New from Heidi Cullinan and Samhain Publishing: Carry the Ocean

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CARRY THE OCEAN

The Roosevelt, Book 1

Normal is just a setting on the dryer.

High school graduate Jeremey Samson is looking forward to burying his head under the covers and sleeping until it’s time to leave for college. Then a tornado named Emmet Washington enters his life. The double major in math and computer science is handsome, forward, wicked smart, interested in dating Jeremey—and he’s autistic.

But Jeremey doesn’t judge him for that. He’s too busy judging himself, as are his parents, who don’t believe in things like clinical depression. When his untreated illness reaches a critical breaking point, Emmet is the white knight who rescues him and brings him along as a roommate to The Roosevelt, a quirky new assisted living facility nearby.

As Jeremey finds his feet at The Roosevelt, Emmet slowly begins to believe he can be loved for the man he is behind the autism. But before he can trust enough to fall head over heels, he must trust his own conviction that friendship is a healing force, and love can overcome any obstacle.

Warning: Contains characters obsessed with trains and counting, positive representations of autism and mental illness, a very dark moment, and Elwood Blues.

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Available April 7, 2015

Format: Novel

Genre: Contemporary New Adult

Length: 89,300 words

Publisher: Samhain Publishing, April 14, 2015

Ebook ISBN: 978-1-61922-520-6

Print ISBN: 978-1-61922-711-8

Series: Roosevelt

Characters: Emmet Washington, Jeremey Samson

Short Summary: Jeremey doesn’t judge Emmet for his autism. He’s too busy judging himself, as are his parents, who don’t believe in clinical depression. When his illness reaches a breaking point, Emmet rescues him and brings him to The Roosevelt, a quirky assisted living facility. As Jeremey settles in, Emmet slowly begins to believe he can be loved for the man he is inside. But before he can trust enough to fall head over heels, he must trust his own conviction that friendship is a healing force, and love can overcome any obstacle.

Retailers: Samhain (ebook & paperback), All Romance Ebooks, Amazon US (ebookpaperback), Amazon UK, Barnes & Noble (Nook & paperback), Google PlayiTunesKobo. More print links coming soon.

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Emmet Washington, Blues Brother

Emmet Washington has a passion for the movie The Blues Brothers.

The Blues Brothers isn’t just my favorite movie. It was one of the first things I memorized. My dad loves the movie too, and he played it around me when I was little. My mom got mad at him for that, because I would walk around quoting the whole movie, or using the movie to speak. If I wanted something from my mom, I asked her, “Did you get my Cheez Whiz?” I didn’t want Cheez Whiz, but to my brain, it was the only way I could ask for something, using the line from the movie. When I played with my blocks, I would line them up in a row and count them by quoting the part where the guard (who is Frank Oz, the guy who gave the voice to Miss Piggy and other Muppets) lists the inventory of Jake Blues’ personal effects. “One Timex digital watch, broken. One unused prophylactic. One soiled. One black suit jacket.” And when I didn’t want to do something, I didn’t simply say no. I crossed my arms over my chest and said, “No. Fucking. Way.

I don’t remember doing this, but Mom says I used the whole movie as speech from the time I was four until the first half of kindergarten. I don’t do that anymore, but sometimes my brain whispers the lines from the movie in places it thinks would be a good time to say them. Sometimes people on the mean quote movies, and other people on the mean laugh at the joke. But they laugh differently at me when I quote The Blues Brothers, so I don’t do it in public.

My dad likes it when I quote, though, because he says I do an amazing Elwood Blues. Sometimes when we’re in the car, he says, “What’s this?” and I know I’m supposed to do the part about trading the Cadillac for a microphone. I keep telling him that for it to be right he needs to let me drive, since Elwood always drives. He says no, I’d try to jump a bridge. Which isn’t true. Ames doesn’t have any moveable bridges.

He has particular affection for Ellwood Blues, because he feels they have a lot in common.

I love the song “Everybody Needs Somebody to Love”, but I love the speech Elwood does before it best of all the lines of the whole movie. He says everyone is somebody, and we’re all the same.

I think Elwood Blues is on the spectrum. He’s higher functioning, but he has the signs. Only eating white bread—that’s something an autistic person would do. Then there’s the bad driving, and some of his tics. Also, I can parrot a lot of characters in movies, but I don’t do anybody better than Elwood.

I don’t know if he’s gay too or not, but he never gets excited about girls, so maybe.

The Blues Brothers comes up a lot during Carry the Ocean, because for Emmet it represents a lot of how he views the world and how he’d like to think about himself. That he’s cool, that the off-the-mean things about him make him special, not strange. And by the end of the book, that’s pretty much what he’s decided he is.

 

*****

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*****

 

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About Heidi

Heidi Cullinan has always loved a good love story, provided it has a happy ending. She enjoys writing across many genres but loves above all to write happy, romantic endings for LGBT characters because there just aren’t enough of those stories out there. When Heidi isn’t writing, she enjoys cooking, reading, knitting, listening to music, and watching television with her husband and teenaged daughter. Heidi is a vocal advocate for LGBT rights and is proud to be from the first Midwestern state with full marriage equality. Find out more about Heidi, including her social networks, at www.heidicullinan.com.

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New from Heidi Cullinan: The Devil Will Do

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THE DEVIL WILL DO

Coming February 4 from Wilde City Press

In a land unforgiving of indulgent, dangerous sex, merchantman Eryn does his best to keep his desires in the dark…until the plight of a beautiful prince leads him out of the shadows and into adventures both sensual and terrible.

Capture, curse, and torture litter Eryn’s road to true love, along with carnal delights beyond his most wicked imaginings. His strengths and limitations are exposed—and the hard truth, that nothing holds him back more than the monster of self-loathing in his heart. Prince Wyn might be everything he’s dreamed of in a man—and master—but before Eryn can accept the exquisitely wicked affections of his one true love, he must first save himself…from himself.

This novella was originally published under the title Sweet Son and has been significantly revised.

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Buy links:

Wilde City

Goodreads

Excerpt

Book Page on Website


Heidi’s Bio

Heidi Cullinan head shot

Heidi Cullinan has always loved a good love story, provided it has a happy ending. She enjoys writing across many genres but loves above all to write happy, romantic endings for LGBT characters because there just aren’t enough of those stories out there. When Heidi isn’t writing, she enjoys cooking, reading, knitting, listening to music, and watching television with her husband and teenaged daughter. Heidi is a vocal advocate for LGBT rights and is proud to be from the first Midwestern state with full marriage equality. Find out more about Heidi, including her social networks, at www.heidicullinan.com.


Information About the Book

The Devil Will Do was originally published as Sweet Son as part of the Dreamspinner Press Fairytales series. It has been significantly revised and slightly expanded from its original release.

The Devil Will Do is a highly erotic fantasy novel with romantic elements. It was written specifically for one reader, who thorugh a twist of fate ended up being the editor for the reissue at Wilde City. The novel has heavy kink, particularly bondage, dubcon, humilation kink, and features multiple partners.

*****

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New from Heidi Cullinan and Samhain Publishing: Sleigh Ride

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Book Two of the Minnesota Christmas Series

The way to a man’s heart is on a sleigh.

Arthur Anderson doesn’t want anything to do with love and romance, and he certainly doesn’t want to play Santa in his mother’s library fundraising scheme. He knows full well what she really wants is to hook him up with the town’s lanky, prissy librarian.

It’s clear Gabriel Higgins doesn’t want him, either—as a Santa, as a boyfriend, as anyone at all. But when Arthur’s efforts to wiggle out of the fundraiser lead to getting to know the man behind the storytime idol, he can’t help but be charmed. The least he can do is be neighborly and help Gabriel find a few local friends.

As their fiery arguments strike hotter sparks, two men who insist they don’t date wind up doing an awful lot of dating. And it looks like the sleigh they both tried not to board could send them jingling all the way to happily ever after.

Warning: Contains a feisty librarian, a boorish bear, small town politics, deer sausage, and a boy who wants a doll.

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It was kind of cute, Arthur decided as he dressed the steaks and arranged them in the hot cast iron, the way a good orgasm knocked Gabriel on his ass.

He was adorable all around, really, and sexy as fuck with a mouth on his dick. It was all that repression and fussiness—if Arthur had known nerds let go so hard, he’d have been cruising libraries years ago. And those legs. Yes, Gabriel’s height made Arthur feel like a squat little gnome, but when they lay down, none of it mattered, and those goddamn legs were the sexiest things Arthur had ever seen. Tall geeks at the library. Take a fucking note.

Except deep down he knew this wasn’t a nerd thing or a tall-guy thing or a librarian thing. This was a Gabriel thing.

He had a Gabriel thing, a big one, and it scared the shit out of him.

He wasn’t going to run, though. Yeah, he was freaked out over how much he liked this guy, but after seeing Gabriel with Paul, he couldn’t let anyone else have his Gabe because he was too busy being a dumbfuck.

He wouldn’t put it past Paul to have done this on purpose.

God, he’d been an ass to Paul, and he felt lousy about it. He hadn’t connected like this to Paul because he really was only a buddy he’d fucked. Arthur still didn’t know exactly what Gabriel was to him. He simply knew he couldn’t stand to be without him.

Okay. So he knew exactly what Gabriel was to him. He had to get used to it, was all.

Making him dinner seemed like a good start. So he did his damnedest to make it the best goddamn meal he’d ever made for anyone in his life.

He’d cooked deer steak in the oven plenty of times—the secret was a hot pan and patience mixed with a significant bit of attention. Gabriel had a few vegetables he could sauté and some sad lettuce in his fridge, but Arthur wanted more, so he texted Frankie, who made a run to the grocery and muni for him. Arthur met him in the garage, Frankie appearing from the truck where Marcus waited inside with the engine running.

“Thanks.” Arthur took the bags from Frankie, trying not to feel weird, except he felt all awkward and exposed. God help him if Frankie wanted to stand there and give pointers. Except he kind of wanted him to.

Jesus, this shit was impossible.

Frankie kissed him on the cheek. “You’ll be fine. He likes you.”

Arthur wanted to argue, to say no he wouldn’t be fine, to ask how Frankie knew, to beg to be allowed to run away. He couldn’t, though—run away. He’d promised Gabriel he wouldn’t.

What in the hell was wrong with him? Why was he being such a freaking baby about making dinner?

Frankie had his you’re so adorable look on. “Sweetie, do you want us to come in for a minute?”

Yes. “Better not. He doesn’t have pants on.”

Frankie’s adorable expression turned into a cheeky grin. “Good for you. Go make your man some dinner.”

With a swat on Arthur’s backside, Frankie retreated to the truck.

Gabriel was still asleep as Arthur tossed a salad and fried up some potatoes. It was good, because it gave him time to work on his freak-out, but it also gave him ample opportunity to wind himself up. Which was why when Gabriel appeared in the doorway, sleep-rumpled and wearing sweats, Arthur startled and nearly dropped the salad bowls.

“Scared the crap out of me. Sorry.” He put the bowls on the counter.

Gabriel leaned on the doorway, still looking drowsy. And lots of awkward. “You shouldn’t have let me sleep. I could have helped.”

“You seemed like you needed it. Besides, I said I’d cook, right?” He reached for the wine, then stopped. “Shit. I should have let it breathe or whatever.”

Smiling, Gabriel took it from his hands and opened a drawer. “I’m not fussy.” His smile faded, though, as he picked up a corkscrew. “You’re all nervous and awkward. Are you going to do this every time we make out?”

Arthur reached to get glasses for the wine from a cupboard, only to realize he’d already brought some down. “I…I’m not good at this stuff.”

“What, people?”

Arthur swallowed and let out an unsteady breath. “People I like.”

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Buy it here: SamhainAmazonAmazon UKBarnes & NobleKoboGoogle PlayiTunes Goodreads

Book Page on Website

Book Page for Let It Snow (book one in the series)

The Minnesota Christmas series is a light-hearted escape into an idyllic Minnesota Northwoods small town. Bears and lumberjacks and hairstylists, oh my—and now, with the introduction of Gabriel Higgins, the most devious creatures of all. Librarians.

In Logan, Minnesota, you can expect shenanigans, snow, plenty of sex, and always a happily ever after.

*****

Heidi Cullinan head shot

Heidi Cullinan has always loved a good love story, provided it has a happy ending. She enjoys writing across many genres but loves above all to write happy, romantic endings for LGBT characters because there just aren’t enough of those stories out there. When Heidi isn’t writing, she enjoys cooking, reading, knitting, listening to music, and watching television with her husband and teenaged daughter. Heidi is a vocal advocate for LGBT rights and is proud to be from the first Midwestern state with full marriage equality. Find out more about Heidi, including her social networks, at www.heidicullinan.com.

New from Samhain Publishing: Heidi Cullinan’s Let it Snow @heidicullinan

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Guest post by Heidi Cullinan

The Lighter Side of Story

 In a previous post in this tour, I talked about how I wrote Let It Snow as a break from Love Lessons, a story which really ran me through the ringer. Let It Snow came out quickly, easily, like a joy. Its sister novel, Sleigh Ride, feature’s Arthur’s story, and it’s doing the same thing with Love Lesson’s sequel. After a day of wrestling with my emo college boys, it’s a joy to see what happens when my librarian and lumberjack spar again.

I’m telling you, I might do this from here on out: keep a lighter, shorter story going at the same time as a thicker, meatier one. Damon Suede calls these lighter stories potato chips—they’re tropes, more about the lightness and the simple idea than shining a light on complicated characterization.

Light stories are great, both to write and to read. More than once I’ve read a book review which called a story simple and I ran out and got it just because. Carol Lynne tells stories about how she wanted to write books readers could enjoy “while vacuuming,” something that doesn’t take so much focus. I don’t think there’s any story I would do that to—I too much love sinking into my chair and will use any excuse I can.

But the idea of story that reads like a sigh? That’s good stuff, especially if it can write like that too. Maybe they’re funny, maybe they’re sweet, but at their base, they’re simple, uncomplicated. Sign me up.

I feel like I’m still learning how to write a simple story. I love a little too much a rich complicated underlayment—I think I’ll always have some of that in anything I write, no matter how hard I try to keep things light. I still can’t quite do comedy. Maybe I have funny moments, but I don’t know that people will ever talk about my writing as “fun, light romps.”

I’ll sure keep trying, though, because those are the kinds of stories I love to read.  I don’t know that writing them will work out to be quite the same kind of fun—but I can sure dream they might be, and keep trying to live out my own fantasy.

I hope you enjoy Let It Snow. No, it’s not super complicated. It’s simple, sweet, and maybe a little funny at times. It made me feel warm and easy to write it—I hope it gives you some of that too.

Blurb:

The weather outside is frightful, but this Minnesota northwoods cabin is getting pretty hot.

Stylist Frankie Blackburn never meant to get lost in Logan, Minnesota, but his malfunctioning GPS felt otherwise, and a record-breaking snowfall ensures he won’t be heading back to Minneapolis anytime soon. Being rescued by three sexy lumberjacks is fine as a fantasy, but in reality the biggest of the bears is awfully cranky and seems ready to gobble Frankie right up.

Marcus Gardner wasn’t always a lumberjack—once a high-powered Minneapolis lawyer, he’s come home to Logan to lick his wounds, not play with a sassy city twink who might as well have stepped directly out of his past. But as the northwinds blow and guards come down, Frankie and Marcus find they have a lot more in common than they don’t. Could the man who won’t live in the country and the man who won’t go back to the city truly find a home together? Because the longer it snows, the deeper they fall in love, and all they want for Christmas is each other.

Warning: Contains power outages, excessive snowfall, and incredibly sexy bears.

My Rec:

Let it Snow is like a warm cup of cocoa on a cold snowy day. You want to curl up under a blanket while reading it and just enjoy the heat of Frankie and Marcus getting to know each other. I loved the relationships Frankie forges with the people in Logan and how big his heart is. I pulled for Marcus to finally see that what he really wants isn’t what he expected. Grab a blanket, a cup of cocoa and someone to snuggle with while you read Let it Snow and let the feels fly.

Where to buy:

Samhain / Amazon / Barnes and Noble

About Heidi:

Heidi Cullinan head shot

Heidi Cullinan has always loved a good love story, provided it has a happy ending. She enjoys writing across many genres but loves above all to write happy, romantic endings for LGBT characters because there just aren’t enough of those stories out there. When Heidi isn’t writing, she enjoys cooking, reading, knitting, listening to music, and watching television with her husband and ten-year-old daughter. Heidi also volunteers frequently for her state’s LGBT rights group, One Iowa, and is proud to be from the first midwestern state to legalize same-sex marriage. Find out more about Heidi, including her social networks, at www.heidicullinan.com.

Find Heidi:

Website / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads

To find out more about Heidi’s blog tour go to

http://heidicullinan.wordpress.com/2013/11/18/let-it-snow-blog-tour

The Let it Snow Blog Tour Schedule:

December 13 – TT Kove (Behind the Scenes: Loving to the End – Caring For Our Elders)

December 14 – Smexy Books (Recipe: Peppermint BonBons, 3 Ways)