When I went on a search to find readers interested in being featured on Readers Talk To Sue, I was extremely lucky to run into Kimberly Benyak.
Kimberly is awesome, has great thoughts on books, and when I invited her here, she said: "How fun! I'd love to participate!"
SUE: Can you tell us a little about yourself?
KIMBERLY: I am a 36 year old SAHM to 5 kids aged 10 and under and I live in Houston, Texas. I am a voracious reader who has read over 400 books this year, not including all my reread favorites. I love any romance genre, but especially contemporary romance, erotica and paranormal romance.
SUE: Thinking of the books you've read, what character has stuck with you the most and why?
KIMBERLY: The character who has most stuck with me has to be Scarlett O'Hara. She is my favorite character of all time. So complex and flawed, but full of amazing spirit.
SUE: Have any fiction books affected your life? If so, how?
KIMBERLY: I would say every book I've read has affected my life in some way. I have learned a lot about relationships, both romantic and otherwise (familial or friendships), through reading fiction- from how to treat others, to how to expect to be treated, to how a real loving relationship should be. Reading wonderful stories about many different kinds of people has taught me to look at myself and decide who I want to be and helped me grow as a person.
SUE: Pet peeves?
KIMBERLY: My reading pet peeves include characters that do not have enough depth or are not well-developed enough to for me to form a connection to them. I also am not a fan of romance novels that have cheating by the hero or heroine or romance novels that do not have a happy ending. I'm also usually do not enjoy books with cliffhanger endings. And I have a hard time enjoying most books in which the hero or heroine is a widow or widower embarking on a new romance. I have a hard time believing that their new romance measures up to their previous love that died.
SUE: What pulls you in?
KIMBERLY: I am pulled in by well-developed, believable characters. I like humor, witty banter, strong alpha males and quirky, confident heroines.
SUE: What makes you keep thinking about a book long after you’ve read the final page?
KIMBERLY: When I think of my favorite books, I think what stays with me the most is that the author makes me believe that the hero and heroine are really in love with each other and that they are each others' perfect match and will be together forever. Also, my favorite books have well-developed secondary characters with strong friendship and family themes.
SUE: Kindle or Paper?
KIMBERLY: I used to be a paper purist, but once I went kindle, I was hooked. Now I have my all of books at my fingertips all the time. I'll never go back!
SUE: When you visit Amazon to check out a book, what’s the first thing you look at?
KIMBERLY: If I visit a book on Amazon, it is usually a link from a blog where I have already read the blurb. So I will go right to reviews to see what readers are saying about the book. The only other time I go on Amazon for a book, I would be following a link from Goodreads so I can buy the book, so I would immediately one-click.
SUE: What are your thoughts on book reviews? How important are they? Do you trust them? Do you ignore them?
KIMBERLY: Book reviews are pretty important to me. I will look on Goodreads and if a book has more than 3 or 4 bad (2 stars or less) reviews on the first page, I probably will not read it. I also look to see what my friends have thought of a book, because I trust their opinions and know that their tastes are similar to mine.
SUE: Do book covers matter? What are some of your favorites?
KIMBERLY: Book covers do not affect whether I buy a book. I have read some books I really liked with not so great covers. But I do appreciate a pretty cover. I'm not a big fan of books with a naked male torso on the cover, not because I don't appreciate the male form, but because too many books look just alike now. Some even have the same models on them making it hard to tell the books apart. I like the simplicity of Darker Water by Lauren Stewart. I really like Kristen Ashley's Burg series covers. They are colorful, memorable and unique.
SUE: How do you find out about books? And what makes you take a chance on a new author or book?
KIMBERLY: I find new books to read mainly from Goodreads. I am a member of several Goodreads groups where readers post books they are reading or recommendations. I use the Goodreads updates page to keep up with what my friends are reading and read their reviews. I am a member of several author fan pages on Facebook, where users also post their recommendations. And I follow several book blogs where I read reviews as well.
SUE: Any final thoughts?
KIMBERLY: People ask me how I have read so many books! I tell them, as a busy mother of five, I grab reading opportunities where and when I can. I read in the morning while I'm doing my hair and brushing my teeth. I read in the carpool line. I read during my kids nap time and when I use the elliptical trainer every evening. And of course, I read in bed every night before I can fall asleep. It all adds up!
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Sue Wyshynski is the author of The Butterfly Code. Sue loves bringing the immediacy of TV and film to her novels, having spent many years in the entertainment industry. Sue believe stories should be immersive, emotional and action-packed. If you're curious about Sue's work, begin reading The Butterfly Code for free now, or see it in the Amazon store.