We are HUGE fans of Heidi Cullinan here at SSBR, so you can imagine how excited we were when she agreed to do a Guest Video Blog for us today.
So grab a coffee, check out our Macky’s *5 Star* review for Heidi’s upcoming novel Fever Pitch, then sit back and enjoy watching Heidi entertain you with a reader Q & A, a reading from Fever Pitch, plus we get a nosy around the hub of industry that is Heidi’s office… Oh and there’s cute cats too!
Fever Pitch (Love Lesson #2) by Heidi Cullinan
Title ~ Fever Pitch (Love Lesson #2)
Author ~ Heidi Cullinan
Publisher ~ Samhain Publishing
Published ~ 30th September 2014
Sometimes you have to play love by ear.
Love Lessons, Book 2
Aaron Seavers is a pathetic mess, and he knows it. He lives in terror of incurring his father’s wrath and disappointing his mother, and he can’t stop dithering about where to go to college—with fall term only weeks away.
Ditched by a friend at a miserable summer farewell party, all he can do is get drunk in the laundry room and regret he was ever born. Until a geeky-cute classmate lifts his spirits, leaving him confident of two things: his sexual orientation, and where he’s headed to school.
Giles Mulder can’t wait to get the hell out of Oak Grove, Minnesota, and off to college, where he plans to play his violin and figure out what he wants to be when he grows up. But when Aaron appears on campus, memories of hometown hazing threaten what he’d hoped would be his haven.
As the semester wears on, their attraction crescendos from double-cautious to a rich, swelling chord. But if more than one set of controlling parents have their way, the music of their love could come to a shattering end.
Warning: Contains showmances, bad parenting, Walter Lucas, and a cappella.
Two lost souls...that's how Fever Pitch opens, in the Minnesota town of Oak Grove, with two social opposites, Aaron Seavers the newish popular boy in town and geeky, gay pariah Giles Mulder. Both adrift in a sea of indecision and personal despair, struggling to cope with the shit life has dealt them up to this point, each of them for different reasons: Giles because being openly gay has brought him not only harassment and humiliation, but actual physical harm, having been the subject of more than one gay bashing that has put him in the ER. While in Aaron's case, due to his parents far from amicable divorce, he's struggling to come to terms with his family problems as well as his sexuality after the stinging rejection from his long term best friend and band mate Tanner, who after instigating a make out session, then freaked out, so Aaron now keeps his feelings for other guys hidden and stays under the radar.
Aaron is far from happy, with the hurtful memory of his one and only experience with another boy weighing heavy on his mind and having been reluctantly adopted into the popular clique, it’s easier for him to go with the flow, dating the odd girl and hanging with guys he's really not that keen on. Throw in the pressure his estranged lawyer father is putting on him to pick a school and choose a major, when he really doesn't have a clue where his life is going, or what he even wants to do...then there's his mother who, still wallowing in her own sorrows five years after the painful divorce, isn't always there for Aaron in the way he wants her to be.
So when a party on the night of Aaron's eighteenth birthday, that neither Aaron or Giles really want to attend, leads to an unexpected searing sexual encounter, it takes both of them by surprise. Unfortunately though, it all goes pear shaped when it ends in a misunderstanding that leaves them unsure of where they stand with each, made worse by the fact that the day after, Aaron leaves to spend the summer with his father, never having the chance to tell Giles why he reacted like he did, a completely different reason to what he thinks. Giles has crushed on Aaron since he arrived in Oak Grove but had never envisaged them ever being in a situation like this.
"Too skinny, too awkward. No way Giles could ever score an Aaron for real."
His past hook ups had included straight boys who as soon as they'd got their rocks off would just as soon turn round and call him a fag while beating the crap out of him, but the sex with Aaron, who he'd thought was straight, felt different...truly passionate... and for a split second he let himself envisage a possible relationship but Aaron's reaction once they come down from the intense sexual high, blows that notion apart, separating the boys until, through contrived circumstances on Aaron's part, they end up at Saint Timothy College together. What Giles doesn't realise is that Aaron hasn't stopped thinking about him and wants to put things right, but it's not the reunion that either of them expect, and past fears and misconceptions still conspire to keep them apart until their shared love and talent for music and a set of old and new friends help to bring them back together, including Walter and Kelly from 'Love Lessons' the first book in the series.
It's when they get to the college that things start to really kick off. Originally signed up for law classes by his father, Aaron finds himself drawn more to the music side of the college and once again gets drawn into the popular set when he's picked to sing with the Ambassadors, the schools a cappella group, whereas Giles, who is also a very talented violinist, gets taken by the schools orchestra which doesn't get half the kudos that the singing group does, and once again it brings home to Giles the feelings that he used to have...the awkward, gangly geek, always taking second place..
"I feel like Salieri in the Amadeus movie. I always thought he was such a whiner, and now I'm living his fucking life."
But Aaron is feeling just as lost and lonely and is scared to death of his father finding out he's dropped all the pre-law classes in favour of music. Plus his effeminate but anti gay, religious roommate Elijah, who has secrets of his own, is weird, uncommunicative and unwelcoming, adding to his loneliness, which threatens to overwhelm him.
Gradually they do start a tentative friendship again and over time the more they're in each other's company the more their feelings grow, and watching and hearing Aaron sing and perform the more Giles begins to fall...
I love him. His heart swelled and spilled over as they rounded into the final chorus. I'm so in love with him I can't even ask him out. I want to lie at his feet, want to smooth out all the wrinkles in his life and make everything alright.
From then on it kicks up yet another notch in the emotional stakes, pulling at the heartstrings even more. As far as emotions go, this totally engaged all mine and I found myself filling up more than once. My heart bled for both of them at different times throughout the story and I was totally engrossed from start to finish. I love how Heidi writes, it never feels like she goes down that same old, same old route with her love stories. They always feel different somehow, and her characters stay with you...even the supporting ones who never feel like they're there just for show. In this book the large cast of extras become so interwoven into the thread that it's actually hard not to want to include the majority of them as main characters, not supporting, because of the impact they have on the story as a whole. The sub plots that include them are just as captivating as the main storyline and all cleverly come together at the finish in a way that rounds the story off perfectly.
I loved Walter and Kelly's story in 'Love Lessons' and fell even more in love with them this time round, Walter in particular, especially in a very poignant, tender moment between him and Aaron, who he takes under his wing after he meets him at his fathers law firm where Walter is working his internship...but I have to say that Fever Pitch has just crept into first place as far as story goes. I just didn't want it to finish. This is a book you need to go somewhere quiet to read with no interruptions so you can savour it. I hope there's more to come from this series and I know who I would like the next story to be about. Another Heidi keeper.
Video Author Reading and Q & A With Heidi Cullinan
WATCH IT ON OUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL ~> HERE
Series Reading Order
The Love Lessons series are new adult LGBT contemporary romance novels set at various colleges within the American Midwest. While Love Lessons and Fever Pitch feature gay protagonists, subsequent novels will include lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and heterosexual heroes and heroines.
The heat level for these stories is significantly sweeter than some of Heidi's erotic romances, which has a tendency to make the sexual tension ratchet off the charts.
AMAZON GLOBAL LINK
AMAZON GLOBAL LINK
About Heidi Cullinan
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 is a vocal advocate for LGBT rights and is proud to be from the first midwestern state with full marriage equality.
Find out more about Heidi, including her social networks, at www.heidicullinan.com.
Prize one: Grand Prize
- Win an electronic copy of Fever Pitch for you, or for a friend
- Receive by mail a signed paperback of book one in the series, Love Lessons
- Choose between a $10 iTunes gift card or one month of premium Spotify membership to enjoy the a cappella music you read about in Fever Pitch
- Select an item of your choice from the Heidi Cullinan Saint Timothy Swag Store (Items still building, especially quote mugs)
Prize two: Love Lessons Series Prize
- Win an electronic copy of Love Lessons and Fever Pitch for you or for a friend
- Pick or design a Love Lessons series quote mug from the Saint Timothy store (if the quote you love isn’t there, tell Heidi and she’ll design a mug just for you!)
- Pick another established item from the Saint Timothy store, anything goes! (More products added all the time.)
Prize three: Personal Blog Message Prize
- Win an electron copy of Fever Pitch (for you or for a friend
- Tell Heidi who your favorite character from the Love Lessons series is, and they’ll write a public blog post personalized to you!