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Spare Change: The Memory House Collection (The Wyattsville Series Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Bette Lee Crosby
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (443 customer reviews)

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Book Description

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.

A Memory House Collection Novel and five-time literary award winner. Awards include the Reviewer's Choice Award, The Royal Palm Literary Award, The FPA President's Book Award Silver Medal.


Editorial Reviews

Review

"Skillfully written, Spare Change clearly demonstrates Crosby's ability to engage her readers rapt attention from beginning to end. A thoroughly entertaining work of immense literary merit, especially recommended for fans of well=crafted storytelling populated by memorable characters caught up in equally memorable circumstances."Midwest Book Review

A Good Read Full of Emotion... The Kindle Book Review

A heartwarming book... Seattle Post Intelligence

Characters that touch you, a book to share with others. The Caffeinated Book Review

Fantastic characters and story flow... Hollis Bookshelf

Reminiscent of Harper Lee's To Kill A Mocking Bird... Book Luvin' Babes

Spare Change is a quirky mix of Southern flair, serious thoughts about the important things in life, the adventures of a young boy and a late change of heart that makes all the difference in an unusually independent woman. More than anything, it is a heartwarming book which is simultaneously intriguing and just plain fun. Seattle Post Intelligence

Love, loss and unexpected gifts...Told from multiple points of view, this tale seeped from the pages and wrapped itself around my heart. The Caffeinated Book Review

Heartwarming story about a strong woman who learns life's greatest joys often come in the form of the very thing we reject. Book Pleasures

Rapidly Unraveling Mystery, enjoyable storyline, lively dialogue. Every Character is well-defined and believable. Reader Views

From the Author

New release MEMORY HOUSE is available for pre-order now!

Product Details

  • File Size: 1672 KB
  • Print Length: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Bent Pine Publishing; First Edition edition (November 11, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005SHN43A
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #58,488 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
58 of 63 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I really enjoyed reading this book! May 29, 2012
By Midu
Format:Paperback
You know those stories on issues that are really depressing and make us want to kill ourselves after reading them? This was NOT that kinda story. This was the exact opposite. Ethan Allen, or that damned kid, goes through so much and I was right there with him through all of it. But not once does the author make it seem oppressive. When things seem too much, he finds help and kindness in unlikely places. Similar is the case with Olivia. The story does involve religion but it is never preachy, in fact, it is included in a light and humorous manner. What I loved the most was the streak of humor and light heartedness that was kept running steadily in the story.
Issues that I had with the book:
Olivia's superstition was absent in her single life and makes a sudden appearance afterwards-if it was such an important part of her, it should have been there from the beginning.
The story felt like it was being dragged needlessly towards the end.
All said and done, I really enjoyed reading this book!
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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Read, Full of Emotion April 15, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
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.

Spare change see's the story of Olivia Westerly who thinks that eleven is the unluckiest number on earth, children weigh you down and cannot let herself fall in love. She's managed to avoid marriage for forty years but then along came Charlie Doyle. Newlyweds on they're honeymoon when disaster strikes, things will never be the same again for Olivia.

In another city far away we see Ethan Allen Doyle, an eleven year old boy who is setting off on a journey to find his grandpa after his parents are found dead. But unfortunately for him there is someone hot on his tails.

This book is written well, it has a strong storyline and I loved the way that the stories ran so well, I soon found myself engrossed into the stories of both Olivia and Ethan. There is many scenes filled with humour and quick wit alongside scenes of sadness and heartbreak, the way the writer has wrote the scenes so beautifully is wonderful.

All in all a good read, I don't want to give anything away but I was personally abit disappointed with the ending, but that is probably because I'd of liked to of read more

Hayley Sale ~ The Kindle Book Review
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Resilience, Love, Commitment & Memorable Characters December 27, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Crosby has penned a story that touches your heart and engages with skill. Ethan Allen is a wise-beyond-his-years kid schooled by tough times and equally hard-bitten parents. Life serves up challenge after challenge and Ethan struggles to survive. Along the way he encounters a cast of characters--some dish out kindness and others ooze meanness.All are affected by Ethan's presence in their lives and ultimately Ethan--and the reader--learn what it means to have courage and love.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A funny, poignant novel August 22, 2012
Format:Paperback
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.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Affirmation of the Wisdom of Older Women August 24, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'm constantly looking for stories about older women evolving, so Spare Change filled that need. A couple of things I found noteworthy: the characters were multi-dimensional, the book was well-paced, the dramatic tension pulled me in and kept me hungry to learn more. I found the main characters to be people I could root for (or hate, as the case may be), and the ending was satisfying (except the very last chapter was maybe more than we needed. The second to last was satisfying enough. But I'm kind of a minimalist so that probably reflects my tendency more than anything!)

I think my favorite part was when Olivia was returning from her honeymoon and while on the road, an old woman nurtured her back to health, at least enough to get home. I liked the old woman - the whole idea of people looking out for each other is a big deal for me. I enjoyed the camaraderie of the house where Charlie had lived, and how Olivia finally emerged from her ordeal (trying to avoid spoilers here) with the help of a concerned neighbor, who spread the word to the rest of the residents. I also liked how the little boy, Ethan Allen, turned back into a kid after such a rough beginning and how Olivia blossomed into a mama bear. There was a lot here to feed your heart, and Bette Lee Crosby does a good job of meting it out with just the right amount of suspense and tension.

Spare Change had plenty to recommend it and I enjoyed every page.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars This One is a MUST READ!
Some stories burrow into your heart, Spare Change by Bette Lee Crosby hit mine like a jack hammer, digging deeper and deeper until there was no way, I was putting this down until... Read more
Published 6 days ago by Dii
5.0 out of 5 stars A story of searching. A story of finding. Both left me with a smile....
The book that started my love for this authors stories. It came highly recommended by a friend and I'm so glad I listened. A great lady and a little boy searching. Read more
Published 8 days ago by Michelle Crumbly
5.0 out of 5 stars What a wonderful book. Humans helping humans even if they don't ...
What a wonderful book. Humans helping humans even if they don't realize they need help to love. Olivia and Ethan are characters to remember. Read more
Published 11 days ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars a story of hope and a future
"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. Read more
Published 14 days ago by Anna
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I just really liked it !!
Published 18 days ago by Geri Elsevier
4.0 out of 5 stars Love, Loved the spin at the end brilliant
It was a page turner for me. To see what the main character went thru and what he over came pulled at my heart strings. Love , Loved the spin at the end brilliant!!
Published 19 days ago by Chevelle
2.0 out of 5 stars Messy
Sorry but didn't like it. The first half was a mess, then gelled toward the end. Too simplistic and and just off-putting.
Published 19 days ago by Jeri E
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read!
Awesome story line. Great character development and extremely interesting tale crafting. I thoroughly enjoyed the unique way the story unfolded
Published 24 days ago by margaret falcon
4.0 out of 5 stars I thoroughly enjoyed the story line of this book and the way ...
This is my second book by this author and will not be my last. I thoroughly enjoyed the story line of this book and the way the story was told from multiple perspectives. Read more
Published 28 days ago by sapr
5.0 out of 5 stars A very heart warming book
This book was not my usual mystery and suspense genre but it was very compelling and enjoyable. A good read!
Published 28 days ago by Kindle Customer
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More About the Author

USA Today Bestselling and Award-winning novelist Bette Lee Crosby's books are "Well-crafted storytelling populated by memorable characters caught up in equally memorable circumstances." - Midwest Book Review

The Seattle Post Intelligencer says Crosby's writing is, "A quirky mix of Southern flair, serious thoughts about important things in life and madcap adventures."

Samantha from Reader's Favorite raves, "Crosby writes the type of book you can't stop thinking about long after you put it down."

"Storytelling is in my blood," Crosby laughingly admits, "My mom was not a writer, but she was a captivating storyteller, so I find myself using bits and pieces of her voice in most everything I write."

It is the wit and wisdom of that Southern Mama Crosby brings to her works of fiction; the result is a delightful blend of humor, mystery and romance along with a cast of quirky charters who will steal your heart away. Her work was first recognized in 2006 when she received The National League of American Pen Women Award for a then unpublished manuscript. She has since gone on to win nineteen awards for her work; these include: TheRoyal Palm Literary Award, the FPA President's Book Award Gold Medal, Reader's Favorite Award Gold Medal, and the Reviewer's Choice Award.

Crosby's published works to date are: Memory House (2015), Passing through Perfect (2015), Wishing for Wonderful (2014), Blueberry Hill (2014), Previously Loved Treasures (2014), Jubilee's Journey (2013), What Matters Most (2013), The Twelfth Child (2012), Life in the Land of IS (2012), Cracks in the Sidewalk (2011), Spare Change (2011).

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