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FROM A USA TODAY AUTHOR OF WOMEN’S FICTION BEST SELLERS comes an Award-Winning 20th Century Historical Mystery!
In a family saga now available on Kindle, Spare Change has been compared to John Grisham’s The Client. Eleven year-old Ethan Allen Doyle has witnessed a brutal murder and now the boy is running for his life. In the time-tested tradition of Southern Fiction novels, Crosby unveils the darkest side of human nature and then rewards her readers with this beautiful tale of love, loss and unexpected gifts.
Olivia Westerly is the only person Ethan Allen can trust, and he’s not too sure he can trust her. She’s got no love of children and a truckload of superstitions—one of them is the belief that eleven is the unluckiest number on earth.
Psychological fiction that will keep you turning the pages.
Literary Awards for Spare Change –
USA Today Bestseller
Barnes & Noble Bestseller
Reviewer’s Choice Award Winner
FAPA President’s Book Award
Royal Palm Literary Award
Readers View Regional Fiction
Eadon Contemporary Fiction Award
Book Bundlz Finalist
Independent Author Network – First Place Winner for Outstanding General Fiction Novel
Praise for Spare Change –
Midwest Book Review
“Skillfully written, “Spare Change” clearly demonstrates Bette Lee Crosby’s ability to engage her readers rapt attention from beginning to end. A thoroughly entertaining work of immense literary merit and strongly recommended for community library literary fiction and mystery collections, “Spare Change” is especially recommended for fans of well-crafted storytelling populated by memorable characters caught up in equally memorable circumstances.” – Julie Summers.
Seattle Post Intelligencer
Bette Lee Crosby’s Spare Change is a quirky mix of Southern flair, serious thoughts about important things in life, madcap adventures of a young boy and a late change of heart that made all the difference in the life of an unusually independent woman. More than anything, it is a heartwarming book, which is simultaneously intriguing and just plain fun.
Olivia Ann Westerly has always refused to conform. Instead of marrying and raising a family, as her father expected her to, she left home and found a job, rented a flat and had tons of fun. Oh, did I mention that she did that in 1923, when she was only 25-years-old? While today that would not have been anything extraordinary, she certainly was an exception back then. And then she decided not to marry and to continue her career, living in this manner quite happily all the way until 1956. It was then that she met Charlie Doyle and fell madly in love, agreeing to marry him without any hesitation when he asked her to.
But then Charlie had to go and die while they were on their honeymoon, and Olivia seemed to have lost all her will to do anything. Until Ethan Allen Doyle, Charlie’s grandson, showed up on her doorstep. Olivia never wanted children, so why would she change her mind now? And to make matters worse, Ethan Allen was 11-years-old and number 11 has always been a bad omen for Olivia. To top everything else, it was clear that Ethan Allen was hiding something. Was there any chance of a happy ending here?
I truly enjoyed this imaginative and very entertaining story. Told from many different perspectives, it kept my interest from beginning to end. The voices of the characters were very distinct and the good ones were easy to like, just like the bad guys were easy to hate and fear. It does not happen very often that I truly like the more minor characters in any book, since most of them never get the chance to develop enough to be really interesting, but Clara was one of my favorites here – heart of gold and brassy manners, what more could one want in a friend? She was just one in the substantial line-up of supporting characters who kept Ethan Allen’s presence in Olivia’s building a secret, or at least they thought so. Every one of those characters was well-defined and completely believable.
Furthermore, I enjoyed the storyline and the lively dialogue, as well as the rapidly unraveling mystery of the secret Ethan Allen was trying to keep to himself. And I am going to do my best to keep the beginning of the story, as told by Olivia, in mind for the future. Here’s what she had to say..
“I don’t suppose there’s a person walking the earth who doesn’t now and again think if I had the chance to live my life over, I’d sure as hell do it differently. When you get to a certain age and realize how much time you’ve wasted on pure foolishness, you’re bound to smack yourself in the head and ask, what in the world was I thinking? Everybody’s got regrets; myself included.
Some people go to their grave without ever getting a chance to climb out of that ditch they’ve dug for themselves, others get lucky. Of course, the thing about luck is that you’ve got to recognize it, when it walks up’ and says hello, the way Charlie Doyle did.”
Those two paragraphs alone would be enough for me to like this book and recommend it, yet they were truly just the beginning. If you want to know more, you will simply have to read Spare Change yourself, and I am certain you will not regret that. – Olivera Baumgartner-JacksonRead the Book Discussion Questions for Spare Change Read an excerpt from Spare Change
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I completely enjoyed Spare Change
Jane on Goodreads says:
This is absolutely, categorically not the kind of book I usually read, and I completely enjoyed it. It tells the story of the journeys of two people, middle-aged Olivia and 11-year-old Ethan Allen (yep, named after the furniture store), toward each other through loss and tragedy. Both Olivia and Ethan share an almost desperate self-reliance that hides a deep need for other people, and their adjustment to each other is aided by the goodness and kindness of a nicely-drawn cast of minor characters.
There’s a deep Christian underpinning to this book and its message of hope and goodness. Take a look at this quote: “Making people think they can’t scrape up enough to buy a dime’s worth of happiness, is the Devil’s doing; that’s his way of handing out heartaches. The Good Lord don’t do things that way–when he sees a person’s flat out of hope and feeling dead broke, He slips a bit of spare change into the bottom of their pocket; not a lot maybe, but enough for them to get by.”
Does all this make the book sound like some goody-two-shoes moralistic tale? It isn’t. The brutality of the characters’ lives is portrayed without flinching and with plenty of swearing thrown in, which made me rejoice. It wouldn’t be real any other way. There’s so much dark humor (loaded mostly into the first half of the book) that I frequently found myself smiling.