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

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Power...it's a heady drug #SneakPeek #RomanticSuspense


Sneak peek of the upcoming new release, One True Thing, a romantic thriller full of passion, action, and suspense...

Available at all distributors worldwide on March 22 
Follow Amber Lea Easton on Facebook to be the first to know when One True Thing is available

"I haven't slept like that in a long time," he admitted against her ear. "How about we spend the whole day in bed? I'm already playing hooky, might as well make it count."

She giggled when his fingers slipped beneath the robe and tickled her. "Nic—"

"Vanessa." He nipped her neck. 

"Shouldn't you—"

"No, whatever it is you're about to say, no." He laughed against her skin, his hair brushing against her cheek like a caress. He raised his head enough to look her in the eye. "I have no idea where my cellphone is...do you realize that I haven't gone a day without it glued to me since I can't remember when? I have no idea where it is and I honestly don't give a damn."

"But Pam...?" She arched an eyebrow and squirmed when he tickled her again. "Okay, I'll stop, I surrender."

"No more talking? No more mentioning Pam?"

"You're a tyrant." She hit his shoulder and smiled at the feel of his erection pressing against her hip. "A horny tyrant."

"I've been called worse." He shrugged and kissed her chin. 

The slamming of the door startled them both. Nic rolled away, pulling the sheet over him while she scooted up on the pillows and tried desperately not to panic. 

"Ms. Warren!" Simon stood at the foot of the bed, gun drawn.

"Oh, holy hell, now what is the problem?" she asked, trying to slow her heartbeat. 

"Securing the room. Don't move." He banged open the bathroom door. 

Dominic squinted at Simon's back. "Now what's happening? I think I'm going to fire someone today if our security sucks this bad that even the US Secret Service is jumpy."

Her eyes widened as even more security invaded the suite — complete with a bomb-sniffing dog. 

Dominic leapt from the bed and pulled on his discarded tuxedo pants. He stood tall when Special Agent Clarence entered the room with an air of caution, gaze effectively freezing him in place. 

"I'm Dominic Piazza—"

"We all know who you are," Clarence interrupted before sliding his gaze to hers. 

"Let them do their thing, Nic," she advised with a self-conscious smile. 

Resting her chin on a sheet-covered knee, she grinned at Nic's tan line — or more specifically the tan lines that began at this lower hip where the unbuttoned tuxedo pants slacked lower as he moved across the room. Black hair a mess from their frenzied lovemaking, he looked like temptation personified. 

"We arrested two men who had gained access to an empty room directly below yours," Clarence finally said after Simon gave him a signal that the suite had been judged safe. "It appears that they had some inside information as to exactly where you were staying—as in this room—and—"

"Someone is definitely getting fired today," Nic said, hands on his hips and looking like the man in charge despite his lack of clothing. 

"We have direct evidence linking them to the gallery fire. We think they are the ones who not only set the fire, staged the distraction last night, but were also the men we saw in the stairwell. They were beneath you the entire time." Sadness crossed Clarence's face when he met her gaze. "I'm sorry, Vanessa."

She ignored the reference to her destroyed sculptures and absorbed this new information. "They were in the room below me all night?" 

"No sign of any cameras or any recording devices at all," another agent said from the living area. 

"Your brother has made a statement earlier on CNN — the Spanish government is concerned —"

"Oh, God, no, just stop." She couldn't take it anymore, all the chaos, the destruction, the uncertainty. "I suppose you're going to tell me that I'm being evicted from Spain?"

"No." Clarence smiled a little at that. "But they are giving us their unconditional support."

"Which means more security watching my every move? Why didn't he tell me?"

"You spoke to your brother?" Agent Clarence asked. 

"Yeah, he called, never said anything about speaking to the Spanish government"

"He doesn't know that we apprehended the two men just now—"

"Oh, who cares who knows what at this point?"  She felt like a caged animal. "How long is this going to take? If you've caught them, aren't we a step closer to being done with all of this? Who are these people? Have they talked? Do you know who they are or who they are affiliated with? What do they want? Why burn down the gallery and destroy my sculptures?"


"Just go, Clarence. Thanks for all that you do, but just go."

"You can't pull any of your stunts so don't think about it."

Nic looked over his shoulder at that and raised an eyebrow. 

"Stunts like yesterday...my motorcycle ride in the country." She smiled when she met his gaze. "It was worth the risk, don't you think?"

He smiled without saying anything — but the warmth in his eyes told her everything. 

"There's no one here except Dominc and he's had plenty of opportunity to kill me." She gestured wide with her hands. "And yet here I am...alive and well-satisfifed if you know what I mean."

"I know what you mean." Clarence shook his head and looked directly at Nic. "I'm not sure why or how you have inserted yourself into her life, but we're going to need to put a security detail on you as well until we have control of this situation."

Oh, here it goes...the thing that will drive him away. 

"Whatever you need to do. I assume by now you have a full background check on me so I don't need to fill in any blanks," he said instead. "Let me know how I can help."

"These people are getting bolder by the minute," Clarence said to Nic, "make her understand that. You seem to be the only one who she's cooperating with these days." 

"I'm confident she understands," Nic replied. 

Annoyed at being spoken about in the third person, she moved past Clarence and eyed the bomb sniffing dog with suspicion before picking up the hotel phone to order room service. Limbs ached in all the right places and she'd worked up one helluva an appetite. Nerves always made her hungry. If it wasn't for her Pilates and forgetting to eat when immersed in work, she'd be about five hundred pounds from stress eating alone. Pastries were her downfall—and right now she was definitely stressed. 

"I'm not at liberty to share all the details, but we have reason to believe she is no longer safe here," Clarence said, moving into the room. "The house will be finished today, Vanessa."

"I'll make sure Cleo makes arrangements to move us."

"Best to keep this quiet, no big production. Keep what you have here, maintain the illusion that you are staying at the hotel until further notice."

A chill ran down her spine at the glimmer of fear she witnessed in her dear friend and protector's eyes before he glanced away. Until a few months ago, she hadn't seen him in years. There'd been no danger and she'd been a grown woman with private security when she'd needed it — definitely no need for Secret Service. But when the trouble started and a possible threat against her family intensified, Clarence had volunteered to head up her detail. Seeing him, a seasoned agent, show even a flicker of fear hammered home the severity of the crisis. 

"I think both myself and the general manager need to be looped into this situation, Special Agent. If there are security loopholes, then we need to address them on our end as well."

"We're handling it."

"I have fourteen floors of other guests. I need—"

"She will be out of here today."

"But whoever is behind this won't know that, right? That's what you just said." Nic squared off with Clarence. "This isn't just a building or a business to me. I spent years pouring my creative vision into the Casa Magnifico and—"

"I understand." Clarence cut him off with an exasperated slice of his hand through the air. "Can you be available for a briefing in your GM's office in an hour? We have Spanish government agents arriving then as well."

"I'll be there." He glanced at her, face expressionless. "Alone."

She nodded and clenched the phone as she ordered enough food to feed an army. She fought the urge to scream. Two years of her life had gone up in smoke during the night, every inch of her life was being scrutinized, her every move would be monitored like a prisoner until these bastards were caught and all she could do was nod and order room service like a fool. 

But the Secret Service and the powers that be had made up their minds. She knew the drill. Bend. Tow the line. Suck it up. 

"I'll see you soon then. Take the car that we have for you — bulletproof glass. Don't take any chances." Clarence looked between them both before motioning for the other agents to clear the room. 

Nic dropped his hands to her shoulders and kissed the top of her head. "I wish we'd had time to wake up together." 

She sighed at his softly spoken words and turned to look up at him. "Why are you so great? I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop. No one is this nice."

He smoothed his hands down her silk robe and caught his lower lip between his teeth. "What can I do to prove my loyalty?"

"On your knees boy..." she whispered, her mood lightening. 

"Happy to do whatever it takes." He winked, his hands pushing the robe open to touch her breasts. 

She skimmed her hands over his shoulders, well-defined from the physical labor of his job. With wicked thoughts, she decided then and there that he could easily be a playgirl model between his muscle definition and...other assets. 

 “You told me last night that you weren't a very nice guy.” She nipped his chin with her teeth.

"You bring out another side of me.” 

“Room service is on the way—can you let them in? I need a shower.” She walked away and dropped the robe as she went. 

“You have a tattoo.” 

“Just now noticing?” She patted the black outline of a howling wolf that rested low on the curve of her hip. “That surprises me after the thorough examination you gave my body last night.”  With a wink over her shoulder, she walked to the bathroom.  

Closing the door, she fisted her hands in the hair at her temple and frowned. Too much had happened in too short of a time. Her brain felt fried—as if on information overload.

“Mind if I join you?” Nic asked, sticking his head inside the door. “You okay?”

“Yes, to both questions.”  She grabbed his hand and yanked him inside the room with her.  She linked her hands behind his neck and nuzzled against his face as he lifted her and walked them toward the shower. 

Self-doubt had never been an issue for her. If anything, she'd been accused of over-confidence more than once. But, now, despite the heat of his body steaming up the shower, trepidation thumped beneath her skin and self-preservation undermined the moment. 

She wrapped her arms around his shoulders and simply hugged him close with the water falling over them like a downpour. 

"This is not my normal, Dominic, not anymore," she whispered. "Not too long ago, I lived in a rented chalet in France where I sculpted and ate dinner every night in the same restaurant with locals who joked with me about needing some romance in my life."

"Then what changed?"

She tipped her head back and squinted against the water. Here, locked in his arms, naked, completely isolated, she felt safe saying the one thing she couldn't shake, "What changed? My brother decided to campaign for president."

"You think this is related?" He frowned and framed her face between the palms of his hands. 

"Every time information is leaked about me...his poll numbers rise. Even an ocean away, I'm an asset. I think someone wants to use me as leverage." She held her breath, waiting for him to dismiss her as a narcissist who thought the world revolved around her. 

But he didn't. He kissed her, slowly, and for the first time in years, she felt like she had an ally. 

From the back cover...

One little lie leads to a whole lot of trouble.

Reclusive international resort developer, Dominic Piazza, needs a date to ward off his matchmaking parents. When he persuades the notorious Vanessa Warren to play his girlfriend for the night, he has no idea he's stepped into the crosshairs of kidnappers who will do anything—destroy everything—to get to her.

Power...it's a heady drug.

Vanessa Warren is America's favorite rebel. Daughter and granddaughter of US Presidents and sister to a future one, her family connections and notoriety are seen as leverage for manipulating the White House—if she's captured.

One true thing...

Trapped in a rapidly escalating international terror plot, Dominic and Vanessa's lie becomes the only real thing in the midst of betrayals, conspiracies, and murder. As their world falls apart, they suddenly only have each other to rely on against ruthless people who will stop at nothing to achieve their goal. Who can they trust? Who is behind the plot—her own family, a political rival of her family's, or a terrorist organization? How far will the kidnappers go—what will they be willing to sacrifice—to control the power of the White House? Is there anywhere in the world where they can find safety?

Available at all distributors worldwide on March 22 
Follow Amber Lea Easton on Facebook to be the first to know when One True Thing is available

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