Small town lovin’… or not

Many of you know that a year ago I packed my belongings and moved to a tiny village in Spain. I was raised in the city, but my father is from this part of Spain and I always loved coming in the summers while growing up. It’s like I got the best of both worlds—city and small-town experiences. So while I spent most of my time in a city, I always craved living in the mountains somewhere, and here I am. Can I get a whoop, whoop? 

I tend to write small-town romances for this reason. The gossip, the nosy neighbors, where everyone knows everyone (whether you love it or hate it). It creates a sense of community you don’t get everywhere, and although sometimes it’s a huge eye-roll, I love living in a place like this. Small towns are definitely not boring. There is always something going on and some mischief to participate in. 

In Write You a Love Song, Ainsley is new to Everton, a fictional small town in Wyoming. Her sense of adventure and need for change led her there, but she struggles with some experiences that are personal to my own. It’s not easy being the new girl in town (and for me, even when I know some of the people). However, little by little, you become a part of this community. 

I mean, am I the only one who watches a Hallmark movie and fantasizes about moving to a small town and finding love? Tell me I’m not alone! A tall, handsome man that works with his hands and… Okay, I’m getting off topic.

Unfortunately, that has not been the case for me. Whomp, whomp, whomp. LOL I’m holding on to hope, though! 

One the bright side of my non-flourishing love life, I have traveled a bit since I’ve been here and loved every second. AND I get to write about all the wonderful love stories and romances we love and dream about (that’s me, dreaming about a book boyfriend coming off the pages of a book and sweeping me away. Totally normal, right?). 

Would you like to live in a small town? If you already do, what’s your favorite thing about it? Tell me in the comments! I’d love to know! 

 

P.S. This is the closest to romance I’ve gotten here.

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LOL Only kidding! This is my terrible sense of humor coming to light.

All My Truths & One Lie is live!

I am so excited to share that All My Truths & One Lie is now available across all major platforms! From writing this story to preparing it to be published, it has been an amazing and emotional journey.

This book means so much to me. On a personal level, it’s everything I’ve never had the courage to say out loud. Until now. Writing it wrecked me completely. It tore me apart, thread by thread, and then sewed me back together (sometimes not so neatly).

It’s everything I’ve never had

the courage to say out loud.

I know it’s not a traditional plot, or romance novel you’re used to getting from me as of lately. I wrote it for me and for you, because there’s depth in the message, strength in the words that come together to create it. I hope you give it a chance, go in with an open mind, and enjoy the process.

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Read Now:

Amazon

Nook 

iBooks

Kobo

 

 

I’ve received messages from readers saying how Navia’s story made them feel, connect to their own childhood and life experiences, and reflect. This book’s purpose is that. I hope that you also connect with it and take with you the greater message in this story. I’ve poured myself onto these pages, and it’s time you now receive the effects of that.

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Thank you for your continuous support, and I’d love to heard from you after you read All My Truths & One Lie. Email me at authorfabiola@yahoo.com and share your thoughts with me!

Until then, happy reading!

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All My Truths & One Lie, Prologue

Read All My Truths & One Lie’s prologue below. For more information about the book, click here.

 Prologue


dim stars & faded dreams 

When I was a little girl, I used to wander around the playground and contemplate life. I didn’t understand some things and understood others way too much. I processed information differently, in a weird way, and I didn’t understand why my friends were so . . . immature. Yes, at the ripe age of ten, I wondered why kids acted like kids as if I had some wisdom they didn’t have. It wasn’t that I did, I just saw things differently. 

I had friends, but I distanced myself. I needed to as a form of regaining my sanity, or center, or . . . I don’t know. Simply needing some time. Too in my own head, that’s what I was told. I was too serious. Too reserved. Too wild. A plethora of adjectives that didn’t always mesh, yet completed me. I couldn’t argue with those descriptions, I knew they were true. A girl who fantasized too much, warred with the desire of a fantasy and the need to accept life wasn’t that. 

And then I grew up. 

But nothing changed. 

I stare up into the sky and sigh. My eyes close for the briefest moment as the warm breeze kisses my skin. Sitting in the dark, wondering why I live in a place that outshines the stars, the artificial lights illuminating the insincerity that swirls around this city. I open my eyes to see one twinkling star. It brightens and dims as I look at it, wondering how far away it is and what it’s called. 

I push my body back to sit straighter in my chair and cover my face with my hands. How long do I have to stay here for? I keep telling myself I stay in the city because I still have lessons to learn from it. Maybe I need to stop judging it so much so that I may move on. Lord only knows. 

I check the time on my phone. I’m nowhere near tired, but if I don’t sleep now, I’ll be exhausted tomorrow when my alarm clock goes off at six-thirty. Five hours of sleep isn’t nearly enough for me to function anymore.  

I glance up at the sky one more time and blow out air through my mouth. Soon. I feel it in my soul. 

The last three years have been a pause in my life. I’ve discovered things about myself, grown internally, but the life I led has stopped. Almost as if I needed reclusion to overcome a hump. But that causes distance between myself and the world around me. The more I traveled within, the more I secluded myself. I can say it’s symbolic to Jesus’s forty days and forty nights in the desert. However, I’m no Jesus, and this seclusion didn’t ground me. Instead, it uprooted me, yet my body wouldn’t move forward. 

At first, I looked at that time as temporary. Then it became permanent. My perception of it became obsessive to the idea that I’d never move from it. Until I realized the peace in the moment. I removed veils of illusion and took the pause for what it was—a preparation for what’s to come. 

I feel the pull in my soul, guiding me like the wind against a sail. I can allow the guidance or resist it and risk experiencing the greatest shipwreck of my history. 

I choose to listen. I decide to go where the pull takes me when I’ve spent many nights staring at the sky like tonight, telling myself I wasn’t ready. 

I am. 

So many times, the tug I feel is familiar. Another soul calling to me, awakening this intense need from its slumbering state, just enough to rouse me. Then, it releases, not quite prepared for the intensity of our union, yet a consciousness of each other’s existence. It’s a building fire I stoke, gently allowing the flicker to intensify.

But I miss him. 

I don’t know him physically, and I miss him. My soul longs to be near his. In my sleep, I long to feel his arms around my body, his breath tickling my neck. I can sense him inside me. How can you miss someone you haven’t yet met?

Homesick for a person my eyes haven’t seen, but my soul is familiar with. We’ve danced together before in other times and I long to see him again. Hold him. Feel him near.

And I’m finally ready. 

That’s why I took this first step in the direction I want my life to go. 

Seeing as my mind is racing and my eyes are wide open, I stay outside in hopes I’ll catch a miraculous shooting star. The street light shines on the outside of my home. It’s small but cozy. This is what I need for now. As long as I have a chair, a small table, and open skies, I’m happy. 

Despite having this home, I still feel stuck. As if my soul is moving faster than my body. I see things shifting in my mind’s eye but don’t see the shift in my life around me. Or maybe I do. Sometimes it’s difficult to see the change when those around you are blind to it. But on the inside . . . on the inside, I feel as if my cells are shaking to a vibration that I’m unaware of. As if something inside of me wants to shake itself free and go at a speed I’ve never experienced in my life. 

Hence, my inability to rest. 

A surge of energy bursts, fueling my mind to think beyond the world I live in. I always have to take a minute to breathe and ground myself. It’s easy just to allow my mind to float to a world that many don’t believe in. It’s natural to see things with a different understanding. And it’s so difficult to bond with people because of this. So many times I keep quiet, leaving my ideas to myself in quiet observation. A few times I express what I’m holding, usually resulting in odd looks or silent disapproval. 

I shake off the feeling of not belonging and go back to admiring the stars. I can’t see the moon from here, but I know she’s out there. Another reason I wished I lived somewhere with less light and population. A forest in the middle of nowhere with traces of ancient civilizations and history so deep, it trespasses my bones and hits my soul. 

A place like that exists. I just need to find it. 

This is why you struggle to make friends. 

I roll my eyes and ignore the side of me that is rational. I’ve learned to embrace who I am. I’ve learned I may never meet anyone in their thirties who will share the inquisitive wonder I do. I’ve learned that there’s more to life than egotistical existence and material gains. 

But those have been easy lessons in comparison to the ones that tore me apart like an angry tiger and then sewed me back together like a gentle horse. 

— © 2018 Fabiola Francisco

Learn more here: authorfabiolafrancisco.com/amtaol

New Cover Reveal—Red Lights Black Hearts by Fabiola Francisco

RED LIGHTS BLACK HEARTS

Red Lights, Black Hearts by Fabiola Francisco has a new cover!

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Title: Red Lights Black Hearts

Author: Fabiola Francisco

Genre: Women’s Fiction

On sale for $0.99

Buy the book:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2MkPgx7

iBooks: https://apple.co/2MAtFAh

Kobo: https://bit.ly/2nNO1rB

B&N: https://bit.ly/2MlRmNw

*This is a re-reveal, therefore the book is already live. 

About the book:

Darkness can be stained by light. Light can outshine the darkest of corners.

Behind a window in Amsterdam’s desired Red Light District, Samantha practices the art of seduction. But behind the façade of the glass, lies her truth waiting to be uncovered. An inner battle of light and dark takes place as Sam learns to release the past and truly live the beautiful tragedy that is life.

Red lights and black hearts collide in a tale of heart and soul.

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About the Author:

Fabiola Francisco loves the simplicity—and kick—of scotch on the rocks. She follows Hemingway’s philosophy—write drunk, edit sober. She writes women’s fiction and contemporary romance, dipping her pen into new adult and young adult. Her moods guide her writing, taking her anywhere from sassy and sexy romances to dark and emotion-filled love stories.

Writing has always been a part of her life, penning her own life struggles as a form of therapy through poetry. She still stays true to her first love, poems, while weaving longer stories with strong heroines and honest heroes. She aims to get readers thinking about life and love while experiencing her characters’ journeys.

She is continuously creating stories as she daydreams. Her other loves are country music, exploring the outdoors, and reading.

Connect with Fabiola:

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/authorfabiolafrancisco

Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/FabReads/

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/authorfabiola

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authorfabiola

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/fabiola-francisco

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8282534.Fabiola_Francisco

Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/cJKvIX

Website: https://www.authorfabiolafrancisco.com

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Memories of Us is Live!!

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It has been an adventurous summer, from moving to Spain to preparing for this release. I have spent the last week traveling around Spain, visiting places I’ve only ever dreamed of before. Beach, mountain views, and historical monuments.

BUT, the day to share Hunter with you is finally here! A book idea I had for over a year, or maybe two, (and I had thought I’d not write) is finally available for you to read! This is what happens when you get together with friends at a book signing and start talking about story ideas—that were locked away—over cocktails. Encouragement and support mean the world, especially in this community. You are a part of that, so thank you for supporting this dream and reading my words. No words can express my gratitude. 

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The love Hunter and Mackenzie are receiving from ARC readers has me speechless. I am excited for you to read their love story and hear your thoughts! Best news?! It’s available on ALL platforms!

About the book:

The life I’m living was supposed to be ours, not just mine, and without her it means nothing

I couldn’t climb on stage and sing to a crowd, knowing the one person my songs were meant for was miles away from me. Writing songs about her is the best I can do until she comes back because I know we’re not over. We’re just on pause, like your favorite song when you need a moment to take it in. But as soon as I find her, I’m pressing play on our love story.

• Amazon: https://amzn.to/2GvV13d

• iBooks: https://apple.co/2KKajYx

• Nook: https://bit.ly/2rTh5At

• Kobo: https://bit.ly/2IVCkqS

• Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39349692-memories-of-us

Excerpt:

I kiss her full lips, my tongue teasing the seam of her lips, begging for permission to deepen it. As soon as she grants me what I want, my tongue thrusts into her mouth. Our lips move together, speaking words we can’t hear with our own ears but can feel in the depth of our souls.

Mackenzie shifts to straddle me and moans. “I can feel you against my underwear.”

My hands reach under her dress and grips her ass. Her skin is cool against my hands, but the sensation burns me. I rock her into me and she moans again.

“Fuck, Hunter.” Her voice is gruff.

“I love hearin’ you like this. I fuckin’ missed it,” I drawl. Her tiny thong does nothing to stop her from feeling my dick in my jeans. “Bet you’re wet.” She whimpers when I move one hand around and run a finger against her soaked underwear.

“Fuck, babe. Don’t think we’ll have time for much foreplay. I want to feel you wrapped around me, squeezing around me.”

Mackenzie moans again, words gone from her mouth. I move my hand into her panties and feel her against my skin. She’s wet and ready, but I’m gonna make her feel real good first.

I rub my thumb against her clit, and she tenses. “Relax,” I say into her ear.

I continue to please her as she moves above me, her lips on mine in a desperate call for more. When she tenses around my fingers and her breath is labored, I stop and look at her.

“I love you so damn much. I hope you believe me when I say there ain’t no one else for me.”

“For me, either.” She reaches for my jeans, unbuckling my belt and pants, I kick my boots off, followed by my jeans. Mackenzie slips out of her underwear, keeping her own boots on.

“I want you under me,” I lean her back on the blankets, cover her body with mine. I slip into her, slow and steady, and under a blanket of stars I make love to the only woman who has ever had a place in my heart and life.

*Copyright 2018, Fabiola Francisco

 

I_m going to make love to you, nice and slow. Worship your body _til it reaches your soul.”

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All of You Cover Reveal

I am so excited to share the cover for the final book in the Rebel Desire Series! The cover is perfect to show the emotions between Jason and Cassidy Rae. I absolutely love this story, and it was great developing Jason further, especially after his take on relationships in books 1 and 2. You can read about the book here: SYNOPSIS

Preorder is available on Amazon! You can reserve your copy today and start reading as soon as it goes LIVE on May 2nd! Preorder ALL OF YOU!

Now, drumroll….

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What do you think?! I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section! Keep going below for a few teasers and the FULL cover.

But first, a FREEBIE! Lovin’ on You, book 1 in the series, is free through 4/7! Love You Through It, book 2, is ONLY $1.99 for a limited time! Grab both copies here and meet the guys from Rebel Desire! #OneClick— https://amzn.to/2GBbi7U 

Cassidy Rae is Sunday mornings when I_ve been stuck in endless cycle of crappy Saturday nights.

 

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Hope you love this cover as much as I do, and I can’t wait for you to read the story!

XO, Fabi

Authors, Use Your Superpowers

We all have days where we doubt ourselves, put ourselves through a self-inflicted ringer, crushing our dreams before we have a chance to wake up and attempt to fulfill them. It’s part of being a human, experiencing this life. We can choose to learn from it or drown in it. Some days it seems almost impossible to rise above it—our mind reminding us we’re not good enough. We are.

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I feel as writers we sometimes subject ourselves to this. Comparison kills joy. So what do we do when we’re constantly being compared to others as a part of our career?

Believe in yourself. Believe in your craft. Often times, when I doubt my words, when I doubt my story-telling ability, I remind myself why I started writing in the first place. Not publishing, writing. I began to save myself from myself, so there is no way something that saved my life will be able to bring me down. I’m a writer before anything else. Before I’m a published author. Even, before I’m a reader. Because writing was a tool I used when I didn’t give a shit about the rest. I won’t bore you with the details. You get the gist.

So how can something that helped me battle negativity be a negative in my life? It can’t. I just need to remind myself why I started. What’s my why. Flow with that why. Remind yourself about the passion you feel toward your craft and forget what others are doing. I come back to my core. To who I am as a person, as a soul, not as the public figure. I return “home” in a sense and write something that has nothing to do with my work in progress that brings me back. That reminds me about my writing purpose.

Who cares if someone is writing about such topic. Does that topic resonate with you? Yes? Great, write about it. No? Great, write the story you have in you.

It’s so easy to question plots, to judge our creativity, to shut down an idea because it’s not “popular.” There are readers for everything, thank goodness, and there are writers to write all kinds of stories, again, thank goodness. That’s the beauty of fiction—creativity is limitless. The unimaginable becomes imaginable through the magic of words.

Write what you know. Write what you don’t know. Hell, you want to use the word moist? Use it. Yes, some readers will cringe. Guess what, if your story resonates with them, they’ll overcome the use of that word.

Break the rules. Seriously, if you have an idea for a book and it doesn’t fit a mold, write it anyway. It’s easy to get stuck on trends, but if you force yourself to write what’s popular while it’s not your passion, this career will squeeze the life out of you. Though publishing is a business, writing is an art. Finding balance for both is key, but never compromise what’s in your heart.

 

*Spoiler alert: Not everyone will love all your books, so stop trying to please the outside world instead of yourself.

 

 

Dear Porn, You’re Not Romance

Porn: Man sees woman, undresses her (with hands, not eyes), and they instantly engage in sexual acts. No names, no story behind their meeting or relationship. It’s raw and dirty. (I think this is how it works, I haven’t exactly watched porn. Did I just admit that to the internet?)

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Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

The stigma associated with romance novels (and their writers) is a continuous clash between those who know the difference and those who think they know the difference. Many people truly don’t know the difference. So I’m here today, as part of the hundreds of people who have already discussed this topic, to hopefully clarify some misconceptions about romance novels.

Romance, noun: a (1) : a medieval tale based on legend, chivalric love and adventure, or the supernatural (2) : a prose narrative treating imaginary characters involved in events remote in time or place and usually heroic, adventurous, or mysterious (3) : a love story especially in the form of a novel

b : a class of such literature

I grabbed this definition from Merriam-Webster. As you can read, romance is a love tale that involves events, chivalry, adventure, etc. in the process of finding that person who you want to spend your life with. Romance is about the happily ever after, not just the happy ending. (wink, wink)

We all hope to find that special someone in real life. I know I do. The person you can laugh and cry with. The person to hold you tightly, and the person you push away when you’re angry. It’s all part of romance. Like any true love story (real or fiction), sexuality is a part of it. Say what?! I know, I know; how dare I speak of such things in public? But that’s just it. We live in a world where we are fighting to become more open and accepting of the truth we live, and having sex is normal.

I understand it’s been a taboo topic in the past. I know romance novels have been looked down on with snooty noses as not good enough literature, allowing people to look away instead of being educated on the topic. The thing is that everyone desires to be wanted. Everyone desires to have a connection with another person. That is what romance is about—the bond between two humans, who find in each other a connection that allows them to grow and move forward together.

It isn’t all about the sex. That’s porn. They’re very different. Porn wants to excite the viewer/reader quickly to get the job done (again—wink, wink). Romance is about the journey—the tale of coming together, overcoming struggles, and living your life with another person.

Now, let me tell you how our society works. Sex sells. A lot. So when we bring in marketing (for romance or anything else), sex is a big factor. Considering romance novels, most times, do include some kind of sexual activity, teasers and excerpts may be geared towards that because it hooks readers. It does raise emotion, entices them, and makes them want more. We’re human after all.

Just because something has a sex-geared advertisement doesn’t constitute it as porn. Let’s take a perfume commercial for example (oh, those can be hot!). A lot of perfume commercials entice the viewer with a good-looking man, a woman in lingerie, or a couple engaging in a steamy kiss. Does that mean the perfume company sells porn? What it does is sell the product. It hooks consumers. That’s their ultimate goal.

Nicholas Sparks has sex in his novels. Does that make him a writer of porn? You have sex in your life with your partner. Are you a porn star? (Role playing idea?)

When I first started writing romance, I was hesitant to answer people’s questions about the genre I wrote. I would think to myself, Oh God, they’re going to know I write sex in my stories. Yet, I love writing romance. I love writing about the bond between people, their struggles (this is my favorite—it shows their true character), and having balance in life. So little by little, I became more comfortable telling people who knew me before I was a published author that I wrote romance. (My mom was the hardest. Like, Mom, I wrote sex into my story. I still remember the day I told her I wrote a book, and it was explicit. Kill me now! She’s probably reading this. Hey, Mom!) I had that stigma attached to me until I said, fuck it, and owned it. Now, I giggle when people mix up the true romance meaning with that of porn. I don’t get offended; I get it.

I strive on making my stories about more than just the romance. I add topics that sometimes are difficult to read about, and other times I add humor and good nature. It’s a balance, or I’ll sink into this dark oblivion of heavy emotions. Regardless of the tone of my novels, I want to get a message across, so when people think I write porn it defeats the purpose of trying to convey this meaningful message. It also confirms that sex sells, because if what you remember most about my novels is the teaser you saw about some heavy kissing, then I’ve left a memorable (whether it was my intention or not) hook in you. Now to reel you in and catch your full attention. (Horrible fishing symbolism—I promise I can write better symbolism than that.)

I get that society, as sex-driven as it is, also scolds people for being so open about their sexuality. Again, many people don’t know the difference, come across a teaser about a man running his hands down a woman’s bare hip before cupping her behind, and think the story is sex-driven. There is so much more to romance novels, and I hope that each of us that know about it can continue to educate people on the difference because it is such a wonderful genre to get lost in.

We watch romance movies and don’t think twice about questioning if we will be watching porn. We eagerly schedule a girls’ night to watch the latest Rom-Com whilst drinking a glass of wine, yet doubt the morality of romance novels.

I ask that you don’t let the label of what people think the romance genre is to limit you from reading some fantastic literature. I have read novels that have stayed with me for years. Romance novels are real, raw, sweet, and flirty. They encompass so much life. As humans, we want to feel intimacy with another person. Romance is that. It’s the story of intimacy, trust, and opening our hearts.

With the way the world is nowadays, I’m glad I have a Kindle full of romance novels to show me hope. To prove to me love still exists, because if we, as writers, can come up with stories about love, then love must still be alive, right?

Ultimately, that’s what romance is about. It’s about love, the journey to get there, the strength it takes to overcome loss when love goes awry, and the power of relationships (friendships and more).

I’ll raise my glass to all of you romance readers and writers, for believing in love. I’ll raise it to all of you who are not familiar with it and hope you’ll indulge a bit in this beautiful community. While I’m at it, let’s be open to all types of romances and love stories. Romeo and Juliet is a classic tragedy that still remains very much alive in our world, and they ended up dead. (Spoiler alert)

In all seriousness though, I do hope we can come to an understanding about the essence of romance. I hope this helped to better understand the difference between romance and plain ole sex in a written form. May we all live a life full of love, intimacy, trust, and strength, like my favorite heroes, and not shy away from a topic that is human nature.

XO,

Fab

Reflection: Three years in this business~THANK YOU!

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Three years ago I published my first novel. In 2009, I wrote one of those Facebook Notes that were the craze back then—25 Random Facts About Me. The fifth fact was: I want to publish a book sometime in my life. I’ve told the story before—bucket list item I wanted to check off. However, it always seems unreachable. Two reasons why: 1. Up until that point, I had only written poetry and a few shorter stories. Dialogue and elaborating a plot were, in my mind, not my thing. 2. How was I going to get a publisher? All I wanted was to write a book to share and move on. It seemed impossible.

I was living in Spain during this time and shoved the idea to the back of my mind’s bookshelf, focusing on my work there and my college degree when I was back home.

Fast forward a few years, and I still had a story idea I began in 2009 running through my mind. Needless to say, I opened that file and began what is now PERFECTLY IMPERFECT with no idea how to publish.

It has been a unique journey these last three years, meeting new people (many I call friends now), learning the ever-changing ropes in this business (I am less business person, more creative), finding my voice in a world where many times we are encouraged to stay silent as to not stir society’s pot. My books are not liked by everyone, and I am perfectly okay with that. Writing is a part of my personal journey, a skill I use to express myself.

I never thought I would be okay with sharing my writing with anyone, let alone an entire audience. I’ll tell you one thing, publishing my first book is one of the most empowering things I’ve done. I went against my self-preservation tactic, against my comfort zone, ripped off my security blanket and shared pieces of myself to a world willing to know me. If that isn’t scary, I don’t know what is. I am a quiet observer in this community, in this world really, and turning the role of the observed on myself has been an interesting experience.

It has made me vulnerable, open, and accepting of myself. Writing novels, publishing them, has made me look at my reflection and learn more about who I am. When I write, I get into a sort of zone. Many times I don’t remember what I write. When I go back to re-read and prepare for edits, it’s as if I’m seeing myself for the first time. Every book is different; the mood is set according to my experiences and emotions at that moment in my life. I’ve always said writing is my form of therapy. It’s why I began in the first place—a safe way to express my emotions without the world judging me for feeling certain things.

So as I approach my third year of being a published author, I reflect on my experiences. I confess, more than once I have considered no longer publishing my work. I have two amazing friends to thank for staying in the game. It’s not always easy, especially for an introvert who bleeds onto pages to then be judged. I get it, it’s part of the package deal. The irony does not go unnoticed.

I’ve learned to not take things personally (read #15 in that FB note), and understand that people’s judgment of my work is their perception. Perception is everything in life. How we live and what we experience will influence our thoughts and emotions. If I can provoke emotion (positive or negative) through my writing, my job as a writer is complete. Reading is about feeling things, stirring things we have long buried within us, and travel to different places and be someone we may not dare explore in real life. I know when I read I want a book that stirs me. A book that leaves me feeling stagnant does nothing for my growth.

So although quitting this business has crossed my mind more times than I care to admit, you, my readers, keep me going. It’s your notes, messages, words of encouragement that remind me why I decided to share my words in the first place. This is a way for me to allow the world to know me, and for the opportunity and hope that you read my words and soak them up. I hope that you resonate with my writing in one way or another (for the good and bad), and can take a piece of it with you wherever you go.

Thank you for three of the best years of my life. For the opportunity to follow my passion and share it with you. Thank you for allowing me to be myself and share my voice when it can be so scary to do so. What turned into a fun challenge became so much more, and without any of you to share it with, this experience would have less meaning.

You can read two BONUS scenes for Perfectly Imperfect here: https://authorfabiolafrancisco.com/perfectly-imperfect/

Connect with me and join Fabiola’s Fab Reads to stay up-to-date with my writing, chat book and life stuff, and hang out with the best group of people: https://www.facebook.com/groups/FabReads/

XOXO,

Fab

 

 

A Glimpse into the Future~ Restoring Us

I am surprised how quickly time has gone by. It will be two years that I published Restoring Us, my second novel, on January 11th. This was the first idea I had for a book back in 2009, and I feel blessed that I got the opportunity to write it and publish it a few years later.

Thank you to all who have supported me along the way. I am so happy to have met so many amazing people, and I am looking forward to meeting more and more of you.

Enjoy this bonus scene! XO

**This scene includes some spoilers for those who have not read Restoring Us.**


A Glimpse into the Future

Ava

“I resent that!” Dan yells. “I’m a fucking good father.”

“Facking,” Brooke, Dan and Jess’ youngest daughter, says. Yes, youngest. That means Dan’s a father to more than one child.

“Case in point,” Ethan points to her, and we all laugh.

“You’re just jealous.” Dan shrugs.

“My daughter doesn’t curse.” Ethan raises his eyebrows.

“You know, before fatherhood, you used to be cool. Now, you’re all serious and shit.”

“PMS?” Ethan mocks.

“Fuck off.” Dan stands and walks to the cooler housing the beers and bottles of wine.

I look around our patio and smile as I see our friends still united after so many years. We have been through ups and downs together, and these last two years have been interesting to say the least.

Actually, the last seven have been.

I watch Jess tell Stella, her oldest, to be careful with Arabella. I smile as Stella holds Arabella’s hand, and they walk towards the swing set.

Turns out that Jess was pregnant during our wedding, and both her and Dan kept it a secret until Dan got too drunk one day and spilled. Jess would have killed him, but we were ecstatic for them. Therefore, Dan has been a father for seven years. They were the first in our circle to have children. Now, they have two girls. I’m pretty sure it’s karma’s way of getting even with him.

I catch Ethan’s eye as I stare off at our daughter’s backside, and he winks. I give him a crooked smile and sip my wine.

It has been two years since Arabella entered our lives. Two years since we became parents and figured out how to balance life and a child. We’re still trying to figure it out. But no matter how insane the process of adoption could be, it was worth it to have my baby girl in my arms.

As difficult as our road to get here was, I don’t resent it. It’s perfect in how it was supposed to be. It took me some time to understand that, but I finally did. Ethan and I have grown together, and our love has matured.

“Ava.” I look up and smile at Stacy. “Where did you buy Arabella’s bow?”

“A small boutique not far from the gallery. It’s adorable, right?”

“Yes! I want one!”

“Umm… Relax. We don’t know yet if it’s a boy or girl,” Aiden tells Stacy. I chuckle as Stacy rubs her small bump. Aiden and Stacy got married two years after Ethan and I in a gorgeous, chic wedding in the gardens at the Lincoln Park Zoo.

“I think it’s a girl.” She raises an eyebrow, and I have never seen my brother back down from a comment so easily.

“They’re moody when they’re pregnant, right?” Ethan tells him.

“Fuck. Oh shit! Damnit.” Aiden rolls his eyes. “How the hell am I supposed to not curse around children? Or have sex,” he adds the last part quietly. Stacy smacks him in the stomach.

“Hit me all you want, I’m not sorry.” Aiden leans forward, his elbows on his thighs. “Tell me a newborn doesn’t fuck with your sex schedule.”

“Schedule?” Ethan asks with raised eyebrows.

“Yeah, like when you can have sex.”

“Aiden, sex isn’t some therapist’s office you schedule into your week,” says Ethan.

“But the crying and feeding and wake-up calls in the middle of the night.” I try not to laugh at my brother’s panic.

“Sex while they sleep. You’ll be exhausted but satisfied.”

“Ah, I knew I could count on you, Katie,” Aiden states.

Katie laughs as she rocks Caleb in her arms.

“She knows what she’s talking about,” Tristan says next to her, smiling smugly.

“This kid wasn’t going to mess up with my sex life.”

“Ah, so glad you love that child,” I joke.

“I do. Seriously. This kid is my world, but a girl has needs.” We all laugh as she shrugs.

“Yes, she does,” Tristan says next to her, kissing her temple.

I was so excited when those two finally admitted they wanted more out of their relationship. Katie had Caleb a few months ago (unplanned). And no one hates a surprise pregnancy more than she does.

After a few years of dating, Katie got pregnant with Caleb. I’m pretty sure he will be her only child. Mostly because she said she’d get her tubes tied after that delivery. Twenty hours of labor will do that to a girl. He really is the most adorable baby, and the only boy in our circle of friends. At least until we know what Stacy is having.

“Just keep that boy away from my babies,” Dan tells Katie. She laughs loudly.

“Aw, are you scared he’ll try to make a move on them? Karma.” She raises an eyebrow.

“My girls. Not for your kid to take advantage of.”

“Dan, he’s like five months old,” Katie widens her eyes.

“Yeah, but he’ll grow up.”

I try not to laugh at Dan’s overprotection. Ever since he had a girl, he has been a mess. From not knowing how to comb their hair to mismatching tops with bottoms. It has been so much fun to watch.

“You need to stop freaking out,” Ethan tells him.

“Look at them.” Dan points to his girls. “They’re so small and innocent.”

“They all are,” I nod, smiling. “They have each other though. They’ll be okay.”

You don’t realize how precious—and fragile— a child is until it is your own. You want to protect them from the bad in the world, but you know you can’t, so you give them tools that will help them. When I see our children, I see a mirror of all of us. Innocent and naïve, yet I know life can throw curveballs. If we teach them anything, it will be how to swing without striking out.

I sigh in contentment as I lean back in my chair. I love when we all get together like this and hang out. Our friendships  strengthen through the years.

After a few more hours, everyone leaves our home with grumpy kids and slightly buzzed husbands. Ethan walks down into the kitchen after putting Arabella down for bed as I finish cleaning up the patio and bringing the glassware inside.

“Do you need help?” He hugs me from behind and kisses the back of my neck.

I close my eyes, and my skin prickles with goosebumps.

“I’ll finish up tomorrow.” I dry my hands with the dishtowel.

“Did you have fun tonight?”

I turn in Ethan’s arms and smile up at him. “Yes. I love that we continue to get together and that our kids are growing up with our example of friendship.”

“Me too.” Ethan lowers his head and kisses below my ear. Then, his lips touch mine. “I’m glad they’re gone though.”

I lean back and smile up at him. “Oh, yeah?”

“Yup. I’ve been wanting to do this all night.” He pulls me tighter, his arm around my waist as the other hand cups my face, and he kisses me deeply.

I welcome the kiss, sighing into it.

“So no seven year itch?” I ask, teasing him, when we pull away from each other.

“Never. Infinity, remember?” He gently runs a finger over my infinity necklace.

My arms tighten around his neck, and I tug at the loose ends of his hair. “I remember. So… You’re going to show me how much you still love me?”

Wordlessly, he picks me up over his shoulder and rushes up the stairs. I laugh loudly.

“All night long, baby,” he says. “I’ll never get enough.” He stares into my eyes after lowering me back down his body.

“I love you,” I whisper, cupping his face.

“Love you, too.”


Read Part one for FREE on Amazon and iTunes

Read the Complete Series here

 

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