Sunday, October 6, 2013

Do You Need Money for Happiness?

When I was a kid, there were plenty of times that I thought,"Everything would be great if only we were rich." It was usually those moments when I wanted something I couldn't have, or I would have to save my money to get what I did want. As an adult, I can appreciate those lessons my parents taught me about learning to work hard for what I want in life. So thanks, Mom and Dad for making me save for six years to get that pony.
Over the years, I have met enough people with money to realize that having wealth isn't a free ticket to a life of infinite happiness. Just look at the news that hits the Internet every day, and anyone can see that. Sure, that person pulling in millions might not be wondering if there will be enough money to put gas in the car until the next paycheck, or if they have enough food in the freezer to cover what they can't buy fresh in groceries, but there are some problems that transcend a family's net worth.
The four books (so far) in the Barlow Barretts' series touch on some of those issues. Anna, in Bittersweet, struggled with the issue of never feeling as though she fit in. Seth, in Balancing Act, struggles with living up to his role as the eldest son--when  his heart's in a different place. In Remember Me, Brandon discovers how life in the limelight can turn ugly, and in this latest book, Stacey faces some of the biggest challenges of all. She's done her best to be the perfect Barlow-Barrett, but it's not enough. Even worse, she faces domestic violence in a marriage that's unraveling.

Broken Heart was a tough book to write, but as I started exploring exactly what kind of story Stacey might have to tell, it occurred to me that the way she'd led her life was simply too good to be true. Nobody had a life as perfect as hers seemed to be, unless they were a Barbie and Ken doll in one of my childhood games.Since I pretty much write by the seat of my pants, it surprised me what issues began to emerge in Stacey's life.
I have to thank my editor, Dianne, for making me go back and rewrite Jace, Stacey's husband. He's not a likable character, and there are people who will feel he doesn't get all that he deserves, but he has a story not unlike Stacey's. Like her, Jace's life has been all about keeping up appearances. It's his reaction when he can no longer do that that becomes the problem.
You know, I'd like everyone to have a chance to get in on this series from the beginning, so this week I'm offering readers a chance to get a copy of Bittersweet, book 1 in the series. All you have to do is leave a comment on whether you think having money makes life hard or easier. I'll draw a winner and announce it next Sunday when I'll do the same with book two, and so on. Pass the word.


  1. Having money seems to make life easier. I know that when I have a steady paycheck I'm less stressed out. But, by not having tons of money and being happy with my small paycheck, I feel like I'm a better person. I take pride in the things I own because i worked very hard for them. My parents made save money for what I wanted and I believe I'm a better person because of that.

  2. Money does not make me happy. Money makes me sad. Not sad like someone I really love passed away or one of my precious animals had to be put down. Sad. You know, like every time I think I[m going to have a little extra money left over Mr. Some Damn Something or Madam Let It Break Now emerges from the dark shadow in the corner of my life and sweeps my second of happiness right away from me. Even if those two hadn't shown up, I can't think of a thing that money could buy that would give me true and life-long happiness. That only comes from the love, caring, compassion and caring you give to others.
    Dawn Pugh

  3. Dawn, it's so nice to hear that we're not the only ones where something breaks, falls ill, etc whenever we finally have just a bit of money in our pockets!