songs before falling (1)

Book Announcement

Well, I can finally announce the news: I have a new book coming out this October! It’s called Songs Before Falling and it is part of the Last Kiss series. All of these stories feature fan favorite Captain Jace Pearce. Remember the Christmas special for BBC’s Sherlock? That’s sort of what Songs Before Falling is, short but suspenseful tales.The cover will be posted soon, and if you’d like to be a part of the reveal (and get some free stuff while you’re at it) email me and we can hammer out the details. :)

I wouldn’t have been able to release this book if not for all the encouragement from the readers, so thank you! I write these stories for you, and I hope you’ll enjoy this newest book full of surprises and suspense. Oh and if you’re just dying to know who Jace Pearce looks like, check out my FB page where I post almost daily.

Happy Holiday!

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Interview – Kristen Lane, Director of Marketing and Public Relations for the Western PA Humane Society

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It’s no secret that I love animals and am a huge advocate for them. Seriously, I’m that person that hangs out with the pets when I go to a party. I know more dogs that walk around my street than people. It’s crazy. Anyway, I’ve always really loved the Western PA Humane Society, my local animal shelter. Anytime I’ve gone there, the staff has always been incredibly nice and the facility itself is very welcoming and clean. Plus, the WPHS has the CUTEST animals for adoption! You can see a whole bunch of them on their official website, or you can check out their Facebook page or Twitter.I’ve always wondered what happens behind the scenes at this place, and now, I’m pleased to have someone on the site today who would know. :) Kristen Lane is the Director of Marketing and Public Relations for this fine place, and I’m so glad she’s agreed to answer some questions. Without further ado….

 

QUESTIONS

 

You’re the Director of Marketing and Public Relations for the Western PA Humane Society. What a cool job! Can you go through an average day?

 

The WPHS has some really awesome events, such as the upcoming Sample of Station Square! It sounds amazing. Can you tell us a bit about that? What other events are coming up and how we get involved?  All our events are listed on our website, www.wpahumane.org. You can also learn about volunteer opportunities on the website.

I imagine it’d be a ton of fun working around animals all day, but it’d be hard too, because many of these animals won’t find homes. How do you stop yourself from adopting them all! :) Okay, seriously, what’s the best part about working around so many great animals?

 

It is certainly not true that these animals won’t find homes.  It is our shelter’s mission to find the best adoptive parents for all our animals.

 

The WPHS does a ton with volunteers. Some come in and walk the dogs, cuddle with the cats, and romp with the bunnies. Others foster animals until permanent homes can be found. Shout out to all the great volunteers! Can you tell us about how important those volunteers are to you and how someone can become one?

 

 

You can learn everything there is to know about volunteer opportunities on the website. Click here.

 

You guys have a great Facebook page full of photos of adoptable pets, pets who’ve already found their forever homes, and information on current events at the WPHS. I love seeing the photos of animals with their new families! But I’ve been seeing online that many animals shelters in the area are at max capacity. How are you guys coping? What is the best way a person can help a maxed out shelter if they are unable to adopt a pet? 

 

 

Fostering!  We desperately need fosters.  Click here.

 

Okay, let’s switch gears for a minute. Your job must be really eye opening when it comes to the plight of shelter animals. There are some stunning statistics about them, such as 8-12 million animals are brought into shelters every year across the nation. It’s a staggering number. What do you see as the biggest reason people decide to give up their pets?

 

It’s different for everyone. Some people move into a new home/apartment that doesn’t permit pets. Others lose their jobs or find themselves in position where they can’t afford to take care of their pets.

 

Do you think anything can be done to help stop people from letting go of their pets? What sort of things would you like to see happen in the future to help with the problem of shelter pet over population?

 

I can answer this in two words: SPAY NEUTER

 

Along with the statistic that 8-12 million animals go into shelters every year, there is another: approximately 5-9 million are euthanized. It hurts my heart just typing that. What is the WHPS stance on that? What do you think can stop this horrifying trend?

 

Humane euthanization is not horrifying.  Letting a homeless dog or cat die painfully in the streets is horrifying.  Because of the high number of unwanted companion animals and the lack of good homes, the most humane thing for suffering animals is to give them a peaceful release. Until there are no longer any sick, injured, aggressive, or unpredictable animals, euthanasia will still be a necessary reality. It is this reality that is the responsibility of an open admission shelter. Simply turning a back on these animals, and making an ill-informed statement that euthanasia should not exist will not make euthanasia go away: tirelessly working toward more animal adoptions, furthering pet pregnancy prevention, animal rehabilitation, and providing education and needed resources to the public is the only way to reduce humane euthanasia. 

 

Pet overpopulation is such a broad issue. So many things contribute to it, from puppy mills to careless owners to lost cats that haven’t been spayed or neutered and go on to have many litters. It can be hard to feel like you can make any difference. But in your time working a the WPHS, what do you think a person can do that would help animals most.

 

I will reiterate, SPAY NEUTER.

 

Speaking of help, the WPHS offers a ton of resources to help animals. I’ve personally taken my animals to your clinic. :) What are you guys as an organization particularly proud of that you do? And personally, is there any one achievement or event or moment that sticks out in your mind as being exceptional? 

 

Every dog, cat, bunny, or exotic we adopt out is an exceptional achievement!

 

Okay, final question! And since I can’t ever leave an interview without getting advice: what is the best piece of advice you’ve ever heard when it comes to caring for animals?

 

The best advice I can give is take advantage of the resources the Western PA Humane Society has to offer!

Bethany Hensel Text&theCity Featured2

Interviews, Reviews, Guest Posts

It’s a season of change here on bethanyhensel.com. The biggest change, besides the actual website layout and the covers for my recent book releases, is that I’ll no longer be doing a ton of interviews or reviews on the site. I know, I’m an A&E writer! What the heck? Well, with my writing schedule for my books, it’s getting harder and harder to organize interviews and see shows. This month alone I have three deadlines! I’m not totally cancelling out reviews or interviews, but I’ll be doing them very selectively. Extremely selectively. But you’ll still get some variety with the site because I’m opening the doors for guest posts! These guests posts will be from fellow writers, actors, musicians, animal activists. So far, I have no real set schedule for them, but I’m planning to have a guest post every few weeks. :)

Oh my, how times are changing. To ease the pain, here’s a gif of Gaspard Ulliel. Cause why not?

 

Kiss Final

New Covers!

Hey guys!

 

So what do you think of the new website? While I loved my last site, i thought it was time for a change. I’m big on change and spring cleaning and all that stuff. :) Can you do me a favor though? If you see any links that don’t work or any places where I write “Unstoppable” instead of “A Kiss Before Lying”, can you email me and let me know? I think I got all of it, but one can never be too sure. :)

 

 

So anyway, I have a new website. And I have new book covers to go with it! These are NOT new books. They are just rebrands of my current releases, which were called Unstoppable and Irreversible. And just to be totally clear, the only – I repeat ONLY – thing that has changed in these books is the cover and title. The book itself is still the same.

 

 

Why did I change the titles and covers? Well, a few reasons. First, I never loved the titles to begin with. At all. I never felt like they really did anything for the stories or gave the reader any hint at what the books were about. My stories are romantic suspense. Unstoppable and Irreversible don’t really hint at that, to me at least. But, with the new titles, there’s a romantic element (Kiss, Smile, Dance) but there’s also a bit of an ominous element too (Before Lying, Before Crying, Before Dying). Combined, i hope these titles give the reader a better sense of what my stories are about.

 

 

As for why I changed the covers? Again, I loved my previous covers, but because i think my books are more New Adult (to push it even farther, New Adult romantic suspense), I really wanted the covers to reflect the genre. So I did the ol’ bookstore test: I imagined myself walking into a bookstore, looking for my story, and figuring out which section it would be in. Once I had that down, I looked at all sorts of covers in that section. What did I find? Couples, color, closed eyes, almost-kisses, pretty script, sexy guys, beautiful girls. Alright! I can get my covers to look like that!

 

 

And so I did. Well, tried to. Only the readers can tell me if I pulled it off. :)

 

 

Finally, the biggest reason for the change is because, to be perfectly honest, the sales of the books weren’t where I wanted them to be. So I took the advice of JA Konrath and CJ Lyons and Joanna Penn and so many others and decided to not stick with something that wasn’t working. I decided to change. I decided to experiment. Which, by the way, is one of the huge perks of indie publishing. We’ll see if my changes pay off.

 

 

Speaking of indie-publishing, many people have asked why I decided to go the indie route for these stories. The answer is actually pretty succinct:

 

 

1. My story is a New Adult romantic suspense tale. The New Adult genre seems more vibrant online than in stores. I remember going into my local Barnes and Noble and asking them where they shelved Cora Carmack’s NA and they looked at me like I was crazy.

 

 

2. I like to try new things. I wanted to experience what indie publishing was like, and, knowing my story could fit nicely as a New Adult title, I decided to take advantage of the market trend and publish via Amazon and Smashwords.

 

 

So no big conspiracy there. :) I’ll be writing much more about my journey as an indie publisher so stay tuned. :) Right now, i think this post is long enough! So check out the new website, all the new excerpts, and don’t forget to follow me on Twitter or Facebook for lots of cat and Gaspard Ulliel pictures. :)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bethany Hensel The Latest Button

Pet Advice!

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Long time, no post! So sorry for the huge delay! I have some great things coming up, including some huge writing announcements, so please stay tuned! But for now, I’m writing to ask for your help! Do any of you have a dog and cat household? I’m looking to bring two dogs into my cat household and I’d love any tips and pointers. Feel free to leave a comment or message me! Thanks so much!

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Review – Legally Blonde

The Civic Light Opera kicked off their summer season with Singin’ in the Rain and now they’re riding that feel good momentum into Legally Blonde, another cute crowd pleaser. It’s colorful, full of positivity and laughter and the two cutest dogs to ever grace the Benedum stage. See?

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Director Charles Repole stages a brilliant production of the popular movie. It’s not a scene for scene adaptation (thank God) and he guides the cast through some really fun moments. Kathleen Elizabeth Monteleone plays Elle and she makes the character her own. There’s no Reese Witherspoon mimicry here. I love Reese Witherspoon, but Monteleone is perfect as the vivacious, kind-hearted but determined Elle. The only thing I wish about the character was that she had more big numbers! Monteleone’s voice is pure gold and it was a joy listening to.

Other stand out performances are Mamie Parris as Paulette (easily getting the biggest laughs of the night), Lara Hayhurst as Margot, Sarrah Strimel as the femme fatale fitness empress Brooke Wyndham, and Matthew Scott as lovable Emmet Forrest. The entire cast was perfect, bringing a ton of energy to the two hour show. And while they got some great applause at the end (standing ovation), the loudest cheers were for Chico the Chihuahua (Bruiser) and Nellie the bulldog (Rufus). They were adorable! I would say they’re worth the price of admission alone, but that’s not true. Seeing Jeff McLean as Warner Huntington III is worth the admission. Seeing Ken Land as the dastardly Professor Callahan is worth the price of admission. And laughing so hard you give yourself a sore throat is worth the price of admission.

I keep saying it and I’ll say it again: Legally Blonde is one of the funnest musicals you’ll see this summer. If you want an escape from the heat, from your monotone office, from your glass and chrome building, see the technicolor rainbow that is Legally Blonde.

Playing now through June 22, get your tickets here.

 

Bethany Hensel The Latest Button

IWDB (or upcoming book releases)

You know the website IMDB? How it shows an actors filmography and their upcoming movies? Well, I’m about to pull a movie database here. Substitute “writing” for “movie” please, and here we go!

 

Current Releases

Unstoppable - Book One in the Truth and Love Series

Irreversible - Book 2 in the Truth and Love Series (novella)

 

Upcoming Releases (2014)

Sweetly Irresistible – Book One in the Kennedy Family Series

Untitled Contemporary Romance – Book Two in the Kennedy Family Series

Tempest – Part One of The Perfect Storm Series

Vortex – Part Two of the Perfect Storm Series

Untitled Derek Archer Story

 

I have about six books slated for 2015, so stay tuned! And remember, I post updates (and cat pictures) on Twitter all the time, so be sure to follow. Same with FB. :) And now to get back to writing….