Tell us a little about yourself!
Born in the Heartland of Nebraska, Pat Henshaw has made America hers by living in Texas, Colorado, Northern Virginia, and Northern California. She has found joy in visiting Mexico, Canada, Europe, Nicaragua, Thailand, and Egypt, and relishes trips to Rome, Italy, and Eugene, Oregon, to see family.
Pat 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.
Two of her fondest memories are touching time when she put her hands on the pyramids and experiencing pure whimsy when she interviewed Caroll Spinney (Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch). Her triumphs are raising two incredible daughters who daily amaze her with their power and compassion. Her supportive husband keeps her grounded in reality when she threatens to drift away writing fiction.
You can find Pat here:
In Thirty Things, Nate and Finn check of a list of 30 things to do before Finn turns 30. What would be on your list?
Since I've passed 30, I've done most of them, but here's a list of ones I've done and ones I still have to do. Some are pie in the sky wishes:
1. Kiss my children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren
2. Touch the pyramids in Egypt
3. Visit every continent
4. Cure cancer before my friend Liz dies
5. Make sure every GLBTQ child feels real love
6. See my favorite works of art in person
7. Visit the major world art galleries
8. See the terra cotta warriors
9. Take my children on a tour of places I've lived
10. Learn how to speak French
11. Talk to as many old people as I can
12. Learn how to paint with watercolor
13. Take up an exercise I can live with
14. Have dinner with my favorite authors
15. Learn how to use my new camera
16. Visit Rome more often
17. Live in Pacific Grove CA for a year
18. Build a home theatre
19. Cure cancer and other major diseases
20. Learn how to rebuild a car engine
Tell us about something you've already checked off your list. Was it everything you thought it would be?
I touched the pyramids and cried because I felt like I was touching time. I had my hand on something people centuries ago had their hands on. It's a humbling feeling to be so connected with the past.
While traveling the country, Finn and Nate visit some amazing places. Where have you been that has stuck with you?
My favorite place in the U. S. is Pacific Grove CA, home of the wintering monarch butterflies and a lovely California beach. I always feel like I've reached home when we stay there even though I grew up in the Midwest.
If you could only do one of the things on your list, which would it be?
Number 1--Kiss my children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Maybe through the miracles of modern science and medicine, I'll also be able to kiss my great-great-grandchildren or even another generation. That would be awesome!
What items would be on your writing bucket list?
Publishing everything I've written and will write. Isn't that really on every writer's bucket list?
Which books are on your TBR Bucket List?
Right now I have the following to read on my Kindle:
Dust of Snow by Indra Vaughn
Cold Feet by Jay Northcote
Hide and Seek (a graphic novel)
Where the Boys Are by William J. Mana
Sandel by Angus Stewart
Beneath the Stain by Amy Lane
Swan Song for an Ugly Duckling by Michael Murphy
The Family We Make by Kaje Harper
This Is Not a Love Story by Suki Fleet
And I have another whole list on my Kindle Wish List!
Pat's novella, What's in a Name came out on January 22nd!
Barista Jimmy Patterson thinks it's a good idea to get rip-roaring drunk on his birthday after he’s dumped by his boyfriend. When the burly owner of Stonewall’s Saloon rescues Jimmy, the night starts to look up.
Now Jimmy just wants to know the bartender's first name since he's worn a different name tag every time Jimmy's seen him. "Guy" Stone gives Jimmy seven guesses, one for each night he takes Jimmy out on a date.
While Jimmy’s trying to come up with his name, he's distracted by the destruction of his coffee shop and what looks more and more like a hate crime.
“Okay. How’s this for a deal?” He put down his knife and fork and leaned into the table, stabbing me with his eyes. “I’ll give you a week to guess my name. Seven chances. Every day you can ask a few questions, then come up with what you think my name is. If you’re right, I’ll buy the best bike for you and teach you how to ride it.”
“And if I’m wrong?”
“You owe me a kiss.” He leaned back in satisfaction.
“A kiss? One measly kiss?”
“Oh, I don’t want the measly ones. I mean a real, God of Love kiss. Something to set my ass back a couple a notches.”
Now I really laughed. Right. Me, giving him a humdinger of a kiss? Right. Who were we kidding? Oh, well. Didn’t matter because I was going to accept his challenge.
Day two of the bet dawned bright and cheery. Guy was still asleep when I wriggled out of his hug and stumbled to the bathroom.
I was awake and raring to go. I had to check in with Felicity, who, I hoped, had figured out where I’d spent the night. I had to give her Guy’s phone number as backup in case she needed to find me and I’d left my phone in another room.
I also had to check in with the Realtor and find out if there was a counteroffer on the new place and if I could tell Brian, our banker, that it was a go.
While I was thinking about my upcoming day, I was fiddling with Guy’s outdated coffeemaker. It had been state of the art once, but now was nothing but a piece of junk. I added buying Guy a new coffeemaker to my list of chores for the day. If nothing else, I could get him something that would start coffee automatically in the morning.
I also grimaced at the coffee choices in his cupboard, not to mention the lack of food there. Opening the fridge, I realized he was a few days late in making a store run.
Well, at least in a little way, I could return some of the favors he’d done for me. The gigantic supermarket in the mall was open, so I grabbed a pen and paper, wrote him a note saying I’d be back, got dressed, and made the trip to and from the store in under an hour.
Guy was sitting at the kitchen table, horrific coffee in hand.
“Hey, you don’t have to shop for me,” he said as he got up and took one of the bags.
“No problem. There are a few more in the car if you want to help. I’ll put stuff away,” I answered.
He slipped on a pair of ratty loafers and started bringing in the food.
“I got you some French roast from Penny’s, and eggs and hickory smoked bacon from the grocery store,” I said as he piled the bags into the spaces I’d left as I emptied them. “So I thought an omelet, biscuits, and bacon this morning with decent coffee. Okay?”
I felt him behind me before he put his arms around my chest, his erection snuggled into my butt crack.
“Babe, you don’t have to do this, you know,” he whispered, then kissed my neck.
I turned and hugged him.
“I know. But I’m doing it for me, not for you.”
His eyebrows went up quizzically. “For you?”
“Yeah. I like how you look right now, and I’d be really sad if you lost weight or got deathly thin.”
He started laughing.
“How long do you figure I’ve got?” he managed to ask.
I shook my head, gazing down at his buff body.
“Wow. I don’t know. A couple of hours? A day at most?” I deadpanned. “I’d really hate to have to watch you shrivel up and all. So I’m going to fix you breakfast.”
He stood chuckling as I got the eggs out so they’d be closer to room temperature before I cooked them. Then I quickly measured ingredients and mixed up the biscuits.
“You want to do something, you can find me a cookie sheet,” I said.
“Say what?” he barked. “I don’t make cookies.”
“Ah, now I see part of the problem with your bad attitude.”
“I don’t have a bad attitude,” he growled.
Laughing I found a large skillet in among his pots and pans, sprayed it down with nonstick, added the biscuit rounds, and left them on the counter until the oven warmed up enough to bake them. Then I used the grater I’d stumbled across in a drawer to get the cheese ready for the omelet.
With everything prepped, I started cooking and baking.
Guy backed off when I wouldn’t let him snag a piece of bacon and sternly told him to wait for the feast.
“Go set the table,” I barked at him.
“Yes, sir.” He saluted.
I grinned at being able to control him. Power is seductive, at least in the morning when I’m trying to fix breakfast for someone. Who would have guessed I liked to order around bears? Or at least this particular bear?
When everything was ready and on the table, including better coffee than I’d originally found in his cupboards, Guy looked stunned.
“Huh,” he said in awe. “Nobody ever made me a breakfast like this.”
Now that was plain old sad. How’d he grown up with no morning breakfasts?
“Your mom never fixed breakfast?” I tried to keep my voice neutral, but even I could hear how appalled I sounded.
“Naw. My mom died a week after I was born. I was too big a baby for her,” he said, helping himself to a pile of biscuits and slathering them with butter. “My dad died not too long afterward, and my grandpa raised me and my older brother. We grew up in the bar.”
His life had been even worse than sad. Two young boys growing up in a bar, being parented by an older man.
“Yeah, mostly Grandpa liked to drink and bullshit with his friends, so when we got old enough to fend for ourselves, we did. My brother, who everyone called Little Man, pretty much raised me until he left for the Army in his senior year in high school.” One, then two biscuits disappeared, followed by about half of the omelet.
I played with my biscuit and dragged a fork through my corner of the omelet. I felt like crying. No wonder Guy was such a hardass with the bar patrons. I was surprised he’d been so nice to me. He deserved better than he’d gotten so far.
Rather than make him go over old ground, even though I wanted to know more, I backed off, since we both needed to get to work.
“So where you wanna go tonight?” Guy asked. “I’m gonna try to take off since I didn’t get to last night.”
“Why don’t you meet me at Penny’s when you get off?” I countered. “Whatever you want to do is fine with me.”
“Sounds good. Now get out of the way, so I can clean up here.” He stood and turned with his plate in his hands.
I swiped the plate and glared at him.
“Not gonna happen, Big Guy,” I said, testing out a twink growl. “This was my way of saying thank you for being there for me. So I’m cooking and cleaning. Go get ready for work.”
We had a momentary standoff until he started to grin, then laugh.
“Okay, okay, whatever. I don’t like cleaning up anyway,” he laughed. “You should see yourself,” he added. “You really look fierce when you want to.”
“Don’t you forget it,” I said, putting the plate in the sink. Cleanup wasn’t such a big deal. Guy had a dishwasher and a disposal unit. Swipe a couple of dishes, some flatware, rinse a few cups and glasses. I clean as I cook, something I’d learned as a barista, so I mean, we’re not talking heavy lifting here. I did more work at Penny’s when we first opened and I was out front. Old habits die hard.
Anything else you would like to add?
This was fun! I should have been writing or answering the questions my publicist, Pride-Promotions, has sent me, but....well....I guess I'm just a procrastinating author.
The sequel to What's in a Name?, titled Redesigning Max, has been sent to Dreamspinner, and I'm busy on working on the third in the series, The Behr Facts. Hope readers enjoy all three!
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