for books by Karen Grey
On this page, I hope to tread the line between giving away the plot and providing warnings or guidelines so that readers who may have sensitivities around certain subjects can either avoid them within the book or choose another book entirely.
SEX: All of my books embrace what I believe to be a healthy attitude toward human sexuality. The language I choose is intended to emphasize the emotional aspects of sexual intimacy rather than specific physical sensations, but that line may be blurred for some readers. Each book contains two to three “sex scenes.” All sexual encounters are clearly consensual and birth control is discussed beforehand.
LANGUAGE: Most of my books include characters working in the entertainment industry. One of my most beloved acting teachers believed that the use of what he called “peasant language,” or what most people call swearing or curse words, is useful for an actor because it allows him or her to express the baser aspects of humanity as well as the finer. I heartily agree, so many of my characters use “colorful” language. However, they do not get away with using language in mean-spirited or harmful ways.
HISTORICAL ACCURACY: My books are, by some definitions, historical fiction. Many readers object to this because they--like me--were alive during the period. I’ve done my best to work from my own chronotype of this time in our history. Meaning, I do research on topics including language use (especially slang), social mores and technology (rather than simply relying on my own memories). Sometimes, I choose to omit historical attitudes or facts when the reality would be distractingly disturbing to readers. I choose to change the names of historical figures or real places to avoid slander but also include real people and places when they may add to the sense of nostalgia for the reader.
WILMINGTON vs. WALLINGTON: For those who live in or have visited Wilmington, NC, many of the locations mentioned in the Carolina Classics series will be familiar. I've only changed names when I wanted to be free to change elements in order to serve the story. For Wilmington in particular, I changed the name because I've chosen to avoid the darker elements of its history regarding race and violence in order to create a city more suited to the romantic comedy world. If readers are curious about those elements, I encourage you to look into the 1898 Coup and the story of the Wilmington Ten.
Book Specific Guidance
Please note that the following may contain spoilers.
WHAT I’M LOOKING FOR: cheating (past), workplace harassment and sexism, drinking (recreational), smoking
FORGET ABOUT ME: deceased brother, fat phobia/shaming, description of past trauma (automobile accident involving death and a drunk driver), drinking (recreational), death of an animal (past)
YOU SPIN ME: mental illness (anxiety, depression, Body Dysmorphic Disorder), description of past trauma (eating disorder, treatment of severe burns, house fire), suicidal ideation (past), bullying (past), drinking (recreational), drug use (mentioned, recreational), smoking, suicidal thoughts (past), vomit
CHILD OF MINE: drug and alcohol abuse and addiction (main character, in the past), description of past trauma (related to addiction and parental abandonment), drinking (recreational by characters other than the addict), homophobia (described in fashion that was commonplace during this era), unprotected sex with consent leading to accidental pregnancy (commonplace, if not advisable, during the specific timeframe)
SIGNED, SEALED & DELIVERED: fat phobia/shaming
I'LL STAND BY YOU: smoking (main character on page), drinking (recreational), sex (discussed), profanity
YOU GET WHAT YOU GIVE: smoking (main character, off page), sex (multiple scenes on page, detailed), alcohol use (on page, recreational), marijuana use (main character in the past), cliffhanger ending regarding a main character in the next Carolina Classics book (but the main characters in this book do get their HEA)
HOLD ON TO ME: boating accident, bodily injury and grievous loss (on page, main character), sex (multiple scenes on page, detailed), alcohol use (on page, recreational), abortion (main character, past), description of past trauma for main character (domestic abuse, cheating , sexual harassment, deceased parent), smoking and marijuana use (main character, past)
Readers, if you’ve encountered any that I’ve missed, please let me know.