I didn’t know her, what she looked like, where she was, but I knew my mate was out there. And it was that truth that had me saving myself for her. Only her. If I couldn’t fully give myself over to my fated mate, what kind of worthy male was I?
But staying in town, hidden deep within the forest, wouldn’t bring my mate to me. I had to go and find her. I had to make her mine. India
As a former foster child, I never had real family, no roots. I’d always felt like something was missing, so I worked hard on helping others. My mobile medical van was where my passion lay. It’s how I made sure no one else felt helpless.
But when my van was broken into, and my safety compromised, it was a big bear shifting male who came to the rescue. Oli said I was his. He claimed I was his mate. He seemed certain of it just by looking at me. It was insanity, but I couldn’t deny the pull I felt for him, the way my body craved his.
Pushing him away wasn’t an option, not when he was always there, watching me, making sure I was protected. And it was that need inside of me, the one that grew and consumed me, that finally had me giving in.
I soon realized being mated to a bear shifter meant he was grumpy, protective, possessive, and wanted only one thing. Me.
Jenika Snow, a USA Today bestselling author, lives in the northeast with her husband and their children.
She prefers gloomy days, eats the topping off of her pizza first, and prefers to wear socks year round.
I turned to leave, nearly plowing into a girl walking up behind me. Stacks of male blazers were draped across her arms so that just a cute button nose and black rectangular glasses framing large, brown eyes peeked out from behind.
“Oh! I’m so sorry.” She tried to step out of my way, but in doing so, one of her ballet flats flipped off her foot causing her to fall backwards. I caught her just in time around her petite waist, her cotton T-shirt inching its way up to her rib cage. My hand was flat against the soft skin of her abs.
“Lucy!” Kelly hissed. “You are holding thousands of dollars worth of garments. If you ruin those, it would take you months to reimburse the loss.”
“It was my fault Kelly,” I said. “I wasn’t looking where I was going.” I stole another glance at the girl—at Lucy—and was awarded with a shy smile in return. That little quirk of her plump, peony-colored lips, and she shifted the blazers to one arm, adjusting her glasses in a way that was so fucking cute and unassuming. It only took a moment for recognition to snake across her features.
“Mr. Livingston,” she gasped, that smile quivering at the corners. “I’m so sorry—” Her voice was now hoarse, and those sweet lips parted as a sharp inhale caught in her throat.
Energy swirled between us; something calm and potent. That moment, looking into Lucy’s eyes was a breath of stillness on an otherwise chaotic, crazy set. I wanted to breathe her in, absorb that calm energy she exuded; swallow her shy, quiet demeanor and bathe in it all day long.
She’s cute. It was my late wife, Brie’s voice again. Brie would have liked her. That warm feeling surged down to my heart, needling me in a way I both loved and hated.
Her brows tugged together as I felt my breath catch in my throat. It only lasted a second—our connection. But it was consuming. I cleared my throat, stepping back from Lucy. She didn’t look like she belonged in this business based on what little I’d seen of her shy personality. Her chin dipped lower, and she cast her eyes to the ground.
I studied her subtle movement. To most people, it would be nothing. But to me? I saw her raw, untapped need—the quick-to-please nature; her innate receptiveness to the hierarchy of Dominant-submissive relationships. Like she could sense I was in charge and not only acknowledged it, but accepted it with that small dip of her head.
My cock twitched against the zipper of my flat front dress pants.
That in itself was nothing new. But the tug at my gut; the tightness, and the moment of tenderness I felt for a brief second. That was new. And terrifying. Fuck me. I had to get out of there—and fast. “It was my fault, Lucy.”
Behind me, Kelly scoffed. “You remember her name, I see.”
I swallowed a sigh. “I’ll see you both on set.”
Lucy peeked up over the top rim of her glasses. Those eyes—endless, dark orbs that were wide and wet—latched onto mine, and her pink tongue swiped across her full top lip.
I have to have her. The thought came before I had the good sense to stop it. Dammit. I didn’t discern between women. I loved them all—all shapes, sizes, hair color. But at LnS? I didn’t find many women like Lucy. Even with my seasoned subs, they had their ways of seeking me out. Subtle usually… not like Kelly or most other aggressive women I met at the average bar. But there was something different about Lucy. I tore my eyes away from her and walked briskly out of the room. As I turned the corner down the hallway, I heaved a deep breath, falling back against the wall. The cool, painted walls were chilly against the backs of my sweaty shoulders, and I brushed my fingers over the metal band, closing my eyes and trying to picture Brie’s face.
But for the first time in five years, Brie’s eyes weren’t what I saw in my mind.
Meet the Author
I love coffee.
As an author and a story-teller, it is the lifeblood to which my ideas take flight. And I believe in giving credit where credit is due. Occasionally someone (ie – my husband) will try to secretly switch out my beloved regular coffee for decaf. I always know the difference. ALWAYS (I’m looking at you, SEAN).
I am incapable of achieving the perfect ponytail. I’m dyslexic. I can never wear white without spilling on myself. And I’ve never read Pride and Prejudice (gasp!).
When I was younger and stole my mother’s Harlequins to read beneath the covers with a flashlight (seriously, did we ALL do this? I think we did.), I wanted to read about the tough as nails heroine. The perfectly imperfect girl with quirks and attitude and sass. And the anti-heroes who were anything but “Prince Charming.” Forget the knight on a white horse… give me the bad boy on a motorcycle.
So, now, I write those romance novels I craved to see on the shelves all those years ago—the sassy heroines. The badass heroes. I spend my days in the throes of my imagination, and am loving every minute of it. I can travel anywhere and become anyone I want to be. One day, I’m a mechanic in Boston and the next, I’m a vampire stripping in Las Vegas.
Since penning my first novel back in 2012, I’m now an international author with 15 published books, in a wide range of contemporary romance genres–(Paranormal, New Adult, Small town, Erotic Suspense… you name it!).
After living for a decade in Brooklyn, NY, I took the plunge and moved to beautiful (although kinda chilly) Portland, Maine. I now live full time in ‘Vacationland’ with a kind of mean cat, a mellow chihuahua, and a very NOT mellow lab-pittie mix. Oh, yeah… there’s a husband who draws comics somewhere in that mix, too. 😉 I can usually be found in a coffee shop with my nose in my laptop wearing fabulous (albeit sometimes impractical) shoes.
I love connecting with readers and fellow sassy storytellers, so feel free to drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or connect with me on Facebook,Instagram, and Twitter(@katanacollins). You can find a list of my available books over on my Bookshelf or if you’ve already read a book, it would make my day if you wrote a review!
Abandoned by her father at a young age, beauty therapist, Patricia Owusu, has learned the hard way that men can’t be relied on. She’s determined to make it on her own without falling into the cultural trappings of marriage. However, when she finds herself pregnant after a torrid love affair with African-American financial consultant, Ty Webber, she discovers one man’s resolve to stick around.
When Ty discovers Patricia is carrying his baby, he offers marriage; because real men take responsibility for their actions. He isn’t prepared for Patricia’s stubborn determination to make it on her own. But nothing will prevent him from claiming his child or the woman he considers his.
Can Ty convince Patricia to take a chance on him to help provide a loving home for their baby, or will Patricia’s mistrust lead her to miss out on true love and rob her child of the type of father she never had?
American ad exec, Thane Aleksander, doesn’t date co-workers either—until business takes him to Ghana, West Africa, and he meets Naaki. Now he’s at risk of breaking all the rules. Can he stop this headlong fall before it’s too late?
Until he met her!
Naaki Tabika has a burning need to prove, to herself and others, that she’s more than wife and mother material. To do so, she’s prepared to give up everything for her job. Meeting Thane, however, makes her want to get personal. But falling for her boss could destroy her career. Will she be willing to risk it all for the one thing that can make her truly happy?
Two divergent cultures, two different races, two career-driven professionals, only one chance at true love—will they find the faith to take it, or will their hearts be sacrificed on the altar of financial success?
Empi Baryeh is the award-winning author of Most Eligible Bachelor (Book of the year, 2017 Ufere Awards). She writes sweet and sensual African, multicultural and interracial romance, which happens to be her favourite genres of romance to read. Her interest in writing started around the age of thirteen after she stumbled upon a YA story her sister had started and abandoned. The story fascinated her so much that, when she discovered it was unfinished, she knew she had to complete it. Somehow the rest of the story began to take shape in her mind and she’s been writing ever since.
She lives in Accra, Ghana, with her husband and their two lovely kids.
Taylor Love is a new author who calls Michigan her home. An avid reader since she was a young girl, she gained a love of writing as well. She loves to read a variety of genres and hopes over time to expand her writing among several of them. She is a lover of learning a “little bit” about many things. She hopes her imagination brings her readers a few hours of enjoyment!
My goal is to tell interesting contemporary, realistic (to a degree who doesn’t love a little “make believe”) and modern romance stories for African American’s around the world.
Thank you for spending a little time with us here on the blog today, Taylor!
You’re from my adopted home-state, Michigan. Are you a native Michigander?
I am. I was born and grew up in Southwest Michigan and moved to Southeast Michigan for college and stayed!
Married with children, pets, or annoying roommates?
I have two cats that I show on my various Social Media from time to time. Ruby & Reghan, I call them my R&R.
Are you self-published, traditional, or hybrid?
I am self-published finally!! I have no wish to go traditional for publishing. However, I’m open to agents to shop my books around for movies and network Series etc.
I feel the same way. People are always in shock when I say I don’t send out queries.
How long have you been a writer?
Well, let’s see I won a young Authors award when I was in kindergarten. After I started writing poetry and stories in about the 8th grade and through college. Started fanfiction series that were as long as several novels after college and continued that for more than a decade. I finally became an Author Jan 2018.
Alright! Another fanfic writer. I enjoyed by fanfic days too!
Are you a full-time writer or do you also work outside the home?
My goal is to be a full time writer. It’s what I’ve been missing forever–to be happy with a career choice.
What’s your favorite genre to write or do you only write in one genre?
Well I’m early in my writing career but I already have almost 30 books titled and bare outlines for them. They range from Romance, Erotica, Horror, Suspense, Drama, Urban and probably a few more categories. Right now I’m focused on my Contemporary Romance, but have already branched out into Erotic Romance with my Shorts.
How would you describe your current writing?
With my Contemporary Romance, my goal is to write stories mainly with both MC’s being African American, and showing positive, modern, adult, sexy love stories. My books focus on the building of a new, healthy relationships of the two, the romance of it all and how to “overall” deal with problems in a low drama and mature way. I want to show AA women and AA men what positive relationships can look like and that WE can have and deserve ROMANTIC tales in our books and real life. I also aim to make using condoms a normal practice of sex in romances, as they need to be in real life for all women and men.
What’s your favorite genre to read? Favorite author?
1-Romance (variety of sub-genres) 2-Horror and 3-Crime/Murder. Fav author is Stephen King due to The Talisman being my all-time favorite book. I’ve been an avid reader of a wide range of genres since I was ten years old. That includes Shakespeare, King, Nora Roberts, Dean Knootz, James Patterson, as well as the more usually kid series. Like Hardy Boys (wasn’t that found of Nancy Drew) Babysitters Club etc. I LOVED Christopher Pike, he does not get enough credit and I would love to see his stuff turned into great teen/young adult paranormal/suspense movies.
What are you reading now?
About to start Baby Teeth with a friend and just finished Voices of Christmas: A Collection.
Totally addicted to social media or could you live without it??
Since I’ve become an author I’m starting to move towards “can live without it” or wishing I could. It’s such a time waster and I see that now as I’m not getting writing done. Yet it’s hard to untrain yourself from it. I still wake up looking at the sites before I even leave bed.
You have a new release, tell us about it. Who’s your favorite character?
I do! Feb 22, 2019 marked the release of my third full novel. The beginning of my 2nd Trilogy called Vacation Love Series. “Crashing in On Love”. My favorite character is Boa. LOL. And folks will just have to read to see who that is.
Please share an excerpt with us!
He was funny and interesting so that was an extra benefit too. Telling amusing stories when they were in groups, being easy going and quick to smile. Then again who wouldn’t with those perfect teeth? She really wanted to ask him who his dentist was. When that Alice in wonderland thought ran through her head she cut off the drinks. It was about an hour after that when she pulled him to the side, announcing she was about to turn in for the night.
“Awe, come on. It’s only going on eleven!” Ben said his arm around her shoulders.
“I know but I’m not as young as I look.”
“Since you brought it up…how old are you?” Ben had wanted to ask all evening. With black women you never knew, they aged slowly like fine wine. While he knew she was grown enough, he really had enjoyed her company and wanted to know more about her.
“I’m none of your business old. Now you know better than to ask a lady’s age.” Tamara said giving him the side-eye while grinning.
“Hey can’t blame a man for trying. Whatever age you are, you are fine.”
“I guess not and thank you. I’m just ready to turn in, it was a long day and all that partying was unexpected.”
She didn’t mention she had to fly out tomorrow at seven am, which meant she needed to leave the around four-thirty. None of that was his business either.
“Fine, let me walk you back to your room.”
“Are you staying at this resort too?”
“Yeah.” Ben asked a little confused. “What did you think? That I not only crashed a wedding but a whole resort?”
“Don’t look at me like it’s impossible. I’m sure folks do it. Plus a lot of these places have sister resorts or sometimes even day passes for outside folks. Not to mention one small crime often leads to bigger ones.” She teased.
He laughed shaking his head. “Come on, a little trespassing isn’t like doing drugs. It’s not a gateway crime.”
They were slowly walking up the beach and towards the path that led back to the buildings.
Tamara shrugged. “I beg to differ. Trespassing leads to voyeurism. Voyeurism leads to breaking and entering, which leads to theft or kidnapping.”
“Yeah…okay. What do you do for a living again? Are you a cop?”
“I didn’t say. And no I’m not a cop, I’m a lawyer.”
“Ahh, okay makes sense. Let me guess a criminal lawyer.” Ben lightly twirled a lock of her long straight hair around his finger.
Smiling Tamara just shook her head. When she told men what she did for a living they immediately thought she was jaded. They were right of course, but she was enjoying their energy and didn’t want to ruin it. With that in mind she deflected his question with one of her own.
“Maybe you’re the cop? You ask a lot of questions.”
“Can’t a guy be curious? You are a beautiful mysterious woman.”
“Laying it on thick don’t you think?” They had made it to one of the many pathways that lead through the buildings to reach the rooms.
“Nope.” He stopped them briefly so they could face each other. “Tell me counselor which part was a lie? That you’re mysterious or that you’re beautiful?”
Tamara actually found her cheeks heating, and was thankful for the darkness. It had been a long time since a man looked at her so intently and complimented her so sincerely.
“Well, since beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I guess you right on both points.”
Ben didn’t respond. Figuring now was his chance, he leaned forward. Going for the kiss he’d wanted to take all night. Damned if a loud group of friends didn’t come around the corner just then. He saw her eyes widen to alertness and knew the moment was over.
Clearly his throat he nudged her into a walk again, trailing much more slowly behind the interrupting group. They walked pass a pool area and into another hall when he realized they were at his door.
“This is actually my room right here.”
“Oh.” Tamara didn’t know what else to say. She was still reeling from that “almost” kiss. What had she been thinking? She didn’t know this man! Yet she had been more than ready to welcome his lips on hers.
“I can still walk you to your room or at least your building.” Ben said interrupting her thoughts.
“That would be silly.” She’d never planned to let him get to her building, much less her room. “Why can’t it be that I ended up walking you to your door?” Tamara challenged.
Ben held up his hands in surrender. “Hey that’s fine by me, I’m an enlightened man.” He smiled easily. “Thank you for a wonderful evening and making sure I got safely to my home.”
She couldn’t hold in a giggle but quickly got it together and played her role. “You are very welcome, it was a pleasure to spend time with you too. I enjoyed myself. Take care.” She went to leave when his next comment stopped her.
“Hey wait a minute. I feel cheated. Where’s my end of the night kiss?”
Tamara turned back, half amused and half annoyed he’d turned her own escape plan against her. The man did look good and sexy, standing by his door patiently waiting, his thick lips curved into a hopeful smile. She had wanted to see what he tasted like. It would be one tiny kiss to cap off her vacation. Deciding that it wouldn’t hurt anything she stepped back towards him.
What’s your next project or release?
Next project is the conclusion of my 1st Trilogy (SO EXCITED)! My 3rd and last book in the Instant Chemistry Series that launched my Author Career! Fingers crossed for April 2019.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Yes, stop worrying about what others do (so much). Learn, listen and do basics, but don’t be afraid to create and be NOT LIKE EVERYTHING ELSE. That goes from your writing style, subject etc. The best books are those that many in power (another reason I love Indie) said no one would buy, it didn’t fit the genre or it was a sensitive niche topic. BE YOU. We don’t need more authors writing the same things.
Great advice, Taylor! Thanks for stopping by and we wish you much success with your new release!
Taylor’s newest book, Crashing in On Love (Vacation Love Series), released last week! D’l your copy today!
After crashing a wedding in Jamaica can two strangers find love?
Tamara Reed spends her days seeing the worst that love has to offer as a divorce lawyer. Yet she still finds herself drawn to weddings and a secret part of her heart still believes in love. Crashing a wedding while on a much needed vacation, finds her meeting a tempting man. He not only catches her attention but sets her blood on fire. After an intense night with him, she sneaks home to forget the vacation fling. That’s easier said than done, as memories keep her up at night and her vacation boo tracks her down. Is she ready to take a chance on love?
Benjamin Thompson went on vacation for a little work and a lot of relaxation. Who knew when he took a detour to watch a random wedding he’d get a chance to “play” as well. The woman he meets takes his breath away and knocks his socks off in the sheets. Barely exchanging any info before having the wildest sex of his life, he wakes up to find his sexy siren gone. Hooked after one taste, he tracks Tamara down only to find that she wants to keep their passionate night a onetime deal. As a successful Realtor, he’s accustomed to hard sells. But he’s determined to close this deal no matter what it takes.
Title: Finding Mercy (Next Generation, #3) Author: Riley Edwards Genre: Romantic Suspense Release Date: February 26th Cover Designer: Lori Jackson Hosted by:Buoni Amici Press, LLC.
DEA Jason Walker became a widower at Twenty-eight. Two years later he’s still torturing himself with guilt. They’d married young, and she’d been his first love, but her illness changed everything. They’d fought a losing battle and he’d held her to the very end. Now he just wants to be left alone with his misery and memories.
Mercy James is no stranger to grief and loneliness. Her brother’s death of a drug overdose, and her police officer father’s death in the line of duty were the driving forces behind her pursuit of a career in the DEA. In spite of—or maybe because of—her past, Mercy doesn’t believe in feeling sorry for others, or for herself.
When a case brings Jason and Mercy together, and their attraction heats up, can her tough, straightforwardness help Jason learn to live in the light again? He’d lost his first love, but is he ready for a forever love?
Riley Edwards is a bestselling multi-genre author, wife, and military mom. Riley was born and raised in Los Angeles but now resides on the east coast with her fantastic husband and children.
Riley writes heart-stopping romance with sexy alpha heroes and even stronger heroines. Riley’s favorite genres to write are romantic suspense and military romance.
There’s one thing more dangerous than testifying to a crime—staying silent.
Locked in the ruins of a California Mission, Abby Travers watches helplessly as a girl dies outside her window. As she struggles between her moral obligation to come forward as a witness, and her commitment to a Medieval religious practice that requires her to retreat from the world, the situation spins out of control.
Abby’s hesitation starts a series of catastrophes. She finds herself at the center of a deadly cover up where every minute counts and indecision could be fatal. She questions all her beliefs and everyone she knows becomes suspect. To save herself and those she loves, she must break free from her self-imposed prisons of stone and fear.
The Sanctity of Sloth is a taut, psychological thriller that answers the question: What happens when a good woman does nothing? Fans of Paula Hawkins and A.J. Finn will enjoy this third book in Greta Boris’s Seven Deadly Sins Series.
Greta Boris was raised in Greenwich Village, New York by an opera singing, piano playing, voice coach and a magazine publisher. Her original life plan was to be a famous Broadway actor, singer, and dancer, but when she moved to Laguna Beach, California, she changed her plans due to the commute. Today she writes to inspire, entertain, motivate, and so she can afford nice wine.
I’m a coward. I’ve hidden for the last decade because I can’t tell her the truth. She was my best friend, the greatest love of my life. When it was finally our time, it was all ripped away, ruined by something out of our control.
If I can’t have her then I’d rather be alone, or at least that’s what I thought.
One look was all it took.
One word and I was obsessed.
But friends are all we can ever be.
Or does fickle fate have one last card to play?
Because love is friendship set on fire.
I’m pathetic. For years my best friend has bullied me into doing all manner of stupid, reckless things. This road trip is just another one of them.
Deceit led me to him, but now old lies and new truths could destroy everything.
In a small town, he showed me how big the world was, and now I can’t breathe without him.
He’s my friend, but that’s all he can ever be.
Except, in the blink of an eye the lines between friendship and love have blurred.
Gemma Weir is a half crazed stay at home mom to three kids, one man child and a hell hound. She has lived in the midlands, in the UK her whole life and has wanted to write a book since she was a child. Gemma has a ridiculously dirty mind and loves her book boyfriends to be big, tattooed alpha males. She’s a reader first and foremost and she loves her romance to come with a happy ending and lots of sexy sex.
Song Lyric Sunday was created by Helen Vahdati from This Thing Called Life One Word at a Time and author Jim Adams from A Unique Title For Me is our current guest host. For complete rules or to join in the fun, click here.
This week’s theme is “Harmony/Melody/Music.”
Written by Diane Warren and produced by David Foster, for the Wes Craven-directed movie Music of the Heart (1999) starring Meryl Streep, the title song collaboration by Gloria Estefan and N’Sync was released as the first single from the soundtrack on September 28, 1999.
The song peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was listed on the Billboard Year-End Charts at #97.
Music of My Heart won the Billboard Music Award for Top Song from a Movie, and the Blockbuster Award for Best Pop Song in a Movie. It was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song.
The video, directed by Nigel Dick, features N’SYNC and Gloria Estefan singing in Miami High School in Miami with interspersed shots of student musicians.
Coming-of-age stories are generally personal experiences and observations told through the eyes of one character. They can be heartfelt, emotional and even insightful, but still, it’s one person’s journey.
The King of FU is all those things, and more.
The narrator has a natural curiosity and endless questions, but he also has explanations.
Don’t expect those explanations to be delivered with childlike, wide-eyed curiosity and innocence though.
They’re irreverent, sarcastic, profane… and spot on!
Separated by a generation in age, the author’s childhood journey and musings were relatable to my own. We didn’t have the advent of technology, but upgrading televisions from black and white to color was a huge deal.
Covering topics from sibling rivalry to family pets, extended family, and parochial school, this read is too cute and humorous.
Sections about the opposite sex, masturbation, and porn are jaw-dropping and hilarious.
The King’s recollections of friendships and suicide made me stop and think… and not necessarily about the past.
But my favorite part is the King’s descriptions and relationships with his parents-the Computer Science Major and the Insurance Underwriter. Their names will change, as he changes, but it’s when the Computer Science Major, who has morphed into the Homeopathic Doctor, becomes MOTHER, I cheered. Great scene! *Waves goodbye to the Big Red-Headed Mutant!*
The King isn’t as out of step with life as he believes and appears to have a better grasp on life than some adults.
Which is the cusp of the problem—the King doesn’t understand the big deal about being an adult when most spend so much time behaving badly.
The King of FU is unique because it is not written in a traditional book format. It’s also not poetry, prose, rhythmic or metered. And while certain words may wear quotation marks, exclamation points, and question marks for emphasis, this read is punctuation light. I can remember three periods offhand and one of those is at the end of the book.
However, the lack of punctuation doesn’t hinder or confuse. The author’s delivery enhances the story and I don’t believe it would have the same impact if written in a regular book format.
From dead squirrels to childhood mishaps, to learning to drive, this short read can be enjoyed by all readers, regardless of preferred genre, because if you look past the horns and fur, you just may see a bit of yourself.
The King of FU is a magically realistic poetic memoir about growing up in America in the nineties on the cusp of the age of the internet. It is a voyage that navigates through family tribalism, supervisors, white-gloved Sheriffs, bullies, sex, suicide, dead prisoners, drugs, porn, middle school, and Jesus; all in search of answering one of life’s greatest mysteries: what is the point of adults? This artistic masterpiece comes from the mind of author Benjamin Davis with illustrations by Russian artist Nikita Klimov.
There is so much mystery in the world of fibromyalgia, in large part because it effects everyone differently. Another reason for the mystery is due to the similarity in fibro symptoms compared to other diseases and syndromes. Fibromyalgia is sometimes misdiagnosed as a different problem and vice versa. This is because the myriad of symptoms associated with fibro are commonly found in other illnesses such as multiple sclerosis, also known as MS. So how can you tell if it’s fibromyalgia or multiple sclerosis?
What Exactly is MS?
The National MS Society defines it as follows: “Multiple sclerosis (MS) involves an immune-mediated process in which an abnormal response of the body’s immune system is directed against the central nervous system (CNS), which is made up of the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves.” If you or a loved one live with fibromyalgia, you can definitely spot some familiar buzz words and phrases, can’t you? Specifically, “immune system,” “abnormal response,” and “central nervous system.” In fact, the similarities in symptoms become quite striking when you review a side-by-side comparison. Note that most, not all, of the fibromyalgia symptoms overlap with MS symptoms, making it difficult to distinguish whether it’s fibromyalgia or multiple sclerosis:
It is plain to see many similarities in symptoms between fibromyalgia and multiple sclerosis, including clear neurological connections associated with pain, numbness, and tingling. However, experts explain that unlike MS, fibromyalgia does not show up as brain lesions on an MRI. Furthermore, while both conditions have no known source, MS is distinctly categorized as an auto-immune disease, but fibromyalgia is not. So that is one way to determine if it’s fibromyalgia or multiple sclerosis.
A key difference in MS is that the patient actually accrues long-term nerve damage which leads to physical and cognitive impairments. In fact, some types of MS are progressive. Primary Progressive MS (PPMS), for example, “is characterized by worsening neurologic function (accumulation of disability) from the onset of symptoms, without early relapses or remissions.” While fibromyalgia, on the other hand, is often mistakenly considered an arthritic condition, it does not actually cause damage to joints, muscles, or tissues.
Just What is Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is primarily characterized by chronic and wide-spread pain. A close second is the debilitating fatigue. But as you can see from the chart above, the symptoms are quite broad. The problem many patients run into is that fibromyalgia resembles so many other conditions that it’s usually difficult to nail down a diagnosis. However, some physicians are more inclined to spot it than others.
How Are MS and Fibromyalgia Evaluated?
The University of Maryland Medical Center explains that a fibromyalgia diagnosis is comprised of a detailed muscle exam that includes checking for tenderness at specific locations on the body. Rating the severity of specific symptoms is another key part of the exam. The symptoms must be present for at least three months. They add that there are no blood, urine, or laboratory tests which can provide a conclusive fibromyalgia diagnosis. However, fibro diagnosis also means that no other disorder or condition can explain the symptoms.
Diagnosing MS, however, is quite different because it causes several more neurological symptoms than fibromyalgia. Thus, exams tend to focus on brain and nerve function, including a brain MRI and sometimes a spinal tap. Even though MS can also be difficult to diagnose, it is often easier than fibromyalgia. This is because the evaluation requires searching for lesions or damaged areas to the central nervous system.
How Can I Tell if it’s fibromyalgia or multiple sclerosis?
It’s true that the similarities between multiple sclerosis and fibromyalgia are striking. But given the neurological damage caused by MS, it is a condition that is slightly easier to target than fibromyalgia. Patients with MS are usually treated by a neurologist. But so are many fibro patients. As such, a neurologist likely has a keen eye in making the distinction between the two.
From Fibromyalgia Treating.com and posted here for sharing purposes only. Please check their website for additional information.