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Spare Change (Wyattsville, #1)
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The Wyattsville Series Giveaway

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Bette Crosby (bette_lee_crosby) | 29 comments I am delighted to be here today and to have the chance to introduce historical fiction lovers to my Wyattsville Series. My family is from the South, so all of the stories are written in a Southern voice, so you’ll find plenty of down-home logic but I think y’all will enjoy it.

Wyattsville is a fiction town in Virginia, but I’ve included lots of references to real locations such as Richmond and the Eastern Shore area, so you get the feel of where you are. Timewise, Spare Change, the first book is the series starts in the 1920’s and moves into the 50’s so let’s start there...

Some people call this time period “historical” and others call it “The good old days.” I think it’s a little of both. I love the simplicity of the times because there can be no cell phone call for help, or no computerize search for the guilty party’s fingerprints. So, my characters usually have to work things out with little more than common sense, gut instinct, and a little help from some good neighbors.

In Spare Change, the first book in the series, you meet Olivia Westerly, a woman ahead of her time. Flying in the face of tradition, she tosses her nose in the air and leaves home in pursuit of a job her father considered scandalous, so he disowned her. He’d expected her to marry and settle into having babies as her friends had done, but Olivia simply couldn’t tolerate the thought.

I think it’s interesting to see that what was taboo then is the norm now. What do you think are the biggest social advances we have made in the past 100 years?

Everyone who posts a comment below will be entered into a drawing for an e-book copy of Spare Change. The winner will be announced in tomorrow’s post and on the American Historical Novels Facebook page.


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Dyana | 189 comments For one thing - most women don’t want to get married right away and have children. They want to be independent and do things on their own.


Bette Crosby (bette_lee_crosby) | 29 comments Dyana wrote: "For one thing - most women don’t want to get married right away and have children. They want to be independent and do things on their own."

I think you are right Dyana, In Spare Change Olivia felt that way - but she was a woman ahead of her time. I kind of like that.


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Connie Saunders | 4 comments I was born in 1950 and my childhood was spent in a small town in Kentucky. Most women still worked at home so there were few "latch-key". One of the glaring differences in that period and today was the treatment of unwed pregnancies. Girls who became pregnant during high school were forced to leave school and many were sent away to homes in other cities. There was a popular cheerleader and star basketball player who tried to elope and the girl was suspended from our high school. No, she wasn't pregnant but this was not the standard in 1966 Kentucky! So yes, Bette, many taboos have been broken in my lifetime and the other years of the 20th century!


Heather I used to live in North Carolina and have fond memories of living in the south. The accent I picked up was a real novelty when I moved back to Canada.


Bette Crosby (bette_lee_crosby) | 29 comments Heather wrote: "I used to live in North Carolina and have fond memories of living in the south. The accent I picked up was a real novelty when I moved back to Canada."

When my family moved to NJ from Virginia, everyone laughed at the way I spoke (I was a teen and you know how teens can be!) So I hear what you're saying.


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Donamae Clausen kutska | 2 comments In the 60 s if a girl got pregnant it was hidden. Now it’s the opposite. Mothers stayed home and took care of the family. The father was the head of the house. He was the one that worked.


Linda Weber Back then when couples got married they usually settled close to home. Now it seems most end up moving away and families are spread all over.


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Rebecca Rosenberg (rebeccarosenberg) | 270 comments Mod
Very interesting time period, Bette. Can't wait to hear more!


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Laurice | 3 comments The one that most impacts my life most is the advancement of women and the change in their roles.


Cecile VanTyne I was born in 1957 in Portsmouth, Virginia. My father worked for the Army & Air Force Exchange Service so we moved every few years. The most important thing to me was having my books with me! My children included, kids are growing up with so much stuff and most of it doesn't really mean anything to them. It was an easier, less cluttered time!


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Debbie | 78 comments Women are now encouraged to further their education and have a career. This change is good for the women who want to do so. I feel it has also been good for men. It takes some of the pressure off of them to provide and be the sole breadwinner. It seems to work better when responsibilities are shared. I’m thankful that this has been what me and my husband have done and continue to do. There have been times when he didn’t have a job but I’ve been steadily working at the same company since before we married. It has helped him find what he really wants to do. And he’s always done an equal amount of work in the house and raising our daughter.


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Martha Conway | 255 comments Mod
Debbie wrote: "Women are now encouraged to further their education and have a career. This change is good for the women who want to do so. I feel it has also been good for men. It takes some of the pressure off ..."

I wholeheartedly agree. And good for children, too, to have closer relationships with their fathers. When I was growing up, only my father was allowed to talk at the dinner table, and he talked mostly about his day at the office. I love the fact that my son plays computer games with his dad, and has a real relationship with him based on common interests. And my husband bakes with my daughter. I just can't imagine my dad (though I love him!) doing these things, but he is very old school.


Cheryl (cheryl_cheatham) | 1 comments I think the movement toward equality for all people is a huge change. We still have a long way to go, but I like that we keep moving forward.


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Linda Bridges (lindajoyb) | 68 comments I love strong female characters & wonder how hard that was during the Happy Days" 50's. I was just a kid then so didn't realize things were any different than they appeared. All the women I knew were stay at home moms who seemed fine with that. I wonder?


Bette Crosby (bette_lee_crosby) | 29 comments Connie wrote: "I was born in 1950 and my childhood was spent in a small town in Kentucky. Most women still worked at home so there were few "latch-key". One of the glaring differences in that period and today was..."

Quite different now, isn't it? I recently noticed a car commercial where they were talking about 3 different models of cars and the first one was..."This is perfect for when you first move in together..." LOL ~shakes head and laughs~


Bette Crosby (bette_lee_crosby) | 29 comments Cheryl wrote: "I think the movement toward equality for all people is a huge change. We still have a long way to go, but I like that we keep moving forward."

Agreed. You have to come back on Wednesday Cheryl when I will be talking about Passing Through Perfect - it is the story of a young black man in Alabama in the 1940's. It's not as well known as some of my other work, but I think it's my most powerful piece.


Bette Crosby (bette_lee_crosby) | 29 comments Donamae wrote: "In the 60 s if a girl got pregnant it was hidden. Now it’s the opposite. Mothers stayed home and took care of the family. The father was the head of the house. He was the one that worked."

I know, very different now. We've gained a lot but we lost something also. I think that why I love to write about that era so much.


Bette Crosby (bette_lee_crosby) | 29 comments Linda wrote: "I love strong female characters & wonder how hard that was during the Happy Days" 50's. I was just a kid then so didn't realize things were any different than they appeared. All the women I knew we..."

I think society's attitude changed. A lot of women worked then too, but people did not think being a stay at home mom was just being a housewife. Truthfully speaking, it is one of the most important jobs in our society... moms are the ones raising the future of our world. BIG JOB!


Bette Crosby (bette_lee_crosby) | 29 comments Linda wrote: "Back then when couples got married they usually settled close to home. Now it seems most end up moving away and families are spread all over."

Cheryl wrote: "I think the movement toward equality for all people is a huge change. We still have a long way to go, but I like that we keep moving forward."

We live in a very transient society - people go where the jobs are.


Bette Crosby (bette_lee_crosby) | 29 comments Linda wrote: "I love strong female characters & wonder how hard that was during the Happy Days" 50's. I was just a kid then so didn't realize things were any different than they appeared. All the women I knew we..."

I love strong female characters also Linda, when I happen upon a book that has a woman whining about the lot life has handed her, it is usually a DNF for me. :)


Linda Smith (lindasmith-abookninja) | 6 comments Olivia was very strong willed for that time period. That's something that I love about your writing. Your characters are very three dimensional. There have been so many changes over the past decades - some good, some far from good. The family unit has completely changed due to the necessity for both parents to work. Children are left with sitters or watch one another. I miss 'the good old days' for so many reasons!


Bette Crosby (bette_lee_crosby) | 29 comments Linda wrote: "Olivia was very strong willed for that time period. That's something that I love about your writing. Your characters are very three dimensional. There have been so many changes over the past decade..."

I think a lot of people do Linda, that's what makes it so much fun to write about this time period. It is very "Father knows Best", "Leav it to Beaver", etc.


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Jeanineitsme | 5 comments I can't even imagine what it was like back them, but I know that life is so different now. We live in a fast paced world and in some ways it's good, but in other ways I think the old days had a charm that we're missing now. I don't see that getting better...


Bette Crosby (bette_lee_crosby) | 29 comments Jeanineitsme wrote: "I can't even imagine what it was like back them, but I know that life is so different now. We live in a fast paced world and in some ways it's good, but in other ways I think the old days had a cha..."

I think that is why I enjoy writing about that period so much. Definitely simpler times. In some ways tougher, in some ways easier.


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Diana  (dianabjarkofahrenbruck) I grew up in the 50’s and 60’s and there were many women who did not work other than the important job of being a wife and mother and friend. I can so remember my mom having her friends over for coffee and they would visit and laugh and talk for hours and then one would jump up and say “Oh no, it’s almost 5pm, I have to get home and fix dinner”. They would do this at all their homes and all us kids would play for hours. “That was the good old days”😍


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Bonnye Reed (brf1948) | 11 comments You know what makes me feel OLD? The realization that the times of my youth are now historical times....


Bette Crosby (bette_lee_crosby) | 29 comments Bonnye Reed wrote: "You know what makes me feel OLD? The realization that the times of my youth are now historical times...."

LOL - I know exactly what you mean Bonnye, did you see my first post about Spare Change? IN it I said that I write fiction set in the 40's & 50's - some people call it historical fiction, others call it the good old days. HaHa


Bette Crosby (bette_lee_crosby) | 29 comments Diana wrote: "I grew up in the 50’s and 60’s and there were many women who did not work other than the important job of being a wife and mother and friend. I can so remember my mom having her friends over for co..."

Agreed Diana


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