Book Title: Waking the Behr (A Foothills Pride Story)
Author: Pat Henshaw
Genre: contemporary gay romance
Length: 29,689 Words/88 Pages
Release Date: September 20, 2017
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Both Ben and Mitch think they know exactly what they want. Turns out, they don’t even know their own hearts.
Good old boy Ben has dated women his entire life, while gay nightclub owner Mitch has never considered unsophisticated country boys his type. But after they start hanging out, the small-town contractor and the urban entrepreneur are both stunned by the electricity sparking between them.
As they step outside their comfort zones to spend time together, Mitch finds he enjoys rural car rallies, and Ben is intrigued by the upscale bars Mitch owns in San Francisco. When they share their lives and grow closer, they start to question the way they’ve always defined themselves. Then they kiss and fling open the door to love. Now they must step up and travel the road that may lead to happily ever after—even if that path isn’t one they ever expected to walk.
Researching the Behr
By Pat Henshaw
You’d think that living would be enough for a writer to make up a fictional story. But, no, in my case, it isn’t.
I do extensive research for each of the books I’ve written, and Waking the Behr was no different. To give you an idea of what questions I ask of myself and how I answer them through research, here are four topics I wondered about and the websites that helped me fill in the details.
· Mitch’s Rhino GX
When I started writing Waking the Behr, I knew that San Francisco entrepreneur Mitch O’Shea, who’s got an expansive personality, needed a super-sized car. I own a rare two-door Toyota RAV4 (that my co-workers used to jokingly call a RAV3 1/2), and I really don’t know much about expensive luxury cars. So I went shopping online, looking for a luxury car that a tall, flamboyant owner of four successful bars in SF would buy. He’d want something roomy enough that he didn’t feel hemmed in, and since he didn’t have to worry about parking places in the various areas where his bars were located, it could be something as big as a Hummer. But Hummers are so common, right? At the time, I was receiving emails from a group that provided links to luxury products, a Web site that’s no longer available. One of the emails I got listed a number of expensive car options. When I read about the Rhino GX, a car produced by US Specialty vehicles, one of the largest luxury SUVs available as the ad copy says, I knew Mitch would want to have one.
· Road rally
When my brother owned his Miata in Colorado, he and his wife liked to participate in road rallies. I kind of knew the rules and what the point of a rally was, but I knew if I was going to write about it, I had to have more precise information, then fit that information into what I knew of the good-old-boys of Stone Acres who participated and ran the weekend rallies. So my first stop was to Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) where I read everything they had on rallies. I also read the rules posted online from individual groups such as the Detroit Rally Group and others. Not only were these important parts of my rally education, but they made it possible to work out what the Stone Acres rally master would throw at Ben and Mitch as they got to know each other.
· Non-tourist San Francisco
Instead of having Mitch own only restaurants downtown in SF, I knew that he had started small in a residential area and then when that took off, moved closer to the tourist centers. Finding the right neighborhood for his first restaurant was an interesting challenge. I ended up reading sites and blogs that listed the neighborhoods with commentary about them, like the one at sanfrancisco.com. I figured that not everyone was wealthy in the city, so all I needed was to find the places where the middle class people lived. One of my favorite sites was Thrillist, which had great insights including quotes from people who lived in the neighborhoods.
I knew going into the story that when Ben took Mitch camping near the fictional Lake Rafi in the Sierra Nevada Mountains that a disaster would happen and both men were going to have to get involved in rectifying the situation. Having been camping quite a few times, I knew of some of the problems that could befall even seasoned campers. But I wasn’t sure which disaster fit the story. So I went to the Internet to research camping failures and horror stories. Some of these were pretty funny instead of disasters, and some were just downright creepy. In the end, I built on a story one of my fellow Girl Scout leaders told me.
The worst part of doing the research for a book, as far as I can tell, is that I can spend an entire day pouring through information on the Internet and get absolutely no writing done at all. Do you use the Web for research? If so, what kinds of things do you investigate? And where do you end up finding interesting, useful information?
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Meet the Author
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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