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

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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Memories of Us Cover Reveal!

Memories of Us is almost here! I am so excited for you to read Hunter’s story. This book is full of song lyrics, emotions, and some glances at Rebel Desire. 
Hunter is an up-and-coming songwriter in Nashville, but he left his heart with the one person that has the power to heal it or break it. Read below for the blurb + exclusive excerpt!

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Blurb:

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.

Preorder: books2read.com/mou

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

Preorder available on Amazon, iBooks, Nook, and Kobo

Exclusive Excerpt!

“I need to start by saying that I don’t need you to free me from guilt. I don’t need some kind of permission to move on.” My head turns to the left to look at him. “The guilt I live with is put on myself for being an idiot. No apology is enough, Kenzie.” He shakes his head, keeping his gaze in front of him as well. He’s in his own world as he speaks to me.

“I live with the self-hatred day in and day out, just trying to survive. I write songs about you, about us, trying to preserve what we had. As if doing so would freeze time and I’d wake up one morning to your tapping on my bedroom window. Remember when you used to do that?” He shakes his head to clear the memory. I remember it as if it were this morning I did it. I’ve always been a morning person, so I’d go to his house and wake him up by tapping his window. Then, I’d spend hours helping him around the farm.

Hunter’s chest rises as he clears his throat. “We had so much going for us. I loved you so damn much. I still do, and whether we ever get a second chance or not, I’ll never stop. It’s impossible to.” His eyes seek mine and on cue I turn my head to meet him. I take a sharp inhale as I see the red rim around his eyes.

“I hope you understand that. I’ll never stop. It’s you or no one. I fucked up. I’m not perfect, even if you thought I was. I’ve been going crazy not knowing where you are. I tried finding you everywhere, but no one knew or wouldn’t spill your location. If you think I’ve moved on, you’re wrong. Because this,” he grips his chest, “left with you.”

“You broke my heart… in a way I never expected.”

“Trust me, I broke my own as well.”

I swallow back the tears that want to escape. I just need to wait to cry when I’m locked in my apartment.

“Maybe we were always meant to follow this destiny. We’re different people. Realistically, how many young people stay with the same person, especially through so many changes. Maybe we were never meant to last.” I shrug, focusing again on the patches of grass.

“You don’t mean that.”

I nod silently.

“Damn it, Mackenzie. Look at me. Look at me.” His body shakes next to mine. “We were always meant to beat the odds. You know it. We would talk about it for hours.”

“It’s different now. Maybe we saved ourselves from greater heartache.” I finally turn to look at him, water blurring my vision but I refuse to let the tears fall. Not yet. “It would’ve hurt more if we had started to live the life we planned and realized it was wrong.”

“Bullshit. There’s no greater heartache than this and I know you feel it, too. You don’t believe this.”

I suck in air and release it just a fast. Nodding, I stand. “I’m sorry, Hunter. I gotta get goin’.”

*Copyright 2018, Fabiola Francisco

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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.

 

all of you sleeve

 

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

XO, Fabi

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.

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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.

Prologue: LOVE YOU THROUGH IT by Fabiola Francisco

While I was writing LOVIN’ ON YOU last year, the idea for this story popped into my mind and I quickly shoved it away harder than I’d push the biggest villain in any story. I was adamant to leave it alone and not venture into the emotions it would bring. Then, a friend brought it up to me after she finished Lovin’ on You, and I felt as if she had read my thoughts. I told her, NO. I’m pretty sure I used shouty caps. But, her words stuck with me because something inside me wanted to write this story. So, I did.

I began this manuscript, stopped and wrote another book, and picked it up later when I saw the perfect cover for it. It’s as if the universe was telling me, write the damn book. And I listened. I wrote the book and I cried more than I ever have writing any story. {Blubbering mess, y’all}

This is a topic that I fear in my personal life. Falling in love, having the fairy tale, and losing it all because of death. Grab tissues and read the prologue below.


Prologue

I knew the moment I heard the words slip from the man in uniform that my world would be turned upside down. Shattered. Everything ended that dreadful day, including my will to live.
***
I throw myself over the casket after the preacher spoke words of peace and light. I grip the hard wood, bawling, refusing to let them sink this box to the bottom of that hole. No one attempts to stop me. They all watch in sorrow as I yell, asking God why.
I finally feel my father and Josh’s father pull me away. They hand me the folded flag—the tainted reminder of all that is left of him.
I stand in shock as they lower his body and cover him in dirt. I stare numbly at the mound of earth that now separates us. I will never see him again. I will never hear him again. Everything is destroyed.
“We’ll take you home,” my mother says, but I shake my head. “Bri, it would be best if you left. Let’s eat something.”
Turning to her, eyes void of emotion, I say, “Take me home and leave me there. I want to be alone.”
In the silence of the car, they respect my wishes. I hold on to that flag as if it were Josh I was holding.
“I want to be alone,” I tell them as they pull into the driveway before they choose to come inside with me.
“But—”
“No, mom. Not today.” I get out of the car; the black of my dress feels heavy as I drag with me the darkness this day has brought. It’s real. As if I would somehow wake up and have dreamt the visit the officer and chaplain made not too long ago.
As the door closes behind me, I lean against it—white contrasting to my black— and stare at this home. I calmly put the flag down on the console table. I walk a few steps in, grab the lamp and strike it onto the floor. I sweep my arms across the small table in the living room, causing everything on it to fall and break. The metal dish clings against the tile.
“Ahhh!” My throat hurts from the exertion. I yell again and again until I’m sore. I shatter the vase with flowers my friends sent me. Water pours from the broken glass as the roses attempt to soak up the last bit. I walk to them and stomp them with my heel. They can’t live if he’s dead.
I can’t live if he’s dead. I can’t live. I can’t.
I fall onto my knees, the tears a common emotion for me, and look up at the heavens. “I only have one question, God; why’d you bring him to me to steal him away?”
With that, I curl into my side and lose myself.

Copyright 2017, Fabiola Francisco


Pre-order: http://amzn.to/2j1ssSD

I will be posting sample chapters before release here, so make sure to follow me! https://www.wattpad.com/user/AuthorFabiola

Release Blitz & ARC sign-up: http://bit.ly/2g44xzV

Reader ARC Master List: https://goo.gl/forms/jiv0Z2YjYMAA1oaI3

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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

 

 

Happy New Year!

As we enter a new year, I want to take a moment to thank you all for your friendship and support. I wish you so many wonderful things for 2017, and I hope you take the lessons from the past with you to grow and learn. Each year we end a chapter and prepare for a new one. May this new chapter be filled with love and abundance, gratitude and many more wonderful experiences to add to your memories!

Enjoy your New Year, be safe, and love hard. Romance isn’t just in books, and I hope your life is full of amazing, romantic moments! ❤

I know that 2017 will bring us a lot of wonderful gifts! Here’s to many more days with you all in my life! XOXO

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