Promise You: Cover Reveal & Excerpt!

I am so beyond excited to finally share this cover with you! It’s sweet, fun, and so perfect for Reese and Dex’s story. I mean, can’t you just feel their relationship as you stare at the cover?! It gives me all the feels, and I can’t wait for you to read the story inside! Check out the cover here, and read an excerpt from Promise You.

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Read it today!

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About the book:

She wants to be friends. I want more.

I’ve had my eyes set on her for months. The gorgeous brunette captured my attention when I first saw her and stole my heart when I met her.

Making it in the music industry has taken its toll on me, chipping away at my confidence and patience. The one thing that keeps me going is having Reese by my side. I’m determined to show her how good we can be together, even if she continues to pretend there’s nothing between us.

One night changes everything, giving me the only thing I’d want more than a career in country music—her.

“You look beautiful.”

“Thanks. You don’t look too bad yourself,” she winks and orders a martini. “Do you want a beer?” She turns to look my way while the bartender waits.

“I’m going with whiskey tonight.” Reese raises her eyebrows, and I chuckle. “Need something stronger than beer if I’m going to be standing next to you in that dress all night, darlin’.” The bartender bites down her smile, watching our exchange before making our drinks.

“Dex,” she warns.

“Yeah, I know.” I raise my arms, palms facing her. “Just friends.”

“Yeah,” she sighs and grabs her martini. Once I have my drink, Reese links her arm with mine, and we make rounds. “Isn’t this amazing? One day you’ll have an event like this, I just know it.” Her encouragement is welcomed at a time like this when I feel like I may never get to this point in my career.

“Yeah, maybe.” I don’t miss the defeat in my voice.

“Hey,” she stops walking, pulling me to her by the arm she’s holding. “You’re really good. One of the best I’ve heard in a long time, and I don’t just say that because you’re one of my best friends. I mean it. I’ve been surrounded in this industry since my brother was playing in Riot, just like you. I know how hard it is, I’ve met musicians in the past. Your voice is unique.”

“Thanks, Reese.” I lift a shoulder, wanting to drop the subject in a public place.

“I mean it, Dex.” I nod in silence and look away, pretending to take in the atmosphere.

The live music starts, singers congratulating Rebel Desire as they perform a couple of songs. The fans go wild for all the talent spending their evening with us.

“Dance with me,” I grab Reese’s empty glass and place it on the bar. Everyone else around us is dancing to the music, so there’s no excuse that people will talk or get the wrong idea.

Just when I think she’s going to refuse, she puts her arm around me and begins to sway to the soft music. For a minute, all is right in the world. The worries of making it in this industry, the envy of not having the success others do, it all fades away the second Reese wraps her arms around me and moves to the beat.

I may have fucked around a lot in my life, but after meeting Reese and spending time with her, I’m sure I’d never want anyone else but her. If only I can make her see how good we’d be together.

I remember the first time I saw her, weeks before I actually met her. She was at Riot, laughing and drinking with friends. Her laugh reached me through the crowd, drawing my attention to her. Her confidence danced to the rhythm of the song I was performing. After that, she’d come in on her own some nights, and I’d watch her while I sang songs she could’ve inspired.

Women like Reese, hell, there are no other women like Reese. She’s in a league of her own—gorgeous, funny, and independent.

Copyright 2019, Fabiola Francisco

Read it now!

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Free with Kindle Unlimited!

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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

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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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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Valentine’s Day Bonus Scene~Cole & Bri

First Valentine's DAy-2

Bri

I rush down the hall that leads to my apartment. My heels click against the outdoor tiles and I grab the wall, careful not to slip. I take a deep breath and release the tension. Chill, bri. Cole will be here any minute to pick me up and there’s no way I’ll be ready on time. Joke on me for trying to be early for once.

The keys rattle as I unlock the door. I’ll jump in the shower, curl my hair into waves, and wear the outfit I picked out last night. I can be ready in thirty minutes, I lie to myself when I check the time on my phone.

Dixie’s barking reminds me of my other responsibility. New plan, I let her out in the patio while I jump quickly in the shower.

I push through the door and straight for Dixie’s cage, stopping in my tracks. I tilt my head. Those flowers weren’t there this morning. I admire the red, velvety petals in the clear vase. I spy the small, white envelope leaning against it and grab it before opening the cage and letting Dixie out into the patio. Smiling, I tear open the envelope and pull out the card.

Babe, 

I used to think this was a silly holiday, but having you in my life I’ll take any excuse to be with you. These roses are just a preview at what I have planned for tonight. I love you, Bri. I’m a lucky bastard, and I’ll never take you and what we have for granted. I’m running outta space here, love, but know I could go on and on about how I feel. 

love, 

Cole

I sigh and smile, hugging the card to me. I never thought I’d be here. A lone tear slips down my cheek. These days my tears are happy tears, and Cole is to thank for that. Spotting Dixie by the door, I let her in and walk into my room, Dixie hot on my heels.

“What the…” I grip my chest, my heart racing at the speed of light.

A quiet chuckle greets me. “I didn’t mean to scare you.”

“Fuckin-A.” I breathe out. The chuckles get louder as the man I love walks toward me. I stare at his suit, top buttons of his dress shirt undone, and a smile that lights up the dark room.

“Hey, babe.” Cole wraps an arm around my waist and pulls me to him, his lips brushing mine. “Happy Valentine’s Day.”

“What are you doing here?” My arms find their way around his neck.

“I wanted to surprise you.”

I smirk. “Surprised I was. Thank you for the flowers.” I lean in and kiss him. Cole breaks away with a laugh.

“Looks like the other girl wants a little lovin’ too.” He bends down to pet Dixie, who is insistent on someone paying attention to her. After a few scratches behind her ear, she shuffles away, leaving Cole to myself again.

“You look handsome.” I run my hands over his shoulders and down the lapels of his suit.

“It’s all for you.” I stare into his blue eyes, immense love filling my heart. I’m so lucky. That thought weighs with meaning.

“I’ll be ready quickly.” I move to grab my things for the shower, but Cole pulls me close to him.

“No rush, babe. Dance with me first.”

“Don’t we have reservations at seven?”

“Don’t worry about that.” He holds a small remote before placing it back in his pocket. The opening of my song begins to play and my eyes crinkle with my smile.

“Let’s dance,” he repeats, wrapping an arm around my waist and holding my hand with his other one.

“Did you know this is my favorite song?” I look into his eyes.

“I’m glad it is. I mean every word as much today as the day I wrote it.” His lips touch mine.

“I love you, Cole Burkely.”

“Love you too, Bri.”

I move my arm tighter around the back of his neck, bringing him closer to me. Once upon not too long ago I never thought I’d find love again, but this stubborn and kind man didn’t give up on me. He granted me a second chance I never knew existed.

Swaying to the music, I listen as Cole’s soft voice sings into my ear.

We’ve got our lives to make this work 

And I’m counting on forever to give you the world

Gonna give you the world, girl

Your broken pieces make me whole

So let me be the one to show

How we fit together

With the final strum of a guitar, the song ends, but we continue to move together. Silence can’t break us apart in the darkened bedroom. My head on his should as the beating of his heart moves my body.

“I canceled our reservations,” Cole speaks.

“Why?” I look up at him.

“Change of plans. Trust me,” he winks.

“But you’re all dressed up.”

“I already told you the outfit is for your enjoyment.”

“You do look sexy,” I waggle my eyebrows.

Laughing, Cole slaps my behind. “Take a shower and get ready. I’ll feed Dixie.”

With a final kiss, Cole leaves my room so I can get ready. I choose to still wear the same red dress I had picked out last night and my heels.

“You look stunning.” Cole stands from my couch and looks at me. “Beautiful,” he whispers as he runs his fingers down my arm and clasps my hand. He lifts my arm to spin me around. “You’re all mine.”

“That I am. So you like the dress?” I look down at the off-the-shoulder, form-fitting dress.

“I love it, although you look beautiful in anything.”

“You say that ‘cause you love me.”

“I say that ‘cause it’s the truth. Ready?”

I nod and follow him, deciding to leave his surprise just that, a surprise.

I squint my eyes when we pull into his driveway. His smirk tells me he has something up his sleeve, but I’m not sure why we’re coming to his place.

“Trust me,” Cole leans to me and kisses my bare shoulder. “Too bad you’re going to have to cover yourself up with a coat.”

“I’ll take it off when we’re inside,” I wink.

Out of the car, I hold his hand and walk toward the front door only to be tugged by the arm.

“This way.”

What did he do? I furrow my eyebrows and smile.

As we walk in to the patio I see a ton of twinkling lights hanging over his deck.

“This is beautiful,” I gasp.

“I know how much you miss having a yard.”

“Thank you, babe.”

The closer we walk to the deck, the more I see of the space. White roses mixed with peonies are placed on the table in a square vase. The flickering flames of candles are spread throughout the railing and table.

“I know it’s cold, but I’m hoping the space heaters keep you warm. If not, I have no problem holding you all night and warming you up.”

“This is perfect.” I turn to look at him. “You can keep me warm.” His thoughtfulness knows no limits. My yard was my favorite thing of my old home, and the apartment doesn’t allow for that luxury, but this is spectacular.

“I ordered dinner. Are you sure you’re okay eating out here?”

“More than okay,” I smile.

“Great. Take a seat.” He holds my chair for me. And serves two glasses of red wine. “I’ll be right back with dinner.”

While Cole is inside, I inhale the breathtaking view. The scent of roses fills my nose as the flames dance in the evening breeze.

“Here you go.” Cole places a plate in front of me.

“Mmm… That smells delicious.” I look at the dish.

“Chicken Masala with mashed potatoes.”

“Yum.”

“You haven’t drank wine?”

“I was waiting for you.” I hold my glass up, Cole mimicking me. “To my best guy for this very special night and for all the special days.”

“Nah, tonight is all for you. You deserve it.”

I smile and sip the wine before we begin eating.

“I have a surprise for you.” Cole says as he comes back outside after clearing the table.

“Oh, a blanket.” I stand and allow him to wrap me in it. By the end of dinner, my legs were trembling but I refused to go inside. Cole takes a seat and pulls me onto his lap.

“This isn’t your surprise.” He holds a gift bag out to me.

“I thought we weren’t gifting anything,”

“We weren’t.”

“Cheater,” I quip.

He shrugs. “Open it.”

I peek into the bag, the lavender tissue paper covering my gift. Removing it, I see white cotton and curiosity spikes as I pull out the soft material and open it. I chuckle as soon as I realize what it is.

“That’s for you to wear at our next concert,” Cole winks. I look at the tee shirt that reads, I’m with the drummer.

“I love it,” I lean in and kiss him.

“There’s more.” Cole juts his chin toward the bag. I look inside the gift bag again and find a small box. I hold the soft, black velvet and open the lid to find a delicate gold necklace with a small music note.

“I love it, Cole.”

“I’m glad.” He squeezes my waist. “I wanted you to have something that made you think about me.”

I cup his cheek. “I always think about you. I don’t need a necklace to remind me who you are in my life. There is no doubt in my mind or heart that you are the man I love. I know our beginning wasn’t how you would have wanted, but I’m living each day to prove to you that you are the man I want in my life.”

Visions of Josh come to mind. I’ve learned to live without him while honoring his place in my heart. I’ve also learned to live in the present, with Cole. My daybreak.

“Everything about us was perfect. I never find the right words to tell you how lucky I feel, and how blessed I am to have you in my life. To be on the receiving end of your love. You’ve given me this,” he places his hand over my heart. “That’s the best gift I could’ve ever received.”

I cuddle into him and kiss his chest. “Who knows where I’d be right now without you.” I keep my chin on his chest and look into his eyes. “Thank you. Thank you for tonight and for being the man you are.”

Cole tightens his arms around me and hums with the twinkling lights and the warm blanket now covering the both of us. I inhale the man who loves me wholeheartedly and thank the stars above for bringing him into my life.

*Copyright 2018, Fabiola Francisco 

Purchase Love You Through It

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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.

PLN Author Blog Hop!

I am excited to be teaming up with 20 amazing PLN authors to give you our First Annual PLN Author Blog Hop!

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For the next 21 days, there will be giveaways each day on the different author’s pages. Stop by and visit all of us, look around, check out our books—you might find a new author that you want to follow 🙂

After you visit, make sure you enter the giveaway. We have signed paperbacks, ebooks, advanced copies, and gift cards too! The blog hop runs from December 4th – December 24th and winners will be picked and notified after the holidays, so be on the lookout.

You can follow along the blog hop below by clicking on the author’s name. Have fun exploring, commenting on the different pages—we look forward to chatting with you!

Wishing you and your families a very happy holiday season!

XO
Fabiola

Author Blog Hop Date
Daisy Allen 12/4
Nicole Loufas 12/5
TL Fisher 12/6
A.D. McCammon 12/7
Fabiola Francisco 12/8
Brandi Aga 12/9
Elizabeth Hayes 12/10
Heather Bentley 12/11
HM Sholander 12/12
K. Moore 12/13
J.R. Rogue 12/14
Willow Aster 12/15
Kat Savage 12/16
Rebecca Kate 12/17
Holly Hall 12/18
Dominique Laura 12/19
Juliet Dillon 12/20
V.P. Ortiz 12/21
M.M Clem 12/22
Leah Parker 12/23
Whitney Barbetti 12/24

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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


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She fit around me so.png

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

I thought I was done publishing, and then more words came

It’s hard to come from Twisted in You, which is a story I’ve waited years to tell (I think before I ever decided to write novels). I wasn’t sure what to write. I started on Bri’s story (Love You Through It), and it felt forced. Cash and Olivia were still too much in me to give Bri her own voice despite the VERY different tones in their books.

For me, Twisted in You was my ultimate goal. So I questioned if this was it. Is this where I close out my publishing life? Publishing this book was always my light at the end of the tunnel. That book is THE book for me. How can any other after it be justified?

I’ll be honest, it’s not the first time I question my publishing path. It’s hard out there, guys. I just want to share words. I want to create word art and express myself in a way that feels comfortable. Words are that for me. They always have been. Whatever shit I was dealing through, I’d write it. Death? Write a poem. Done. Anger? Write a letter to the person. Relief. Abuse? Put yourself in the perpetrator’s place. Compassion & understanding. Love? Write another poem. Acceptance that happy endings exist.

I won’t say writing was always a channel of expression for me, because it wasn’t. It took thirteen years to become aware of this gift. As a child I rejected reading and writing. (Joke’s on me, huh?) But damn, if it didn’t save my life multiple times. You all know how the story goes. 

Part of my life purpose is to help others heal. I’m aware of this, and it’s a path I’ve been working towards, finding my balanced footing on it. Writing is my way of doing that, whether it be fiction, blogging, or submitting articles to other sites. Because of this, I don’t know that I’ll ever fully be able to stop publishing. But, after Twisted in You was out in the world, I struggled with what to work on. What part of me was I ready to share next?

So I went back to where it all began—my teen years. One beta reader (who is a friend and knows me pretty well) sent me a text message the other day that said, “You are soooo Luna.” Yes, she sent that many O’s. And she was right. I am a Luna, because I am every character I write. I am the teen poet, using her words to express what she does not yet understand, or what she is not quite ready to share with the world verbally.

I went back to the girl who was shy, felt like an outcast with peers, and was so dead-set that there is more out there than the crap we deal with at times. I went back to my teen years because those were hard. And while I didn’t have a Carter, I had a brother like Becket and sometimes I took him for granted (He also slept with his basketball. AND I already dedicated a book to him, so we’re even, right?).

There was born Beneath the Stars. I’ve wanted to write a young adult for some time, and the story blossomed. There’s romance, mistakes (lots of them), confusion (even more so than mistakes), and hope. We have a girl who is trying to find her place in a space that she may not fit in. We have a boy whom she secretly crushes over finally pay her attention. We have a connection that bonds them and mistakes that tear them apart. We have a story of the confusion teen years bring, the struggles and monotony of them. So when I felt like I was done, I went back. I went to the beginning of my writing life and wrote who I was then. To a certain extent, obviously. I wish a cute basketball player was fighting for my attention back then (or now, because basketball players are cute!). 😉

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I am excited to share this story and the person Luna is. I include poetry in this book, so I was able to have my own creative expression, as well as novel writing. Poetry was my first love and helped heal so much of my past. I’m glad to be able to incorporate it into a story.

Read the synopsis here:

Quiet poet, observer, emotional teen. That’s me, Luna Gardner. When my lifelong crush, Carter, finally makes a move, it seems like I’m living out one of my poems. But like my writing, emotions are high and endings can be brutal.

One decision makes a mess out of everything. Being a teen isn’t supposed to be this complicated. No amount of poetry will fix the damage I’ve done. So, beneath the stars I get lost in the words and hope I can write a better outcome to my reality.

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I am so grateful for this gift, and never do I take it for granted. When one person sends  a message thanking me for a story that resonated with them, or for sharing something that is barely spoken about, my heart is full. My job is done. I want words to give people hope, heal the past, and know that HEA exists in all aspects of the word
because ultimately, when we are in love with ourselves, we are able to be in love with others and allow others to be in love with us. Romance has always been a part of history, and what a way to celebrate and share it. Words are healing, whether we are reading or writing them. SO again, thank you for allowing me to do this. ❤

XOXO

Fab