Friday, October 15, 2021

Author Spotlight - Shirley Harris-Slaughter @sharrislaughter #authorpromo #writingcommunity #RRBC #biography #historical #churches

Hello, beautiful readers! I have the pleasure of sharing with you a phenomenal woman and great author, Shirley Harris-Slaughter. I've read her books and short stories and encourage you to do the same. I hope you enjoy getting to know Shirley today. Leave her a comment below to show her some love! :-)

Today, we are going to focus on your biography, Our Lady of Victory, the Saga of an African-American Catholic CommunityWhat inspired you to write it?

I was the financial/office manager for a Catholic church on the east side of Detroit in a second career when I got the inspiration to finally write our story. Three things happened that pushed me to do it: 

1) seeing the word “administrator” appear in “The Michigan Catholic” behind the name of my former pastor’s affiliation with OLV during his anniversary celebration as a priest. I thought he was our pastor. This revelation would change everything; 

2) the release of a book by the diocese called “Make Straight the Path” celebrating 300 years of a presence in the Detroit region. The book represented the history of all the churches in the region EXCEPT OLV; and 

3) looking though a directory of churches and seeing OLVs’ start date listed in 1975 (after merging) when it clearly was founded in 1943, thereby wiping out its entire early history. 

I was horrified and shocked, so I contacted the archives office and was asked, “Why don’t you get something down here?” Don’t present me with a challenge because I will take you up on it. And that’s how I came to write our story.

What interested you the most about this topic?

Seizing the opportunity to preserve the history because it was clear to me that it was never going to happen unless I did it. I was overcome with satisfaction knowing, in some small way, I could save those wonderful pictures that would have sat in a box stored away forever or possibly destroyed.

How much research was required?

My book required a lot of initial research and interviews. I’m a terrible procrastinator. It’s tedious work and requires will power sometimes just to finish a task. I interviewed and recorded two individuals. My research took me to Sacred Heart Major Seminary’s Archives; and I rummaged through the files at our church -- recording & copying information; and I spoke with individuals in their homes. But because I was driven to do this, I got the job done. The rest of the research came from my own experience.

How long did it take you to write this book?

It took me 5 years from start to release date. The editing and publishing took up the most time. Being a perfectionist about my work didn’t make it any smoother. It was difficult finding the right kind of editor, so I settled on a referral from a friend to use a print-on-demand publisher. Today, I’m with Amazon and will always need an editor and formatter, unfortunately.

What is the most valuable thing you learned through the process?

Saving our history and telling the story was by far the most precious gift. It practically fell into my lap. I was the chosen one to make it happen. And so, the lesson I learned is that if I don’t do it, nobody will.

How hard is it to write about personal experiences?

It is extremely difficult to expose yourself. I put down on paper experiences I was too ashamed to talk about my entire life. In some ways, writing it down provided a release. I don’t think I ever would have opened up any other way.

How do you like to connect with readers?

I want my readers to ask questions about anything they don’t understand, and there are a lot of questions to be asked. It lets me know that they read the book. I love doing speaking engagements because audience connections stem from lots of questions

What advice would you give aspiring writers?

You are not alone. There is a community of writers you should hook up with---preferably Rave Reviews Book Club. When I first became an author, that was the first piece of advice I got. RRBC was not around at the time, but I did join a couple of local writer’s networks. Enroll in writing classes to hone up your skills. That is something I didn’t do.

Is there anything else you'd like to share with us today?

As I sat here and answered all your questions, it struck me that being in Rave Reviews Book Club is like a one-stop-shop, as you can get everything you need here in the club. We are scrambling around trying to find editors, formatters, and book cover designers, and they are right there in the club. Plus, it has all the promotion you can get. We have the Pop Up Book Shop coming up and must get registered for it.

Last of all, I want to thank you, Yvette, for having me on your blog. It’s just wonderful!

You are most welcome, Shirley! Check out Our Lady of Victory at Amazon today. It's a great book (it's even won the Seal of Approval as one of Nonnie Jules' Amazing Reads.)

One act set in motion a chain of events that threatened one Catholic community's ability to thrive.

It happened between 1945 and 1946 at the headquarters of the Archdiocese of Detroit in the Chancellor's office. Msgr. John C. Ryan called an emergency meeting with the cardinal...

And so the stage was set for the years of turmoil that followed and the subsequent demise of this once vibrant church. Here comes the author who gives the reader an intimate look at her Catholic community, the township she grew up in, and its historical significance to World War II, Henry Ford's auto plant, migration from the south, and the housing crisis that was unfolding. She talks about having fond memories as well as sadness and pain. While preparing a farewell speech for the departing pastor, she wondered at the age of twelve what was going to happen to her and the parish family she came to love. What a burden for a young child to bear? The reader is introduced to the pioneers who helped shape and establish this community that shaped her. But the book takes a different turn as the research uncovers forgotten secrets...

Shirley Harris-Slaughter  @sharrislaughter  is a Michigan native. She is a community activist having been a school board trustee in the Oak Park School District and mentored four freshmen girls in the Winning Futures Program.  Shirley loves trains, vintage clothes, and old buildings with historic significance. So, it was a natural that she would write about growing up in historic Royal Oak Twp. and keep alive a Catholic community that was about to lose its history and identity. It seems that everything she loved closed, and she was not about to let any of it be forgotten. Shirley joined Rave Reviews Book Club because she recognized the need to support fellow authors in order to move forward in her own endeavors. She already had a thriving relationship with like twitter followers that lead her there. “We all had the same goals, so it was a natural fit.”

Check out her other books as well:

Crazy! Hot! And Living on the Edge!!

Ronald L. Powell: Missing in Action

Newspaper Chronicles

A Citizen's Group in Action: Saving a Train Station

Follow her on:



Web Site

Remembering Our Lady of Victory Site

You can also email her here.

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Welcome to Day 4 of #RRBC's October #SpotlightAuthor #PatGarcia @pat_garcia! @RRBC_Org @RRBC_RWISA @Tweets4RWISA #RRBCSA

Hello, beautiful readers! Today, I have the pleasure of introducing you to this month's RRBC Spotlight Author, Pat Garcia! She's both a poet and an author. She's also extremely supportive of other authors, so join me in showing her some love today. :-)


I started writing poetry to deal with my anger, even though I didn’t know that when I began. I love poetry. Poets like Wordsworth, Blake, Tennyson, Henning, Elliot, Frost, Johnson, and Millay are still some of my favorites. I memorized their poems, and to this day, I still know most of them. They are buried deep within me, and one of them will arise whenever I need encouragement.

I loved reading so much that whenever I was home visiting, my dad would say, “Don’t put Patricia in the kitchen to cook because she burns everything.” It was true because I always had a book in my hand. I had no desire to learn how to cook, although today I must if I want to eat.

Recalling significant pieces of poetry by other poets has played a significant role in helping me get through some difficult times, so I began writing my own poems.  One of them is THE IF OF PEACE AND LOVE and I’d like to share it with you.


The If of Peace and Love

by Pat Garcia

If silkworms could grow peacefully,

Silk would fill the whole earth.

If the larvae of butterflies could choose,

Then, they would hatch on green leaves,

And grow in their brilliance.

Whatever happened to the vision of hope?

The gift of faith,

The coadunation found in peace and love,

The ideology of humans understanding humans,

The sacredness of respect.

The silkworms can’t spread,

Humans need silk scarves,

Silkworms multiply in glass houses for production.

Larvae grow into caterpillars,

But are trampled under feet

By people who walk, run, and drive

Ignorant of nature’s beauty.

Whatever happened to the vision of hope?

The gift of faith,

The coadunation found in peace and love,

The ideology of humans understanding humans,

The sacredness of respect.

I know, said the silkworms

Enclosed within their prison gates,

While another bunch of larvae mashes beneath hurried feet,

Or squishes under rubber tires.

The vision of hope is long obliterated,

Said the silkworms.

No, said the butterflies,

It is the loss of faith,


No, said the silkworms,

The ideology of understanding has turned into variables shades of gray.

Yes, said the butterflies, we agree.

The coadunation found in peace and love cocooned in faith,

Is no longer the sum total of the sacredness of respect.



Pat Garcia can't remember a day when she didn't desire to write. At the age of three, Pat wrote her first story. No one could understand it because she hadn't learned to write. So, she read the scribble on her paper to whoever would listen. Born in Blythe, Georgia, (USA), she is also a musician, singer, and songwriter and has released five CDs.

Check out one of her stories, Turn the Light On:


Would you ever accept a dinner invitation to meet a stranger who never spoke one word to you during your time together? Would you accept that you could not even sit at the same table with them? How about, you don't even know their name and you continue this "game" for months?

Meet Della Cartwright. A superstar at what she does professionally, but when the tall, mysterious, Italian stranger, Alessio Terracina, enters her world, she begins to question her judgment and everything about her.

In this short story which takes place over the course of one day, this otherwise savvy businesswoman is led into making decisions that could jeopardize her professional life and maybe even cost her her freedom. But the greatest danger...just might be to her fragile heart.


Author website -

Facebook FanPage -

Twitter - @pat_garcia


Thanks for supporting the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB'S October Spotlight Author! To learn more about this author and all the wonderful perks she is receiving under this spotlight, please visit the RRBC SPOTLIGHT AUTHOR forum.

Monday, October 11, 2021

Welcome to Day 2 of #AGhostAndHisGold Blog Tour! @RobertaEaton17 @4WillsPub @4WP11 @RRBC_Org

Hello, beautiful readers! I have such a treat for you today. I'm sharing with you the author of the Best Book Cover winner, Roberta Eaton Cheadle! She is on tour promoting her award-winning novel, A Ghost and His Gold

GIVEAWAY: Just by leaving a comment below, you can win one of four e-book copies of A Ghost and His Gold!

Characterisation of Michelle Cleveland

Michelle is the main character of the book. She is a qualified chartered accountant, as is her older husband, Tom. Michelle has left mainstream accounting, which she finds stifling, to run her own small bookkeeping company and writes in her spare time. Michelle is not a feminist, preferring to allow Tom to be the main breadwinner of her small family. She is devoted to her husband and is blinded to his darker side.

Michelle’s creativity and open mindedness to various methods of divination, such as Ouija boards and tarot cards, enable her to see beyond the obvious and detect the presence of the ghosts of Pieter and Robert, as well as the poltergeist, Estelle.

Michelle is drawn into the world of the three ghosts and is the vehicle through whom Pieter hopes to find redemption from the terrible burden of sin which binds him to the physical world as a ghost. As Michelle embarks on a journey to unravel Pieter’s story, she also learns the circumstances of both Robert and Estelle’s untimely deaths and the reasons for their grudges against Pieter, and in Estelle’s case, men in general.

The entrance of these three ghosts into the lives of the Cleveland’s has a huge impact on Tom, who has his own dark secrets.

Michelle is the character who experiences the most growth in the book as she tries to help Pieter and Robert find peace and faces the deterioration in her husband’s mental health as his haunting progresses.

An extract featuring Michelle:

“Entering the bathroom, Michelle turned on the shower tap. Pulling off her tee-shirt, damp with sweat, and stepping out of her jeans and under-pants, she reached into the shower and felt the temperature of the water. Warm. A sigh of pleasure escaped her as she stepped into the fast flow, closing her eyes and enjoying the freshness of the water on her hot, sticky body.

A few minutes later, her feet were covered by water which was pooling in the bottom of the shower.

The drain must be blocked. Bugger!

Peering into the drain, water beating down on her exposed back, she saw the obstruction.

Oh my God! It’s clumps of hair!

Hurriedly turning the tap off to prevent the water from overflowing the pan, she stepped out and wrapped herself in a thick towel. The water level had not dropped.

It must be well and truly blocked to stop the outflow so completely. I’ll have to go and find something to poke down the drain and try to unblock it.

After slipping on her light summer pyjama top and shorts, she headed downstairs with a plan to find the wooden skewers she used to test if cakes are baked. They are sturdy and long enough to push a little way down the drainage pipe.

Luckily, the package of skewers was near the top of the box containing her baking and cake decorating equipment and Michelle was soon on her way back upstairs, with the packet clutched in her hand.

She poked a skewer into the drainpipe. From this close she could see it was human hair blocking it. Grimacing in disgust she wriggled the skewer around and dragged out a clump of long, dark blonde hair. It was packed so tightly into the drain; Michelle thought the previous occupants of the house could not possibly have ever used drain cleaner or pulled the hair out by hand.

After repeating the process, several times, the drain seemed to be cleared of hair and the water started to empty out of the shower. The clumps of hair were quite revolting, mouldy and rotten, as if they had been there for years and years and not just a few months since the townhouse had been inhabited. The house had only been occupied for six months when the previous owner decided to sell.

Annoyed with herself for not thinking to bring a plastic shopping bag upstairs with her when she went down to fetch the skewers, Michelle hurried back downstairs. On her way back upstairs, she decided to ask Tom to take the bag outside when he returned home and put it into the outside dustbin. The hair revolted her, and she didn’t want to leave it in her kitchen overnight.

In front of the shower stall she gasped, shocked. The horrible clumps were gone. The drain was clean, shining brightly in the artificial light from the ceiling downlights. Leaning over the drainpipe she peered into the dark hole. It looks like a toothless mouth.

A burst of cold water from overhead made her jump and she leapt out of the shower stall at its sudden wet assault. Shock turned to annoyance as she realised it was only the shower that had come on. How on earth did that happen? I’ll have to ask Tom to have a look at it.


After Tom and Michelle Cleveland move into their recently built, modern townhouse, their housewarming party is disrupted when a drunken game with an Ouija board goes wrong and summons a sinister poltergeist, Estelle, who died in 1904.

Estelle makes her presence known in a series of terrifying events, culminating in her attacking Tom in his sleep with a knife. But, Estelle isn't alone. Who are the shadows lurking in the background - one in an old-fashioned slouch hat and the other, a soldier, carrying a rifle?

After discovering their house has been built on the site of one of the original farms in Irene, Michelle becomes convinced that the answer to her horrifying visions lie in the past. She must unravel the stories of the three phantoms' lives, and the circumstances surrounding their untimely deaths during the Second Anglo Boer War, in order to understand how they are tied together and why they are trapped in the world of ghosts between life and death. As the reasons behind Estelle's malevolent behaviour towards Tom unfold, Michelle's marriage comes under severe pressure and both their lives are threatened.


Roberta Eaton Cheadle is a South African writer and poet specialising in historical, paranormal, and horror novels and short stories. She is an avid reader in these genres and her writing has been influenced by famous authors including Bram Stoker, Edgar Allan Poe, Amor Towles, Stephen Crane, Enrich Maria Remarque, George Orwell, Stephen King, and Colleen McCullough.

Roberta has short stories and poems in several anthologies and has 2 published novels, Through the Nethergate, a historical supernatural fantasy, and A Ghost and His Gold, a historical paranormal novel set in South Africa.

Roberta has 9 children’s books published under the name Robbie Cheadle.

Roberta was educated at the University of South Africa where she achieved a Bachelor of Accounting Science in 1996 and a Honours Bachelor of Accounting Science in 1997. She was admitted as a member of The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants in 2000.

Roberta has worked in corporate finance from 2001 until the present date and has written 7 publications relating to investing in Africa. She has won several awards over her 20-year career in the category of Transactional Support Services.


Robbie Cheadle





Roberta Eaton Cheadle







TSL Publications:


To follow along with the rest of the tour, please visit the author's tour page on the 4WillsPublishing site.  If you'd like to book your own blog tour and have your book promoted in similar grand fashion, please click HEREThanks for supporting this author and her work!