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 family. 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.
Carry the Ocean
The Roosevelt #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.
Special Delivery #1
When your deepest, darkest fantasy shows up, get on board.
Sam Keller knows he’ll never find the excitement he craves in Middleton, Iowa—not while he’s busting his ass in nursing school and paying rent by slaving away in a pharmacy stockroom. Then Sam meets Mitch Tedsoe, an independent, long-haul trucker who makes a delivery to a shop across the alley. Innocent flirting quickly leads to a fling, and when Mitch offers to take him on a road trip west, Sam jumps at the chance for adventure. Mitch is sexy, funny and friendly, but once they embark on their journey, something changes. One minute he’s the star of Sam’s every x-rated fantasy, the next he’s almost too much a perfect gentleman. And when they hit the Las Vegas city limit, Sam has a name to pin on Mitch’s malady: Randy.
For better or for worse, Sam grapples with the meaning of friendship, letting go, growing up—even the meaning of love—because no matter how far he travels, eventually all roads lead home.
Let it Snow
Minnesota Christmas #1
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.
I'll admit I never really gave much thought to the "bear" character before. I like a little scruff but full-on bear never really appealed to me but this was recommended to me by a couple of ladies who's opinion I highly respect. I'm glad I listened and read because I loved these boys! It showed me that I had a preconceived idea of the definition of "bear" and I was wrong. You can't help but love poor lost Frankie and Arthur and Paul are definitely friendly and accepting. Marcus on the other hand is very gruff and standoffish, which only makes his connection to Frankie that much sweeter.
Born and raised in Wisconsin only minutes from the Minnesota border only added to my love of the story and the setting. I had a healthy respect for the weather scenario the boys found them in and for me that just gave me a more "personal" connection that drew me in even deeper.
Clockwork Love #1
Love, adventure and a steaming good time.
As the French army leader’s bastard son, Cornelius Stevens enjoys a great deal of latitude. But when he saves an enemy soldier using clockwork parts, he’s well aware he risks hanging for treason. That doesn’t worry him half as much, however, as the realization he’s falling for his patient.
Johann Berger never expected to survive his regiment’s suicide attack on Calais, much less wake up with mechanical parts. To avoid discovery, he’s forced to hide in plain sight as Cornelius’s lover—a role Johann finds himself taking to surprisingly well.
When a threat is made on Cornelius’s life, Johann learns the secret of the device implanted in his chest—a mythical weapon both warring countries would kill to obtain. Caught up in a political frenzy, in league with pirates, dodging rogue spies, mobsters and princesses with deadly parasols, Cornelius and Johann have no time to contemplate how they ended up in this mess. All they know is, the only way out is together—or not at all.
Original Review February 2016:
First I have to start off by saying that I don't really get the whole terminology of steampunk. I know what it means and I know it is a sub-genre of science fiction but to me science fiction is science fiction, nothing more, nothing less. As a reader, I will be putting this and others labeled steampunk on my science fiction library shelf but as a book blogger I will defer to the whole steampunk terminology labeling. Just wanted to put that out there.
Now, onto Clockwork Heart. I have been a sci-fi/fantasy fan ever since I first saw Star Wars in 1977 when I was only 4 years old, so as you can imagine I have seen and read a lot in the genre and Heidi Cullinan's Clockwork Heart belongs near the top. I have a tremendous amount of respect for those who create in this genre because you are creating your own world from top to bottom, not just characters and storylines but everything. Whether your story is an alternate timeline/history or full fledged new universe, it is original and the time it must take is mindblowing and the world of Heart is fantabulous (and yes I know that is not a real word but if you can't make up words in a science fiction review than when can you?)
Here we have a world that is different because one key point in history was changed and we experience it through the eyes and hearts of Cornelius and Johann and those around them that become family. I honestly cannot think of much more to say about the story without giving spoilers so I'll just leave here saying that this is a phenomenal book with amazing characters and an intriguing storyline that had me hooked from beginning to end and I eagerly await the next installment in the Clockwork Love series.
Love will grow through the cracks you leave open.
Ranch hand Roe Davis absolutely never mixes business with pleasure—until he runs into his boss, Travis Loving, at the only gay bar within two hundred miles.
Getting involved with the ranch owner is a bad idea, but Roe’s and Travis’s bedroom kinks line up against one another like a pair of custom-cut rails. As long as they’re both clear this is sex on the side, no relationship, no interfering with the job, they could make it work.
Shut out by his family years ago, Roe survived by steadfastly refusing to settle into so much as a post office box. As his affair with Travis grows into more than just sex, Roe’s past catches up with him, threatening the thin ray of happiness he’s found, reminding him it’s well past time he went on his way.
But even a loner gets lonely, and at this point, there’s nowhere left to run. The shame and sorrow of what he’s lost will stay with Roe wherever he goes—until he’s ready to let love lead him home.
A single stroke can change your world.
Xander Fairchild can’t stand people in general and frat boys in particular, so when he’s forced to spend his summer working on his senior project with Skylar Stone, a silver-tongued Delta Sig with a trust fund who wants to make Xander over into a shiny new image, Xander is determined to resist. He came to idyllic, Japanese culture-soaked Benten College to hide and make manga, not to be transformed into a corporate clone in the eleventh hour.
Skylar’s life has been laid out for him since before he was born, but all it takes is one look at Xander’s artwork, and the veneer around him begins to crack. Xander himself does plenty of damage too. There’s something about the antisocial artist’s refusal to yield that forces Skylar to acknowledge how much his own orchestrated future is killing him slowly…as is the truth about his gray-spectrum sexuality, which he hasn’t dared to speak aloud, even to himself.
Through a summer of art and friendship, Xander and Skylar learn more about each other, themselves, and their feelings for one another. But as their senior year begins, they must decide if they will part ways and return to the dull futures they had planned, or if they will take a risk and leap into a brightly colored future—together.
Carry the Ocean
Let it Snow