About Moxie Girl Musings

Moxie Girl Musings is about starting over from square one after tragedy impacted my young family. It's filled with stories of triumph, struggle, snafus, hopes, and dreams. Sometimes there will be features from other writers that I like and every so often I'll include an original short story, but normally I simply write what's on my mind at the time. Welcome to my unfiltered true-life story as I figure out this thing called life. http://www.amberleaeaston.com

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Author Nailed the Plight of the Returning Soldier #ScintillatingSunday #RomanticSuspense

Excerpt of the romantic suspense novel, Reckless Endangerment...

She put both of her hands on his knees, conscious that he couldn’t feel her touch. “You keep talking about what you’ve lost, but you haven’t lost me.  Don’t you see that?  You may not be a Marine anymore and you may not be able to walk anymore, but you have me.  I love you.  I need you.  Can’t that be enough? And you have your son. What about him? He needs you, too.  You haven’t lost him.”  

“I wish you hadn’t come here.”

“Too bad, I’m here. Deal with it.”  She moved onto his lap and moved her hands over his shoulders. “What’s the problem?”

“Stop this,” he whispered. 

“You want me to kiss you. You want to kiss me back.”  She could see it in his eyes, the need, the desire, the question.  “Is that what you want, Michael?”

“What would that prove?”

“Does it have to prove something?  Can’t a kiss be a kiss?”


“Typical man.”  She leaned within a fraction of his lips.  “Don’t you remember high school?  Don’t you remember when a kiss meant everything?”

In a sudden move, he grabbed the back of her head and ground his mouth against hers.  She knew the intensity was meant to shock her so she matched it with her own.  She sat on his lap and plunged her tongue into the recesses of his mouth until he moaned.  His free hand squeezed her breast through the thin material of her blouse but, instead of hurting, it ignited her blood. 

The Michael she knew still lived inside this man.  She felt him in the warmth of his mouth, the strength of his hands on her body, the restrained power of his touch.   

She couldn’t stop touching him, hands moved through his hair, over his face, along his shoulders.  Alive.  Here.  She fought back a Hallelujah. 
From the back cover...
Coming home again isn't always easy. Colonel Michael Cedars and reporter Hope Shane fell in love in a warzone, but then the world blew up and splintered their lives in two. 

Sometimes heroes fall and take the ones they love down with them. A Marine accustomed to giving orders, Michael struggles to find his role in civilian life. Wounded, he faces new battles as he learns to walk again, struggles with wartime ghosts, and questions his abilities as a husband.

But theirs is a love worth fighting for—and Hope Shane doesn't surrender. An investigative reporter, she's hot on the trail of a human trafficking ring. Danger intensifies as she gets closer to the truth, but the human traffickers know her weakness.

Will Michael become her Achilles Heel? Will her reckless disregard for rules shatter the fragile bonds of their marriage once and for all? Is he still the hero she married or has he become a liability that could get them both killed?

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Taste of a few reviews...
5 stars Extremely talented
By CFischer Books
Although this book is marketed as romantic suspense it also covers some serious issues, such as people trafficking and post-traumatic stress disorder, adding further depth to a book that is rich in plot and personal conflict already. Nothing prepared me for the literary quality of this novel. Regular romance and suspense fans get more than enough here to be satisfied by the great chemistry between the main characters and the intriguing story lines. However, if you - like myself - want a little bit more out of a book than you will find it in the well-handled and insightful passages about trafficking and PSD, issues that are handled with care rather than in an exploitative or decorative manner.
Easton clearly cares about what she writes and it pays dividends, her book is impressive and certainly recommended.

5.0 out of 5 stars
Gritty At Times, Realistic, With An Immensely Satisfying Romance and MysteryBy 

By the end of Reckless Endangerment I can sum it up by saying it's Triple-H......heartbreaking, heartwarming, and heart pounding. It's full of likable and fully fleshed-out characters, realistically depicted issues related to the aftermath of war, and it presented a fast-paced mystery surrounding human trafficking that kept me on the edge of my seat. It shows that atrocities not only occur in faraway lands but outside our front door as well. As two people deal both mentally and physically with the hand war dealt them it's only through love and acceptance that true healing can begin and a HEA can be fully achieved.

5.0 out of 5 stars
Great read

I love this book! The author did a great job of writing a contempary novel with all the twists and turns that make it impossible for you to put the book down!! I am really impressed with the author's use of hard hitting problems facing today's society and intergrating them into the story line. This is not just another cookie cutter, predictable romance!! I highly recommend this book for all who looking for a novel with a little something extra! 

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Dancing on the Edge of Love and Possibility #ScintillatingSunday #RomanceNovels

Excerpt of the contemporary romance drama, In Between---escape to Europe for a summer of love...

When he muttered in French before sliding his mouth along her neck, she smiled against his hair. She didn't need to speak his language to know they were communicating perfectly. 

"We are dangerously exposed," she said when a group of laughing strangers passed them on the street. 

He looked up, smiled, and framed her face with the palm of her hand. "I like living dangerously. What about you? What do you like?"

"I like this." She dropped the back of her head back against the brick and observed him through narrowed eyes. Hands still on his shoulders, she smoothed them down the front of his chest and grinned. "I like you."

He winked, sighed, and stepped back from her. "I don't know what I'm going to do about you, Jessica Moriarty. I sense trouble ahead." 

"I think you know exactly what to do with me, Jacques Sinclair." Feeling like a bird freed from its cage and soaring toward the sky, she grabbed his hand and yanked him back against her. "One more kiss before dinner." 

"You are the most dangerous kind of woman." He paused a fraction above her lips and looked her in the eye. "And I am the most dangerous type of man." 

"Are you? Why do you say that?" 

"Because I have nothing to offer and nothing to lose."

Heartbeat shook her eardrums. He was like no one she'd ever met before, mysterious and foreign with confidence oozing from his pores. 

"Neither do I. Not a care in the world," she lied. 

From the back cover....

In between responsibilities and dreams...

Jessica Moriarty has always played by the rules, but for once in her life, she's doing exactly as she pleases. In between graduate school and 'real life', she's in Florence, Italy, indulging her love of art and abandoning inhibitions.

Meeting Jacques Sinclair rocks her off center. Whereas rules and living up to expectations have dictated her life, he is the opposite. A rebel. A photographer. A man who lives for the moment. He sweeps her up into a riveting romance that makes her question all she's ever believed to be true.

The drum of old commitments echo through her heart as time ticks away. Will the crush of 'real life' undermine the love she's found in between...?

This is book one of the two-part Dancing Barefoot series, currently only .99 as an introduction to the series. 

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Riptide of Desire in the Cayman Islands #ScintillatingSunday #RomanticSuspense

Excerpt from the action-packed romantic suspense novel, Riptide...

He pushed his hands through her hair, gaze scanning her face. “Like you said, I don’t know you, and you don’t know me. Maybe it’s best if we stop this before it goes any further. You don’t need my kind of trouble in your life right now.”

“Maybe your kind of trouble is exactly what I need.” She kissed him because the adrenaline surging through her body needed release, and he was the perfect outlet. 

He matched her intensity with a fierceness that weakened her knees. She sagged against him, hands clinging to his shoulders for support. Trouble or not, the man kissed like a porn star. Damn, he melted the skin from her bones with every stroke of his tongue against hers. 

Her hands roamed over his shoulders to his back. She pressed closer, craving skin on skin. One thought and one thought only penetrated her mind...sex. She wanted him inside her. Now. Fast. To hell with the consequences. 

Together they fell against the sand with laughter tangled between their lips. Somewhere between fleeing a crime scene and kissing, fear had transitioned to passion. She needed his touch, his mouth, his body heavy against hers. Desire consumed every cell of her body. 

“We’re the most unethical people I know,” he said against her mouth. “I shouldn’t be proud of that, but strangely I am.” 

“Take me back to Austin’s. Stay with me.” She caught his lip lightly between her teeth and stared into his eyes. 

His hand slid beneath her skirt and up her thigh. “I don’t know if we’re good or bad for each other. I’m not thinking clearly at all around you, making bad decisions, dragging you along with me.”

“I’m going willingly.” She nipped his neck, her hands smoothing down his back before grabbing his ass. “We have too many clothes on.”

From the back cover...

One violent night shatters Lauren Biltmore’s life. As an anchorwoman, she's accustomed to reporting the news rather than being the lead story.  She escapes the spotlight by fleeing to her brother's home in the Cayman Islands. Haunted by nightmares, all she wants is a distraction from reality.

Distraction arrives via sexy screenwriter, Noah Reynolds. His take-me-to-bed looks mask a past ripe with scandal. He knows he should stay away from Lauren, especially when the worst night of her life unlocks his writer's block and while he's dealing with a stalker of his own, but ethics are his weakness.

Attraction sizzles beneath Caribbean sunshine. As their relationship grows, Noah's stalker intensifies her torment. Lauren wonders if her paranoia is justified or a carryover from her past. What's real? What's imagined?  Tentative trust is tested as their love is swept up against a riptide of deceit, murder, and revenge. 


Sunday, May 1, 2016

Ready to take the plunge into a sexy #romance in Costa Rica? #ScintillatingSunday

Excerpt of the romance adventure novella, Proximity, book two of the Wanderlust Series (all written as stand-alones)...ready to get wet?

"You're confusing the hell out of me and I don't like it," she said quietly enough not to be overheard. "You're Bill. My Bill. You don't act like a horny teenager with a crush."

"More like an obsession." He locked his gaze on hers. "Maybe that should scare you."

"You want to play, huh?" She tilted her chin a bit higher, always one to take on a dare rather than back down. "I'll call your bluff, honey baby."

God, he hated when she did that sexy drawn out drawl with her voice. He knew she did it to torment him and it worked every damn time. 

"Oh, will you now? I don't think you've got it in you. Swim with sharks? Sure, you'll do that. Tangle with me beyond the friend zone? Never." He stepped closer, grabbed her shoulders and turned her around while leaning close to her ear without the others seeing. "How far are you willing to go before you fold and beg for mercy?"

She looked at him over her shoulder, her lips a fraction from his and eyes narrowed into slits. "I never beg. I'm not sure what exactly is wrong with you, but I'm going to play this out all the way until you tell me what the hell is going on inside that thick skull of yours." 

"All the way?" He smiled at the blush on her cheeks. When she'd kissed him back last night, it had taken every ounce of self-control to leave. 

"You know I always win a game of chicken." She stepped out of reach and motioned for him to slip into his gear before sliding her gaze over his body in the same way he'd done to her. "Remember when we stole those scooters in Barbados—"

"Borrowed. We returned them in the morning."

"Whatever." She shrugged. "We played chicken with those guys from Brazil."

He laughed at the memory of the Brazilians hitting the ditch while Savannah had whooped in victory down the dirt road as dawn crept over the horizon. 

"This isn't the same thing," he said.

"Isn't it? You don't want to lose me as a friend either, but you're all hot and bothered after your breakup with the uptight Lexi and I'm your safe place to fall. So you're pushing the limits, but we know you won't cross the line when it comes right down to it." She slipped her hand over the curve his ass. "You're out of your league, honey baby."

From the back cover...

Love sometimes hides in plain sight.

Savannah is one of the boys—fun loving, adventurous, a general contractor, and dive master extraordinaire. There isn't much she takes seriously about herself, or at least that's the impression she likes to give off. Women often misjudge her based on her looks so she's gravitated toward a group of men who accept her 'as is'—her Scuba diving club.

Bill has known Savannah's wild side for years and has been comfortable playing the role of best friend. As part of the Dallas Divers, he's shared many adventures with the group from diving the Blue Hole in Belize to exploring the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. When the team heads out to Costa Rica for a series of cave dives, he knows he needs to take the biggest risk of his life, but isn't sure he has the nerve.

Catastrophe happens shortly after their immersion in the cave. With the entrance blocked from an earthquake and separated from the rest of their team, Savannah and Bill are forced to find another way out while battling aftershocks, rising tides, and an undeniable attraction that they've ignored for too long. The question becomes, what's more dangerous...the earthquake or love?

**The Wanderlust Series consists of stand-alone adventure romance novels. Occasionally, characters from previous novels may make a cameo, but each story truly does stand on its own merits.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Traveling the Dominican Republic as a Single Mom with Young Kids #FamilyTravel #Travel

Before I was widowed, we traveled frequently as a family. When the kids were only 2, we had them snorkeling with stingrays in Grand Cayman and whale watching off the coast of Cabo San Lucas. When my husband died, I admit to being concerned that our lifestyle would change dramatically--because it felt scary thinking of traveling the world solo with two elementary-aged children. Right or wrong, that's how I felt.

But, traveling has always cured what ailed me so I determined to go. When I picked the Dominican Republic, I admit I didn't know much about the country other than it had great beaches and good rum. We chose Punta Cana and stayed at the Barcelo Palace.

The confusion at the airport threw my confidence a bit. It was very hectic and no one seemed to know what bus we were supposed to get on to get to the resort. Men kept asking me where my husband was, too, and that made me feel vulnerable at the time. There I was with a sleepy eight and nine-year-old in a foreign country being asked repeatedly where my husband was in a hectic airport. To say that I started having doubts would be an understatement.

Once at the resort, my doubts intensified when a group of displaced Spaniards yelled and pushed in the lobby. To check-in, I needed to ask the kids to sit on our luggage while I forced my way through the group to the desk. Thoughts of them being abducted slammed through my mind--normally, this is where I would have hung out with them while my husband handled this chaos, but that was no long an option in our lives. While trying to keep one eye on them and another on the pushy Spaniards, I managed to check-in.

That's where the chaos ended.

Our room was amazing--a junior suite located directly on the beach was a welcome reprieve. Only feet away from the Caribbean and the amazing pool area, we had definitely arrived in paradise!

The Barcelo Palace is part of the Barcelo complex with a golf-cart train that takes you to any one of the other resorts you'd like to visit while staying there. We were staying in the "best" resort so had full access to any of the amenities at the other hotels. This was great fun for us during our stay. At night, we'd head out to try the restaurants at the other properties. I think the kids just liked riding in the golf cart train, but, hey, if they're happy, then I'm happy. This is an all-inclusive property so we seriously didn't need to worry about anything--after the hectic arrival.

During our ten day stay in the Dominican Republic, we went on a few excursions. We visited the Stone City near La Romana, took a duck boat down the river beneath the stone city (so much fun!), traveled from La Romana to Isla Catalina--all part of one excursion! On the island, we snorkeled and were served a fabulous barbecue while people salsa danced on a make-shift stage in the sand. This was a perfect excursion for the kids, very family friendly, and fun. The bus for the excursion picked us up and dropped us off directly from the resort. Easy!
The duck boat loading up--yes, I was a bit nervous. Ha.

My son on the boat-- a very happy boy. 
Looking down at the river from the Stone City
An amphitheater in the Stone City--those are my kiddos on the stage.

Church in the Stone City

Finding some shade on Isla Catalina after snorkeling

Salsa dancing on Isla Catalina--no, that's not me.
Why travel solo with kids? Why go through the hassle and worry of being a single woman traveling alone with two young children? Aside from travel being part of our lives before my husband's death and my determination not to have it all go to hell afterward, I have always believed that it's important to raise children who are citizens of the world, who interact easily with other cultures, and who are open-minded to trying new things. At our hotel, we were the only Americans for the first week. We had people from South America and France who would yell out to us at the end of the day inviting us to eat with them and being worried about where we had "disappeared to" after going on an excursion. The kids played with other children who did not share the same language, but were able to communicate joy and friendship with laughter and swimming in the pool. Travel, to me, was a vital part of raising them.

The Dominican Republic had many family-friendly excursions to choose from as well--we spent a day traveling to Santo Domingo, visiting the aquarium, shopping in the city, touring a tobacco company, and exploring a huge sink hole. Again, all of this was organized by the hotel, making exploring more than the resort easy and stress-free.

Church where Christopher Columbas's brother was married. Did you know the Santa Maria sank off the coast of Santo Domingo?

The kids at the aquarium in Santo Domingo
Hiking inside the sink hole (HUGE) outside of Santo Domingo.
We talk about this trip a lot with shared laughter. We would definitely return to Punta Canta in the Dominican Republic again. The people were extremely nice, we loved our hotel and enjoyed being "seen" and "missed" by people there when we were absent for awhile, and were sad to leave. The kids were welcomed everywhere we went and made some friends from other countries who taught them the value of travel and new experiences.

As a single woman with kids, being asked repeatedly where my husband was did get tiring, but it also wasn't unique to the Dominican Republic. The pros of the trip far outweighed that one irritant. 
Travel on!
Amber Lea Easton
Amber Lea Easton is a multi-published author of romantic thrillers, contemporary romance, women's fiction, and nonfiction. She also writes five different blogs, creates a line of inspirational journals, volunteers for children's literacy, and advocates for suicide awareness. In addition, she is a professional editor and mother of two extraordinary human beings. She currently lives in a small cabin high in the Rocky Mountains where she is completely aware of how lucky she is. To find out more about her books, please visit http://www.amberleaeaston.com

Sunday, April 24, 2016

A Kiss is Never Just a Kiss #SecondChance #Romance #MyScintillatigSunday

Excerpt of the romantic suspense novel, Kiss Me Slowly...diamond smuggling, conspiracy, murder under Florida Keys' sunshine...

“I am not your anything.” 

“You’re my something, I just can’t figure out what.” His gaze dipped to her mouth. 

“Don’t do this.”

“Do what?” Mouth a fraction from hers, he smiled. 

“Do not kiss me.” The bagel slipped from her fingers.

“Now why would I do that?” His body pinned her against the counter. His hands circled her neck. “Why would I break one of your rules, especially when I know you secretly want me to?”

“Jonathan…” She touched his bare chest. 

“Grace…” His lips brushed against hers with a tenderness that broke her heart all over again. His mouth tugged on her lower lip until she kissed him back.  “You tricked me,” he whispered against her lips. 

“How so?” Her hands moved to his back beneath the shirt. God, he felt good. She liked him pressing her back like this, liked the feel of his body heavy against her own. 

“I thought you’d changed, but you’re still my Grace.” Before she could protest, he deepened the kiss with his tongue. 

From the back cover...

--> -->
Trapped in a set-up that could have him in jail or dead by Monday, Jonathan Alexander trusts no one in his inner circle. It’s Saturday. His only hope is Grace Dupont, the best forensic accountant in Miami. But there’s a glitch with that idea. She’s also his ex-girlfriend who'd rather watch him drown than throw him a life vest. Going to her feels desperate…because he is.

Grace enjoys seeing Jonathan squirm. On your knees boy, she thinks as he pitches for her help. Always a sucker for the dark-haired-blue-eyed boys, she risks her precariously balanced life of secrets to help him. Helping him slaps a target on her back–she’s the key to proving his innocence and that’s a bad, bad thing.

Tangled up in a whirlwind of conspiracy, murder, million dollar money trails and diamond smuggling, Jonathan and Grace flee to the sea to stall for time to prove his innocence. Romance sizzles beneath Florida Keys’ sunshine. Both scoff at happy endings. Both doubt justice. Both know each kiss could be their last.