Friday, July 20, 2012

Where Will You Hide? Release News & ARC Reviews

I can’t believe the release date for Where Will You Hide is 7/21/12! I didn’t think I would be as excited this time around, but I think I am even more so. Now that I am a little more comfortable with the process of self publishing, I know what to expect and was able to stress even more…lol. I sent out some ARCs for early reviews and was absolutely thrilled by the feedback I received. I wanted to share the reviews with you as well as a special announcement, so be sure to check at the end of the blog for the news! I even added mood music :)


“I read the first novel in this series, Where Will You Run? by author M. E. Franco when it first came out and became a fast fan of the series. Recently, the author finished Where Will You Hide? and of course I raised my hand to be given the opportunity to read it.

Though I am always extremely busy with work, family, and my own writing, I have to confess that from the moment I picked up the book I could not put it down. So there I was at twelve midnight reading, knowing that I had to go to work in five hours and literally had to force myself to put it down! That first night I read more than half the book.

Right from the beginning the excitement boils with a sneak peak at the history of Reinn. Then we travel through time to the present day and meet our fiery new heroine, Kylee, an independent young woman who knows what she wants!

The intensity continues as we join our captivating supernatural team. True to form their banter mixes beautifully with the powerful action and adventure of this awesome sequel!

All of the characters are well rounded and deeply alluring! In my opinion, if you’re looking for a unique action packed novel, then look no further. The events that transpire will blow your mind!

I give Where Will You Hide? a rating of 5 of 5 stars!”

~K.R. Jordan, contributing author to Dark Light and Red Wine

“When I read “Where Will You Run?” several months ago I could not wait to see how M.E. Franco would continue Mari’s story. Mari had some heartaches, discoveries and ended up HEA, but did she? I was excited to learn recently that M.E. announced Where Will You Hide? will be scheduled for release soon.

In the new installment of the Dion Series we find Mari learning a few new skills to deal with her new reality, while lamenting over recent misadventures that led her to her current state of being. She finds she is still basically the same old Mari but now she’s living with the love of her life. Tensions remain high due to her need to be in constant control. Mari wants justice for her sister’s death. The need for justice is overshadowed by her consuming desire for retaliation causing the love of her life to question her ability to play as a team member for the Dion. Mari learns that her ideals aren’t something that changes even though her world has turned upside down, and it puts a strain on her relationship. She wants to do the right thing, but is her idea of the right actions to take going to help or hinder the team and her love?

This book has us leaving the original book setting of San Francisco and traveling to exciting new locales throughout the world. We are introduced to new characters and beings that will have you hanging on the edge of your seat. One such character, Kylee, spices things up with her adventurous spirit and her ability to leave not only other characters speechless, but the reader as well. Reinn is another character who will take your breath away not only in actions but his presence, or well maybe lack there off. As in the first book, M.E. has created characters that are vivid and seem to spring off the pages into life.

The plot for The Dion as well as Mari’s life thickens as new antagonists are revealed that will continue into the third installment. M.E.’s style of leading you to a ledge and feeling like you are about to jump off then picking up another characters story line is well timed and carefully plotted. I enjoy her weaving so many characters lives together and painting a final scene that everyone will not soon forget. Kudos M.E. on another success! “

~Roberta J. Gordon, author of Gemini Witching: Elements 101

“M.E. Franco’s Where Will You Hide? Book 2 of The Díon Series starts out with a bang and doesn’t let you rest until the final page. Franco has written an emotionally charged and explosive follow-up to her Where Will You Run?, Book One of the same series. With the return of her beloved cast of characters, she introduces the reader to a whole new type of vampire you’ll quickly root for as well as other supernatural beings. She easily sucks you in with vampire folk lore, suspense, betrayal and, of course, romance. M.E. Franco’s Where Will You Hide: Book 2 of The Dion Series is a must read!!”

~Shelbi Stoecklin

“M. E. Franco does it again with Where Will You Hide? It left me speechless, blushing, laughing out loud and wanting more. The second book in the Díon series was the perfect counterpart to Where Will You Run? with new and exciting characters. I fell in love with Reinn and Kylee. Their complex personalities and story lines add so much to the book, I felt like I knew them personally. Fans won’t be disappointed, Raith and Mari are as funny and sexy as ever! Where Will You Hide? was full of twists and suspense that had me reading all night and when I had finished, I was craving another book. M. E. Franco is a talented writer who really knows the supernatural genre, and I love the world she has created. I look forward to more books from the Díon series and definitely more Reinn!”

~Melanie Gallagher

“M. E. Franco returns with the second book in the Díon series Where Will You Hide? The first book Where Will You Run?, introduced us to a rich cast of characters in a supernatural world filled with intense danger and passion. The second installment has all these same qualities and some new players to round out the Díon team. A page turner from the start, Where Will You Hide? will have you on the edge of your seat through more twists than its predecessor. It is the perfect combination of action and romance sure to leave the reader both breathless and blushing at times. I’ve quickly become a fan of M. E. Franco, and cannot wait for the third installment of the Díon series. Where Will You Hide? is guaranteed to leave you wanting for more from this talented new writer.”

~Tracey Middlemas

Ok, now for the special announcement (drum roll): To celebrate the release of Where Will You Hide? I will be offering the first book in the Díon series, Where Will You Run?, for free on 7/23 and 7/24. I know, I’m not supposed to tell you ahead of time, but I figure if you take the time out to read my blog, you deserve special treatment. Also, Where Will You Hide? is already live on Amazon. Thanks for stopping by and happy reading!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Relax, It's Just a Butt Massage

          This last year I splurged and bought three discounted massages on Groupon. I love massages, so I figured I would take some time off and pamper myself for a change. Well, as life would have it, free time just didn’t happen. I wound up panicking as the expiration dates started staring me in the face. I remembered that the idea had been to relax a little and pamper myself, so I bit the bullet and scheduled one a month for three months.

          I wasn’t sure what to expect using the Groupons, but the first two women were really nice and the spas they worked in were soothing. I started to look forward to the third one at yet another spa. When I got there yesterday, I was surprised to find the massage therapist was a big dude. I know there are male massage therapists, but I’d never had a massage from a man I wasn’t married to. Hey, I’m a grown woman. I can handle it. We’re all adults here. It’s just a massage. Clinical. Impersonal. Like a visit to the doctor. If the doctor used his ungloved hands to rub your entire body with lightly scented oil that is.

          He was very businesslike, so I decided not to run away screaming. I smiled politely as he led me to the massage room. He gave me a basket for my belongings and told me to take off everything but my panties and to ring the bell once I was on my back under the sheets. Okay. I can do this. I stripped down and quickly huddled under the warm blankets; just me and my Victoria’s Secret hipsters. I pulled the sheets up to my chin, but figured that might send the wrong message. I put my arms out and rang the bell.

          He came in, lit a candle and turned the lights down low. He put on some soft music. I tried to look relaxed and thought it might be better if I just closed my eyes. He moved by my head and started massaging my neck. His hands were big and strong and he could easily palm my entire neck in one hand. I soon found myself relaxing as he went out of his way to make sure that he kept me covered and comfortable.

When he moved down to my legs, he pulled one out at a time wrapping the sheets underneath to keep me covered. Not so bad. When he worked his way back around to my head, he told me he was going to lift the sheets to make a curtain, so I could turn over. That got me a little worried, but he lifted them in front of his face. I still wasn’t taking any chances and flipped onto my stomach in record time like a sprung mouse trap. I put my face into the donut thing and tried to relax again as he covered me back up.

He moved down to my right leg, pulling it out of the sheets and wrapping them underneath like he did when I was on my back. As he worked his way to the upper part of my leg, he asked me if I wanted him to do my glutes. Now I just want to interject here that I have had female massage therapists rub my butt muscles which usually consisted of a forearm or elbow to the butt cheek while covered by the sheets. I paused briefly, but didn’t want to sound silly; and I had been doing a lot of yard work lately making them a little sore, so I agreed.

Before I could say anything, he pulled back the sheets and said “Sorry for the wedgie.” He then pulled my hipsters over and buried them in my butt crack and started rubbing on my naked booty cheek. Now I’m trying not to freak out. That skin hasn’t been touched by another man besides my husband in like 100 years. “Just relax” I told myself because tensing up was only going to make it worse. I’m glad there are no cameras under the donut thing because I’m sure the look on my face was priceless.

I tried to act nonchalant, like having my butt rubbed by a strange man wasn’t anything out of the ordinary. I just thought that was the awkward part, but no. When he finished with the right side, he actually reached in and removed the wedgie from my butt crack. Now he entered Stranger Danger territory. I can take care of my own wedgies, thank you. You do not belong in my nooks and crannies.

I only had a minute to recover before he moved to the left side and started over. Sigh. Just relax.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Interview with Author Roberta J. Gordon

One of the things I love about being an indie author and networking is the amazing people I have met. Roberta J. Gordon found me on Twitter, and we have since become great friends. I love Roberta’s sense of humor and her incredible imagination. She recently released her first novel called Gemini Witching: Elements 101 (links to follow), which I just finished reading. I gave her book a 5 star review, and I couldn’t wait to do an interview with her. See what Roberta has to say about witches, her book and self publishing.

Q: When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

A: As a serious writer, 3 chapters into this book!  Jokingly, “I’m going to write a book” I had uttered since I read Harry Potter to my kids several years ago.  Never did I dream I would actually do it.

Q: I have always been fascinated by magic and the infinite possibilities when writing those stories. What inspired you to write about witches?

A: Inspired, hmmmm.  I’ve said before that I mourn the ending of a series, but I also become depressed when I read a series and have to wait for the next installment.  I had gone through all of Harris, Kenyon, Ward, Adrian, and Hamilton’s series.  Mind you the majority of these are about Vampires.  Then I read A Discovery Of Witches by Deborah Harkness.  It was so different than what I had been reading. I was entranced with it.  Then I found out that it would be almost another year until the next installment would be available and that sucked the fun out of my ‘discovery’.  So I really credit my imagination going into overdrive with the need to fill in the blanks.  While my book is nowhere near as well written as Harkness’ book, and in no way similar I do credit having read it as causing the words to write themselves.

Q: I love the characters you created. You open the door to a lot of other characters and creatures in the world you created including The Realm of Lights. Can you give us a sneak peak at what/who we might see in the next Gemini book?

A: Thank you!  I know we have chatted several times about the writing process, and I’ve shared that the cast of characters (except the girl’s paternal side of the family) just walked on stage while I wrote.  While the Realm is not specific characters (yet) the same can be said for it.  The paternal mystery and The Realm of Lights was a challenge and the only true plotted/planned part of the book.  The last page, as you know, includes a diagram of the hierarchy for the Realm.  Referring to it, you can see there are several roles to fill and people/creatures to meet.  But honestly those have not started talking to me yet.  So besides the current cast returning I’ve had some discussions with a few aquatic legends, trolls, shifters and a park ranger or two.  I’ve been doing some research in both Greek and Roman mythology, but need to do more in that arena.  I even think it’s time for the ladies to evolve more and maybe have a fling or two.  Of course there will be more witches, a whole convention of them.  As the next equinox draws nearer Sam and Emily have a lot more elements to learn about.  Not only in their repertoire of talent but the elements that make up their lives including the how’s and why’s they have become who they are.

Q: Do you find music to be a helpful part of your writing process? If so, what did you listen to while writing this book? If you could make a soundtrack for the first Gemini Witching movie, what would be on it?

A: WOW, Great question!  **Grins** Music is so much a part of not only my writing process but my everyday life.  While I was writing I honestly think I’ve worn out my copy of Adele’s 21 and Pink’s greatest hits. 

And what an awesome thought, a soundtrack to the movie!  I have to giggle just a bit because I never thought of it.  Not a movie, even though in my mind when I was writing, it was seeing the scenes play out in my head, but putting it to music, I don’t know.  Did you think of some music that would fit while you read it?  I’d love to hear your ideas or anyone else’s for that matter.

Q: You initially wanted to go the traditionally published route. What made you change your mind and go indie?

A: My former boss!  Well her and you.  Seriously! 

I think I’m someone who tries to prove things to myself more than I try to prove it to others.  I honestly don’t think of myself as someone who knows how to write.  I was always someone who could tell a good joke or tell a good story to friends.  So when my friend Kendra read my first chapter and said “I think you have something here”, I didn’t start thinking about the publishing aspect of it.  I pushed it out of my mind until I was almost finished writing the story.  When I was close to finishing then I started letting myself dream of what ifs and how too.  I had no clue of where to turn or what to do.  I stumbled upon Dragon Con found one literary agency then Writer’s Digest and things started falling into place.  I remember thinking “Indie, what’s that?”  Then I hit the social media realm found you and a few others but still wanted to give it the old college try of Traditional publishing.  I researched the query letter process, polished (but apparently not enough) my approach and sadly started getting the rejection letters.  When I had started dreaming the “what if’s” I could see myself leaving my job to play full time with my imaginary friends.  But knew I could not do that without getting the book(s) in the hands of readers and the rejection letters were bringing me down, still I was going to go the mile.  I loved my boss and my job but there were some undesirable aspects of it.  In mid February I had a serious difference of views evolve with that boss I loved.  We had worked together and traveled together for work for almost 8 years, I didn’t seriously see myself going anywhere until that fateful day.  But looking back right now, it was probably the best thing that happened to me.  I have a new job with a boss that I have admired for 8 years as well.  But on that fateful day several months ago I knew I had to make a new plan to get out of that job and I’ll never forget saying to you “I’m ready to drink the kool-aid, how do I become an Indie?”  Your answer helped change my world as well! Thank you!

Q: I had no idea I was that instrumental in your publishing plans. I’m so glad I was able to help! Now that you have self published, what has been the most challenging for you?

A: Finding the time to keep up with the social media (aka Platform) has probably been the most challenging.  I love meeting other authors and chatting with readers so that is the upside, but coming up with some good blog topics and then getting traffic to your “sites” has been the most challenging because like I said, I’ve got a new job to boot.  There is just not enough time in the day.

Q: What advice would you give other aspiring writers considering self publishing?

A: Edit, edit, edit then edit again.  Give yourself time to get the story done first then work on a platform.  When you do make it to the platform building stage be gracious.  Be yourself and don’t get cocky.  Rude & pushy will only help you end up on those emails between others who can’t believe your behavior and eventually “unfollow” your rear.  I just wish all of them can find a few good friends like I have who can support and mentor them along the way. 

Author Bio

Wife and mother of three, I just helped open a new Pathology Lab as Office/Billing Manager. It’s been terrifying launching a book and changing jobs at the same time. I hold a degree in Psychology with a minor in Criminal Justice and have digressed from that degree many times! I’ve had many adventures in life so far including having had a certain national clearance to be inside a nuclear reactor; played good cop/bad cop assisting with investigations; sad on the jury selection process for the “White Water” trial; I traveled for several years working for a state agency and have often wished to drive the Star Ship Enterprise! Well at least run the transporter room I guess would be more accurate. BEAM ME UP SCOTTY! Gemini Witching: Elements 101 is the first in a series of you guessed it, Witches.

Be sure to check out Roberta’s blog and connect with her on:

Twitter: @GeminiWitching

Gemini Witching: Elements 101

Samantha Carpenter always considered sleepwalking a harmless condition. Most people wander their own homes or their immediate neighborhood. Sam wasn’t most people. She was found miles away from home at her place of employment behind locked doors bypassing the security system, putting the job she desperately needed at risk.

Emily Hunter was being followed by a dark presence. She could feel it. Fleeing college to escape her stalker, she landed in Salt Lake City where she found a career, love and a degree of freedom. Her ability to sense danger came in handy as a rookie on the SLCPD, but she never anticipated that ability would attract attention.

When a woman claiming to be their aunt brings these two strangers together, her revelations will lead Sam and Emily on a journey of self discovery in a world they never knew existed. They must race to accept their new reality, the Gemini Witches are thrown in with Wizards and demons as they try to unite, their untested talents the only defense against the forces that threaten to consume them, but when Sam is kidnapped, can Emily save her in time?

Available on:


Thursday, July 5, 2012

When the Walls Come Tumbling Down

Working in the field of psychology for as long as I have, I sometimes forget the effort it takes to build that emotional wall that separates me from the pain and suffering of my clients. It is necessary to insulate myself, so that I can be objective; and do what I can to help them. If I get pulled into that pain, I am no longer effective. A breakdown of that wall can result in risks to my own emotional well being as well as professional burn out. It sounds cold, but no one can work around human suffering day in and day out without that barrier.

Sometimes I worry that I have been doing it for so long that I may not be able to feel as much as I should. The wall becomes a habit that gets easier and easier to fortify until it doesn't seem to take any effort on my part to block off my feelings. I meet a new client, ask the right questions, take the appropriate data, write up the assessment, train the staff, monitor progress, blah, blah, blah. No emotion. Business as usual.

Then I meet a client who blasts through that barricade like a wrecking ball, reminding me that I am still human.

 "Anne," was a single mother with a limited support system. She was caring for her daughter, "Gina," who was paraplegic and profoundly developmentally disabled. I was there to determine whether or not "Gina" would be an appropriate placement for a board and care home I provided consulting services for. I noted that "Gina" was in a wheelchair. She was nonverbal and had difficulty with motor control. She could not feed herself. She needed assistance with toileting and hygiene. I noted that she was going to be a total care client. I asked the appropriate questions and took notes. "Gina" had recently turned 18 and now qualified for adult services. "Anne" wanted to continue to care for her, but it was becoming more and more difficult, and she thought "Gina" might be better off with professionals.

After we finished the interview, "Anne" started to cry, so I put my bag back down and just listened. She told me that "Gina" had been completely normal until the age of 14. She was an active, vibrant child who was doing well in school and had many friends. On a school break, the family had taken a trip to an amusement park. They had a great day riding roller coasters and eating junk food. The next day, "Gina" came in complaining of a headache. "Anne" recommended she go rest until dinner. "Gina" didn't respond when she was called to come and eat, so "Anne" went to check on her. She found "Gina" unconscious. "Anne" called 911 and went with "Gina" to the hospital. The doctor's told "Anne", her beautiful child had had an aneurysm. There was so much brain damage, they told her she needed to prepare for the fact that her daughter would never return to her as she was before.

I stayed with "Anne" and talked to her for some time until she calmed down, and I felt comfortable leaving. I could see she was overcome by guilt for wanting to put "Gina" in a care home. I told her she was doing the right thing by getting help and not trying to do everything herself. I told her we would do everything we could to care for her daughter, and she could visit anytime.

When I left, she was smiling and looked hopeful. I barely made it around the corner before I had to pull over because I couldn't see through my tears. I thought about my own daughter at home and said a silent prayer of thanks. I couldn't imagine what that mother was going through. Couldn't. Even. Imagine. I recommended "Gina" for placement. How could I say no? The administrator at the board and care told me "Gina" would be admitted to the facility in two weeks, and then I would have to meet with her again. That gave me fourteen days to painfully rebuild my wall. Brick by brick.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

I Got A Ninja For Christmas!

Every year at work, the employees usually decided to do a Secret Santa thing. I always hated it. Not because I didn't like the Secret Santa idea, but I was a supervisor; and everyone seemed intimidated if they got my name. That either meant I got showered with gifts from a paranoid employee, which made me feel bad; or I got nothing from a disgruntled one. Either way, not fun. This particular year, they voted to get a small gift for every day of the week - Monday through Friday, five gifts.

I happen to be quite a Christmas freak, so I was really hoping that this year might be different. I tried not to, but I couldn't help getting caught up in the fun while I was out picking out five gifts to surprise my person. Maybe this year I would get a good Secret Santa. It could happen. On Monday morning, I snuck my gift into my person's box. Of course, I acted cool when I checked my box. You know, like I wasn't excited.

Day one: Nothing. Maybe my Santa was busy and forgot.

Day two: Nothing. Ok, now I'm worried I got a bum Santa.

Day three: Nothing. Now I know I have a bum Santa. Definitely a disgruntled employee.

Day four: Want to check but not sure if I can handle another day of disappointment. Nothing. Sigh.

Day five: What?! I am completely surprised to find a small, nicely wrapped package in my box from my Secret Santa. So maybe my Santa isn't a total Grinch.

I am so excited. Maybe my Santa saved up for one really awesome gift instead of five small ones. Several employees are in the office, so I can't go crazy and rip the paper off in my excitement. I open it slowly...and immediately put on my "Happy" face, so no one can see what I'm really thinking, which is "This must be a joke." What I unwrapped was a tiny Lego kit. It was a Lego ninja complete with a set of weapons and a little wagon to carry them.
I smiled and laughed like it was cute. Then I went in my office and closed the door. I set the little ninja box on my desk. Seriously? Why in the world would someone get me a Lego ninja? I'm a grown woman. I'm the administrator of several important programs. Obviously this person doesn't know me at all. I tried to keep calm and just write it off as another stupid Secret Santa year.

I went back to my computer to finish some paperwork. Then, I looked at the ninja box, back to the computer, ninja box, computer, ninja box. Ok, maybe I might look inside for a minute just to see what parts are in there. I mean, I don't want to be rude. Someone did go to the trouble to pick it out for me. Next thing you know, I have my ninja fully assembled and holding on to his tiny sword. Good thing my door was closed because I was hopping my little ninja around my desk saying "Hi-yah!" and practicing some vicious kicks. I tried out the other weapons as well.

I moved things aside to make room in the middle of my desk for my new best friend, Lego ninja. He had a place of honor right next to my computer. Whenever my employees made a mistake, they would find him on their desks. They knew I had sent my ninja after them, and they had to bring him back to me.

My Secret Santa never came forward that year. Maybe he/she was afraid of the backlash from the other employees for unleashing my inner ninja. Yeah, I still have him. So if you find a Lego ninja on your desk, you know what to do. Hi-yah!