Cate: Yay, Heather Long is here to kick off Celebrate Amore. Heather, please tell us a little bit about yourself.
Heather: Thanks for having me Cate, I’m a mother, a pet owner and a huge fan of cowboys and Marines. I studied journalism, psychology and business in school. I write because I can’t not write and every book is a passionate love affair for me and every time I type “the end” it’s a bittersweet moment.
Cate: Ah, I can relate. :) What do you love most about Valentine’s Day?
Heather: I’m one of those odd romance writer’s that isn’t a huge fan of Valentine’s Day, but I do adore Chocolate Day—which is an annual celebration I have every year about two or three days after Valentine’s. My mini and I head out, pick up a bunch of the chocolate boxes that are on clearance and feast on chocolate truffles and decadence while watching chick flicks.
Cate: lol, great idea! Do you have a favorite Valentine’s Day memory?
Heather: I think one of my favorite’s was in first grade. Our teacher had us make bags and decorate them and then create Valentine’s Day cards for each of the kids in our class. We all got the little heart candies and pink or red heart-shaped suckers. But two of the boys in the class, named Alan and Allen, gave me actual presents—one gave me a book and the other gave me a brownie. In the book was a note asking me to go to lunch and a movie—my very first date. Yes, the guy with the brownie got the second date.
Cate: Wow, those first graders knew how to impress a girl! lol Do you have any romantic Valentine’s Day traditions?
Heather: Nope. The best one is the Chocolate Day Decadence fun.
Cate: Tell us about your latest release, and where readers can find it online.
Heather: My latest release is The Two and the Proud, the eighth installment in the Always a Marine series from Decadent Publishing.
The eighth installment in the Always a Marine anthology in 1Night Stand (1NS) line for Decadent Publishing. 1Night Stand is the business name of an exclusive online dating service run by Madame Evangeline who provides her clients with a possibility of happily ever after or happily for now.
The Two and The Proud
Always a Marine #8
Always a Marine #8
Barnes & Noble
All Romance eBooks
Barnes & Noble
All Romance eBooks
Roger Michael Easton IV, better known as Rowdy, flouted the family’s Naval tradition to enlist the Marines—not as an officer, but a ground-pounding grunt. He never expected to see as much combat or valor as he did in the field, but every engagement furthered his commitment to his brothers in arms. Now, with an offer to end his contract early on the table, Rowdy has to take a long look at the life he left behind, the life he’s built, and the future he longs to have.
Rowdy wants a woman who gets him.
Inactive Marine, Kim Wakefield, continues to serve her country as a Naval Criminal Investigator. She’s hard on the grunts and sailors because she is one of them—and they didn’t sign up for easy. Tired of the seedier side of military life—picking up drunk Marines, AWOL sailors, busting drug running operations, or worse, sending drug addicted servicemen to court marshal and treatment. She longs to have her faith in her fellow Marines restored.
Kim wants a man who knows what she needs.
Thrown together by chance on a 1Night Stand, these two jarheads have a combustible chemistry—but do they have what it takes?
Not sure how those results could be a bad thing he tapped the side of the shot glass. “Put the piece in the safe. They have the kind you can program here. I’ll keep my eye on the tequila.” He wouldn’t have tried to memorize her combination anyway, but he didn’t miss the minute relaxation around her eyes when he told her he’d watch the drinks.
True to his word, he kept his attention on the alcohol while she stowed the gun. When she leaned against the bar next to him, he pushed a shot glass over to her. “Let me preface this by saying I absolutely want to have sex…but I don’t want to be limited by the one night stand.”
She hesitated in mid-reach for the glass and stared at it, not him. “Clarify?”
“I like you. You’re smart—which is both good and bad.”
“How can it be good and bad?” Her chin came up and she swung a hard gaze on him. Temper flared just beneath the surface, bright as the lightning outside, it enhanced the outrage in her eyes.
Gotcha. Just one little nudge to crack the cool façade and the passionate woman beneath glared at him. Yeah, that’s more like it. A second knock on the door interrupted and he let her think about it while he took the tray from room service and sent them away. He set the tray on the luggage stand and ignored it for now.
He sprinkled salt onto the side of his hand. “It’s good, because it’s sexy.” He bit into a lime and tossed back the tequila. He finished off the ritual with a quick lick of the salt. “It’s bad because you’re playing a game with me.” He poured himself another shot, the first warming his gut and loosening more of the tension. He barely added the salt to his wrist when she slammed back her own drink, caught his hand and stroked her tongue over his pulse point before gliding up the side of his hand to take the salt.
All the blood in his head rushed south and he let out a low whistle. “Damn.”
“Courage isn’t doing something because you know you can do it.” She moistened her lips and he couldn’t look away. “It’s doing what you’re not sure you can be successful at.”
Cate: What inspired you to write about the theme?
Heather: I love Marines and the Always a Marine series gives me an opportunity to explore different Marines and the different stories that each of these men and women in uniform have. This story was particularly fun for me, because Kim is so direct and bold and blunt about her wants and needs—and I think more women should be—reaching out to grasp what they want.
Cate: Anything else you’d like to share?
Heather: My next Always a Marine is titled A Marine and a Gentleman and releases on February 8th. This is a bit of a departure for me as it’s an M/M, but I had the story for it and I wanted to go there because Brenden and Liam enchanted me.
Keep up with Heather and the Always a Marine series:
Tell Heather your favorite chocolate story for a chance to win a $10 gift certificate to Amazon, Barnes and Noble or Bookstrand—winner’s choice.
Cate: Thanks for kicking off the Valentine's fun, Heather! Happy Chocolate Day Decadence. :)