Thursday, November 6, 2014

Guest Post: Bette Lee Crosby

I am so happy to welcome author Bette Lee Crosby to the blog today. I "met" Bette a little over a year ago, and we became fast friends! She writes the most beautiful, heartwarming stories with a southern flair and phenomenal characters. Bette's books have won several awards along with winning the hearts of readers everywhere. She has graciously written a fabulous article for us, and I know you will all enjoy getting to know her as much as I have. You can find out more about Bette and how to connect with her at the end of this post.


I’m a Southern gal at heart and every Southerner knows before you settle in to enjoy the sweet tea and cinnamon buns you thank your hostess for inviting you…so I’d like to curtsey and say I’m mighty pleased to be Michele’s guest on A Belle’s Tales.

I say I’m a Southern gal, which is absolutely true. I write in a Southern voice and think in a Southern voice, but the down and dirty truth is that I was raised in the New Jersey. It’s the skeleton in my closet and I’m planning to keep it there. 
I have to because I’ve fallen in with a bunch of delightfully amusing characters, and I’m simply not ready to walk away. Southerners, especially fictitious ones, are out and out fun. They have big hearts, sassy mouths, and lots of superstitions. Trust me, once you visit the fictional town of Wyattsville, Virginia you’ll discover there’s a touch of the South in us all. 
Chances are you’ll want to move in next door to Spare Change’s Olivia Westerly—she’s a woman who believes eleven is the unluckiest number in the world and wants nothing to do with children. But remember I warned you about those big hearts; so when eleven year-old Ethan Allen shows up on her doorstep with his mama dead and a murderer on his trail, she does what almost any Southern Mama would do…no, I’m not going to tell you and spoil the fun of reading. I will however caution you that when you stop by, be prepared for a few cuss words because Ethan Allen has a storehouse of them and no matter how often Olivia tells him to watch his mouth, they still slide out.
Long before Ethan Allen came into my life, I realized that despite my upbringing I was destined to write Southern Fiction. It’s okay; I’m entitled. My mama and daddy were from the South. If I were truly a Jersey Girl, I wouldn’t call them Mama and Daddy. I’d call them Mom and Pop.
People from New Jersey talk differently. They don’t say y’all; they say you guys. ‘You guys’ is both masculine and feminine, singular and plural.  The same is true for y’all.
When I lived in New Jersey, I spoke like my friends; but once I entered that secret place where it was only me, my computer and my characters, I rediscovered my Southern heritage. I started remembering the soft round words of my aunts and uncles. I remembered hot summer nights and chasing fireflies, walking barefoot in the grass and wading in the icy cold creek. And I remembered making ice cream instead of buying it. The truth is I can’t say that all these memories are mine; I may have scooped a few of them up from my Mama’s stories and simply claimed them as my own. Either way they now belong to me, and I’m free to pursue the stories of my heart.
We moved as far south as we could go and I’ve opened myself up to these sweet memories and quirky characters. In time they became me, just as I’d become them. Yep, there’s a little piece of me in almost every one of them—even the bad guys.
Most days, I’m less like the bad guy and more like Olivia. And like her, I’m always ready to welcome a new friend into my life; so please stop by, sit a spell and let’s get to know one another.

REVIEWER PRAISE FOR SPARE CHANGE:

Midwest Book Review - Skillfully written, "Spare Change" clearly demonstrates Bette Lee Crosby's ability to engage her reader’s rapt attention from beginning to end. A thoroughly entertaining work of immense literary merit. Strongly recommended for library literary fiction and mystery collections.
Seattle Post Intelligence - Bette Lee Crosby's Spare Change is a quirky mix of Southern flair, serious thoughts about important things in life, madcap adventures of a young boy and a late change of heart that made all the difference in the life of an unusually independent woman. More than anything, it is a heartwarming book, which is simultaneously intriguing and just plain fun.
Popcorn Reads - Bette Lee Crosby has written a novel that’s been compared to work by John Grisham and Harper Lee. I’d add that it also has elements of Tennessee Williams. This is the gritty rural South with its dysfunction, eccentricities and quirkiness, and, beyond that, its down home goodness. If you want a thriller that’s exciting but will also twist your heartstrings then Spare Change needs to be on your reading list.
Spare Change (Wyattsville #1) Jubilee's Journey (Wyattsville #2) Passing through Perfect: The Wyattsville Series, Book 3
About the author: 

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.

“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 then, she has gone on to win another fifteen literary awards, including the Royal Palm Literary Award, The Reviewer’s Choice Award, and the FPA President’s Book Award Gold Medal.

A third book in her Wyattsville Series is scheduled for release in January 2015 and the third book in the Serendipity Series will follow in the Spring of 2015.

You can find Bette here: 








Thank you so much for stopping by, Bette, and for the wonderful article! Congratulations on the upcoming release of book three in the Wyattsville series, Passing through Perfect. I look forward to adding it to my collection. 
© at A Belle's Tales

  

13 comments:

  1. This was a fun post! And Yay! to southern girls! :)

    <3YOU!

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    1. Southern girls UNITE! lol Love YOU, sweet thang <3

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  2. I love that she was raised in Jersey but is a Southern girl at heart! And "you guys" is the correct way to address a group of people (speaking as a New Yorker lol) -- Thanks for sharing =]

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    1. I adore you, you New Yorker, you! *smoosh*

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  3. Ahh yes, Southern gals... I am a Southern gal at heart even though I have never been down south. I am a Western girl, but I have been in love with all things Southern since I read Gone with the Wind. I enjoy Ms. Bette's books, looking forward to her third.

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    1. You are definitely a southern girl at heart, Heidi! *hugs*

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  4. I adore Betty and her novels. Fantastic post!

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  5. Heh. I do both - 'you guys' and 'y'all'. I tends to depend on who I'm around. Great post, I have got to read her books.

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    1. I say both, too! lol Thanks, Christy!

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  6. I'll have to add a few of these books to my TBR list! I love a good Southern story to take me back to my roots! :) Great post!

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  7. Thank you all for your kind words ~ Waving Hi to Kimba and Heidi ~ I have been out of commission for a few weeks, so kind of slow on the draw (or drawl as we sort of Southerners say) but please know how much I appreciate seeing all these lovely comments. Michele is a sweetheart for having me on here and she truly is the epitome of a Southern Belle :-)

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