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 are always lessons to be learned when writing a book, especially one centered on girlfriends helping each other fix their money problems. And my three friends, Rachel, Tiffany, and Jess definitely have problems.
Rachel is a single mom struggling to make ends meet but she often lets motherly guilt gode her into doling out money to the kids that she can’t afford to part with. Tiffany is a shopaholic, filling a void with the buzz she gets from finding bargains. And Jess? Her husband has been downsized out of a job and now she’s got to enter the marketplace for the first time since, well, ever. Yikes! My poor girlfriends need help. But that’s the beauty of books – characters do learn to help themselves and grow in the process. Just like we can do in real life. And, speaking of real life, here are some lessons that came to mind while writing their stories.
It’s Not a Bargain if You Can’t Afford it.
Oh, how tempting those annual sales are! And there are so many of them, everything from Thanksgiving to Presidents Day to Black Friday and January Clearance. And then there are all those summer clearance sales. Fifty percent off, how can a girl turn down fifty percent off? And seventy-five. Do I hear seventy-five percent off? I’m there! Except not if I don’t have the money. Even shopping clearance sales the expenses can add up. If there’s nothing in the bank account, the best way to save money is to stay away.
Don’t Give In To Guilt
It’s so hard to say no when our kids want spending money, when that cute, little Girl Scout is selling cookies or the freckle-faced neighbor boy comes to the door selling overpriced candy for his band fund raiser. But again, if you can’t afford to help out you don’t have to feel guilty. That’s just the way it is. And Junior may have to wait till the next pay period for that movie money. Meanwhile, maybe Junior and his friends can play some backyard football or a watch a movie at home where the popcorn is cheaper. Remember, you do not have to be an ATM with legs to be a good mom. Good parenting provides more than money.
Garage Sales are a Girl’s Best Friend
Almost everything I’ve ever needed or wanted I’ve gotten at garage sales, and even as I was writing this book, sending my characters on neighborhood quests I was doing my own. Oh, the goodies I’ve found at garage sales: Victoria’s Secret powder (brand new in box, thank you!) Pampered Chef items (also new in the box), Party Lite Candles, couches, beautiful home decor items, jewelry, even Gucci sandals. Oh, yes, I’m a big believer in shopping the underground economy!
Grow and Pick Your Own
My friends and I love to pick berries, hunt mushrooms and grow herbs and veggies in our gardens and then turn it all into jams, cordials, syrups and pestos. We not only have fun doing all this together, we save money.
Over the years I have learned that the old saying is true. The best things in life, like friendship and laughter, bedtime stories and hugs, really are free. In my own life I learned that hard work and discipline can carry us over those tough financial patches. And as I helped my three friends solve their money problems and life challenges I also was reminded of one more important thing. It’s never too late to start again. It’s never too late to
work on making a dream come true.
About the Author
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.
find me on Facebook as Sheila Roberts, author
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). Be sure to leave a comment on this post to enter for your chance to win! Click the tour banner at the top of this post to visit other stops on the tour and leave more comments to increase your chance of winning.