Hi guys! Today I am super excited to welcome the fabulous Heidi Cullinan back to the blog.  Heidi is here to talk to us more about her recent release, Love Lessons, a book I reviewed a while back and totally adored. She also has a great giveaway to share. So please join me in giving Heidi a big welcome!

Love Lessons Blog Tour Banner

I never set out to write gay romance. From 1992 to 2005 I wrote traditional heterosexual romance, but I never could quite find my feet with it. I’d come close, but every time I submitted I got a lot of attention but was always told something wasn’t “quite right.” Meanwhile, gay secondary characters kept showing up, I gave them love interests, and they stole the show. I made the hero in The Seventh Veil bisexual, and everything truly began to open up in my head. Then a friend suggested I write a straight up gay romance, and sent me information on a company wanting to illustrate short gay romance stories with photos. I also found a call for submissions from Ellora’s Cave, who I knew took gay romance. This was the extent I knew of the market when I started writing.

By the time I finished the call for EC, the date had passed, and I’d gone well beyond their word limit. I thought I had a novella, not a novel, and I poked around looking for somewhere to sell it while I continued to beat my head against Special Delivery, which had been supposed to be an 8k short and was now closing in on 100k. I submitted Hero to Loose Id and Dreamspinner after I found them via a Google search, and the rest sort of fell into place from there.

What I love about gay romance is mostly that it seems to be where 90% of my stories come from. Even with the growing number of authors and stories, LGBT romances are still new and fresh and do exactly what romances are supposed to do: tell a familiar story in a unique way. I love too that they provide a voice for a community who has had very few happily ever afters in fiction. Before I knew there was a whole subset of novels with LGBT characters, I would comb the library and Amazon for them, but it was always a nailbiter over whether or not things would end positively. I like that there’s more positive representation of LGBT romances out there every day.

Because the truth is everyone reads LGBT romances: gay men, lesbians, bisexual men and women, trans men and women, and straight men and women. The world grows more and more determined to embrace equality for this community every day–there are steps backward, but the groundswell is firmly moving forward. Even in the most repressive of cultures, if they have so much as a satellite signal, LGBT persons have to know the world in general is with them. Romances, gay or straight, are always about hope. That there is more equality of hope now is nothing but a good thing.

My hope for LGBT romance is that people stop calling it a genre and start viewing it as simply another way to tell a story. These stories are no different than any other romances except in the gender of the love interests. I don’t want someone to have to deliberately go off to a ghetto to find my work. I don’t believe my stories are a special category, and I’m happy to compete for sales along with my peers who write romance of all pairings. My hope for LGBT romance is that it continues to mainstream to the point that no one would ever consider shutting it off to the side.


Blurb

love lessonsLove doesn’t come with a syllabus.

Kelly Davidson has waited what seems like forever to graduate high school and get out of his small-minded, small town. But when he arrives at Hope University, he quickly realizes finding his Prince Charming isn’t so easy. Everyone here is already out. In fact, Kelly could be the only virgin on campus.

Worst of all, he’s landed the charming, handsome, gay campus Casanova as a roommate, whose bed might as well be equipped with a revolving door.

Walter Lucas doesn’t believe in storybook love. Everyone is better off having as much fun as possible with as many people as possible…except his shy, sad little sack of a roommate is seriously screwing up his world view.

As Walter sets out to lure Kelly out of his shell, staying just friends is harder than he anticipated. He discovers love is a crash course in determination. To make the grade, he’ll have to finally show up for class…and overcome his own private fear that love was never meant to last.

Warning: This story contains lingering glances, milder than usual sexual content for this author, and a steamy dance-floor kiss. Story has no dairy or egg content, but may contain almonds.

Available to purchase at
         

About the Author

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.

You can stalk, I mean find Heidi here:

                     
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Giveaway

One lucky winner along the tour will win an ebook copy of Love Lessons, a car charm, and a keychain.  To enter follow the link below to the Rafflecopter form for the giveaway. 

Rafflecopter Giveaway Entry Form

 

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