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Spare Change (The Wyattsville Series) [Kindle Edition]

Bette Lee Crosby
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (312 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $14.00
Kindle Price: $4.99
You Save: $9.01 (64%)

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Paperback $12.47  
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Book Description

USA Today Bestseller, Five Time Literary Award Winner
 
Featured Author Book Expo America May 29-31-- Booth 2368
 
In a story that's 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, Crosby unveils the darkest side of human nature and then rewards her readers with a 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. Olivia 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.
 
>˃˃˃ 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 Intelligence
 
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-Jackson
 
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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

So proud that Spare Change made the USA Today Bestseller list in October 2013!
The sequel, Jubilee's Journey, is available November 2013.

Product Details

  • File Size: 698 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:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,060 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 22 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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38 of 43 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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19 of 20 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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12 of 13 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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11 of 12 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
4.0 out of 5 stars Sweet
A very sweet, nostalgic tale with some mostly lovable characters. It seemed almost like an episode of The Waltons, if the Waltons engaged in adultery and murder.
Published 6 days ago by Rick R. Reed
5.0 out of 5 stars great surprise! really enjoyed this book
We'll written and engaging from beginning to end! Love the discount prices on amazon as well! Download and enjoy the book!
Published 8 days ago by L. Sayre
4.0 out of 5 stars There are Ethan Allen's all over that need someone
When Spare Change started I was honestly mixed up. After staying with it you will learn you are reading the thoughts of each character-which you come to know and love. Read more
Published 13 days ago by asknancy
5.0 out of 5 stars loved it
This is a truly remarkable read from a fantastic author.
It's Mothers Day today so I knew I had the day to myself to read. Read more
Published 19 days ago by Phil
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
I truly enjoyed this book. I just couldn't wait to see how the the worlds of Ethan Allen and Olivia would collide. Read more
Published 20 days ago by Teresa graham
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book ever.
Best book ever!!! Entertaining for the moment I picked up the book. Love Bette Lee Crosby and look forward
To reading more of her books. Read more
Published 23 days ago by rhonda
5.0 out of 5 stars A definite favorite!!
I loved this book!!! Could not put it down.....a beautiful story of love, family, and what really matters! I can't wait for more books from Bette Lee Crosby.
Published 25 days ago by La Rae Roberts
5.0 out of 5 stars great read
I really enjoyed reading this book and actually read it twice, that's saying something for the author. The characters were believable and what a great story. Read more
Published 28 days ago by Darlene Thomas
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't wait for another
This was my first book by Betty Lee Crosby and I read it after my daughter told me how much she enjoyed it. Read more
Published 28 days ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars exciting fiction
This book started out slowly, but as I had more time without interruptions, it began to come together for me. Then I didn't want to put it down. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Willie Scott
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More About the Author

USA Today Bestselling and Award-winning novelist Bette Lee Crosby brings the wit and wisdom of her Southern Mama to 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.

Born in Detroit and raised in a plethora of states scattered across the South and Northeast, Crosby originally studied art and began her career as a packaging designer. When asked to write a few lines of copy for the back of a pantyhose package, she discovered a love for words that was irrepressible. After years of writing for business, she turned to works of fiction and never looked back. "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."

Crosby's work was first recognized in 2006 when she received The National League of American Pen Women Award for a then unpublished manuscript. Since that, she has gone on to win several more awards, including another NLAPW award, Royal Palm Literary Awards, the FPA President's Book Award Gold Medal and Reviewer's Choice Award and Reader's View Southeast Fiction Literary Award.

Her published works to date are: Jubilee's Journey (2013), What Matters Most (2013), The Twelfth Child (2012), Cupid's Christmas (2012), Cracks in the Sidewalk (2011), Spare Change (2011), and Life in the Land of IS (2012). Life in the Land of IS is a memoir written for Lani Deauville, a woman the Guinness Book of Records lists as the world's longest living quadriplegic.

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