Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Small Change

Today's special guest is Sheila Roberts. Sheila lives in the Pacific Northwest. She's happily married and has three children. 
Writing since 1989, Sheila’s books have been printed in several different languages and have been chosen for book clubs such as Doubleday as well as for Readers Digest Condensed books. Her best-selling novel ON STRIKE FOR CHRISTMAS was made into a movie and appeared on the Lifetime Movie Network, and her novel THE NINE LIVES OF CHRISTMAS has just been optioned for film. Her novel ANGEL LANE was named one of Amazon’s Top Ten Romances for 2009.
When she's not making public appearances or playing with her friends, she can be found writing about those things near and dear to women's hearts: family, friends, and chocolate.


I asked Sheila what her inspiration was for writing SMALL CHANGE. Here is her answer:

My inspiration for writing SMALL CHANGE came from watching people struggling with financial challenges. Remember when so many of us were upside down on our houses? Getting laid off? Having trouble making ends meet? (Heck, you might still be in that leaky financial boat. A lot of us still are!) I loooked around and saw so many people left with too much month at the end of the money, grappling with which bills to pay and which to leave for next time, and just plain not having fun and thought, I want to address this in some small way.
If there was one thing I was an expert on, it was learning to live well in lean times. My husband and I had so many financial challenges over the years I used to joke that I took a vow of poverty when I married. Still, we managed to raise three kids, pay off our house, barter for goods and services, and even travel. We didn’t let a small detail like being broke stop us from getting the kind of life we wanted.
I felt like it was time to spread the message that a shift in attitude and behavior can take a woman almost anywhere she wants to go. I’m a firm believer that if you make enough small changes in your life and attitude they can add up to a big difference. Of course, I don’t say this to minimize the very real challenges so many people have had to face. Money worries are horrible. But for every challenge there is a solution, and sometimes that solution comes from doing some research and putting in place a good support system, which is what my three friends, Rachel, Jess, and Tiffany do in SMALL CHANGE.
I’ll be the first to admit that some of the money-saving measures my characters adopt, in and of themselves, won’t pay the mortgage in real life. But they’re still valid. Learning to cut expenses and shave corners in lots of small ways will eventually save us money. So will learning to live within our means. So will asking for help when we need it. Most of all, so will realizing we don’t need as much stuff as we think we need to be happy.
These are such simple truths, but they’re not easy to put into practice, which is why the friends in my book band together to help each other with their issues and start their own Small Change Club. There is strength in numbers. With the help and encouragement of others we can all make important life changes. And I hope that reading this book will inspire readers to do just that.


Take a trip to the charming little town of Heart Lake, and meet three best friends you’ll never forget. . . .

Rachel, Jessica, and Tiffany have major money problems. Tiffany’s whipped out the plastic one too many times, and now a mountain of debt has come crashing down on her. Jessica’s husband has lost his job, thrusting this longtime stay-at-home mom out into the cold, cruel workforce. And Rachel’s divorce transformed her from an upper-middle-class mom to a strapped-for-cash divorcée. So the three women start a financial support group called the Small Change Club—vowing to bring balance back to their checkbooks…and, in turn, their lives. Along the way they learn some valuable lessons—that friendship is an investment that keeps on growing and that sometimes love, like a loose coin, can be found in the most unexpected places…

“Roberts’s trademark humor and memorable characters wrestling with real-life issues add up to a novel that will make readers smile and wish for more.”—BookPage


There it sat, a Cloud Nine queen-sized luxury gold comforter with red ribbon appliqué and metallic embroidery. Forty-percent off. It was the last one left. Tiffany Turner had seen it, and so had the other woman.

The woman caught Tiffany looking at it and her eyes narrowed. Tiffany narrowed hers right back. Her competitor was somewhere in her fifties, dressed for comfort in jeans and a sweater, her feet shod in tennis shoes for quick movement – obviously a sale veteran, but Tiffany wasn’t intimidated. She was younger. She had the drive, the determination.
It only took that one second to start the race. The other woman strode toward the comforter with the confidence that comes with age, her hand stretched toward the prize.
Tiffany chose that moment to look over her competitor’s shoulder. Her eyes went wide and she gasped. “Oh, my gosh.” Her hands flew to her face in horror.
The other woman turned to see the calamity happening in back of her.
And that was her undoing. In a superhuman leap, Tiffany bagged the comforter just as her competitor turned back. Score.

Boy, if looks could kill.
It would be rude to gloat.  Tiffany gave an apologetic shrug and murmured, “Sorry.”
The woman paid her homage with a reluctant nod. “You’re good.”
Yes, I am. “Thanks,” Tiffany murmured, and left the field of battle for the customer service counter.

As she walked away, she heard the other woman mutter, “Little beast.”

Okay, now she’d gloat.


Sheila will be awarding a copy of Small Change and a $25 Visa gift card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour (US ONLY), and a $25 Visa gift card to a randomly drawn host.
Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: 

Find Sheila on Facebook as Sheila Roberts, author

Twitter: _Sheila_Roberts