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Saturday, December 28, 2013

A Naughty New Year with Heather Long and Giveaway

A Naughty New Year - Heather Long

National bestselling author, Heather Long, likes long walks in the park, science fiction, superheroes, Marines, and men who aren’t douche bags. Her books are filled with heroes and heroines tangled in romance as hot as Texas summertime. From paranormal historical westerns to contemporary military romance, Heather might switch genres, but one thing is true in all of her stories—her characters drive the books. When she’s not wrangling her menagerie of animals, she devotes her time to family and friends she considers family. She believes if you like your heroes so real you could lick the grit off their chest, and your heroines so likable, you’re sure you’ve been friends with women just like them, you’ll enjoy her worlds as much as she does.

Places to find Heather:
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Marine on the Midnight Line

In book 12 What Part of Marine Don’t You Understand? Matt McCall continued his struggle against PTSD. When he met Naomi Sparks, however, he found someone to walk the long road with him. Their romance, however, has not been without its challenges. Matt can’t handle large crowds, and Naomi’s star is rising…


“Naomi! Five minutes!”

The warning accompanied by the knock on the door made Naomi sigh. She glanced at the wall clock and counted the rings before Matt’s phone rolled over to voice mail. Again. The last few weeks had been crazy. She’d released a new album on Thanksgiving Day along with several singles via YouTube and the response had been phenomenal. The single went viral and by the first week of December had more than thirty million views.

Like her first album, the second had a good portion of the proceeds redirected toward Mike’s Place, and other military-based charities. She’d never imagined having a debut in the top 100 or the associated notoriety. Invitations to appear on talk shows rolled in and Matt had encouraged her to do it—three weeks later, she’d had to miss Christmas with her family and Matt because she was still on the road and her album was still climbing.

Spending New Year’s Eve in New York was the last place she wanted to be—but she would be performing in front of a crowd of millions in the minutes leading up to the ball dropping. The organizers had promised her a focused introduction on health care for returning veterans. Publicity like this couldn’t truly be purchased, and she knew she had Matt’s support.

But I miss Matt… It was a constant ache, the distance and only a few minutes on the phone here or there. She’d fought not to cry on Christmas, but she wasn’t sure Matt believed her. He didn’t need the additional pressure of her needing him. Crowds were a hell point for Matt, and he’d been working on it—but the noise and the people were a trigger.

I’m going home in a few days. Sucking it up, she blinked back her tears and gave herself a critical once over in the mirror. The outfit was sexy, but tasteful. She preferred to perform in jeans. Sure she had great legs, but there was zero chance she was going out there with her ass hanging out of some short skirt. Her songs and the cause were the focus—not her sexuality.

And the last thing I need is Dad or any of the boys seeing me out there like that… Growing up in a Marine family taught her how to take care of and value herself as a person rather than a commodity. Just thinking about her brothers dried up the last of her tears. David and Charlie were still overseas, and wouldn’t be home with family anytime soon. Her twin was in the Pacific and Brent had spent the holidays with their parents and his wife. She wasn’t the only one not with the ones she loved on the holidays. And I was staying in five star hotels so way past time to stop bitching…

“One minute,” came the call. Naomi whirled away from the mirror and headed out the door. Her escort walked her down the hall and out into the square. The noise was damn near deafening. She had her guitar in hand and her introduction played out on the big screens located around Times Square. Images of Mike’s Place flashed by and she could name every Marine pictured.

The last one shown, however, arrested her heart. Matt stared solemnly at the camera and then that image dissolved into one with him laughing as Jethro stood next to him in the shot, tail wagging. The black Labrador had been a godsend for Matt, helping him in ways few could imagine.

Her longing for him returned in a rush. If only she’d managed to talk to him before she hit the stage—but there would be time after. And even after the clock struck midnight in New York, it wouldn’t in Dallas for another hour after that. The announcer called out her name and the applause rose. Burying her unease and nerves, she strode up the steps onto the stage.

She could do this.

Glancing back at the band, she got her guitar strap over her shoulder and counted it out. They kicked off the opening bars of her first song, and she turned to face the audience. She would join on the next set of bars, but missed her cue entirely when her gaze zeroed in on the Marines standing in a semi-circle around the stage. Her attention on the big screen had been so focused, she’d missed the uniforms—and the man standing with them, accompanied by a very familiar black Labrador.

Matt grinned and raised his eyebrows.

He was here. On New Year’s Eve. In Time’s Square. He took her breath away.

Her tummy did a little flip and the band replayed their opening few chords and she caught her next cue—singing her heart out to the man she loved. She couldn’t take her gaze off of him—terrified she was imagining the whole thing. The applause faded, the distance faded, and nothing else mattered. How she made it through both songs, she had no idea, but as soon as her performance was over, she strode to the edge of the stage and let the Marines help her down.

Matt scooped her up and kissed her hard. He was real and it was so much better than a pinch.

“You’re here!” She hugged him tighter and even as the crowds pressed forward, the Marines held their line. Seconds passed, and then Matt set her down. Together, they walked away from the stage and followed the barricade to the ‘staging’ area.

“I missed my girl,” Matt said with his slow, easy smile that made her heart stutter
God knew she’d missed him, too. But he was here—and all the people. With a worried look, she tried to tug him away from the crowd, but Matt pulled her back. Looping his arms around her.

“We’re good right here…the ball’s about to drop.” He nodded to the announcer and the big screens again. Jethro butted his head up against their legs.

“Are you sure?” All that mattered to her was that Matt was here.

He nodded with a twinkle in his eyes. “Yes, ma’am. I plan to kiss my girl in ten…”

The chant went up from the crowd and Matt cupped her cheek. She couldn’t get over the fact that he’d braved the gauntlet of so many people to be with her.


The roar was deafening, but Matt’s muscles were loose and his expression serene. If it bothered him, he showed no physiological signs whatsoever. Jethro’s calm was even more telling, the dog leaned into both of them, the third member of their family.


Jethro thumped his tail and a stagehand came by with her guitar and mouthed something about putting it in her dressing room. Naomi forgot the long weeks of separation and the loneliness of being on the road.


Matt dipped his head close, forehead to forehead and the world faded away. “I really missed my girl.”


“I love you,” Naomi whispered.


“Happy New Year beautiful,” Matt said before his mouth closed on hers and the fireworks exploded overhead. Naomi didn’t need any of it—she ended the old year and started the new in the arms of the man she loved. They were together and that was all that mattered.

Semper fi.

What Part of Marine Don’t You Understand?

Matt McCall’s struggles to reintegrate into civilian life have been an ongoing battle for the better part of two years. Daily group sessions and weekly one-on-ones have only allowed him to grow so far. Twice he’s returned to his home state of Indiana and twice, he retreated to Mike’s Place. Uncertain of where he belongs in the world, he battles depression silently. The unexpected gift of a black Labrador retriever perks his spirit…and a chance meeting in the park gives him a precious gift…

Aspiring country singer Naomi Sparks comes from a long line of Marines, she knows all about sacrifice and struggle. When her brother asks her to visit to Mike’s Place on his behalf, she discovers a real opportunity to make a difference. Matt McCall inspires her with the real challenge of discovering love and daring heroes who takes risks. Writing music has never been so sweet…

Can one woman who believes in him really heal the wounds in this Marine’s heart?

Purchase: | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | All Romance |

 Check out what's up for grabs.

Up For Grabs:
  • 1 eBook of Choice from backlist of Always a Marine series

To Enter: 
  • Please leave a comment or question for Heather.
  • Please fill out the Rafflecopter form.

**Don't forget to enter the grand prize giveaway!

Good Luck! 

Special thanks to Heather Long for sponsoring this giveaway.
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  1. Hi Heather!!! That was a lovely clip into the relationship of Matt and Naomi after their HEA. It's great to see him still working on his PTSD and the crowds. But I love it that he pushed those fears aside and fought them to celebrate with Naomi for New Years!!!

  2. Love the teaser. Who doesn't love Marines... Thanks for the giveaway.

  3. Love the blurb and excerpt! Loving the New Year's theme!

  4. Thanks for the excerpt and giveaway. Love the cover of What Part of Marine Don't You Understand. And of course who doesn't love a good Marine story?

  5. Thanks for the excerpt. I'm looking forward to reading this series.
    Happy Holidays :)

  6. Thanks for the excerpt and giveaway.

  7. there's something about a man in uniform - or OUT of it!!

  8. Hi, Heather! I loved the excerpt and the theme. There's just something about a good man in a uniform or as PM350 said, out of it. Lol!

    Happy New Year!

  9. Oh wow, that is one delicious excerpt. Wowza. ;)

  10. I loved reading that additional scene. That was great! Thanks for sharing and for the giveaway opportunity.

  11. I loved the excerpt from "Marine on the Midnight Line" and the synopsis to "What Part of Marine Don’t You Understand?" I Can't wait to read both of these books. Thanks for the chance to enter this giveaway.

  12. Somehow or other, I have missed these books!! I love books about Marines or any thing military. The excerpt was great and I can't wait to read these! Thanks for the chance to win.

  13. The book sounds really good. Do they need to be read in order or are they stand alone?

    1. Lori, they can be read as standalones, though characters from earlier books make appearances in later ones. Matt appeared for the first time in Tell It To the Marine :)

  14. Love military stories and my nephew was a marine so I have a fondness for them.

  15. Thanks for the excerpt and the chance to win!

  16. Thanks for writing such great stories and featuring Marines.

  17. I love Marines. Thanks for the giveaway!

  18. Thank you for the excerpt and the giveaway. I love reading about Marines!

  19. Love marines! Excerpt sounds great! This is definitely going on my TBR list!!

  20. I don't think I've ever read a marine story, but I do love most military stories!

  21. Ohhh love the marines! Cant wait to read this!