A MelanieM Review: Shelter the Sea (The Roosevelt #2) by Heidi Cullinan

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Some heroes wear capes. Some prefer sensory sacks.

Emmet Washington has never let the world define him, even though he, his boyfriend, Jeremey, and his friends aren’t considered “real” adults because of their disabilities. When the State of Iowa restructures its mental health system and puts the independent living facility where they live in jeopardy, Emmet refuses to be forced into substandard, privatized corporate care. With the help of Jeremey and their friends, he starts a local grassroots organization and fights every step of the way.

In addition to navigating his boyfriend’s increased depression and anxiety, Emmet has to make his autistic tics acceptable to politicians and donors, and he wonders if they’re raising awareness or putting their disabilities on display. When their campaign attracts the attention of the opposition’s powerful corporate lobbyist, Emmet relies on his skill with calculations and predictions and trusts he can save the day—for himself, his friends, and everyone with disabilities.

He only hopes there isn’t a variable in his formula he’s failed to foresee.

The Roosevelt series by Heidi Cullinan is unusual and quite wonderful to begin with. It’s about young men whose disabilities don’t allow them to live and mostly function in the “mean’, the normal world.  It’s almost guaranteed to make some people uncomfortable enough to not want to pick the books up and read them.  If so, they would be missing out on an astonishing jewel of a series and characters, no people so memorable and heroic I’ve already read this story twice.

The Roosevelt is a special needs living facility, home to Emmet Washington, a highly functioning autistic young man and his boyfriend Jeremey, who has severe anxiety and depression disorders, along with other disabled young adults.  The story alternates between Emmet’s and Jeremey’s pov, a powerful framework.  Cullinan’s strong and moving narrative allows you to delve into each young man’s mind and see how they live with their disabilities, how it affects speech, thinking and even emotions and connectivity to each other.  The commonplace adjustments they make, not only between themselves, but for others within The Roosevelt and visiting friends (this includes making signs that say “silent communication going on”),  well,  time and again, I found my  own preconceptions needing swift readjustments as I was swept more deeply into Emmet and Jeremey’s story and relationship.

There is so much to this  story that the author fits in, easily I must say, that enriches both the characters lives and the story, while letting the narrative progress and flow forward effortlessly.  I found myself learning about service dogs and sensory sacks, about ball pits and great companies but mostly I learned about love, the power of love from Emmet and Jeremey.  Oh, and The Roosevelt Blues Brothers!  I really wish somehow Heidi Cullinan had come up with a pic for that!

Such an extraordinary love story.  Honestly, I think this review is a failing me because I really don’t have the  words I’m searching for to describe how this book made me feel.  The laughter, the tears I shed, the hope it left me with, all the reassessing I’m doing about my preconceived thoughts about disabilities and group homes.  This book shook me up in a good way, in the way books should.

The story starts off with Emmet telling the reader that he accomplished his goals and this is the story of how he did it.  So right away, the tone is one of incredible hope.  That hope carries you through the book, even when things look realistically painful and down, right through to that heartwarming ending. For me, this story is well, perfect in its own way, right up to the title, Shelter the Sea, something that Emmet wants to do. How that works out?  Well, this is a book you should read to find out.  Its one of my Best of 2017.

Cover art is gorgeous and so pertinent to the story.  I love it.

Sales Links

Amazon US, Amazon UK, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Kobo,  Smashwords

 

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 190 pages
Published April 18th 2017 by Heidi Cullinan
Original TitleShelter the Sea
ASINB06XYT6SNL
Edition LanguageEnglish
URL http://www.heidicullinan.com/shelterthesea
Series The Roosevelt #2
setting Iowa (United States)

Blog tour and Giveaway: Shelter The Sea by Heidi Cullinan

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Shelter the Sea (The Roosevelt #2) by Heidi Cullinan

Release Day
Available for Purchase at

Buy links: Amazon US, Amazon UK, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Kobo,  Smashwords

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Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Heidi Cullinan here today with her latest release, Shelter the Sea.

Welcome, Heidi!

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Service Dogs, Therapy Dogs, and Emotional Support Animals by Heidi Cullinen

In Shelter the Sea, one of the characters acquires a service dog during the course of the novel, and in researching for the book, one of the most interesting things I learned was that the terms service dog, therapy dog, and emotional support dog are not interchangeable, that each animal does a slightly different job and has a distinctly different classification.

Service dogs are specifically trained to assist one person, and their primary function isn’t to provide companionship or emotional support, though the individual they care for often forms a tight bond with the dog and vice versa. They’re required (and trained to) tolerate a wide variety of experiences, environments, and people. They’re also covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act, meaning their owners have a right to bring them into public establishments, and they may live with their owners even if the building has a “no pets” policy.

Therapy dogs can also tolerate a wide variety of experiences and environments, but they aren’t trained to support just one person, meaning they aren’t tailored specifically for them. They’re trained to assist generally, helping multiple people. They aren’t covered by the ADA, as they aren’t designed for individuals, only for specific spaces and instances where there would be no conflict for their use.

Emotional support animals, which can include dogs but don’t always necessarily only include them, are mostly there to provide, as the name suggests, emotional support. They aren’t covered by the ADA, as the ADA has ruled their work isn’t directly related to their disability and they’re not specifically trained for that individual, and therefore they can’t necessarily go everywhere. They are, however, sometimes allowed in places with “no pets” policies.

You can read more about the rules about service, therapy, and emotional support animals on the ADA website.

Blurb

Some heroes wear capes. Some prefer sensory sacks.

Emmet Washington has never let the world define him, even though he, his boyfriend, Jeremey, and his friends aren’t considered “real” adults because of their disabilities. When the State of Iowa restructures its mental health system and puts the independent living facility where they live in jeopardy, Emmet refuses to be forced into substandard, privatized corporate care. With the help of Jeremey and their friends, he starts a local grassroots organization and fights every step of the way.

In addition to navigating his boyfriend’s increased depression and anxiety, Emmet has to make his autistic tics acceptable to politicians and donors, and he wonders if they’re raising awareness or putting their disabilities on display. When their campaign attracts the attention of the opposition’s powerful corporate lobbyist, Emmet relies on his skill with calculations and predictions and trusts he can save the day—for himself, his friends, and everyone with disabilities.

He only hopes there isn’t a variable in his formula he’s failed to foresee.

 

Author Bio

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.

Giveaway

Rafflecopter Prize

Carry the OceanShelter the Sea signed paperbacks and Roosevelt Blues Brother kit (black fedora and skinny tie)

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A Mika Review: Carry the Ocean (The Roosevelt #1) by Heidi Cullinan

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Normal is just a setting on the dryer. 



carry the ocean coverHigh school graduate Jeremey Samson is looking forward to burying his head under the covers and sleeping until it’s time to leave for college. Then a tornado named Emmet Washington enters his life. The double major in math and computer science is handsome, forward, wicked smart, interested in dating Jeremey—and he’s autistic.

But Jeremey doesn’t judge him for that. He’s too busy judging himself, as are his parents, who don’t believe in things like clinical depression. When his untreated illness reaches a critical breaking point, Emmet is the white knight who rescues him and brings him along as a roommate to The Roosevelt, a quirky new assisted living facility nearby.

As Jeremey finds his feet at The Roosevelt, Emmet slowly begins to believe he can be loved for the man he is behind the autism. But before he can trust enough to fall head over heels, he must trust his own conviction that friendship is a healing force and love can overcome any obstacle.

Warning: Contains characters obsessed with trains and counting, positive representations of autism and mental illness, a very dark moment, and Elwood Blues.

It has to be something in the air with these MM NA (new adult) books. I’ve read two back to back and fell in love with characters from both books. I would never have picked up this book if it wasn’t for the cover which is beautifully done and a friends review of it. I read this book in one sitting, and I will reread it again. I found myself crying uncontrollably because Emmet was amazing. He did things or said things that just warmed my heart.

Emmet is one of the bravest guys I’ve ever read about. His explanation of things and willingness to do them just kept on exciting me. Every little step he’s taken was with precaution and determination. He didn’t allow his Autism or Brain Octopus dictate his life. I love that when he needed help he reached out to his family. I liked that he took out time for Jeremey and explained certain things to him. From that first moment of him on the page his reasoning was so well thought out. I liked that the writing kind of related to how he would speak. I loved that he knew he was different in a certain aspect but didn’t want that to be his main focus. I love his parents and his aunt. His support system is amazing. I like they he thinks of Jeremey well being constantly.

Here’s the thing, I know a lot of people won’t like Jeremey, but I did. I don’t think it’s fair to be frustrated with him because I don’t live with major depressive disorder or clinical anxiety. I’ve never once felt the way he had. I don’t know what it is like to feel like I’m carrying everyone’s emotions. I don’t know what it feels like to have my brain go against me. I don’t know how those dark times control everything about me. I don’t know what it feel’s like to be scared all of the time. I don’t know what it feel’s like to not have a voice. That is how Jeremey feels, and I’m okay with that. Sure I found it extremely frustrating how hard he was on himself, or him standing up for himself. I get it though and I Hate that he didn’t love himself enough back then to get help.

I think Jeremey became complacent in his life, and I would have hated to see how he would have acted if his parents for college on him. I HATED his parents; they were inexcusable by their actions. I kind of felt that way towards his sister as well, and I know I shouldn’t but no one was there for him after his panic attack.

I really enjoyed the pace and flow of the story and really liked the relationship between the two guys. The writing was really good.

Cover Art by Kanaxa. I absolutely loved this cover. It’s what drew me in at the first place. I think it’s a great visual for how these two books carry things around. I love that it’s most likely Jeremey’s reasoning for how he feels about stuff. It is really beautiful.

Sales Links:    Samhain Publishing       All Romance (ARe)       Amazon     Buy It Here

Book Details:

ebook
Expected publication: April 7th 2015 by Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
original titleCarry the Ocean
ISBN139781978161922
edition languageEnglish
url http://www.heidicullinan.com/Carry_the_Ocean
seriesThe Roosevelt #1