My first guest blogger is Mandi from Smexy Books. I was actually lucky enough to meet Mandi at this years Authors After Dark in Philadelphia and she is awesome. I'm not going to lie, I was in total awe of her when I first met her because I just love her blog so much. But she was super nice and we even talked a little about the BDB, which we are both obsessed with. So, please help me in giving Mandi a warm welcome to the blog. =)
1. Why did you become a blogger?
I became a blogger because I would read romance books and then scour the internet for other people's opinions. And then burst at the seams because I wanted to write my own blog post about the book. I don't have a lot of friends in "real life" that are romance readers so I started chatting my husband's ear off about books. And he said - Please. PLEASE for the love of my sanity start your own blog. I said, who me? No way. But one day I went to blogger.com and sat down and 5 minutes later had Smexy Books.
- 2. Can you tell me about your blog?
Smexy Books is a romance and urban fantasy review blog. We do book reviews, interviews, author guest posts, and we chat a lot about hot men - fictional and real. A year after I started, I was lucky to find Tori Benson, who came on as my review partner. And recently we have added Helyce and May who are just both fab women that love to read. If the four of us ever met, I think we could talk romance books for days and days. And enjoy cocktails. ;)
3. What is your favorite book(s)? Why?
EEK! Hard question. I'll name three of my favorite books, although I have many, many more. First up, Tigers and Devils by Sean Kennedy. It is a male/male romance that is one of the sweetest, most adorable books I've read. It is set in Australasia and one of the heroes is a rugby player. The other hero is described as an "artsy wanker." This is my go to reread book when I need comfort.
Secondly, Dark Lover by JR Ward. I actually love this entire series, but Dark Lover is book one. What can I say? The brothers are my crack. I need them or I start to get shaky. I'm very obsessive over this series. I actually have a page on my blog dedicated to information on this series. Don't ask me to name a favorite brother though!
And another absolute favorite is Slightly Dangerous by Mary Balogh. It is the final book in her Slighty series that follows six siblings. Wulfric Bedwyn is the cold, hardened Duke of the family and his book is saved for last. Oh I love him so. When he finally breaks down and falls in love- it makes me squee.
4. Is there a scene from a book that just stands out to you? What is it?
Yes, there is. And it's from an Anita Blake book by Laurell K Hamilton. Don't throw things at me! I'm a HUGE early Anita Blake fan. Huge. I glommed the series and became so wrapped up in these characters. There is a scene in Incubus Dreams (pg 421) where JC questions Anita's ability to kill him if the ardeur ever makes him insane. Does she love him too much to do it? And he says:
"Together we are more than we are apart, Anita, that is what love is."
I held him, and the tears started down my face, hard and hot , and choking. "Not Anita."
I didn't have to see his face, to know the smile was there, I could hear it in his voice. "Ma Petite, ma petite, ma petite."
5. Who are some of your go-to authors?
JR Ward, Nalini Singh, Ilona Andrews, Kresely Cole, Marie Sexton, Cara McKenna, LB Gregg, Kaki Warner, Ann Aguirre.
6. What are some of your favorite genres?
I like all genres of romance and urban fantasy. I don't venture out of those categories when I read.
7. When reviewing, do you stick to the books that you normally like to read, or are you more open?
I'll try anything as long as the blurb catches my eye. That is the fun thing about receiving review requests, there are so many books I've been able to read that I probably would have normally passed over.
8. What are some of your favorite tropes? What about those tropes pull you in?
I'm not sure if I really have a favorite. I do like it in historicals when the hero and heroine are already married, or are forced to marry early in the book - and then must come to learn each other.
9. What was the last book that blew your mind?
Aftermath by Ann Aguirre. Book four in her Sirantha Jax series. MUST READ series!!!
10. Do you have any advice for other aspiring bloggers?
Yes - READ. Turn off the computer. Turn off your phone. Turn off the TV. No Twitter, no facebook (are you feeling shaky?) and read. Then come back online and tell us all about it. That was the best advice given to me, and I still follow it. Twitter is such a time suck (but I love it so). It is hard at night - I want to go online and chat with my buddies - but then I get no reading done. How can you blog about romance books if you don't read them?
11. When you aren't blogging, what do you like to do in your spare time?
When I'm not blogging, reading, or spending time with my family - I'm probably watching something on Bravo TV. I'm obsessed with that channel. I'm also probably drinking a glass on wine. ;)
What is Smexy?
I get asked often what the word “smexy” means. Especially if I leave my little circle of romance friends and go into the scary real world. I first heard the world smexy on JR Ward’s message boards. Someone wrote how smexy one of her characters was, and I immediately emailed my friends and told them I had a new favorite word.
When it came time to name my blog I was very stressed. Naming your blog is such a big deal! But smexy flew into my brain and I thought – Oh! Smexy Books. To me, smexy means sexy but with that dirty edge. Like, Smutty Sexy. Who doesn’t want their romance books to be on the smexy side?
According to the Urban Dictionary (who doesn’t love the urban dictionary?) Smexy can mean:
Smart and sexy (Oh – I like this too!)
Something that is super sexy (Oh yes – love a super sexy smexy hero)
Commonly used by Teenagers (Why do they get to have the fun word?)
My favorite response to my blog name, is when I interviewed author Kate Noble. She said, “Smexy is not on the skin, it’s in the soul.” And I can’t agree more.