Posted in contest, fiction, Giveaway on September 19, 2012

It has been awhile since I’ve done a giveaway but when author Bette Lee Crosby sent me her book, Spare Change, I just knew I needed to share this book with a lucky reader of my blog!  AND Bette told me that Spare Change will be available for free on Amazon on Thursday, September 20th and Friday, September 21st.  This book has never been offered for free before and may never be again, so if you have a Kindle, head over to Amazon to get the book for free…or sign up for my giveaway below for a copy of the book.

A little bit about Bette:

Award-winning author Bette Lee Crosby is originally from New Jersey, but now makes her home in Southern Florida where she lives with her husband Richard and a feisty Bichon Frise named Katie.

In 1997 Bette abandoned the fast-paced world of advertising and embarked on a career as a novelist. Her books, frequently written in a Southern voice, cover a wide spectrum of locales and personalities as they tell tales of courageous women overcoming life’s obstacles. Her novels were first recognized in 2006, when she won the National League of American Pen Women Award for unpublished fiction with What Matters Most. In 2007 she won the National League of American Pen Women’s First Place Fiction Award for her novel Girl Child; and in 2009 her latest novel Cracks in the Sidewalk received the prestigious Royal Palm Literary Award from the Florida Writers Association; and in 2011 it won the FPA President’s Book Award Gold Medal. Bette has recently completed an biography of Lani Verner Deauville, the amazing woman who is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s longest living quadriplegic. This book, scheduled for release in February 2012 is titled “Life in the Land of IS…the Amazing Story of Lani Deauville, the World’s Longest Living Quadriplegic.”

Interview with Bette:

Along with provided the book to me to read, Bette was kind enough to answer a few questions that I could share with my readers!

What inspired you to start writing?

My mom—although her education ended in the sixth grade, and she seldom wrote anything more than a letter, she was an absolutely mesmerizing storyteller. Supposedly, many of her tales were about long lost family members, but I seriously doubt that any family could produce all of the lovable and quirky characters she conjured up. Once she was gone, so were her stories and one loss was as great as the other. So, after years of writing for business, I turned to fiction and discovered that I had inherited my mom’s storytelling gene. Once I started down that road, there was no turning back. As it’s turned out, I am my mom…only with a computer.

 How long does it normally take you to write a book from start to finish?

From the initial creation of characters and story concept it takes about a year to finalize a book. It can be a few months longer or shorter based on the amount of research, but there is not a huge variance. Since many of my stories are set in the first half of the twentieth century, I find I can add authenticity to the story by including factual occurrences from that time period.

Who are some of your favorite authors?

It changes constantly. Since I write in a Southern voice, I do enjoy a number of Southern authors and I love discovering new authors with fresh new voices and ideas. I find that I have favorite books rather than favorite authors. I have classic favorites that include To Kill a Mockingbird and Gone With the Wind, and I have new favorites that include Erin Morgenstern’s Night Circus and Sarah Addison Allen’s Garden Spells.

 What books are on your nightstand?

The Volunteer by Barbara Taylor Sissel and The Old Mermaid Inn by Kathleen Valentine. I have become addicted to reading on both my Kindle and iPad, so I cart around an armful of books and often jump from one to another depending on my mood. The only “real” book on my nightstand is the journal I use to sketch out story ideas that float through my head just as I’m about to fall asleep…or not. The Kindle became a necessity for me when the bookshelves in my office began to sag from the weight of books I can’t bear to part with.

 If this book were made into a movie, who do you think would play Olivia and Ethan Allen?

Olivia is easy- it would be Meryl Streep. She comes across as having the type of gullibility that led Olivia into the situations she encountered, and yet it’s easy to believe she is also the type of person who has a hidden strength that rises to the surface when it becomes necessary.  Ethan Allen is a bit more difficult – I would imagine it time for a casting call, but I’d be looking for a young Brad Renfro (the streetwise lad who played the boy in “The Client”)


A Woman who is Superstitious to the Core…
A Boy who claims his Parents are Dead…
A Murderer who wants to Silence the Truth of What Happened.

Olivia Westerly knows what she knows—opals mean disaster, eleven is the unluckiest number on earth and children weigh a woman down like a pocketful of stones. That’s why she’s avoided marriage for almost forty years. But when Charlie Doyle happened along, he was simply too wonderful to resist. Now she’s a widow with an eleven-year-old boy claiming to be her grandson.

With a foul mouth, dark secrets and heavily guarded emotions, Ethan Allen Doyle is not an easy child to like. He was counting on the grandpa he’d never met for a place to hide, but now that plan is shot to blazes because the grandpa’s dead too. He’s got seven dollars and twenty-six cents, his mama’s will for staying alive, and Dog. But none of those things are gonna help if Scooter Cobb finds him.


This is one powerful story and it will tug at your heartstrings!  It starts off giving the background of Olivia in the 1930’s and her life and then flips over to Ethan Allen and his life as a child and how he took charge of his destiny.  I love the interaction between Olivia and Ethan Allen and it just goes to show you that you are never too old to change your life or your way of thinking.  And Ethan Allen learned that you can trust adults, that they are not all bad.  I think there are some great life lessons that can be learned from this story.    Overall, Gracie & April give it 5 paws up.

Win a copy of this book!

Bette kindly sent me a copy of this book to read for my review and I want to share it with you!  Enter your information below and a winner will be chosen using on Saturday, September 29th.  Open to US residents only