Book Club Monday #1


My latest book, Easy on the Eyes, hits shelves in July, and I want to get my readers as excited as I am about its release. That’s why I am hosting a mini book club about Odd Mom Out and Mrs. Perfect—my two books that feature some of the same characters from Easy on the Eyes. I want to hear your opinion and field your questions, but here’s the best part: your comment on each book club question enters you to win an Advanced Reading Copy of Easy on the Eyes. Read it before you can buy it!

We’re starting off with a discussion question from Mrs. Perfect.

Taylor says, “People with money are respected. People with money are listened to.” Do you agree with this? How much impact does social standing have on women and mothers in today’s world? Are we, as women, guilty of letting social standing color our judgment of other women even on a subconscious level?

Feel free to contribute without having read Mrs. Perfect, but be warned that the comments that follow may contain spoilers.

For more Mrs. Perfect, read an excerpt, download the whole Reader’s Guide, check out some book extras, and order your copy from Amazon!

-=-=-=-=- · -=-=-=-=- · -=-=-=-=-

UPDATE about PRIZES: Added on Saturday, May 9 by Jane’s Webmistress: Several people have emailed Jane asking when the prize for the book club will be drawn. Sorry for not making that clearer. The winner will be drawn (randomly, of course) shortly after the next book club gets posted. So, sometime on Monday, when Jane finds a sliver of time between sleeping and caring for a newborn, she will take care of it. If it waits until Tuesday, none of us will stress, right? Thanks!


  1. uhm… no… I don’t think they do. At least not to all people. I think that they might get more attention. Think about Paris Hilton. Do I respect her? Do I listen to her? I try to avoid anything about her like the plague.

    Respect is earned. Just because you have money doesn’t mean that the respect comes with it.

  2. In the book, when Taylor came upon hard times, her “friends” began to fall away. It brought to the fore who the authentic friends were–those who were willing to help her. Some people are impressed by money but true friends love you for your character.

  3. Yes, and no. Yes because people with money, in general, have resources, or acess to them, that people without money do not. This in turn may open more doors, and allow those with money more opportunities than those without.

    No, because in my world, I don’t care how much money you have, if you are selfish, self-centered and unkind, then you have no place in my world, and therefore, I will not listen to you.

    I can say with brutal honesty that I have been guilty on more than one occasion of making assumptions based on the appearance of another woman. Elementary schools are awful for this type of social sterotyping. Especially in the more affluent school districts.

    Respect has to be earned, but people with money tend to be “respected” because of their money, not because of who they are. It’s a sad fact that a lot of people in society are superficial and only look at the outside of a person (their money) and not on the character of the person.

  4. Absolutely I think we are guilty of letting social standing color our judgment. Even if it’s not on a conscious level, money implies success, success implies intelligence, and intelligence is respected and highly regarded. Maybe this (the intelligence factor) doesn’t always hold true for celebrities (i.e. the other comment re: Paris Hilton) but we do, as a society, hold them in a higher regard because of their beauty and/or outward appearances. I think we can’t help but let social standing have an impact, there are innate hierarchys that we adhere to, whether we mean to or not.

  5. I agree and it is sad. But so many people like Taylor hide behind their money and believe that because they have money they are better than many people. Which is so not the case. It infuriates me that people who have money believe they can behave any way they want and be rude as an example. If anything you should be more polite.

    I do see this in the elementary schools. Many times its just like in “Mrs. Perfect” where one core group runs the whole show. They forget that its not about them — its about the kids and what should be best for them and how it’s better to get more parents involved. Sad…

    There is more to life than having perfect clothes and make up and having everything perfect. My kids come first. I might look a fright some days but that doesn’t mean I don’t have money or good ideas or that I’m not smart and can’t do things! But my kids are fed, dressed and to school on time!

  6. I think that the old saying “money talks” is somewhat true. People who have money are “noticed”. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they are being noticed for good things. Genuine people are the best people…whether they have money or not, they are the ones who treat you the same, no matter if they OR you have money. Taylor found out who was a real friend when she lost everything. I have actually seen that happen in real life. Do I respect people like that? Absolutely not. Respect is something that is earned, something that money can’t and shouldn’t buy.

    As far as how much social standing does it have on today’s mothers, I encountered it 18 years ago when my daughter was in PRESCHOOL. It was a preschool where the “rich” families took their kids & we are by no means rich, but my daughter was accepted as a student. She loved it, I loved it; the teachers were awesome. Most of the parents were too, but there were some that did their best to avoid those of us who weren’t living in a certain neighborhood. And the best part was watching the kids. They all played together & didn’t care who lived where, or who was wearing KMart clothes & who was wearing designer play clothes. And as a parent, I ended up making some friends myself, and then they were treated differently by the other rich moms because they befriended the middle-class moms. Sad, isn’t it? What kind of message was that sending to the kids?

    I have always taught my kids that you never judge someone by their looks, race, whree they live, etc. And I have 2 adult kids now who are so far from prejudiced that it makes me very proud of them. Sometimes kids don’t listen, but I’m glad this is one thing they did listen to me about!

  7. Yes I believe it is true. I think that people with money are looked upon as having done something in their life that right. Let’s face it, if Bill Gates was standing infront of me, I would listen to every piece of advice.
    As for me and social issues, I don’t let social standings cloud my judgement. I work with children of all disabilities and that comes with different socio-economics. I take the person for who they are on the inside. I am guilty of my children’s friends. I didn’t like the way one little boy talked to his mother, nor his potty language so I don’t let my child play with him anymore (they have loads of money).
    On the other hand, our community is filled with Catholic schools, as a former school teacher-I send my children to public school. Some of the local kids treat and act like my kids are dirt b/c they go to public school. I just tell my kids that just b/c they are Catholic doesn’t make them christians.

  8. Money represents power. What’s more powerful, queueing at the airport or using your private jet? People like to associate themselves with the rich and successful–on a subconscience level it’s as if success could rub off. If celebrities weren’t paid uber money for their talent–say they earned minimum wage, wouldn’t that make them a lot less interesting? The mystique with the rich is that they are able, if they want, to distance themselves from much of life’s unpleasantness. After
    Taylor lost her money, she became less powerful and more ordinary.

  9. I think the reverse might be true for me, I tend to respect wealthy people less because I assume (and I admit this is an ufair assumption) that they don’t have the same integrity if they don’t have to “work for it”. Having said that, I try to consciously overcome my biases on a daily basis. And happily, I am often proven wrong!

    My children go to a school with more wealthy families than not, and I wish I could be one of those Mom’s that could be at the school everyday volunteering, but I also believe my kids should see their parents working hard, and learn the values associated with it.

  10. Some people do look at social standing. Your true friends look beyond that and are with you during the ups and downs of life.
    I try to treat people equally no matter what their financial situation is.

  11. Hmmm….not on my end but I know several who do feel this way.

    Watching my daughter grow up I would often see moms and daughters who cared a lot about money, social strata..

    It starts early when the girls with the better clothes and houses are accepted more easily even if they have nasty personalities.

    And while many may show disdain for some with money or celebrities, their attitude often changes if they have a chance to actually meet the person.

    I am a bit cynical about this. I have known many people in my life that have a ton of money and most are nice people. But the people I know that try to ACT like they are all that, not so much.

  12. I hate to admit this, but I definately think people believe this. I love going to the Mall and watching people with their fancy clothes and purses. Some think that by showing off these things it says they have money and they must be important. Well, money isn’t everything and it doesn’t always make you happy! I think we often put to much thought into what others think of us. Why do we care so much what other think of us? It is so sad because I see it in teenage girls already and it makes me so upset to see how they treat each other. Most of the time they base this on what the other girls are wearing. Wear the wrong jeans and you could be scared for life!!! I try to teach my daughters good morals even at their young age in hopes that things might change a little when they grow up. People should not be measured by the amount of money they have or what designers they wear!!! In fact, our favorite store is Target!

  13. I think her point is valid for society in general. If someone with money is murdered it certainly gains more attention than if someone who is considered poor was murdered. The news definitely seems to favor the rich and famous. That doesn’t mean each individual person feels that way but I think the media does affect the way many view things.

  14. I think there is an assumption that people who live in a certain area, dress a certain way and belong to all the right clubs are somehow entitled to respect. However, true respect can only be earned by how a person deals with others and handles difficult situations. Money certainly doesn’t make someone a good person and quite often has the opposite effect.

  15. After growing up in Bellevue, and moving (happily) away, I learned money does not bring happiness…most of the people I know swimming in funds, are busing trying to escape, always chasing bigger and better, lose out on simplicity, peace and inner comfort, and find themselves decked out in terrifyingly HUGE amounts of stress. I don’t think they have more respect, I think they can buy being heard, a spot in the big picture, and can afford “status” (a rough road). It is easy to get “caught up”…and quite hard to continue to pursue financial gain…a lot must be sacrified. Real wealth can be found elsewhere, as long as basic needs and a handful of wants are met. In my opinion 🙂

  16. Yes, I feel people with money are respected and listened to more on a regular basis. Going from being a middle class girl to a poor girl, I can see the way people not just women perceive you to be. Women have a tendency to judge before knowing the circumstances of what is going on in another woman’s life. We all seem to want to keep up with the Jones’. Here’s to the Jones’. Have a great day.

  17. I believe that sometimes it’s not that they are listen to or respected more, it’s that they encircle them selves with others that whoo to their money. I believe that it is a power/control tool. A social life costs money, and money can buy exposure and the illusion of glamour. Who doesn’t want to live the dream life?

  18. Social impact, money, the way you dress all have an impact in the working world and in school. I don’t agree with it, but it does have a huge impact on our lives.

    My daughter is in Kindergarten and is being picked on because I actually just bought her new school clothes. At the time school was starting I didn’t have the funds, and told her as soon as I did we would buy them. Now the girl is telling her she is ugly since the clothes isn’t buggeing her anyomore.

    I also work in a male dominated world. I can work with the people in jeans and t-shirts and with the high executives all in one day, until I proved myself, sometimes I feel I was passed up on opportunities as a single parent and not having the polished look.

    I have seen people being promoted up the totem pole and have no idea what they are doing, and look highly polished.

    I have friends all over the spectrum, my parents taught us to accept people for who they are and it was one of the best qualites I could ask for in life.

    I hope I pass it on to my daughter.

  19. Substitute “people who are attractive” for “people with money”…I bet there would be no difference in the comments.

  20. It’s unfortunate, but true. People do look at those with money differently and the sad part of it is that some of those people with money do expect to be looked at differently. They see themselves in a higher class of standing. Does the money make them better than the people less fortunate? Not at all.

    Money doesn’t make the person, the person makes the person. Look at Martha. She was judged on her appearance, but it was the person inside of Martha that made her special.

    I loved reading Mrs. Perfect! and Taylor soon learned who her real friends were. As the saying goes, “money can’t buy you love”.

  21. Most people crave to be among the powerful, the beautiful and the wealthy. Society judges and looks down upon the everyday people since they are somehow lacking. It is unfortunate since so many good people with compassion and goodness exist but they do not believe in the superficial trappings.

  22. I am not sure that people with money are respected… sometimes I think they get paid lip service because nobody wants to offend them or criticize openly. But, it is a fact that if you have money in some circles, areas, etc. you start out with more respect; whether or not you keep it is another matter.

    Two of my daughters ride and compete at a relatively high level. We are solid middle class and it is a very difficult sport to succeed in if you don’t have money. Mediocre riders can progress because they have the money to buy very good horses (quite often more than one).

    My girls have been looked down on; they both have to work to help pay the bills. The family does without to support the sport. And we take a back seat to clients who have more money and horses than we do. It’s a hard fact in the horse world that money = success and the coach will give more time and effort to the client with the big bucks.

    We know we need sponsorship to continue, but it is hard to come by. I keep buying my lottery tickets, though!

  23. Renae D. – Your comment is awesome and could have been mine. You said it all! I was a single mother as well and fortunately my girls are grown – we still managed dancing, cheerleading, softball, etc. They tell me now “Mom we never realized we didn’t have money. God bless your parents – mine taught me the same.

  24. I don’t believe that money earns respect with people. I believe that being kind to others and having respect for other people is much more important. I live in a neighborhood that some people might think is more..I don’t know, affluent? I think that there are so many disrespectul people here that seem to think that they can let there animals poop on others lawns, let their spoiled bratty kids act like dummies and get away with it. Almost like they are entitled. It is annoying and quite frankly, I find it disgusting. So, no I don’t think that money earns any respect at all. Individuals who do good things for others do. Geez, I sound cranky this morning.

  25. I’m sure that in our society, that people with money are listened to more so than people with out. For me, though-whether you have money or not doesn’t matter …it’s what comes out of your mouth that dmatters. If it’s rubbish-I’ll tell you so. I respect people who have common sense and who are respectful themselves and whether you have money or not makes no difference to me.

  26. As a society I think we do judge people by their money. Look at how we treat celebrities–they garner our attention and get paid millions. Also, many feel that money equates power. People listen to those who have power and money. Is it right? No. But it starts early. As an educator, I see and hear it all from the mouth’s of babes and they do look at what the others have and feel that they are somehow doing without. It’s a shame because it stunts the development of their character.

  27. I’ve snuck away from the baby to say that I really like this discussion because I think it’s relevant to more than just the novel, but today’s current economic trouble. I can’t speak for others, but I have felt a lot of pressure in my life to ‘be successful’ and a huge chunk of that was being financially successful, and appearing successful with wardrobe, home, lifestyle, etc.

    In Mrs. Perfect I wanted to explore some of this pressure that success and appearances put on people. Lots of people have money because they’ve worked hard. No criticism there. But lots of people also spend more than they earn because they feel pressure to keep up with the Jones. And that’s not healthy.

    And I agree with so many of you regarding the ‘respect’ we give people who have money/status/etc. Kids are so impressionable. My oldest son wants to be a sports star not because he loves a particular sport, but because he wants to earn huge amounts of money and have a lavish lifestyle so people will admire him or respect him.

    But real respect is earned, not bought. Real respect comes from having strength, integrity, courage and compassion. But those aren’t values our media highlight, and they’re not the ones splashed all over the sports and entertainment channels, either.


  28. I do think people with money are respected to a certain degree. Do I think they earned that respect, no. They are also listened too. Its like the old saying goes, Money Talks. Part of it is that money gives them the power to do what they want and when.

  29. Sadly I think it is true. I don’t think they are respected so much as we as a society see the rich and famous and people seem to want that but I’m sure they have all the same problems we do. Just as Taylor found out where were the rich when she needed them. It’s sad that we seem to judge by what people look like or how much money they have. I worked at Nordstrom for over 30 years and I remember when I first started working there people thought that anyone that worked there was a snob which is so untrue and it was drilled into us to not judge someone by what they looked like or were wearing when they walked in the store. As we all know we don’t always get dressed up just to go shopping. I loved the two books and I’ve pre-ordered Easy on the Eyes and can’t wait.

  30. Jane you rock! Love this discussion.

    Yes, people who are perceived as having money are respected and listened to. But by whom? It is likely part of our biology to find comfort in those with the most resources, from back in the day when all humans needed was fire and sustenance. In this day, we can choose to be aware of our natural inclinations and how we respond to them. I face the negative side of this truth by measuring myself against my own values.

    I am still human. I sometimes feel a bit green at the sight of things out of my price range. But I also don’t want any of the careers that would provide such luxury. Ultimately, that is just fine with me. My father used to say that wealth was having more than you need. I agree.

  31. When you talk about success and appearances it saddens me to think of Susan Boyle. She is an amazing and talented woman. She is now sporting a new make over and even wearing a leather jacket. Is this really who she is or who she thinks we want to see? Why can’t we just enjoy and celebrate each other?

  32. Jane,

    I live in an area where a lot of people have money or come across as having money…which I have come to realize are two different things. There are some who can take a stand and not have the money to back them. My husband is one of those people. I think it is your personality that will get things done, not your wallet. Although, there is no doubt that on occasion, money will help.

  33. All I need to complete my Jane Porter 5 Spot set of books is, ‘Easy On The Eyes.’ I want to read it so much I can hardly stand to wait! Success for me wouldn’t mean lots of money right now, but an ARC of ‘Easy On The Eyes!’

  34. I have come to the understanding that when people focus more on personal growth (becoming a better happier person and giving back to the world), they tend not to focus as much on what they themselves have or don’t have, or value others based on what others have or don’t have. Having a lot is fine, having enough is fine or having very little is fine…just harder sometimes. What makes Luke in Odd Mom Out so endearing, is that he is a combination of nice guy who doesn’t focus on wealth…his or others, his values don’t allow him to use his power to get what he wants…even though he could,he uses his wealth to give back to the community and is gorgeous to boot!

    …on an aside…cuddles to Little Mac.

  35. I do think People w/money are listened to. It’s like the world believes they’re smarter because they have money.
    I don’t necessarily think they are respected as respect must be earned.
    I do view woman and moms w/money being treated better – where those w/out sometimes are viewed skeptically, like it is believed they will stiff the bill or somehow try to cheat which is mostly not at all true.
    It’s all about perception.
    I do believe though that every woman should live up to her greatest integrity & not worry what others think.

  36. I’m sure you’ve all heard “Money Talks.” And depending on the situation, sometimes it screams and drowns reason out. I sent my kids to private school even though I struggled as a single mom. And I know there were times when simple, less expensive projects, school trips were overruled for more elaborate, expensive affairs because the other mothers wanted them. It was frustrating trying to explain to the kids that we’ll have to settle for something Mommy can afford. But I think in the end, my children have a better understanding on what is a Want versus a Need. Yes, money talks but I think more and more women/people are learning that money is not always for the good. Don’t get me wrong, Money Helps (wish I had loads of it) but I’ve learned it’s not always valuable.

  37. Everyone has made some really great points- what I wanted to point out and what I found interesting was the difference in the appearance of money and the stress Taylor felt in having to make sure she did certain things a certain way because of other people’s opinions. She felt that having money gave her a certain amount of power and prestige and the the “right” to certain privileges. An example that comes to mind was the expecation she would be room parent and how disturbed that the teacher had the nerve to make her a “co-room parent” with someone.

    It was nice to know that Taylor finally got it- and found out who her genuine friends were…and that money can’t buy happiness (it helps- but you need to have your priorities in check.)

  38. Hi! Jane’s webmistress stepping in for an update on prizes: Several people have emailed Jane asking when the prize for the book club will be drawn. Sorry for not making that clearer. The winner will be drawn (randomly, of course) shortly after the next book club gets posted. So, sometime on Monday, when Jane finds a sliver of time between sleeping and caring for a newborn, she will take care of it. If it waits until Tuesday, none of us will stress, right? Thanks!

  39. I’m going to go with no. There are those that think money is all important and makes a difference, but I’m not one of those people.

    By the way, I haven’t been able to do my blog hopping lately so I’m really behind so I just found out you had your baby. Congratulations! I know you’re thrilled. 🙂

  40. Time to announce the contest winner!

    Good afternoon, everyone. I’ve randomly drawn a name out of a hat and this is what I got:

    Congrats to #12 Meg Munson, you are this contest’s winner. Please send me a private email with your address and we’ll get your ARC of Easy on the Eyes out in the mail to you.

    And thanks to Meg and everyone who participated! I hope to see everyone’s reader reviews online (at your blog, Amazon, or Barnes and Noble, Facebook…).

    Be sure to participate in the current discussion of my online book club for your chance to win an ARC of Easy on the Eyes


Leave a Comment

Your email is never published or shared.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

By posting a comment, you consent to have your personally identifiable information collected and used in accordance with our privacy policy.