Joy was one of our favorite people long before The Smutketeers were created. The person we looked for at every conference, scanning the crowd for her signature bunny ears, easy smile and beautiful personality. As a Smutkedette, she has offered advice to young reviewers and kept us laughing with her dirty commentary and unusual graphics.
For those Smutkedettes and readers who don’t know, this member in the spotlight is the Joy behind Joyfully Reviewed. One of the most successful and widely recognized online reviewers/forums around. To get a Joyfully Recommended is every romance author’s dream…but it is the lady behind the empire and the ninja bunnies with bloody knives that we’re most interested in today.
RG: Joy, can you tell everyone how Joyfully Reviewed came to be?
Joy: My online friend and fellow rabid romance reader, Melissa, who is the quiet partner of Joyfully Reviewed (giggle), wanted to create a romance review site that focused on what we as readers were looking for, when determining whether to buy a romance novel. We wanted to provide a romance site that a reader could go to whereby the focus was a professionally written review stating what worked and what didn’t work, (if applicable) for the reviewer. We didn’t want to use a rating system per say. Be it good or bad, as long as a review is providing a well written and honest opinion of what the person reading the book felt when they finished said book, is ultimately what a reader wants in my opinion. No need for bashing, etc. should enter into the equation as far as I am concerned. Also, at the time, (Joyfully Reviewed opened its doors 6 ½ years ago), reviews sites weren’t posting their reviews to Amazon. We felt that posting our reviews there would not only would be providing a service to the romance reader by having it readily available at their disposal when shopping, but we would also be helping romance authors to get the word out about their work via our reviews to a larger audience.
RG: No wonder you are one of the most beloved review sites around. (we’re all for less bashing…some authors are a teensy bit insecure. Not me, but, you know, other people *g*) On to the next question. We adore them, but we’re curious. Why Bunny Ears?
Joy: I used to answer my e-mails with AOL bunny icons. I didn’t have a lot of time to be online back in the day (lol), as I was working 12-16 hour days at the time. The bunnies fit exactly with what I was trying to say/convey in an instant. I decided to wear bunny ears when I attended my first Romantic Times Convention thereby allowing me to meet as many people as I could since I was “known” for the bunnies online and it has been a symbol of Joyfully Reviewed ever since.
Karen: How long have you been a romance reader?
Joy: I have been a romance reader since the age of 13, that was about ten years ago, rotflmao. My first romance book was Judy Blume, then onto Barbara Cartland (don’t give me side eye people!), Harlequin books came after that and then I read The Flame and The Flower and was hooked for life to the genre.
Crystal: Rumor has it you send bloody knives to people when annoyed, what’s up with that?
Joy: Gasp! I am shocked, I thought that was a secret. HAAAAA. In continuing my theme of allowing icons to convey my feelings,I thought a bloody knife would tell how I felt when displeased. Words sometimes can be misconstrued; a bloody knife pretty much speaks for itself : )
RG: hahahaha! I kind of love the bloody knife ;)
Karen: Who is your absolute all time favorite author of all time? (and we’ll forgive you if it isn’t a Smutketeer – we’ll just send you a demented bunny as punishment)
Joy: That is pure evilness right there!!! A question like that to a long time romance reader like me is just the ultimate torture. How can one answer such a question? But I shall, teehee. That would be the great Kathleen E. Woodiwiss, whose epic romance novel, The Flame and The Flower changed my life in ways that neither she nor I knew were to come.
Crystal: Who’s your favorite hero in a romance novel? (it better be a Smutketeer book, just sayin’) * RG Note * She’s kidding…I think.
Joy: Gulp, there are so freaking many but if I may narrow it down to three:
John Huntington: Midnight Man by Lisa Marie Rice
Jake Farrell: Waiting For It by Rhyannon Byrd
Mason “Mace” Llewellyn: A Christmas Pride In Brooklyn by Shelly Laurenston
RG: OOH Rhyannon Byrd! I miss reading lol. But enough about me. What would we be surprised to know about you?
Joy: That I used to be very shy and introverted. YES I WAS!
RG: And I used to blush when my sister said the word VAGINA in public (also totally true, so I believe you)
Karen: Do you read other genres beside romance?
Joy: I love true crime novels. The real story, written from a behind the scenes view, really fascinates me.
Karen: Favorite vacation spot and why.
Joy: Anywhere tropical, I must be near warm water, sun, a hammock and a nice breeze wafting from the ocean. That is my idea of heaven.
Crystal: Be honest, who do you think is the smuttiest Smutketeer?
Joy: I think that all of the Smutketeers are smutty in their own right BUT I truly believe deep down in her deepest recesses of her genes that it is…..mwhahahahaa…..R.G. Alexander. Late bloomers have deep, deep secrets that they keep hidden for fear of being judged. But when they bloom, baby watch out! R.G. has let the tiger out of the bag
RG: I’m sure I have no idea what you’re talking about. :) (I love you) Ahem. Changing the subject now. Joy, as a successful, sexy, self-made woman, what is the best advice you can give to readers out there with dreams of being like you someday?
Joy: Why thank you! Be true to yourself, do things in your own time and have a great support system surrounding you. I was terrified to put my thoughts out “there”, friends, online and off, encouraged me to write about the books I felt so passionately about and that is how I became a Romance Reviewer. Hitting send was the first step to what eventually led me to where I am today. Someone who is doing what makes her happy and meeting people who love this genre with every fiber of their being just as much as me.
The Fast and Dirty Questions
-Tight Jeans or Full on, totally, completely naked?
Tight jeans, I want to see what I will be working with, I need to know if it will be worth my very valuable time.
-Hunky survivalist’s island or Sexy artist’s loft?
Sexy artist loft for sure. I like to do some very naughty things and use props, so they must be handy at all times
-Chocolate martini or Tequila shots?
Tequila shots, preferably Patron please, as it is the only was to get the party started and by that I mean the party in my pants
-Boxers, briefs, or Full on, totally, completely naked?
Yummy briefs every time. I love so see that sexy vee that leads into a mans nether regions
-Sexy chef’s wife, Sexy chef…Or both? Hehe
Why both of course, three are better than two sometimes and in this case, three are better ALL the time
-Vampire or Shifter?
Vampire! Le mewl, those teeth, the intensity, the knowledge, shiver
-Lover, Fighter or Full on, totally completely naked?
I choose all three, a lover who will fight for me, while completely nekkid is the one for me. That is confidence of the highest magnitude, haaa
RG: Wonderful interview! We love us some sexy ninja bunny! To thank her for taking time out of her busy schedule, the Smutketeers will be donating to Joy’s local food bank.ALL FOR SMUT AND SMUT FOR ALL!