Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Brains and Beauty by Jeanette Watts Excerpt, Interview & Giveaway

Brains and Beauty
by Jeanette Watts


GENRE: Historic Fiction



Regina Waring seems to have it all.  A loving husband, a successful business, and the most expensive wardrobe in town.  But nothing is what it appears to be.  Her  husband is critical and demanding, the business teeters on ruin, even the opulent wardrobe is a clever illusion. 

Regina’s life is one long tiptoe through a minefield; one wrong step and her entire life is going to blow up and destroy her.  Attempting to hold it all together, she appeases the husband, dresses the part, and never, never says what she is really thinking. That would get in the way of getting things done.  And, if there’s one thing Regina did really well, it was getting things done.

Enter Thomas Baldwin.  Young and handsome and completely off limits, Regina is smitten at first sight.  Then, to her great astonishment, he slowly becomes her best friend.  He’s the one person in her life who never lets her down.  Torn between her fascination with him and her desire not to ruin a marvelous friendship, she tries to enjoy each moment with him as it comes.

If only that were enough.


Excerpt One:

There was grunting, and the sound of wood groaning, and then a wet thump as they lifted and threw something. Regina could tell that there was a little more room behind her shoulder blades. There was more grunting and dragging and thumping. Then she heard them both groan.

“What’s going on back there? Have I been cut off at the waist?” she asked. Not being able to see what was wrong, or the progress they were having, was making her anxious.

“The next layer is completely wedged in. We can’t do this without tools,” Isaac told her.

Both men hurried away from her, making her worry for their safety. She had also found their company reassuring. What if neither one of them was able to find her again?

That’s when she saw the flickering orange glow in the distance. “No.”

Yes. It didn’t seem possible – but in the midst of water floating below, and pouring from above, something had caught on fire.

Regina started listing in her head all the accelerants that might be contained in a single drygoods store: tar, pitch, turpentine, kerosene. How many homes used all of them? How many gas lines were ruptured all over the city? How many wood stoves were knocked into them? There was no way this heap would NOT be set on fire.

And here she was, stuck, in the middle of it. No doubt about it, she was about to die in the same town in which she was born. It was a shame, really. She had such high aspirations.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Jeanette Watts only lived in Pittsburgh for four years, but in her heart, she will always be a Pittsburgher.  She missed the city so much after her move to Ohio, she had to write a love story about it.

She 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.


Where are you from?
That's a much more complicated question than you might think... I was born in Chicago, I've lived in seven states so far. At the moment I'm living in Dayton, Ohio. The question for me is context-dependent. When I'm back home in Wisconsin, where I went to college and got married, I'm from Ohio. But in Ohio, I'm from Wisconsin or California, where I went to college and grad school, or Pittsburgh, which was where we lived before we moved to Ohio. When I've also lived in Illinois, Minnesota, and Montana.

Tell us your latest news?
My new book is out!  Brains and Beauty is the sequel to Wealth and Privilege. I had no intention of writing a sequel, but when my life got threatened by irate readers who wanted more about my characters, I had to start thinking about what more I could write about these characters. I took a page out of the Twilight book that never got published. Instead of picking up where I left off on the first book, I cover the exact same time frame - from a different point of view. Wealth and Privilege is seen through my hero's eyes. Brains and Beauty is seen through my heroine's eyes.  The story looks very different from a new perspective!  I learned things about my characters that I had no idea about when the first book was completed.

When and why did you begin writing?
Apparently I have a thing for bowing to pressure from my audience!  When I was in elementary school, I used to make up Star Wars stories for my best friend. When she found out I wasn't writing them all down, she was pretty indignant. That's when I started putting pen to paper.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Only VERY recently. I have been a dance instructor for years. But my college level class has been suspended, and while I hope to be teaching dancing for actors at Wright State in the fall, in the meantime, my focus has shifted from dancing to my books.

What inspired you to write your first book?
Pittsburgh.  We lived there for four years, and I loved the city so much! There was always something to do, someplace interesting to go. It is so full of history. I used to drive along the Monongahela past these shells that used to be giant iron and steel mills. They intrigued me. Once upon a time they were full of noise, and steam, and men. Many a drama took place inside those hollow shells. When I first started writing Wealth and Privilege, I used to refer to it as a ghost story.

What would you like my readers to know?
There is NOT going to be a third book, I swear! I have several other projects in the works, they are not a continuation of these characters. I adore Thomas and Regina, but I think they've earned a respite at this point...







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


  1. thank you for the chance to win :)

  2. wifey could surely use something new/nice! :)

  3. Great excerpt and interview~I really enjoyed learning about you and your book! I visit Dayton, Ohio several times a year-I really like the area! Thank you for a great post and contest!

  4. Thanks for having me, and thank you all for entering! Good luck!

  5. I find your books so easy to read! It's like you are telling the story instead of me reading it!

  6. Well, that's a pretty pickle you've stuck her in.

  7. Hi! Congrats on your release! Looks great! Whats the most fascinating place youve been? Howd it help inspire your writing? Certain people, places or objects? Thank you!

  8. The novel, the prize, all of it is so exciting. :-D I'm a historical fiction nut.