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, October 25, 2015

When Two Wrongs Definitely Make Everything Right #RomanceNovels #ScintillatingSunday

She can't risk being known--the secrets she hides are deadly
He can't risk letting her slip through his fingers--he's never been afraid of a little danger 
WhiteOut--holiday romance that shatters the mold


Welcome to the Scintillating Sunday Blog Hop where multiple romance and erotic romance authors share snippets of their work. Today we're looking into the romance suspense novel, WhiteOut. 


Excerpt...

"I want to take you to dinner," he blurted out, surprising himself as much as her.

She tapped the blade of the machete against her palm and observed him from half-closed eyes. "That's unexpected. Why?"

"You ask that question a lot." He smiled. "Why? Because there is a bet going on about when the two of us will hook up and I'd rather Sheryl win than Jamie."

Tap, tap went the machete.

"I'm sorry, did you say there is a bet going on about us? That's the last thing I expected to hear." She turned, leaving the door open, and walked into her living room where she tossed the weapon onto the coffee table.

"What did you expect me to say?" He shut the door behind him, but kept his gaze locked on her back.

"Oh, I don't know. When a guy asks a woman out it's usually because he thinks she's beautiful or interesting. He usually says something flattering." She faced him, hands on her hips and a smile on her lips. "You're the King of Charm around here, yet you tell me you want to take me out to dinner so someone named Sheryl can win a bet. Not exactly compelling."

He shoved his hands into the back pockets of his jeans and relaxed under her scrutiny. His gaze fell onto her smile and he ached to kiss her again—slowly—and reach beneath her baggy sweater to discover the breasts the loose clothes concealed. "I've been wanting to get you into bed for awhile, but I figured I should ask you to dinner first. I only found out about the bet a few minutes ago. I was already on my way over here when Jamie—he's my foreman and friend—begged me to wait a little longer so he could win."


She laughed, the sound filling the space. Scratching her German Shepherd between the ears, she sat on the wide sofa. "Forget what I said about you being the King of Charm...I am completely wrong."

From the back cover...

She's been erased.


As a protected witness, Brandi Simms has given up everything that made her unique to start over in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Blending into the background isn't easy, but it's vital for survival. When her handsome yet incorrigible neighbor—former Olympic skier turned cowboy—decides her aloof attitude is a challenge rather than a deterrent, she knows the only right thing to do is resist.

The secrets she hides are deadly.

Ryan Landry isn't accustomed to rejection. Three-time Olympic Gold Medalist, he's the local hero who came home to run a ranch and be near his family. The mysterious neighbor who seems content to hang out with dogs rather than humans haunts his fantasies and ignites that competitive drive that led him to the world stage.

He's not one to give up.

When her dangerous past catches up to Brandi, Ryan is determined to break through her secrets to find the truth no matter what the cost. Trapped in a whiteout blizzard with unseen threats lurking in the snow, will they get a chance to create a new beginning or will Brandi's secretsey be the death of them?

Monday, October 19, 2015

Living Life Behind a Mask #inspiration #thingstothinkabout

We live in a society where sadness is simply dismissed as a choice or as a version of self-pity rather than a genuine emotion that can be crippling. As a result, those who suffer with depression or any other sort of "invisible illness" are strapped with labels like lazy, liar, weird, aloof, or many others I'm sure you've heard before. Friends and family abandon the individual who is in the most need of comfort because they may require too much energy---so a mask is put in place by the individual so they can "keep face" or not appear like anything is wrong despite their inner worlds shrouded with despair or pain.

The mask is what society wants, though. They don't want to deal with someone who might require more of their time or energy. People want "cheerful" and "positive" no matter how close the friendship or nature of the relationship.

I understand to a point--I mean, who wants to be with a grumpy asshole all the time? I don't. In the past, I used to be guilty of avoiding people who were sad, too. It bothered me for reasons I couldn't identify--perhaps it was too raw and real while I was too young and shallow to relate. However, I also want the people around me to be authentic, even if that authenticity isn't always perfect. Therein lies the contradiction. How can we expect people to be authentic with us if we don't accept their imperfect humanity?

I've dealt with depression as well as an illness that isn't overt but causes me to slur my words, fall off balance for apparently no reason, and to forget people's names that I've known for years. The depression has been on and off again since my husband's death. It started as grief, but after having that dismissed due to his suicide and the burdens of dealing with the ordeal alone with no willing support system, the bottom fell out and swallowed me up with a deep sadness. Neither of things are in my control and both have led me to a life of near isolation.

Hence I've started resenting the mask. I started wearing it almost immediately after my husband died. People would ask me how I was doing--even though my world had completely imploded--but I learned that they didn't want the truth, they wanted to hear "fine" and have me smile so they would feel better.

The first man I dated after my husband's death turned out to be a fraud who lied about his entire life to get close to the widow who was also a best selling author--and I fell for his lies at first, luckily not for long and before things got serious---but when I cried about the experience with a friend of mine, her response was far from sympathetic. She said, "you have so much drama in your life." Well, yes, I guess I do. Here I was, my husband killed himself leaving me a solo parent with two young kids and I admit I liked the flattery of a handsome man again. It briefly ignited a hope inside my heart that perhaps I wouldn't be alone forever. When it turned out it was all a fabrication, I felt like I'd been stabbed in the soul and felt the loss of my marriage all over again. But her response to my tears reinforced the notion that people only want to see the smile and hear the word 'fine.'

Do you have any idea how lonely that makes an already lonely person feel?

I have a writer friend who suffers from a disease that makes her gain weight and grow unwanted hair. She deals with it as best as she can, but as a once naturally thin person, it's very upsetting to her. Imagine her outrage when a fellow writer sent her a message about how fat people are lazy and deserving of contempt.

What is wrong with a society that feels it's okay to dismiss another's struggles or feelings?

I think back to my husband's depression and feel sad that he hid it even from me. I honestly didn't know the depth of his despair because he hid it behind the mask of a strong man providing for his family. Perhaps men wear the mask even more than women do...which is tragic.

Many people claim to want authentic friends, but I'm not sure they do. I think most people don't want to openly share feelings or hear another person's opinion, especially if it is contrary to theirs. In the age of "liking" posts and "unfriending" with just a click of a finger, we've grown increasingly shallow. We can claim to be deep and compassionate, but few truly walk the talk.

Life behind the mask is a dark struggle, but for those who've already lost so much, it's difficult to remove it for fear of losing even more. So we smile, answer with a "fine", and hide our souls out of a sense of self-preservation that often feels like a prison.

Ask yourself what kind of friend or family member you are--are you afraid of what dwells behind the masks of those around you or are you strong enough to face unfiltered reality with compassion?




Sunday, October 18, 2015

Wounded US Marine and the Woman Who'll Risk Her Life for Him #ScintillatingSunday

Coming home again isn't always easy
A wounded US Marine and the woman who's willing to do whatever it takes for their love, no matter the danger
Reckless Endangerment
Welcome to the Scintillating Sunday Blog Hop where multiple romance authors share 8 paragraphs of their work--Today I'm shining the spotlight on the intense romance suspense novel, Reckless Endangerment. 

Excerpt...

“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?”

“No.”

“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. His free hand squeezed her breast through the thin material of her blouse but, instead of hurting, it ignited her blood.

She matched his intensity with her own and upped the ante. She plunged her tongue into the recesses of his mouth until he moaned. 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. Her hands roamed through his hair, over his face, along his shoulders. Michael had survived. He was here, his mouth hot and wet against hers.


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?



What some of the reviews say...

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 heartpounding. 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 stars Extremely talented
By 
  
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 surprisingly impressive and certainly recommended.


5.0 out of 5 stars
Great read
By 


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!