Romance for a Reason Finale: Females in Fiction #10

This final post of my Females in Fiction series was supposed to go up yesterday on another site, but for some reason didn’t, so I’m sharing it here. I’ll save my wrap up of the tour for this weekend!

If you missed the first posts in the series click on the titles to catch up.

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

Introduction to series – From G. I. Jane to Feminist Romance with Fangs

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.

Tears and Cheers To All That Makes Us Amazing! 

Over the last nine posts I’ve urged for writers and readers to demand more of their fictional females. I’ve asked that the women held before us as heroines be strong but still feminine, cunning but not catty, independent but not unable to accept help and chivalry. I’ve argued for heroines who can embrace their sexuality, but who don’t necessarily have to look like ‘ideal’ sex symbols. And I’ve applauded ones who can weep, wipe their eyes, and walk away with their heads held high, as well as for those who can stand their ground and kick some butt.

I entitled the series of posts ‘Females in Fiction,’ but what I was really writing about were the amazing qualities I find in the real-life heroines who surround me, traits I see far too few of in the females in my books, particularly romance books. So many of the women I admire manage to be strong, while still being wives and lovers to equally great men, most of whom married them because they too admired that strength. So why do so many fictional love stories not have such balanced partnerships? Are the only interesting love stories ones where the guys get to save the day? Are women readers so enchanted by the knight in shining armor that we’re okay with being depicted time and time again as the damsel in distress?

I don’t think so. I think, perhaps, we accept these stories because there aren’t many that break the mold to choose from. It’s time that changed. It’s time we require more of our romance writers (myself included!), the way we’ve required more of society in the way women are treated and depicted. We love to tweet #notbuyingit for magazines and t-shirts we find demeaning or offensive. Maybe it’s time we start #notreadingit for books that depict women as weak victims in need of saving, rather than the amazingly tenacious group that we truly are.

I want my heroines, like I want my friends: strong, independent women, who cry a little and laugh a lot—and who make me do the same!

And for those who haven’t checked out the ‘Romance’ part of Romance for a Reason:

Unbridled: A collection of short stories from the Alex Crocker series

By Lauren Grimley

“Think 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, 1713

Even 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, 1902

You 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, 2008

The 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

Release date: October 1, 2013

Available formats: ebook & paperback (178 pages)

Website page: http://www.laurengrimley.com/Unbridled.html

Purchase links:

Amazon (e-book & paperback): http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00FIS0KF4

For the other books and stories in the series see Lauren’s Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B007Y5ZZSG

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/unbridled-lauren-grimley/1117001983?ean=2940148813262

And the Reason? Cancer and violence suck, and not at all in that sexy vampire way.

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

V-Day

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)!

Giveaway: As a thank you for everyone’s support of these great causes, I’m doing a Rafflecopter giveaway of two prize packs including a digital copy of Unforeseen, as well as a “Cancer Sucks, I Bite Back” mug, and some book-related swag! Good luck and thanks!

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