Tag: Charity

Exclusive Excerpt (+ a Giveaway): Unbridled by Lauren Grimley – Romance for a Reason

Posted October 18, 2013 by Holly in Giveaways, Promotions | 1 Comment

R4R imageToday we’re helping support author Lauren Grimley in her bid to raise  awareness in support of The Breast Cancer Research Foundation and V-Day, two women’s charities. She’ll be splitting the proceeds from her new paranormal romance short story collection from the Alex Crocker series, Unbridled, between the two.


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

unbridled coverBy 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.

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, two issues close to my heart. As a daughter of a two-time breast cancer survivor and the teacher, friend, and aunt to so many beautiful and strong women who I never want to see suffer, I chose to use the release of Unbridled to help support two terrific charities that help women.


Romance for a Reason is enabling me to use my tales of strong heroines, fanged though they are, as a fundraiser for The Breast Cancer Research Foundation and V-Day. I’ll be donating the proceeds from the collection to these charities, and hopefully, through bringing these issues to readers’ attention, can also inspire others to reach out in their own ways. Women facing illness or abuse can feel like they’ve had not just their health, strength, and beauty suck from them, but also their essence, their spirit. It’s time we bite back and fight back—for me that fight started with a pen and some fangs. How will you help?


How you can bite back:

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)!


unbridled coverThanks for your help! Here’s an exclusive excerpt from “Rules and Recollections: Vivian & Sage’s Story.” See the calendar of posts on the Romance for a Reason page to find other excerpts and posts.


Bristol, MA, 1902


“How do you feed?”

“Pardon me?” she gasped.

He chuckled. “The females who live here. If you’re not allowed male visitors, how do you all feed.”

“Oh. Well, most of us live with a sister or close friend with whom we exchange essence. Others, I suppose, meet partners elsewhere.”

He raised a brow. “You suppose? You told the Regan you’re thirty-seven. You mean to tell me—”

“I don’t mean to tell you anything, because it’s none of your business.” Vivian looked down and straightened her skirts to be sure she didn’t inadvertently tell him through her thoughts.

“A little hypocritical from someone who’s made it very clear that she’s kept tabs on my feeding habits, don’t you think?”

“The fact that the whole coven seems to know your poor feeding habits is not my fault.”

“No, clearly it’s mine. I guess I need to stop making public announcements at the club,” he sneered. His face held the same expression it had when he had agreed to her insults of bully and bastard. It hinted at something, something softer than the hard shell he exuded. She’d never been particularly curious, but his was a mystery she wanted to solve. Unlike him, though, she had no means of reading further into it. It was her frustration over this that left her mocking him.

“Do you expect me to feed you now? In exchange for your help? Is that why you’re sticking around?”

He didn’t find her funny. His fists clenched by his side.

“Thank you for confirming that you’re as arrogant and small-minded as the rest of them. You almost had me thinking otherwise.”

His words stung. His opinion ought not to have mattered, but it did. He was nearly out the door before she caught her breath enough to respond, anger trumping hurt.

“I didn’t realize you were so picky.”

Her back slammed against the far wall. Sage had torn across the room and had her pinned. His massive body pressed against her slight frame. She could feel his fangs brush against her neck.

“I didn’t realize you were so eager.”

“You’re hurting me.”

“Some females like it rough, but you wouldn’t know, I suppose.”

She responded with a knee aimed at his groin. He shifted as soon as the thought crossed her mind and well before she made contact.

“That’s not fair!” She twisted to break free. “And without my permission, it’s also illegal.”

Sage scoffed. He dropped her hands from where he had them pinned.

“I’ve got my fangs practically in your artery, and you’re protesting the legality and fairness of my reading your thoughts? That’s a new one. And I assure you, there’s nothing fair about my so-called gift.”

“I know. You get to know everything about us, and we get to know nothing about you. And people hate you, or more accurately, fear you because of it. But did you ever consider that you’re partly to blame for that? You hide behind those lines.” She pointed to his brows. “You get pissed when someone feels sympathy for you and bitter when they don’t. You can’t have it both ways. That’s not fair, not to someone who’s trying to know the real you, and not to yourself.”

A grin played on his lips as he continued to listen to her thoughts. She had done it again. She averted her eyes, breaking the contact. Too late.

“If you’re done,” she said glaring up at him, “you can show yourself out.”

“You were serious about feeding me. Or at least seriously considering it. You’re crazier than I am, you know that?”

“Ugh.” Her tiny fists balled at her sides. She had just explained how she didn’t know anything about him, yet every time she turned around, he’d plucked something else from her head. She wanted to punch him, to scratch at his face, to throw him on the bed and suck an ounce of essence, of knowledge, from his veins. Blood pooled suddenly under the surface of her skin. She glanced up to see if he had somehow heard that thought too, despite the absence of eye contact or physical touch. She released her held breath when she saw he hadn’t.

Lauren is giving a Prize Pack away!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


LaurenAbout 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 www.laurengrimley.com


Author website: http://www.laurengrimley.com

Blog: http://blog.laurengrimley.com

Amazon page: http://www.amazon.com/Lauren-Grimley/e/B007Y5ZZSG

Twitter @legrimley: https://twitter.com/legrimley

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/AuthorLaurenGrimley

Google+: http://plus.google.com/u/0/105156245095191358255/posts//p/pub

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5825387.Lauren_Grimley

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/authorlegrimley/


Unbridled is available from Grimm Sisters. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

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Help Limecello Raise Some Money for Charity!

Posted November 15, 2012 by Rowena in News | 0 Comments


Our friend Limecello is doing some more good for charity.  It’s the third year that she’s doing a fundraiser for charity and she’s asking the romance community to step in, and step up.  She’s looking for donations and if you can’t afford to donate, then please head over to her blog to leave a comment as there are donors who are donating based on the number of comments the blog post gets.
This is a great way to help out and do some good.  To help those that need it.
The charity that Lime has chosen to fund raise for is charity: water.  Check out for more information on the charity here.
If you want to help out, please head on over to Lime’s blog and read up on her plans and her hopes for this charity run.

Every little bit helps so head on over and do what you can. It’s appreciated.

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Anthology Review: More than Words, Volume 7 with Carly Phillips, Jill Shalvis and Donna Hill

Posted July 27, 2011 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Holly‘s review of More Than Words with Carly Phillips, Jill Shalvis and Donna Hill

Each and every one of us has the ability to effect change—to make our world a better place. The dedicated women selected as this year’s recipients of Harlequin’s More Than Words award have changed lives, one good deed at a time. To celebrate their accomplishments, some of our bestselling authors have honored the winners by writing stories inspired by these real-life heroines.

 We hope More Than Words inspires you to get in touch with the real-life heroine living inside of you.

Each of the stories in this collection incorporates a real life heroine nominated through Harlequin’s More Than Words program. The women nominated are ones who have done major things to help their community or bring awareness to vital programs. I really like the idea of the program and was excited to read the stories each author put forth.

In Carly Phillips’s Compassion Can’t Wait, two high school sweet hearts are reunited years later, as if by fate, and discover that if you believe in yourself and each other, anything is possible.

Kyle and Julia were childhood best friends and high school sweethearts. When Kyle gets called up to the minors right out of high school he wants Julia to go with him. Since her sister is sick with cancer and her family is being torn apart by it, she refuses. They lose contact after that. Kyle is hurt that Julia wouldn’t go with him, and Julia is hurt that he’d take off without a word, knowing she couldn’t leave her family.

Now Julia is a social worker who helps single parents families cover their expenses through the Andre Sobel River of Life Foundation. One of her cases involves a set of twins – one is dying of cancer and the other has basically been abandoned by his mother while she deals with the sick one. The healthy son is a major fan of Kyle’s – who’s now a major league ball player – and she wants to set up a meeting between the two.

Between them, Kyle and Julia have a lot of baggage. Kyle grew up in a dirt poor home in less than ideal circumstances. Julia had the perfect family life until her sister became ill and she lost her parents to her sister’s care. They relied on each other to fill in the gaps of their missing families. So when Kyle left Julia behind, it was more devastating to both of them than they could have imagined. Of the two, I think Julia had more reason to be angry than Kyle. Yes, he had the opportunity to follow his dream, but she was dealing with a sick sister and her family was falling apart.

Lucky for us, Kyle realized this almost immediately upon seeing Julia again. From there he just had to convince her that they were meant to be together. Their’s was a sweet romance. I liked that, though they had history, they focused on the here and now as much as possible. The main conflict comes from Julia’s trust issues and I thought Phillips handled it well for the page count.

Overall a sweet reunited lovers story.

4.5 out of 5

Donna Hill’s Someplace Like Home tells the story of how one woman’s dream becomes reality, as three special people learn that it’s never too late to form a loving family.

Verna was a social worker for a lot of years. When she realized she wasn’t able to make a difference in that capacity any longer, she branched out and opened Someplace Like Home. The Home was a place where teenagers could come to reconcile with their families, or escape from them if needed. During a conference she was speaking at, Verna met Ronald, a high school counselor who wanted to donate his time to The Home. 

Verna and Ronald are every attracted to each other. Verna holds back because of her commitment to The Home and because of her own past. When another complication crops up between them Verna’s reaction pushes Ronald futher away. While I understood her reasons, I did struggle with the way she went about it. The fact that Verna and Ronald both suffered from it lessened my pain somewhat.

Overall this was a good entry in the collection. I think it had the potential to be darker and more emotional, but the page count didn’t allow for full emotional impact. Even so, it was well done and I enjoyed reading not only the story, but about the charity that inspired it.

4 out of 5

In Jill Shalvis’s What the Heart Wants, an honorable man must learn to forgive himself to regain the trust of the dedicated teacher who is the love of his life.

Shalvis is always a favorite, as you know, but I think she does short stories extremely well. This was no exception. Jack and Ellie were good friends in high school. They lost touch afterward while Jack was in the military. Ellie is now a teacher who runs a program that teaches women how to be confident in themselves. Jack owns a martial arts studio and Ellie wants him to teach a self-defense class at her school.

It’s obvious these two care for each other, but Jack holds himself responsible for something that happened to Ellie when they were younger. Ellie thinks that’s ridiculous, but getting Jack to move on is proving tougher than she expected. I really liked how they were together. As I said, it was obvious they cared for each other. Their long-standing friendship really came through. I love friends-to-lovers themes.

Even more, I liked the parts that featured Ellie’s school and her students. I thought Shalvis portrayed the teens well and did a good job of showcasing why programs like Ellie’s – and the real life organization hers was modeled after, WET’s – are really needed. 

Overall a sweet romance with an excellent message behind it.

4.25 out of 5

This is an excellent collection of stories put together for charity. I really enjoyed all three. Learning about the different organizations these authors chose to spotlight was heartwarming.

Overall Grade: 4.25 out of 5

There are also two additional stories available for free download at the Harlequin site. Be sure to check those out as well. 

Harlequin More Than Words Free eBook - Daffodils in Summer Harlequin More Than Words Free eBook - Worth the Risk 

This book is available from Harlequin. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

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Get the SEAL of Your Dreams!

Posted June 27, 2011 by Rowena in Discussions, News | 1 Comment

My Google Reader sure has been good to me today because I came across this scrumptious looking cover thanks to HelenKay Dimon who posted about it on her blog. What an awesome way to give back to the people who serve this country to keep us safe. I know that I will definitely be buying a copy for myself and maybe some copies to giveaway here on the blog as well.

All proceeds from the sale of this book will go toward the Veterans Medical Research Foundation so really, do the soldiers a good and get yourself a copy, won’t you?

The book comes out on November 11, 2011 so you have a bit of a waiting period but with the list of amazing authors that took part in putting this book together, I’m sure you won’t be sorry. For the price of one book, you’ll be getting stories from the likes of:

Robyn Carr
Jami Alden
Stephanie Bond
Kylie Brant
Helen Brenna
Mary Margaret Daughtry
HelenKay Dimon
Cindy Gerard
Tara Janzen
Leslie Kelly
Elle Kennedy
Alison Kent
Gennita Low
Jo Leigh
Marliss Melton
Christie Ridgway
Barbara Samuel
Roxanne St. Claire
Stephanie Tyler

For more information, check out SEAL of My Dreams: A Charity Anthology. Sexy SEALs for heroes and a whole lot of great writers in one book? I’m in….are you?

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Picture a Book Changing Lives campaign

Posted July 1, 2010 by Holly in News | 1 Comment

Penguin recently announced a new campaign in support of The Khaled Hosseini Foundation, a nonprofit organization started by the author of the internationally bestselling novels The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns to aid the people of Afghanistan.

New York, New York (June 22, 2010)—Riverhead Trade Paperbacks, a division of Penguin Group (USA), announced today a campaign to raise money for The Khaled Hosseini Foundation, a nonprofit organization started by the author of the internationally bestselling novels The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns to aid the people of Afghanistan.
Inspired by readers around the world who have embraced and shared Hosseini’s beloved novels, the Picture a Book Changing Lives campaign invites people to submit up to two still photos of themselves reading or holding a copy of either The Kite Runner or A Thousand Splendid Suns.

For each eligible photo uploaded to the Hosseini group page of the Penguin Group (USA) website, Riverhead will donate $2.00 (up to a maximum $25,000 donation) to The Khaled Hosseini Foundation. Starting on June 15th and running through August 31st (11:59:59pm ET), people can visit www.penguin.com/community/hosseini, join the “Hosseini” group, and upload their pictures.

This is pretty awesome campaign. Buy the book and take a picture with it and Penguin will donate. It’s simple and for a great charity. I hope you’ll take a moment to enter!

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