Tuesday, March 8, 2011

An Interview with Barb, Owner of Risque Reviews

Hi, Alisha! Thanks for letting me join you today. It's weird being on the other side of an interview. Not as easy as it looks, huh?

1.How did you get the idea for Risqué Reviews?
I had just left another review site, but didn’t want to give up doing reviews or interviewing authors. For me reading is not just a hobby, it’s what keeps me sane. Besides, getting the opportunity to interview authors is just the greatest thrill. To me authors are the stars, they create world with words only. No special effects, no help, but from the reader’s imagination and that is the best special effect there is. So for an author to be able to bring a world to life with no one else’s help, well for me that makes a super star. This also gives me the opportunity to have my own blog and I love it! I’m looking into also exploring a forum. I have a small one on my site, but I’m looking to expand to an outside one and outlet apart from Risqué Reviews. To start group discussions and have an open page for authors to come introduce themselves and their work.

2. What is your favorite genre?
I like anything that isn’t reality, all I have to do is open my computer or front door and I have enough of that right there. So give me the world of paranormal, fantasy, shapeshifter and I’m in heaven. I will admit there are a few authors that can give me a contemporary hero and rock my world, but usually I like the paranormal genres. I like the strong alpha hero. I wrote an article, “Why do we love the strong alpha hero only in our books”?

That should give you an idea.

3. What do you really not like in a hero?
I don’t like a hero that is human; well let’s say not all human. I want there to be something there that gives him an edge, a bit of mystery. 007 would have rocked my world if he had a bit of the dark side, maybe some fangs. I don’t like a sappy hero; no he has to be a man’s man. No metro anything, thank you very much. Oh yeah, please no tights or capes. Leather all the way.

4. What do you really like in a hero?
That he has to be a larger than life, or why read it? No what I mean is there has to be more than just the 9-5 going on. I think my love of the “Superhero” started back when I’d sneak in my brother’s room to read his Marvel and DC comics, as I mentioned without the tights and capes. Leather and motorcycles are a nice touch. A bit flawed, maybe even slightly jaded. I may like him immortal and handsome, but too perfect is too hard to live up to. Maybe some scars to show he’s not a pretty boy.

5. What do you love about your favorite heroines?
They have to have strength, in character, and body. She has to be aware of her own needs and be willing to do what it takes to get what she wants, even if it goes against the norm. I don’t just mean sexually, I mean in all things. She has to be willing to take risks, and she has to be loyal in her convictions. Even if the hero is physically stronger in body, doesn’t mean she can’t think for herself and speak up when she needs to be heard. She must be willing to see both sides and come to her own conclusions.

6. What ruins a good book for you?

When it’s predictable. I mean there are just times I’m not even a chapter in and I could tell you the outline from start to finish and never, never give me a sad ending. I’m sorry. Yes, I need a happy ending. Life throws enough crap our way every day. I don’t need it in my books. There can be moments where the author is giving you the details and history that can tear at your heart, but never kill off the hero or heroine.

I don’t mind if an author goes the same route others have used. For example the Immortal warrior saving humanity and all, but the book and characters have to follow their own agenda if I feel like I’m reading another authors take I’m done and give me some bite, (no pun intended, ok maybe a little pun intended ). Like in my blog about the immortal hero I go into detail and ask the question, are there too many of these heroes and how does an author keep them fresh? Again it all stems to the author and their talent. Here’s the link to that blog if you want to see what I wrote.

Immortal Warrior

7. What makes a good book one you will come back to time and time again?
Oh my. Good question, now how to answer it. The story. I like when there is sexual chemistry…well I like when there’s sexual everything, but the story is what will bring me back to the book. Everything has to click. Everything has to bring meaning to the story. If the chemistry is just there to sell and really doesn’t give character to the story or the characters then it may keep my interest while I’m reading, but when it ends it ends. The characters/books that I will remember long past the last chapter is over are the stories that radiate to me. Somehow those are the keepers.

8. What are your future plans for Risqué Reviews?
To make it the one to read, the one that brings authors and readers alike to my door, because they know they are going to get more than the run of the mill, “wow great book”. They know that when they read a review at my site, it’s going to go beyond, or when I interview them I AM NOT GOING TO ASK THEM WHAT TO NAME THEIR FAVORITE COLOR….oh God, who cares? No spoilers. But after reading my review, whether it’s “your type” of book or not you may just ask yourself ‘why haven’t I read this author before” or genre, etc. So maybe it’s not the site that has a ton of books that you get lost in, but it will be a review like none other out there.

You’ll know that when Barb reviews a book it’s coming from the heart. No guarantee that I will love every book, but it will be honest. I won’t rip out the author’s heart if I found it lacking for whatever reason. There is a person behind that book and I never forget that.

9. Tell us about yourself. Besides reading and reviewing, what does Barb do with her time?
I love to box. Yep. Taking lessons right now. (Well, not at this minute…. would be hard to punch and write at the same time.) Great workout, but also a good confidence builder. I also like to go target shooting; it’s a sport that you compete against yourself. There is nothing more thrilling then shooting my Kimber 45 and the army elite is shooting next to you and they stop and watch as you hit a group so tight it makes their jaws drop.

10. Name ten authors you have on your bookshelf and tell us why you love them.
Oh sure no pressure there right…mmm only ten???
I love you; I can say that with honesty because I read your work before becoming your friend. You are a true romantic and it’s reflected in your stories. You’re a dream weaver and spin tales that draw your reader’s right to the end. I love that!
Joey W. Hill because she take her characters beyond and gets into their souls. She opens up the genre BDSM and goes beyond the slap and tickle. She isn’t afraid to take it all the way.
Kresley Coles, she just doesn't know how to write a bad book, but she does know how to write about some tastefully delicious bad boys…yum.
Sunny Chen; I don’t think her Children of the Moon series has received the recognition it deserves. I love it.
Nalini Singh, come on her Psy-Changelings series just rocks (she even has a few stories about just humans and yes I still loved them *grin*)
Sherrilyn Kenyon no matter what name she’s writing under.
J.R. Ward her Black Dagger Brotherhood series is outstanding, but has anyone read her new series Fallen Angels series? Takes a new direction then anything I’ve seen so far.
Meagan Hatfield is a new author on the scene and has shown great promise with her vampires and dragons.
Michelle Rowen, her demons are mouth watering and devilishly bad…oh so very bad. This series is also unique in its approach. Love it.
Alyssa Day, I can’t get enough of her Atlantis series. Now those are some immortal warriors my dears…

I hope I gave you what you were looking for and I want to thank you again for this opportunity to brag a bit on myself. Girl I do love what I do. Love you too!!

I’d like to leave you with this Chinese proverb; A book is like a magic garden you can carry in your pocket…

Risqué Reviews


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