Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Blog Tour: Foothills Pride Vol 2 by Pat Henshaw (Guest post + Giveaway)

Foothills Pride V2

Author Name:  Pat Henshaw
Publisher:  Dreamspinner Press
Release Date:  Dec 29, 2017
Format:  Paperback
Is This a Romance? Yes
Price: $17.99
Story Type:  novel
Word Count:  111,976
Cover Artist:  AngstyG

Genres: Contemporary, Gay Romance
Pairings: MM

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.

Series Blurb:
During the recession at the beginning of the 21st century, many gays and lesbians moved from the San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento to the Sierra Foothills. FLAG (Foothills Lesbians and Gays) was formed. This series was written for them.

Publisher | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble



From Relative Best:

“I want to thank everyone for coming out tonight. You’ve been a great audience.” The couple at the center table looked up at me with almost identical grins. Despite this being an extra gig in a very busy week, I’d enjoyed playing for their bachelor party—even if it made me feel my loneliness more sharply.

“I’ll leave the happy couple with these words from an old Native American chief who, if he was smart, said them to his other half: ‘I will fight no more forever.’” I raised my glass of water and shouted over the noisy crowd, “To Sammy and Ned—may they have a long, happy, peaceful life together!”

The raucous audience at Stonewall Saloon whooped and hollered through my words and got even louder after my last sentence. Rising from their seats, Sammy and Ned raised their clasped hands like boxers who’d won a particularly hard bout but now were on their way to a great wedding.

As they gushed about how happy they were that everybody could make it to their wedding, I started to pack up my banjo and guitars. Tonight I’d left the fiddle backstage because I was so tired. I’d been burning too many candles from both ends. After locking away the instruments in the storeroom and breaking down the mic and the amps, I caught the end of Sammy’s speech.

“If you enjoyed Zeke Bandy’s guitar and banjo playing, remember he’s here at Stonewall Thursday and Friday nights. We’re honored to have him play at our wedding.”

When the crowd cheered, I stood, turned, and waved to the fifty or sixty bobbing heads on the other side of the stage. Whistles and catcalls joined the shouts and cheers. I had my fans and a lot of regulars in the audience.

“See ya tomorrow, Red! I love you!” some drunk yelled, and the crowd cheered louder.

“Oh, cut it out, guys! You’re making me blush.” And they were, with all their yells and waves and hoots and hollers.

A cry went up about more beer from one side of the room, and the night proceeded like all the others when I played. Attention spans flew out the window as the beer and hard drinks flowed.

Completely sober, I put away the rest of the equipment and shut off the power on the platform that bar owner Guy Stone had designated as a stage.

Jimmy Patterson, Stone’s significant other and owner of Penny’s coffee shops here in Stone Acres, California, waved at me as I returned to the barroom from the storage area in the back.
“I got a table!” He was trying to shout over the noise.

As I limped toward him, men slapped me on the back and told me how much they enjoyed my playing. I kept moving, even though guys tried to stop me and give me requests for Thursday night. One guy even grabbed my face and kissed me, which would have been really flattering, even hot, if he hadn’t stopped, stared at me, and said, “You’re not Tom.”

I turned to walk away, only to hear him shout, “Red, you’re cuter than Tom.” I didn’t turn back but heard him yelp like he’d been hit.

I ended up sitting at a big table in the corner of the drinking area with a decent view of the tiny new dance floor. At the table with Jimmy sat four guys—flamboyant designer Fredi Zimmer and his husband, staid, reliable Max Greene, both of whom I knew fairly well, and two guys I didn’t know.

My eyes were drawn to the one who had strong cheekbones, long blue-black hair, and vibrant adobe-colored skin. He could easily have been a poster boy for the California Native American Heritage Commission. If I could pick a guy to kiss me unexpectedly, he’d be my choice. The libido I thought dead from overwork rose from its grave.

While the guys wrangled over who was paying for the next round, I took in the other man to the left of my preferred eye candy. This guy flaunted nearly white-blond hair, startling blue eyes, and a California tan, like the ultimate surfer dude. He did nothing for me, but I appreciated the effect he’d probably have on a lot of other guys here tonight.

I could easily see the humor in the three of us sitting at the same table, though. Considering I’ve got bright red hair, porcelain white skin with a thick spattering of freckles, and cornflower blue eyes, this table covered a large portion of the rainbow.

Jimmy introduced us while he partially stood to get Stone’s attention. “Zeke, these are two of the groomsmen, Vic Longbow and Hayden Weller. Zeke Bandy.”

Both of them nodded, a nod I returned.

“Hey, man. Nice pickin’ up there.” Hayden, the beach god, waved his nearly empty glass of beer at me.

“Thanks.” I never knew what to say when someone complimented me after a performance. While part of me was floating on the post-performance high, the rest of me was critiquing what I’d done and what I’d like to do over.

“Are you recorded?” Vic’s voice was low and soothing, the kind of sound that oddly created a center of calm in the middle of the barroom noise. I gladly stepped into the peace and took a deep breath.

I looked down, fleetingly taking in the scarred tabletop, and balanced momentarily on the pinpoint of serenity Vic had presented me.

“No, no recordings. I haven’t ever had the time or energy.” I shrugged. I owned and ran the historical hotel in downtown Stone Acres. When was there time to record?

“Where do you get the songs? Are they yours?” Vic was focused on me so much that the rest of the table dimmed.

“No. God, no. They’re all old tunes that have been knocking around forever, mostly by bluegrass and folk groups. I take it you don’t listen to this kind of sound?”

He smiled. “You’ve opened up a whole new door for me, and I can’t wait to explore what’s inside this new music room.”

His look caressed me enough that my dick perked, and suddenly I dared to believe my dream of finding a boyfriend and possibly a husband wasn’t as nebulous as I’d always thought. If someone this fine could look at my skinny ginger self and respond even half as much as he was, I was on the right path. I grinned at him and he at me.

Yeah, he was too hot for me with his high cheekbones and exotic hair, but I could practice on him and dream, right?

Are you a full-time or part-time writer? How does that affect your writing? 

I’m a part-time writer since I’m a full-time retiree. I’m still trying to find the balance between writing and my retirement pursuits. When I was writing the Foothills Pride series, I put off a lot of the travel and fun activities my husband and I had planned to do. My health, which has been iffy at best, has been another consideration affecting my writing time. Again, I hope to even out time spent traveling, going out, writing, and getting well in 2018. That’s my New Year’s resolution! 

What are some day jobs that you have held? If any of them impacted your writing, share an example. 

My resume looks like a patchwork quilt of work experience. I started out as a costumer at the Alley Theater in Houston. That segued into a library gig at the Houston Public Library which turned into a librarianship at the Houston Post, which turned into writing a weekly art review column as well as occasional book reviews there. Then I jumped ship to work for the Houston Chronicle where I became a staffer, writing reviews and feature articles. When we moved to Colorado, I wrote movie reviews for the local newspaper. We moved to the D. C. area where I wrote book reviews for various publications and even had a weekly column at one time. I also became a television editor for a local newspaper and then a publicist for a public radio and TV station. When we landed in California, I used my teaching degree and became a community college English composition instructor while still writing book reviews. 

How did this career experience impact on my writing? I probably read and reviewed thousands of genre novels in my lifetime. When I sat down to write my own book, I had a clear idea of structure and what kind of story I wanted to write. In some ways, being published with Dreamspinner seems like a lucky fluke, but in other ways, it seems like I’ve been preparing for this my entire working life. 

What do you like to read in your free time? What are some of your comfort reads? 

I read what I write—gay romance. I read authors from publishers like Dreamspinner, Riptide, LooseID, and all the other LGBTQ presses as well as self-published authors. I also read gay romance review sites and try to keep up with what my favorite authors are doing through the blogs and Facebook. 

As for my comfort reads, there are too many to list, but here are some of the ones I’ve been rereading lately. I just finished going back through the gaymers series by Annabeth Albert, starting with Status Update. Before that, on a totally different track, I reread Heidi Cullinan’s Special Delivery. Concurrent with that, I tried to figure out what was going on with Charley Descoteaux after seeing her Toy Run, one of my favorite holiday stories, repackaged under the author name of Charli Coti. I ended up reading the holiday story and enjoying it once again. One of the things I love about the Kindle is that I can make a folder for books I’d like to reread. The books in it are my comfort reads.

What do you wish you had enough time to write? 

I had an idea a few years ago for a Harmony Ink YA series using the peripheral young men in the Foothills Pride books as protagonists and telling the stories from their viewpoints. I thought it would be a lot of fun and even pitched the idea to the publisher. Then I had a string of illnesses that made writing painful and too time-consuming. Since I had deadlines for the FP series, I dropped the YA idea, all the while wishing I were ten or twenty years younger so that I could get both the main stories and the YA offshoots done. 

Who did your cover, and what was the design process like? 

AngstyG (Sam) has designed all the covers in the series. And, quite frankly, I think she’s brilliant. Dreamspinner has a cover design form that it has every author complete. In it, the author describes the love interests and whatever other images are important in the book. Sam gave me links to a couple of sites where she gets her cover models, so I go there to shop for faces. The best part about the cover design now is that Sam seems to anticipate my perfect cover wishes. For Frank at Heart, she sent me a sample cover, and I accepted it without any changes or tweaks. If you’d like to see how she does it, here’s a sample video of a cover that’s not one of mine: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=ZALYa19yz-Q .

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Author Bio:

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.

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1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for hosting my book! Happy New Year! And happy holidays!