Thursday, May 31

Military Week: Heather Long


My love of military romance dates back to three, (two alike and one very different) television series and grew from there. The first series, M*A*S*H aired from 1972 to 1983. But I don’t remember a time I didn’t watch it, leaning against my grandmother’s knee and being amazed by these men and women who were in the thick of it. In the early 1980s came the A-Team. These military specialists and the idea that they’d been framed, but still tried to do good things was extremely romantic to me.  The third series, China Beach, ripped open the joy and the agony of loving someone in the military. You couldn’t not love Boonie or McMurphy. You had to feel their pain and you had to mourn with them.

These were all series that I watched while growing up and coupled with the exposure to seeing images of coffins returned to Dover, military officers in their dress clothes and more, I couldn’t help but want to be like these ‘heroes.’  The Vietnam backlash was very big when I was younger, but my grandmother was just not one of those people. She believed that these men and women went there to defend our country and it didn’t matter if you didn’t agree with the action -- you supported those who served.

In the last thirty years, we’ve seen action on the news in Panama, Iraq (twice), Afghanistan, Somalia and more. I remember being in Great Britain during the Falkland Islands War and watching it every day on television. I grew up listening to my grandmother’s stories of World War II and surviving it.

I know sailors, soldiers, Marines and airmen. Their capacity for giving to their country without thought for life and limb secures my liberty - how can that not move me? I’ve always found the tales of those men and women who served finding love especially moving, especially meaningful and desperately needed.

Writing them feels a little like giving back, a small contribution to honor the tremendous gift that our military bestows upon us. Writing military romance may not win a war or save a life, but if it - like those series I watched and books I read when I was growing up - helps just one person respect our military more…that’s a goal I embrace.

Our military defends our freedoms, our ‘rights’ to write and writing military romance gives me a chance to give it back and reading military romance reminds me that even in the darkest of times, we have hope. One of the most romantic military images of all time is the sailor and nurse seen kissing in the iconic 1945 Life magazine photograph from the end of World War II.  That moment captured a fever, a feeling, a fathomless well of romance, hope, and survival that defines military romance today.




I salute those who serve and they who love those who serve and their families who must wait, hope and remember.

When you look at that Times Square image, what do you feel? I'll give away the first 3 books in digital to one commenter. Open international. I'll post the winner in the comments Monday June 4th. You MUST come back to see if you've won.

Always a Marine - 1NS Series
Once Her Man, Always Her Man - Available Now
Retreat Hell! She Just Got Here - Available Now
Tell It To The Marine - May 2012
Proud To Serve Her - June 2012
Her Marine - July 2012


40 comments:

Latochia Bell said...

The photo apart from being a beautifully captured moment in time also captured the beauty of love that many miss! That kiss that knocks your socks off to see, so imagine how it must feel. The picture had the crowd in Time Square standing still in awe. And who wouldn't want to be kissed in the middle of Time Square by a Military Hero!!! I'm a married woman, and I still find that intriguing...

Gabrielle Lee said...

You cannot look at the picture and not feel the love and happiness of a loved one returning home. It brings out the pride and the awe of how strong love is.

Gabrielle
meingee@yahoo.com

Michelle V said...

I love that photo from Times Square! It's beautiful and so romantic. We should always celebrate our military coming home the way they did after WWII!

I haven't read any of Heather Long's books yet and I love finding authors that are new to me. I'll definitely go check out her books!

Michelle V
romanceinreview AT gmail DOT com

LM said...

That is one of the best photos ever taken and is timeless in its emotion. I so agree with you that all of our military should be celebrated and supported whenever and from wherever they return!

REGINA ROSS said...

A very Happy Picture :)

Sue Sattler said...

I love that photo. A time of pure joy, when a soldier could be carefree for a moment. I love all the pictures of returning soldiers, the love and relief on everyones face is beautiful.

proudarmymom32(at)yahoo(dot)com

Khriste said...

I love that picture...it just is such a beautiful snapshot of life...so iconic of that era...and so beautiful!

Jlhmass said...

That's one of my favorite photos. I used to have it hanging in my college dorm room (20+ years ago). It's all about romance and love. It just makes you smile.

jlhmass@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

Joy and exuberance just radiates from that image!

vitajex(at)aol(dot)com

Joanne said...

The photo is beautiful. There is romance, celebration, happiness, and joy.

StacieD said...

I see pure joy in that photo. I see a man who is celebrating the end of fighting. He is getting a taste of a hopeful, happy future.

Geishasmom73 AT yahoo DOT com

SheriV said...

I love that picture. I see pure joy!!!

smurfettev AT gmail DOT com

Colleen C. said...

I love seeing the joy on everyone's faces in the picture. The happiness spreading from person to person seeing the happy couple kissing. Gives me a smile just looking at it!

greenshamrock AT cox DOT net

Na said...

The image is an inspiring one. It feels like a homecoming to me. Everyone is behind you literally and here in your arms is the love of your life. Romantic and full of hope!

Cambonified(at)yahoo(dot)com

Ursula said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ursula said...

I love that picture! That is "the kiss" the one I aspired to as a teenager. My romantic notions of a hero, sweeping me off my feet and planting on on me like the nurse and the sailor was firmly planted in the back of my mind. Of course it never happened quite like that but I did find my hero. And I got the romance of the moment every day of my life, even if I don't always realize it. Thanks for making me remember that.

Ursula
umavery at gmail dot com

bn100 said...

I think that's a sweet picture.

bn100candg(at)hotmail(dot)com

Denise A. Agnew said...

The photo is so iconic and it says everything in one image. How much the person at home can't wait to get that kiss and that greeting from the military man or woman returning home. Of the three programs you mentioned, I loved China Beach to pieces and which they'd show reruns. It was sorrowful, too, in a way that always got me "right there." My husband was in the army twenty years, and I grew up around quite a few people in the military. Military romance novels are a favorite for me. :)

Laurie said...

It captures the joy and euphoria of a soldier who survived and made it home. He shared that high with a beautiful woman and planted a showstopper of a kiss on her!
lfacchini(at)tampabay(dot)rr(dot)com

Jane said...

It makes me feel like the atmosphere was so jubilant because the war has finally ended and the kiss was an expression of that.
janie1215 AT excite DOT com

Lia Blanchard said...

That photo radiates joy. It pulls me into its frame, and I'm in Times Square with the noise and palpable jubilance. I see the sailor walking - no, floating - down the street, thrilled to be home, thrilled to be finished fighting. I see him kissing the American girls in his path, then approach the beautiful girl and carefully dip her down for an exuberant, "God, I'm glad to be home" kiss.

books4me said...

What a famous and awesome picture. It makes it an even more amazing photo knowing that this couple were strangers and he just grabbed her! PERFECT...history wasn't as caring to our military but I hope it has changed. We always thank those in uniform when we see them and pray for their well-being.

books4me67 at ymail dot com

Tiss said...

The picture makes you believe in happily ever after, if he is coming home and if he is leaving, it makes you feel desperate. There is alot of Love in that picture.

Mel Bourn said...

This is definitely an iconic photo from that time period. When I see it, I always think of the heros that we should celebrate everyday. I think of the Happy Ever Afters that we can have. I think of the beauty and romance that is love.
Mel
bournmelissa at hotmail dot com

kog said...

I do love that photo. To me it expresses joy. Sheer relief that the war is over.

Melly said...

Looking at the photo I see the love those to people have for each other and love like that is hard to find. On a plus side both are really happy for him to be home from war.
Melissa
Manderson223@cox.net

Timitra said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Timitra said...

I see joy, happiness and love!

taccb_1981@yahoo.com

flchen1 said...

Joy and gratitude, Heather! That's always been such an iconic photo, reminding us of love and life and sacrifice. Thanks for the post today--very much enjoyed it!

f dot chen at comcast dot net

DarkBloodyVamp said...

The photo remind me of happiness, relief and joy to being back in the arms of the one you love.

Thanks for this giveaway!

redfirewood888(AT)yahoo(DOT)ca

Amy S. said...

I really like that photo. It's so romantic.

amysmith98@gmail.com

ilona said...

The photo is a beautiful depiction of the romantic moment when the sailor gets his girl back in his arms after a time overseas. Or at least that's what I hope it is :D

ilona
felinewyvern at googlemail dot com

Cathy M said...

Makes me proud to see that picture. My son did his stint in the Navy, and seeing them all in their dress white's still knocks my heart for a loop.

cathy m
caity_mack at yahoo dot com

RachaelM said...

That is such a great photo. To me it shows love and passion. The sailor gives his girl a passionate kiss upon his return and it hints at things to come once he gets her alone.

rachaelmccully(at)yahoo(dot)com

Mich said...

Such a great photo - a timeless expression of joy and to me, freedom. I love the romance there, but also the looks on the nearby peoples' faces as well. I am always happy when soldiers return home and are greeted by happy families, new babies, and their pets. Very awesome!

kianeeko (at) gmail (dot) com

Shadow said...

I see such joy, happiness and love! The relief that they made it home. Its a beautifully captured moment. You can feel the happiness just jumping off the picture! Beautiful!
shadowluvs2read(at)gmail(dot)com

Jen B. said...

I have always loved that picture. I wonder if it was staged but it's so cool that I don't really care if it was! jepebATverizonDOTnet

Jaymi said...

That picture gives me goosebumps and makes me smile at the same time. It's just got a "happy" feel to it.

June M. said...

That picture is so great. I have always loved it, you can't help but wonder about the story, or make up something in your head. I think it will always be a timeless example of love, excitement, and the joy of welcoming a loved one home from war.
manning_j2004 at yahoo dot com

June M. said...

That picture is so great. I have always loved it, you can't help but wonder about the story, or make up something in your head. I think it will always be a timeless example of love, excitement, and the joy of welcoming a loved one home from war.
manning_j2004 at yahoo dot com

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