Monday, July 30, 2018

It Only Takes a SPARK of Madness to Fall in Love #NewRelease Erotic #PNR

Start the week off right with some scintillating love stories!
Shining today's spotlight on SPARK, a new erotic paranormal romance by Dakota Skye. 

From the back cover...

Calvin Ritchie wants solitude and isn't about to let a wildfire stop him from doing exactly what he wants. An action-adventure movie star, he is in Ouray for a weekend as far away from prying eyes as he can get. He is at a crossroads in his life. As part of a group of fallen angels that needs to either find redemption or be damned for eternity, Calvin is being tested by both light and dark forces.

When a sexy movie star wants to hire her to guide him into Box Canyon despite the wildfire raging miles south of town, local mountain guide Willow Leslie says yes. Never one to turn down an adventure—or a big payday—she ignores the warnings and trusts her skills as they head out for a holiday weekend. 

What they don't know is that an arsonist is loose in the forest and has started a second fire that traps them in the canyon. Bound by survival, they embark on a journey of erotic exploration and internal reckoning as the flames spread closer each day. 

Will Calvin find that spark of redemption he needs to rescue them from certain death? Can Willow learn to trust someone other than herself enough to let love melt her jaded heart? 

An excerpt (adult content)

She averted her gaze to the food before lifting it up toward the woods towering above them at the top of the canyon wall. "Did you hear that?" 

He paused and listened. He heard something yes. A distant snapping. A hiss. 

"It's a long hike back," she whispered. "We will need to start earlier than we did today." 

"Yeah, good idea." He finished his meal and allowed the beauty of the night to settle in around them. 

"Early to bed, early to rise?" She arched an eyebrow. 

"I never understood that saying until this exact minute." He winked. "C'mon. Let's get naked. I need some dessert and you are looking mighty tasty." 

"So are you, my angel." 

He quirked an eyebrow at that. He liked someone knowing his secret—someone who wasn't a supernatural being. On impulse he dragged her to him and smoothed away the hair from her face. He could stare at her forever—the wild spray of freckles across her face, the bright blue eyes, the dark blonde hair, the high cheekbones, the full mouth that smiled under his scrutiny. He kissed her, eyes wide open, and indulged in the taste of her lips. 

He stood and pulled her with him. He had an idea..."How would you like to do something that I have never done before with a woman?"

"Considering your reputation, that sounds kind of scary." She laughed as he pulled off her sweater and dropped it onto the camp chair behind her. 

"It could be." 

He smiled when the idea of danger sent sparks into her eyes. He slid his hands over her breasts, happy that they fit perfectly in the palms of his hands. 

She stepped out of her pajama pants and tugged his sweater over his head before unsnapping his jeans with the confidence of a woman who knew she owned him. 

When they were both naked, he pulled her gently into his arms and asked her, "Do you trust me?"

"I do." She curved her hands over his shoulders. "Whatever you're going to do...give me fair warning."

"Where's the fun in that?" He laughed against her hair. 

His wings unfurled with a swoosh. He scooped her into his arms and took flight. She hugged his neck and screamed—but not out of fear, out of joy. She laughed against his throat and wrapped her legs around his hips. 

From this altitude in the night sky, they could see the blood-red flames of the fires—one to the left and the massive one to the right. They were sandwiched between them, meaning the wind must have switched direction at some point to cause the Million Dollar Fire to jump the highway. He dipped to his side—she squealed with delight. He rolled through the air, holding her as tightly as she held him. She laughed against his skin. 

He took her to a ledge above tree line, far from the fires and their camp, to a place only a few diehard mountain climbers and mountain goats would dare climb. He lifted her against the rock wall, his erection pressing against her thigh, and looked her in the eye through the night shadows. 

Flushed, she leaned forward and kissed him with a sense of wonder and possession that stirred something in his heart that had never before been woken. He slipped his cock inside her and smiled against her mouth when she moaned his name. He ground and thrust himself into her. His wings extended for balance, he adjusted his hold on her ass with both hands before nibbling his way down her neck. With every thrust into her, she gasped and buried her fingernails into his shoulders. 

Her entire body convulsed around him. He thrust himself as deep as he could go and came with a shout that he hoped echoed through the valley all the way into town. 

Smiling, he fell backward off the ledge, sending them into a spiral fall where she screamed and laughed at the same time. He flattened out and they skimmed over the treetops on the way back toward their camp. 

If he died tomorrow—which was a distinct possibility—he would die happy. That had never mattered to him before now, but now it mattered above all else. 

Friday, July 20, 2018

Okay With Being Misunderstood #startingover #life

Being misunderstood used to bother me. I'm not talking about my words being inarticulate or me fumbling around awkwardly in a social setting. I'm talking about my intentions and my soul being seen as opposite as to what I know to be true.

I'm okay with being misunderstood now because I see it as a clear indicator that I am with the wrong tribe. It's a red flag that the person in my circle shouldn't be there. It's an alarm saying, "you deserve better than this bullshit."

I know my heart better than anyone else. I know I am a good person. I know I am kind. I know I am generous. I also know that I have a tendency to trust too easily--this has been a lifetime issue that has caused me all kinds of distress.

Starting my life over by selling all of my things--including the house where I raised the kids--and moving to a new city in a new state has blessed me with a level of clarity that had been severely lacking. I am clear on respecting myself--of knowing the kind of hell I've been through, recognizing the immense challenges I have faced, and giving myself credit for surviving all on my own. I am clear on knowing the type of people I want close to me--and those I don't. I am clear on my purpose. I am clear on my intentions. Because of that clarity, I am stronger in my decision making and in standing my ground.

I used to beat myself up for being misunderstood. I would lament why, why, why over and over again. I used to think it was me who failed in the relationship, which caused me to then compromise in ways that were never true to my soul. This created a great depression because I knew I wasn't living authentically. I stopped being me in an attempt to be understood and/or accepted by those who didn't really want to know the real me at all.

Part of this new chapter of my life where I am romancing myself is understanding my own heart. I know the depths of torment it can handle as well the magnitude of bliss it can experience. I laugh all the time now--and I laugh easier. By understanding exactly where I am coming from at any given time, I no longer flinch when someone misunderstands my intentions because I no longer care to explain.

Knowing yourself--accepting yourself--has perks. I strongly suggest diving deep and connecting with your soul because it gives you a strength that you cannot imagine unless you've done the hard work of venturing into the dark. The confidence you gain is an asset that will take you far. Trust me. I'm doing it now and it's liberating me from the tyranny of self-doubt.

Recently, ties were cut with a friend I had met here shortly after I moved. I thought I had found my soul sister, but I was wrong. She refused to respect my boundaries which were pretty clear--I asked her not to constantly bring up my husband who died 13 years ago because--well, I'm starting over and don't constantly need to talk about Sean's suicide. There's a time and a place for that discussion--and it's my story to tell when I choose. She refused. Every time we met other new people--or in the case of our last interaction when a stranger sat next to our table in a bar, she would blurt out, "her husband killed himself." She would not stop. She also liked calling me "asshole", no matter the setting or how many times I would bristle at it. She also liked bringing up a moment from a year ago when a drunk guy at a bar harassed me because I wouldn't dance with him--he called me fat, told me he was doing me a favor, said I was ugly so I shouldn't be so fussy--she insisted on telling every person we met that I had a boyfriend and would laugh mightily when telling the story even though that moment was incredibly uncomfortable for me and is not one I like to remember. Seriously, I lost count of how many times she told this story as if it were the most hilarious thing to ever happen. If I bristled, then I was uptight and being sensitive. Listen--these things went on over and over again even after I told her that they bothered me. That's not respecting me--so we're done. At the end of the day, I had to respect myself first. Screw it if my cutting of ties is misunderstood by anyone else.

But it took me many months to do this. Why, you ask? Because this past year has been my rebuilding phase that has been a steep learning curve of facing self-doubts, tackling sadness over being an empty nester, overcoming fear at entering this new chapter of my life alone, working through the sadness of leaving a home I had lived for most of my adult life, figuring out how to be completely alone (as in no kids, no familiar touchstones), and testing the waters of this new place. While going through this process, I also made myself extremely vulnerable and, as a result, I grew as a person but also made some mistakes.

Do I want to stay here in this new city forever? I don't know. Do I want to travel the world like a nomad? Maybe, I don't know yet. Do I want to date and possibly get married again? Maybe, we'll see. It's okay for me not to know. I like not knowing. I like being uncertain. I like being open to possibilities. This past year's journey has been brutal in some ways, but it's also been priceless in my evolution. I used to fight uncertainty. I hated not knowing. Now I love it.

I also used to have a weird desire to be understood and accepted. It was like this driving force to fit in as a parent in the parent groups while the kids were in school. I volunteered to be team mom or classroom assistant. I hid my wild side--and my sad side--and the result wasn't positive. I was slowly killing myself and, if I hadn't broken free, maybe that would have been a literal outcome.

And what did all that self-sacrifice and volunteering get me? Nothing. I never fit. I was misunderstood anyway. The rumors flew. The lies of the community undermined my kids. I never stood up for myself then because of this intense need to protect my children and to do whatever I needed to do to make others understand or accept me. Sometimes I wanted to just scream, "see me, accept me, love me!" Maybe it's because I was widowed young and the void left by my husband's death rocked my self-worth, I don't know. I wasted so much time locked in that loop.

Now, I'm okay with being misunderstood only because I have reached a level of confidence where the opinion of others no longer defines my identity. That goes for family members as well who like to view me through a tainted lens where my career is foolish and my choices are reckless. I know myself better now than ever before--but only because I went within and did the hard work to get here.

Romancing myself has been a beautiful process where I have danced with the ugly as well as the stunning parts of me. Losing it all, busting out of that bubble that I had existed in for so many years, has been the best thing to ever happen to me. Being misunderstood is a blessing in disguise and tells me everything I need to know.

The romance continues to blossom...

Boldly go!

Amber Lea Easton is a multi-published author of romantic thrillers, contemporary romance, women's fiction, and nonfiction. In addition, Easton also writes under two pen names--Dakota Skye (erotic paranormal romance thrillers) and Cassidy Springfield (new adult). She also works as a professional editor and creativity coach, takes road trips with her dogs whenever the mood strikes, and advocates for suicide awareness. To find out more about her books, please visit

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Can Their Secret Affair Survive the HEAT? #NewAdult #Romance #NewRelease

Shining the spotlight on this sexy excerpt of the new release Heat by Cassidy Springfield...

From the back cover...

Kiley Ross and Leo Marshall have a secret. He's her indulgence, her vice. She's his compass, his impossible dream.

Kiley is home for the summer between graduating the University of Colorado and attending graduate school out-of-state in the fall. Everything is changing—friends are scattering across the world, her long lost brother has appeared out of nowhere, a wildfire is threatening the family home, and her secret affair with the local outsider—Leo—is exposed.

As the wildfire ravages the forest around the small town of Ouray, she realizes what really matters and what truly doesn't. Her resistance toward change forces her to come to terms with her own failings—or risk losing the friendships and relationships that mean so much to her. Can she break free of the expectations that have held her back in time to rescue her love affair with Leo? Can he forgive her for wanting to keep him a secret? Confronted with seeing everything she has ever known burn to the ground, can Kiley rise up and step into her own power?

Excerpt...(adult content)

I walk toward the cabin and smile when I see Leo lounging on the front porch swing and moving it back and forth with his foot. His head is tipped back, his eyes are closed, and he's humming. I stop before he sees me to simply look at him. I want to memorize him like this—young, carefree, and waiting for me. 

I think these are the moments I will remember when I am an old woman sitting on a rocking chair somewhere and smiling over a boy I used to know. 

I must have made a sound because he stops moving the swing and looks in my direction. His slow smile has me burning with lust. 

I climb the stairs slowly even though I want to rush into his arms and melt against his body. Without saying a word, I unlock the door. He engulfs me in a hug from behind and buries his face in my hair. I am overcome with desire. 

He kicks the door closed. We don't turn on the lights. He spins me around and kisses me. We tumble toward the bedroom while fumbling to get naked. My hands are on his clothes and his are on mine. We are like a wild frenzy of arms colliding, clothes falling, lips melding, and skin touching. 

We fall backward onto the bed. He mouth is on my neck. His hands are on my breasts. 

I slide the heels of my feet over the backs of his legs. I sink my fingernails into his ass. He pulls his lips from my body only long enough to rip open a condom wrapper with his teeth. I take it from him and roll it over his erection. 

We've done this before—many times. He has visited me in Boulder for the past three years, always in secret, always intense, always mind-blowing. 

He rocks inside me. Our breath tangles between our mouths. 

The cabin is too warm. Sweat slicks between our naked bodies as we roll across the bed. I have never wanted anyone or anything as much as I want Leo. Maybe I never will. 

He wraps his fingers into mine and presses my hands over my head while moving inside me with the same intensity he shows on stage. Perhaps more. It feels like more, but maybe I just want it to be.

Only a few hours later, I am wrapped in Leo's arms watching the first rays of sun slide across the wood floor. Our bare legs are tangled together on top of the bed; his chin is resting against the top of my head. 

"I wish you would have told me about your tour," I admit. 

He holds me a bit tighter. "I didn't think you would care."

"Why wouldn't I care?" I twist my head to look at him. "And don't you dare tell me that talking isn't what we do. We talk."

He grins his sleepy-sexually satisfied grin. "We don't talk much."

"You make me sound like a sex addict."

"Are you?"


"Okay, seriously," he rolls onto his back and drags me on top of him. "You have made it very clear that we are sex buddies and that's it. You're leaving for graduate school, I'm touring with the band, and it's all okay. We have an expiration date. I have never believed otherwise."

I drum my fingers against his shoulders and contemplate what he said. He's not wrong. I've never been someone who dreamt of happily ever after's and really don't see how we could make it work past August, but yet I don't want to lose him either. I can't have it both ways, I know. 

"I wish I would have known, though. I can make t-shirts."


"For your band, with your logo." 

He arches an eyebrow and looks doubtful. 

"I know how to make t-shirts, Leo." I smile and trace my thumb over his chin. "I want to do it, you can sell them at your shows. I bet you would have made a killing last night. All those girls wanted you."

"You noticed?"

"I'm just saying...for marketing purposes." 

"Right. Marketing." He winks. "Thank you for thinking of my bottom line."

"They would go well with the CDs you produced."

"Why do you want to make me t-shirts?" He brushed his fingers through my hair that has fallen over his shoulders like a shawl. 

"I think it's a good idea."

"But why do you want to make them for me?"

I know he wants me to admit I like him as more than a hook up. I bite my lip and think about how to word my response in a way that won't give him the wrong idea. 

He sighs and shakes his head, as if disgusted that I can't give him a simple response off the top of my head. "I gotta get home, catch a few hours of sleep, and then get back here to work. Your dad wants us all helping on hauling away any slash around the property to clear a defensible space." He rolls away from me and sits on the side of the bed. 

Using my index finger, I trace a line from beneath his neck down his spine. He has a tattoo of a columbine flower on his bicep. He says he got it for me—to remember this place when he moves away one day. He studies me over his shoulder as I trace the flower with my fingertip. The light of dawn ekes its way toward the bed, reminding us that the day is approaching and our alone time is ending. 

"I'll see you later?" he asks. 

"The resort is donating supplies for the firefighters and I'm driving the van up to the firefighter camp at the Hawkins' Ranch this afternoon. Want to come? It's considered resort work so I'm sure—"

"That I won't have to punch out? Got it. Sure. I'll be the driver, wouldn't want your daddy to think I was slacking on my duties." He pushes away from the bed and gathers his clothes. 

I hug my knees to my chest and watch him get dressed. I know he wants something from me but I don't know what. He knows my drive to pursue my education is equal to that of his for music. I want to be neuropsychologist one day—I want to help stroke victims and perhaps research Alzheimer's. I'm fascinated with the brain—it excites me in ways that I find it hard to explain. He's the poet, the songwriter, the one with the words. 

Frustration simmers through my veins like a fuse about to explode. 


He pauses at the door and looks at me. 

What will he write about me one day, I wonder. He writes about everything in his life—everyone. Will I be the lost chance at love, the girl who he lost his virginity to, or the ex he hates? I know he will write about me—he already has and his songs are all about life and hope and angst and desire. 

"I'll see you later then," I say lamely. 

His brow furrows, making him look as confused as I feel. "Yeah, sure, just text me when you need me." 

The door closes behind him. I stare at it for a few minutes without moving. I can't shake the feeling that my fear of letting everyone else down is preventing me from taking a risk. 

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Love Ignites Amidst a Firestorm of Regret #RomanceReaders

The Wildfire Romance Series is a shared world where multiple authors tell the tale of a wildfire threatening the town of Ouray, Colorado, from differing perspectives. All stories are stand-alone books that share common landmarks, a few overlapping characters, and the same crisis situation. This blog hop connects all stories so readers can take a peek inside each one. 
The link to various posts are below the excerpt. 

This post features Seducing the Flame, Book One, of the Wildfire Romance Shared World Series. 

From the back cover...

Flames rip through southern Colorado and fire crews from across the US rush to battle the Million Dollar Fire. Devon Ross never thought he would step foot into his hometown of Ouray again, but as captain of the Flame Slayers—an elite fire jumping squad out of California—his call to duty thrusts him onto a collision course with his past.

Darby Shaw can't believe her eyes when she sees Devon at the makeshift camp for the fire crews. He had disappeared—literally—ten years ago and his possible whereabouts had become a source of town lore. Seeing him here, now, under these crisis conditions, creates a whirlwind of conflict within her. The last time she had seen him face-to-face, she had whipped him with her wedding bouquet. 

There is an arsonist in their midst. When a second fire develops southeast of town, the life and death struggle intensifies. 

Devon may be brave when facing down a fire, but is he courageous enough to confront his reasons for cutting ties with his family and friends? Can Darby come to terms with the depth of her past betrayal? Will the seduction of the flame be more powerful than love? With the fire roaring its way through the mountain landscape, time works against them as they struggle to heal what went wrong between them for a second chance at a what-if. 

An Excerpt

History brewed like a slow-burning fuse between them, yet they both chose to ignore it. She had no idea when or if they would ever have a deep discussion or all-out argument about what had happened ten years ago—but she honestly didn't know if it was necessary. Being with him now felt more precious and more important than dwelling on pain a decade old. 

They walked in an easy silence through the series of log cabins nestled in their own corners of seclusion behind trees and bushes until coming to one that stood at the very end of the path. Devon stepped onto the front porch and sat in the swing. He tugged on the chains holding it to the ceiling before looking at her with a question in his eyes. 

She remembered this cabin—it seemed to always be off the registrar, in a constant state of supposed renovation. She wondered if the Ross family—including Lester and Matilda—had a reason for keeping it as a sneak-away retreat for family only. She sat on the swing with him and tucked her legs beneath her hips while he moved it to-and-fro with his foot. 

She took a moment to simply look at him. Age had treated him with kindness. He was more handsome now than he had been at twenty-three, which said a helluva lot. He was now one hundred percent man—no trace of the boy remained. Little lines shot out from the corners of his blue eyes. His face appeared sharper, more defined. And his mouth...she studied his lips as they curved into a smile under her scrutiny...she wanted the right to kiss him whenever she wanted. 

And she wanted. 

"Tell me about this shirt."

"Women go wild for me where ever I go—they try to rip the clothes right off of me. It's kind of embarrassing." 

She laughed and linked her fingers through his. "I bet you go through a lot of shirts."

"I do. It's kind of problem. I've really needed to adjust the budget to account for it."

She wanted to say more than she had yesterday but had no idea where to start or how to begin. If she said too much, he could disappear. If she said too little, then she might always regret it when he left. With a sigh, she realized that both scenarios ended with him walking away. 

He tilted her face up to his with his index finger and simply stared into her eyes. "I never wanted to hurt anyone. I thought I was doing everyone a favor by leaving."

She curled her hand around his wrist. "I know you did, that's why it's so sad."

He dipped his head and kissed her slowly. His hands moved down to her waist and he pulled her onto his lap. He kissed her neck while his fingers undid the buttons of her shirt until he pressed it open to reveal her bra. His head dipped into her cleavage. He hands reached around her back to undo the clasp to free her breasts from the purple lace. When his tongue flicked over her nipple, she gasped and clenched his head closer to her. 

Every move, every touch, every kiss, every caress was done with slow deliberation. She tilted her head back and allowed him to make love to her breasts with his hands and lips and teeth and tongue. 

She ripped the tattered shirt from his shoulders and tossed it aside. She laughed against his mouth as he muttered, "There goes another one." 

They moved from the porch swing to the porch floor. She touched his tattoos on his chest and arms—some old, some new. 

He brushed the hair from her face before claiming her lips with a tenderness that broke her heart. His hand kneaded her breast, his thumb teased her nipple, his knee parted her thighs. She arched her hips against him, craving connection. 

"Devon! Are you out here?" Lester. "Kiley said you were out this way. Devon! Oh, sorry, oh, I, uh," Lester darted behind a tree. 

"I'm kind of in the middle of something, Dad." Devon laughed against her neck and whispered, "Don't move. My dick's about to bust out of my pants. Give me a minute to think of something else." 

"Someone named Tucker is here looking for you. He said there's been a development back at the camp but you left your phone in your tent so he drove over," Lester explained his interruption. 

Devon moaned against her hair, gave her breast a final squeeze, and pushed himself up so he could see her face. Eyes full of regret and desire, he sighed. "Duty calls." 

She kissed his neck and whispered against his skin, "What a damn shame." 

He pulled her to her feet, bent close to her ear, and whispered, "It didn't work with the teacher because she wasn't you." 

"I'm sorry, Darby," Lester called out from where he remained behind the tree. "I didn't know you two were...when exactly?, that's fine. I don't need to know...but I am curious, but, no, I don't need to know. I'm sorry. I didn't mean to interrupt." 

Stunned at Devon's admission, she said nothing as she adjusted her bra and shrugged back into her shirt. Once again, she watched Devon walk away and wondered if this would always be the way it was between them—her in disarray watching him leave.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Bursting the Bubble #StartingOver #Inspiration

Selling the home I had lived in for nineteen years and leaving a state that I had called home for twenty-five years felt like diving head first off a cliff. I was leaving behind memories of a life I had built with my late husband and my children--and not all of those memories were good, but many of them were. People told me, "you're crazy, you'll never be able to come back and have all this again" and said things like, "how can you abandon your kids (who are 22 and 20)?"

I was scared. In some ways, I felt like a failure because I couldn't hack living alone in the mountains. My husband had died, the kids were in college, I had nothing in common with the people in the community it seemed, and I felt as if I were dying. That's not an exaggeration either--I literally felt like I would die if I remained there. And not die as in "someday" but soon.

So I left and it wasn't easy. The transition hasn't been easy either. There have been highs and lows and doubts--but I have no regrets.

I had been living in a bubble that had been suffocating my spirit for years. Trying to fit in as a widowed single mom in a community that really disliked grief or anyone who struggled in any way isolated me to such a degree that I started believing the lie that I was flawed. If I grieved, I would be told how so-and-so got a divorce and moved on or how so-and-so's ex killed himself and she was fine--as if there was something wrong with me and my feelings--as if my struggle wasn't real because of the constant comparison with so-and-so (who I never knew personally, of course). If I admitted to struggling financially as a single mom whose little kids had anxiety issues after witnessing their dad's suicide, I was shunned rather than helped and my kids were bullied. I have no love loss for the community I left. None.

Why did I stay so long after my husband's death? I told myself it was because the kids needed stability after experiencing such a loss, but I did as well. It was hard enough moving alone with two adult children, I'm sure it would have been much more stressful if the kids had been younger and were protesting every step of the way. But, I stayed too long. I know that now with certainty. The bubble may have been stifling, but it was also safe.

Now that I've moved, I look back and see that the bubble that I lived in was not only toxic, but was also created in a false reality. To those people who still live in that bubble, they only know what they know based on everyone around them trying to fit the superficial facade that is perpetuated there as normal.

It's not normal, though, and I only see that now because I burst the bubble and set myself free. Shortly after moving, I met a sophisticated woman at the airport who was on her way back to Santa Fe on my flight. We started chatting and she told me that she moves to a new city every five years, no matter how happy or content she feels. She does this because she wants to be aware of becoming too comfortable and possibly prevent herself from becoming close-minded.

That conversation started me thinking about how afraid I had been all along to shake up my life. I have met so many interesting people in the past year since my move. I have participated in activities that have deepened my spirit and opened my mind in ways that never would have happened if I were still living in that secluded bubble on the mountain top.

I am no longer afraid of anything. I could sell this house tomorrow and become a vagabond for a year and would not be afraid of doing it. I shut down a part of my business because I am sick of snarky people who think that "snark" makes them powerful (or smart) when it is genuinely disrespectful and mean. Money and stability concerns would have prevented me from doing so a year ago--now I don't care. Yes, I still need to earn a living, but I now value my self-respect and my peace more.

A shift has occurred within me on the core level. Fear no longer has any power over me. I think when you're someone like me--someone who has lost everything at some point, who has hit rock bottom and who has looked around and realized how alone they were and are still standing at the end of the day--you do become fearless. You do develop a "fuck you" attitude to anyone who tries to disrespect you. And that's okay. Once you're out of the bubble, the freedom to be yourself sets you on fire.

We all live in certain bubbles--which is why some who have never left their hometowns become so set in their ways and suspicious of outsiders. Traveling expands our bubbles to an extent, but I've traveled enough where I've met people who only whine about "how things are done" where they're from--which only shows their closed-mindedness to anyone or anything outside their comfort zone. That's living small. That's being small. When you open yourself to others who are different from you, you learn how big life is meant to be.

I think the only true way to burst your bubble and break free of the limits you may be experiencing is to move--and move again if you don't like it--and move back to where you started if you realize that's truly meant for you. But how do you know what's meant for you if you don't experiment? How do you know what you're capable of if you don't reach higher than you ever dreamed possible?

I hope to keep bursting my bubble and creating new ones--more expansive ones--throughout my entire life until I have a kaleidoscope of experiences that shape me into the woman I want to be.

Boldly go, my friends!