Welcome Regina! What a special treat to this is! As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I think even as a child, I knew I didn't want to be like my mother. I think I may also have realized, deep down, that I didn't want to stay in Johnstown all my life.
What are you passionate about these days?
This isn't actually common knowledge, but I love to dabble in politics. It all started when my best friend died in childbirth. I wanted to make sure that other married women in Johnstown could have access to information if they wanted to space their children farther apart, but it turned out it's illegal to send medical information through the mail, thanks to a man named Anthony Comstock. So I protested to the governor of New York. His name is Samuel J. Tilden. Wonderful man! Rumor has it he is going to run for president someday. I do hope he does. I may not be able to vote for him, but I can certainly support his campaign.
What do you do to unwind and relax?
Relax? (Laughs) I'm not sure I can admit to relaxing. But I have two black Labrador Retrievers, and they are a constant source of pleasure as well as relaxation. There are no problems that don't seem better when you've got a couple of dogs helping put life into perspective.
Morning Person? Or Night Person? How do you know?
Morning person. I tend to wake up with the sun, and then my mind starts churning, so I might as well get up and get to work. There's always more to do than there are hours in a day! Fortunately, I don't seem to require a lot of sleep. Five or six hours is usually plenty. My husband always used to require a full eight hours, or he was exceedingly grumpy. Of course, some days it would be hard to tell, he could be plenty grumpy even with a full night's sleep.
What would we find under your bed?
My dogs! Unless they're on the bed.
Tell us about your favorite restaurant.
Delmonico's, of course! I'm never in New York without several trips to Delmonico's. The lobster newberg is every bit as good as its reputation says.
What makes you happy?
My glass factory! I get a special thrill watching my glassblowers at work. It's a dangerous process, and it never fails to make my heart stop when I watch them pull the ladles of molten glass out of the furnaces. I'm so proud of everything we produce. I'm always expanding the glass tableware collection that we offer. Although I'm most proud of the Wintergardens. I've partnered up with a gentleman who runs an iron foundry, and together we build wintergardens. They are kind of like giant fairy buildings. Fanciful and beautiful. Sometimes I feel like my wintergarden designs are my daydreams, turned into glass and iron palaces.
Do your friends think you are an introvert or an extravert? Why?
Oh, goodness, everyone who meets me thinks I'm as extraverted as they come. I do love people, and I can't have enough of them in my life. I once horrified an introverted friend by pointing out that the antidote to people is more people. People need lots of other people. When your husband lets you down, that's what your sisters are for. When your sister lets you down, that's what your girlfriends are for. When your girlfriend lets you down, that's what your parents are for. When your parents let you down, that's what your husband is for...
What no one realizes is, I do have my limits. People can be a drain. Whenever people come talk to me, they usually want something from me. Now, it's my own fault. I tend to be a useful person, and I like helping. But it means I get called upon to help a lot. Sometimes, even in the midst of a party, I just need to go off by myself for a minute. Just to catch my breath.
Do you have a favorite quote, quip, or saying? What is it?
We were put on this planet to make the world a better place. I think that's a paraphrase of Thoreau, or some other transcendentalist. Can't quite think of the exact poem...
ABOUT THE BOOK
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.
Was it really less than a year since she had witnessed the conflagration at the railroad yard? Once again, she faced smoking ruins that had once been a thriving industry. This time, it wasn't human made. Or at least, it wasn't deliberate.
The mill ruins were, perhaps, more intimidating. The Washburn “A” had been a seven-and-a-half story building, and the explosion had been so large it shattered glass windows in the neighboring city of St. Paul. It left a crater in the middle of the mill district, destroying about one third of all the businesses in the area. The circle of destruction was ringed with the charred skeletons of mills that existed on the edge of the blast zone.
She was amazed that there were only eighteen other people killed in the explosion. Considering the scope of the wreckage, it seemed to her it could have been so much worse. As hard as it was to be married to one of the victims, Regina felt a certain gratitude that there were so few new widows. The bereaved would all be able to fit on a single trolley car.
Her eyes scanned for places where Henry might have been found. She had no idea where he was, or even who had rescued him. There were fallen walls everywhere – and nothing looked like a place where a man could be pinned down, and survive, even briefly.
Between the wreckage of the Washburn “A” mill, and the old wreckage from the collapse of the tunnel, Regina mused on her walk back to the hotel that this part of the world was very dangerous – or unlucky.
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.
Buy Link: http://tinyurl.com/zsr76fx
Jeanette Watts will be awarding a Victorian cameo necklace to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $15 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn host.
a Rafflecopter giveaway