Karen Booth ~ Guest Post ~ Author of Gray Hair Don’t Care

Posted February 8, 2021 by Sharon in #Giveaway, Guest Blogs / 11 Comments

Happy Release Day Karen Booth!!

Author Karen Booth’s Gray Hair Don’t Care releases today and it’s already getting critical claim everywhere! Karen was kind enough to do a guest post for us and we’re very excited about having her. We’ve been long time fans of her writing, the fact that she often writes H/h 35 years and older, and that she’s always been a champion of romances with “seasoned” characters.  We hope you enjoy her post and be sure to read to the end and comment for a chance to win a signed print copy of Gray Hair Don’t Care and a Gray Hair Don’t Care coffee mug!

 

 

 

Many thanks to Slick for inviting me to stop by! If you don’t know me, I’m Karen Booth, contemporary romance author and co-founder of Seasoned Romance, a Facebook reader group devoted to the promotion of romance with characters 35+. In fact, my brand new book, GRAY HAIR DON’T CARE, features a heroine who is 50 and a hero who is 51. I believe in something very strongly—it’s never too late to find love.

I came by my advocacy for “older” characters in romance honestly, when I wrote my first book, BRING ME BACK. I’d had the idea in my head for years, about an everyday woman who meets and falls in love with the rockstar crush of her youth, only it’s years later. In the course of the story, Claire, the heroine, turns 40. This seemed awesome to me since I too had just turned 40. But when I started to query agents and editors, I got a very rude awakening. To industry insiders, the proverbial gatekeepers, a 40 year-old woman could not be a romance heroine. They said a heroine older than her mid 30s was women’s fiction, which meant the book couldn’t have sex. It couldn’t be a true romance. There couldn’t be heat or pool sex or quickies on the living room floor.

My reaction? Why the F not?

Seriously, though. I was stumped. And more than a little annoyed. I was 40 and I knew for a fact that I was not some shriveled old prune with one foot in the grave. Why was the romance establishment clinging to antiquated ideas of aging and a person’s sexiness or desire for love later in life? It made no sense to me.

I went on to receive 108 rejections on that first book. My 109th submission, to a small publisher called Turquoise Morning Press, was a “yes”.  And that’s where I met Margaret Ethridge, aka Maggie Wells. Margaret and I became fast friends, in part because we’re both ‘80s girls who grew up in the Midwest, but also becauseshe too wrote “older” characters and had encountered the same BS responses. As we talked about it more and more, we befriended other authors experiencing the same thing. We all wrote wildly different subgenres within romance—paranormal, historical, m/m, f/f, erotic, to name a few,but one common thread was the reaction from readers.We all had received letters or emails saying one simple thing—thank you for writing a book about someone my age.

Margaret and I started the Seasoned RomanceFacebook group in February of 2016. We were astounded by how quickly readers and authors flocked to the group. Our goal was to simply create a space where readers could find more of the books they wanted, featuring characters who were beyond (sometimes well beyond) their 20s. We’ve done some good things, and we continue to grow.

My brand new contribution to the world of Seasoned Romance is GRAY HAIR DON’T CARE. It’s the story of a woman whose life falls apart after a divorce,then a one-night stand gone wrong with her college crush. She decides to set aside her romantic life and focus on forging a new directionin her career. She also decides to let her gray grow in. Three years later, she has a silvery mane and that college crush is back in her life, except now her new career is inextricably tied to him. And he has a whole lot of explaining to do.

I was inspired to write the book after my friend Ashley went gray. It was a difficult decision for her, but she was tired of heading to the salon every four weeks to cover up what nature was hell-bent on doing. Plus, as we discussed, why did gray have to be bad?Ashley’s graywas spectacular once it grew out. The biggest change was the way strangers reacted to her. Ashley is beautiful, but she was really turning heads in a way I had never seen before. That’s when I decided to write about a heroine who decides to go gray.

I’ll be honest—I suffered some rejection at the hands of those publishing gatekeepers with this book. They couldn’t see what I was trying to do. Again, they thought the idea would work better as women’s fiction. Or maybe not at all. I mean, a gray-haired heroine? Theycertainly  did not see it as a fun and light contemporary romance. (I have to ask myself…have these people never seen Grace and Frankie? Or watched a Nancy Meyers movie?)Alas, I knew that if romance was going to give even an inch on this subject, I had to show them how to pull it off. I had to demonstrate that I could do it. I hired illustrator Leni Kaufmann and she was able to bring my story to life in the most spectacular way. As soon as people saw the cover, they started to get it.

Once people started reading it, they really got it. A romance between people in their fifties can be funny and real. It can be fun and complicated. Yes, the stakes are higher when you get older. You have kids and exes and aging parents to worry about. There are career concerns that probably mean more. But, one thing that comes with age is perspective, and an ability to shrug off the unimportant things that bothered you so much earlier in life. That can pave the way for love in a most satisfying way. Which is why I wrote a book about it!

 

Check out Slick’s 5 star review here: https://staging.simplylovebooks.com/2021/02/slicks-review-gray-hair-dont-care-by-karen-booth.html

 

Grab your copy today:

 

 

Synopsis:

At 47, newly divorced makeup artist Lela Bennett is dreading her next steps. Dating. Meeting people. Not letting herself go. But then she runs into Donovan James and tries something different—sleeping with her sexy crush from college. Unfortunately, in a post-orgasm stupor, Lela confesses she was in love with Donovan all those years ago. He responds by leaving while she sleeps. The next morning, her gray hairs are practically taunting her. She knows she has to get it together. Forget men. Embrace her age. Own her gray.

Donovan James is a marketing genius, but his ex-wives will tell you—nothing freaks him out like feelings. Three years after his one-night stand with Lela, he’s focused on his daughter’s lifestyle company, but unprepared to meet the face of their new beauty brand. It’s Lela. With stunning silver locks and new confidence, she’s no longer swayed by his charms. When business starts booming, the universe seems intent on throwing them together time and again. And suddenly, two people convinced that romance was behind them are wondering if love could be what’s next.

 

For a chance to win a signed print copy of Gray Hair Don’t Care and a Gray Hair Don’t Care Coffee Mug (U.S. only), comment below and tell us what you love about Seasoned Romance. Winner will be picked by Random and notified on 2/15/21. Good Luck!!

 

 

 

 

 

Posted February 8, 2021 by Sharon in #Giveaway, Guest Blogs / 11 Comments


11 responses to “Karen Booth ~ Guest Post ~ Author of Gray Hair Don’t Care

  1. Janeen Phillips

    Such an amazing book. I love seasoned romance because I enjoy reading about characters that are my age. It makes it more relatable.

  2. Karen Hawk

    I love seasoned romance because I’m older myself and reading about teenagers in love just seems pervy. Those gray heirs indicate a person with experience and years of dealing with emotions.

  3. flchen1

    Honestly, this resonates so much, Karen—I’m Lela’s age, and welcome the chance to read a heroine who I can relate to, and not just in a “hm, I vaguely remember being that age” kind of way 😂 I’m thankful so many authors are willing to go against those gatekeepers to write and distribute stories for readers of all ages!

  4. Kallyn

    I just finished the ebook and loved it!

    I love seasoned romance for its realness. Characters aren’t perfect and they might even ache somewhere. But they live life to its fullest. Everyone deserves an hea.

  5. I’ve been waiting for this book! And I’m loving every page! You know I love Seasoned Romance because it’s never too late to fall in love. And I love your books, I’m really feeling the love today! Congratulations!

  6. Janet Rodman

    I love the fact that there is no angst. There people have experienced life and have a different outlook on relationships.

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