Traditional vs Indie: My Little Two Cents…again. #RRBC

Recently, I wrote a post where I briefly spoke on the difference between being traditionally published and Indie published;  that post was called “Why I Choose To Be An Indie Author.”  A fellow RRBC member, who is traditionally published, made a comment to the effect that you have more promotion and support, etc., when you are traditionally published.  Well, here I am again, dropping my little two-cents on that matter.

While watching a talk show earlier today (I sometimes have to take breathers, you know), there was an author who writes under the umbrella of one of my genres.  These days, anytime I am watching a talk show or a news program and the word author pops up, I immediately run to my computer to look the author up.  I belong to an organization of such awesome people, that who knows, it could be a fellow member of mine getting some major talk-show attention!

Turns out, I don’t know this author and I don’t know her work, but when I went to Amazon, I did take notice of some of her stats of the book that was being promoted on the talk show.  The title of the book was called GOOD ENOUGH MOTHER, and the author, Rene Syler, who has worked as an anchor of CBS’s, The Early Show.

After reading the blurb, I noticed this book had only 14 reviews so I assumed that it must have been a new release.  Reading a bit further, I was shocked to find that this book had been published in 2007!  WOW!  That was approximately 9 years ago! Then, I noticed the book was published by Simon and Schusterone of the largest English-language publishers, founded in 1924, and a division of powerhouse, CBS.  (I guess that would definitely land them in the BIG traditional publishing lane, right?)

Now, in comparison, I’d like to share my stats…little ole’ me stats, as they stand today.  I am an Indie Author, I am a partner in my small publishing company, 4WillsPublishing, and I have authored to-date, three titles, co-authored one, and have appeared in a couple of anthologies.  Please, pay very close attention:

*May, 2013, published “THE GOOD MOMMIES’ GUIDE…” a Parenting Guide – 25 reviews

*November, 2013, published “DAYDREAM’S DAUGHTER…” a Novel – 81 reviews

*March, 2014, published  “SUGARCOATIN’ IS FOR CANDY…”  a Non-Fiction/Self-Help guide – 66 reviews

*February, 2015, published “IF ONLY THERE WAS MUSIC…” a Poetry book – 18 reviews

Again, I am an Indie Author and I wear that title with great Pride.  I don’t have, nor have I ever had, a big publishing house standing behind, beside, or in front of me.  Yet, going back to the words of my fellow member, and I quote:  “The big negative to being an indie author is that you don’t get the book reviews and exposure that a big house can offer. I’ve found that most frustrating,”  I’m going to have to beg to differ.

I don’t need to say anymore, do I?  Not when the proof is clearly in the dates and the reviews, right?  I’m just going to leave you with my famous stare-glare and a two-word question in response to my fellow member’s opinion of traditional vs Indie publishing:

-________________-  “Oh, really?”

Cheers to being Indie!

cheers1

Kelly Vs. Hughley…Rudeness Rules Our World #RRBC

“Rudeness is the weak person’s imitation of strength.”

***

I have come to the realization that I am a very strong advocate for Social Justice, which would probably pit me against, or make me a strong opponent of Social Injustice.  Agreed?  OK.

While tuned in to The View Show this morning, I find that Comedian and Actor, D. L. Hughley has been invited to sit down with Megyn Kelly of Fox News.  Now, I love news talk, especially when the hosts and the guests are very respectful of one another and there’s intelligent dialogue. So, when The View plays the ‘clip’ of that back-and-forth interview, it gave me a reason to chat with you today:

Many of you have often heard me say that I don’t “do” rude.  I have absolutely zero tolerance for rude people anywhere in society, especially when it isn’t warranted…or when someone’s rude to another, simply because they’re having a bad day. (Bad days should be kept in the privacy of your own bedroom).  Whether it’s in the supermarket, in the restaurant, in the movie theater, or on television, rude is just unacceptable.   There are many, many reasons to extend kindness towards others, so why would anyone drive away opportunities to land on the positive side of things, just to expel such negative energy?   Rudeness is also wasted energy.

It matters not who was right or wrong during this sit-down, Hughley was an invited guest in Kelly’s “house,” so to speak.  Now, would you ever show rudeness in your home towards your guests?  If you did, I can assure you, that soon your address would be placed in the ‘no-visit-zone’ by many of your friends.

Getting back to this awful display of rudeness above, in horror, I watched Megyn Kelly raise her voice at D. L. Hughley and on several occasions, she even cut him off mid-sentence, and was just plain insulting.  When he made a “WOW!” comment, she said, “Don’t WOW Me,” and that’s when he growled back…with reason.  Did she expect that because he was in ‘her’ house that he was going to back down from her sarcasm and rudeness?  I, for one, am glad that he did not.

I’m not writing this piece because I have anything against Kelly, Hughley, or even Fox News.  I’m writing this piece because I want to bring to light, that no matter our differences on race, politics, religion or even the weather, it’s  important that we allow the other side, the other opinion, the opinion that is so far away from ours, the courtesy and respect of being heard, being listened to, and feeling safe in the fact that we don’t, and won’t always agree.  We must always remain open to the fact that there are opinions and views that won’t always resemble ours and that’s OK.

I’m saddened by all the chaos that we’re living thru right now.  Every time I turn on the news or log onto my computer, there is a story about the two black men who were senselessly killed by white police officers, and also the stories of the five white police officers who were targeted and senselessly killed in Dallas.  My heart aches with sadness for all.

But, here’s my stance:  #BlackLivesMatter #WhiteLivesMatter #BrownLivesMatter #AllLivesMatter.

Daily, we sit behind keyboards without the luxury of being able to lunch together in the same restaurant, or even share a cup of tea in a local Starbuck’s, but I love all my people here, and their skin color, matters not.  I love Gwen Plano, Rhani D’Chae and Marlena Smith and they’re white (per the textbooks);  I love Shirley Harris-Slaughter, Joy Nwosu Lo-Bamijoko and Linda Mims and they’re black (per the textbooks);  I love Jan Hawke and Harmony Kent from across the pond and they both speak funny because they’re from the Queen’s land, (but, I still love them!).  I’m saying this to say, that there are clearly those obvious differences in the shades of our skin, the texture of our hair and maybe even, the color of our eyes, but how important are those things, really?  In the grand scheme of things, they shouldn’t matter at all because WE ALL BLEED RED.

In closing, I’m asking you all to lose the rude and gain momentum on the respect.  Learn to listen and appreciate the views and differences of others…grow in your tolerance of those things that don’t mimic what you see in the mirror, and stop allowing those little things to separate and divide us.

Lastly, always remember that when you invite someone into ‘your house,’ please allow them to express their opinions freely, openly, without interruption and name-calling, and most importantly, without judgment.

#LessRude

#MoreRespect

…equates to a better and safer world for us all.

What is your stance on rudeness?  We’d love to hear from you below.

ASK AND YOU SHALL RECEIVE #RRBC #RWISA

People wonder why I sometimes refer to myself as “Careful Chooser of Words.”  If I’ve had a recent visit to see the doctor, I get phone calls from family and friends, asking: “Well, what did he say?  What’s wrong?”  Most often, they all get the same response of, “Nothing’s wrong with me and I refuse to claim that, which is not mine, therefore, I will not speak on it.”  When they hear those words, they instantly know to move on to another topic.  {“So, how many people did you terrify in Walmart today?”}

Shocked looking dog

I share openly that I’m not a really religious person, but I am a spiritual person.  I have a strong belief that what you speak into the Universe, the Universe will return to you.  Because of this belief, I am careful what I put out, as I know that I will get it back.  You see, the Universe can’t discern between the good we are asking for and the bad we are asking to be kept away.  All it knows, is that we are asking for something.  So, I carefully choose the words that come forth from my mouth, and I also work hard at choosing and controlling my thoughts…only wanting to focus on the positives.  I choose to speak of an abundance of good health, long life, happiness, great love and prosperity, as those are the things I want to be surrounded with.

I’m writing this post today because I want to give you proof of this belief.  My belief.

As an unknown, new writer, with great hopes of one day becoming a published author of great works, I penned my first blog post on April 28, 2013.  Please pay close attention to the theme of that post, below:

People are always asking me where my name came from. As a child, I would daydream that my Mom visited some very exotic place and came across these two beautiful, enchanting women, and she named me after them. Then, there were those times, when I felt she was somewhere drunk on a beach, got knocked up, and when I came out, “Nonnie Boo-Boo” was her pet name for me. 

But, nevertheless, here I am, odd name and all. Nothing I can do about it now, because it’s who I am. Didn’t particularly like it as a child (kids actually made fun of my name, and yes, some of them really called me Nonnie Boo-Boo!), but since I’ve grown, it’s grown with me, in me and of me. And so, please allow me to introduce myself…

I.

AM.

NONNIE.

JULES!

Writer and Aspiring Author.

*END BLOG POST*

That was the first time I shared with the Universe my greatest desire.  And then, on June 26, 2013, I penned the following blog post.  Again, I’d like you to pay very close attention to the theme and the message:

I’m just me. A little person in a great big world, trying to make a name for myself. Why? Because I know that is what I was put here to do. Make a name…make that name POWERFUL…make that name FIERCE…make that name REVERED!

I was also put here to WRITE! Write words of love, compassion, fear, dread, laughter…just write. You may not like my words that you see on the screen…you may not like my name…to you, what does it mean? My name?  Well, let’s see… let me say it aloud.  NONNIE.  Did you feel it? I did when I said it.  NONNIE JULES, powerful writer of words. Powerful Name! It’s just ME!

*END BLOG POST*

Today is July 6, 2016…3 years after I penned both of those first blog posts, and look at where I am, look at who I am.

I wanted to make a name for myself, and I did. {I AM NONNIE JULES, AUTHOR, PRESIDENT & FOUNDER OF RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB}.  I spoke it into the universe and I even put it in writing for all the world to see.  I wanted to make my name mean something, and it does…to many.  That’s not boastfulness, that’s fact. Whether in a good light or bad one, it still has meaning.

I wanted my name to be powerful, fierce and revered…I’m most positive that it is all those things.  Lastly, I wanted the world to know my name, and since the organization that I founded (RRBC) 8 months after that very first blog post, is now an International one with members across the globe, I would say, that albeit a small portion of the world, the world still knows my name.

You see, this is one of many testaments that I have which keep me from speaking illness, unhappiness and any other negative ‘ness’ which might cause me to feel down, defeated or broken.  Ask for only those things that you want brought into your life.  Keep those self-defeating thoughts from your mind because remember, the Universe can’t tell the difference.  I know that we can’t help those negative thoughts from entering our minds, but we can focus really hard and drive them out before they get comfortable.

Never forget that THOUGHTS BECOME THINGS.  One night I thought about creating a club that would benefit authors and readers.  It didn’t take long for that thought to become a “thing.” And, an awesomely grand thing, at that!

I’d like to leave you all with this:  each day I send out a DAILY INSPIRATIONAL email to my board members at RRBC, and I always close that email with…Make it a great day or not, the choice is all yours.  Make the choice to invite only good things into your life and then stand back, before the many doors opening up for you, smack you in the face!

BELIEVE ME…IT CAN HAPPEN FOR YOU, TOO!

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If I Told You A Secret… #RRBC #Trust #Loyalty

“The only people I owe my Loyalty to, are those that never made me question theirs.”

~ Anonymous

Here at WATCH NONNIE WRITE! I try to blog about life issues, for the most part.  Yes, you may happen upon other topics important to me such as writing (and writing well, I might add), etc., but in my little corner of the world, I want you to drop by to see what my offering is, and then I want you to walk away changed…and hopefully, for the  better.  If not changed, then deep in thought over what I’ve shared.

By now, all who know me online and off, should be keenly aware of how big Loyalty is to me.  It’s not very often that you find people who stand steadfastly in your corner, right or wrong, until the very end.  If you are blessed to find such a person, hold on to them, and never let them go.

My position as head of RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB, as well as my position in society in my offline world, does not afford me the luxury to trust all who come before me.  I tend to keep people at a safe distance, feeling them out, listening to their words, but more importantly, paying close attention to their actions.  Many of you have heard me often say that “I’m not one of those people that you can tell just anything to.”  No, I’m one who questions 95% of everything. (So please, be careful when you decide to throw me a fib-bone).

In raising two (almost) perfect daughters, one of the first things I taught them and continually teach, is to question everything.  My second DD (darling daughter) would often ask:  “Mommy, may I ask you something?” …and my response was always, “You can ask Mommy anything.”  I then took it a bit farther and would say, “Never be afraid to ask questions where there is plenty of room for answers.  Don’t  be so accepting of all that people try to feed you.”  Many parents fail in this arena because they model for their children that to accept anything that’s fed to us, is A-OK.  In my world, nothing could be farther from the truth.

Well, it seems I’m kinda sorta straying from my topic of Loyalty…my apologies, so let me get back on track.  I try to surround myself with people who seem interesting to me, people who might have exhibited extreme kindnesses, and definitely people who I find to be selfless and supportive of others.  In that, I never know if I’m going to get what I command around me, and that is Loyalty at all times.  Sometimes I’ve hit home runs, but sadly, many times, not. (Thank God for my gift of seeing people for who they really are, most often, before they actually reveal their true selves to me).  But, I must admit, I have been duped a time or two.

Loyalty is not a word, it’s a way of life, I’ve heard it said.  Yet, it’s so true, as it is exactly how I live my life.  I, personally, am loyal to a fault…when I’m in your corner, you know that I’m in your corner, and the protection of my love and my wrath upon all who might seek to harm you, is your shield.  Sadly, I can count on my one hand those who I have received this kind of loyalty from in return.  But, that is the world we live in.

The purpose of this message today is to encourage you to look deep inside yourself to determine which you are:  are you Loyal or are you Disloyal?  Are you the person who will defend your friend, no matter what?  Or, are you the kind who gets upset with your friend and then runs off to spew all the secrets they’ve ever confided in you to anyone who will listen?

If you find that Loyalty is a way of life for you, Kudos to you for choosing that path, but, if you know that you have failed in the Loyalty department and you find yourself swinging in whatever direction the wind is blowing at the moment, work on yourself a little harder.  Try and figure out why you are a disloyal person and then…CHANGE. You can, if it’s truly what you want to do.

If this is something new for you, try being loyal to someone for a change, it’s a different kind of feeling, I assure you. (And since we’re on the subject,  for those of you who think that I might be questioning your Loyalty, well, you’re probably right).

  I’d love to hear your thoughts on your position of Loyalty versus disloyalty, in the comments section below.  Thanks for dropping by, and thanks bunches for sharing!

“I reward Loyalty with Loyalty and Dis-Loyalty with Distance.”

~ Anonymous

IS THIS 4-LETTER WORD IN UR VOCABULARY? #RRBC #RWISA

TACT defined by my best friend (Mr. Dictionary) is:  a keen sense of what to say or do to avoid giving offense;  skill in dealing with difficult or delicate situations.

Isaac Newton once said:  TACT is the art of making a point, without making an enemy.

Well, said, Mr. Newton (and you, too, Mr. Dictionary!)

All of this brings me to my “issue” for today.  So, as I turned on my trusted companion (my computer), the first bit of news I’m hit with, is something about one of my top 3 most favorite artists…ADELE.

Adele is giving a concert in Verona, Italy on Sunday, and  it seems there is an excited ADELE FAN who is openly recording the concert with her video cam, and I suppose, as it was written, she even has it hoisted on a tripod.

Ms. Adele stops and says to this overzealous ADELE FAN“Yeah, I want to tell that lady, as well, can you stop filming me…this isn’t a DVD, this is a real show…I’d really like you to enjoy my show because there’s lots of people outside that couldn’t come in.”

I have given you the best parts of what she said here and there is more, but I’d like for you to see it with your own eyes and hear it with your own ears…as it is a tad unbelievable and shocking…(at least in my eyes, it is)…

 Was I right?  Not only did she let those words come from her mouth, she even turned away, rolled her eyes, and mouthed something that couldn’t have been at all pleasant, still directed at the ADELE FAN, I’m sure.

Now, I am an artist (just like Adele), I’m an Author, so I do “get” where she’s coming from…we hate it when someone is blatantly “stealing” our work, which is also our livelihood.  But, that being said, I simply abhor bad behavior, anywhere and at anytime.  I mean, did she have to publicly embarrass this woman, this ADELE FAN?  NO.  Couldn’t she have asked one of her team members to discreetly ask the woman to stop recording with her video camera? YES!  She absolutely could have taken that tactful and decent approach.

But, because she knew that she had the backing of all those other Adele fans (you know, the ones who were cheering her on for this public display of poor behavior), she chose to embarrass this ADELE FAN, who had spent her time and hard-earned money to come out and show her support of her, Adele, only to, in the end, make a public spectacle of herself.

*Need I remind Ms. Adele that this woman did “pay” to come and see you and I’m sure the money that she forked over to “see” you, was possibly equivalent to a car payment (or two).*

When I went to grab the video from YouTube, I was pleased to know that there were some who had taken the time to comment on this poor behavior displayed by Ms. Adele, and those comments depicted their displeasure, as well.  Take a look at some of those comments below…

*”This is what happens when you let fame get to your head.  Your fan paid to see you and might have wanted to record the moment she got to meet her hero, now you’ve just humiliated her in front of thousands of people;” 

*”Arrogance…totally unncessary:”

and my favorite…

*”This is what happens when you start treating celebrities like they’re Gods.”

BINGO!  SO TRUE!  So, for all those Adele fans who chose to “back her up” in her public display of poor behavior, I hope you don’t ever make the mistake and over-step at one of her concerts, because then, you may be on the receiving end of her AS-ININE, pompous behavior.

Every day we wake up with choices.  Even those men and women who are incarcerated, although extremely limited, still wake up with choices.  WE can either make it a great day (or not), we can choose to be happy (or not), and we can also choose to be kind to others (or not).  Adele, you were wrong on so many levels, and sadly, the one thing I loved about you, your candor, is the one thing that has turned me off to you today.  You should make a public apology to this woman and to all the fans and kids who might have been watching you, to let them know that it is never OK to mistreat, demean or intentionally embarrass anyone, publicly or privately.  That my dear, would prove you BIGGER than any high that fan was going to get when she got home and shared YOU, with her family (her husband and kids, maybe), who couldn’t afford to come out to see you (because they couldn’t lose both cars, right?).

**Need I remind “fans,” that you have the power to make or break these people who you put up on these pedestals, and you put them up so high, that they tend to “look down” on other people.  Stop spending your hard-earned money on the concerts of these people who have forgotten that they are people, just like you, and then they’ll start begging you to show up, for FREE (and your video cam will be welcome to!)**

So, I sing this to the tune of, and in honor of, our ADELE:

“Hello, it’s me, I didn’t realize how ugly and mean your spirit could be.  Hellloooo, can you hear me, the last dollar I spent on your music was the last you’ll ever see from me….there’s such a difference, between us…and a million ‘kinds’…..Hello from the kind siiiiiiiiiiddddddeeeee, you could have chosen what was riiiiiiiiiggghhhhhttt, but you chose to, break her poor heart, but it doesn’t matter, ’cause you’ve already charged….her credit card.”

I hope you all will choose to make it a great day today, or not, the choice is ALWAYS ALL YOURS!!!

See you next time and I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below!  What did you think of Adele’s behavior?  Yay or Nay?

Hey, Don’t U Post About Ur Book W/out A Hashtag! #RRBC

Sorry, I didn’t mean to yell, but I really wanted to stop  you before you sent out another promo tweet on your book without using a hashtag!  Many don’t know the power of using hashtags on Twitter.  Hashtags are a great way to bring attention to your book or anything else you’re promoting.  When folks head to Twitter, they use the Twitter search box just as they would a Google Search.  For instance, if they are looking for inspirational quotes, they will enter #InspirationalQuotes into the Twitter Search box and every inspirational quote that someone has posted using that hashtag, will populate!  If someone were to enter #RaveReviewsBookClub or #RRBC, they would find thousands upon thousands of tweets of the club’s members, promoting their books using those hashtags, and also, any and everything else that has been shared using the hashtags.

Now, when I’m supporting books, whether my own, or if I’m creating specialized tweets for the books of others, I always create a hashtag for said books.  It’s like leaving a trail of breadcrumbs for many to come behind you and follow.  For example, if you were to enter #SugarcoatinIsForCandy… which is one of my books, then you’d find that trail of breadcrumbs, leading all the way back to the very first tweet I sent out about it using the hashtag.  The use of hashtags, will enable you to find tweets you didn’t even know had been sent out on your book by others, just by performing a Twitter search of the hashtag.

I want you to be aware, that when you have a common name for your book title or if your book title can be used as some kind of phrase, when a search is performed using your title, there is the possibility that there will be others hashtagging a phrase, which could turn out to be the same title as your book.

Author, Bruce A. Borders has written a book entitled “OVER MY DEAD BODY.”

Over My Dead Body by Bruce A. Borders 2nd cover

Yes, another common title so Bruce shouldn’t be surprised to find some hashtag phrasing going on with the title of his book.  What if there was some kind of turf war going on (I have no idea what that means, but I think I’ve heard it somewhere before, so I’m going to use it as if I know exactly what I’m talking about) and one side heads to Twitter to send a message to the other side (you all know how these kids do things today), including  in the tweet, the threat, “overmydeadbody.”  I’m sure we would all know that this seemingly real-life drama has nothing at all to do with Bruce’ book…at least we would hope not.  (But go on and read this book, because it is so good, you’ll think it truly was REAL-LIFE DRAMA!)  Here’s a real-life tweet using this hashtag:  “I was raised by my big sister. She made my formative years hell, she ain’t messing with my old age

One final example here… Author, John Fioravanti has written a book called “A PERSONAL JOURNEY TO THE HEART OF TEACHING.”

A Personal Journey by John Fioravanti

When I started a hashtag for this book, I simply used #APersonalJourney.  If you were to perform a Twitter search using this hashtag, you’d find many tweets where the phrase #apersonaljourney has been included, and they have nothing at all to do with John’s book.  Here’s a real-life tweet using this hashtag:  “I survived squash

Some might call this a drawback to the hashtag creation of a book.  I call it even more marketing power!  Just imagine all those people, going on Twitter, looking to find out about the personal journey of others, and then stumbling upon John’s book!  And, they just might run out to purchase it! Now, how awesome would that be?

Using hashtags also comes in handy when you’re in the mood to just sit and re-tweet.  You know, those times when we super-supporters just don’t have time (or the inclination) to be creative for others and ourselves.  Following those trails of breadcrumbs really comes in handy then, as you can sit and re-tweet, and re-tweet, and re-tweet the tweets of others, to your little heart’s content.

One last very good thing about using hashtags in your book promos, is that when so many people are tweeting and re-tweeting about your book, with the hashtag included, you could start trending on Twitter!  Not sure what that means?  Well, per hashtags.org, a trend on Twitter refers to a hashtag-driven topic that is immediately popular at a particular time. A hashtag is a keyword or phrase that is preceded with a pound (#) sign, as with #NBAFinals or #USElections.  I’m OK with that explanation of trending.  Hashtags.org goes on to say:  “A trending topic does not just signify popularity.  It also translates into a win for whoever is the subject of the trend. For example, if the TV series #GameofThrones is trending, it gives the show’s producers leverage against advertisers, allowing them to command a higher price for advertising slots during the show.”  Now, that’s power!

Why don’t you head to Twitter now and start your very own hashtag for your book.  If your book title is much too long, just as my “Sugarcoatin Is for Candy & Pacifyin’ Is For Kids” book, shorten it.  This is how I shortened Sugarcoatin’…  #SugarcoatinIsForCandy… and then I include the link to Amazon in the tweet which will take all interested parties directly to my book!

Sugarcoatin Cover

That’s all I have for today, guys.  It has been on my heart to share this with you for a while, simply because I see so many tweets going out on books without their own hashtags.  You are passing on sales and attention to your books when you don’t take the time to create and include a hashtag for your book, in every tweet you send out, so do it today!

Have you created hashtags for your books?  If not, will you start to do so now?  We’d love to hear your thoughts, so chime in below!  Also, if you liked this post, please don’t leave without hitting the LIKE button!  It loves the attention!

Thanks for stopping by today, and remember, DON’T SEND OUT ANOTHER BOOK PROMO TWEET WITHOUT INCLUDING YOUR SPECIALLY CREATED #HASHTAG!

 

 

Yes! I’m Accusing You…! #RRBC

Back in February, 2016, I embarked on a fun and fabulous virtual blog tour which I entitled “100 THINGS WE ALL WONDER ABOUT NONNIE JULES!”  This 14 day / 21 blog stop tour, was truly one-of-a-kind.  At each stop, there were different questions about things that some of you wanted answered in regards to ME.  So, instead of putting all 100 questions in the same place, I wanted to include some of my dear friends in the fun, so I divided the questions up and invited you all along to visit each of their awesome blogs!  From the sound of things, you all had a lot of fun!  Truth be told, I had tons of fun, too!

OK, so we all had fun, but I failed in delivering ALL of the fun that you were expecting.  I am just realizing that I never announced the winners of my random prize giveaways, and I cannot apologize to you all enough for that brain-slip.  I was awarding (2) $10 Amazon gift cards, (1) $5 Amazon gift card and (2) ebook copies of “THE GOOD MOMMIES’  GUIDE TO RAISING (ALMOST) PERFECT DAUGHTERS!”.   I’m here today, to remedy that brain-slip.  Before I announce those lucky winners, I have something to say, because some of you are guilty of some things.

Most of you know that I am Founder & President of RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB.  Quite often, when you visit my blog here, you find that I am sharing more and more great things about this amazing club!  I say that, not because it is a part of ME, I say it only because it truly is AMAZING and I can’t think of a stronger word to describe it.

When I embarked on my very first virtual blog tour back in 2013, the entire process was daunting, to say the least, and it was so extremely lonely.  I can’t tell you exactly how many visitors I had to visit each of my 7 blog stops, but, I can remember quite vividly how hard it was to get even a few to drop in with so much as a little comment of encouragement.  It was quite disappointing.

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One of the things I love most about RRBC, is the feeling of family that you get when you join and become truly involved.  The environment is like none other!  Everyone is so welcoming and friendly, loving and kind, helpful, and just plain genuine.  Here you’ll find, good people, ready to extend a hand or shoulder;  great people who understand your journey and may have already embarked on a similar one, but are willing to wait while you stop to tie your shoe and then catch up.  I’ve said this before, belonging to RRBC is sort of like that old television series, “CHEERS.”  Remember their theme song?  “Sometimes you wanna go where everybody knows your name…and they’re always glad you came.  You wanna be where you can see, our troubles are all the same.  You wanna be where everybody knows your name.”  That’s us.  That’s RRBC.

Because tomorrow (4/19/16) is our monthly Recruitment Day, this is my personal invitation to YOU to join us, to become one of us…it’s your opportunity to become a part of an organization where EVERYONE WILL KNOW YOUR NAME.  We have some great programs at RRBC and a little something for everyone to sink their teeth into.  Click here to see what other members say about that virtual book club that everyone is talking about!

Now, let’s get to my accusation, which is hinted at above.  During my “100 Things…” tour, I was suffering from a horrible, horrible toothache and didn’t get the chance to stop by and thank all of you wonderful people for supporting me.  It is extremely important that I let you know how THANKFUL I am to each of you for the support of your time and your comments.

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Although I am thankful for a few other guests who are not members of RRBC, who did visit a few of the stops along the tour, I have to THANK these special RRBC family members now:

*A. M. Manay, Beem Weeks, Bette Stevens, Bill Ward, Blaire Sharpe, Bruce A. Borders, C. S. Boyack, Gerald Darnell, Gordon Bickerstaff, Gwen Plano, Jason Zandri, J. A. Stinger, Jan Hawke, Jenny Hinsman, John Fioravanti, John Howell, Joy Nwosu Lo-Bamijoko, Karen Ingalls, Kim Cox, Kim Taylor, Linda Mims, Lizzie Chantree,  Mae Claire, Maggie Thom, Marlena Smith, Michael Lynes, Michelle Abbott, Micki Peluso, Natalie Ducey, Patricia Green, Rebecca Reilly, Rhani, D’Chae, Robin Gregory, Sherilyn Powers, Shirley Harris-Slaughter, and Wendy Scott.

I’d like to thank my awesome blog tour hosts, as well:

*John Fioravanti, Harmony Kent, Lizzie Chantree, John Howell, Joy Nwosu Lo-Bamijoko, Gwen Plano,  Janelle Jalbert, Wendy Scott, Patricia Green, Jan Hawke, Jason Zandri, Robin Chambers, Shirley Harris-Slaughter, Jennifer Stinger, Beem Weeks, Rebecca Reilly, Rhani D’Chae, Michelle Abbott, Karen Ingalls and Marlena Smith.

And now, here are the lucky  winners:

(1) $10 Amazon Gift Card –

Beem Weeks

(1) $10 Amazon Gift Card –

Mae Claire

(1) $5 Amazon Gift Card –

Rhani D’Chae

(1) e-book copy of “THE GOOD MOMMIES’  GUIDE…” –

Patricia Green

(1) e-book copy of “THE GOOD MOMMIES’  GUIDE…” –

Bette Stevens

And there you have it!  I’m accusing all of you of being so darned AMAZING!  Seriously though, can you think of anything better to be accused of?  Once again, the support that all of you extended to me, was more than I could have asked for and I am forever grateful to each of you.  You see, if it were not for the RRBC community, I would not have the pleasure of knowing many of you, and sadly, would not be able to count you all among my most supportive friends.  Thank you, RRBC!

Are you not a member yet?  Well, what’s keeping you?  C’mon over and JOIN us today, so that we can all get to know your name!

Little Kindnesses Can Change Someone’s Life, #RRBC

Thursday was not a good day for me.  I was feeling all sorts of blue, and that’s never me.  I mean, in some parts of town, I’m called “Sunshine” because I always have a smile on my face for someone.

I woke up not feeling all that grand and if my memory serves me correctly, I went to bed feeling the same.  I was tired, mentally and physically and my heart was racing a little…which is always my queue to get up, turn off the lamp and walk away from my office.  I turned in at a decent hour Wednesday night (for me, that is), which was probably before 3 am.  I slept a little late the next morning, but still woke up with a horrible headache and a mood that wasn’t so pretty.

As I went about my work day, I could feel that certain irritability growing inside me, which I’m pretty familiar with by now, and my intolerance for little annoyances, even in my work, was steadily growing.  (I think my family could feel that storm brewing, because they were gone a lot longer than usual yesterday…the poor things).

Later that night, my daughter called and said that they were on the way home.  I was excited for their arrival, because I really hadn’t seen them much that day and I don’t like when our days are that busy.  When she got home, she walked in with a package in her arms.  She kissed me on the cheek, laid the package on the table and said “Lucky you, Mom, the package is for you,”  as she headed up the stairs.  For me?

Since I get books to be reviewed by the dozens every day, I just assumed that it was a really big book inside the package, as I wasn’t expecting anything else.

When I opened the box, I pulled out a beautiful coverlet, which I would later find out, after pulling envelopes from the box, that it was a “prayer shawl.”  First, I opened the smallest envelope and inside was a beautiful card, hand designed and signed by the artist:

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and then, this message was also included:

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I was just as excited for the card and this message from the artist, as I was for the actual gift!  And then, I read the little pamphlet inside, explaining the “prayer shawl” and its purpose.  I won’t post the entire thing, but will share the part of it, that moved me most (I am re-typing it exactly as is written on the pamphlet):

“SHAWLS…MADE FOR CENTURIES UNIVERSAL AND EMBRACING, SYMBOLIC OF AN INCLUSIVE, UNCONDITIONALLY LOVING GOD.  They wrap, enfold, comfort, cover, give solace, mother, hug, shelter and beautify.  Those who have received these shawls have been uplifted and affirmed, as if given wings to fly above their troubles…” ~ Janet Bristow

“This prayerful ministry reaches out to those in need of solace and comfort… Many blessings are prayed into every shawl.  The maker begins with prayers and blessings for the recipient.  The intentions are continued throughout the creation of the shawl.  Upon completion, a final blessing is offered before it is sent on to the recipient.  The recipient may continue the kindness by creating a shawl and passing it on to someone they know that is in need of comfort and blessings.  Thus, the ministry has a ripple effect, from giver to receiver, the unconditional embrace and sheltering of a nurturing and loving God.  The shawls must always be given away unconditionally and never sold.  They are created in prayer for the recipient, that they may be embraced by the prayers and blessings contained in each stitch.”

 Now, I wouldn’t refer to me as a highly religious person.  Hold on a minute, though, don’t confuse what I’m saying, because I do have my religion, but I would say that I am more of a spiritual person and the two are clearly defined differently.  So, after reading over all the material that was enclosed with my gifts, I slowly and carefully unfolded the beautiful shawl and wrapped it around my shoulders.  I cannot tell you what happened in that moment, but I felt a warmth come over me like never before.  I was instantly “calmed.” I stood in my dining room, trying to make sense of what was happening to me, but my mind was still, and my heart no longer racing.   I felt so safe, I felt so loved and just thankful.  All of the stress of my day disappeared instantly!

I picked up the card and read the inside because I hadn’t done that yet, as I was so moved by the sentiment of  the drawing of the card.  It was from someone very special to me, someone who may not even know that she is such a calming force in my life and she makes me want to be a better person, and from her calm strength, I am searching for my own calm strength.

When the initial shock of the feeling that I was getting from the “prayer shawl” had moved on, and my feet felt that they could now do what they were made to do, I gathered all of my gifts and walked in the direction of my office.  I sat down, shawl still draped about my shoulders, closed my eyes, laid my head back and prayed…thankful for the gift which was sent to give me peace and solace.

After I finished praying, I got up, draped the shawl over my desk chair…

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…and started to walk out the door of my office.  I stopped, turned around and looked at the shawl, draped neatly over the back of my chair, and said to myself “I don’t want to leave it here.  I want to take it to bed with me tonight so that I can feel its warmth and security as I sleep.” So, I turned around and gently lifted it up from the chair and headed to my bedroom.

I got into bed without kneeling to pray last night, as I wanted to, for whatever strange reason, pray, while lying on my back, looking upwards, with my “prayer shawl” safely covering me.  And I did.  I closed my eyes and slept like a newborn baby last night.  When I woke up this morning, that headache of mine was present again, but yet, I felt extra safe and secure, still wrapped in my shawl.

I haven’t reached out to my gift-er yet, as I wanted to write this blog as a THANK YOU to her and in honor of her kindness shown.  I want her to know just how much this “gift” means to me and just how it moved me, especially by showing up at just the right time last night.  Gwen, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU.  This precious gift is already one of my true treasures and if today is any indication, I don’t think I’ll be taking one step without my “prayer shawl.” I got into my car this eve, and guess what went along for the ride?

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I’m now seated back at my desk, and guess what is draped about my shoulders?  It feels as if I am safely wrapped in the wings of angels.  Thank you, dear friend!

I am interested in gifting my daughters with their own “prayer shawls” so I will be reaching out via the contact info included in my gift box.  I’m going to share this info with you, in the event you’d also like to gift someone:

OUR LADY OF THE LAKE, PRAYER SHAWL MINISTRY, 203 Vaughn Drive, Branson, MO  65616, email:  info@OLLBranson.com

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Gwendolyn M. Plano / @gmplano is the author of “LETTING GO INTO PERFECT LOVE” and the cover of her book houses Angel’s wings.  How fitting is it that the gift she has sent to me, makes me feel as if I am wrapped in those same wings?  (By the way, this is an awesome story, I strongly suggest you pick up a copy).

Letting Go Into Perfect Love by Gwendolyn M. Plano

So, what do you think?  Have you ever heard of “prayer shawls?”  Do you believe in their ability to make you “feel” something when they are draped around you?  I would love to hear your thoughts. 

STRIVING FOR EXCELLENCE OR MEDIOCRITY? #RRBC #Inspiration

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“One of the most powerful ways for you to change your way of thinking about yourself is for you to commit to excellence.  It is to make the decision, right now, to be the best, to join the top 10 percent in your field, no matter how long it takes.  The very act of thinking of yourself as potentially excellent at what you do, actually changes your mind-set and improves your personality.  It makes you happier and raises your self-esteem.  You like and respect yourself more, just by deciding to be the best.”

 “Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life” by Brian Tracy

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I decided long ago to be the best…not just in my field, but at everything I went after.  I was the best public speaker in school (beginning in 6th grade), the best school announcer in junior high and the best public speaker from then on.  I was the best reader in class (I hated math and science, so I wasn’t the best there, but I didn’t try to be…LOL), I was the best student and I graduated in the top of my class.   It came as no surprise to anyone that I’d grow up and have a great desire to want to produce the best daughters (I have…and am extremely proud of that), but in everything that I have done in my career, I have striven to be the best at it and anything bearing my name, has reflected as such.  The name Nonnie Jules is synonymous with EXCELLENCE.

 

There is a common theme which flows throughout my life, and it is EXCELLENCE.  In my opinion, when you settle for anything less, it is a direct reflection on who you are.  I’ve heard it said that there is no such thing as “perfection,” and I will beg to differ.  I think that is a cop-out for those who want to “settle.”  Well, settling is not apart of my DNA; striving to be the best, striving for EXCELLENCE, is.  I remember a very wise woman often saying:  “Excuses are worn-out tools used to build monuments of nothing.”  She was right, and because I live those words, I don’t offer up excuses and I’m not very accepting of them, either, truth be told.

 

Some may think me arrogant (that is their opinion which they are entitled to).  I’m aware that many choose to see arrogance instead of high self-esteem.  In life, for the naysayers, it’s always better (in their minds) to attach a negative label, than an honest one, but I know that I’m a strong, independent lady with very high self-esteem.  I also know that there are many intimidated by those with high self-esteem, and the fact that I’m female, adds much more fuel to the fire.  Even so, I make no apologies for being me.  I don’t need anyone to toot my horn, because my hands work very well at tootin’.  I don’t need anyone to praise me to make me feel good about myself, because I already do.  And lastly, I don’t need anyone to tell me that I’m good at this, that, and the other (translation…I don’t need validating)…I’ve worked extremely hard to be good at what I know I’m good at.  Some of us downplay our greatest talents, to make others feel better about themselves.  Well, “not I” said the cat!

 

It’s no different with the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB.  There are policies and procedures in place there so that we retain our reputation as the best book club around.  I strive to make it the best, even down to the very last dotted “I” and crossed “T” in our written communication.  In paying such great attention to even the smallest of details, I hope that we will continue to be known for the EXCELLENT support we give to our members and to each other, and also the excellency we lend to every bit of organization which we display in the operation of this club.  We know that our members appreciate the caliber of excellence which we deliver, as opposed to the negativity and stagnant complacency found in other groups.  You don’t become the BEST by accident, it takes hard work, determination and drive, and with all of that, there is accountability.  I’m accountable for all that I do and say here…I expect to be held accountable for my actions,  and I also expect the same from each of my fellow members.  We are the face of RRBC, and we should always ensure that we are committing to EXCELLENCE in all that we do, especially in our written works and our behavior towards others.

 

The inspiration and motivation that I’d like to leave you with today is, you’re only a second-class citizen if you ALLOW yourself to be.  I am always in first class and always associated with EXCELLENCE (in my mind, in my  business, and in my personal life), because it is where, and how I choose to be.  No one can make you feel inferior without your permission.  Don’t let others’ opinions of you, keep you from being your best.  Today, and every day, let’s all choose EXCELLENCE, in our thinking, in our writing, in every area of our lives.  If we choose it, if we work at it, eventually, we will become it.

 

I’m sure I’m often called lots of things, but I hope somewhere in all those adjectives (good and bad) used to describe me, someone was able to see that I truly strove for excellence.

 

How about you? Are you striving for Excellence or mediocrity? And yes, before some say “Well, you don’t have to strive to be mediocre,” know that some do.  Some are so talented yet, they “dummy” themselves down to make others feel more superior…therefore, they are exceptional, but striving to be mediocre.  Do you believe that there is no such thing as “perfection?”  Are you striving for Excellence in all areas of your life, or are you satisfied with mediocrity?  We’d love to hear your thoughts below.

The #100 Things We All Wonder About @nonniejules” Blog Tour! – #RRBC

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I haven’t posted in so long, I must apologize to you all, but, my life has been filled with so many ‘things.’  Good things, bad things, too many things…but, so that I could relax a little, I decided to embark on a 14 day blog tour, designed to entertain you all!

I have been called an “enigma.”  I would prefer “An enigma wrapped in a brain.”  Whatever the term attached, I am going to enlighten you, just a tad, by sharing 100 things many people wonder about me.  There are several stops along this tour and for you to get your fill and have all 100 questions answered, you will have to drop in on each stop.  You’ve never had this much fun on a blog tour before!  I promise you laughter and even some tears along the way!

Ladies & Gents, I give you:

THE “100 THINGS WE ALL WONDER ABOUT NONNIE JULES” BLOG TOUR!

Be sure to drop by each stop and leave a comment to show your support.

THANKS, AND ENJOY, MY FRIENDS!

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“THE GOOD MOMMIES’ GUIDE TO RAISING (ALMOST) PERFECT DAUGHTERS”

See the Trailer!

“DAYDREAM’S DAUGHTER, NIGHTMARE’S FRIEND”

(RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB 2014 BOOK OF THE YEAR WINNER!)

See the Trailer!

“SUGARCOATIN’ IS FOR CANDY & PACIFYIN’ IS FOR KIDS”

“IF ONLY THERE WAS MUSIC…The Poetry of Forbidden Love”

See The Trailer!

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