The Amazon Iowan

Blog of Author Heidi Cullinan


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KA Mitchell is giving away more stuff, we’re all reading everything, the boys are still chatting, and small side note about sadists.

First the admin stuff:

  • KA Mitchell is still having a buddy read. We’re sliding slowly into book 3 (I’m still behind, but I’m catching up today). She’s still taking questions, and so are all her characters. We’ll start book 4 Tuesday when it releases!
  • KA Mitchell is giving stuff away. A $10 certificate and a $25. One contest is fast, the other gives you some time to enter.
  • There’s a Tough Love buddy read. Please come join those chatting. I’m staying out of it until they drag me in, which they did because they wanted to talk about Gordy, and fuck, I wanted to talk about Gordy.
  • I extended the Special Delivery character interviews because I had a rough day yesterday and didn’t get to respond. They’ll be there through the weekend, so stop by and ask whatever you like.
  • The blog tour has had some interviews and guests posts on it, including one where I talk about drag. Also tons more chances to win Tough Love. (Some of the links haven’t been updated yet—Dan does that, and he’s been working and taking care of me as I feel lousy. Sorry.)

Speaking of Tough Love

I’ve been trying to think of how to say this, and I can’t ever find the way to climb on top of it gracefully, so pardon the sight of my slip here. What I want to address is the dichotomy of responses I’m getting from reviewers and readers. As always it’s a spectrum, but this time it’s really something amazing to behold, and it keeps bringing me to my knees, more easily probably because I’m tired and a bit sick again and all my emotions are on the surface.

Reactions to Tough Love so far seem to be somewhere on this line: readers either instinctively know they need to give this one a pass, but many are frustrated because they feel like they’re being left out of a party. Some of those then end up reading, and they merge with the next set, the ones who thought they’d read my kink before and would be fine and found…whoa, hey, there’s the edge of my comfort zone. Some of you went over, some of you kissed it. Beyond that are the readers who discovered a third wall beyond the edge of the boundaries they thought they knew, and they seem to be mixed on whether they’re excited or freaked out or both or IDEK, I need to lie down now.

A whole, huge pack of you flat-out loved it, maybe didn’t like some parts which is normal, but mostly yay, book, boys are back, new boys, YAY!  A step further than these people are the hard-core kink lovers, who grunted and RAWR’d and called for more right now please, thanks. Some of you waxed poetic about your love for this kind of book, some of you just made incoherent noises. Loved all the responses, so thanks.

But then there is the last land of responses I’ve received, and they knock me over, make me shake. They’re actually the people I wanted to write for all along. I wanted a story for everybody, but what I really, really wanted, was to write to a group of people who aren’t usually heard, who are usually written off as freaks or bad guys or both. Who have to hide who they are and what they love. What I wanted to do above all was write for you, to show you that I love you too and you too deserve happily ever afters and fiction which represents you.

And the thing is, you sadists, you pain kink-ers, you edge play people–you keep writing me, you keep messaging me, and you make me so glad I went here.

This is the kind of moment that’s hard to explain to media when they ask me about what I write. Usually someone is trying to get at the titter-worthy angle, the nice little mom in Iowa writing erotica, and isn’t that funny—but sometimes media actually ask me about what my work means, and it sucks because I don’t know how to describe this.  I do my best, but whenever I write to a group and they tell me they felt heard, I usually cry, and it’s like something in my soul eases into place.

I think it’s because when I was young, the age my daughter is now, I felt cripplingly alone, unheard, unloved, and lonely. I don’t feel that way now, but I will never forget what that pain and isolation felt like. And while it’s true that mostly what I want to do is write love stories and give readers a good time, a part of me is always reaching for another group or even single individuals who haven’t been asked to dance. Who would love to have a party and yet nobody ever comes or even sees them there with a basket of streamers and drinks. I have been that person, and I think I’m both trying to honor that pain and erase it by helping others not feel that lousy.

In Tough Love, several of you have had to give it a pass or say, “this one wasn’t for me,” and that’s totally, utterly okay. I hate that it’s your turn to feel left out, but for each one of you who’ve had that reaction, I’ve had at least one, sometimes two basically say, “You just heard me.” Sadists especially, they don’t get a ton of leading roles. Masochists some, but sadists usually don’t get to be–and if they do, they’re the bad guy or they’re cured. Pain kink is similar, but sadists, man–they don’t get a good shake almost ever.

The sad thing is I don’t know if I did it right. I did my best. I researched like all hell and had tons of smart people read and react, but I’ll still fall short even for those I most wanted to write for. It makes me so good, though, to hear that I did at least some of it right for some of the people. Those were hard places to go–not so much because this is or isn’t my kink. That has nothing to do with it. I mean, I’m not a 19th century gentleman, or a stammerer, but I wrote those people too. Nope, I’m not a sadist, or a masochist, or even in the Lifestyle. I’m not even really a tourist. But Tough Love challenged me because I knew how important it was to get it right, to not be another fuck up writing a sadist wrong. I didn’t want to accidentally further marginalize a group that gets too much flack as it is. Add in Gordy, who was supposed to be a sweet, sad puppy and then became a monster, and….yeah. I wrote most of that book thinking I’d throw up. So fucking nervous.

I love writing all my stories for you, but this one was extra special to me, and basically a whole bunch of you have told me you appreciate what I did. I wanted to acknowledge you, to thank you right back, and I wanted to share this too in an effort to further validate you, to let some of the frustrated/left out people see why I pushed so far this time.

I feel like I’m cycling now, so I’ll stop and just hug everybody, and let Ethan have the last word. Because this was his quote, to Chenco in Tough Love.


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Release Day, A Special Delivery Quiz, Blog & FB Takeovers, Blogger Newsletters & Stuff Like That

If you have read my newsletter that just went out, you know a lot of this already. Or rather, all of it. A small summary of what you deleted without reading, skimmed, or just experienced.

  • Tough Love is out. Several of you stayed up late to download and read. I send you virtual coffee.
  • I’m taking over Sinfully Sexy Book Reviews blog and Facebook Wednesday. There will be a quiz. That quiz will tell you what SD character you are. Be there or be sadpants.
  • There’s a newsletter just for bloggers. I keep saying that because I think somehow you all keep signing up for the regular newsletter instead, which is awesome, but this is the one you want, guys. Seriously.
  • There will be Tough Love buddy reads, character Q&As, and the usual on my forum. Email assist@heidicullinan.com and my sexy husband Dan will get you a login or help you if you forgot yours. But you have to wait until he’s done saving the world, one drug at a time.
  • The Bad in Baltimore buddy read is still going on. We’re in book two and will switch over to book 3 soon. Book 4 out next week! Same drill as above: email assist@heidicullinan.com to get in.
  • I will be in a lot of places, virtual and actual this year. You can read about that in the sidebar of the newsletter, as well has experience much linkage to books you can buy/download for free of mine and ones which you’ll be able to purchase soon. Ish. This year.

I will let you read the newsletter to experience all of that in detail. But because it’s release day and it’s probably a law somewhere, here is the cover of the book, again, and the blurb, again, and the linkage, again.

Do check the blog tour. There are a TON of posts today, and giveaways at all of them. A lot of the giveaways are doing all three books, so you can try for second editions if you don’t have them, or ammo to infect a friend.

ToughLove300

Book Three of the Special Delivery Series

It takes a strong man to be this fabulous.

Crescencio “Chenco” Ortiz pulled himself up by his garter straps after his father’s will yanked the financial rug from under his spank-me pumps. He doesn’t need anyone, yet when Steve Vance steps into his life, the prospect of having a sexy leather daddy on tap begins to take on a certain appeal.

There’s a hitch when he learns Steve is friends with Mitch Tedsoe—the half-brother Chenco never knew except through his father’s twisted lies. Despite his reservations, soon Chenco is living his dreams, including a performing gig in Vegas. Now if only he could get Steve to see him as more than just a boy in need of saving.

Steve’s attraction to Chenco is overshadowed by too many demons, ones he knows his would-be lover is too young to slay. Yet as he gets to know the bright, determined young man whose drag act redefines fierce, Steve’s inner sadist trembles with need. He begins to realize Chenco’s relentless tough love might be the only thing that will finally set him free.

Warning: This story contains glamorous drag queens, exhibitionist secondary characters, and no-holds-barred BDSM play, including watersports. Readers advised they may well leave this novel feeling uncharacteristically fierce.

Buy links: SamhainAmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads

Excerpt on Heidi’s website


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The Fab Four Winners of the Win Tough Love Early Contest, and a Meditation on Anticipation

Well that was one hell of a good time.

When I started this contest yesterday morning, it was mostly a wild hair, but it turned out to be an incredibly good time, and I’ll totally be doing this again. Probably not every single book…though hey, maybe. I’m crazy that way. Next time I do it, I’ll give you more warning for sure.

First, though, let’s get to the winners. I’ve emailed them all, and hopefully they email me back quickly so they can claim their prize—if they don’t in 48 hours, I’ll re-pick, though by then the book will be for sale. (Feel THAT FACT.) Out of [x] winners, these are your champions.

  1. @lovesfabromance
  2. Lisa
  3.  ♥J ♥ – LoveMeSomethingYu(MM)y
  4. Crissy M

 

Congrats to all of you! Enjoy the thrill of having the book early. Feel free to brag and taunt your friends. You know they’d do the same to you if the tables were turned.

have your baby2

 

The thing I hadn’t counted on was how much fun you’d have (and how much fun I’d have watching) beating the drums and rooting for the next trigger level. The thing is, this is just a little over a day early, and all three books together cost less than a nice lunch. But that doesn’t matter, does it? It’s the lure of the chase. The thrill of maybe. The joy of anticipation.

While this has been going on, my husband’s friend Matt is undergoing Hulk Watch 2014: Dan gave him a grow-a-Hulk in a cage, and Matt has been beside himself for days on Twitter waiting for the green guy to bust free. There were heartbreaking decisions like do I go to bed? Should I go to dinner with my family, or watch for another crack? Every time there’s been remote progress (and sometimes just because it’s been hours and nothing has changed) Matt posts another photo. I’ve found myself looking forward to the tweets, not so much because I give a shit about Hulk entrapment, but because it’s fun seeing people excited.

Contests like this, I’m realizing, are more of the same. It’s not so much about the prize but the thrill of it might be me. And that thrill is only so much the greater because the odds are actually high it won’t be you. Except for four people, it was them. That’s the prize, not the book. Because this time, it was you, when you knew it shouldn’t really be.

I think that’s the joy of reading romance–we love watching two (or more) people find their this time, even against the odds. It reminds us not to give up, to believe, to hope, to try. Because it might not be us this time. But it always might be.

In my head Ethan is saying this is why he plays craps, and Randy is rolling his eyes. But I’ll point out Randy has a ring on his finger, and he’s leaning on Ethan’s sturdy shoulder. I think when he did play craps, he did pretty damn well.

Whether you’re an early winner, a loyal reader, or someone taking a chance on me for the first time—I hope when you read Tough Love it’s a risk you enjoyed taking. And I hope your payout is huge. ;)

 

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TOUGH LOVE

Release Date: April 8, 2014

Book Three of the Special Delivery Series

It takes a strong man to be this fabulous.

Crescencio “Chenco” Ortiz pulled himself up by his garter straps after his father’s will yanked the financial rug from under his spank-me pumps. He doesn’t need anyone, yet when Steve Vance steps into his life, the prospect of having a sexy leather daddy on tap begins to take on a certain appeal.

There’s a hitch when he learns Steve is friends with Mitch Tedsoe—the half-brother Chenco never knew except through his father’s twisted lies. Despite his reservations, soon Chenco is living his dreams, including a performing gig in Vegas. Now if only he could get Steve to see him as more than just a boy in need of saving.

Steve’s attraction to Chenco is overshadowed by too many demons, ones he knows his would-be lover is too young to slay. Yet as he gets to know the bright, determined young man whose drag act redefines fierce, Steve’s inner sadist trembles with need. He begins to realize Chenco’s relentless tough love might be the only thing that will finally set him free.

Warning: This story contains glamorous drag queens, exhibitionist secondary characters, and no-holds-barred BDSM play, including watersports. Readers advised they may well leave this novel feeling uncharacteristically fierce.

Buy links: SamhainAmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads

Excerpt on Heidi’s website

 

Read about the rest of the series here.

 


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Win It Before You Can Buy It: EARLY Giveaway of Tough Love and the Special Delivery Series (also info about blog tours, buddy reads, and stuff.)

Boring stuff out of the way first. (Well, the buddy read is not boring! At all. But we all know you’re here because I said WIN TOUGH LOVE EARLY, OMG.)

Miles and the Magic Flute Blog Tour Signup is Live. Read this newsletter for info. Use this signup form to join. Join this newsletter to be the first to hear about the next blog tour campaign. Any blog can join, of any flavor or size.

Bad Boyfriend Buddy Read Happening Now, Plus Eli Wright is Taking Your Questions. KA too, but you know Eli’s going to bring it. Email assist@heidicullinan.com to get a username and join in the conversation, or lurk in the distance.

Tough Love will have a buddy read and character chat sometime next week, starting Wednesday. Details coming soon.

Now that we have that over with, the contest.

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Pre-Release Giveaway

Special Delivery, Double Blind, and Tough Love

Win all three books in the Special Delivery series in the ebook format of your choice. Prizes will be emailed Sunday, April 6, which means you can start reading and tease your friends about how you had it first by Sunday night. All three books are offered: you can decline the first two if you already have them, replace your first editions, or give them to a friend. Already pre-ordered Tough Love? Thank you! You can still read it early, then give away your won copy. I always support infecting your friends with my work.

Rules and disclaimers: 

This contest is void where prohibited by law. Must be 18 to enter. Only one entry per person. No purchase necessary. Contest open worldwide unless contest is illegal in your country. Contest winner will be chosen at random by online randomizer. Prize is as specified above.  This contest will open at the posting of this blog and close 11AM CST, Sunday April 6. To enter participants must fill out this Google document form. Winners will be announced within four hours of contest end by email and on Heidi Cullinan’s blog/social media accounts. The number of winners will be determined by the metrics stated below. If winners do not acknowledge receipt of winning email within 48 hours of announcement delivery, a new winner will be chosen. E-certificate will be delivered via email within 48 hours of winner acknowledging receipt of notification email. Use this form to enter the contest.

How many winners will there be?

Why, that depends on how many of you enter.

1-50 entrants: 1 winner

51-100 entrants: 2 winners

101-150 entrants: 3 winners

151-200 entrants: 4 winners

201 and above entrants: 5 winners

I’ll do my best to let you know on Facebook and Twitter and this public forum post how many entrants we’re at, but your best bet if you want more winners is to promote this contest. I’m not sure how the odds things works, if you’re better off having less entrants or what, but you have to admit it’s more fun if we’re all running around making an event of it. I would love to be handing out five winner packets, so here’s hoping.

Want to be more official about spreading the word/add a splash of color? Go here to the Special Delivery Series Press Kit to find images, blurbs, info, reviews, picture quotes, cover art, and more.

But you don’t have to pimp to enter. You can simply enter. Which you should do now. Ready? Set? GO.

 


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Coming Soon: Miles and the Magic Flute, Hero Reissued from Wilde City

One of the most common emails I get is, “Why can’t I buy Hero and Miles and the Magic Flute?” Now I can tell you that you can, and even when. Also, both books have shiny new covers:

MilesMagicFlute_cvr

Reissuing May 27, 2014

MILES AND THE MAGIC FLUTE

When unemployed Miles Larson retreats to his friend’s Minnesota pawnshop to lick his wounds, he discovers that a few notes on a magical instrument reveal an erotic fairyland where the sorrows weighing on his heart don’t exist at all.

Yet fantasy comes with a price, and soon Miles must chose a path. He can surrender his soul to the dreamlord to sustain his pleasure… or he can defeat the faerie and save the mysterious beast-man who promises love. Miles would chose love over pleasure in a heartbeat—if only to seize it he didn’t first have to acknowledge the pain inside.

Is Miles strong enough to learn that sometimes to find happiness, we must face down our sorrows?

This title has been previously published and has been revised from its original release.
***
 

Hero_cvr

Reissuing August 2014

HERO

Construction worker Hal Porter knows he’s nobody special. But when strange events draw him into a magical world, he becomes the only man who can free Morgan, a lonely, long-enchanted shape-shifter. Whether he feels he’s worthy or not, Hal is the hero Morgan has been waiting for.

However, Hal’s task becomes personal as he and Morgan fall in love. Now, to save Morgan and give himself the happily ever after he’s always longed for, Hal will need to do something far more daunting than face Morgan’s captor or finally come out of the closet…

He’ll have to believe in himself.

This title has been previously published and has been revised from its original release.

***

Both books are being reissued from Wilde City, and I’ve loved working with them so far. Because they’re still getting started, you won’t be able to preorder either book just yet, and there will be a small delay from release to distribution to third party. As usual if you want to make sure you don’t miss it, sign up for my reader newsletter. I’ll let you know when the book goes on sale and when the third-party distribution has happened.

Speaking of newsletters: if you’re a blogger and you want to be in on this tour—or any blog tour I do—I’ll be debuting a new system for this tour. What I keep finding is that though I put out calls in my regular newsletter, blog, and social media, bloggers are so busy they don’t always see those calls and I’m always shoehorning people in after we get started. I don’t mind doing that, but I feel bad because sometimes it means people don’t get dates that work best for them. To that end, I’ve started a blogger-only newsletter. What will happen is when I’m ready to set up a blog tour, I’ll send out that newsletter. It will also go to social media, go out as a blog, but if you sign up for that newsletter it will go directly to your inbox. Within that newsletter will be a Google form where you can fill out what dates/kind of post you’re looking for and whether or not you need an ARC. The beauty of this system though is if you don’t want to participate in that particular book, you don’t have to do anything at all.

I’m not yet ready to set up the Miles tour, but I’ll probably do that in the next month or so. If you sign up for the newsletter, you’ll be the first to know when we’re scheduling.


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Double Blind is for sale, Randy & Ethan’s impending Q&A, Swag Contest, Tour, Etc.

This is that release day post where I say, “Hey, the book is out.” Excepting this first line, it will also be verbatim the content of a release day newsletter, so if you get that and this feel free to ignore one or the other.

Double Blind, Book Two of the Special Delivery Series, is at an e-retailer near you.

DoubleBlind72lg

Know when to show your hand…and when to hedge your bets.

Randy Jansen can’t stand to just sit by and watch as a mysterious man throws money away on the roulette wheel, especially since Randy’s got his own bet going as to the reason this guy is making every play like it’s his last day on earth. The man’s dark desperation hits Randy right in the gut. Half of him warns that getting involved is a sucker’s bet, and the other half scrambles for a reason—any reason—to save the man’s soul.

Ethan Ellison has no idea what he’s going to do with himself once his last dollar is gone—until Randy whirls into his life with a heart-stealing smile and a poker player’s gaze that sees too much. Randy draws Ethan into a series of wagers that leads to a scorching kiss by midnight, but he isn’t the only one with an interest in Ethan’s vulnerability. Soon they’re both taking risks that not only play fast and loose with the law, but with the biggest prize of all: their hearts.

Warning: This story contains high-stakes poker, gangsters with a weakness for kittens, foursomes, and kinky consensual sex.

Available from Samhain Publishing and wherever books are sold. This book has been previously published and has been revised from its original release.

Buy links: SamhainAmazonBarnes & Noble

Goodreads

Excerpt on Heidi’s website

***

Randy and Ethan are Doing an AMA on My Forums.

Like Sam and Mitch, Ethan and Randy are taking your questions—any questions—on my website forums. Would you like to come and play? Email assist@heidicullinan.com, say you want to be on the forum and tell us if you’re a reader, a blogger, or both. A username and temporary password will be mailed to you…and you’re in! If you don’t want to login, you can still read along, as this will be held in the public forum at this link. Feel free to start leaving your questions now. The AMA will fun from Wednesday, March 5 at 3PM CST until Friday, March 7 at 3PM CST.

You Asked for Swag, You Got Swag. Also: Contest.

Last year at a few different events I gave out T-shirts, mugs, bags, etc, and until I ran out I gave them for online contests. People have asked if they could get their own items without having to wait to win something, so I said why not. I made a Cafe Press store—they’re kind of pricey, so I apologize. I ratcheted down the price as much as they’d allow, and sometimes there are online coupons if you sign up for their newsletter. I put in many random items, but if there’s something you’re wishing I had, let me know. A lot of people have asked for quote mugs—let me know what you’re wanting, and I’ll try to add it.

For Double Blind‘s release, I’m having a swag contest. I’ll give a $25USD gift certificate to Cafe Press to a lucky winner. Here are the rules.

  • This contest is void where prohibited by law. Must be 18 to enter. No purchase necessary. Only one entry per person.
  • Contest open worldwide unless contest is illegal in your country. Contest winner will be chosen at random by online randomizer.
  • Prize is a $25 gift certificate to Cafe Press. If Cafe Press doesn’t delivery to your country or the shipping costs are prohibitive, entrants are responsible for any dissatisfaction this may cause. This contest will open at 11:30AM CST Tuesday, March 4 and close on Friday, March 7 at 3PM.
  • To enter participants must fill out this Google document form and agree to the rules:  https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1JrvujxIf8vsGHGe_lf6rRIq_w1RLxNIVzy8T5njQDOk/viewform
  • Winner will be announced by 4PM CST by email and on Heidi Cullinan’s blog/social media accounts. Only one prize will be given. If winner does not acknowledge receipt of winning email within 48 hours of announcement delivery, a new winner will be chosen. E-certificate will be delivered via email within 48 hours of winner acknowledging receipt of notification email.

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The Tour Is Still Going Strong.

I’m giving all kinds of interviews, and there are many, many giveaways this month for Double Blind and the whole Special Delivery series. Follow those posts here.

My forums are also open, and I do check for new posts, at least every other day.

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Heidi Will Be at Romantic Times Book Convention in New Orleans

May 13-18

Come for the whole week or just the Saturday signing. Details on the whole convention here, the signing here, and a list of all Heidi’s events here.

Though stay tuned for a special Friday night activity off the books with Damon Suede—everyone who can get to NOLA is invited.

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Heidi Will Be at GayRomLit in Chicago

October 16-19

Details about GayRomLit can be found here.

Registration sells out early, so don’t delay if you’re wanting to go.

***

That’s about it for me! I’m off to write some more in my next work. In the meantime, enter the contest and get your questions ready for Randy and Ethan. Hope to see you soon. Happy reading!

need you


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Double Blind Re-Releases Tuesday, and Randy and Ethan Will Be At Your Service.

Also in this post I’ll answer the oft-asked question, “Do I need to buy the book again? Is it different?”

But first I have to say thank you to everyone who has been posting in the comments of my blog for two different posts which were both essentially me losing my shit on the Internet. One, for the promotions thing–holy crapmonkeys, did I strike a nerve–and then of course for Sidney. Thank you very much for the hugs here there and everywhere about Sidney. He’s doing rather well, only on fluids right now, and loving that every time he asks for food I give it to him. I think he’s decided this is heaven. He hates the fluids but he’s learning to cope, and he looks better. I bought a snuggly blanket for him and I spread it on me whenever I’m sitting. I think he digs that I’ll boot anybody else so he can sit. The vet says basically he’ll die someday of a thromboembolism, which will happen with no warning. So we enjoy each day as they’re here, however many we get.

Now, let’s talk about Randy and Ethan.

Double Blind is out on Tuesday, March 4, and as I did with Special Delivery, I’ll have the heroes of the story on my forum for their own personal AMA. I’m going to do something a little different this time: I’m going to do both of them at the same time, which will be an interesting mental jujutsu for me, but I’m sure it’ll be fine. I’m also going to have it over two days and start it on Wednesday, March 5 at 6PM CST and run until Friday late afternoon, probably around 3PM. Obviously I will be in and out, but it’s a forum, so you can come back anytime. And you can go there now, get a login/username and leave a question for either one of them.

As I’m never shy to admit, Double Blind is the book of my heart. It was a whirlwind ride to write, I’ve loved it more every time I’ve reread or edited it, and it has my favorite character of mine, Randy. Not that I don’t love all my books or my characters, but he’s definitely my special guy. Which he knows, and that’s always made writing him fun but slightly dangerous. The story is erotic but not as much as Special Delivery. It’s smart, sassy, and full of highs and lows, and poker. There are winks and nods to my personal posse of NaNoWriMo authors who were with me as I wrote it—the demon statue was a challenge thrown down and accepted, with a bit of a cheeky tweak I’m not sure was appreciated. It was also the last book I wrote before I was published–I’d sold two, but no one had bought my book yet.

The question people have asked for both Special Delivery and Double Blind is “Do I need to buy the new one?” The worry is, is there new story in the reissue, something a reader would miss for not having. For Special Delivery the answer is no, nothing is new, and nothing at all is missing or changed except for tightening of prose. I think that book lost 10k, all of it fat and redundancy.

Double Blind doesn’t have any new material, but it has two distinct differences: it’s much tighter, much smoother—I cut 25k, and yes, there really was that much fat and redundancy, because the book was 140,000 words—and the reissue fixes a formatting problem many of you have written to me about. Did your copy of Double Blind have passages that looked like this?

flop

What, you might ask, is Aq9r8w? A mess. What that should read is this:

correct

The copyediting for Double Blind was a bitch and a half, because there were so many special terms and cases, including how to report the hands. I asked if we could use digital images, and in the PDF and paperback versions—the formats which sell the least—they work fine. Everywhere else got the weird alphabet soup, and I got a lot of letters and people asking what the hell that was supposed to mean. It made me crazy. Dreamspinner tried to fix it, but it didn’t seem to take, and it wasn’t fixed everywhere, and so I gave up.

Maybe the screwed up hand formatting doesn’t bug you. Maybe you love it when I overwrite and am way too wordy and you’re happy with your first edition. If so? You carry on. If you thought I could have used a little more red pen, a firmer hand, and/or were annoyed by the glitch mentioned above? Samhain Publishing has it on sale for the cheapest price going, and you can preorder. From what I hear once they get you in their system, you won’t want to leave, you’ll be so happy. If you want to try your hand at third party, Barnes and Noble and Amazon also have a preorder. iTunes probably has it too, but they also probably have me misfiled as the wrong person with only a third of my books showing, because that’s how they do business, apparently. The point is, buy it or don’t, as you wish.

I’m doing a lot of guest posts and interviews on the blog tour, which is back in the swing again. If you like the quote pic I used above and want to snag some for your own, you can find them here. The quotes were picked by the forum angels. They had about three times as many as I chose. Randy is apparently their spirit animal.

In short, I hope to see you somewhere in social media on the tour, or if not, you can just read/re-read the book, enjoy it, and that’s more than enough for me.

***

DOUBLE BLIND

Book Two in the Special Delivery Series

Know when to show your hand…and when to hedge your bets.

Randy Jensen can’t stand to just sit by and watch as a mysterious man throws money away on the roulette wheel, especially since Randy’s got his own bet going as to the reason this guy is making every play like it’s his last day on earth. The man’s dark desperation hits Randy right in the gut. Half of him warns that getting involved is a sucker’s bet, and the other half scrambles for a reason—any reason—to save the man’s soul.

Ethan Ellison has no idea what he’s going to do with himself once his last dollar is gone—until Randy whirls into his life with a heart-stealing smile and a poker player’s gaze that sees too much. Randy draws Ethan into a series of wagers that leads to a scorching kiss by midnight, but he isn’t the only one with an interest in Ethan’s vulnerability. Soon they’re both taking risks that not only play fast and loose with the law, but with the biggest prize of all: their hearts.

Warning: This story contains high-stakes poker, gangsters with a weakness for kittens, foursomes, and kinky consensual sex.

Available March 4, 2014 from Samhain Publishing and wherever books are sold. This book has been previously published and has been revised from its original release.

SamhainAmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads

Excerpt on Heidi’s website


7 Comments

Have some Hooch & Cake on me.

This is basically the newsletter reposted. FREE BOOK. FREE BOOK. SAM AND MITCH GET MARRIED, RANDY SHOWS UP, LOTS OF SMUT AND FEELS. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Hooch and Cake Cover

 

Book 1.5 in the Special Delivery Series

Where there’s a Randy, there’s a way.

Mitch Tedsoe isn’t expert on many things, but he’s pretty sure getting married shouldn’t be this hard. A justice of the peace, some hooch, some cake—all Mitch wants is to walk down the aisle with Sam Keller, have a party, and live happily ever after. But every day of wedding planning brings a new set of handicaps, legal, logistical, and emotional…until he brings in his best friend, Randy Jansen.

Randy loves being the third point in Sam and Mitch’s kinky triangle, and nothing would give him more pleasure than to thumb his nose at small town snobbery and give Iowa the most fantastic gay wedding it’s ever seen. But as his plan comes together and his friends prepare to sail off into the sunset, Randy Jansen begins to consider the unthinkable: that maybe, just maybe, he wishes he could have a little hooch and cake of his own.

Warning: This novella contains gratuitous three-ways, shameless sentimentality, Delia Biehl, and the return of Keith Jameson.

Click your file format preference to download the full novella for free

EPUB    MOBI    PDF

Tell your friends, pass it around. If they haven’t read the other books, direct them here.


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Special Delivery is For Sale Again, and Sam Keller is Giving a Q&A

After almost a year of absence, Special Delivery is back in online stores, and Old Blue is rolling down the road once more. There’s a special event today I’ll talk about at the end, so if you’re skimming, scroll to the pic of Sam.

first line

Buy links: SamhainAmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads

First chapter excerpt on my website

You might have noticed there are a lot of contests and giveaways for the book, and there’s another one today. (Might, in fact, be more than one.) This is all happening on the blog tour, which I’ve made a static page for on my website. As a housekeeping note, I’m leaving that page up for all time, and as new books and new tours show up, that’s where you can find out about them. You can also check out the calendar to check out tour stops and any local appearances I might be making.

Note for bloggers: In my constant quest to streamline the blog tour/promo process for both of us, I’ve started a newsletter just for bloggers. Anyone with a blog can join. I’ll still post calls on social media before tours, but if you want to make sure you don’t miss anything, that’s the place to sign up. My goal is next round to have forms and options in place so I don’t have to do what I’m doing this time, which is keep emailing people because I lost the email where you said what we were doing. This way too, if you want to pass for a particular book, all you have to do is ignore the newsletter.

About the reissue: I get a lot of questions about the reissues, people wondering if they should re-buy because the content will be different. As far as content in Special Delivery, no, it’s not different. It’s tighter and better all around but not altered in any way you’ll notice, I’m sure–unless you’re a fussy edit person like me and like tighter writing. Honestly–if you have the original and you want to use it as an exercise in edits, you could hold the new one up to the old one and see what got cut/switched/changed and see if that spurs your own editing mojo. Or you can stay as you are.

What I will say is I want people to buy it because I want to thank Samhain for letting me revisit these books with an editor I love beyond words and giving me space for book three—so if you don’t want a new copy but want to give one to a friend, I won’t stand in your way at all. If you can’t afford to do that/want to thank them another way, leave a review somewhere and tag them on twitter or just drop them a line on social media (buttons on right hand corner, though they also have a Pinterest) and say, “Thanks!” Or you can go on your merry way because mostly I want you happily reading books. No obligation necessary.

About where to buy: Another frequent question I get is where to buy the books. The answer is, wherever you want and is easiest for you. Technically Samhain and I both make the most money when you buy direct from them, but it’s not a huge difference, and they would join me in saying, “Shop where you like to shop.” I will say that Samhain is cheapest initially during the new release phase, allows preorders, and your initial order will come with a HUGE discount which will make you pile books in your cart like nobody’s business.

That said, when you buy at Amazon or Nook or ARe I go up and down on the bestseller charts on those sites, which is good as well, and all those numbers from all retailers get reported to big lists like USA Today and NYT, which I totally intend to hit someday, because would that not kick ass. So as long as you’re buying the thing, wherever you get it is fine. And if you’re downloading it illegally because you’re in a country where buying it could get you killed/stalked, please be careful. Please be so very careful. (I’m so sorry to say that’s not a joke.)

Sam Keller avatarSam Keller is having a Q&A. I announced this in various places on social media, but today at 3PM CST until whenever I’m too tired to continue, and probably drizzling into the next day, Sam Keller will be at this link taking your questionsPlease come ask him questions. I set it up thinking it would be a fun game, but as I’ve discussed a bit in the past, my characters are often very loud in my head, and telling Sam he can come out and play live with people has been a bit like giving him speed. I can tell all I’ll get done today is let him find stuff to show you in the forum, and if no one asks him questions he’ll have a broken heart.

The forum is public, so you can lurk as much as you like, but to ask questions/comment (please ask questions, OMG, this was the dumbest idea ever, he’s peeing himself with excitement and driving me crazy) you’ll have to get an account by emailing assist@heidicullinan.com, wherein my dear husband Dan will set you up with a username and password. He’s off today so I’ll have him man the forum at that time. But you need an account to comment because otherwise the whole forum will be spam, or so my webmaster tells me. There are other forums in there too, so you might find something/someone fun. But Sam is there today. And…probably someone else will be there tomorrow. Someone who, I’m quite sure, will not be a rabid squirrel in my head.

Thus endeth the release day blog post. Check out the blog tour, come talk to Sam, and happy reading/re-reading!


11 Comments

Would you like to see Fever Pitch’s cover?

Of course you would.

Fever Pitch cover Heidi Cullinan

Here’s what it looks like side by side with Love Lessons.

LLFP

SO MUCH HAPPY.

***

Fever Pitch

Book Two of the Love Lessons Series

September 2, 2014 from Samhain Publishing, Ltd.

(This is the draft blurb, but it’ll give you an idea.)

Beneath the façade of his pretty, popular-boy exterior, Aaron Seavers is friendless, ruled by a rigid but largely absent father, and clueless about everything, especially where he should attend college in only eight weeks. When geeky-cute Giles rescues Aaron at a party, makes him laugh and guides him through his first gay experience, Aaron goes home confident of two things—his sexual orientation, and where he’s heading to school in the fall.

When Giles Mulder’s popular-boy dalliance appears at Saint Timothy orientation, memories of his hometown’s soul-crushing hazing threaten his hard-won college haven. All Giles wants to do is forget the past, play violin and figure out what he wants to be when he grows up…but Aaron’s smiles are distracting, and when he sings, hopes Giles thought he’d long-ago buried soar on arpeggios through his heart.

Through friends, roommate crises, parental interference and most of all through music, Aaron and Giles learn true love doesn’t happen at a fever pitch—it’s a rich, swelling cord ringing all the way to happily ever after.

Warning: Contains showmances, bad parenting, Walter Lucas, and a cappella. Readers are advised they might well leave this novel with rediscovered inner strength and find themselves significantly buoyed by hope.

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