Thursday, April 18, 2013

Review: Spare Change by Bette Lee Crosby

Spare Change

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.

Spare Change is a quirky mix of Southern flair, serious thoughts about the important things in life, the madcap adventures of a young boy and a late change of heart that makes all the difference in an unusually independent woman. 

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.

Emotional, and at times, witty this novel has complex characters that read believable.  You become invested in their individual stories and although they all have flaws you can relate to them in some way.  Real both in circumstances and dialogue this is a book that will have you up late to finish.  It will make you believe that you can triumph over tragedy.  I really enjoyed it and rate it 4 stars.  

Q.  What inspires your writing?

A.  People and their relationships. Everyday life events. It can be a place we’ve visited or someone I’ve met, Sometimes it is even something as small as a comment made. “Spare Change” is a perfect example of this. We were visiting friends on the Eastern Shore of Virginia and drove long stretches of road without seeing stores, houses, or even gas stations. I commented to my husband that it was so deserted out there that a murder could take place and no one would even know it….That thought gave birth to “Spare Change.”

Q.  What is your favorite thing about being an author?

A.  Delving into the complexities of relationships. All of my books are very character-driven. That said, visiting with book clubs and meeting my readers runs a close second.

Q.  What is the toughest part of being an author?

A.  Editing! Although it is my least favorite part, it is also critical to the quality of a book.

Q.  If you could not be author, what would you do/be?

A. Most likely an artist. In college I studied art, so when I write it’s as if I am painting pictures with words.

Q.  What would the story of your life be entitled?

A.”In her Dreams” – because I feel that I truly am living the life I love.

Q.  What is your favorite book of all time?

A.  It’s a toss-up between To Kill a Mockingbird and Gone with the Wind. Both Atticus Finch and Rhett Butler are such wonderfully rich characters. The reader senses how deeply they care about those they love, without the author ever explaining it.

Q.  Which character from ANY book are you most like?

A.  I think I’m a compilation of a million or more characters, there’s even a bit of Atticus Finch and Erma Bombeck in me.

Q.  What character from all of your books are you most like?

A. From my books – probably Olivia from Spare Change. I’m independent, but not so independent that I don’t need love in my life. Also, like Olivia, I’m a little quirky in the way I look at life and have a tendency to see things through my own rose-colored glasses.

Q.  What is your favorite season?

A.  Absolutely Summer! I love sun, beaches, palm trees and tropical flowers. I shiver at even the thought of snow.

Q.  What inspired your book cover(s)?  Or what is your favorite book cover and why?

A.   I work with a wonderful designer on my covers and before he starts designing, I tell him the heart of what the book is about. Not the story, but the meaning of the story. My favorite cover is probably Cracks in the Sidewalk, with Spare Change as a close second.

Q.  Tell me something funny that happened while on a book tour or while promoting your book.

A. One time when I was speaking at a book store, an elderly gentleman arrived in the middle of a reading. When I finished and started doing a Q & A with the audience he sat there with a rather blank look on his face. After 3 or 4 questions were asked, I called on a woman who said “Mrs. Crosby, your books truly inspire me.” As soon as she sat down, the elderly man’s hand shot up and his face brightened. Of course inquisitive, I called on him next. He said, “Missy, I’m not much for reading, but I’ve got every one of your Daddy’s records and my favorite is White Christmas.”

Q.  Are you working on something new?

A.  Yes, I just started what is a sort-of sequel to Spare Change. I loved the characters in that book so much that I wasn’t ready to let them go. This will be the first sequel I have ever done. All of my other books are stand alone.

Q.  Anything you want to say to followers of this blog or those that are just stopping by?

A.  Yes, if any of your followers are on Goodreads or Facebook, I invite them to friend me. I love making new friends who enjoy reading as much as I do.  I now have BFFs that I met online but have still never met in person. 


  1. Bette, I am a big fan of all of your novels but Spare Change most definitely is one of my favourites! I'm eagerly looking forward to your next release.

  2. Patricia thanks for stopping by and fir this lovely comment!

  3. I enjoyed this book.


I love comments, so please leave some! If you are a new follower and have a blog yourself please let me know so I can follow you back! Have a great day!

Emily, AKA Mrs. Mommy Booknerd

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...