A MelanieM Release Day Review: The Sun Still Rises (World of Love) by Laura Bailo


Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5


Erik’s father lived for Pamplona’s yearly festival and the running of the bulls. Now he’s gone, and Erik flies to Pamplona on a whim to see the festival his father loved—without booking a room first. He’s looking at sleeping on the ground until friendly David from the tourism office offers to share his home.

When Erik realizes he trusts David, that he might even be willing to face his anxiety to get to know David better, he begins to understand what this trip could mean. Pamplona is even more beautiful when seen through David’s eyes, and Erik might have traveled around the world just to find himself. But can he hold on to his newfound confidence—and to David—when it’s time to go home?

The running of the bulls in Pamplona has always fascinated me.  Combine that with the fact that the author lives there so I figured the story would be authentic in the customs and location and I was excited to read this story, The Sun Still Rises by Laura Bailo.

For the most part, the author delivered a delightful, layered story of recovery, connection, and closure that was also a romance.  That’s a lot for a book that includes a sightseeing trip to Pamplona, Spain for its well-known running of the bulls. Did I mention it’s 86 pages long?

It starts off with a conversation between Erik and his father, someone who loves the City of Pamplona and goes yearly for the running of the bulls.  Erik has never gone with him for a number of reasons that will be revealed. It’s a typical father son talk but layered over with the painful foreknowledge for the reader. We know what’s coming.

The transition forward is handled quickly in steps and I thought it was well done.  We grieve with Erik for the loss of his father, someone he was so clearly close to while learning more about Erik himself and their relationship.

The biggest jump lands us in Spain and Erik totally out of his depth in every way.  I loved every part of this section.  Erik’s meeting with David, the reader’s immersion into the city of Pamplona, the rituals of the bull running (everything from the route to the prayer), and the slide into a relationship for these two men.  Even the treatment of Erik’s anxiety attacks is handled accurately, folding it naturally within the romance itself, an element I really liked.

Another aspect of this story that I loved (and wished had been enlarged somewhat) was the character of Eli, a good friend of David’s and a fan of Erik’s. Much is made of this character, they are a big part here as well as being brought in at a timely place at the end of the story so I wanted more of them.  Perhaps the author is planning another story about them.  I hope so.

So if I loved this story so much why not a higher rating?

That ending.  This story was all about Erik needing to find some connection to his father again and some closure with his death, learning to move forward or learning that he’d been mired more than he thought in his grief and could get past it.  Connections and closure.  But the author in a way denies the readers a final, delightful closure, leaving us that final, one step away from the finish line.  I was astonished.  I’ve seen other authors use this method and I’ve never been a fan.

I’m especially not a fan here.  If you read it, tell me your feelings about the ending, I’m curious to know.  As I said I really loved everything else about the book.  At 86 pages, Laura Bailo showcased her city, wrote a sweet and gentle romance and introduced several intriguing secondary characters.  If I could only get past that ending.

Cover Artist: Brooke Albrecht.  Terrific cover, love the model, and the bottom with the streets of Pamplona and the bulls is outstanding.

Sales Links

Book Details:

ebook, 86 pages
Expected publication: May 17th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
Edition Language English

World of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the globe.

An Alisa Audiobook Review: Until Forever Comes​ by Cardeno C and Charlie David (Narrator)


Rating:  4 stars out of 5


A sensitive wolf shifter and a vicious vampire challenge history, greed, and the very fabric of their beings in order to stay together until forever comes.


Plagued by pain and weakness all his life, Ethan Abbatt is a wolf shifter who can’t shift. Hoping to find an honorable death by joining his pack mates in a vampire attack, Ethan instead learns two things: draining his blood releases his pain and his wolf, and he has a true mate – a vampire named Miguel.


Over four centuries old, strong, powerful, and vicious, Miguel Rodriguez walks through life as a shadow, without happiness or affection. When a young shifter tells Miguel they’re true mates, destined to be together, Miguel sends him away. But Ethan is persistent and being together comes so naturally that Miguel can’t resist for long. The challenge is keeping themselves alive so they can stay by each other’s side until forever comes.


Ethan has always been an outsider to his pack and in his family.  When he is drawn to Miguel he realizes that he does have a true mate, the one thing he never thought he would have.  Miguel takes a little more convincing but Ethan can be more than stubborn enough.


This story is told from Ethan’s point of view so you can feel just how broken he feels with his family and how determined he is to make his home with Miguel.  He packs up everything he can carry so that he can leave his parent’s home to make a life with Miguel knowing that his mating will never be accepted by his pack.  Ethan is such a sweet heart and I felt connected to him throughout the story.  Miguel doesn’t quite understand Ethan’s connection to him but it’s the first time in a long time that he isn’t so hungry that he doesn’t need to drink more than enough for multiple vampires.  Ethan’s illness allows him to feed Miguel despite that shifter blood is usually poisonous to vampires.


Charlie David did a good job narrating this story.  I could connect with the characters through the voices and emotions he portrayed.  However, he didn’t seem to stay consistent with Ethan’s voice in the story, I always knew who was talking but his accent fluctuated and changed throughout the story.


Cover art is absolutely beautiful and gives a wonderful visual of these two characters together.


Sales Links: Audible | Amazon | iTunes


Audiobook Details:

Audiobook, 5 hrs 54 min
Published: September 22, 2015 (ebook, 2nd edition, published July, 15 2015)
Edition Language: English

Series: Mates Collection

A Lila Release Day Review: A Taste of Honey by Ari McKay


Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5

Boone Phillips needs a girlfriend—now! If he shows up to the family reunion alone, his mother will throw every woman in sight at him. But the only “woman” Boone trusts enough to ask is Honey, the drag queen alter ego of his best friend, Rob. It’s a crazy idea, but Boone is desperate.

Boone wins Rob over to the idea after first going on a “date” with him as Honey, but everything feels different once the plan is set in motion. Between nosy relatives, illegal moonshine, and the sight of Rob in white lace panties, Boone starts to wonder if he’s as straight as he thought. When an earth-shattering kiss sends Rob running, however, Boone learns some surprising things about both his family and himself. Now he needs to convince Rob to give him another chance, or his first taste of Honey might also be his last.

A Taste of Honey is a charming, southern, friends-to-lovers story.  It can almost be read as two couples—Rob and Boone & Honey and Boone—with the exception of the beginning and the end where the transition between them morphs into one. And that’s the main plot in the story.

There are several tropes the author used well to bring the characters together and to give them a sense of place. The setting is an important part and the reader to see it through the characters’ eyes. The food, dialogues, and somehow stereotypical characters added to the charm.

Even when Rob cross-dresses into Honey, and is in character when they visited Boone’s family, this story doesn’t center around it. It is a sweet, slow romance that takes time to simmer. The MCs’ friendship is strong enough to carry the book.

If you are looking for a short story with nice characters and a different take on bringing “the one” home to the family, you will enjoy this book.

The cover by Reese Dante shows a perfect mix of Honey and Rob. A great hint to the story to come.

Sale Links: DreamspinnerAmazon | Kobo

Book Details:

ebook, 88 pages
Published: May 17, 2017 (Second Edition), by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 978-1-63533-580-4
Edition Language: English


A VVivacious Review: A New Beginning (Cascade City Pack #1) by Rebecca James

Rating: 5 Stars out of 5
River and his group of werewolves find themselves in Cascade City after wandering about trying to find a new place for themselves. But things are far from pleasant, for one, they have no place to stay and River’s refusal to accept help from humans could very well spell their downfall.
Meanwhile Josiah wants to help rogues once again though he is aware that his mate might be less then open to the idea given how the last time they took in rogues, it ended with them being ousted from their own pack.
While Jax, David and Brooks are battling all new problems… Brooks is pregnant and no one knows for sure if the baby is David’s or Jax’s but if that didn’t make things complicated enough, David’s wolf is being obsessively protective of Brooks during his pregnancy to the extent that he perceives Jax as a threat. What will these new developments mean for these three, will they manage to make it through together or will the strain of things make something give way?
This book just about killed me with the roller-coaster of emotions it had me on. This book is sooooo good. I mean books in this series truly just seem to get better with each new book. Hats off to the author for doing an excellent job.
This book is a sequel to the Third Mate which is the third book in the River Wolf Pack series and you can read this book even if you haven’t read Omega Arrival though that is also one awesome book.
The moment I finished this book I wished I could read it again for the first time. It was just so good and gave me the worst book hangover in recent times and urgh… just can’t wait for the next one. I read this book in a single sitting and I think what I loved the most about this book was that it was lengthier than its predecessors which meant that I was going to get extra time with all my favourite characters.
This book mostly follows David, Jax, Brooks, River, Josiah and Foster and is also told from the perspective of five of these six characters. I truly believe that the multiple POVs really work for this book because people have different priorities. Particularly in this book River is more concerned with getting the pack on track and David is concerned with Brooks’ pregnancy so when the perspective shift it’s just a new way of looking at the problem while simultaneously giving you another POV and storyline. Also the fact that you get to see all the important things happening in your beloved characters’ life is a definite plus point. There are two scenes in this book where the conversation between Jax and David happens off page and that really irked me out because those conversations were just something that I wanted to know so badly but since the book was at that time being told from River’s perspective I was out of luck, but this also drove home the point that had this book been from a single perspective I would have missed out on so much that was happening in other characters’ lives.
This book just has an amazing story to tell. The pack is finding it hard to adjust to the city but just when everything seems down in the dumps, River comes through for his pack. River and Josiah’s storyline in this book is focused on restoring the pack to its former glory. Someone makes this observation about River and Josiah in the book that while they might fight they always find a way to make things right. Also I loved how the author approached the problem of River worrying about the fact that his mate had too much of a sway over his decisions, I mean this was the best way to solve the problem by making River see the truth and realizing that in a way it is awesome that there is someone there to help him and find a way through problems even ones where you wonder if he might be one. I loved how Josiah comes through for River in this book, it was amazing. Their relationship was a bit worrying at the starting of the book given the pressure they were both under but by the end I was simply amazed.
Foster has a short story line in this book which wraps up very quickly when he finds his true mate. I really don’t know what the author plans to do with Foster’s character in the future but I for one didn’t mind him being gone all that much for one because that meant he was with his true mate, though I loved how the author handled the goodbyes.
Now coming to the very best part of this book which is undoubtedly the relationship between David, Jax and Brooks. I love how the author writes these three and their relationship as something effortless. I loved the implication that Brooks was scared of loving Jax because he knew that while David would never leave him Jax could, which made him guard his heart a little around Jax which made me wonder if that is what Jax did with Brooks as well because the whole reason he wanted David to mate was so that David wouldn’t be alone when Jax left but this isn’t something explicitly stated in this book and that is because this book doesn’t offer Jax’s perspective. I really want a book from his perspective; in fact I need it, considering everything that happens in Jax’s life in this book I really wish the next book in this series would feature him in a starring role. For all I care it could be entirely from his perspective. But while Brooks and Jax are guarding their hearts around each other, David and Jax have kind of already committed to misery when they fell in love with each other fully well knowing that it may someday lead to a world of hurt. I simply loved David and Jax and their relationship in this book. There are two scenes that particularly stand out for me and these were two such amazing scenes, that they took my breath away and then that fact that was revealed in the epilogue seems to promising much more, hopefully. I just can’t wait for the next book because I can’t wait to know where David and Jax’s story is going to go from here.
Amazing amazing book. If you have been loving this series this book is one to be devoured and for people who haven’t gotten on the bandwagon yet this series is simply amazing.
Cover Art by Written Ink Designs. Love the cover.
Sales Links:  JMS Books LLC | Amazon
Book Details:
ebook, 257 pages
Published April 29th 2017 by JMS Books LLC
Original TitleA New Beginning
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesCascade City Pack #1

J.C. LONG on Characters, Writing, and his new release ‘Hearts in Ireland’ (Guest Blog/Tour)


Hearts in Ireland (World of Love) by J.C. Long
reamspinner Press

Cover Artist: Valerie Tibbs | Tibbs Design

Available for Purchase at


Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host J.C. Long here today on his Hearts in Ireland blog tour. Welcome, J.C.!


Welcome everybody to the next stop on my Hearts in Ireland blog tour! I’m J. C. Long, author  of Hearts in Ireland, coming May 10th, 2017! I’m so glad to be here on Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words. I love to talk about myself (just joking, haha. Okay, maybe not entirely a joke) so today I’m bringing you an interview! The people folks here at SW&RT asked some really good questions, and I’m really excited to answer them! Without further ado, on to the questions!

How much of yourself goes into a character?

I try to make my characters far more well-rounded than I am. If a majority of my characters were like me, the stories would be pretty boring pretty quickly, I think. But, with that said, there are definitely elements of my personality or little quirks that do shine through into the characters, though I don’t often realize it until I’ve finished writing. Noah Potter in my novel A Matter of Duty shares my love of spicy food and aversion to certain textures of food, like tofu. The self confidence issues that the character Tate suffers in Broadway Babe are very much my own. But Ronan, from this upcoming story, is the closest to me. He has the most of me I think I’ve ever put into a character.

Do you feel there’s a tight line between Mary Sue or should I say Gary Stu and using your own experiences to create a character?

I think it’s important for an author to avoid the perfect, idealized characters as much as possible. Perfection is boring. No one wants to read a character that doesn’t make a mistake, because those are usually characters with absolutely zero agency.

Does research play a role into choosing which genre you write?  Do you enjoy research or prefer making up your worlds and cultures?

Honesty time: I hate most research, which does influence what I write, I think. Let’s just say you will NOT be getting a Victorian era historical from me (I hate that era, anyway). When I select a project that requires research, I always want it to be something that I love and am interested in. My Hong Kong Nights series required quite a bit of research into the city, but I found it to be really interesting and fun. Science fiction and fantasy have a great appeal because of the ability to make up worlds and cultures as I go along.

Have you ever had to put an ‘in progress’ story aside because of the emotional ties with it?  You were hurting with the characters or didn’t know how to proceed?

Yes! I have a contemporary romance WIP that’s sitting about 75% finished. I can’t touch it yet. It involves a character who loses his grandmother, who raised him. This time last year my grandmother passed away, and that loss was devastating. Any time I approach that story I get overwhelmed and can’t think straight. I hope to finish it one day, when the time is right, but for now it’s on hold.

Do you read romances, as a teenager and as an adult?

I didn’t read romance much as a teenager; I was far more into scifi and fantasy. I do read it now as an adult. I’ve developed an appreciation for just how wonderful the genre is (and how difficult to write, as a writer, when the world is a dark and scary place).

How do you choose your covers?  (curious on my part)

I like this question. Part of the cover process for me is trusting the artist and the publisher. They know what’s marketable and what will sell the best. I’ve been lucky in that I’ve loved all of the covers I’ve had for my books. With Hearts in Ireland I was given three choices, and I was stuck between the one you see and a second. My boyfriend actually was the tiebreaker for me.

Do you have a favorite among your own stories?  And why?

My favorite? That’s a bit difficult. Each story is meaningful to me in its own way. This one is the one that my heart is most invested in, I’ll say that. I can tell you my least favorite—it’s always the one I’m working on right now!

What’s next for you as an author?

I’ve got a busy year ahead of me! I’m currently working on the follow-up to Broadway Boys. When that’s finished I’m jumping into the third book in my Hong Kong Nights series and after that the third book in my Gabe Maxfield Mysteries series (the first and second will be out sometime this year).


When the future is shrouded and it’s hard to find direction, maybe it’s time to let the heart lead the way….

Ronan Walker stands at a crossroads, unsure how to pursue his education… unsure if he even wants to. Now that his mother is gone, all he has left are the wonderful stories of her youth in Ireland, and he’s drawn to the land of his ancestors. There, he seeks out his mother’s family and meets Fergal Walsh, who works at Ronan’s aunt’s bookstore. A love of literature facilitates a fast friendship between the two men, and even though Ronan cannot deny the potential—and his desire—for more, he cannot see a future for the two of them when he leaves Ireland. Fergal must persuade Ronan to give school in Dublin a chance—and convince Ronan that his heart has already found its home.


World of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the globe.

About the Author

J. C. Long is an American expat living in Japan, though he’s also lived stints in Seoul, South Korea—no, he’s not an Army brat; he’s an English teacher. He is also quite passionate about Welsh corgis and is convinced that anyone who does not like them is evil incarnate. His dramatic streak comes from his lifelong involvement in theater. After living in several countries aside from the United States, J. C. is convinced that love is love, no matter where you are, and is determined to write stories that demonstrate exactly that.

His favorite things in the world are pictures of corgis, writing, and Korean food (not in that order… okay, in that order). J. C. spends his time not writing thinking about writing, coming up with new characters, attending Big Bang concerts, and wishing he were writing. The best way to get him to write faster is to motivate him with corgi pictures. Yes, that is a veiled hint.

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Blog Tour and Giveaway for ‘I Do, or Dye Trying’ by Aimee Nicole Walker (A CURL UP AND DYE MYSTERIES Story)


IDODT Tour banner







COVER ARTIST:  Jay Aheer/Simply Defined Art

MODELS:  Jacob and Matthew

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Aimee Nicole Walker here today.  She’s agreed to answer a few questions for us. Welcome, Aimee!


~Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words Interview with Aimee Nicole Walker~


  • Do you plot out your stories or do you let your stories “write” themselves?

I let the stories write themselves. I jot down a few plot points that I’d like to hit, and I make a Cast of Characters page where I add the characters as they pop into the story. That’s as organized as I get when it comes to plotting the story. I’m much more rigorous and structured when it comes to sitting down and writing the story.

  • Have you ever found yourself caught up emotionally with the lives of your characters to the point you temporarily stopped writing because you weren’t sure you could handle where it was going?

Absolutely! There are times that I know a character has experienced hardships in their lives, but I rarely know what those times entail until they reveal them to me since I don’t plot in advance. There have been many times that I’ve sat and cried when their story came to me. The kneejerk reaction is to step away from the book right then, but I’ve learned to work with that emotion instead of pushing it away.

  • Does one type of genre speak to you more than another?

As a reader, it was mainly contemporary romance for the past few decades. That’s why I naturally started writing it. I find that my preferences now lean more toward a romance/mystery combo and even paranormal romance. I still want romance to be a main part of the storyline, but the other aspects intrigue me. I get blown away by the talent and imagination that goes into writing paranormal and fantasy books.

  • What’s the wildest evolution a character of yours has ever done?  Or do yours pretty much stay on point?

My characters never stay on point, and they surprise me every single day. There have been many times that I thought, “No, that’s now how this is going to go,” as I write whatever the character reveals to me. I’ve learned to just go with it. The character who surprised me the most was JJ from Perfect Fit. He was much deeper and more complex than I knew until I sat down and wrote his story.


 Newly engaged Josh Roman and Gabe Wyatt know the road to happily ever after won’t be easy, but the two men are certain their biggest challenges are in the rearview mirror. However, life in Blissville is never what it seems and all signs point to dangerous curves ahead.

Josh and Gabe refuse to take a detour because everything they’ve dreamed of is within reach, not even when professional and personal revelations threaten to wreck their plans. It should be the happiest time in their lives, yet neither man can shake the feeling that something sinister waits around the next corner.

Buckle your seatbelts and hang on for the ride because Josh and Gabe are committed to saying “I do” or die trying.

I Do, or Dye Trying is the fourth book in the Curl Up and Dye Mysteries series. These books need to be read in order as the storyline unravels throughout the series. They contain sexually explicit material and are intended for adults 18 and older.



 Video Trailer: https://vimeo.com/215362953

IDODT Teaser 3



I expected Gabe to toss me down on the bed and start tearing off our clothes, but he slowly lowered me to my feet so that I could feel how excited he was when my body slid down the length of his. I looked into his gorgeous brown eyes and realized it was going to be a slow burn kind of night with our emotions on display and not hidden behind rutting and grunting.

Gabe cupped my face in his large hands and stared into my eyes. Thunder from the approaching storm rumbled louder and longer as it neared us. I thought it fit the mood perfectly since the emotions I saw in Gabe’s eyes were as stormy as the weather. I knew him well enough that I could easily name them: desire, devotion, and love—so much love. “It’s just the two of us now from here on out, and it’s a damn good thing because there will never be a man who loves you the way that I do.”

Truer words had never been spoken, and they deserved a response that was equally honest and free of snark. I slid one hand around Gabe’s neck and covered his heart with the other one. “I didn’t know I was capable of loving someone the way that I love you; I didn’t know my heart could feel so full. I surely never dreamed that a man like you would love me the way you do.”

We started undressing slowly and treated every inch of revealed skin like a cherished gift we’d been waiting for our entire lives; flesh that was too precious not to kiss or taste. There was a slight tremble to Gabe’s hand when he bumped his fingers teasingly along my spine and to his lips when he pressed them to the skin over my heart.

Aimee Logo

I am a wife and mother to three kids, three dogs, and a cat. When I’m not dreaming up stories, I like to lose myself in a good book, cook or bake. I’m a girly tomboy

who paints her fingernails while watching sports and yelling at the referees.

I will always choose the book over the movie. I believe in happily-ever-after. Love inspires everything that I do. Music keeps me sane.





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Dyeing to be Loved, Book 1

Something to Dye For, Book 2

Dyed and Gone to Heaven, Book 3


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Cover Reveal for The Ties That Bind by S. Davidson (cover reveal and excerpt)

Title: The Ties that Bind
Author: S. Davidson
Genre: M/M Fiction
Release Date: June 1, 2017
Cover Art: Rue Volley
Editor: EAL Editing Service
Publisher: Encompass Ink Publishing

Flashback 1990’s – Rollerblades, bungee jumping, the laptop, cellular phones the size of bricks, and AIDS – the gay men’s cancer

This is a story about love, friendship, and family. It is a story about growing up, about trying to change the past and the realization that no matter how fast, or how far we run, that The Ties That Bind us as children, many times come back to haunt us as adults.

We become part of the life of a young counselor, Morgan, who specializes working with homeless, male hustlers. He seems like an angel from heaven to many. He cares deeply for every one of his boys and would literally die to save them from harm. He deprives himself of life’s basic needs in order to reach just one more, but why?

Morgan has his own agenda to work out, his own demons to exorcise. While avoiding his own past, he meets a particular young man, Greg, who is able to see through this well-crafted, public image. Greg sees Morgan’s pain and denial. It is in this discovery, this role reversal that Greg, a life-long hustler begins to heal himself. He helps Morgan come to terms with his own violent past. Greg becomes his strength, the knife to cut the rope and release the guilt Morgan has denied for years. Just as they both begin to heal, Greg discovers the truth.

The Ties That Bind can sometimes be very restricting but many times we find that The Ties That Bind can also provide our strength.

The Ties That Bind are necessary for the sustenance of life.

“I do have something else to tell you about. Don’t yell at me, okay? He, um, turned nineteen a few weeks ago,” Brice said quickly.


“Nineteen!” Morgan blew, swerving to avoid hitting the car in front of him. “Nineteen? What are you trying to do to me, Brice? Put me out of business? First, you tell me he needs to be watched. Then you tell me he is going to stay with you, in your one-bedroom apartment. Then you tell me he’s at least two years older than any of the kids we take! If I didn’t know better, I would think you wanted a playmate! These kids are hustlers, Brice. They have one thing on their minds! If this kid is even left in a room alone with any of the other boys, I’ve got to deal with a ‘contributing to the delinquency of a minor’ charge or he’s hit with a statutory rape charge! When it involves two boys under my roof, I’m out of work and in jail as fast as City Hall can do it. Don’t you realize they are always looking for a way to shut me down as it is? I bet you made a promise to Carol that I would take him, too! What in the hell were you thinking about, Brice?”


“I read your file on him.” Brice remained perfectly calm. “Morgan, you taught me to never give up on a kid, no matter how hard it was. You’ve got pages written on him. Your last entry was over six months ago. Morgan, its Gregory Wescott,” Brice said.


Shelly always had a goal to get a book in print. Well, that goal has been met. Another coming June 1, 2017, and one more still in the works. Always finding writing to be a way to escape into another world, M/M fiction is her passion and causing her beautiful boys a bit of agony is just what she does. None of her characters are flawless and most are pretty damn messed up! But they always persist, always try to be the best men they can be and hopefully find a kindred spirit along the way.

Shelly is a mother, grandmother, and has a Bachelor’s in Social Services. Come on over to her Facebook page for current and upcoming release info. While she doesn’t post about what she’s having for dinner or what movie she’s watching, she will give you info on her writing when there is news to share. Just remember, no matter who you are or what beliefs you practice, love is love and we all deserve to love.