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

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The hatred will kill you

I recently wrote a post about being authentic to the outside world, and in turn to yourself. I expressed how I hadn’t been honest with myself or those around me simply because I only showed parts of myself to people depending on our connection. If they’re readers, I’ll only show them the author Fabiola. If they’re in the world of mindfulness and holistic healing, I’ll only show them the healer and meditation guide, the life coach. So on and so forth. 

I am tired of it. I’ve written a book that shows more of myself than anything in the past, and I’m terrified of sharing it. I’m terrified of people I know reading it. Strangers are okay, they don’t know me, I think to myself. But those that do? They’ll know it all. However, there’s a very strong reason I wrote this book, and an even stronger one to share it.

Although All My Truths & One Lie has a romance, the story is about much more than that. It’s about a woman learning to release every emotion, experience, hatred, she’s lived. It’s about a woman that has taken it upon herself to carry the weight of others. And it’s about the weight of family secrets and how our family lineage influences where we stand and the path we take. 

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It may sound a little hokey to some. That’s okay. Ultimately, this book is for me. Why did I decide to share it? Because I’ve learned through observing that I’m not the only one who feels this way. I’m not the only person who struggles with trauma and the after shocks. Mostly, because I learned I’m not alone and that is a mighty big lesson to learn. If I can help one person understand the same thing, my job is done. No, not job—purpose. This is about more. This book is about removing the mask and saying, hey this is me. And it’s about my own release of those that hurt me, of the confusion and pain. It’s about me finally understanding and accepting that I’m worthy of being loved. I’m worthy of more than I’ve given myself and accepted from others. 

I wrote it in pieces, in random scenes, based on emotions and experiences from my life. God, I’m admitting this “out loud” to a public. 

But here’s the thing—I had, have, so much anger and hatred in me. I was tired of carrying it. I’ve learned through the years that holding that emotion in only harms me. It only deteriorates me. The others live on with their lives blissfully unaware. Holding on to the hatred will kill you, will kill me. 

It does no good to do so, and while it’s so damn hard to forgive, it’s essential to our well-being. It’s something that will facilitate our happiness and peace. I said it once, forgiveness is hard as hell, so many times it seems impossible, but the liberation that comes with it is as if you can suddenly fly when you’ve spent a lifetime tied to the ground. And ultimately, forgiveness begins with ourselves. 

I found through this writing process that the anger I was holding mostly was at myself. I was using others as a punching bag because it was easier to blame them. I mean, they were responsible, right? But, deep within, I blamed myself. The reasons are infinite. I’m still a work in progress. My forgiveness is as well. One thing I know for sure is that I no longer want to carry what I was carrying. I no longer want to hold the responsibility of others over my shoulders, adding pressure to my own. 

I wrote a book that’s a cross between fiction and a memoir. I don’t even know what category to put it under. I wrote a difficult book, one that if it lands in the hands of some people, will create problems. But you know what? I’m tired of lies leading the path in our lives. I’m tired of the hatred. Not everyone will like our healing journey. Not everyone will approve of our process in releasing the things that have harmed us. People will prefer to see our flaws so they don’t have to look at their own. I’ll tell you this, no one will be happy with every choice you make. Live for yourself. Fight for your dreams. Hell, go for the life you want to live. Be honest. Live fully. Laugh and cry. Love yourself and love the world despite the flaws. 

Life is so much more than pain and victimhood. Take a step out of the norm and experience the magic of life without the pain we add to ourselves. Let go of the hatred and allow yourself to breathe in clean air and fill your lungs with something else besides the density of pain. Support each other and have compassion knowing we all have our shit but that shit doesn’t define us because we’re meant for more than hurt. 

The hatred will kill me if I don’t release it, but I made the choice to live without it—day by day, always a work in progress. 

It’s not our job to understand the motives of others. It’s our job to provide love for ourselves. So go on and love strongly and live bravely. 

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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!

red lights ebook

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

red lights sleeve

I Haven’t Been Completely Honest

I haven’t been completely honest

No, this isn’t where I reveal I’ve been using a pen name or hiding behind a false picture, but those things aren’t far off from what I’ve been doing. A few months ago, I finished a manuscript that is the most honest I’ve ever written. And if you’ve read my work before, you know some of my things are pretty honest, pretty real. However, I masquerade the truth behind made-up characters. For so long, I’ve divided myself into segments, much like you’d do with newsletter lists or apps on a phone. I’ve divided myself, my being, into parts that I think would resonate with groups of people. The Fabi that’s a friend. The Fabi that’s an author. The Fabi that’s a life coach. Did you even know that? Nope. Because I’ve not been courageous enough to share it. I’ve created different “personas” to satisfy each audience, each part of me. Essentially, living different bits and pieces of life with a different role. It’s exhausting, yo. I won’t even say it’s hard, because I did it so naturally, but tiring? Hell, yes. I created this belief around my life that I had to separate my different talents, beliefs, hobbies, and passions according to the “person” I was being at the moment.

honest

I never talked about my aspect of life coaching, energy healing, crystals, Oracle cards with anyone from the “book world” for fear I’d be looked at differently, not accepted, it would harm my books and reach. I created different accounts with the excuse of “branding” to keep it all neatly piled and sorted under categories. Life isn’t a math problem where you have to sort items by color or shape. When I’d be with people I worked holistic practices with, I’d not mention I wrote romance and women’s fiction because I still believed that the romance stigma existed (and let’s be real, it does) and people wouldn’t take me seriously as a practitioner if I wrote about love and sex. Come on, every human wants to be loved (even the blackest and coldest of hearts) and feel that intimate passion. Then, there was the me that was surrounded by friends, wondering which side I should show. As much as I love the moon, living in phases, exposing just parts at a time, dwindled my being. I started to question who I really was. Am I an author, a teacher, a healer? People would ask me what I worked in and I’d freeze. Ummm… I teach children. I’d cut myself short, not giving myself the respect and importance I deserved from myself.

In 2017, my New Year’s resolution was to be unapologetically me. Stand up for myself, say no when I felt like it, speak my truth. Guess what? I was lying to myself. It was a crock of shit, because how can I do that when I wasn’t being honest with the outside world. It’s not enough to tell yourself who you are. You gotta live it, breathe it, be damn proud of it. And while I am proud of my life, the things I’ve accomplished, I have not proved that. I haven’t lived it outside of my bubble.

I’ve slowly been talking about it. I’ve been sharing a tiny bit more in my reader group, talking about crystals, posting on my personal page about energy and moon eclipses and self-care. But it’s not enough. It’s not enough to sprinkle a bit here and there and hope that the flowers will grow without watering them. Without showing up every fucking day. I’ve never taken the stand to say, “Hey, this is me. Take it or leave it.” We’re so afraid of rejection, maybe because we’ve experienced the hurt of it so much throughout our lives. But you know what? I rather honor myself and learn who those people that are as honest and unapologetically themselves as I strive to be are, than be surrounded by people who unknowingly continue to feed my masks of untruth.

I am a plethora of things because I’ve decided to expand further than just one aspect. I’ve decided to grow and evolve and learn about life and myself and this vast universe we live in. Staying one-dimensional just didn’t cut it anymore. It wasn’t serving me or helping me heal. We all have shit we gotta work through. But man, cutting myself into smaller pieces, not knowing who to show up as, was not promoting my healing.

You know what I learned when I’d share with those in a similar spiritual and mindful journey as me that I write romance? People admired me. They admired me. Why? I wondered. They celebrated my books, my releases, my successes. Hell, they celebrated me. They didn’t have veil of disgust or shame. They embraced it and celebrated it. I slowly started to release my own self-judgment and share more openly (baby steps and all) that I was an author of romantic elements, steamy, sometimes sweet, sometimes cringe-worthy rawness. The only person that cared about what I’d look like was me. I was the only one judging myself.

Not so long ago I spoke to someone in the book community who had posted about a practice. If she reads this, it may ring a bell. Lol I’m drawing a blank at the moment about what that practice was (maybe karma or past lives, or something of the sort), but she sent me a message after a few comments back and forth, saying she had just read my Instagram bio (you know, the spiritual and holistic one I keep separate from my author one because of everything I just mentioned above) and had no idea I worked with everything I do. She thought it was awesome. You know what I told her? “I saw your pic the other day with himalayan lamp and oils and caught my attention. I’m definitely quiet about it and working on being more vocal.” (Don’t judge my grammar, it was a Facebook PM. Typos are accepted). I’ve been quiet about it. I wonder why. I wonder why it took me seeing someone else share about it for me to speak up and say, hey I like that. I agree with that. I live that.

God, we judge ourselves too hard from the perspective of others when they aren’t even doing it.  

Talking to a friend the other day, I told her I thought it was time to merge it all. Merge my blogs and have it all fall under one thing—Fabiola Francisco, human being that is working on not being so hard on herself, learning about life, collects crystals, smiles when she sees a feather, loves book boyfriends and romances and coffee (probably way too much), and writes about real life despite adoring cheesy romcoms and dreaming that one day Sam Hunt will fall in love with her (only half-kidding about this last part).

We all have a villain in ourselves that tries to take over at times (I call it the ego), but aren’t we all light and dark? Yin yang and all that jazz. It’s what helps us learn. Evolving that part and taking from it the lessons is what life is all about. If I were perfect, I’d be somewhere else that isn’t Earth. I’m here to learn, I’m here to meet people and learn from them, I’m here to express who I am.

I’ve gone on about this for longer than intended, so if you’re still reading, thank you, and I hope you live everything in pure honesty and authenticity. Truth is the new cool. Don’t cut yourself short. Don’t hide. Don’t think you won’t be accepted, because ultimately you need to accept yourself. That’s all that matters. Embrace who you are—flaws, gains, friendships, hardships, and passions. It’s all you. It’s all me. All we can do is be the best version of ourselves while we continue to grow as humans.

Today,I choose tobe happy!

As for the book I finished. I have no idea how to market it, but I’ll figure it out. It’s all my honest truth combined with the vision of the life I want. It’s time to be real and accept myself. The rest will fall into place.

XO,

Fab

Love You Through It is LIVE!

What  rollercoaster ride! Let me start by saying a huge thanks to all the bloggers who are participating in the release blitz, all the people who accepted an early copy of this book to review, and the readers who’ve sent me such loving and encouraging messages and share their excitement for this book with me, and patiently waiting for it to release.

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Love You Through It was written in the summer and I waited to release it so I could give it the attention it deserves. Some days I wanted to hit publish on a random Wednesday because the wait was harder on me than you.

This story was born out of one of my biggest fears—losing the man you love. Call it a self-healing journey along with writing this emotional and powerful story. I almost didn’t finish it. I was 25,000 words in last spring and I left it alone, convinced this would be one of the many story ideas I’d shelf for years to come without an ending.

Until I saw a cover for it. I was writing another book at the time, and I bought a cover for Love You Through It, knowing that then I would have to finish it. I would have to push through  my own issues, put myself through an emotional ringer.

And I am so happy I did.

I didn't get the

 

Bri is strong, having experienced something tragic and dealt with it the best way she could. Cole is persistent and patient, offering the woman he’s cared about for years the support she needed. My biggest lesson writing this is that it is possible to open your heart again after you’ve lost the man you love.

What a lesson.

That took some time to sink in. However, I couldn’t think of a better man for Bri than Cole. Together they both find love and a second chance.

Grab your copy here: http://amzn.to/2Dq85GH

Learn more about the book

Enter the giveaway here

Cole is my daybreak after a constant sense that the sun would never shine again.

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.

 

 

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