Today I am so pleased to welcome Pat Henshaw to Joyfully Jay. Pat has come to talk to us about her latest release, What’s in a Name?. She has also brought along a great giveaway. Please join me in giving Pat a big welcome!
My novella What’s in a Name? has some really funny moments. Or so I hoped when I wrote them. But who knows? People tell me I have a weird, quirky sense of humor. I was happy when my Dreamspinner editors said they laughed at various places in the manuscript. But how do I know you, the reader, will?
I first came to this blog because of it’s title–Joyfully Jay. Joy! Nothing about sex or angst or other acts or emotions that pepper the gay romances I’ve read for the past few years. It seemed to me that someone else got the connection between laughter and love.
Laughter is such an odd emotional reaction, isn’t it? I’m not talking about the laughter that occurs when we tickle someone or when we’re rough-housing. No, I’m talking about when we’re reading quietly to ourselves and suddenly we come across something so hilarious that we laugh. Our eyes see, fingers feel, or ears hear words that make us tingle and erupt in sound.
As readers we can only hope that what just set us off toward our giggle or our side-splitting guffaw was something the author hoped we’d find funny. When I was a romance reviewer, one of my favorite moments was reading something so outrageously funny that I had to share it with my husband. Sometimes he too would laugh, other times he would merely smile at me indulgently, happy, I think, that I was enjoying the humor.
And that brings me to love. I think laughter and love go hand-in-hand in creating a long-lasting relationship. In fact, laughter, I believe, nurtures love. The more laughter in a relationship, the stronger the ties. Why? Because relationships are fraught with unavoidable pitfalls and mundane moments.
Get through a grueling day and come home to a surly partner or spouse. Where’s the love? But have one or both say or do something funny, something to lighten the mood, and now what do you have? When two people laugh over the same thing, they’re forging a strengthening band over their love.
That’s what I want readers to feel forming between the characters in my novella–a love that’s strengthened by laughter and joy.
So pre-order it, sit back, and wait for the joy to hit you on January 21.
Excerpt[The setup: The narrator, barista Jimmy, is waiting for the bartender/owner, whom he’s dubbed “Guy,” to get off work at Stonewall Bar. Guy has bet Jimmy he can’t guess Guy’s real name since Guy wears a different name tag each time he works.]
I sat on my stool, waiting to see what we were doing after he shut down the place.
The guy next to me was looking at me funny when I sat down.
“So how’d you get to know Tom?” he asked.
It took me a minute to figure out who he was talking about. Tom? Did I know a Tom? Then I had to laugh. Guy was Tom tonight. Right.
“Uh, I came in here one night, was dumped by my boyfriend, and Tom threatened to kill me.” I looked at the guy, who was gaping at me. “It was my birthday.”
“Shit, man,” he stuttered. “He looks big and mean, but to threaten to kill you.”
By this time “Tom” had walked up to us.
“Only because he asked me my name,” he growled.
The guy’s eyes got even bigger.
“But it’s right there,” he pointed. “On your name tag.”
“Yeah, but some guys are a little slow,” Guy answered. “So I just took him home and fucked him raw.”
The guy gulped as I stifled my laughter.
“Well,” I answered when I could without hooting, “it was my birthday.”
Guy and I looked at each other and howled.
When he stopped laughing, Guy leaned over to the man next to me.
“Last call,” he said softly. “Get you anything else?”
“A fuck?” the guy asked, equally soft.
“Sorry, not a chance.” Guy clapped the man on the arm and squeezed.
“Then, no,” the guy whispered, “I’m good.”
As the customer walked, slump-shouldered and sad, out of the bar, Guy leaned in to me.
“Nice guy,” he said. “Maybe I shoulda fucked him.”
He looked at me, and I looked at him. We both smiled.
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.
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.
Talk to Pat at:
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pat.henshaw.10
- Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6998437.Patois
- Book website: http://whatsinanamenovella.blogspot.com
- Website: http://patbooked.blogspot.com
- E-mail: email@example.com
- Tumblr: http://phenshaw.tumblr.com/
Pat has brought a copy of What’s in a Name, along with a $10 Starbucks gift card, to give away to one lucky reader. Just leave a comment at the end of the post to enter. The contest ends on Thursday, January 15th at 11:59 pm EST.
- By entering the giveaway, you’re confirming that you are at least 18 years old.
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