I hate everything to do with the holidays. They give me grumpy face, and suddenly I’m popping tums from all the stress and expenses. I don’t like putting up a tree, though I do it for my daughter. I hate decorating. I refuse to listen to holiday music, though I allow it ON Christmas day. I epitomize bah humbug.
There is one holiday tradition I can’t ever seem to resist, and that’s a good Holiday love story. I can’t resist all that Christmas cheer when it coincides with falling in love! Maybe it’s because growing up I always saw my Grandma with a holiday romance, but it doesn’t feel real unless I’ve got in a few.
With me in that frame of mind, I got seriously excited when Heidi Cullinan announced the release of a new Christmas Town series! I absolutely had to read and share the sappy love story with all of you.
The Christmas Fling was everything I look for in a holiday romance. It was fluffy, and light. It was romantic, with two sweet main characters. They were both emotional disasters, but darn it they were adorable together! Holiday reads should be as light as snow, and leave you feeling warm and fuzzy. The problems between Terry and Evan could have taken the story down a darker path, but Heidi kept the it romantic and precious! It made me happy.
However, what really sets the holiday spirit in both the Minnesota Christmas series, or the new spinoff Christmas Town, is Logan Minnesota. It’s the whole group of men, turning this small town into a Holiday Wonderland, and a safe place for themselves. I wish Christmas Town were real so we could all go stay there. It sounds so magical!
There were a few small issues I had with the book, but I’m not going to talk about it. I’m going to enjoy the warm afterglow, sipping on my eggnog, and enjoy being in the holiday spirit, even if it’s just for a little bit.
Thank you to Heidi Cullinan for providing a free ARC in exchange for an honest review.
First, I just wanted to say thank you for taking time to answer questions for Birdie Bookworm, Heidi! I really appreciate it as a huge fan of yours!
Q: Was there something that inspired the creation of Logan, and all of the holiday stories that take place there?
A: Logan began in Let It Snow, book one of the Minnesota Christmas, which initially I wrote to entertain myself while I was at my in-laws one Christmas. I did like the place, though, so I kept going back there in other books, and in Winter Wonderland, book three of that series, they began having annual festivals and toyed with the idea of making them something more. In book four they brought in Dale Davidson, who is also in The Christmas Fling, who got Christmas Town set up. All that happened very much in the background, though.
I admit the resurrection of Logan is a particular fancy of mine because as someone from a small town, I’ve watched former lively neighborhoods hollow out, and it’s sad. I love the idea of being able to revive a small town by turning it into a Christmas village. And why not a gay Christmas village?
Q: Of all your books, my favorite is Lonely Hearts. I felt such a strong connection to Baz. Is there a specific character that’s stayed with you? Or a specific book?
A: The two characters who are my favorites are Randy Jansen from Double Blind and Emmet Washington from Carry the Ocean and Shelter the Sea, but favorite books are Double Blind and Antisocial. I’ll grant you Lonely Hearts is right up there too.
Q: What led you to writing, and specifically to writing M/M?
A: I started writing gay romance as secondary characters in my manuscripts in the early 2000s back when I was submitting, and my critique partners said look, those are your best characters, you should make them your main characters. I worried how I would sell the books though because I didn’t see anyone publishing them, and they said then go make the market. I closed myself off from the internet for about three years, wrote about three different types of stories, and when I came out I had three books and a market, and here we are.
Q: Are there any other M/M authors you recommend to your readers, or any stories that you love?
A: Oh lord. I mean, there are so many, and I’ll forget the names of everyone because my brain is a sieve. So let me tell you what I’ve enjoyed lately. Keira Andrews is always a must for me. (I’m literally looking at my kindle.) Jordan L Hawk’s everything, Cat Sebastian’s historicals, Avon Gale’s hockey books (and I hate hockey!), oh and Heart Ship by Amy Jo Cousins. Helen K Dimon’s romantic suspense books are all fabulous too. But then there’s Xio Axelrod’s Fast Forward.
That’s what I’ve read lately. My pull-it-out-when-I’m-sad-and-need-saving is always everything by KA Mitchell.
Q: Is there anything about yourself that would surprise your fans? (For example, I hate the smell of chewing gum and everyone I know thinks I’m strange.)
A: I don’t know what would surprise people. I mean, I never leave the house, ever. I hate it more every day. I have almost no social interaction and I don’t care at all. I prefer watching TV with subtitles to TV in English. I don’t drink any alcohol and I only drink tea, and only diet sodas (hate regular) though in general I prefer mineral water. Love chocolate, though.