Spotlight & Giveaway: Small Change by Sheila Roberts

Today it is my pleasure to welcome author Sheila Roberts to HJ!

Spotlight&Giveaway

Hi Sheila, welcome :)

If someone wrote a biography about you, what do you think the title of the book should be? Why?

sheilaI think maybe, “One Small Life Lived in a Big Way” because that’s how I think of my life. I haven’t brokered world peace and I’m no Mother Teresa, but I’ve had a wonderful life full of lots of fun and adventure. The budget hasn’t always been big but I’ve still managed to live large.

Which of your prior characters would you most/least likely invite to dinner and why?

In this book? It would definitely be Rachel’s ex. Oh, wait. Maybe I’d have him over and feed him fried worms. He’s such a skunk. But the three friends? I’d want to hang out with all of them.

Let’s talk about your newest release: Small Change

If you had to summarize the book for the readers here…

SCThis book is about three women with money problems, banding together to help each other improve their lives. I wrote it when things weren’t going so well in the economy and it’s got a lot of great money-saving tips in it. As well as some romance!

Please tell us about the characters in your book

Tiffany, is a shopaholic, trying to fill a void. Rachel is a single-mom trying to simultaneously pay the bills and keep her kids happy with guilt spending. Their friend Jess’s husband has just been downsized and now Jess needs to enter the job market. Which is so not her. Maybe she needs to get creative about earning a living? And maybe Tiffany needs to hide her credit cards from herself. As for Rachel… maybe she needs to find a way to keep them all on track financially. That calls for banding together and helping each other make the kind of small lifestyle changes that can add up to a big difference.

As you wrote your protagonist was there anything about them that surprised you?

No, but there were things about me that surprised me. I’m truly brilliant when it comes to living well on little. :) And it was fun to be able to share some of those tips in the book.

What scene did you most enjoy writing? Why?

I love this scene. My three friends are in the woods, picking wild huckleberries so they can make jams and syrups. Tiffany is very concerned though that they’re going to get eaten by a bear. That would be very costly huckleberry jam!

… as Tiffany’s pot began to fill with berries she got more into the spirit of the outing and even strayed as far as three feet away from Rachel’s side. Progress, indeed.
It was a perfect September day, and the morning sun fell warmly on Rachel’s shoulders, lulling her into a sense of peacefulness. The air smelled so fresh! She took a deep breath, filling her lungs. So what if she was on a shoestring budget? The point was, she was living, really living. She was in love and her children were healthy and she had her friends. And saving money was becoming an adventure.
She was so busy musing on the wonderful turn her life had taken that she didn’t hear the crashing in the underbrush until Tiffany screeched.
“Bear!” cried Tiffany She threw her pot over her shoulder and bolted, starting a female stampede.
She pushed into Jess and Jess’s big pot of berries went flying as well. Jess didn’t stop to mourn. Her eyes were the size of CD’s as Tiffany swept her forward. The two of them collided with Rachel, who was still taking in the whole drama – the screaming friends, the lost harvest, the black shape bounding toward them. Down they all went, like the the Three Stooges in drag.
Tiffany scrambled up, heedless of the branches scratching at her, still screaming like a banshee, and bolted off in a direction that Rachel was sure wouldn’t lead them back to the trail. Jess hauled Rachel up and was ready to follow.
Too late. The animal was upon them. It burst forth from the underbrush and Rachel’s heart stopped. Jess let out a shriek.
And the big, slobbery, overjoyed black lab jumped up on Jess, ready to play and knocked her back down on top of a huckleberry bush.

Who would you cast in the role of your characters if your book were optioned for a movie?

Hmmm. Maybe Jennifer Aniston as Rachel. I think Tiffany looks just like Scarlett Johansson, so let’s offer that part to her. and I could sure see Leah Remini as Rachel. Oh, yes! Let’s turn this book into a movie.

If you could have given your characters one piece of advice before the opening pages of the book, what would it be and why?

Don’t panic, ladies. It’s all going to work out!

What are you currently working on? What other releases do you have planned for 2014?

I’m currently finishing up a novel for Christmas of 2014. This is going to be such a fun year because I have a lot of fun reads coming out: “The Cottage on Juniper Ridge”, “The Tea Shop on Lavender Lane,” and “The Lodge on Holly Road”. (At least I think that’s the title!) And then I’ll be included in a Christmas anthology with Debbie Macomber, Brenda Novak, and RaeAnne Thayne – something I’m very excited about.

Where can readers get in touch with you?

They can find me on Facebook (Sheila Roberts, author), Twitter (_Sheila_Roberts), and of course, my website: http://www.sheilasplace.com

Thanks for blogging at HJ!

GIVEAWAY: A copy of Small Change and a $25 Visa gift card

To enter Giveaway: Please complete the Rafflecopter form and post a comment to this Q: Do you have a special money-saving tip? Care to Share?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Excerpt

After stowing away her garage sale finds Rachel started on some much needed house cleaning. She was washing windows when she heard a lawn mower fire up next door. It was a sound no one had heard over there for a long time, and she peered out the family room window for a closer view. Sure enough, someone was mowing the lawn. Whoa. That was some someone.
She squirted more glass cleaner and quickly rubbed the window for a clearer view.
Holy Danielle Steele, but he was gorgeous. She took in the slim hips encased in Levis, the t-shirt stretched across broad pecs, and the arm muscles rippling under caramel colored skin and swallowed hard. This man could be a cover model. Why was he wasting time mowing lawns? Was there room in the budget for her to hire to come mow hers?
Of course not. Darn.
The sun was out and the weather was balmy, making it a perfect day for weeding flowerbeds. Maybe she would just go out and pull a few weeds. Except she didn’t have a thing to wear.
The man next door was doing the side yard, giving her a clear view of raven black hair and straight black eyebrows, gorgeous brown eyes. And that strong, square jaw, that practically screamed, “Touch me.” Would he like a drink of water? Was he hungry? Was he married? She craned her neck, trying to zoom in on his ring finger.
“Mom, what are you doing?”
Rachel gave a start and the bottle of window cleaner dropped from her weak hand. “Claire.” She picked up the bottle.
Her daughter looked at her like she had slipped a cog. Maybe she had. Ever since her library visit her brain had been operating under the influence of romance novels. From now on she was sticking to finance books. “Did you need something?” she asked. She needed something, and she wasn’t going to find it in any finance tome.

About the book:

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…

 

 

Author: Sara HJ

Sara is the founder of Harlequin Junkie blog and owner of an endless TBR pile. A Portfolio Analyst by day, who moonlights as a book blogger and romance novel enthusiast. Voracious Reader. Addicted Blogger. Shoeaholic. Belly dancer. Undomestic Goddess who thrives on Love, Laughter & HEA's.

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53 Comments

  1. My savings tip is planting your own vegetable garden. First you get plenty of sunshine, you get exercise, but what many people don’t realize is you don’t have to have a green thumb to garden. Because I don’t, but if you get the plants already started, you pay a few pennies more, and you keep them watered , feed them Miracle- Gro, then you will have an over abundance in fruits and vegetables. This year alone I didn’t have to buy any fruit, it was in garden, nor vegetables, except for potato’s. By my calculations I saved over @ 250.00 and the whole garden was less than $50.00. So, I saved myself at least $200.00. B

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  2. Hmm. Money saving tips. . . Don’t eat out all the time and when you do don’t overindulge; beer and other drinks are way cheaper when you buy at the store and drink at home; buy clothes on sale and don’t just focus on designer brands – stores like Kohls are always having sales.

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  3. I clip coupons and look on line before I go shopping! I love Sheila’s books and have read many!

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  4. Watch for sales, plant a garden and/or can, and don’t go out to eat as often.

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  5. check out consignment & resale shop – it’s amazing what they have for sale for great prices!

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  6. My only tip is do not spend what you do not have.

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  7. I wish I had. Then I won’t be so broke. Lol.

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  8. On buy things when they are sale or a great deal. I use coupons too.

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  9. I clip coupons and shop with a list! It helps keep down on impulse buys!

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  10. Become a member of Groupon.

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  11. I try to buy on sale items and use coupons when possible.

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  12. Buy things in quantity when they’re on sale. Check sale ads and make a list and try to stick to it. Eat before food shopping.

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  13. I love making my own cleaning supplies! I make enough laundry soap to last for a year and costs less than twenty dollars. Much less than buying bottle of Tide after bottle of Tide.

    Thank you so much for the post and giveaway! I’d love the chance to win, so fingers crossed. :-)

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  14. lol… I don’t do much for savings but I’ve stopped eating out as much and I’m making more of an effort to cook at home. Healthier but I’m not seeing as much savings yet :) Thanks for sharing!

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  15. A money saving tip would be to buy in bulk and freeze or split it with someone. Also no eating out saves a lot

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  16. Making a grocery list is always helpful and saves money. Thank you for the contest. Look forward to reading the book.

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  17. I buy my cleaning products and paper goods at the dollar store. I also buy my wrapping paper and greeting cards there.

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  18. I have started the add a $1 for 52 weeks, at end of year you will have like $1300. I also use coupons, lots of coupons!!

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  19. buy in bulk and use your freezer

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  20. Try to buy veggies when they are in season. They taste better and are cheaper. I love frozen veggies. They taste great are just as nutritious and are much cheaper. I also love thirft stores. Good for clothes and I get a lot of books there too.

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  21. Participate in your company 401K. Private company do match your contribution up to 3%. So put 3% of your paycheck and they will match 3%.

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  22. When I find something I want I set it down first. If it’s easy to walk away, I didn’t need it.

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  23. I clip coupons, use groupons, and bargain hunt. Thanks for the chance

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  24. I still have a coin jar. I’m astounded by the people who throw away change simply because they dislike the jangle of coins. Either I use Coinstar to convert the change into gift cards or I deposit the coins at my bank.

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  25. I always look for great bargains. Sale items and discounts. Also I try not to eat out all the time :)

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  26. I clip coupons, check the weekly ads, save all loose change and roll them up to deposit into savings account, cook at home almost every day and work hard at not spending on frivolous things.

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  27. Buy in bulk and freeze. We have a large family and this is a great way to save.
    Also use cash and get rid of credit cards.

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  28. Decide which are ‘wants’ and which are ‘needs’.. track your spending… write it ALL down.. every penny you spend and then you’ll know where your money goes.

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  29. I always try to buy things on sale or on clearance.

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  30. Since I’m on a fixed income, I use as many coupons as I can find and always do my grocery shopping at Walmart, even though I’ve grown to hate it, It is the cheapest place I have found to shop for groceries.

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  31. I use coupons in stores and match with clearance or sale prices. I also use coupon codes online and ebates for cash back! Thanks!

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  32. I don’t go to the store very often; I have been using Amazon’s subscribe and save for some really good deals.

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  33. Coupons! They are so helpful. It may seem like youre not saving much but they all add up!

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  34. I use several sites that give you points you can trade in for rewards – mpoints, erewards, ipsos/my survey, mypoints – these basically feed my one-click habit with amazon & bn gift cards.
    I also use uPromise to save money for the kiddies college funds.

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  35. Don’t know if this would count but if you crochet, you can use old cd’s to make crochet coasters. They work great and if you need a little something to say Thank you, people love them. Plus, you are recycleing them.

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  36. Money is tight these days, so I have really had to curb my spending on my fav purchase….books.. But thank goodness for the library.. All the books I want, especially if a book is in hardcover, I always get those at the library… Best money saving tip I have.

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  37. I try to clip coupons, buy things when they’re on sale, use Zulily.com for my daughter’s dresses, etc. Thanks for the giveaway! :-)

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  38. I just don’t spend much..

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  39. Use coupons , make list and follow It, and never shop when hungry, buy when on sale

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  40. Pay off credit cards monthly.

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  41. I’ll second what most are already saying…use coupons (including apps like Retail Me Not when out shopping), don’t go out to eat (take left overs for lunch), use sites like swagbucks to get GC’s (I get about $80+\month with it alone), price match when possible.

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  42. Coupons and CLEARANCE

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  43. When I divorced, I accepted a considerable amount of credit card debt accumulated during the marriage. I worked every hour of overtime I could at my job. I didn’t go out to eat, I didn’t take any trips, for years I’ve bought 85% of my clothes at Ross Dress for Less, I visit Starbucks only about 4 to 6 times PER YEAR (not per week). I paid off the smallest balance first, then attacked the next largest. I used 0% interest fee-free balance transfer checks to consolidate some balances and buy time. Eventually I paid off all the credit cards. The last debt was my car loan. Once I’d made my last car payment, I set up an automatic savings plan such that the amount that had been going to GMAC was now going into my savings. I truly never missed the money that had been earmarked for the car. I’m proud to say that I’ve been debt-free since 2003 (hey, it rhymes) and have managed to squirrel away a nest egg. I guess the biggest money-saving tip I have is: DO NOT ENTER A RELATIONSHIP WITH A SPENDTHRIFT. You will pay for it later. I sure did. I’m much more financially disciplined without a significant other.

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  44. I use coupons. Thanks for the giveaway!

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  45. It seems that when special occasions come up there is never enough money. I buy gifts at after Christmas sales and stash them. Also, I NEVER spend coins. I put them aside and then roll and cash them in for Christmas spending. (it’s amazing how much money it amounts up to)

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  46. Buy things on sale and try to find the best deal by researching first.

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