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.
Bake, uncovered, at 325° for 5-1/2 hours or until a meat thermometer reads 170°, basting every 30 minutes.
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!
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
“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:
Grand Prize Shopping Spree: $450+ Gift Card or
Second Place Grand Prize: (1) E-Book from every
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!