2020: The Crappy Year in Review by Rebecca Heflin

2020: The Crappy Year in Review by Rebecca Heflin

It’s my pleasure to introduce Author Rebecca Heflin as my guest today. Rebecca captured my heart with her dedication to help others, to help organize the blogs for Soul Mate Publishing, and read on for the other million things about this amazing working woman.

Author Rebecca Heflin

This time last year I was making my holiday preparations, which included the honor of presiding over the marriage of my nephew and his fiancée on Christmas Day—a truly joyous way to spend the holiday. This time last year, I was looking forward to a new year, fresh with the promise of a new start. Which meant, this time last year, I was blissfully ignorant of what was to come. Instead, I was naively planning two international trips, a local canoe and camping trip, several charity events, two weddings, countless family and social gatherings, and the celebration of my 25th wedding anniversary.

Who could have imagined it wouldn’t be long before the world would be living the plot of some sci-fi thriller?

January and February bumped along as normal, with work, exercise classes, dinners with friends, and preparations for the release of my 10th novel. By the end of February, the dark edges of the coming storm were visible.

The first weekend in March was my birthday. I celebrated it that Friday with dinner out and a show at our local performing arts center. There was also an out of town wedding that Saturday, which my husband and I attended. Looking back, being in those very public venues probably wasn’t the smartest decision on our part, but the tidal wave had not yet hit our area. March 17th was my last day in the office, as the university I work for shut down and sent its employees home to work remotely. It would be only a day or two later when the entire state would go under lockdown.  Again, in my naiveté, I thought things would be back to normal in a month or so. Silly me.

Zoom meetings would become a regular occurrence in my daily life, and the next few months were a blur of fear and adjustments, as my husband and I created new routines for ourselves. We limited our grocery shopping to once a week. If we didn’t pick up an item during that weekly visit, we just lived without until the following week. Toilet paper (when the store had it) was priced at roughly the equivalent of a gram of gold. Preparing for grocery shopping felt a little like preparing to enter a contaminated laboratory: masks, hand sanitizer, and disinfecting wipes at the ready. After returning home, it felt like entering a decontamination unit: washing hands, wiping down groceries, and disinfecting everything we touched.

We watched in horror as the numbers rose and people died—many of them frontline workers. I obsessed over the daily case counts, horrified when we hit 1 million cases in the U.S., not even considering that we would reach double-digit case counts in a few short months.

It wasn’t all bad, however. We also watched the world come together in a common experience. Music and voices rose from city terraces. Drive-by birthday, anniversary, and graduation ceremonies became a thing with horns beeping, lights flashing, and signs waiving. Humanity found a way to celebrate life’s milestones even amid a pandemic.

For me, working from home meant no commute. This freed up time for other things. And the lack of social engagements and other commitments meant time for jigsaw puzzles, minor home improvements, and gardening. Not to mention more quality time with my husband. We had a beautiful spring—cooler than average temperatures, and beautiful low-humidity days—which gave us the opportunity for more outdoor activities like corn-hole games, bike rides, and long walks. Life slowed down, and I couldn’t complain about that.

2020

As we learned more about how the virus was spread, and businesses opened up again, we developed a routine that gave us a little more flexibility. Masked and otherwise following the public health guidelines, we gradually began to leave our sterile cocoon. We had friends over for outdoor socially-distanced dinners (BYOF). We began supporting our local restaurants with take-out or delivery, eventually feeling comfortable dining outside at our favorites.

In May, my husband and I celebrated a quiet, but romantic 25th wedding anniversary—not exactly how we had imagined, but nice just the same.

We took three short driving vacations, 2 to the mountains of North Carolina, and 1 to the beach in the Florida panhandle. The change of scenery provided a welcome respite to the sameness of the daily routines.

After working remotely for 6 months, I returned to my office, but still isolated from my co-workers. I only see them masked and walking in the hallway or on Zoom. It was surreal when I entered my office in September to see the calendar still on March.

Here we are again with Christmas past and New Year’s fast-approaching. There is a light, in the form of vaccines, at the end of this long dark tunnel that is 2020. It will take some time, and more patience is necessary, but we will get there. We will overcome this. The world did it in 1918-1919, and we will do it in 2020-2021.

But will the world ever be the same again? I, for one, won’t be. I am forever changed by this experience. I will never again be blissfully ignorant. I have lost my innocence.

Even so, not all the changes are bad. I have come to appreciate so many things I took for granted: my health, my family, freedom of movement, hugs and kisses shared among family and friends, big gatherings and shared social experiences. And my good fortune. Throughout it all, I have wanted for none of life’s necessities. I can’t ask for more than that from the crappy year that was 2020.

Rebecca Heflin is a best-selling, award-winning author who has dreamed of writing romantic fiction since she was fifteen and her older sister sneaked a copy of Kathleen Woodiwiss’s Shanna to her and told her to read it. Rebecca writes women’s fiction and contemporary romance. When not passionately pursuing her dream, Rebecca is busy with her day-job at a large state university.

Rebecca is a member of Romance Writers of America (RWA), Florida Romance Writers, RWA Contemporary Romance, and Florida Writers Association. She and her mountain-climbing husband live at sea level in sunny Florida.

Rebecca can be reached at rebeccaheflin@hotmail.com. Feel free to touch base with her.

All of her books are available on Amazon
as well as Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iBooks, and Eden Books.
The third book in Rebecca Heflin’s Seasons of Northridge Series, A Season to Dream, will be released mid-2021.

Write a Book and Learn to Write

Write a Book and Learn to Write

Editing, editing, editing

How can anyone be a writer if all they know is what a noun and a verb is – oops, I mean – are? I didn’t know the difference between an adverb and an adjective when I began this journey, and if it’s not visual, forget it, I’m an artist after all. So, how did I manage to write Indigo Sky in 2015? I had lots of advice and help along with a little paper crumpling, file deleting, and even some foot-stomping. A lot has happened since then. I’m more comfortable with adjectives, verbs, nouns, and the combination thereof.

Here’s a shocker: If you think that adverbs only modify verbs – think again – they can also modify adjectives. We all know this stuff because we use it every day, but the point is that many of us, myself included, don’t know how to break it down and explain it. So given that I’m a life-long learner, I decided to add “grammarian” to my to-do list. That’s why I ordered Elizabeth O’Brien’s book with the hopes that grammar would become my friend and serve as my road map to becoming a better writer. A writer who can write . . . anything. Uh, oh, there are those elusive ellipses. Hmm, maybe I should have used an em dash? Sigh . . .

And don’t holler at me if I forgot a comma somewhere, Grammarly didn’t help me with this post, and that’s probably the reason.

Thanks for reading –  and remember: I before E except after C and in words that sound like neighbor and weigh.

Indigo Sky and The Unforgettable Miss Baldwin are both available on Amazon. Please remember to write a review – like everything else – folks only buy after they’ve read the reviews. Reviews are easy, they only need one or two lines, a title and of course, you probably know that 5-star is the best.

A Dog’s Life

A Dog’s Life

Photo: Capri23auto (Pixabay)

One of the greatest pleasures I had writing The Unforgettable Miss Baldwin (Book 1 in the Gilded Age Heiresses series) was creating the “character” of Captyn, the beloved Great Dane of Allie Baldwin, my heroine. He always leads with his heart but sometimes with a little too much enthusiasm. Capytn’s antics usually end up with furniture toppling over, fine china crashing to the floor, and dinner jackets splashed with red wine.

Photo: Paul Murphy on Unsplash

I’m currently working on the second book in the series that features Allie’s younger sister Mia. And of course, Mia has a dog of her own to fuss over. His name is Angus and he’s a Scottish Terrier. Angus will have his own adventures (and mishaps). And Captyn will be around as well.

What fun! Captyn with his black and white spots and Angus with his fluffy white coat will look dapper indeed scampering about as the Baldwin family celebrates the Christmas Holidays.

Until Angus is ready for his debut, you can enjoy spending time with Captyn in The Unforgettable Miss Baldwin. Opposites attract in this gilded age historical romance when a young American suffragette eschews marriage until a handsome detective is hired to protect her from a dangerous stalker. Available on Amazon.

 

Mangia! Mangia! Mangia!

Mangia! Mangia! Mangia!

I have a recipe for you today straight from Mrs. Maniscalco’s kitchen. About 70 years ago, I babysat for Mrs. Maniscalco’s grandson, Bennett. They lived above my parents’ variety store in Brooklyn. The one remark from her that stands out to me was, “Never skim off the fat, that’s where all the flavor comes from.” So, forget fat-free pasta sauce. I’m doing this from memory . . . and a little help from my Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook.

I’d love for you to join my new facebook group – called GAIL INGIS AUTHOR RECIPE EXCHANGE AND MORE… I posted Mrs. Maniscalco’s tomato sauce recipe – on the group page – but I also included it here. I hope you’ll join me in this fun facebook group – we’ll swap recipes and share memories of favorite food celebrations and family gatherings. I’m planning a Holiday/Christmas Cookie Exchange in November! Can’t wait!

I have fun with food in my new Gilded Age Romance, THE UNFORGETTABLE MISS BALDWIN. My heroine, Allie Baldwin is a food connoisseur and enjoys good cooking like all of you do.

Here’s a taste from chapter 12: Allie poked at the duck l’orange, wild rice, and roasted vegetables, and to make sure no one would go hungry, also served was a platter of pasta covered in the thick brown sauce from the entree. Pasta, Allie’s favorite, not usually served at a formal dinner like this one, was a delightful treat. “Pass the sauce, please,” Allie requested, adding to the already drowning spaghetti. She twirled some onto her fork, using her tablespoon to catch any dangling pieces of pasta, and savored each bite.

The Unforgettable Miss Baldwin is available everywhere online:  Amazon. Hooray! I hope you’ll check it out.

Author Claire Gem Interviews Gail Ingis

Author Claire Gem Interviews Gail Ingis

The following is an interview that author Claire Gem did with me. I wanted to share it with you: Today I’m honored to host author/artist/Brooklyn born blonde Gail Ingis to talk about her new release, The Unforgettable Miss Baldwin. Gilded Age Heiresses comes to life delightfully in this, the first installment of a new historical mystery romance series by Gail Ingis. Well researched with vividly portrayed characters, the reader cannot help but get swept into the story from the start. The author’s lush descriptions transport us back in time, the snappy pacing keeps us turning pages, and the story leaves us anxiously awaiting the next Gilded Age Heiress novel.

An interview by Claire Gem

Claire: Gail, what made you decide to set your historical romance in this particular time in our history?

Gail: I wanted my heroine to be feisty, to question the establishment–and in the 19th century it was a rigid one.

Claire: Well, Allie Baldwin certainly fits the role! But it’s not just the women’s vote Allie fights for. What else motivates her?

Gail: It was a time when women immigrants were leaving their homelands for a better life. Instead, they were working in deplorable conditions in factories and their children weren’t schooled. They had to work. Families lived in crowded tenements with so many others in the same situation.

Claire: Who helped inspire Allie’s cause?

Gail: Allie follows in the footsteps of Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton and so many others fighting for the votes for women, the fight for freedom, and the fight for the right to choose.

Claire: But she runs into the same kind of resistance they did, doesn’t she?

Gail: Most certainly. Allie had to fight her father, her brother, and even turn away from marriage to work for the vote.

Claire: What was one of Allie’s pet peeves?

Gail: She hated the corset. It was symbolic of the stranglehold on women.

Claire: Well your timing couldn’t be better, Gail! 2020 is the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment granting women the right to vote. Bravo!

~~~

A little more about the book:

Opposites attract in this gilded age historical romance when a young American suffragette eschews marriage until a handsome detective is hired to protect her from a dangerous stalker.

It’s not that she doesn’t want to marry…
Allie Baldwin is tired of writing about the latest fashions for the society column of her father’s newspaper, the New York Sentinel. Determined to write about important issues, Allie can’t help but defy danger at every turn. When she narrowly escapes a riot at a suffrage rally, Allie’s beleaguered parents enlist the services of a security agent—a dashing and debonair detective, with a knack for getting under Allie’s skin.

He’s not ready for marriage…
Peter Harrison is too busy running Harrison Detective Agency to bother with courtships and conjugality. He refuses to make the same mistakes his father made—marrying too young and forsaking family for work. But when a newspaper magnate hires him to protect his willful daughter—Peter is torn between his oath to bachelorhood and an alluring attraction to the ravishing redhead with a nose for trouble.

When a mysterious fire sparks her investigative instincts, can Allie stick to reporting the facts and restrain her flowering feelings for the handsome detective?

~~~Spunky Allie Baldwin wants to write about more significant issues in her father’s newspaper than the current fashion trends. Bottom line is, Allie is a suffragette who is far from shy and, defying her father, plunges headfirst into the fray of suffragette rallies. Worried for her safety, her parents hire a security guard to try to keep her out of trouble.

You can get your copy of The Unforgettable Miss Baldwin here, and find out more about Gail Ingis at her website.

Interviewer, Claire Gem is a multi-published, award-winning author of emotional romance—contemporary, paranormal, romantic suspense, and women’s fiction. She writes about strong, resilient women who won’t give up their quest for a happy-ever-after—and the men lucky enough to earn their love. No helpless, hapless heroines here. These spunky ladies redefine romance, on their terms.

Hearts Unloched
Hearts Unloched
Claire Gem

Phantom Traces
Phantom Traces
Claire Gem

from: $18.49

A Taming Season
A Taming Season
Claire Gem

Electricity: A Haunted Voices Novel

Claire has a special of short stories up for preorder on Amazon: ENIGMATA: Eerie Bits, Book 1 – A Collection of Short Stories by Claire Gem. Leaves you wondering where, why and what. It certainly ignited my curiosity, and gave me goosebumps, the kind that chilled me deep in my imagination. Want a thrill? Order now, and they’ll be ready to read on 9/29.

Pre-Order “The Unforgettable Miss Baldwin: the Gilded Age Heiresses”

Pre-Order “The Unforgettable Miss Baldwin: the Gilded Age Heiresses”

Educational donation to Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum for each book pre-ordered. Pre-Order the book on

Book Cover

Amazon:https://www.amazon.com/s?k=unforgettable+miss+baldwin+by+gail+ingis&i=stripbooks&ref=nb_sb_noss

What’s that mean? Per-order dessert, that what I like to do, eat dessert first. Raise your hand if you agree. Then you won’t eat as much. I’m not really talking about dessert here, I’m talking about my latest book, The Unforgettable Miss Baldwin: the Gilded Age Heiresses.

If you pre-order the book, I will make an education donation to Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum in Norwalk, CT. The donation will help to support the wonderful winning educational and cultural programs that the museum offers. The programs are for everyone. This mansion was the first of its kind in the country, twenty years before the cottages of Newport, RI. Visitors come from all over the world. The Titanic exhibitions attracted folks from England, France and other countries. At the moment, we are celebrating the Nineteenth Amendment, for the woman’s vote. Did you know that women had been fighting for the right to vote from 1840, maybe even longer?

Allie at the window

Imagine having tea on a Sunday with lady friends, all wearing their fascinators and day-dresses. The museum replicates a day in the life of the society ladies. And then everyone gets to dress in their finest and have a tour of this gorgeous sixty-two-room mansion built in 1863.

Fascinator hat

The Unforgettable Miss Baldwin shouts about woman suffrage and slavery of women. Yes, all those years ago women were enslaved in marriage, raising children, and wifely duties. Any wealth that she brought to the marriage belonged to her husband. If she wanted a divorce, she was forced to make an announcement in the newspapers. Not the man, only the woman. Imagine?

 

~ NEW EXHIBIT ~“From Corsets to Suffrage: Victorian Women Trailblazers”

Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum will celebrate the centennial of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution with the exhibition, “From Corsets to Suffrage: Victorian Women Trailblazers”, May 16-Nov. 3, 2019, 12-4 p.m. Opening Reception on May 16, 5:30-7:30 p.m., $5 for members; $10 for non-members.

ABOUT THE MUSEUM
A National Registered Historic Landmark in Norwalk CT
A National Historic Landmark since 1971, the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum is regarded as one of the earliest and most significant Second Empire Style country houses in the United States.

https://www.lockwoodmathewsmansion.com/

 

https://www.lockwoodmathewsmansion.com/exhibit/from-corsets-to-suffrage-victorian-women-trailblazers/

 

 

 

 

 

About The Unforgettable Miss Baldwin

Opposites attract in this historical romance when a young suffragette foregoes the obedience of marriage until a handsome detective is hired to protect her from harm.

It’s not that she doesn’t want to marry…

Allie Baldwin is a gilded age heiress—also a journalist at The New York Sentinel. She’s tired of writing about the latest fashions for the society column and wants to write something more meaningful. Attending a rally at City Hall, planning to interview some of the speakers at the event, a situation ensues with Allie barely escaping. Enough is enough — to protect Allie from making poor decisions while fighting for freedom, her parents force a security agent upon her. Not just any agent, but a dangerous and delectable man…one that taunts her decision never to marry.

He’s not ready for marriage…

The dashing debonair Peter Harrison runs Harrison’s Detective Agency, handed down to him by his father. Much to his chagrin, he finds himself following in his father’s footsteps confirming why he’ll never marry until he’s older — because he’ll never do to his family what his father did to him. But when a gorgeous red-haired vixen runs right into him at an event his agency is working, he can’t help but enjoy the possibilities until she runs away leaving him without a trace. When the publisher of the city’s top newspaper hires him to protect his daughters on a short trip, he never imagined one of the ladies would be just who he was looking for.

But as luck would have it, his job is to keep order–she wants the right to vote… but maybe they can meet halfway—without losing their hearts.

“Educational donation to Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum for each book pre-ordered.”

Pre-Order the book on Amazon
https://www.amazon.com/s?k=unforgettable+miss+baldwin+by+gail+ingis&i=stripbooks&ref=nb_sb_noss

Book Cover

What is a Point of View?

What is a Point of View?

If you’re a writer of fiction, you’re familiar with these three letters, POV. My character’s point of view often eludes me. I make the silliest and most obvious POV mistakes, but my editor is swift to point them out. Trust me. I’m  biting my nails just thinking about POV.  POV can jump from character to character, called “head-hopping.” Enough to confuse the best reader. Some famous authors get away with it, mostly because they know what they’re doing. Or the POV can stay with one character for several paragraphs or a whole chapter. In my story, POV is divided between the heroine Allie Baldwin and the hero Peter Harrison. When there is a switch between characters, I can leave a space, or use asterisks to show the change. But make no mistake, Allie is my star. I would love to be Allie, she’s a powerhouse, and she’s real.

Guess I don’t have to say the story is about Alli. It’s not that she has red hair, but what’s unique, even challenging about her hair, if you can find something unique about ‘hair.’ That’s putting it in simple terms. Every characteristic must be important and unique. Do you like reading about Tom Cruise and his antics? Do you read the social columns? Do you watch Extra on TV? It’s sort of like a biography, what foods does she like, where was she born, what kind of music does she like? What are Allie’s goals? What does she want the world to know? I don’t have to write the book as a biography. I need to know these qualities to write the book. And all this will give my readers a glimpse of how Allie and these great women lived and put up with poor treatment in the late1800s in America. In their day, there were women heroes like Allie fighting for their vote and freedom.

Allie writes for a newspaper in New York City. There were journalists then, heroes indeed. What does she write, is she the Dear Abby of the nineteenth century? Is she a chef and writes about food? Imagine going to a picnic and then writing a critique about the food. How about politics, do you think she would be permitted to get involved with that heavy duty subject? Allie’s has a passion for change. Can she balance her desire to make positive changes for women and her life?

The writing of my book is taking longer than anticipated, if I could only get that POV right, but I’m having a good time with this historical romance set in 1886 New York, The Unforgettable Miss Baldwin, Book 1, The Gilded Age Heiresses Series.

Gail Ingis Claus is an author, artist/painter and interior designer. Her upcoming romance The Unforgettable Miss Baldwin will be released in the fall of 2018. Her current historical romance, Indigo Sky can be purchased on amazon.

http://amzn.to/2j0LXLE

A Daring Red Dress and a Dancing Queen

A Daring Red Dress and a Dancing Queen

I love to get dressed up and go out on the town. Even, now at my age (I just turned 82 years young!) I love to go out with my husband Tom. Just last weekend we went to a party at the ballroom dance studio where we practice our  fox-trot, waltz, salsa and so many more. Our talented instructors, Monika and Henry just celebrated their fourth-year anniversary of Dance Fairfield. Part of the Fred Astaire Dance Franchise.

History has shown us that women have always loved to get dressed up. And yes, even be a little daring in their fashion choices. Being daring is different depending on the woman. For some women it means wearing a stunning gown with a deep décolletage or décolleté. Décolletage is the area of the neck, shoulders, back and upper chest exposed by the neckline of a woman’s clothing, low-cut necklines of ball gowns, evening gowns, leotards, lingerie and swimsuits, among other fashions. Even today, décolletage is seen as an expression of femininity, and in some parts of the world any décolletage is considered provocative and shocking.

During the Victorian period, social attitudes required women to cover their bosom in public. For day dresses, high collars were the norm. Later, towards the end of the Victorian period the full collar was the fashion, though some décolleté dresses were worn on formal occasions.

Madame X

In 1884, the Portrait of Madame X by John Singer Sargent of American-born Paris socialite, Virginie Amélie Avegno Gautreau, was criticized when she was depicted in a sleek black dress displaying what was considered scandalous cleavage. Even more shocking, the painting depicted the strap of her dress falling off her right shoulder. The controversy was so great that Sargent reworked the painting so that the shoulder strap was no longer “off her shoulder”.  But that wasn’t enough to save Sargent’s reputation. The artist was forced to leave Paris for London in 1884 because of the scandal that ensued.

Gail’s portrait by Diane Aeschliman

My friend and talented portrait artist, Diane Aeschliman, of Killingworth, CT, painted my portrait a few years back, and coincidentally the shoulder strap of my elegant, red gown, kept slipping off. Here’s that painting for your perusal.

Perhaps if I had lived in the Victorian era I would have caused a great scandal as well!

Historical romance novels are a perfect way to indulge in the daring (and sometimes scandalous) love stories of fictional heroes and heroines. My novel Indigo Sky was inspired by the true-life love story of artist Albert Bierstadt and his love affair with the beautiful wife of his best friend. My story has a happy ending of course. As do all the historical romances that we love to read!

And speaking of historical romances and happy endings – I want to let you all know about a wonderful new giveaway that I’m part of with Booksweeps. You could win more than 45 Regency and Victorian romance novels by New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors Joan Jonston, Lauren Royal, Lauren Smith and many more including me! Along with a brand new e-reader device. Just in time for the Holidays. I hope you will sign up for this amazing giveaway. It’s free and it’s fun! Click here to enter. Until next time! Keep on dancing! Love Gail.

 

New York: The Ephemeral City

New York: The Ephemeral City

Windsor Letterhead

New York is one of the few cities in the world that’s rich enough and diverse enough to be anything it wants to be, The Dutch first settled along the Hudson in 1624 and two years later they established the colony of New Amsterdam on Manhattan Island. In 1664, the English took control of the area and renamed it New York.

This same New York is my hometown, a place for immigrants, barons, and in short, middle America. I’ve combed the city as a kid, as a student, and as a designer.

Automat at 818-820 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1904 postcard, Wikipedia

Long ago, I loved the Automat (Horn and Hardart). A whole lunch for a nickel. Nickel in, lunch out, on a vertical turnstile, Hot soup and apple pie, yum. Whatever happened to those days? Naturally any place in New York is home to me, even the Catskills, where I spent many a summer and where my first historic romance couple, Rork and Leila, met in Indigo Sky.

My new and latest story The Unforgettable Miss Baldwin, (Book 1, The Baldwin Family Series) takes place in none other than my hometown, In fact, the Baldwins’ live across the street from Central Park. What was it like to take a walk in the park in 1886? You’ll find out in my book.

An early stereoscope view of the Main Dining Room shows the frescoed ceiling and sumptuous chandelier.

Baggage entered the 46th Street side (right) and guests entered on Fifth Avenue. The arrangement avoided “cluttering.” — photo Library of Congress

Sadly, New York has been an ephemeral city. Many buildings were demolished or burned, one of which was the Windsor Hotel on 46th Street and 5th Avenue, conveniently located close to the Grand Central Depot, a short walk to the Windsor for those who traveled by train. The Hotel welcomed the wealthy, from Barons to Dukes, and according to the New York Times, the Windsor was “most luxurious and aristocratic hostelry in New York.”

Inside the hotel were the barber’s shop, grocery and general storerooms, vegetable kitchen, dining rooms, a separate one for children, and more. The hotel was considered a marvel in modern convenience. Every suite had a private bath and every room had a fireplace, according to The Times.

You’ll get an exclusive invitation to visit the Windsor Hotel in my book, The Unforgettable Miss Baldwin, out on Valentine’s Day 2018.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What does the Gilded Age have to do with Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy?

What does the Gilded Age have to do with Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy?

The Kiss (Lovers), oil and gold leaf on canvas, 1907–1908 Gustav Klimt (popular for its gilt)

The Gilded Age, circa 1870-1900, was a period of rapid economic and social growth characterized by the emergence of a wealthy middle class, excess and embellishment in architecture, art and fashion, fueled by mechanization, transportation, major inventions and the growth of cities. Under the surface however lay significant social tensions- corruption in politics, collusion in business and poverty among unskilled industrial workers, child labor and discrimination.The term “Gilded Age” comes from the satirical novel co-authored by Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner and published in 1873 (the process of gilding, applied a thin veneer of gold to a baser material such as pewter or tin to make the artifact appear more valuable, had recently been introduced). Twain likened it to an era of serious social problems masked by thin gold gilding.

This era is also the time period of my upcoming novel THE UNFORGETTABLE MISS BALDWIN, Book 1 in the Baldwin Family Series. The series follows the lives and loves of the Baldwin siblings Adam, Allie, Mia, Emma and Ava. They are the children of a wealthy newspaper baron Joseph Baldwin and his charity-minded wife Clara who runs a children’s hospital in Manhattan. The series is pure romantic comedy in the vein of Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy. I love classic Hollywood comedies and in a way, they were part of another “gilded age” or rather, a “golden era” of film if you will. And I wanted to infuse that spirit into my books. Along with my love of design and architecture.

Washington Square, NY Childe Hassam, 1895

Madame X 1894 John Singer Sargent

For the purposes of this blog, I chose to point out the visual arts of the era when American painters emerged: Mary Cassatt, Winslow Homer, John Singer Sergeant, Childe Hassam and others. Art of the romanticized West by Albert Bierstadt, Charles Remington  et al. Are we in a new Gilded Age? Which artists, in any creative field, will become associated with this era? 

And I am so excited to be part of the organizing committee for a truly worthy cause.  in Norwalk, Connecticut will be having its annual fundraising gala on October 14, 2017. And this year’s theme is – you guessed it – the Gilded Age. For more information you can contact them directly. General Inquiries and Visitor Information T. (203) 838-9799 Email 

Gail Ingis is an author and artist based in Connecticut. This blog is all about her passions: history, architecture, and interior design and fiction. Her current historical romance is INDIGO SKY. Gail’s upcoming release is the first book in a new series: THE UNFORGETTABLE MISS BALDWIN.

 

 

Indigo Sky is available on Amazon.
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