Happy Wednesday All! Today I’m very excited that IndieWritersReview is hosting Author Jeanette Watts’s Book One (Wealth & Privilege) and Book Two (Brains & Beauty) as part of the author’s Reading Addiction Virtual book tour!
Amazon: Wealth and Privilege: https://www.createspace.com/4352661
Brains and Beauty: https://www.createspace.com/5865403
Boy meets girl, falls in love at first sight. Oops, she’s already married. Bad planning. She becomes a friend and a muse, helps him find his voice. He knows that no one gets to capture their own muse, but he can dream, can’t he…?
A soft rumble of thunder sounded in the distance, and they both groaned.
“Just what we need,” Thomas observed. “More water.”
“Well, I suppose thunder doesn’t necessarily mean more rain,” Regina answered hopefully.
It was an odd sort of thunder. It took Thomas a moment to realize why. Then it occurred to him that it was continuous, and getting louder, instead of fading away.
A strange black fog began to drift through the air. They froze, staring at each other, listening. The rumble increased like – what? It was a cross between an oncoming train, and – and – Thomas imagined this must be what an avalanche must sound like.
Then he knew what was going on. The South Fork dam had broken!
Before he could share his insight, Regina’s face changed. She stared up Clinton Street, mouth open, eyes wide with horror. She pointed, incoherent noises issuing from her throat. Thomas turned, and nearly fell off their precarious little raft.
The source of the crashing rumble was a towering wall of debris moving toward them. A misty black cloud hung in the air, occasionally obscuring the horrific sight. A writhing mass of tree roots, rooftops, planks, railroad pieces and other metal parts tumbled over and over upon itself.
The rumble had clarified into a roar of screaming and crashing as the rapidly approaching behemoth rolled toward them. They couldn’t outrun it, either on or off their little craft. Regina pointed to the nearest building. The brick corners were coined, laid unevenly enough to make a decent ladder. Thomas understood without a word. They poled their way across the watery distance, desperation giving them strength and speed.
Regina looked at him as they grabbed the corner of the building. “You go first,” she shouted over the noise.
Thomas didn’t understand why, but this was no time to stand around arguing etiquette. He stood up on the raft, found a foothold and handhold, and clambered up the side of the building. He slowed his ascent to look down at Regina.
Gritting her teeth in determination, she was making slow progress. Looking up, she caught his eye as he waited, uncertainly, for her. “Don’t wait for me! Go!” He could barely hear her over the roar.
Frustrated and helpless, he climbed up onto the roof, then lay on his stomach so that he could reach back down towards Regina. She was making better time, but he feared the wall of debris would reach the roof before she would. He scooted forward, upside down on the pitched roof, caught hold of her wrist, and managed to bodily yank her onto the roof beside him.
“Why did you have me go first?” he demanded angrily.
“No reason we should both die,” she answered.
The words were no sooner out of her mouth then Thomas was absolutely certain they were both going to die. With a grinding, crunching, screaming moan, the wave hit the building.
Regina pounded the pavement from bank to bank, begging, taking out loans, laying awake night after night trying to figure out how she was going to keep everything afloat. As Tom had said, times were hard, businesses were failing daily.
Regina’s businesses would not have been among the ones in danger – if only Henry had seen fit to give her the benefit of the doubt. But eight years of marriage and one successful business arrangement after another meant less to him than the chemistry of male bonding.
As with every crisis she had faced thus far in her life, Regina gritted her teeth, and looked for the lesson to be learned. This time, she concluded that no one really listens to what you have to say. Telling people not to do something is pointless. They will do what they want. The people you trust most will let you down. Her parents had. Her husband had.
When Lucy returned from the ladies’ cloakroom, Regina excused herself and went in. After she’d deposited her cloak and retrieved her fan, she stared blankly at her reflection in the long mirror.
Her youngest sister Abigail was the cleverest seamstress in the States. Having a good dressmaker was a special sort of secret weapon. The more prosperous she looked, the less anyone would suspect how desperately close to ruin the Waring empire was.
She forced herself to smile and lifted her chin a little. “Attitude is everything, my girl,” she told herself. “Go in like a queen, not a pauper. Men will do favors for queens much more eagerly than they will for beggar girls. Abi can make you look like a queen; your job is to act the part.”