Lisa and Kayla formed the blog in December 2013, and it's been going strong ever since. They're just over 7,000 followers on Facebook—that's almost 1K followers a month! A little later, they added Yolanda to the mix, and now they're up to 4 reviewers. Authors, pay attention to ARABB! They ARE currently accepting books for review and they don't adhere to one genre only—they review all over the spectrum. (FYI: There are a few books mentioned in this interview, so I've linked them up for your convenience!)
JH: Now for the good stuff! Ladies, welcome to the third edition of #ScriptFlip. The four of us are old friends, but why don't you give me the rundown on A Risqué Affair Book Blog & how it came to be.
ARABB: Lisa and Kayla connected on Facebook over their love for Cityscape. (JH: Um, totally blushing here!) They found they were both recommending the series and started talking. They found out that they had a lot in common, including their love of books. It seemed only natural to start a blog together.
Yolanda was always an active participate on the blog. One day, we noticed she wasn't commenting on our posts so we reached out to her. We fell in love with her personality and added her to be a reviewer on the blog. We quickly realized we needed to add another administrator to the blog, once we started growing. Yolanda was our first choice... and the rest is history.
JH: History... or only the beginning! It's amazing to hear when my series (or any book for that matter) has brought people together. Sounds like the friendship between you three runs deep. Based on that, I think I can guess the answer to this, but what's been the best part about blogging so far?
Yolanda: Meeting wonderful people! I love reviewing these amazing stories as well.
Lisa: Meeting and connecting with so many people and authors. There are authors that I would have never discovered without having the blog (since either they or their PA contacted us).
Kayla: Blogging has been amazing. The best part is meeting new friends and new authors. I have met some amazing people that have become true friends.
JH: Yep, that's pretty much what I thought. The blogger and indie author community is full of lovely, passionate, and hugely-supportive individuals who always bring their "A" game. Not only that, but they find a way to stand out in a sea of blogs. How does ARABB do that?
Kayla: I think what makes us stand out is that Lisa, Yolanda and I are like a family (sisters). (JH: They really are, I can attest to that.) We work well together and talk everything out. We each have different things we are picky about and it works well that way.
Yolanda: I think we all have something to give! We all have different favorites and we have introduce a variety to the blog! Also we all have different strengths. We are here for readers and authors and other bloggers equally.
Lisa: We really try to post everything that is recommended or messaged to us. Sometimes our email and messages get totally out of control, but I guess that comes with the territory, right? lol. I think that everyone deserves to have their book posted. I may not love the book, but who am I to determine what YOU should read? If we all read the same stuff, what a boring place the world would be.
JH: I think sometimes we authors don't realize how many messages a blog receives per day. It must be hard to keep up with posting everything—how do you choose what to read and/or review next?
Kayla: When its comes to determining my next book I go by authors that I have already read and have history with.
Lisa: First and foremost, how polite the message is. If you send us a message that starts with 'Hey, read my book', most likely I won't even consider it. Next, I take a look at the synopsis, cover & genre. I'm looking for something that jumps out at me since we really do get a lot of requests.
Yolanda: I usually choose what's next in I have a history with a author or how we are approached with the information. After that I just go by the first come first served.
JH: Okay, so you've selected your next read, devoured it, then what? Do you base your star rating on emotion? Quality? Something else?
Yolanda: For me a 5 star has to have these 3 qualities a. they need to grab me and keep me interested that I must know what happens. b. I must enjoy the plot and connect to the characters. c. a well written book that flows well is a big one for me as well. Amazing question.
Lisa: If a book is a 5 star book, I know as soon as I finish that last page and it's based solely on emotions. There's no wondering because I already know. It's giving less than 5 stars that is always tough for me. I really try not to give less than 3 stars. I feel like that author really did try and put so much time and effort into getting it out there. I try to give constructive criticism either in the review or to the author.
Kayla: Stars on a book to me is how the book is written, the characters development and of course if the books sucks me in.
JH: Sounds like a common thread is a book that brings out the feels. No surprise there, but nice to know that's a priority. So now I'm going to put you on the spot. You've told me what a top-rated book means for each of you—which three books or series are must-haves if you were ever stranded on a desert island?
Lisa: Ugh, seriously? Cityscape Series because, duh! I loved this series before I even started reading. The cover of Come Undone hooked me in right from the start. I'll support that series.. well... forever. (JH: Aw, thank you! As long as you aren't using the pages as toilet paper on the island ;) ) Bright Side by Kim Holden. I recently read this book and it is just one of those books that makes you want to be a better person. It's an ugly cry type of book and let's be honest... we all need to get a good cry out every so often. Sick Day by Morgan Parker. This book is another one of those 're-evaluate your situation' type of books. The best things, they're worth risking it all for. Go big or go home.
Yolanda: Only 3 OMG - 1. To Kill a Mockingbird 2. Manual how to build a boat haha no (JH: LOL! I just spit out my water.) 2. Sick Day by Morgan Parker 3. Love's Suicide by Jenn Foor.
Kayla: The Cityscape Series by Jessica Hawkins
Sick Day by Morgan Parker
Forever Series by Sandi Lynn
JH: Sounds like Sick Day by Morgan Parker miiight be a blog favorite? Honored to see Cityscape on there too, of course! So, this island you're on is very book friendly. There's also an author there who wants to have dinner with you (probably a coconut or fresh fish or something). Who is it?
Lisa: Ok, since I've already gotten to spend a day with Jessica (yay!) (JH: I second that yay!), I will go with Lily White or Morgan Parker... or maybe both together. Have you read their books? Lily, just because I'd love to see how her mind works. I read her books and wonder, how the heck does she even come up with this stuff? And, well, Morgan Parker because... that guy is hilarious. Who doesn't need a little laughter? And well, if you laugh so hard that soda comes out of your nose, while discussing ways to kill off characters with Lily... then that, my friend, would be awesome-sauce as far as dinners go.
Kayla: This is a difficult question. There are a few I would love to have dinner with but I would have to say Morgan Parker. Morgan seems like a blast and such a sweet down to earth guy. I would love to crawl into his mind and see how he works.
Yolanda: Morgan Parker... why is he has shocked me! I generally have had bad experience reading male romance writers. He is kind and meaningful and an amazing author. I think it would be an amusing yet interesting dinner!
JH: I think it's safe to say everyone reading this interview will be TBR'ing Morgan's books. I know I will! That's all I've got for today—ladies, thank you SO much for being here and for everything you do.
I count myself lucky to know the ladies of A Risqué Affair Book Blog, much less have their endless support. I remember when they had a handful of followers, but it didn't take long for others to see the amazingness I did from the start. Can't wait to see where they go from here. If you haven't already, be sure to check out their blog and Like them on Facebook.
Have a question for me to ask or want to suggest a blog for me to interview? Tweet me @jess_hawk and include #ScriptFlip. Interested bloggers can contact me here.