Clockwork Heart by Heidi Cullinan
BOOK RELEASE BLOG TOUR
Confession: I’m a Heidi Cullinan fangirl. I’ve read and loved a long list of her novels, including the Tucker Springs series, Minnesota Christmas series, Nowhere Ranch, Dirty Laundry, and Family Man with Marie Sexton. My current favorites are the amazing Love Lessons series and the stellar Dance with Me. Heidi’s novel Carry the Ocean, the first book in the Roosevelt series, is so extraordinary I was compelled to praise its gorgeousness in my blog last May.
In every novel, Heidi Cullinan’s emotional IQ hits the top of the mark. Whether her characters are endearing, gritty, super-intelligent, heart-warming, funny, deeply troubled, have special needs, or all of the above, the reader cares deeply about them as they forge their way through challenges and bravely reach for love.
I am thrilled to host her introduction to her newest offering, CLOCKWORK HEART. She has honored me with an excerpt:
Familiar shouts spurred Johann into action. “Hangman’s Landing. Go, now,” he told Valentin, and slapped the horse hard on the rump.
Then he picked up Cornelius, swung him around to his back and started to run.
He was a little unsteady at first, with his clockwork legs and the redistributed weight, but he adapted much quicker than he thought he would. Except for the extra strain on his human arm and his legs settling harder into the clockwork, carrying Cornelius didn’t affect him at all. In fact, he found himself surprised at how fast he was moving. When he realized he’d just passed a carriage with horses trotting at a decent clip, he nearly stumbled in surprise.
“It’s your legs,” Cornelius said into his ear. “Clockwork works better than flesh and bone.”
“But I’m not even the slightest bit winded. I’ve run over a half kilo at top speed, up and down hills and with extra weight on my back.”
Cornelius clutched him tighter. “This might be the time to explain that you have more clockwork than simply your arm and legs and eye.”
Johann slowed so he could glance over his shoulder at Cornelius. “What else is mechanical?”
“Some cogs and bellows to help a punctured lung. A bit of internal machinery that helps keep your metal limbs in better harmony with your flesh.” He nuzzled Johann’s ear sadly. “And…you have a clockwork heart. But you must never tell anyone about that.”
The anxiety in Cornelius’s tone made a shiver run down Johann’s spine, one that resonated even more than the shock at finding out how mechanical he truly was. “Wh-why?”
“Because your heart is the weapon your army was trying to destroy. The one I think my father is trying to steal.”
The world spun around Johann. He fought to make it stay right. “But…why did you save me at all?” Why did you put a weapon inside me?
“You were dying. I didn’t want you to.”
“Why not? You didn’t know me.”
“I don’t know. Only that I couldn’t bear to watch you die when I knew I could save you.”
Love, adventure and a steaming good time.
As the French army leader’s bastard son, Cornelius Stevens enjoys a great deal of latitude. But when he saves an enemy soldier using clockwork parts, he’s well aware he risks hanging for treason. That doesn’t worry him half as much, however, as the realization he’s falling for his patient.
Johann Berger never expected to survive his regiment’s suicide attack on Calais, much less wake up with mechanical parts. To avoid discovery, he’s forced to hide in plain sight as Cornelius’s lover—a role Johann finds himself taking to surprisingly well.
When a threat is made on Cornelius’s life, Johann learns the secret of the device implanted in his chest—a mythical weapon both warring countries would kill to obtain. Caught up in a political frenzy, in league with pirates, dodging rogue spies, mobsters and princesses with deadly parasols, Cornelius and Johann have no time to contemplate how they ended up in this mess. All they know is, the only way out is together—or not at all.
Warning: Contains tinkers, excessive clockwork appendages, and a cloud-sweeping tour of Europe. A little absinthe, a little theft, a little exhibitionism. Men who love men, women who love women, and some who aren’t particular.
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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.