Friday, December 20, 2013

Celebrate the Holidays with a Marine

Take some time for you this weekend! And remember a portion of the proceeds from the holiday Marines goes to Toys for Tots!

Friday, December 13, 2013

New Year and Back Again: An Author's Tale #MistletoeMadness

Can you believe 2013 is drawing to a close? I can't. It feels like just yesterday we were counting down to close out 2012 and ring in 2013. In just a couple of weeks, we'll be bidding 2013 farewell and dashing into the new year. It seems wildly appropriate to kick off this hop on Friday the 13th as we countdown to saying goodbye to 2013 (at least for me), as 13 is my favorite number. To honor the occasion, I wanted to share with you 13 things I am proud of this year. They are in no particular order:

13. I released 24 titles this year, that's a rate of two per month. Included in those releases were books in 4 different series. (Okay, I need to take a minute to hyperventilate).
12. I paid my mortgage for the first time off royalties earned on my releases. This is huge. As authors we don't always like to talk about the money end of things, but being able to support myself and my child is a huge accomplishment for me.
11. Of the 24 titles I released this year, 14 were in the Always a Marine series (15 if you count the book that released quite literally on the tail end of 2012).
10. Of the 14 Always a Marine titles I released, eight of those were earmarked to have a portion of their royalties donated to charity.
9. 5 of those 14 titles include the holiday Marines and a portion of those proceeds are going to Toys for Tots and will for as long as people are buying them. Titles include:

Whew! This is fun!

8. During my Coffee Happy Hour at Readers and Ritas in November, my readers brought over 90 toys to be collected for Toys for Tots!
7. In February of 2013, I did a 5k run (okay so I walked it), but I still did it and I had a great time!
6. In March of 2013, I weighed in 85 pounds lost since May of 2012. As of this writing, I have kept it all off (and I am freezing my arse off this winter, but it's worth it).
5. I got to see Thor 2. Yes, I know this isn't really an accomplishment, but it was damn cool!
4. I wrote nearly as many books as I published this year and I realized that for the first time, my editorial calendar stretches into 2016.
3. In my Fevered Hearts series, I planned to write a bridge novella that would take readers from book 5 to book 6. That novella grew to be another 120K book, the second in the series to be that long.
2. I logged a little over 10,000 miles in travel this year, and most of it I did in my car.
1. I grew, I achieved my goals, and I set new ones. I also became the mom to a teenager this year...what can I say, I like a challenge?

So what's next?

In January, I'm launching a new series that I am over the moon excited about, it's called Some Like It Royal. Consider this your invitation to join us for the release party on Facebook. 2014? It's gonna be a blast!

So how was your year? And what are you most looking forward to with the new year?

Don't miss the rest of the hop, there's some great prizes to be won and I'm giving away a $25 gift card to Amazon so use the rafflecopter for that one!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Visit the Mistletoe Madness Blog hop 2013 main page to enter to win the Grand Prize! Click Here

PJ Schnyder - steamy Laura Kaye - steamy Christi Barth - steamy Katee Robert - steamy Monica Burns - steamy
Christina Wolfer - steamy Cat Johnson - steamy Delphine Dryden - steamy Vivi Dumas - steamy Gabriella Edwards - steamy
Dana Marie Bell - steamy Christine dAbo - steamy Stephanie Flash Burke - steamy Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences - all ages Romance with Flavor - steamy
Simply Ali - steamy Joyfully Reviewed - steamy Books Make Me Happy - steamy Literary Escapism - steamy Sinfully Tasty Reads - steamy
Romancing Rakes For The Love of Romance - steamy Thats What Im Talking About - steamy Read-Love-Blog - steamy The Book Tart - steamy Trinity Blacio - steamy
Eliza Knight - steamy Misa Buckley - all ages Leah Braemel - steamy Jodi Redford - steamy Amy Joy Lutchen - all ages
Whos Reviews - all ages - all ages Books Make Me Happy - all ages C. Margery Kempe - steamy Tiffany Allee - all ages
Anna Daye - steamy Val Griswold-Ford - all ages Heather Long, Author - all ages Nicole Zoltack - all ages Robyn Neeley - all ages
Sarah Grimm - steamy Ambrielle Kirk - steamy Tonya Burrows - all ages Selena Laurence - all ages Rachel Rawlings - all ages
TrulySimplyPink - all ages Kary Rader - all ages In The Pages of a Good Book - steamy Kait Ballenger - all ages Zany PNR Addict - steamy
Tara Kingston - steamy Mina Vaughn, Author - steamy Hilary Storm, Author - steamy Andrea Michelle - steamy Kiss And Tell Reviews - steamy
the passionate reader - all ages Emma Shortt - steamy

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Two Dads for Christmas #HotHolidayReads

Did you know that every holiday season Kate Richards takes us on a magical trip to Alaska? Talk about your white Christmas!

Lauren is in trouble. Only the adoption agency lady knows the heartbreaking decision she’s making. But every baby deserves a father and Lauren’s ex isn’t stepping up to the plate. Without a dad for her child, Lauren doesn’t feel she can give her baby what he or she deserves. When her mother sends her to the Castillo resort in Castle, Alaska to help with a holiday celebration, Lauren jumps at the chance to forget her worries.

Jorell’s career is soaring. In charge of development for the Castillo Resorts Caribbean region, the only thing on his mind is pursuing a vice presidency. Not romance. But a forced transfer to the frozen north throws him—and his prospects off-kilter.

Zachary lives near Castle, Alaska, but the fishing guide has had little success finding a social life and fears his interest in both men and women may be too wild for the wilderness.

Two men and one pregnant woman…in charge of the holiday activities at the Christmas Extravaganza at Castle Lodge. Friendship and intense attraction blooms between them. But Madame Eve has her work cut out for her…will Jorell and Zach provide enough reasons for Lauren to change her mind?



Your aunt and uncle love you very much and, as a special Christmas gift, they allowed me to arrange a unique evening for you. Your date will meet you at the large cabin behind the lodge, for a night you will never forget.

Madame Eve

Perfect. Might as well get it over with—although it would have been simpler to give the guy the slip in the coffee shop or another public area. Kathryn and Nick met through Madame Eve and shared a world-class romance, even now that they were married and parents. Sweet looks, private jokes, stolen kisses…everything any girl could want. She stuffed the paper into her bodice with a sigh.

But she’d already set her course and, if it weren’t for her previous poor judgment and the fact that she’d already fallen hard for two men who had eyes only for each other, it could indeed be a night to remember. Instead, she cut through the gleaming kitchen, smiling at the late night staffers, and out the back door. A light beamed from the front window of the cabin where, according to Andie, she’d spent her first night with her true loves. For just a second an image flashed through her mind—of Jorell and Zach, their nude white and mocha bodies in a four-poster bed, arms outstretched to her in invitation.

But the single tear froze on her cheek along with her dreams as she plodded up the path to the cabin and lifted her hand to the door.

It jerked open, and she gasped. Christmas music poured out on a gust of warm, pine-scented air. A tall spruce decked for the holidays glittered in a corner. Low laughter from somewhere near the flickering flames of the fireplace did not come from the auburn-bearded man who greeted her in the open doorway. It came from Jorell.

And Zach’s hand was the one that tugged her inside, when her feet became one with the doorstep. Lauren’s heart thudded so loud in her ears, it drowned out the Carol of the Bells. Her hopes rose to the high rafters then crashed down when she realized….

“I’m so sorry to interrupt your evening. I must be at the wrong cabin.” And she’d be going back to her room after that, date be darned.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

My Favorite Heist Movies with Libby Waterford

There’s something undeniably sexy about sneaking around at night, usually in some exotic locale, doing something illicit, trying not to get caught. Cat burglars and art thieves tend to get glamorized in the movies, when in reality stealing people’s jewels and art is a terrible crime. But it can be fun to pretend.

When it comes to glamour, no one tops Grace Kelly and Cary Grant. To Catch a Thief may not be Hitchcock’s masterpiece, but it is full of entertaining banter between two of the most attractive people ever to seduce one another on the French Riviera.

The original The ThomasCrown Affair differs from the remake, but they are both worth watching. I love the zippy score and the fearless sensuality of the Pierce Brosnan-Rene Russo version.

How to Steal a Million is another fun one. I’d watch Audrey Hepburn folding laundry, so seeing her share the screen with Peter O’Toole as they juggle romance, forgery, and theft, is sublime.

What’s your favorite heist flick?

Libby Waterford
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Now available! Love Unlocked from Decadent Publishing

All she wants is a fresh start…
Retired art thief Eve Caplin traveled all the way from Paris to California looking for a fresh start in a small town. When she locks herself out of her home, she gets much more than she bargained for in Hudson Cleary, part-time locksmith and world famous artist. She wants to resist Hudson’s seductive pull, but can’t refuse his help when a man from her past blackmails her into stealing a ten million dollar painting. Not only does Hudson have access to the painting, he may hold the key to her damaged heart.

All he wants is her…
Hudson hasn’t picked up a paintbrush in two years. When he unlocks Eve Caplin’s door, the mysterious beauty arouses much more than just his creative impulses. He needs Eve in his studio and wants her in his bed. When he discovers danger closing in, he must decide how far over the line he’s willing to go to protect her.

Will he lose his heart, his muse, and his freedom all in one unforgettable night?

Enjoy the following excerpt for Love Unlocked:

Monday, December 2, 2013

Lest Old Marines Be Forgot Release Day!

She never stopped grieving…
It’s New Year’s Eve, and thirty years since Brenda Connors buried the only man she ever loved. Every year on the anniversary of his death, she finds herself in the hospital, suffering from chest pains. No matter how expected, it always takes her breath away. This year…this year she wants it to be different and takes the advice of her best friend and would be sister-in-law to sign up for a one-night stand. It seems ridiculous, just a year shy of her fiftieth birthday to try and seek happiness she long since gave up on. She never imagined a stern faced Marine with talent for making her laugh…
He doesn’t know what the future holds…
Married to his career and facing forced retirement, Major Tom Baxter doesn’t see much of a future for himself in civilian life. A poker game with the son of an old friend earns him some unwanted advice, but it’s advice he can’t get out of his head. He signs up for a one-night stand, to discover what life on the outside might have to offer. The last thing he expected was an elegant soul with a streak of mischief…
Ringing in a new beginning…
Can Tom and Brenda make every second of their countdown to midnight count, lest old Marines be forgot?
Their table sat in an alcove that also doubled as a private balcony and overlooked a lit garden. According to his hostess, he and his date would also be able to see the fireworks over Dallas later should they still be at their table at midnight. If not, then their reserved suite also had a balcony and a good vantage point. A marble-floored hallway led to their dining table and though the alcove was simply one of several such isolated settings, theirs possessed heavy cream curtains that could be closed to afford them further privacy.
Overall, it was an excellent choice on Luke’s part. Fortunately, years of not doing much with his salary meant Tom could also afford the evening comfortably. He finished the cup of coffee and checked his watch. Fifteen minutes to operation launch and he heard heels tapping on the marble floor caught his attention. Glancing sideways, he spotted a pair of elegant, long legs. Trailing his attention upward, he studied the woman approaching.
The body-hugging sheathe of a dress molded her curves, and what a shape she had…. Dark hair brushed her shoulders, the silvery streaks amidst the deep brown seemed almost artistic. Straightening, he frowned when she hesitated and checked her phone. The curl of anticipation in his gut flattened out.
It didn’t matter if the elegant woman searched for another date; he couldn’t take his attention off her. She all but glared at her phone. A heartbeat later, she rewarded his captivation when her exasperation transformed into sparkling laughter.
Squaring her shoulders, she lifted her chin and their gazes collided. Her smile faltered for a heartbeat, then warmed. At her look, he rose to his feet and enjoyed her long walk down the hall.
“Ms. Connors.” He extended his hand automatically, her smooth palm gliding against his.
A hint of shyness softened her expression, but she didn’t look away. “Mr. Baxter. Can I just say that you chose the loveliest spot for dinner?”
Boosted by the compliment and her lovely manner, he inclined his head. “Only if you’ll allow me to say that you outshine the location—and then some.” He’d never really been that good with flowery compliments, but a hint of color bloomed over her cheeks and he let out a breath. “Here….” To pull out her seat meant he had to let go of her hand.
She had slender fingers, beautiful and tapered, and they’d been silky-soft with the barest hint of callouses on her index fingers and thumbs. Callouses that meant she used tools, but probably didn’t build or work with anything. His brain’s need to catalog details had proven a godsend in the field, but he didn’t need to pick apart his date.
“Thank you,” Brenda murmured and slipped around him to take the chair he held out and he scooted it in just as she sat. From his vantage point, he had a direct view of her cleavage and the teasing hint of a dark mole on the curve of her right breast.
Clearing his throat, he moved back to his seat. “Of course.”

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Breaking News: Some Like It Royal is Coming!

While I know the holidays are all around us and we're all counting it down to Christmas, stay tuned for the big news hitting in January with the release of Some Like it Royal! Spread the word, reserve your copy and get ready for something altogether magical. Be sure to like the official Going Royal Facebook page to keep up with all the latest news and more!

It's The Role of a Lifetime...

Living out of a car and waiting tables to make ends meet is hardly the stuff of fairy tales. So when a gorgeous man approaches Alyx Dagmar with a wild story about her royal lineage and an even wilder proposition, the aspiring actress is sure he's got the wrong woman.

Self-made billionaire Daniel Voldakov needs connections before he can expand his software business into Europe. A blue-blooded fiancée would open all the right doors--and Daniel's certain he can tempt the pretty but penniless Princess Alyxandretta to accept the part she was born to play.

Alyx can't resist Daniel's offer, and throws herself into the role. But as the paparazzi fall in love with their "storybook romance," Alyx finds herself drawn to Daniel in ways she'd never imagined. Are his returned affections true, or all just part of the plan? He'll do anything it takes to prove his love, and to make her see that the only happily ever after he wants is with her...the real her.

January 13th

Saturday, November 30, 2013

My Secret Saturday Reveal

It's been a great holiday week from cooking a big meal to spending quality time with the Mini to hanging out with some really awesome readers via Laura Kaye and Jennifer Probst's release parties (hats off to these ladies because talk about off the charts participation and fun!). In fact, the secret I'm sharing today comes from those release parties. I asked readers to share their most romantic holiday memory or at least what they consider most romantic about the holidays. Unsurprisingly, a lot of readers said Mistletoe. Considering mistletoe is very popular in television, film and novels around the holidays and that stolen kiss or even innocent kiss can lead to so much--that's not surprising.

So what's my secret?  I've never been kissed under the mistletoe!

Marine Under the Mistletoe


“Parker. Jensen. Spence.” Lifting, clear and authoritative, the feminine voice silenced the boys in a way Aaron hadn’t managed. Backlit perfectly at the top of the stairs stood an auburn-haired woman dressed in a body-hugging sheath of a dress. “Aaron told you that was enough a few moments ago. And you didn’t listen. What have we told you about respecting our guests and circle members when they arrive?”

Only his training kept Kaiden from laughing out loud at the crestfallen expressions all three boys wore. Old enough to appreciate the woman’s beauty and too young to be more than tongue-tied around her, not a single one could lift their gazes to meet hers. Instead, they shuffled their feet and kept their heads down.

“That’s what I thought.” She smiled, and even from ten feet away, the promise of sunshine warmed him. “Apologize and excuse yourselves. I think you’ll find that the circle hasn’t been raked nor has the area been scoured for any leftover debris. You will work on that this evening and tomorrow morning.”

Aaron didn’t bother to hide his amusement and let out a faint snicker at the boys’ predicament.

“You can have Aaron inspect it when you’re done.” She tacked the last on as an afterthought, because while Aaron watched the boys, she watched Aaron and seemed to take note of his amusement at their discomfort. Disapproval echoed in the look she gave him.

He grunted, but didn’t complain. The boys cleared out without further warning and the goddess in the pale gray silk dress descended the stairs slowly. He didn’t get a glimpse of her feet, but the way the long skirt swirled around her, it gave her the effect of floating.


He parroted her tone. “Rowan?”

The man’s nudity hadn’t bothered Kaiden when he’d arrived, not really. He hadn’t been gone so long he didn’t remember the comfort most others had in their skin—hell, a comfort he’d once shared. But when Rowan achieved the last step, Kaiden fought the desire to strip off his jacket and throw it at the other man.

Realization dawned across Aaron’s chastised expression. “Oh. My apologies, you two haven’t met…I forgot. Rowan Harper—this is Lorraine and Henry’s son, Kaiden. Kaiden, Rowan Harper—she joined Blue Circle a few years after you enlisted, give or take.”

“Merry meet, Kaiden.” She smiled, walked straight to him and brushed her lips to his—the contact a violent shock to his system and he blinked once, going completely still. “It’s truly lovely to have you with us this year.”

It took his mind what seemed like a full minute to catch up. “Hello.”

Friday, November 29, 2013

Black Friday #Fevered Sale: Fevered Hearts 50% off at All Romance eBooks

Five books, five hours, 50% off. Meet the Kanes and the Morning Stars, two powerful families at the center of the storm. Their lives were irrevocably altered by the fever, but the choices they make could change the world. Discover the unforgettable saga today.  One day only sale at All Romance eBooks!


"Welcome to a wild west where shift changers, fire starters, and walking through dreams can be the norm. But, all the elements of what we know as the old west are also present. Most people don't realize these people with unique qualities even exist, which is as it should be. This first book of Heather Long's Fevered Heart series lays down an awesome world with characters that you just can't get enough of." - Night Owl Reviews

"Heather Long's Marshal of Hel Dorado is a five-star romance. The reader gets all the goodies in this western tale filled with love, suspense and drama. Sam is a gruff hero with just enough edges to keep things interesting. Scarlett is an innocent woman with fire in her heart and it's ready to burst free." - Joyfully Reviewed

"With a ribbon of paranormal woven through it, Marshal of Hel Dorado will satisfy any paranormal romance fan. Refreshing and brilliant, I will be quick to pick up the next book in this series." - Booked & Loaded
Are you ready for the Fever?

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Heather on Kali Willows' Between Moonlit Covers Tonight! #listen

After the turkey and before the crazy Black Friday shopping, come hang out with me on Kali Willows Between Moonlit Covers blogtalk radio show. I'll be chatting about the holiday Marines and more. There just might even be a giveaway. It's at 11 p.m. EST and 10 p.m. CST. Be sure to dress comfy - I'll be in my jammies and fuzzy socks.

Fun fact: It's been exactly two years since I submitted Once Her Man, Always Her Man, the first in the Always a Marine series...

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Heather By The Numbers

So I've noticed this trend on Facebook lately (yes, I know there are so many), but this is the one where you like someone's status after they share several things about themselves and they give you a number. That number is what you turn around and share about yourself. The number I was given was five. So I thought I would share five things you may not know about me.

1. My current work-in-progress, Some Like It Secret, is the 50th book I have written.
2. I love liver and onions and I've loved it since I was a kid. As an adult, particularly on days when I miss my grandmother, I like to make it as comfort food.
3. I am a cat person, and yet I own more dogs than cats these days. I wasn't allowed to have dogs from age 7 to 18 and I was 24 when I got my first "dog" again. Her name was Max. She passed away a couple of years ago. But I still talk about her like she's with me.
4. I got married at Disney World, right down to the fairy tale carriage. Funnily enough, I wanted to get married in Vegas. If I ever get married again, that is where I plan to do it.
5. I am a dancer--I danced for years until I messed up my knee when I was sixteen. For a long time after, I wasn't sure that I would ever find the joy that I experienced while dancing again. But then I wrote my first book and I found my joy again.

So, did you know any of these?

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

#HolidayMarines COVER REVEAL: Lest Old Marines Be Forgot

In some ways, I've been waiting a year to share the holiday Marines. In 2012, I thought about doing a series of Marines all set during the holiday season and even picked the holidays I wanted to feature. As we've worked our way through 2013, I wrote holiday stories in spring, summer, and autumn. Let me tell you how surreal it was to write a Christmasy story when I was in shorts and sweating to death in the high heat of summer!

So far, we have released the Thanksgiving, Hanukkah and Yule Marines, Very shortly you will have Have Yourself a Marine Christmas. Every single one of the holiday Marines will have a portion of the proceeds donated to Toys for Tots.  And we have one last cover to share with you, it is my last of the Always a Marine series for 2013 (not the last forever, don't panic) and as with all of these tales, I am excited to share with you a little something different. 

Without further ado, get ready to kick off 2014 with Lest Old Marines Be Forgot, because you're never too old or too late to find love.

Releasing December 2

She never stopped grieving…

It’s New Year’s Eve, and thirty years since Brenda Connors buried the only man she ever loved. Every year on the anniversary of his death, she finds herself in the hospital, suffering from chest pains. No matter how expected, it always takes her breath away. This year…this year she wants it to be different and takes the advice of her best friend and would be sister-in-law to sign up for a one-night stand. It seems ridiculous, just a year shy of her fiftieth birthday to try and seek happiness she long since gave up on. She never imagined a stern faced Marine with talent for making her laugh…

He doesn’t know what the future holds…

Married to his career and facing forced retirement, Major Tom Baxter doesn’t see much of a future for himself in civilian life. A poker game with the son of an old friend earns him some unwanted advice, but it’s advice he can’t get out of his head. He signs up for a one-night stand, to discover what life on the outside might have to offer. The last thing he expected was an elegant soul with a streak of mischief…

Ringing in a new beginning…

Can Tom and Brenda make every second of their countdown to midnight count, lest old Marines be forgot?

Sunday, November 17, 2013

New Release: Ivan's Captive Submissive by Ann Mayburn

When Gia Lopez signs up for the Submissive's Wish Charity Auction she has no idea that she's about to be bought by a Russian Dom who will do anything to make her fantasies come true. Including staging an elaborate kidnapping that Gia believes is real. Ivan is instantly drawn to Gia and he wants to be the best Master she's ever had. As he spends time with Gia he begins to have intense feelings for the strong, independent, and sexy American woman. He's only won a week of her service but wishes to keep her forever.

Unaware of Ivan’s true feelings, Gia fights her growing emotional attachment to him. All she wants is to settle down with a nice Dom in the United States, continue her career, and live a normal life. However, Ivan sets a plan into motion that will push Gia to all of her limits and take her on a global journey of self-discovery, extreme pleasure, and love.

Warning: Contains Erotic Spanking, Subspace, f/f situations, a devastatingly sexy Dom who knows what he wants, and a submissive who just might be ready to give him what he needs.

Check out the first chapter after the jump!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Food, Holiday Marines and the #HomeHolidayHop

You would never know it from the titles, but one of the best parts of writing the Always a Marine series is indulging my senses in food. I love to cook, it's actually a private passion. When I went on the Medifast diet last year, that love of cooking truly paid off because I learned a whole host of new recipes. A few years ago, we decided as a family that we'd let each member choose what the Thanksgiving meal would be from year to year (I totally used my year to pick KFC so I didn't have to cook, even funnier was my family complained but they loved the relaxed meal). The next year my daughter wanted a turkey.

I'd never made a turkey before, I'd had them, but never done all the prep work. So I dove into my research and looked up a bunch of different recipes. Not finding the one I really wanted, I decided to hodge podge two or three different ideas into one--what I came up with was Orange-Honey Turkey and OMG, it was good

What You Need:

20 lb Turkey
2 teaspoons of rubbing sage
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon of thyme
3 small oranges, peeled and halved
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup orange marmalade
4 teaspoons honey
1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon (or nutmeg, depends on your preference - I actually like both)

What You Do (or in this case what I did):

In a small bowl, combine the sage, salt, pepper and thyme in two teaspoons of honey; mix well. Rub 2 teaspoons inside the turkey; set remainder aside.

Place 4 orange halves inside turkey. Skewer openings and tie drumsticks together. Place on a rack in a roasting pan. Rub the remaining orange halves all over the exterior of the turkey and then let the orange pieces remain on the turkey.

Combine remaining sage mixture with butter; brush over turkey. 

Bake, uncovered, at 325° for 5-1/2 hours or until a meat thermometer reads 170°, basting every 30 minutes. 

When the turkey begins to brown, cover lightly with foil.

Combine remaining ingredients, and heat to a simmer before letting it cool. You might need to add a little water if it's too thick.

Brush over turkey.

Continue to bake the turkey, uncovered, 30 minutes to 1 hour longer or until thermometer reads 185°, brushing with the glaze occasionally. This should make the skin tangy and crispy.

Remove from the oven; cover and let stand 20 minutes before carving.

Now, carving may be a misnomer here, because when I did this the turkey literally fell off the bones it was so tender. So you may have to experiment a little. On the other hand, it was a juicy, tasty turkey and we devoured it!

A Marine of Plenty

Serving overseas is a lonely duty… 
Captain Charlie Sparks faces an impossible task—assigned to a security detail for the sister of a fallen Marine. The last thing Charlie wants is this beautiful woman in the middle of a base in Afghanistan no matter what holiday she plans to help them celebrate. But no one asked for his opinion, and worse, she’s everything he adores in a woman and more…

Mourning what might have been is a terrible burden…
Jana Grimaldi had a plan—a plan to help her brother when he came home, but his death in Afghanistan left a hole in her heart and a desperate desire to do something. With the help of Congressman Sparks, she heads to Afghanistan to bring Thanksgiving to the men and women who served with her brother. Nervous and uneasy, she finds an unexpected—and familiar ally in Captain Sparks…

Not all wounds heal…
Charlie was one of the first people to reach out to Jana, communicating via email when her brother died—but coming face to face in the lonely desolation of the holiday connects these two wounded souls…

Can Charlie and Jana find hope amidst the heartbreak this Thanksgiving?

“Miss Grimaldi?” A deep, smooth, masculine voice pulled her back to the present and the officer dressed in the deep dark tan and olive MARPATS waiting inside the door. He stood easily over six-foot. The uniform did little to disguise his broad shoulders or thick muscular arms.
Rising, she adjusted her bag and held out her hand, fumbling for a greeting. “Hi. Captain…?”
“Sparks.” Quiet hesitation arrested his features and a muscle ticked in his jaw.
The congressman’s brother was her escort.
Her heart thudded against her ribs and her nerves stretched taut. Captain Charles Sparks gave the order that led to her brother’s death—a communication failure. She understood all the terms, the reasoning, and the apologies. Even his letters expressed his heartfelt condolences and apologies. Letters she’d answered, and he’d returned regularly.
He grasped her hand and the world seemed to shrink away, as though someone dropped her in a drum and banged it loudly from the outside. His words had provided a desperately needed source of comfort—straightforward, blunt, and without any pretty excuses. A mistake had been made, one costing a good man his life. He didn’t ask for her forgiveness. He’d never asked her for it, no matter how many exchanges they’d had.
Staring into his coffee-brown eyes, she knew he hadn’t forgiven himself. And that’s why Congressman Sparks offered his help and asked for mine. Weak-kneed, she sat abruptly. Her fisted grip on the captain’s hand pulled him forward a step.
Concern rippled across his face. “Ma’am? Jana?”
Unexpected grief locked her throat and tears filmed her vision. She held up her other hand and he wavered. Fighting the urge to sniffle, she squeezed her eyes shut and concentrated on breathing. Grief might be the one emotion everyone had in common, but acceptance came in its own ways, on its own time. Understanding the concept intellectually and experiencing it, however, were two completely opposite things, because the crappiest part of her grief lay in how she couldn’t control it.
“I’m okay.” She fought to get the words out. “I’m sorry.”
“No,” he said, his voice gruff. “I should apologize. I thought you received my e-mail about being your escort.”
“I haven’t looked at my e-mail since leaving Dallas, I’ve been so focused on getting here.” Moistening her lips, she struggled to bring her tumbling emotions back into focus. It would be easy to hate the man, to blame him for what happened, and to let anger take over her grief.
But easier didn’t make it right or fair.
Belatedly, she glanced up, surprised at her white-knuckled grip still firm on his hand. He didn’t pull away or try to let her go, but sadness clouded his eyes—sadness, and quite possibly regret. “I didn’t mean to fall to pieces on you, Captain Sparks.”

Toys for Tots

The mission of the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program is to collect new, unwrapped toys during October, November, and December each year and distribute those toys as Christmas gifts to less fortunate children in the community in which the campaign is conducted. The primary goal of Toys for Tots is to deliver, through a new toy at Christmas, a message of hope to these youngsters that will assist them in becoming responsible, productive, patriotic citizens.

This holiday collection of the Always a Marine series is dedicated to Toys for Tots and the men and women of the United States Marine Corps Reserve who dedicate their time, their efforts, and their funds to delivering this message of hope. A portion of the proceeds from each of these books will be donated to Toys for Tots to continue that mission. Semper Fi.

Also available in the holiday Marines:

A Candle for a Marine
Marine Under the Mistletoe

Home for the Holidays Hop

November 13th - November 18th

Grand Prize Shopping Spree: $450+ Gift Card or

 Paypal Cash

Second Place Grand Prize: (1) E-Book from every

 participating Author

To enter the hop, be sure to leave a comment with your email address and if you want to share a recipe, that would be great, too!

In addition to the hop, you can enter for an autographed print copy of Always a Marine Volume 2 with the rafflecopter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway