From her brief appearance in Salt Kissed Love to her almost leading role in Forbidden Sins, Mae-Mae Yuina Oki Hada Nakamura Raniero steals scenes. Flat out. Swipes those scenes and makes them her own. She is a dream to write – odd because as a mother, I have only boys and have zero to pull from on the raising a baby girl front.

I received so many comments about Mae after TAT 5 & 6.

And I really have no explanation.

Mae first appeared in Fluff (RIDE), even then, Sal seemed curious about her and over the years they developed a bond. Her storyline felt like a natural progression and Mae is one of my favorite characters to work with. She always shows up (on time!) and ready to work. Sal and Mae are my prompt performers. I cannot say that about the entire cast.

And if you are a writer, you KNOW what I mean. I have a certain few who do not like to show up (Nicky). However, when he finally saunters in late, after I have been pecking away for hours trying to get something out of him, it usually turns out quite warped, which is what it should be.

Excerpt from Forbidden Sins (TAT 6) Chapter 69 – so be it (or 6:69 for #RanieroFanGirls)…

“Can I go see the water?”

“No!” we both simultaneously scold. 

“… Please?”

“It’s very dangerous, Mae,” Dante says as I hoist her up on my shoulders. “Be careful, Salvatore.”

“I will be right back,” I say. “Keep my baby.”

“I’m not ever letting her go.” He grins. “Wait!” He pulls out of his raincoat, switching Ariella into his other arm. “The hood is huge, if Mae ducks, this will work.”

“I can be a duck to worship the water.”


She’s got it in bucketloads. And that is why I am humoring her. Please don’t come at me for bad parenting. I am not a fucking idiot. Not anymore. Winks. “We are not going past the house just in case the foundation gives way.”

“What happens then?”

“The house falls down.”

“Oooh, that’s bad!” she announces like a weather girl before wrapping her arms around my neck. I put on Dante’s coat. “We don’t want that to happen, but it would give the spirits a new home.”

Ya. She is still talking with ghosts. Different than the way I tend to do it. I am fostering her eccentricity. 

We step off the porch and walk the hundred or so yards to the edge of the house. “He likes you.”

“I know.”

“… What are you going to do about it?” She asks like the ball is in my court, and I must do something about his current crush on me.

“I don’t know,” I reply, giving her a side-eyed glance as she presses her cheek to mine. “Do you like him?”

“I like him because he makes you smile.”

And what do I do?

I grin. 

“He does make me smile.”

Foster YOUR eccentricity!!!

HMD, y’all! Much love & kisses!


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