Author Sami Lee is visiting Smexy today raise awareness about breast cancer and talk about her book and the book Mari Carr has written that also addresses this disease.
During the month of October, Mari Carr and I are conducting a month long blog tour to run in conjunction with Breast Cancer Awareness month. We each wrote books featuring heroines dealing with the disease so we thought it would be a great idea to combine our efforts to raise awareness and funds for breast cancer research.
Samhain Publishing has generously offered to join forces with us and will donate $1 of every copy of Erica’s Choice or Fix You sold on their site during the month of October to Pelotonia, an Ohio based organization that directs 100% of funds raised toward cancer preventions research.
Long before Angelina Jolie brought the issue into the public spotlight, I saw a documentary featuring three women who’d decided to undergo a bilateral prophylactic mastectomy. I can’t remember the name of the piece or where I was when I watched it, but I do recall being transfixed by it, by the bravery and determination of those women. They had all lost mothers, grandmothers, aunts or sisters to breast cancer and had decided not to wait around for the family history to catch up with them. After studying all the medical options, they came to the conclusion that the best way to combat a hereditary proclivity toward contracting breast cancer was to divest themselves of their breasts.
I admit, I was floored. I was in my early twenties at the time and fortunate enough to still have my mother, my sister, and at that time both my grandmothers in my life. I did not share the plight of those women, yet their story struck a chord in me. I didn’t know it at the time, but the seed for what would later become a novel was planted that day. I couldn’t help but wonder how these young women—two of them were single—would go about dating post-operation. How and when do you bring up the subject of a genetic predisposition toward contracting cancer with potential mates? Is that a third date discussion or a fifth date one? And then there’s the issue of sex. How do you tell a prospective partner about how your body is different to that of many other women?
These are the kinds of issues my heroine faced in Erica’s Choice:
“That makes this worse, doesn’t it? You having a family history.”
“Yes. Sometimes I feel like searching for lumps has become an unhealthy obsession.” Erica tried for a smile. “But what choice do I have? I have a mutation on the BCRA1 gene—I went to genetic counseling last year, had the test when Aunt Claire was diagnosed. My chances of living to a ripe old age without contracting cancer are pretty slim.”
“Oh bugger.” A crimson flush infused Pam’s face. “I feel awful. Here I was all day feeling sorry for myself because I went on a blind date the other night with a guy who started picking his teeth with his fingernail at the dinner table.”
Once again Pam made Erica laugh when she was least expecting it. She wiped moisture from the corners of her eyes. “With his fingernail? That is terrible.”
They shared a laugh over the ludicrousness of it. Then Pam sobered. “Good Lord, it must make dating a nightmare for you.”
“I haven’t done much of that lately.” What happened last Friday with Corey and Griff did not constitute dating. “I was going out with a man a while back, but once he found all this out he couldn’t get away fast enough.”
“What a loser.”
Pam’s vehement statement sounded good to Erica. It was true—Doug had not been a winner, or even a nice man. Neither had he been a very capable lover. Recent experience had turned a glaring spotlight on that fact. Erica had no idea why she’d waited for him to break up with her.
Except that, given her situation, she’d never really thought she could do better.
Writing Erica’s Choice was a roller coaster ride from start to finish, and an erotic journey to boot (it’s MMF and not shy about it either). Certainly not the book I intended to write when I typed chapter one, but the characters took over and now I wouldn’t change a thing about it.
Thanks so much for taking the time to read the post. If it does nothing else but remind you to do your monthly breast check, I’ll be a happy author.
Sami wrote her first romantic tales before she’d ever read a romance. In high school she penned stories about all her friends falling in love with fictitious exotic exchange students or reformable bad boys while she should have been listening to the teacher. Some time later (after somehow managing to get through school) she discovered romance novels and wondered how such magical things could have existed without her ever knowing about them.
She spent years writing in an on-again, off-again fashion – writing had become the irresistible rogue boyfriend who wouldn’t hand back his house key. Through numerous jobs, marriage, university, more jobs and toddler taming, writing has always been there. Learn more about Sami at her website.