Book Title: Waking the Behr (A Foothills Pride Story)
Author: Pat Henshaw
Cover Artist: AngstyG
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.
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Topic: The Collection
From Past to Present
By Pat Henshaw
At one point in Waking the Behr, San Francisco entrepreneur Mitch O’Shea takes Stone Acres good-old-boy Ben Behr to the Legion of Honor Art Museum. What Mitch doesn’t know is that Ben is an arts patron. True, he and his brothers are members of the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento because a lot of their wealthy clients are members.
Still, that Mitch and Ben bond over an exhibit at the Legion of Honor is another step in their becoming closer.
Why did I include an art museum, of all things, in a story about a city mouse wining and dining a country mouse?
Since they had been bonding over country pastimes in Stone Acres, I wanted a juxtaposition in the city that highlighted their differences as well as their similarities.
Also, I collect art and I enjoy visiting art museums.
My collection began when I was the art gallery columnist for the Houston Post newspaper. Every week, I wrote about one or more of Houston’s galleries and the current shows. Being exposed to work by area painters for the most part and having an apartment whose walls were bare of decoration, I started buying artwork. And this habit of picking up a piece or two while traveling has stayed with me, long after the column and the Houston Post have died.
I think both Ben and Mitch would particularly appreciate these pictures that have traveled with me as I moved from Houston through Colorado and Northern Virginia to California.
The Old Man: This was one of the first pieces I bought. I don’t know who the artist was or where I picked it up, but it’s been a constant in my life for what seems to be forever. Like Mona Lisa’s smile, I really want to know what the old man is thinking about.
Alamo sketch: When we got married, Bruce Hicks, a friend of my husband, was living in Houston too. Bruce was an enormously talented artist and gave us a print of the Alamo as well as a couple of others. Over the years, we’ve lost touch with Bruce, but this sketch has kept him in our minds and hearts. As a bonus, since my husband grew up in San Antonio, this print of the iconic site also reminds us of his childhood.
Grandma print: The San Francisco Chronicle occasionally features the pen and ink drawings of Paul Madonna. His artwork depicts the neighborhoods, coffee houses, and everyday non-tourist areas of the city. At one point, I persuaded myself that I could afford one of Madonna’s prints and went to his website to see what was available. Imagine my surprise when I found the deceptively simple “Things Your Grandmother Taught You to Steal.” I loved the sense of humor and whimsy about the piece. It didn’t hurt that I collect lots of the same items, most importantly the “pink stuff.”
Two paintings and a bird: Once upon a time, I belonged to an art group. I’m still wondering how that came about since I don’t really produce what anyone would call visual art. But it was at a time when I was making and exchanging Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) with people around the world and had met a few artists around Sacramento. One of those artists was Roberta, who gave me a couple of her small paintings. I found the bird piece serendipitously at a small art gallery in a Sacramento Delta gallery. Roberta’s gentle landscapes remind me of her, and the three pieces together remind me of lazy drives along the Delta.
Bird watercolor: Two parts of our lives together happily came together with this watercolor painting. My husband is a bird watcher; I’m more of a squirrel watcher though I do occasionally follow the birds too. Most days we go out to lunch at Café Dantorels, which is an informal art gallery for local artists. Painter Linda Clark Johnson’s work was displayed one day when we went to lunch. The watercolor went home with us and hangs now in our dinette.
I’m sure that both Ben and Mitch would enjoy not only the art works themselves but also the stories that go with the acquisition of each piece. Do any of the pieces catch your fancy? Or do you collect artwork too?
Meet 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.
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