Reader Highlight with Rebecca of Dirty Sexy Books

Keira: There’s a Kindle glitch that only you know about – if you type in a super secret code all the prices in one subgenre of romance go to zero, which you have to declare when entering the code. What subgenre do you pick and why?

Rebecca: Why do you taunt me with these evil, ‘what ifs?’  I would probably choose historical romance, just because I enjoy them a lot, but I rarely read them.  I’m overwhelmed by the bounty of titles that comes out each month, and so instead of trying to read them all, I am really selective and stick to one or two per month.  Lisa Kleypas and Madeline Hunter are my favorites.

On a side note, I love me those Kindle freebies every week.  I always like to point out that you don’t have to own a Kindle to take advantage of these free book deals.  You can download a Kindle application for your computer (Mac or PC), iPhone, iPad, or just about any electronic gizmo nowadays.  I think that’s one of the smartest moves that Amazon has done in a long time, because Kindles are still pretty expensive, but you don’t need their device to read books in the Kindle format.  Take advantage now!

Keira: What are some of your favorite, underappreciated blog posts at Dirty Sexy Books and why? (Why they’re your favorite, not why they’re underappreciated… ;))

Rebecca: Last summer I wrote a post called You’d Be Surprised At What Turns Me On, where I talked about some not-so-obvious body parts that turn me on, and how I love it when authors go beyond the usual strong arms and six-pack abs (my list includes eyebrows, wrists, and calves).  Surprisingly, nobody commented on it for a whole week, and then one brave soul piped up.  I’m not sure if it was embarrassing or boring, but the crickets were chirping loud and long on that one.  Of course, that was back when I had about ten readers, so maybe I’m making a mountain out of a molehill.

I feel incredibly honored that most of my posts are well received, and I firmly believe that DSB readers are the most thoughtful commenters in blogosphere.  I hardly ever get generic feedback like, “Cool post,” which is a nice sentiment, but it doesn’t foster any kind of dialog.

Keira: All’s fair in love and war. If it came down to a fight who would win: a vampire or a werewolf?

Rebecca: In the battle for my heart, a werewolf would win every time, and it all boils down to being furry and having warm body temperature.  I have such a hard time picturing cuddle time with a vampire who is cool to the touch, although that could be a fringe benefit when it’s 90 degrees outside.  I don’t crave ice cream unless it’s hot outside, and the same goes for the cold vamps.

Keira: If you could rename your top 5 favorite books, what would you call them?

Rebecca: I think you’re overestimating my ability to be creative on this one.  I would probably give Linda Howard’s “Cry No More” something more upbeat, only because I have to twist some readers’ arms to get them to try it, and it’s one of my favorite romantic suspense novels.

I’m pulling a blank because most of the time I love the title of a book; it’s the cover art that makes me go crazy.  One of the best science fiction romances I’ve ever read, “Shards of Honor” by Lois McMaster Bujold, has a strong title, but the crappiest cover ever designed.  It’s pink!  It’s a sci-fi romance, and the cover is predominantly pink!  What were they thinking?

Keira: One of your favorite types of heroines is the Kick-Ass Heroine. In your reading experience who are the best KAHs?

Rebecca: I like my heroines lean, mean, and ready to rumble.  On the paranormal romance side I’m a huge fan of Cat from Jeaniene Frost’s Night Huntress Series.  She’s got the right combination of tough stuff on the outside, and crumbly like a cookie on the inside.

On the urban fantasy side there are just too many to list.  Ack!  It’s a great time to be a woman reader, and follow heroines who don’t wait for the white knight to save them.

Since most readers are already familiar with the biggies, like Mercy Thompson and Rachel Morgan, here are a few worthy warrior-women who don’t always get enough press in my opinion:

Well, I could keep going, but that’s a good place to start.

Keira: And some of the worst pansy-ass heroines you’ve come across?

Rebecca: *Groan*  Here’s where I may piss some people off, but my main hang up with Twilight is Bella.  She is such a pansy-ass heroine, she can’t even take a hike through the woods without tripping and needing help from the hero.  Her doe-eyed act grates on my nerves, big time.  *ducking to avoid rotten tomatoes*

Now, that’s not to say that a pansy-ass heroine cannot redeem herself.  I was not in love with Mac from Karen Marie Moning’s Fever Series at the beginning, but this bubble-gum girlie girl has turned into a real, live, butt-kicker herself.

Another one that surprised me was Jane True from Nicole Peeler’s debut, “Tempest Rising.”  I admit, I was totally unimpressed that Jane’s reaction to every danger was to faint, barf, or run away.  I’m hoping she turns things around in the next installment, because otherwise I’m dropping her like a hot potato.

Keira: From one big honking book nerd to another, how many books do you read in a year? What advice would you give those who want to read more?

Rebecca: Well, I read anywhere from 5-7 books a week, so it’s probably a little over 300 per year.  I don’t keep count on a spreadsheet or anything like that, so I have to estimate.  I’m a freak, and that’s partly why I started DSB, because I figured someone else might be interested in hearing about which ones were keepers, and which ones to avoid.

My advice for readers who want to read even more is to stop watching so much television.  Seriously, it rots your brain, whereas even an okay book is doing something for your mind.  I watch about 2-4 hours a week, and that’s it.  The rest of the time I’m either reading or blogging.

The other cool way to read even more is to get into audiobooks.  You can listen to some great stuff while exercising, cleaning, commuting, etc.  If the price of audiobooks makes you crap your pants, try your local library.  You’ll be surprised at what you can borrow in CD or MP3 formats.  There’s great stuff just waiting to be heard.

Keira: One of the cool features at Dirty Sexy Books is the DSBC (Dirty Sexy Book Club). Care to talk a little about your book club and how newbies can join in the fun?

Rebecca: The Dirty Sexy Book Club is both a pain in my ass, and a constant source of delight.  To any blogger who wants to start an online book club I say, beware!  It’s more work than you’d think.  On the other hand, it’s in the club’s discussion forum where I really get to know my fellow members, and we have some great chats.  We’ve even had the featured author show up and participate 3 or 4 times.

Members come and go, but I’m amazed that DSBC is coming up on its one-year anniversary in July.  It’s an incredibly informal club, and anyone is welcome to participate at any time.  One of my goals with the club is to push my fellow readers to expand their horizons, and try books outside their comfort zone.  We’ve done some cool themes, like science fiction romance, western romance, steampunk, and Harlequin contemporaries, and many readers have been amazed to find that they like this stuff.

If anyone wants to join us for June, we’ll be talking about “Leaving Paradise” by Simone Elkeles, which won our young adult vote, starting on Monday, June 21st.  About the second week in June we’ll be nominating historical romances for July, so it’s a great time to come over and get into the club groove.

Keira: Who are your top 3 favorite romance heroes and why do you love them?

Rebecca: Number one has to be Jamie from Diana Gabaldon’s “Outlander.”  I’d go back in time to fall in love with that guy, and the time before penicillin scares me silly.  On paper, he doesn’t have much to offer, but he’s pure of heart.

Number two is Wrath from J. R. Ward’s “Dark Lover,” and I have a soft spot for this book because it really launched my love affair with paranormal romance as a genre.  I dig Wrath’s transformation from the big loner baddie to the happily whipped lover boy.

Number three is Bones from Jeaniene Frost’s Night Huntress Series.  His wicked sense of humor is beyond sexy, which kind of explains why I didn’t like book four after raving about the first three installments.  His humor was in the toilet, and I hope it resurfaces in the next one.

Keira: Is there anything else you’d like to talk about or discuss? Floor’s open:

Rebecca: I’m always pushing readers to branch out.  Don’t get stuck in a rut, or stick to closely to one genre, because you can burn out and miss out that way.  Okay, that’s my last bit of unsolicited advice, I promise.

Many thanks for having me Keira!

9 thoughts on “Reader Highlight with Rebecca of Dirty Sexy Books”

  1. Rebecca — I love the sign. I’d post that near my reading chair only the dog doesn’t read so well…

    And thanks again to Keira for another great Reader Highlight.

  2. Hi Rebecca,
    I agree with your comment regarding television. I’ve made this statement many-a-time, “I can live the rest of my life without ever watching television.” Some readers may not know this, but libraries also have books, audiobook CD’s/tapes, as well as magazines for sale. At least, the one literally 2 minutes from my home does. Can you imagine? A library so close to me. (Evil cackling).

  3. What a fantastic interview – I love Rebecca to bits and enjoy her blog so much. It’s one of theblogs I go to on a daily basis.

    I agree with you about branching out – I’ve just done exactly that with Romance and was so surprised to find that I actually love it. I think I prefer the historical over contemporary but I’m so pleased I read outside my comfort zone!

    I may have to join in your July book club, Rebecca! 😉

  4. Haha no problem Rebecca! I don’t mind! And I’d just have to change them later if you switch another weekend. I was able to fix the link to the review but the others I couldn’t find even with the search so you might have to point them out to me via email. 🙂

  5. Hi Susan S. – You are so lucky. If I had a library two-minutes from my house I’d be there every day, snatching up books left and right.

    I visited libraries for years before I ever ventured into their video and audiobook collections, and what a loss for me! There’s great stuff there, and readers should definitely branch out.

    Yeah, I’m with you on the TV thing. It’s evil. The less I watch, the better.

    Hi BCC – You are so kind. I love your blog too. This is like a group hug moment on a Hallmark ad.

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