyone the right to publish anything – and that is where the problem lies – ANY AND EVERYTHING is being published.  It doesn’t matter if the book is riddled with typos or errors of every imaginable (and clearly noticeable) kind, Amazon says, “Hey, we can make money off of you, so, of course you can become an Author here,” which ignites the trickling of litter being repeatedly dumped on our literary horizon.  I take issue with this.

It is for that very reason that the traditionally published world looks down upon Indie publishing and doesn’t take it seriously.  It’s not because they are better, because nothing about being traditionally published speaks to that, and nothing could be farther from the truth.

Some of us are Indie because we choose to be.  I personally have never sought out a publisher or dreamed of having a publishing contract, and although I can’t speak to what I might dream in the future, I know for a fact that I’ll never go seeking a publishing contract.  That is by choice, not by chance.  Do I think I’m good enough to be traditionally published?  Well, since I don’t put the same amount of credibility or stock behind being traditionally published as others might,  I’ll just say this – I am good enough to be tagged as, and do proudly wear the label of being a Professional Author.  That’s a “real” author, Indie or traditionally published,  with writing talent.  A Professional Author cares about their contributions to the reading public as well as their reputation as a writer.  

Now, here’s my two-cents on the question that was posed on that forum (and we all know just how much I love sharing my two-cents):

Contrary to what some might believe, being traditionally published does not promise you a more thorough edit.  There are thousands of traditionally published books that sit on the shelves of Barnes and Noble and the virtual shelves of Amazon, that are proof of that.  I also know this first-hand because many of those books are in my own home library (that I’ve purchased from the shelves of Barnes and Noble, poorly edited and all.)

Being traditionally published won’t make your book covers any better than the ones I design on my own, and being traditionally published doesn’t mean that your books will sell better than any of mine.  Lastly, that coveted marker – being traditionally published is not the only way to get your books onto the shelves of brick and mortar bookstores.  In the past, two of my books have graced the shelves of Barnes and Noble, and of course, I am and have always been, an extremely PROUD INDIE AUTHOR.  (By the way, I didn’t go looking to get my books into Barnes and Noble.  Someone on the inside felt that’s where they belonged.)

There is one thing that stands out that separates my coveted Indie Author status from that of the traditionally published – I have TOTAL AND COMPLETE CONTROL over my entire body of work.  I make every decision just the way I want, down to where I’d like my commas to go, or how I’d like my paragraphs to be spaced, what I want my titles to be, and especially how I want my covers to look.  I also establish the costs of my books and  can sell them anywhere, at anytime, and however I please.  I’m not locked in under someone else’s thumb for something that I put in hard (mind) labor to create. 

So there!  Those are the reasons I am an Indie Author and I suspect my reasons are the same for many of you awesome writers.

RRBC is Indie-land!

We don’t promote traditional publishing here.  Now, listen carefully – I did not say that we don’t promote traditionally published authors, because we do.  We don’t promote traditional publishing.  If it is your desire to be traditionally published, we wish you well on that journey and stand behind your desires 100%, but what we will not allow, is for Indie publishing to be trashed, dismissed or diminished in any manner.  It is our way and it is our way by choice.  The traditionally published world has enough backing out there, so here in RRBC is where you can find that Indie backing and support that all authors, Indie and traditional, seem to rest and rely upon.  We have traditionally published authors who have been on our roster since the very beginning and they will share with you, they receive the same amazing treatment and support as our Indie published authors.

When I started this post, I invited Indie Authors from around the world to join us.  Now, since I have made our position clear, I invite more of those authors who are traditionally published to join us.

We are well aware that your struggle is equally as real as ours.

Until next time…

#RRBC … More Than Just A #Book Club & Heaps of #Gratitude

Happy belated Christmas, RRBC-ians and friends! The following post is personal but since it’s related to RRBC and also includes a peek at the newest release of one of our most awesomely supportive members, I thought I’d place it here on the RRBC site where it would get maximum exposure.

The RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB is, as of 12/13/20, moving into its 8th year of formation. We started out as a small community of literary like-minds and quickly morphed into the huge family of writers and readers you see blanketing the airwaves of social media.  

We hear quite often that we are unlike any community ever seen before.  We love hearing that, but, if we never hear the words spoken, it is something we already know.

When I formed this amazing community, standing out in an already crowded arena of literary clubs was part of my plan, and it was clear from day one, that we would be that community where you would find more than just a place to list and discuss books.  RRBC has always been more than just a book club; it started out as, and remains today, in a class all by itself.  

We are a family (not the dysfunctional kind, by the way) and that shines through with:  every bit of support given via social media, supportive book purchases, reviews posted, relationships formed, and every shoulder extended when one of us is riding the waves of  a “personal” storm.  What you find here, you’d be hard-pressed to find anywhere else.  Why is that?  Well, although many have attempted to model their clubs/groups after us, there is so much more that they need to even remotely resemble who we are.  I don’t need to say it – we all know what those special ingredients are, and we ain’t going anywhere.  We, the most loyal and dedicated members of RRBC, who strive to ensure that our organization is the most unique, and also the best there ever was, we are staunchly planted right here, proudly and joyfully roaming the halls of RRBC.  What we bring to this smooth sailing vessel is a spirit of giving, decency, loyalty, dedication to the service of others, and oneness – that strong feeling of closeness that you miss when you’re away from it for too long, which none of us ever are.

It should come as no surprise that during this season of continual service to others and giving, that I’d be blessed with the amazing gift below! 

It’s so beautiful, isn’t it?  Designed in the shape of a heart,  it embodies all the special and unique avenues RRBC & RWISA implements to push our members along on their constant journey to success.  It was too beautiful for me not to share with you.  As a matter of fact, I believe it was designed for all of us!

This beautiful monument of all things RRBC & RWISA, will house your books that you’ve sent to me, your coffee mugs that you’ve gifted me (because you know I collect coffee mugs), and all those extra special treasures you’ve lovingly sent my way – yes, they’ll all be on display in my home-office very soon.  I’ve received some beautiful gifts from you all throughout the years, and one day, when I decide it’s time to hang up my RRBC/RWISA handbag, I’ll get to enjoy this beautiful display of treasures, with memories you helped create.   (And when you become rich and famous, I’ll already have my very own copy of your autographed book, to show off when I’m boasting how we’re such old friends!)

I’ve received many special “gifts” this Christmas from my wonderful members, but I was moved most by your words of gratitude and simply knowing  you care.  Your kind messages brought tears to my eyes, and in one moment, I stood and said aloud, “It’s just so nice to feel appreciated.”  It truly is the most special feeling there is, second to knowing you’re loved.  So, thank you Phil Stephens, Maura Beth Brennan, Shirley Harris-Slaughter, Peggy Hattendorf, Robbie Cheadle (who was also my VIP Lounge Secret Santa this year),  PTL Perrin, Linda Mims, Karl Morgan, Pat Garcia,  Eichin Chang-Lim, Linnea Tanner, John Podlaski, John Fioravanti, Bette A. Stevens, Yvette M. Calleiro, Guy Worthey, Rox Burkey, Joy Gerken, Susanne Leist and Marian Beaman.   At the end of a most difficult year, each of you made it so much better, and there are no words to truly express the depth of my gratitude for you. 

 

Robbie Cheadle in “WHO’S ON THE SHELF” w/@NonnieJules – #RRBC @bakeandwrite @RobertaEaton17

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 bookshelf. A lot of interviews merely cover an author’s work or an individual’s career stories. Here on this “SHELF,” we get down and dirty and ask the questions no other interviewer dare ask. We ask the questions that you want to open up a book and find the answers to on your favorite authors and fellow book club members, but, no one has dared to cover them. We get personal! Because, when you sit on this “SHELF,” YOU are an open book! Even if I have to pry you open!

Today, we have a very special guest on the SHELF with us, RRBC  member,  Author, ROBBIE CHEADLE! 

NJ:  Before we get started, how do you like the design and feel of my new shelf?  We updated it in 2017 and in all honesty, I can’t recall any accidents lately, so I think this redesign is working.  Are you comfy?

Robbie:  I love the design of the eagle carrying a book. The eagle signifies inspiration, victory, speed and pride, all of which are important qualities for writers.

NJ:  Well, thank you.  I’m glad you like our new logo.  I designed it myself!  Let’s start by confirming whether or not your author name is your birth name or a pen name.

Robbie:  I write under the name of Robbie Cheadle for my children’s books and Roberta Eaton Cheadle for my adult books. Most people, including my work colleagues, know me as Robbie Cheadle. Roberta is my full name and Eaton is my maiden name. I use to variations of my name to clearly separate my children’s fiction from my adult fiction.

NJ:  Wendy Scott uses that technique, as well.  Good for you all!  I don’t think I’d be able to keep it all straight.  Robbie, tell us where you were born?  Do you still live there now?  If not, what city and state are you calling home these days?

Robbie:  I was born in Knightsbridge in the UK. My father died when I was three months old and my mother moved to South Africa. Her sister, my aunt, offered to take care of my while my mother worked. I still live in Johannesburg, South Africa. I have lived in George, a small town in the Western Cape for two years and in Cape Town for two years, both in South Africa.

NJ:  Robbie, I like to ask the hard questions here and I look forward to the honest answers.  Since you mentioned being from South Africa, I must say that I’ve found South African women to be a tad difficult.  You, on the other hand, appear to be such a gentle sweetheart, but, we know that there are those times when the folks behind the keyboard aren’t what they appear to be.  I mean, I’m not as nice as I seem (when I’m forced to go in another direction, if you know what I mean).   Is the picture that I have of you in my head accurate or would you fall into that category of those others I have encountered that I found to be difficult?  

Robbie:   I think how one develops as a person depends a lot on upbringing, position in society, economic standing, and your own character. As with all countries, South African women vary and there are some who are difficult and demanding. I suspect this is to do with being brought up to think they are entitled. This, of course, is not the case with all, or even most, South African women and there are lots of wonderful, kind, and caring women out there. I work in a multi-cultural environment and there are representatives from all eleven of our national language and cultural groups, including English, Afrikaans, Zulu, Xhosa, and the other seven main African ethnic groups in South Africa. There are also Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, and Christian people and foreigners from other African countries including Ghana, Zambia, Botswana, and Zimbabwe. Everyone I work with is nice and most people are helpful and committed to their jobs. I like to believe I am a kind and helpful person. I know that my colleagues, friends, and family all rely on me to help them with difficult situations and personal problems. I am a good listener and don’t offer unwanted advice, so people often confide in me. I also don’t break confidences. I hope this answers your question.

NJ:  Interesting.  Robbie,  are you married or single?

Robbie:  I will have been married for twenty years in February 2021. My husband and I are both chartered accountants and met at work in 1997.

NJ:  That’s amazing!  I love February for weddings.  I’m not sure why, though.  So, do you two lovebirds have any kids?  If so, what kind? And, more importantly, do you like them?

Robbie:  I have two sons, Gregory and Michael. They are both great lads and they both help me with my books and marketing. Michael is my co-author for the Sir Chocolate series of children’s books. Sir Chocolate, a little man made of chocolate, and Chocolate World, where you can eat everything was his idea. We wrote the first book together when he was six years old and later added the fondant, cake and biscuit illustrations and the recipes. These additions were at the suggestion of my brother-in-law who is in advertising.  I am proud of my boys and I do like them … most of the time.

NJ:  Robbie, they sound like awesome ‘lads!’ 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 started seeking out the A PLACE FOR MOM franchise facility in your area when they were 9?

Robbie:  My parents live in a cottage on our premises. Both my sons think this is the norm and seem to have a plan to live in the house and move my husband and I out to the cottage in the future. They make me smile when they discuss their future plans.

NJ:  Uh, not sure that I’d be smiling while they were discussing putting me outside in the outhouse and taking over my house.  Any pets?  What kind?  They act like kids, too, so I have to ask the same question…do you like them?

Robbie:  I have two cats which I share with my dad. Smudge is more his cat and Push-Push is more mine. She comes to visit me for cuddles every morning. I do like my cats but when they bring dead rodent or bird gifts into the house, I’m not very grateful.

NJ:  What cute names! (But I still don’t like cats.)  Robbie, 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?

Robbie:  Oooh, that’s tough. I’m not a big foodie even though I bake a lot. That started as an endeavor to give my boys healthier food that wasn’t full of chemicals and where I could control the sugar content. I always reduce the sugar in recipes.

I do like prawns but don’t eat them often because they are on the orange list – partially endangered.

NJ:  I love prawns and eat them as much as I can!  Sorry.  What’s your favorite color, Robbie?

Robbie:  I like yellow, pink and orange in that order.

NJ:  I love to attach colors to people and you look like a yellow, pink and orange kind of girl!  Love it!  Favorite sport?

Robbie:  I am not sporty and never watch sport. My boys play tennis so I’ll pick that as my favourite sport.

NJ:  Oh, but your photo above … I imagined you hiking through the mountains.  Oh, well, do you have a favorite TV show?

Robbie:  I never watch TV. I watched The Addam’s Family [movie], two weeks ago with my sons at their request. This is the first movie I’ve watched in two years. I do like to read.

NJ:  No … No … No  TV?  Like, no Housewives of anything?  No BRAVO of any kind?  Uh, how does that work?  Robbie, that’s almost sacrilegious.  OK, let me move on from that place of absolutely no understanding.  Do you have a favorite Actress or Actor?

Robbie:  As mentioned, I haven’t watched a movie for a while, but I do like Helen Bonham Carter. I think she is a great actress.

NJ:  Yeah, I get it, but I still don’t understand it.  Do you like to exercise to stay fit OR do you not mind walking around with a beer belly?

Robbie:  Haha, no beer bellies for me. I’m not much of a foodie and sometimes forget meals. I don’t do organized exercise in a gym or sports facility but I walk every day and I do housework and gardening. I’m a bit obsessive about cleanliness.

NJ:  Cleanliness!!!  Now, I like you even more!  So, during this pandemic which we are all living through right now, what is the one thing you find that relaxes you and calms your mind and spirit?

Robbie:  I like to keep to my routines. It is part of my obsessive personality. Lack of routine is very tough for me and makes me distressed. I have done my best to keep to my work and home routines as much as possible during this pandemic. My workload has been enormous due to the financial fallout created by the lockdowns, but I have tried to keep work boxed within its hours and not let it take over my life. I have been moderately successful with that, but have still had to delay the publication of my new adult paranormal historical novel because of timing issues.

NJ:  OK.  I wish you success in completing that next book baby.  In 15 words or less, what is the most common thing that the people who really know you,  ALWAYS say about you?  For instance, everyone who knows me all says:  “You always know where she stands on things. You’re never left to wonder with her.”

Robbie:  Haha, People always say to me that they don’t know how I do everything I do with working full time, raising a family, writing and blogging. I’m always left wondering what other people do with their time.

NJ:  I’m with you – where do people get so much free time and down time?  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).

Robbie:  I also can’t abide dishonesty. It can cause so much heartache and pain to other people when someone lies. Lies can be very destructive.

NJ:  Lies are deadly at times, Robbie.  So, are you neat or messy?

Robbie:  I am neat.

NJ:  Yes, I know … I just wanted to hear you say it again!  I love it!

Are you nice or mean?  And, is that your perception of you, or is that what others think of you?

Robbie:  I believe I am nice, and I often overcommit myself as a result. I can take a hard line in my work environment thought. It is necessary to get the correct outcome.

NJ:  Facebook or Twitter?

Robbie:  Facebook

NJ:  Who do you favor most:  Nonnie Jules or Wonder Woman? Be honest.

Robbie:  I am only vaguely familiar with Wonder Woman, but I do know Nonnie Jules and how hard she works to support other writers. I’ll definitely go with Nonnie.

NJ:  Robbie, I knew I liked you for various reasons!  LOL!  Seriously, thank you for your kind words.  We all know that Wonder Woman has her truth lasso and Nonnie has … well, just her truths, in the no-nonsense way she forces us to be honest and tell it like it is, whether it makes others uncomfortable or not.  In your opinion, which one does a better job of making the world a better place?  You can be honest here, too.

Robbie:  I am a big believer in the truth and the need for people to acknowledge the truth of situations. That is one of the reasons I write historical fiction, so that people can remember and appreciate the truth of historical events. Here again, I have to go with Nonnie and her belief in the truth.

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

Robbie:  No Pedigree: A Really Short Story by Nonnie Jules

Vanished by Mark Bierman

I enjoyed these books because they both highlighted a specific issue in society and they both had good outcomes which, although not always the case, allows the reader to believe people can make a difference.

NJ:  Why, thank you, Robbie!  So happy you enjoyed NO PEDIGREE.  It is one of my personal favorites.  After you read books, do you post reviews?

Robbie:  Yes, I post a review of every book I read.

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

Robbie:  I have a formula for my reviews. I comment on the overall plot and story line. I comment on my favourite, or least favourite, characters and the character development by the author. Depending on the nature of the book, I may quote a few lines or stanza’s if the book is a poetry book. I try to appreciate a book based on its nature. For example, I am not a reader of self help books, but if I do read one, I will analyse it from the perspective of a self-help book and not let my personal genre likes and dislikes influence the review. In other words, I try to be fair and balanced when reviewing a book.

NJ:  How interesting.  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?

Robbie:  I believe I am honest in my reviews. I do look for the best in a book as well as the weaker elements. A book may have a great plot idea but be badly written. In a case like this, I will mention both points i.e. that the plot has a lot of potential but the book needs editing.

NJ:  Hmmmm, ok.  Read any poorly written books lately?

Robbie:  No, if a book is really poor, I will put it aside and not finish it. I don’t review books I haven’t finished reading.

NJ:  How many poorly written books have you read that you gave high marks to in your reviews when you knew they were horrible reads?  Be honest, I won’t ask you to name the books here in public.

Robbie:  I don’t do that. I usually read books that are written by people whose blogs I’ve followed and read for a while, so I know I like their writing style. Most of the Indie or small publisher books I read are well edited. There is usually the odd error but I find errors in books published by large publishing houses too.

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?

Robbie:  I have only been in the writing world for a few years so I can’t really comment extensively on this. I am fortunate as organisations like RRBC have always existed since I started writing so I only have to make the effort to find people like you and embrace the help and advice offered. I know it hasn’t always been like that and I realise that I have benefited from other people’s efforts to gain recognition for Indie and small publisher authors.

The author community on WordPress has been welcoming and helpful and I have learned a lot from posts about writing, marketing and publishing. I have recently started attending on-line sessions and workshops to improve my writing skills.

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

Robbie:  I am an author. I believe I have good story ideas, but I am still learning how to convey them well and to use the available writing tools to build tension and provide for a professionally written story. I attended a few of the sessions at the recent RRBC writing conference and I learned some new things, especially around filter words and composing short stories.

NJ:  How long have you been writing?

Robbie:  I have always written, but I’ve only been writing fiction for four years. As a girl I wrote poems and descriptive passages and I have written several non-fiction publications about investing in Africa. The most difficult challenge I had with moving from non-fiction writing to fiction, was learning to show and not tell. In non-fiction writing you mainly share facts so it is a different mindset.

NJ:  Robbie, are you able to take constructive criticism of your written work?

Robbie:  Yes, I get feedback from my mother and she is a surpringly good critic. She is a huge reader and is good at picking up areas where I get to bogged down in detail or to convoluted in my story telling. She also picks up typos and that sort of thing for me.

My last two books, as well as my work in progress, have gone through a developmental editing processes which has been hugely useful to me. I have tried to ensure I implement previous advice in my new work and I think I am starting to get it right as the feedback in respect of my new book was much less invasive than the two previous books.

I work with public documents in my day job, so I am used to having a number of people, including lawyers, work through my sections with a fine-tooth comb and send back a lot of changes and edits. I am used to criticism but prefer it to be constructive rather than just negative.

NJ:  Usually when I ask questions like the last one I asked above, I close it off with “…and don’t include your mother.”  LOL.  Name two books that you’ve written? 

While the Bombs Fell 

Through the Nethergate written under Roberta Eaton Cheadle

My books are all available from Amazon US here: https://www.amazon.com/Robbie-Cheadle/e/B01N9J62GQ

NJ:  Which one do you think is the best?

Robbie:  They are very different genres so I can’t really say which is better. They are also aimed at different age groups.

While the Bombs Fell is a fictionalized autobiography of my mom’s life, growing up as a small child in an English town during World War II. The idea for the book was a cross between the Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder and My Naughty Little Sister by Dorothy Edwards. Each chapter in the book tells of a different event in my mother’s life such as Christmas Day or going swimming in the manner of My Naughty Little Sister.

Through the Nethergate is a supernatural fantasy and is my first darker novel. It followed on the heels of a number of horror and paranormal stories I wrote for various anthologies. Writing these short stories planted the seed that I could write a supernatural book and so I did. It also includes historical and political elements all tied together by a common thread.

NJ:  And who didn’t love the LITTLE HOUSE series?  They sound interesting.  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?

Robbie:  I have two blogs.

Robbie’s Inspiration shares posts about baking, poetry and fondant art as well as reviews of poetry and children’s books.

Robertawrites shares posts about writing, extracts from my adult and young adult books, photographs of places my family has visited and reviews of classic and adult books.

I often do things in a rush and sometimes run out of time when writing posts. When this happens, I make typing and other errors. I am trying to slow down and read my posts over more critically before publishing them.

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

Robbie:  RRBC has helped me and also a number of my blogging friends.  Blogs like  Nonnie Jules’ three blogs and several others all share writing tips and ideas for marketing books. It all helps and I read as many as I can.

NJ:  Robbie, I’m happy that you find my blogs helpful.  My apologies that I’m behind on my publishing schedule.   Since you’re sitting on the SHELF, you’re obviously a RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB member, so what do you think of the club?

Robbie:  I enjoy being part of an on-line book club and I especially enjoy the live sessions especially when they are on a Saturday and I can easily join them. I like interacting with other writers and reviewers and hearing their views about books. I learn a lot that way. 

I am more of a listener than a speaker when I attend but that works for me and I gain a lot from hearing what others have to say.

NJ:  That’s good to hear.  Have you come across any other online entities like RRBC?

Robbie:  I have not come across another organization like RRBC. It is a huge undertaking to run an organization like RRBC and for Nonnie to have her fingers in so many pies. I know there are a limited number of people involved. I can see how much hard work it is, and I don’t think there are many others who would be willing to do this. Or who would be able to organize it all as successfully.

NJ:  Thank you for noticing the hard work that goes into running such  a huge, well-oiled machine like RRBC – and you’re right, I haven’t found any who would be willing to do what I do here (believe me, I’ve looked and tried to recruit them to take over!) but although many have tried to mimic the successful growth and organized processes of RRBC, none have come close to scratching the surface of what goes on here. (Even when they were entrusted with the RRBC kitchen sink and then ran off with it, they still couldn’t do what we do here.)  I’m so grateful to my right-hand Paula, who is the absolute greatest at what she does, to John F. who handles Membership and helps me with anything I need help with daily, to the hosts of RAVE WAVES (Shirley, Joy, Rox, and Guy) who are the ultimate show hosts and who we look forward to getting “good show” from every month – we are grateful to all of them.  Lastly, we wouldn’t be who we are without the amazingly supportive “core” group of members who have taken up residence here within RRBC.  I could go on and on about those dedicated and committed members who proudly wear the label of  RRBC Author, but, this is your interview and I’ve taken up enough of it, Robbie.   Yes, very few hands keep this huge machine going, but you wouldn’t know it unless I told you, because it all flows so well together.  Robbie, would you recommend RRBC to your friends and family?

Robbie:  Yes, I would recommend RRBC to other authors and writers. I do try to participate in promotions and blog posts that tell others about its benefits when I can. I also juggle a lot of balls so I can’t always do everything.

NJ:  That’s awesome.  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.)

Robbie:  I have only been a member for nine months, so I am still learning about all the things on offer in the club. I really did enjoy the writing conference and I like the live sessions and join when I can. I also have a six-hour time difference which makes evening sessions difficult for me.

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

Robbie:  I’d like to thank you, Nonnie, for this opportunity to showcase my books and thank you for all the hard work that goes into running RRBC.  I appreciate the time and effort the team goes to under her leadership.

NJ:  You’re too kind, Robbie, and it was such a pleasure to have you join me today .  Visitors, I ask that you pick up a copy of either of Robbie’s books above. Please be sure to leave her a comment below as she loves to chat!  

Have you joined RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB yet?  Well, here’s your chance!  And, since Robbie was on the “SHELF” today, tell them she sent you.

Until next time, take care.  We’ll see you in November, right here on the “SHELF” with another INTERESTING GUEST!!!

***

DISCLAIMER:  RRBC does not alter the writing of any guest who has participated in our interviews.  We post material exactly as it is submitted to us.

 

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