WINTER WONDERLAND, BY HEIDI CULLINAN
RELEASE DATE: November 10, 2015
Welcome to the blog tour stop for Winter Wonderland, the newest release from the incredibly talented Heidi Cullinan, and the third book in her “Minnesota Christmas” series!
In my review, I called Winter Wonderland, “Funny, quirky, and delightfully dirty,” with “truly fantastic and fully-believable characters”. The novel stands alone in the series, and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a holiday read that focuses on emotions and family.
Keep reading for an excerpt from the novel, as well as your chance to win a “Minnesota Christmas” prize pack that includes paperbacks of all three books and more!
Finding Mr. Right can be a snow lot of fun.
Paul Jansen was the only one of his friends who wanted a relationship. Naturally, he’s the last single man standing. No gay man within a fifty-mile radius wants more than casual sex. No one, that is, except too-young, too-twinky Kyle Parks, who sends him suggestive texts and leaves X-rated snow sculptures on his front porch.
Kyle is tired of being the town’s resident Peter Pan. He’s twenty-five, not ten, and despite his effeminate appearance, he’s nothing but the boss in bed. He’s loved Paul since forever, and this Christmas, since they’re both working on the Winter Wonderland festival, he might finally get his chance for a holiday romance.
But Paul comes with baggage. His ultra-conservative family wants him paired up with a woman, not a man with Logan’s rainbow connection. When their anti-LGBT crusade spills beyond managing Paul’s love life and threatens the holiday festival, Kyle and Paul must fight for everyone’s happily ever after, including their own.
Warning: Contains erotic snow art, toppy twinks, and super-sweet holiday moments. Best savored with a mug of hot chocolate with a dash of spice.
Kyle spent the rest of the ride telling Gabriel about the dinner date, about Corrina’s Red Hat Society meeting, about the intimate dinner for two in the shop. He also filled him in on the new plan for the Winter Wonderland project. “Mostly we decided we didn’t understand what was going on, and Paul’s going to see if all of us can meet somewhere on Sunday afternoon. All of us being him, me, you, Arthur, Marcus and Frankie. He says you guys solved last year’s clusterfuck, so maybe that can happen again.”
“That should work. I’ll talk to Arthur.”
“No, don’t. Paul’s going to ask you. Act surprised.”
Gabriel smiled. “Sure. So explain to me now how you were nearly having sex against a door.”
“He kept staring at me. At first I thought I had stuff on my face, and he said I did, but now I wonder. I was different tonight, according to him. I still don’t understand how, because all he said was than usual. Which is annoying, because mostly I was nervous and self-conscious, but that was when he looked at me like he finally understood I was a male human. Then he looked like he was about to tell me I was too young again, and I kind of went postal on him.”
“Interesting. Go on.”
“Well, I told him I wasn’t too young, said I’d burn up his sheets, and he’d need an ice pack on his stool in the shop the next day.”
Gabriel laughed, a delightful trill reverberating inside the car. “I wish they had surveillance in the shop. I’d rewind it to watch his face.” He glanced across the seat at Kyle, gaze dancing with devilry. “Are you really that toppy?”
This was a weird conversation to be having with his local librarian. Kyle became focused on a loose thread on his mittens. “Just because I’m skinny and limp-wristed doesn’t mean I want to bend over.”
“No, and I don’t mean to stereotype. I will say it surprises me, though now as I truly think about it, maybe not. I can see what Paul means about you being different, if you were letting that side of you out.”
They were at the café now, which had barely any cars left in the lot. Gabriel pulled in beside Kyle’s car. As Kyle released his seat belt, Gabriel turned to him with a smile. “I think you and I need to get to know one another better. Frankie too. When we meet on Sunday for this get-together I don’t know about yet, let’s discuss a time the three of us can escape to Duluth.” He waggled his eyebrows. “Or maybe even the Cities. We could do some early Christmas shopping.”
Kyle hadn’t been to Minneapolis in forever. “That sounds great.”
Gabriel winked and made gentle shooing motions at the door. “Go on. Drive safe, all right?”
“You too,” Kyle said, and hurried out of the car.
It took him an extra fifteen minutes to get home, and when he pulled into the garage, he let out a heavy sigh of relief. As he stomped snow off his boots and hung his things in the mudroom, Linda Kay’s worried, bespectacled face appeared at the window. When he opened the door, she enveloped him in a tight hug, pressing her face into his chest. “Kyle David, you scared me half to death. You should have come home hours ago.”
Kyle hugged her back, kissing her hair. “I’m sorry, sweetie. I didn’t mean to upset you. I was on a date.”
She lifted her face, worry evaporating to interest. “Oh? With who?”
Kyle’s lips quirked. “Paul.”
Her face screwed up into her beautiful, squinty smile. “You devil. Did you make it to third base?”
“I didn’t even get to first. I’m playing hard to get.”
Linda Kay let go of him and rolled her eyes. “Well, that’s got to be a first. Is it working?”
Kyle remembered the way Paul had looked at him, back pressed against the door. “Maybe.”
“Then keep your zipper shut, buddy.” She took his hand and pulled him toward the kitchen. “Let’s celebrate with hot cocoa and marshmallows.”
Kyle followed her, smiling and feeling loved and warm and home. “Sounds perfect.”
ABOUT HEIDI CULLINAN
Heidi Cullinan has always enjoyed a good love story, provided it has a happy ending. Proud to be from the first Midwestern state with full marriage equality, Heidi is a vocal advocate for LGBT rights. She writes positive-outcome romances for LGBT characters struggling against insurmountable odds because she believes there’s no such thing as too much happy ever after. When Heidi isn’t writing, she enjoys cooking, reading, playing with her cats, and watching television with her family. Find out more about Heidi at heidicullinan.com.
Grand prize giveaway open from Novemeber 1-30. Includes paperback copies of Let It Snow, Sleigh Ride, and Winter Wonderland, and a Logan-themed mug. All blogs participating in the tour are welcome (but not required) to include the rafflecopter in their review or post about the release.