Today we are thrilled to have Heidi Cullinan stop by Sinfully to celebrate the release of Enjoy the Dance. She’s brought along an excerpt and two giveaways! Enjoy the excerpt and good luck!
Thank you so much, Sinfully Gay Romance, for having me here today. I would like to share with you a short excerpt from my new novel, Enjoy the Dance, a sequel to Dance With Me. I hope you enjoy.
Tomás locked the door and shut the blinds. Now it was only the two of them in the studio. When Tomás turned the music on again, he also switched to something with a little more pulse. “You’ve loosened up some, but you’re still in your own way. Your greatest obstacle to dancing is that you don’t think you can dance. And you’ll never get anywhere if you don’t get rid of those negative thoughts.”
“But I don’t care if I get anywhere,” Spenser pointed out. “I only did this for Duon. He’s not even here anymore.”
“You should dance for you. And you should dance, Spenser. You’re bursting to. Five times now you’ve nearly let go, then remembered yourself and buttoned down. It’s killing me. It’s killing you.”
Spenser gave him a long glare. “That is the most overly dramatic thing I’ve heard anyone say this month. And I teach kindergarten.”
“I don’t care whether you believe me or not. But I’ll tell you one thing. You’re going to let go and enjoy yourself before you leave this dance floor.”
This was a nightmare. “You don’t get it. I don’t enjoy this. I never have. I never will.”
“You will tonight.”
Spenser meant to say no. He intended to insist, to turn on his heel and march—no, flounce off the dance floor. Yet he did none of this. He simply stood there, awkward and miserable, waiting for Tomás to do the impossible, to teach Spenser to dance.
“Put your hands on my shoulders.” Tomás’s hips were already undulating, his body moving with some kind of compulsion to the sound of the music, as if it were wired under his skin. When Spenser obeyed him, Tomás smiled and put his hands on Spenser’s hips. “There you go. All right. I want you to relax. Don’t try to dance. Simply stand there and allow me to move your body. Surrender your muscles so I can show you what they can do.”
Spenser surrendered for three seconds, then went rigid as ridiculousness set in. “I can’t.”
“You can. You just did. But then you got afraid. Why are you afraid, sweetheart? Who said you couldn’t dance?”
Spenser’s laugh was short and bitter. “Everyone.”
“Someone is telling you right now that you can. Shut your eyes. There you go. Shut them, and stop thinking. Listen to the music. Listen to the sound of my voice. Let it seep into your skin.”
It helped, shutting his eyes. But each time he began to relax, panic set in, and Spenser’s eyes would fly open. After the third time, he apologized before Tomás could scold him. “I’m not trying to react this way. I can’t help it.”
Tomás winked at him. “Don’t worry, I can help you.”
He released Spenser, and for a moment Spenser thought he was free. But Tomás only reached into a basket on a shelf near the stereo and came out with a bandana, which he rolled into a flat strip and applied to Spenser’s eyes.
“It’s clean,” he said when Spenser balked.
It wasn’t the potential dirtiness of the blindfold freaking him out. “I can’t see.” Obviously that was the point, but Spenser was nothing but constant panic now. He didn’t know why. “Tomás, I don’t want to do this.”
“I know, honey. Except you want to do it as much as you don’t. We only have ten more minutes. Then I won’t push you anymore. I promise.”
It was scary to dance with a blindfold, though all he was doing was standing still with his hands on Tomás’s shoulders, allowing him to move his hips in time to the beat. But there was magic in having his sight taken away, because this time when Spenser let go, he couldn’t open his eyes and make it stop. This time, once the beat got its hooks in him, it stayed there. Even when he panicked.
His self-consciousness floundered for a new target. “I must look ridiculous.”
“You look beautiful,” Tomás said, and kept him dancing.
Spenser didn’t enjoy what he was doing, but he didn’t hate it either. It felt like grinding gears that hurt to turn yet wanted to anyway. It reminded him of the time when he’d gone with his aunt in Wisconsin to the House on the Rock, the one nice family outing he remembered. They’d walked out to the farthest reaches of the Infinity Room, the bridge suspended over the forest. He’d stared down through the plexiglass and felt his stomach flip over in terror while his mind reveled in the thrill that they were doing this incredibly stupid thing and getting away with it.
Dancing felt similar, but with the roles reversed. His mind was full of warnings of his imminent death, but his body, free and happy with Tomás’s touch, said shut up and let me have this. It was so much more than simply letting go. It was being this close to Tomás. He was handsome in his dancing getup, but he was something else entirely to touch. To brush against. To feel those muscles working under his hands. To smell his sweat, his deodorant, his uniquely Tomás scent.
To dance with. Awkward Spenser Harris is dancing with a hot guy, and the world isn’t burning down around his ears.
Enjoy the Dance (Dancing #2)
Published ~ 11th October 2016
Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Romance
Dance with your heart, and love will follow.
Kindergarten teacher Spenser Harris has carved a quiet, stable future out of his tumultuous past, but his world turns upside down the night a homeless teen appears on his doorstep—a boy whose story mirrors the one Spenser has worked so hard to overcome. The decision to shelter Duon is easy. What’s tricky is juggling the network of caregivers in Duon’s life, especially Tomás Jimenez.
Tomás wouldn’t have hesitated to take Duon in, but his plate is already full working three jobs to support his family. Though Spenser’s carefully constructed walls are clearly designed to keep the world at bay, Tomás pushes past Spenser’s defenses, determined to ensure the man is worthy of his charge. As the two of them grow closer, Tomás dares to dream of a life beyond his responsibilities, and Spenser begins to believe he might finally find a home of his own after all.
But Spenser and Tomás’s world is poised to crash around their ears. Duon’s grandmother isn’t sure she wants him to be raised by a gay man and challenges Spenser’s custody. Tomás’s undocumented parents could be deported at any time, and all the while the state of Minnesota votes on a constitutional amendment against marriage equality and the US Supreme Court debates whether or not Spenser and Tomás get a happily ever after. All they can do is hold tight to their love, hope for a better future…and remind each other to enjoy the dance.
::: DEBRA’S REVIEW :::
Dance With Me (Book #1)
Sometimes life requires a partner.
Ed Maurer has bounced back, more or less, from the neck injury that permanently benched his semipro football career. He hates his soul-killing office job, but he loves volunteering at a local community center. The only fly in his ointment is the dance instructor, Laurie Parker, who can’t seem to stay out of his way.
Laurie was once one of the most celebrated ballet dancers in the world, but now he volunteers at Halcyon Center to avoid his society mother’s machinations. It would be a perfect escape, except for the oaf of a football player cutting him glares from across the room.
When Laurie has a ballroom dancing emergency and Ed stands in as his partner, their perceptions of each other turn upside down. Dancing leads to friendship, being friends leads to becoming lovers, but most important of all, their partnership shows them how to heal the pain of their pasts. Because with every turn across the floor, Ed and Laurie realize the only escape from their personal demons is to keep dancing—together.
This novel has been previously published and has been revised from its original release.
Meet 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.
Heidi Cullinan has brought along two giveaways today! Enter the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win an Enjoy the Dance prize pack. Additionally, for your chance to win an e-book copy of Enjoy the Dance leave a comment on this post along with your email and one winner will be chosen at the end of the blog tour.