Spare Change

Spare Change

by Bette Lee Crosby


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Olivia Westerly's father disowned her when she tossed her nose in the air and left home in pursuit of a job he considered scandalous. He expected that she'd marry and settle into having babies as her friends had done; but Olivia simply couldn't tolerate the thought. Why just the mere mention of children sent chills up her spine!

Believing that children weigh a woman down like a pocket full of stones, Olivia avoided such entanglements for almost forty years...but when she meets Charlie Doyle everything changes. Even though Charlie has a son, and a grandson he's supposedly never seen, Olivia is blinded by love and happily says "I do."

That happiness is cut short when Charlie dies on their honeymoon and Olivia returns home to find eleven year old Ethan Allen Doyle sitting on her doorstep. The boy's parents are dead and only two people know the truth of what happened-Ethan Allen isn't talking and the murderer wants to make certain he never does. Olivia is the only one who can stop it from happening.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780983887911
Publisher: Bent Pine Publishing
Publication date: 09/27/2011
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 1,151,607
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.63(d)

About the Author

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 an adopted Bichon Frise. A highly entertaining public speaker, Bette makes frequent appearances to support the various charities of women's groups, and schedule permitting, she will join book talks and book club discussion groups.

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 Her novels were first recognized in 2006, when she won the National League of American Pen Women Award for unpublished fiction with What Matters Most.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; in 2009 her novel Cracks in the Sidewalk received the prestigious Royal Palm Literary Award from the Florida Writers Association for Women's Fiction and in 2010 her novel Spare Change received a Royal Palm Literary Award for unpublished fiction.

Before redirecting her talents to works of fiction, Bette enjoyed a noteworthy career in advertising and marketing working in a diversity of industries ranging from financial services to collectibles. She served as Editor-in-Chief for Innovations, a new product development publication, and as Contributing Editor for numerous trade publications including Giftware News, Supermarket News and Packaging Digest.

As the U.S. Marketing Director for the distributor of world famous M.I. Hummel figurines, Bette served as a company spokeswoman and public relations figurehead. Much of her career, however, was spent in the challenging environment of advertising agencies-including a five-year stint as co-owner and Creative Director of the award-winning OTK Advertising Agency.

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Spare Change 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 150 reviews.
MisfitGeek More than 1 year ago
This book is full of southern charm and wit. This heartwarming story pulled me in from the beginning and didn’t let me go. The characters are dynamic, endearing, and unforgettable. I would highly recommend this finely crafted, wonderful book.
sjkk More than 1 year ago
Wonderful, heart tugging story. Couldn't put it down, I just HAD to know what would happen next.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A nice story a little sad but we'll written
anniemichelle More than 1 year ago
Spare Change is a wonderful, uplifting and heart tugging gem of a little book. I love the southern “lingo” it makes me smile and reminds me of the time I spent in the south. Olivia is a woman who is sure children will never be in her future, she sees no need of them at all. Ethan Allen (I had a good laugh at this name!) is a little boy badly in need of some love and attention especially when he witnesses the death of his mother. Afraid for his life, Ethan Allen runs off to find his grandpa but he finds Olivia instead and together with a zany cast of fun characters they find and fend off the man who murdered his mother. Olivia & Ethan Realize love can conquer all and that they were meant to find and love each other. I very much enjoyed this sweet book Bette offered me for review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
it just dragged on and on and on. I finally gave up halfway through and deleted it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good story that keeps your interest.
Jujubees More than 1 year ago
I started by reading "Memory House" and enjoyed the book and was curious as to the history of some of the stories associated with it. I really enjoyed this book and will most likely read other books connected to Memory House
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved the story and writing style. 4.5
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one good read. The story and it's twists kept me on edge and wondering when and if the bad guys would be punished and the good would finally triumph.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Such a good story. the characters are so real you will remember them for a very long time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is so good you will won't to read it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this and Jubilee's Journey both. Character's are well developed. Story weaves nicely.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Would recommend this book
LoriannJ More than 1 year ago
This is a great book, a work of literature!  It is sometimes bloody and tragic, sometimes crude, sometimes surprising but always riveting, interesting, exciting, loving and well worth the read.  Author, Bette Lee Crosby gave me her book in return for an honest review.  My honest review is that I loved it!  Thanks Bette.  :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great Read. Si knows exactly what he is talking about. You just need to Speak Si.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really enjoyed the story. Had you wondering until the very end. And falling in love with the characters.
Anonymous 14 days ago
This was a thoroughly delightful book. I typically don't write book reviews; however, this was so enjoyable, and different from my usual reading preference I felt compelled to make a comment. I am a mystery/suspense fan and love detective or legal thrillers. Though this book was none of those, I was captured from the beginning. I loved the characters, and the individual perspectives of each as they relayed their story. Thanks, Ms. Crosby, for a refreshing change of pace.
Anonymous 5 months ago
A good read
AnnieMcDonnell 6 months ago
This was our Book Club Read for the month and I am so happy it was chosen because everyone loved the book! Bette Lee Crosby can always deliver a story like no other! I was engrossed from the first few pages. We meet several characters along the way and they each have such life they practically jump off the page. While reading the book I heard their voices, felt their emotions and truly developed feelings for each of them. But Ethan Allen was my favorite. I became one of his biggest champions along the way, and I have no doubt you will, too! Olivia Webster is a single woman in the 1950’s working for the Southern Atlantic Telephone Company in Richmond, Virginia and she wanted her life to stay that way. She did not want children. She did not want a husband. She was all about her life as a professional woman until she met Charlie Doyle at a retirement party. He was as taken in by her. You see Charlie was always wanting to remain single because he was quite the lady’s man until he met Olivia. Together they were to change their lives and start a new adventure together as a married couple. Only tragedy strikes. Benjamin is Charlie’s son and he is married to Susanna. They have a son named Ethan Allen. They live on a farm in the country and Susanna dreamed of becoming a singer in New York City. However, tragedy strikes them as well. This is the story of what happens after all of this loss and how Ethan Allen survives. I was in love with the ending of the story. I highly recommend this book!! You will sit for an evening. You will fall in love. You will then want to read another one of Bette Lee Crosby’s books. Go get it and enjoy!
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Anonymous 12 months ago
I love a good book
DanaBurgess on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
From page one I found myself squarely in Olivia's court. I loved her spunk and her resolve - even if I didn't agree with her reasoning. She is a hoot and a half - strong, determined, superstitious as all heck, loving and absolutely the kind of friend every woman should have at least one of. Before I realized what was happening, I was also drawn into Ethan's life and he had made a nest for himself in my heart right next to Olivia's - where it should be. This was a 'can't put it down' read - Bette Lee Crosby grabbed me by the heart on page one of Spare Change and dragged me through every emotion known to man before she eased up at the last page and left me with a new love. It doesn't happen often but my top 68 is now my top 69.There is a bit of an abrupt and unexpected change from Olivia's story to Ethan's on page 29 so pay attention to the chapter headings and don't get lost. I loved the way, before each chapter, we get a page of what could be the character's diary. Just a few paragraphs of their thoughts and feelings in their own words. It made the characters come alive and added to the story line in a way that makes the book a "must read".Aside from the characters and the plot, which are amazingly well constructed, Ms Crosby's writing style is a treat. It flows quickly and easily and is edged with humour. She is the type of storyteller that can transport the reader to another place and time to the exclusion of all else. I was rather abruptly returned to my living room, after what I thought was just a few minutes of reading after supper, by my husband patting my arm and asking if I was coming to bed. Where did that time go? Doesn't matter - it was time well spent.
JaneSteen on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Where I got the book: free copy from the author.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.Bette Lee Crosby, if this book is anything to go by, is at her strongest when she's setting up a scene. For me, the weakest point of the book was the part with the most action (how unusual is that?) The descriptions of the characters' backgrounds were terrific, and the author's understanding of grief is deep and poignant.I detected a number of small editing errors, but not enough to spoil my enjoyment of a good read.