Thursday, August 6, 2015

Wealth and Privilege Blog Tour! (+Giveaway!)

Title: Wealth and Privilege 
Author: Jeanette Watts
Series: N/A
Pages: 414
Date Published: 2013
Publisher: N/A
Format: Kindle
Genre: Historical Ficiton
Source: Goddess Fish Blog Tours
Buy Me!

Money. Family. Love. Hate. Obsession. Duty. Politics. Religion - or the lack thereof. Sex -- or, once again, the lack thereof.

Thomas Baldwin finds himself married to a woman he can’t stand, while head-over heels in love with another woman he can’t have. Talk about bad planning. He is something of a kite, buffeted by circumstances which blow him not only through personal crises, but also through some of the most significant events of the late 1800s, including the railroad riots of 1877, the creation of the Homestead Steel Works, the assassination of President Garfield, and the Johnstown Flood. Over time, and with the help of his muse, who dances maddeningly just beyond his reach, he takes control of his life, wresting it from the winds attempting to control him.
~When at Book-signings...~
One of the joys of traveling to book signings is the people that you meet. The kind stranger who helps carry the boxes of books. The waitress that brings a free dessert just because you tried ordering from the Greek language side of the menu. The person on the bus who helps you get off at the correct stop.

Our very first trip to Europe, my husband and I encountered a couple that left a much more significant impact on our lives.

We had about 24 hours in Verona, Italy. We had walked all over the city – to gardens, a giant Roman coliseum, and a nifty old fortress. When our legs were completely exhausted, we found a restaurant with plenty of al fresco seating and fantastic gnocci.

Our attention was drawn to a group at the next table. They were obviously Americans, the accent Midwestern. We were guessing it was grandparents traveling with their two grandchildren.

We struck up a conversation. We found out they weren’t just fellow Midwesterners; they lived in the same suburb of Milwaukee where we got married. They were, indeed, grandparents sharing the joys of Europe with their grandchildren. They were seasoned travelers, loved Italy, loved Verona in particular and were curious how we’d decided to come to this delicious little town

“The pictures,” I answered. “The place looked too fabulous to miss!”

These two veteran travelers ended up giving us advice that will be with us til our dying day. They said there are two important things to remember about traveling.
  1. There’s no such thing as jet lag. When your plane lands, you hit the ground running. Whatever time it is back home, that’s irrelevant. There are things to do, places to see. 
  2. Always remember to look up.
This second bit of advice goes well beyond the practical into the truly profound. Those words came back several times over the course of that trip. Standing in the grungiest little train station my husband would nudge me. “Always remember to look up.” And there on the ceiling would be the most amazing fresco. Since then we have been to Rome, Paris, Prague, Japan, Amsterdam, Greece, London – it never ceases to be true. There are things of beauty, whimsy, and fascination to be discovered above eye level.

This leads me to the truly profound nature of this advice. It’s not merely a good idea in Europe. It’s a philosophy of living. Always remember to look up. The stars are out. It’s a full moon. The trees are turning color. Or, they’re just leafing out. Or the people on the fourth floor of the apartment building down the street have put up pretty little white lights for the holidays.

It is a shame we didn’t exchange names and addresses with the couple from Milwaukee. I have no way to contact them, to thank them for the impact they had on our lives. We think of them often – every time we remember to look up.
~Try an Excerpt!~
Irritating his mother wasn’t specifically Thomas’ favorite hobby.  She did, however, seem to excel at providing him with opportunities to do so. He didn’t have to try very hard.  His very existence was an obvious irritant to her.  It wasn’t because of who he was – Thomas knew perfectly well it was all about what he wasn’t.

He wasn’t everything his older brother Benjamin had been; quick and clever and charming and talkative.  The entire Baldwin family – especially his mother, Eugenia Baldwin, aspiring family matriarch and his most verbal critic – admitted that Thomas was the much more handsome of the two.  Then everyone shrugged.  Pretty is as pretty does.

Thomas had to agree on that point.  He gladly would have traded his bright blue eyes and much-admired dark hair for the ability to know what to say to people.

He stood at the entrance to the ballroom in his parents’ house, surrounded by giggling girls all wishing him a happy birthday with their dance cards not-so-subtly dangling from their wrists.  Trying to smile, he offered his hand to accept the little pencils and sign the blasted things.
~Meet Jeanette!~ 
Jeanette Watts has written television commercials, marketing newspapers, stage melodramas, four screenplays, three novels, and a textbook on waltzing.

When she isn’t writing, she teaches social ballroom dances, refinishes various parts of her house, and sews historical costumes and dance costumes for her Cancan troupe.

 Jeanette will be awarding a Victorian cameo to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.