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.
Adjusting the Stars
By Pat Henshaw
This summer I took a car trip from California to Wyoming. Since I didn’t do any of the driving, I had a lot of reading time on my hands. Because I read so much, I’ve pretty well kept up with my favorite writers’ current books. So as I packed, I thought about what books I’d like to load onto my Kindle to take with me.
For about ten years, I kept a list of my Top 100 favorite romance books. It’s been about five years since I’d looked at the list, so I decided to reread the top ten books to see if they were still favorites.
As I started reading the books, I was startled to find that I’d given only half of the books four, not five, stars. Why? If these books were so wonderful that they claimed the top spots in my personal reading list, why hadn’t I given them all the top rating?
What had been my criteria for rating the books? And had my criteria changed over time?
One of the first things that jumped out at me was how much I loved the plots and the characters, yet how poorly some of the books were edited. Most of the 4-star books had niggling errors, usually right before or after sex scenes. Didn’t proofreaders or editors read as closely near the steamy parts of the book?
Whatever the reason, when enough of the errors popped up, I downgraded the book even though I adored the substance of the story.
I also noticed that as I kept reading, I was annoyed when the book either wrapped up the conclusion a little too neatly or tacked on an epilogue to tie up loose ends. I hadn’t realized how much I hated epilogues and prologues until I started reading my top ten stories. Now when I sit down to sketch out a book, I stop myself from relying on these devices.
At any rate, what I saw as a gratuitous beginning or end made me downgrade the book’s rating.
As we all know, the star rating for creative works is a subjective evaluation at best and at its worst it’s a petty method to make the creator cringe. Maybe changing the meaning of 1 through 5 stars might make the system more relevant for others.
Here’s a rating interpretation that might work:
1 star: This wasn’t the book for me. Another reader will probably have a completely different opinion, but if you usually like the books I like, then you might be better served to give this one a skip.
2 star: I kind of liked this book and can see where another reader might like it much better than I did. Read the blurb carefully to see if you’re that other reader.
3 star: This book was all right. I had problems with it, but not so many that if a friend, who doesn’t quite share my taste in reading, asked for a recommendation, I might tell her/him about it.
4 star: I really, really wanted this book to be better edited or better written. The plot or characters will stay with me for a while, and I may puzzle over the theme. But there’s something minor that nags at me and which makes me wish it were just a bit better.
5 star: Wow, just wow. I wish I’d written this book. I can’t think of a way to substantially alter this book to make it better. Thank you, dear author, for writing it.
So there it is: my way of adjusting the star ratings. What do you think? How would you realign the stars and make them more meaningful to readers who want a recommendation at a glance?
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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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