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I’m delighted to welcome Karen M Cox back to Diary of an Eccentric today to celebrate the release of Son of a Preacher Man, an original novel inspired by Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. The novel is set in 1959, so Karen is here to talk about money during that year. Please give her a warm welcome!

Thanks so much for the invitation to be a guest on Diary of an Eccentric! I’m Karen M Cox, and I write fiction accented with history and romance. My new release is titled, Son of a Preacher Man, and it’s my fifth full-length novel. It holds a special place in my heart because of the themes explored: the roles of men and women, what it means to be “good”, and most of all, it’s about forgiveness and the power of love. I like to say it’s “a realistic love story told by an idealistic young man.”

I’ll let you in on a little secret—in Son of a Preacher Man, the hero, Billy Ray Davenport has money, but you’d never know it. Because he isn’t worried about financial matters, they don’t define him. On the other hand, when it comes to money, our heroine, Lizzie Quinlan, has none, and it’s written all over her for the world to see.

So, let’s talk money in 1959. What did people make? What did things cost?

(Sources: Morris County Library (NJ) website, thePeopleHistory.com, University of Missouri Libraries)

Billy Ray wants to be a doctor. In 1959, the median income for physicians and surgeons was a whopping $15,000 per year! But when you compare it with other professions, it looks pretty good:

Junior Accountant? You’d pull down 90$/week

Chemical Engineer? He (and they were almost all “he” at that time) made $7000/year

Typist/clerk? Only 65$/week.

Most things were much, much cheaper in 1959 than they are today:

For example, an Oldsmobile 88 Automobile, 6 passenger car cost $2,887.

Women’s cotton dress would set you back $10.98.

Box of Ritz Crackers? $0.25 for a 12 oz box

A loaf of bread was $0.20.

Gasoline cost $0.25/gallon!

Billy Ray and Lizzie’s movie tickets to see West Side Story were $1.00 each.

But this surprised me: A Kitchen Aid Dishwasher cost between $209.95 and $479.95. Sure, it’s about 2-3 times more today ($500 or $600 for most models), but when you look at gasoline, which is like, 10 times as much today as it was then—the 1959 cost of the dishwasher is a bit of a shocker.

It’s tempting to look back fondly on decades past, when items cost less or society seemed more calm, but, as Billy Ray learns in Son of a Preacher Man, things aren’t always what they seem.

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About Son of a Preacher Man

“I forget that you’re a fella sometimes.”

“Gee, thanks.”

I never forgot that she was a girl. Not for one second…

1959. The long, hot Southern summer bakes the sleepy town of Orchard Hill. Billy Ray Davenport, an aspiring physician and only son of an indomitable traveling minister, is a young man with a plan that starts with working in a small-town doctor’s office before he begins medical school in the fall. Handsome, principled, and keenly observant, he arrives in town to lodge with the Millers, the local doctor’s family. He never bargained for Lizzie Quinlan—a complex, kindred spirit who is beautiful and compassionate, yet scorned by the townsfolk. Could a girl with a reputation be different than she seems? With her quirky wisdom and a spine of steel hidden beneath an effortless sensuality, Lizzie is about to change Billy Ray’s life—and his heart—forever.

A realistic look at first love, told by an idealistic young man, Son of a Preacher Man is a heartwarming coming of age tale set in a simpler time.

Buy Son of a Preacher Man: Universal Buy Link | Amazon

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Connect with Karen

www.karenmcox.com

www.karenmcoxauthor.wordpress.com

https://www.instagram.com/karenmcox1932/

https://www.facebook.com/karenmcox1932

https://karenmcox.tumblr.com/

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Giveaway

Enter for a chance to win an ebook copy of one of my backlist titles (1932, Find Wonder in All Things, Undeceived, I Could Write a Book, or The Journey Home(novella)) AND a $10 Amazon Gift Card. Three winners will be randomly selected on 7/25/18. This giveaway is international. You must enter through this link. Good luck!

Thank you, Karen, for being my guest today, and congratulations on your latest release. I’ve heard nothing but great things about it, and can’t wait to get a chance to read it!

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