A Glimpse into the Future~ Restoring Us

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

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

Enjoy this bonus scene! XO

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


A Glimpse into the Future

Ava

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

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

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

“You’re just jealous.” Dan shrugs.

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

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

“PMS?” Ethan mocks.

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

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

Actually, the last seven have been.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Yes! I want one!”

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

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

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

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

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

“Schedule?” Ethan asks with raised eyebrows.

“Yeah, like when you can have sex.”

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

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

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

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

Katie laughs as she rocks Caleb in her arms.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Yeah, but he’ll grow up.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Did you have fun tonight?”

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

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

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

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

I welcome the kiss, sighing into it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Love you, too.”


Read Part one for FREE on Amazon and iTunes

Read the Complete Series here

 

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Happy Holidays & Very Merry New Year

Another year comes to a close as we celebrate the holiday season and spend time with our loved ones. It’s also another year that I get to do what I love and surround myself with amazing people, like you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for staying by my side throughout my journey, whether we have known each other for years or a day. I appreciate you and all that you have come to mean to me.

During this time, and every day from here on out, I hope you find yourself surrounded by joy, love, and courage. I wish you all the very best, warm wishes, and big hugs.

Let’s toast to an amazing 2017. For me, it is going to be double exciting because I will be releasing two books early on in the year. One of them, Twisted in You, I have been working on for years. Many great things are coming! And I am looking forward to sharing them with you!

Keep in touch with me here: Fabiola’s Fab Reads

Red Lights, Black Hearts Cover Reveal!

I am beyond thrilled to show off this cover! I’ve had it sitting pretty on my computer for a few weeks now dying to share it with my readers. Red Lights, Black Hearts is an unconventional love story.

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Synopsis

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. Man after man, she controls them, seeking what they both want. 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.

Goodreads Link

 

Excerpt

We all walk in the shadow of something. A shadow of expectancy, of pride, of ego, of memories. For some that shadow is the companion to the lonely. My shadow has been my company for so many years. It has pushed me to fight and win. It has talked me into doing things and talked me out of them. Tonight, my shadow dances along with me with the peaked interest of my visitors. One in particular. My shadow seeks his across the snow-covered street, but it’s nowhere to be found.

I have come to terms that Max and I are connected. I have come to accept he is bound to my life for now. What I have not come to realize is my need to see him. I search for him among the audience in awe of the window of pleasure and pain. I shut him out with the thick scarlet curtains that adorn my palace, but seek him in the darkness of the night. The moon traveling in search for the light of the sun to give it purpose.

For a long time I haven’t had a purpose besides survive in a world that I know how to control. I use what I have to move and seduce, destruct the power of some for a little while. Make them beg for something only I can give them. It may seem twisted to some, but it gives me a high to know I can control them. It pushes me forward knowing I have the upper hand. The other option is unacceptable.

Now, my mind is starting to rouse with new purpose. I’m familiar with the symptoms, but I can’t diagnose the disease. This purpose can give new meaning or destroy the little I have left. It could shatter that glass window, or keep me enclosed forever.

Red Lights, Black Hearts

Copyright 2016, Fabiola Francisco

I shared this with my reader group this weekend. It’s the best way I can sum up this story: I’m sharing with you all a book about heart and soul. A story about growth and healing. I’m giving you a story about real life and the struggles that come tied to the ugliness life offers. It isn’t a happy story. It isn’t pretty and romantic. It’s hopeful. It’s honest, and it’s raw.

I am so looking forward to sharing Samantha’s story with you all! Mark your calendars for July 18th!

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Red Lights wilderness teaser

Other Titles by Fabiola Francisco

Perfectly Imperfect

Amazon B&N  iTunes Kobo

Restoring Series:

Restoring Us

Amazon B&N iTunes Kobo

Resisting You (Perma-Free)

Amazon iTunes Kobo

Sweet on You Series:

Sweet on Wilde

Amazon B&N iTunes Kobo

Whiskey Nights

Amazon B&N  iTunes Kobo

Author Links

Twitter  Facebook  Reader Group  Web  Goodreads  Amazon author page

Writing for the soul

Writing has always been my therapy. Since a teenager, I found a way to release what I was experiencing in a healthy manner. My early writing was emotional and cold. Angry. It helped me reflect and grow. It helped me heal.

I’m getting ready to release a new book. It breaks my norm. It breaks the pattern I’ve used so far in my other books. It’s scary. It’s exciting. It’s so much more me than anything I’ve published. Have I mentioned that’s scary?

I sometimes get caught up in pleasing the people. Pleasing my audience. I write for me. I need to remember that. Now, that’s not to get confused with lack of gratitude or indifference towards my readers. I love you all (and I don’t use those words loosely). But what kind of writer would I be if I didn’t stay true to myself? If I didn’t give you, the reader, my very best. If I didn’t give you my truth. I would go against everything I stand for.

As I prepare to hit publish, I have doubted sharing this book. It’s easier to keep it to myself. Use it for my own healing and keep it in my own safe box. But then I think that maybe just one of you will read it and connect. Maybe it will help you or you’ll grasp the lesson. Maybe not, and that’s cool.

I’ve considered changing this story, but I wouldn’t stay true to myself. I promised myself I’d be unapologetically me, and publishing Red Lights, Black Hearts as it is is part of that plan.

I write for the love of evoking emotions. I write for you and for me. If I make it easy, there’s no challenge. I love challenges. I feed off of them. I ask that you go into this book with an open mind and heart. Savor the words and emotions. Allow them to seep into your soul and give Samantha a chance. More than anything, I hope you grow and shine like the moon.

xoxo,

Fab

A Summer of Lessons

Although it’s hard to believe when you live in Miami, summer is over. Those three short months brought about a huge explosion of awesomeness. This was the summer of new experiences, learning processes, new friendships, and some oh, crap moments.

When I decided to publish Perfectly Imperfect, I thought to myself, Cool. I’m a published author with a book I love. Then one morning I woke up and thought, Damn, I’m a published author, and people are buying my book! If you’ve read my previous post about how Perfectly Imperfect came to be, then you’ll know that I did it to fulfill a dream I’ve had for years but never thought it would be more than that. I was so wrong.

So what have a learned through this journey? First of all, that the author world is a universe on it’s own. Holy smokes is there a lot to learn.

Teasers… What, you want to me to tease you? I hope you’re a 6 foot tall, alpha book boyfriend if you want me to tease you like that. Choosing the perfect image, the perfect excerpt that will draw people in, fonts, colors… boy, oh boy, it could give you a migraine, but when you’re done and you share it with the world, the feedback, the likes, the comments, make it all worthwhile.

They serve a purpose of getting your book out there, pulling in readers, making yourself known before publishing, and after. People want to be teased. They want to read something that will make them think, “Ooh, la, la..” and “Yes! I totally relate.” They want you to give them a reason to buy your book. They also want to interact with you, know more about your writing, and these small teasers allow that.

Then we have takeovers… They want me to takeover the world? Sure, no pressure. There are amazing bloggers I have met who have been extremely supportive, especially to a small indie author starting off. So what do they have to do with takeovers? They invite the authors into their page to interact with their followers. They help you become more known in this challenging world. They give you the freedom to introduce yourself, talk about your books, upcoming releases, hot men; whatever makes you happy (always respectfully).

I love meeting new people, and this is a great way to interact and get to know each other. Social media and technology are a great way to meet people all over the world. I’ve had people coming to takeovers from Australia, the UK, even Finland and Asia. It’s awesome to interact with these people and share about myself and my writing. The same way there are events to raise awareness on a specify subject. It’s amazing to also see authors, bloggers, and readers come together as a team to support each other and topics dear to their heart.

I learned what pimping was.. and no, I was not a hooker for getting pimped, I welcomed it with open arms. Actually, you want to be pimped in this world. And well, I always love to try new things. Oh, the author world has interesting vocabulary to describe their promoting tools. Sharing teasers and book information on blog posts and pages is what pimping is all about. I guess it’s not as exciting as you thought.

There are Street Teams; and no, they aren’t street, but they can be pretty gangster in supporting authors.

This isn’t an easy career. There is ugly, bad talk, betrayal, put downs, but there is also so much good. For me, part of being an indie author is supporting each other. Celebrating when someone succeeds. Having the freedom to write what I like and publish when I want. I love to write. Writing has always been my escape, my happy place, and being able to write stories to share publicly now has been amazing for me.

I’ve learned about friendships. I’ve met so many amazing people through this journey who have supported and motivated me from the beginning. People who have taken me in and guided me when I was lost on how to proceed. I have a full-time job, but knowing I get to come home and “hang out” with these people makes it so much better. We support, guide, motivate, and encourage.

So what I’ve learned the most this summer is that, although we can succeed on our own if we drive to, no man is an island. We are a team. We are all here for the same purpose. To write beautiful stories and share with with readers who love to fall in love with books. Readers want books to read- the more, the merrier. “We should only compete with ourselves to become better than we were yesterday.” That’s the truth right there! Real people empower each other, and push for you to be better than you were yesterday with kindness.

“I suspect that every writer is secretly writing for someone.” ~ Brewster Ghiselin

When I was in high school I took creative writing as an elective; my favorite class and teacher to this day. Today I was looking through my old binder looking for a particular piece I remember writing- I won’t tell you how long I’ve had it for, but it’s been a long time. 😉 I came across this reflection I wrote for a quote:

“I suspect that every writer is secretly writing for someone.” ~ Brewster Ghiselin 

Everyone’s creativity and inner thoughts come from an inspiration which is unknown, but yet has made an impact for that person. All works of art have a meaning behind it greater than what one sees with the eye alone. Creativity is inspiration. A writer writes for someone anonymous to everyone else except the two of them. I may write a poem or story relating to someone, who changed me and whom I cherish very much, but no one may know the real reason. Any form of art is a mystery.

These are the thoughts of my 16 year old self back in the day. How beautiful to think that a writing is so deep that it intimately connects with a reader. I think the relationship between a writer and reader is a deep connection made between the two of them. I have taken on both roles; writer and reader.

As a writer, I hope to connect with my readers on that intimate level where they take a part of me and my writing with them no matter where life’s journey takes them. Sometimes I think of it as a secret, unknown affair, admiring and learning from afar. I don’t know all my readers, but in a way, I write a story that each and every one of them will hopefully grow with.  

I have been impacted in that way as a reader. When I have read something and thought, “Did this author get into my head and read my thoughts and emotions?” It’s like he/she was secretly reading my every being and writing his/her soul so that it would reach me and only me. 

We all interpret what we read differently, and that is the beauty with literature. To jump into a world that resonates with us alone because of what we have experienced in our own personal journey. Any form of art is a mystery, and I love to get lost in that unknown world and discover how it speaks to me.