We’re so pleased to welcome author Pat Henshaw and the Foothills Pride Stories blog tour to TNA today. Pat has put together a quick Q&A to share with us today, and there’s also a giveaway, so be sure to check out the Rafflecopter widget below to enter.
Q: What book world would you choose to live in and why?
I’d like to have a vacation home in Stone Acres, California, the fictional Sierra Nevada Gold Rush town that I created for the Foothills Pride series. Actually, I’d kick Short Order’s John Barton, sous chef to celebrity chef Adam de Leon, upstairs in Blue Cottage which is bordered by the city park. I’d stay in the downstairs half of the house when I visited. I’d also have drinks at Stonewall Saloon (introduced in What’s in a Name?) and talk to Stone and Jimmy and whoever else dropped in for the evening. On weekend nights, I’d be front row center for Zeke Bandy’s performances, just like in Relative Best. I’d get tea in the morning at Jimmy’s coffee shop—he’d order special teas for me and my husband—and eat at the Bottom café for lunch and the Silver Star (from When Adam Fell) at night. I’d have my own reserved table at both where I would host readers and fans of the series. I’d also keep up with town gossip and find out what all my favorite characters are planning for the future. Why? Because once you create something like a town, you’d definitely want to live there.
Q: What fictional characters would you like to spend an evening with, and why?
I think I answered this partly above, but I didn’t talk about some of favorite female characters there. I would love to sit down with Felicity (Jimmy’s partner in the coffee shops), Lorraine (co-owner of the Bottom), and Beth (co-owner of the nursery in Short Order. If she’d join us, I’d also like to include Lucille Winters of Behr Facts. I’d love to chat with these strong, opinionated women about the men in the town. I’ll bet we’d have a lot to say!
Q: What was your first published work? Tell me a little about it.
What’s in a Name? that started off the series was a fluke, plain and simple. I saw a call for submissions from Dreamspinner and had a simple idea for a plot that I thought would be fun to write. The call was for gay romances based on fairy tales. My idea was for a story about a guy who was trying to guess another guy’s name. So I sat down to write. Well, I’ve been a writer my entire life. As I like to joke, I can’t sit down and write my name in two words. But I realized I was supposed to write a short piece, not full-length novel. The total came out to under 30,000 words, novella length. Without checking the submission guidelines, I figured that was short enough and had my husband and daughters and niece read the manuscript. Using their suggestions, I tweaked the story, liking the result. Then I went back to the guidelines and found out how wrong I’d been. The max number of words was 20,000, and I was a week late for the deadline for submissions. Ugh. When I mentioned this to my husband, he asked why I couldn’t submit it to Dreamspinner anyway—just not as part of the anthology. I couldn’t figure out why I couldn’t. And as they say, the rest is history.
Q: Which of your own characters would you Kill? Fuck? Marry? And why?
Good question! Well, I’d definitely kill Steven Myers from Redesigning Max who goaded his kid into committing a homophobic crime. Parents like Myers are even worse than parents who kick their kids out for being gay because now the son has prison time for a crime he committed to please his dad. Fuck and marry are the same character, Abe Behr from Behr Facts. Only problem is that Abe’s gay, not bi, so he probably wouldn’t give me a second look. My second choice would be Frank McCord from Frank at Heart, but again I’d be out of luck. That’s the problem with being a straight female writing gay romances. Sigh.
Q: Would you visit the future or the past, and why?
I’d love to visit the future and see how life in the United States changes. I see the seeds of social reform from stronger acceptance of gays, women, and minorities, and wonder if these seeds will grow and bloom. Who will be president? What will be the cyber innovations? How will education change? What will the people of the twenty-second century be like? And will people be living a better life through science?
About the Collection
Author Name: Pat Henshaw
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: Dec 29, 2017
Is This a Romance? Yes
Story Type: Novel
Word Count: 111,976
Cover Artist: AngstyG
Genres: Contemporary, Gay Romance
Tropes: Opposites Attract, Shy Man Falls For Outgoing Man, Country Mouse/City Mouse, Overcoming Abuse, Overcoming The Past
Keywords/Categories: Gay Men, Transgender
Series Title: This is a compilation of books 5-8 of the Foothills Pride series.
Necessary to Read Previous Books: No
Warnings: parental abuse, prostitution, jealousy, homophobia
Collection Blurbs: The influx of San Francisco Bay Area gays is now commonplace in Stone Acres, California. But that means big city problems—much to the dismay of long-time residents of the small community.
In Relative Best, Zeke Bandy’s hotel becomes a haven for a battered youth. Native American Vic Longbow, who escaped a similarly brutal upbringing, comes face-to-face with it at Zeke’s place. With trouble surrounding them, can Zeke and Vic find their own peace and love?
On the outside, hardware store owner Frank McCord is the town’s bachelor handyman in Frank at Heart. Inside, he’s pining for true love, particularly the regard of software designer Christopher Darling. But recently divorced Christopher isn’t looking for another husband.
Country contractor Ben in Waking the Behr has always believed he’s heterosexual…until he meets city entrepreneur Mitch O’Shea. Mitch never thought he’d settle down with a guy from the country. Can a gay city mouse and a sexually confused country mouse find love?
When UC Davis horticulture grad Fen Miller agrees to help out in his cousin’s nursery over Christmas, he rents a room in sous chef John Barton’s Victorian house. John, another shorter than average man, catches Fen’s interest. But John’s past comes back to threaten them both in Short Order.
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Tour Excerpt (non-exclusive)
From Waking the Behr:
Driving Mitch’s Rhino GX up to the Bottom was every good old boy’s wet dream. The thing greedily gobbled up the road. A couple of times I felt like I was holding it back with a thin piece of rope that was on the verge of breaking.
Mitch, the bastard, laughed at me the whole way.
“Let her have some head.”
“Can’t. We’re coming up on a couple of tight switchbacks. Don’t want us to go off the road before we’ve had lunch.”
“Pussy,” he whispered.
Easy enough for him to say. I was sure glad I hadn’t let him drive. We’d have been careening all over the place and probably would’ve had a lot more near misses.
I could just imagine my cell lighting up with calls as we passed some of my friends in their trucks. I felt them all staring at Rita as we flew by.
“You could have let her go,” he grumbled after we parked at the Bottom.
My hands were shaking from exhilaration. My zillion-dollar smile had to be glowing. Fuck. A guy could come just from driving this baby.
“Whatever,” I mumbled, because I really didn’t have any words at all. I had no native language at that point. I was cruising on the blissful release of having danced with Rita.
As we rounded the corner of the parking lot and headed for the front door, my brother Connor nearly bumped into me.
“What the fuck is that thing, Ben?” He was practically panting as he took in Rita.
“Well, damn me. There are two of you beauties,” Mitch whispered close to my ear.
“Yeah, well. Mitch O’Shea, this is my younger brother, Connor. Connor, Mitch.”
They stared for a split second before Mitch thrust out his hand and Con grabbed it.
“Hey, nice to meet you. What kind of car is it?”
They stood much too close, in my opinion, as Mitch listed Rita’s specs.
Not that I was jealous or protective or anything. I mean, Mitch had said he was gay, and Con definitely was. So they were a perfect match, right?
Are you kidding? my dick sneered.
My gut screamed that Con was encroaching, which was really weird. It wasn’t like I had any real designs on Mitch. I mean, I’m straight, even though I was between women and didn’t really feel like hunting down another one at the moment.
So what if I was attracted to Mitch? He was a good-looking guy. I had a lot of good-looking friends.
True, none of them made me want to run my hands all over them, though. Which was beside the point, right?
“So you’re here for lunch?” Con asked Mitch.
I nodded, but Con didn’t acknowledge me.
“Mind if I join you?” he asked, staring at Mitch.
Couldn’t he tell he was the third wheel at this party?
I shrugged, and Mitch nodded. I had no clue what the nod meant.
Lorraine, the Bottom’s co-owner, latched on to us near the hostess stand, scooped up three menus, and said over her shoulder, “Right this way.”
Connor was having lunch with us, then.
“Let me give you a quick overview about the roadhouse, Mitch. Then you’ll have some basic info to think about. Okay?” This was a working lunch, right? So I’d best be acting businesslike.
Mitch nodded, and Con, fortunately, figured out what was going on and shut the fuck up.
About the Author
Pat Henshaw, author of the Foothills Pride Stories, has spent her life surrounded by words: Teaching English composition at the junior college level; writing book reviews for newspapers, magazines, and websites; helping students find information as a librarian; and promoting PBS television programs.
Pat was born and raised in Nebraska where she promptly left the cold and snow after college, living at various times in Texas, Colorado, Northern Virginia, and Northern California. Pat enjoys travel, having visited Mexico, Canada, Europe, Nicaragua, Thailand, and Egypt, and Europe, including a cruise down the Danube.
Her triumphs are raising two incredible daughters who daily amaze her with their power and compassion. Fortunately, her incredibly supportive husband keeps her grounded in reality when she threatens to drift away while writing fiction.