Q&A

Q&A: Marie Sexton Interviews Heidi Cullinan of WINTER WONDERLAND

Winter Wonderland Heidi Cullinan

To celebrate our Christmas romance releases, Marie Sexton and I are interviewing each other as part of our promotional tour. The following is her interview of me; you can catch my interview of her on December 1 at Coffee and Porn in the Morning.


Tell us a little bit about your current release, Winter Wonderland.

Winter Wonderland is the third book in the Minnesota Christmas series, a gay romance set in a fictional small town in the Northwoods of Minnesota. Three burly bears with soft hearts getting their happily ever after. In Winter Wonderland we get the story of Paul, the last of the three bears, who has sadly been waiting for his man since book one. He’s the only one who went looking for love, except his Mr. Right turned up is the last place he expected, and the one place he really wasn’t sure was a good idea. Kyle, who has been waiting for Paul and Paul alone since being rescued on the playground, will do what he must to convince Paul he’s the one worth waiting for.

How did you get the idea for the story?

Since this was a series and Paul has been a background character pining for his HEA, I knew I had to start with him and keep things in Logan, Minnesota, but beyond that I was a bit stumped. All kinds of guys auditioned but nobody was right. Then a very background character from book one got all in my face and said It’s me, dammit. So I let him make his case, and you know, it turned out he was right. Or he was just so bossy he made himself right. Could go either way.

 

Where can we buy it?

The book is published at Samhain, but you can buy it at many third party retailers, all listed through the buy links on this page at the top of the post.

 

This is the third book in the Minnesota Christmas series. Tell us a bit about the series in general.

The Minnesota Christmas series is a light-hearted escape into an idyllic Minnesota Northwoods small town. In Logan, Minnesota, you can expect shenanigans, snow, plenty of sex, and always a happily ever after. Book one, Let It Snow, features Marcus and Frankie. Marcus is a lawyer-turned lumberjack determined to scrub the Cities from his mind…until a freak snowstorm lands Minneapolis hairstylist Frankie in the cozy cabin Marcus shares with his best friends. Book two, Sleigh Ride, is about the jolly, brash Arthur and the fussy town librarian Gabriel, who hate each other more than they hate anyone else, right up until the point when those sparks ignite a fire they had no intention of starting. Book three, Winter Wonderland, is the story of Paul, the member of the “three bears” who’s pined for love the longest and has found it in the most unlikely of places, the swishy care center nurse Kyle, who once in the bedroom isn’t swishy in the slightest. The series is known for its highly-drawn secondary characters, idyllic small-town setting, serious subjects smoothed out with heartwarming holiday moments, and spicy (but not too spicy) romantic moments.

 

Will there a be a fourth installment next year?

Probably not. But there might be a spinoff series set in summer in a year or two. And you never know, they might wander down to the Twin Cities and show up in someone else’s story…

 

You’ve written stories in a lot of different genres. Do you have a favorite type of story, or does it depend on what story is speaking to you at the moment?

I sometimes feel happiest when writing fantasy, though I can’t ever do that all the time or I’ll fry my brain. I feel I do my best in contemporaries and new adult, but sometimes I have to go play in another genre to refresh the juices. I can’t seem to write a story without a serious element somewhere in the background. Every time I try, something wanders in to darken the mood. So, I’ve stopped fighting it and everything seems to work out better.

 

What can we look forward to next, and what are you working on now?

Next is one of those fantasy departures: Clockwork Heart, a steampunk/alternate historical set in 1910. It will be out in February and is starting to show up as a preorder at third parties. After that is very much up in the air. I have several things started, but this year has been a real curve ball for me on the health and productivity front, so it’s going to be interesting seeing what floats to the surface. I have a novella in the Dance With Me universe planned, and the Roosevelt and Love Lessons series books to write, and another new adult, and another fantasy, and yet none of them seem to want to plant themselves on my desk for more than a few weeks. I’m hoping eventually one of them gets to THE END, at which point I will joyously share it with everyone else.

Well, hurry up! (Okay, I know trying to make the stories hurry never works, but everybody’s anxiously awaiting the next one!)

Thanks for taking time to answer my questions!


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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.


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 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. Heidi can be found on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Tumblr, and HeidiCullinan.com.

Marie Sexton lives in Colorado. She’s a fan of just about anything that involves muscular young men piling on top of each other. In particular, she loves the Denver Broncos and enjoys going to the games with her husband. Her imaginary friends often tag along. Marie has one daughter, two cats, and one dog, all of whom seem bent on destroying what remains of her sanity. She loves them anyway. Marie can be found on Facebook, Twitter, and MarieSexton.net.

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