Rough Romance Trilogy Tour |

Please give a warm welcome to Selene Castrovilla! She’s stopping by today to discuss the struggle between love and hate as part of her Rough Romance Trilogy Blog Tour. Featured below is book 2, SIGNS OF LIFE, but be sure to check out MELT if you haven’t already. Enter the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win!

Signs of Life by Selene Castrovilla | A Book and a LatteThe tables are turned with a vengeance in this tour de force love story. Nearly a year has gone by and now it’s Dorothy who is fragmented and lost, while Joey keeps the promise he had made her to better himself—even though she’s gone. Joey talks about what is happening in the present while Dorothy describes what happened before— in the moments and hours after the Glock dropped. This time the stakes are even higher, as Joey forces himself to move forward while Dorothy is frozen in place. But when he learns of a devastating decision, Joey races to find her before it is too late. Truth, consequence, repercussion and modern medicine collide as pieces converge in this psychological, thrilling story, which begs the question: Can love really conquer all?

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Love, Hate and a Very Rough Romance

by Selene Castrovilla

            Right now, I’m thinking about love and hate. The struggle between them. This is the central conflict in my Rough Romance Trilogy. And, in the world. It always has been — take a look at the Bible, for example — and these days it’s been demanding our attention through increased acts of hate. Some obvious, some subtle.

The thing about love and hate is that they’re distorted, and subject to our mind’s filtering. So what you think about them and what I think about them may be entirely different, based not only on brain chemistry but also life experience.

Take, Joey, for example. One of the two main characters in my saga. Having been abused his whole life in a family setting, having watched a father who is supposed to cherish his mother instead brutally attack her and shove a gun down her throat, he can’t even bear to consider that love can be separated from hate.

MELT quote

            And then we have guns. Instruments of destruction, and yet oh so glamorized by Hollywood, and touted as tools for protection in society. “Kill or be killed” is the unspoken NRA mantra. Here is a clear example of warping the distinction between love and hate.

Love vs. hate being the central conflict in my tale, a gun is the tangible object. A gun, used by Joey’s dad, a cop, to “serve and protect” all day. At night, he wields it to terrorize the people he should care most about protecting.

He holds her against him blue sleeve on white apron



squeezing into her ribs like hes doing the Heimlich

his tie clip presses in her back

he sticks his semi-automatic piece of crap weapon in her mouth


it against her teeth…”

  • Joey, in Melt

            This gun is ultimately the deciding factor of whether Joey will join the side of love or hate (having finally separated the two.) Interestingly, much of my audience wasn’t clear on that choice when they finished Melt. I was satisfied with my end (and exhausted!) — but they demanded more. What happened next to Joey?

And then there’s Dorothy: the innocent. Raised in shelter, never exposed to violence, or hate. In Melt she is nearly destroyed mentally by her first encounter.

In Signs of Life, her physical life is at stake. We jump from inside her to Joey and even to the villainous, evil Pop, trying to grasp what life, death, good, evil, love and hate really mean.

“Was I


still, or did


survive even when

you were


-Dorothy, in Signs of Life

The book explores what happens to both her body and her psyche after the unthinkable occurs. It explores what happens to her family, and Joey — and even Pop. The conversion of love and hate.

I hope you’ll use Melt and Signs of Life as conversation-starters with teens and adults alike — and with yourself. Yes, you can have an inner dialogue. I give you permission.

I don’t have the answers, I just present the questions. Is there a path out of hate into love, and how do we find it? I think the journey starts with empathy — with caring about each other regardless of our differences. We all bleed. Let’s hope we can all heal.

Selene CastrovillaAbout Selene Castrovilla

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Selene Castrovilla is the award-winning author of multiple narrative nonfiction picture books and young adult novels. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from The New School and a BA in English from New York University. She lives on Long Island with her two sons and too many cats. Visit her website:

Many thanks to Selene for stopping by today! Readers, be sure to enter the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win! Follow the tour schedule below to gain more entries.


One signed set of MELT and SIGN OF LIFE (US Only)
$50 Gift Card to Amazon or Book Depository (International)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule

June 20th – The Recipe Fairy

June 22nd – Dystopian Citzn

June 24th – Actin’ Up with Books

June 27th – Kidbits

June 29th – A Book and a Latte

July 2nd – The Quirky Reader

July 4th – Rhea’s Neon Journal

July 6th – Wandering Bark Books

July 8th – Worth Reading It?

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One Response to Tour+Giveaway | Rough Romance Trilogy by Selene Castrovilla

  1. Mary Preston says:

    I am new to this trilogy. Caught my attention.

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