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Sports Romance & Romantic Suspense With a Psychological Twist

Monday, March 10, 2014

The #GrownAssMan Tour: Celebrating Real Men

Tired of angsty, premature boys? Want a real MAN? Become a fan of a grown-ass man, and join us for the tour!


Visit the Omnific Publishing blog to enter the grand giveaway HERE. You can win a $50 gift card plus a great ebook collection! You can also enter my giveaway at the end of the post.

These Omnific authors, led by Nicki Elson, love grown up men.

Amber Belldene, author of the Blood Vine Series
Autumn Markus, author of The Art of Appreciation
Feather Stone, author of The Guardian's Wildchild
Jennifer Lane, author of the CONduct Series
Julianna Keyes, author of Just Once
Nicki Elson, author of Divine Temptation 
Rachel Brimble, author of 16 Marsden Place

Check out their posts extolling the virtues of the scrumptious adult men they love to write, and you can download their grown up adventures for only $.99 - $2.99.

My grown-ass man is Grant Madsen from The Conduct Series (With Good Behavior only $.99, Bad Behavior, and On Best Behavior). He's a thirty-year-old ex Navy lieutenant whose Mafia family forced him to commit a crime, landing him in prison for two years. You'd think his family would cut him a break after that misfortune, but once Grant is on parole, they continue pursuing him. Good thing he meets gorgeous fellow parolee Sophie Taylor. She gives Grant a reason to keep fighting.

Grant Madsen

Grant is a beta hero. Packed inside his tall, lean body is a nature that's thoughtful, gentle, and kind. He doesn't try to dominate women, but knows how to respect and honor them. He struggles with self doubt as a result of physical abuse by his father. But don't threaten Grant or his love Sophie. He will come at you with everything he's got.

Grant's expressive character leads me to honor the vulnerability of men in my post:


Grown-Ass Men Have Feelings Too

Feelings, whoa-oh-oh feelings…

How do you feel when you see a man cry? Some people feel uncomfortable, and perhaps judge him as weak. "What a wuss!" some might say. "He's not following the stoic man code."

I have a different reaction to men crying: I applaud them for bravely facing their emotions. You see, we all experience feelings (even men!) -- we just vary in how we express them. We socialize boys not to cry or show any vulnerability, and they learn quickly how to "be a man". 

But as a therapist, I've witnessed quite a few boys and men cry as they heal from emotional pain. Experiencing these feelings doesn't kill them or weaken them. Instead, men seem to grow stronger from the freedom to explore the gamut of feelings inside of them. Emotion precedes change, and crying can be a wonderful relief for both genders.

In his book Real Boys, author William Pollack outlines the narrow range of qualities we accept in the male gender: tough, stoic, unemotional, athletic, strong. 

But what about the boys who don't like to play sports? What about the ones who show tenderness and caring? They get called cruel names, and try to stuff down their true natures to fit in.

When boys become men, they feel ill-equipped to manage relationships. If their partners ask how they're feeling, they may have no idea. They want to run the hell out of there.

My inspiration for Grant Madsen was actor Wentworth Miller, who portrays convincing emotion in his characters, possibly related to his own pain from trying to fit in as a gay man in a straight world. I find him damn sexy when he cries!


How do you feel about men crying? What are your thoughts about men expressing feelings?

Leave a comment with your email address, and you can enter my giveaway for a $10 Amazon gift card and The Conduct Series bookmarks.

39 comments:

Sherri Williamson said...

I applaud the Grown-Up Man!! I have seen first hand what bottling up emotions can do. As children my 2 younger brothers, older brother, and I were abused by our birth mother. (Luckily we had a very loving Grandmother and Step-Grandfather who adopted all of us. They were both in their 50s when it happened.) Unfortunately, one of my younger brother's way of dealing with it, when he got older, was to turn to alcohol, then drugs, and then 2 years ago he committed suicide. I have always told my son, "It's OK to cry, get angry, yell, etc. Just do not carry it to the extreme. Come to me when you need to express yourself."

Nicki Elson said...

Oh my gosh, Sherri's story is heartbreaking. Good for her letting her son know it's okay to show those feelings.

My husband isn't even comfortable with anyone around him expressing emotions. It makes things rough because my inner Italian loves to come out and display every emotion she has.

I think I'd personally have a tough time with a guy - or a girl - who cried frequently - but a man who can when he needs to is very sexy. And if he trusted me with that emotion, that could only bring us closer.

Excellent contribution to the party. Thanks!

Pat Hatt said...

As long as one isn't a sobber every other hour, fine once in a while

Jennifer Lane said...

Sheri, that is devastating what happened to you and your siblings, and then to have to relive the pain when your brother died is even worse. Due to the way we're socialized, I think men have trouble expressing vulnerability and women have trouble expressing anger. That's great you're teaching your son to express all the feelings as a way of dealing with them effectively. Of course there are extreme or inappropriate ways of emotional expression (like aggressive behavior when angry). Thank you for sharing your story.

Jennifer Lane said...

Nicki, that would be tough if your husband squirms when you or your kids express emotion. I was working with one sports team and the male coach freaked out when one of his athletes was crying at practice. He told me, "Go help her!" And I was all, "What? She's just crying. That's what she needs to do. It's helping her deal with the situation."

I'm not trying to turn men into women--I love men, especially grown-ass men! I just want them to be free to be themselves without boxing them in to proscribed behavior that makes it tough to reach their goals.

Jennifer Lane said...

Pat, agreed. Nobody wants to see someone crying all the time, male or female. I think I made Grant cry one time too many in With Good Behavior so I scaled it back in the subsequent novels.

Thanks for stopping by!

Lindsey V. said...

I'm totally pro men expressing their feelings. If crying is a way to do that, then go for it. It's better than keeping it all bottled up inside.

Thank you so much for the post and giveaway! I love Grant Madsen. I've only read book one so far, but I'm excited to continue the series.

Fingers crossed for the giveaway! :-)

Lindsey8907 [at] yahoo [dot] com

Rachel Brimble said...

I love a man who can cry! The best one I've seen for awhile is Kev Allison (played by the gorgeous Jamie Bamber) from the latest UK firefighter series The Smoke. I really hope you guys in the States get this series soon, YUM!!

Rachel x

Jennifer Lane said...

Lindsey, good luck in the giveaway! I'm excited for you to read book 2 and 3 when you get to them. Grant reveals his dark side mwa ha ha.

Jennifer Lane said...

Rachel, hot male firefighters? Sign me up! I just binged on 4 seasons of Downton Abbey so I'm all about UK series. I wonder if I can find The Smoke on Amazon Prime.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Those of us who didn't like to play sports became geeks.

Jennifer Lane said...

Aw, Alex. But as adults, geek rule the world. Hello, Bill Gates? ;-)

Michelle Willms said...

How do I feel about men crying? I think as long as their crying due to true emotion, or as a show of empathy and not as a repeated play for pity, it's a fine thing. It shows the man has grown past the shallow expectations of society and into a grown man. Real men are in tune with their emotions. michelle_willms @ yahoo dot com.

Jennifer Lane said...

"Real men are in tune with their emotions."

YES! Well stated, Michelle.

Feather Stone said...

You know, I've seen my husband weep only once in our forty something years. We were talking about something I thought he needed and wasn't getting out of life. He broke down. I was totally shocked. He is totlly uncomfortable with tears, especially mine. I think I could have a new wardrobe if I let the water works loose. We don't go to movie theatre as I often have a crying jag at some point. Oh, he hates that - crying over some stupid intense scene. No wonder when I see a strong man cry in a novel or movie it is so intense. It is so rare. Thank you, Jen.

SaturnMoonie said...

It's very moving and beautiful to see a man cry, in my opinion. It's so rare, that I think when I see a man cry (in a movie, or a book or real life) that it's much more moving than when a female cries. LOL.

Shannon R said...

I think it is great to see a man willing to express his emotions. You need to know how they are feeling. It would be hard if he was over emotional but as emotional as I am would be a good thing

fencingromein at hotmail dot com

Jennifer Lane said...

Feather, that must have been intense when your hubs broke down in tears. You bring up another good consequence of crying--to get good stuff from others understanding how badly you feel. When my hip surgeon commented on how frustrated I was by back pain and I burst into tears, he scheduled an MRI for my back, stat!

Jennifer Lane said...

SaturnMoonie, I agree--women crying happens all the time! Much more interesting when a man cries.

Did you want to enter the giveaway? If so, please leave your email address or email me at jenniferlanebooks at gmail

Jennifer Lane said...

Shannon, I'm not advocating emotional extremes for either gender but to be able to cry once in a while might be freeing, like you said. Thanks for stopping by!

Alexa TheSuburbanEclectic said...

Everyone needs a good cry now and then. It brings a tear to my eye just thinking about it. But genuine emo please, leave the eye drops at home. suburban eclectic@gmail.com

Cherie Colyer said...

I love Grant. He's one of my favorite grown ass men. =)

I'm pro men expressing their feelings, although it's rare for them to cry. I'm not sure if that's because they were brought up believing men don't cry or if it's in their DNA.

Jennifer Lane said...

"Leave the eye drops at home."

Ba ha ha! Good one, Alyssa. I've heard that when actors have to cry, sometimes the tweeze out a nose hair, which produces instant tears!

Jennifer Lane said...

Grant loves you too, Cherie.

Ah, the old nature-nurture debate. That's an excellent question! I realize I've only covered environmental factors here, when surely there are some biological factors regarding gender differences and emotional expression.

Sarah said...

I applaud the "real man" who allows himself to show his emotions. We were given them for a reason! I'm to instill this in my son, but I know I'm in for an uphill battle.

SaturnMoonie said...

Jennifer - Yeah I would like to enter. I got so caught up in answering the question I forgot to leave my email. LOL. It's SaturnMoonie@hotmail.com :)

Jennifer Lane said...

Sarah, that does sound like a challenge to raise a truly strong son amidst some messages that limit boys and men. Thank you!

Saturn, I thought that's what might have happened. :-)

Elise-Maria Barton said...

I've only ever seen men in my family cry and I must say, it is not only heart-breaking but gut-wrenching. Somehow a man crying over a loss makes that loss have much more of an impact. I think that women's tears are often discounted as just female theatrics because they are so common; therefore the true significance of a situation may be devalued or dismissed. Hoever, a man's tears is going to get attention! I truly admire a man comfortable in his own masculinity to show his compassion, empathy and humanity.

Jennifer Lane said...

Well-stated, Elise! I know the few times I've seen my dad cry, I've sat up and taken notice. It's wonderful when men break free from the narrow limits society sets for them.

Autumn Markus said...

As long as the feeling is genuine, it's a good thing. The manipulation fake tears from anyone, male or female, is frustrating. I do think our emotional responses come from a combination of nature and nurture. Our four kids have been raised as similarly as possible, but my girls are FAR more likely to release the waterworks than the boys (past toddlerhood). Human behaviour is fascinating to a geek like me (lol).

Bonnie said...

I'm one that gets uncomfortable when a man cries. I was just raised that way. Maybe if he lost a family member or a pet.

Jennifer Lane said...

Autumn, I agree with you about nature and nurture influencing gender differences in emotional expression. I rarely see people faking tears…do you see that often?

Jennifer Lane said...

Bonnie, I don't think you're alone! Thanks for stopping by.

Alex said...

Men expressing their feelings should be a good thing. Unfortunately, society has drilled into us that they should hold anything emotional inside. I'd like to say I love it when a guy can cry but honestly, it does make me a bit uncomfortable. I was raised in the wrong era I guess.

Jennifer Lane said...

It's true, Alex, that it's easy to scorn a man for crying. We all internalize those messages about what defines a "real man". There was probably a lot of good stuff in the era in which you were raised, but perhaps limiting messages about gender roles isn't one of them.

Christina said...

Men should be able to show emotion just like women. And I'm a sucker for a sailor...well, at least mine. :) subwife683 (at) yahoo (dot) com

Jennifer Lane said...

Christina, you have excellent taste in men!

Tera Shanley - Writer said...

Seeing a grown man cry doesn't bother me in the least! In fact, If I see a man cry, for some reason, it tugs even harder at my heart strings because it feels like it costs them more to show that emotion.

Grant sounds like a wonderful, relatable hero. Just the description of him makes him sound so attractive inside and out. Ooooh now I want to read this series!

thumbalina2323(at)yahoo(dot)com

Jennifer Lane said...

Tera, I'm the same way…I get all verklempt seeing a man cry because of the costs. Thank you for stopping by!

 


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