Sunday, October 13, 2013

Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Romance for a Reason - Unbridled by Lauren Grimley (Post/Giveaway)

Today author Lauren Grimley is sharing a great cause for Breast Cancer Awareness month!

Top ten things more fictional (and real-life) females ought to do:

1. Save themselves (and everyone else) whenever they can.
2. Accept when they can’t.
3. Know themselves.
4. Be willing to change.
5. Embrace their sexuality.
6. Champion their femininity.
7. Appreciate chivalry.
8. Celebrate girl power.
9. Eliminate cattiness.
10. Cry a little & laugh a lot.

Romance for a Reason is all about honoring and supporting real-life women warriors fighting life’s toughest battles, of whom there are thousands. Yet, as a reader and writer of romance (among other genres), it occurred to me how few admirable fictional female warriors graced the pages of the books I read. So I decided to explore the issue, making a plea to writers and readers to demand more of their fictional heroines and explaining my reasons in posts throughout the month. Today we’re talking change for number four. (See the calendar on the Romance for a Reason page for dates and links to the other posts.)

Changed for the Better

In the previous post I espoused that fiction needed fewer fickle females and more women willing to stand their ground. Today I’m arguing for fictional females willing to change. So who’s being fickle? Not me. I don’t intend to take back anything I said in the last post, but I do intend to explain and expand on a topic I touched upon.

Females who change who they are to appease, please, or otherwise prove themselves ‘worthy’ of their man are not the stuff heroes, or in our case, heroines are made of. But neither are characters so small-minded and set in their ways that they miss the opportunity to grow and improve in love and in life. There is a happy place between submissive and stubborn; it’s personal growth.

I said in the last post that the one of the most amazing things about a good relationship is when a friend or lover can make us want to be a better version of ourselves. Loving another person, with all their faults, and, being just as flawed, being loved by them in return ought to make one want to be better, stronger, and smarter. This type of change is not the sign of a weak character. It’s what makes characters dynamic and engaging. Yet, too often writers hell-bent on creating ‘strong-willed’ females miss their stop and ride that train right into stubborn-and-stupidville.

I think writers of series might be more susceptible to this. (I think this, because I’m pretty sure I’m guilty of it at times with my own heroine!) I imagine they’re afraid that if their character learns all her lessons too soon they’ll be out of conflicts and therefore out of books. As a reader of far too many series that didn’t know when to stop, I’m arguing that that might not be such a bad thing. The most interesting characters have numerous flaws. So have a little fun with each, then move on. Let the girl learn a thing or two. Let her grow. And when it’s her time, not yours or your publisher’s, let her go. Her character, as well as the world of fiction, will be changed for the better, and she’ll live on eternally among the shelves saved especially for fabulous fictional females!

Release date: October 1, 2013
Available formats: ebook & paperback (178 pages)
The Romance:
Unbridled: A collection of short stories from the Alex Crocker series By Lauren GrimleyThink Law and Order SUV meets The Breakfast Club” was Ellie’s trite explanation of what Alex had been dragged into. Add a few fangs, Fifty Shades of Oversharing, and a dash of Dr. Phil, and she was in for quite a Thursday night.
Alex couldn’t deny she had become the pint-sized poster child for PTSD lately, but she didn’t exactly expect to find a support group for teachers turned vampire chew toys in Bristol, MA. Listening to the tales of the four other females gathered to help her heal, however, she accepts that perhaps both the worst and the best of life can blossom from the unexpected.
Unbridled is a novella-length collection of four connected stories focusing on the unlikely friendships and less likely lovers of the female characters from the Alex Crocker series. 

“Grace and Dignity”Ireland, 1713Even a female whose mating has been arranged most of her life still thinks about what she wants in a mate. Not one of the qualities Sarah had hoped for were easily evident in her betrothed, the future Regan of the Rectinatti coven. Perhaps, though, there were more layers to Darian than he liked to reveal, but how does a subject unmask a prince?
“Rules and Recollections”Bristol, Massachusetts, 1902You can’t fall in love with someone you barely recall, but that, Vivian supposed, was the point. After a terse meeting with the Knower, a mind reader, memory manipulator, and the coven’s most notorious lecher, Vivian isn’t herself. She can’t shake the feeling that the solution to her mood lurks just below the surface of her consciousness. Only plunging into darkness, though, will bring everything to light.
“Blood and Secrecy”Bristol, Massachusetts, 2008The shared need for blood brought them together, but individual desires for secrecy are keeping them apart. Each already left behind a life of privilege for reasons the other likely couldn’t understand. Now both Rocky and Ellie need to decide if they’re willing to open up about their pasts in order to ensure a future.
Series: Alex Crocker series, can definitely be enjoyed without reading the first two books in the series, but is written to fit after the events of book 2, Unveiled.
Genres: paranormal romance, vampire series, urban fantasy, short stories

About the author:

Lauren Grimley lives in central Massachusetts where she grew up, but her heart is on the beaches of Cape Cod where she spends as much of her time as possible. After graduating from Boston University she became a middle school English teacher. She now balances writing, reading, and correcting, all with a cat on her lap and a glass of red wine close by.
Unforeseen, the first novel in the Alex Crocker Seer series, was Lauren’s debut novel. She was thrilled this spring to continue the series with Unveiled and now Unbridled. To learn more about her or her writing or to connect with her online visit her website at
Twitter @legrimley:

The Reason:
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. As the daughter of a breast cancer survivor and a friend and teacher of too many women who’ve been affected by violence, I chose it to also to be the release date for Unbridled. I may not love wearing pink or purple, the colors of these two issues, but I do love a good fight for great causes. I’ve just chosen to battle this one with my pen. Please consider helping in your own way! 

How you can help:
Read some romance. Proceeds from Unbridled will be donated to the two charities listed here.

Donate. Make your own individual donation to these two charities or choose a local charity supporting these and other causes affecting women in your area. To learn more about each charity and my reasons for choosing them, visit the Romance for a Reason page. Or click through to donate directly.

The Breast Cancer Research Foundation


Party hard. Gather the women (and men!) of your book club or just a group of friends for a Romance for Reason party. Party ideas? Check out my blog for ideas on how to plan your gathering. Then download the Romance Reading Questionnaire and/or the Body Lingo Bingo for some fun party activities!

Share. Tweet, status update, review, or just chat with friends about the books, the tour, and the charities (mine or yours)!

1 comment:

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