The Things Money Can’t Buy
I’m happy to be a guest here today at All I Want and More, thank you for hosting me on your blog!
It’s a bit of a cliché, but the old adage that money doesn’t buy the best things in life is so true. Wealth can buy plenty of comforts. Fame and status can get someone pretty far in certain aspects. But what does a life in the public eye lack? What does one trade for fame, wealth and privilege?
Those were questions I tried to answer in my latest novel Life of Privilege.
The heroine of my story Katherine Dawson is a celebrity in the fashion world. She’s one of the judges on a reality TV competition for budding fashion designers. She’s also the heiress to one of the largest clothing companies in America. In addition to being an heiress, she also serves as the face of the company, modeling the new lines each fall and spring.
When the book opens we find Katherine on her wedding day, she’s about to marry Nathan Taylor, the producer of the reality TV show where she’s a judge. He’s touted as an up and coming producer, so their union appears to round out her seemingly perfect life.
As the tagline for the novel says: Living the life of a celebrity isn’t as perfect as it seems. As the story unfolds, bits of Katherine’s past are revealed and the idea that while on the surface it seems she had it all in her old life, she feels like she’s truly living a privileged life when she escapes her celebrity status.
For years she’d had to base every private decision in her life on how it would impact her public persona. That sort of pressure has taken a toll on Katherine. After years of being in the public eye, she develops intense anxiety issues. She gives up her life of luxury in Manhattan and moves to Seattle where people don’t recognize her as a celebrity.
For the first time, she’s able to partake of simple, ordinary events that feel like luxuries to her. Things like walking into a coffee shop unnoticed, attending a music concert and forming new relationships with people who like her for the person she is, not the celebrity she used to be hold more value to her than money and status.
So, living in Seattle and being able to get out and go unnoticed mean a lot to her. It’s not always easy—and wouldn’t it make for such a boring book if everything did go smoothly for her?
In the following scene, Katherine has just fled a coffee shop because she thinks a man has recognized her. He hasn’t, what has really happened is he sees she’s having a mini panic attack and he’s looking at her because he wants to try to help her. She doesn’t want the media whirlwind that surrounded her in New York City to happen in Seattle so she leaves before anyone can out her as the famous Katherine Dawson. She’s able to run onto a city bus and the close call with almost being found out makes her realize that maybe the man in the coffee shop meant to help her, not to try to call attention to her celebrity status.
Living the life of a celebrity isn’t always as perfect as it seems.
Katherine Dawson was born into a life of privilege as the heiress to an apparel dynasty. Between judging a reality TV competition for budding fashion designers and having been the face of her family’s clothing line for most of her life, she’s one of the biggest celebrities in her field.
When she becomes engaged to up-and-coming television producer Nathan Taylor, she appears to have it all. To any outsider, she has a picture-perfect life, so when Katherine leaves her groom-to-be at the altar and disappears, the tabloids are full of speculation over her sudden departure.
Fleeing New York to hide out in Seattle, she quickly finds that living the life of an heiress in hiding isn’t as easy as she thought, especially after she meets a magnetic writer named Royce Reynolds. In her new life on the West Coast, she struggles to keep her anonymity, and experiences a relationship with a man who wants her for the person she is, not the celebrity she used to be.
Like the sound of Life of Privilege? Buy it here.
Excerpt from Life of Privilege:
Her footsteps fell loudly against the sidewalk and she saw a bus stopping at the next block up. She sprinted and caught it just in time. She counted her blessings that it was nearly empty, but selected a seat near the back and pulled her hat down lower over her eyes for good measure. She’d had a close call in the coffeehouse. Craning her neck, she looked out of the back window of the bus toward the café she’d fled. Slapping her palm over her mouth, she stopped herself just short of gasping in surprise. The man who’d sat next to her was standing outside the coffeehouse looking left and right, searching the people milling around on the street. His body language was tense and she could almost swear that he was frowning. Was he looking for her? Could he have recognized her? Or was it possible that a stranger might actually show compassion for her well-being?
The bus started moving. She turned around and faced forward. Whatever the man in the coffeehouse wanted, she was glad she’d left when she did. Her breathing was starting to return to normal and her body was beginning to relax. She closed her eyes and recalled the scene in the coffee shop. Would she ever truly be able to interact and mingle with others? The fear of being found out ate at her insides. It wasn’t just that she didn’t want to deal with the media coverage. It was more than not wanting to be Katherine Dawson anymore.
For the first time in her adult life she was free to make her own choices and that scared her. She could choose what she looked like, who she befriended, what she ate and what hobbies and interests to pursue. Suppressing a sob, she realized how much she’d given up staying in her old life. Such basic rights seemed like rare privileges. What so many others took for granted or saw as humdrum facets of a boring life had the appeal of bright and shiny jewels to her.
In addition to being the author of contemporary, historical and erotic romance, Amanda Bretz holds a degree in communication from Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers, Florida. She is a multi-published author of several books and short stories and has worked as a journalist in both print and online news. Amanda writes romantic stories with happy endings and invites readers to experience the rush of falling in love.
When not writing, Amanda can be found whipping up something delectable in her kitchen, spending time in nature or getting lost in a good book.
She resides in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her husband, Brandon.
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