Wednesday, February 20, 2013

A Little Bit Cupid Review & Guest Post

Finding love should be easy, but wedding photographer Phoebe Ward knows better.  When Cupid shows up on a crazy mission to help her —and save the world in the process—Phoebe realizes love might be even more complicated than she thought.  Even with Cupid showing her Mr. Right , she can’t stop thinking about his best friend, Mr. Wrong.

Cal Crawford has never had time for love, but now he’s falling for Phoebe.  Which means it’s got to be just plain wrong to set her up with his best friend, right?  But even though seeing Phoebe with someone else will break his heart, he can’t walk away from her.

Phoebe can’t afford to choose the wrong guy with the fate of the world at stake.  But maybe Cupid has it wrong.  Maybe she has to rely just a little bit on Cupid, and a whole lot more on her heart.

I must admit, in the beginning I wasn't sure if I was going to like the book or not.  I mean the premise of the story is crazy.  Phoebe, who is over thirty has NEVER been in love and Cupid shows up and tells her that she has to kiss her soul mate by Valentine's Day, otherwise the world will lose it's ability to love.  Really?  An then Cupid.....  What happened to the cute little cherub?  And, I forgot to mention Valentine's Day is a week away.

Okay, all the crazy stuff is out of the way.  A Little Bit Cupid is a short cute romance.  Cupid hands Phoebe an envelope and tells her that inside the envelope is all she needs to know about her soul mate.  Well, it turns out that Adam Lovello and Phoebe Ward have met before.  It's going to be hard to live down their first encounter.

Cupid is sure that he can help Phoebe and help save the world at the same time.  Along the way Cal Crawford, Adam's roommate, walks into the picture and things get a little mixed up.  This is a story of proving that there truly is a such thing as love at first sight and that you just have to know when to follow your own heart.

I must admit I found myself wanting more from the book.  I didn’t want it to end.

Rating: 4

Release Date:  January 13, 2013
Book Length:  63 pages
Source:  Publisher
Reading Format:  Available in only in eBook

Buy Links:

About Jennifer Shirk: Jennifer Shirk has a bachelor degree in pharmacy--which has in NO WAY at all helped her with her writing career. But she likes to point it out, since it shows romantic-at-hearts come in all shapes, sizes, and mind-numbing educations.

She writes sweet (and sometimes even funny) romances for Samhain Publishing, Avalon Books/Montlake Romance and now Entangled Publishing. She won third place in the RWA 2006 NYC's Kathryn Hayes Love and Laughter Contest with her first book, The Role of a Lifetime.

Lately she's been on a serious exercise kick. But don't hold that against her.

Ways to follow Jennifer:

Today, I have Jennifer Shirk dropping by to talk about what it’s like to write a novella. You know, a REALLY short book. As a reader I like them, sometimes. Novellas give me a chance to try out a new author or they’re good for a quick hour or two read. I’ve learned not every author can pull this off. I’ve just never thought about what it was like to write one.

Thanks Jennifer to stopping by and telling us about some of the obstacles you writers face in giving us novellas.

Challenges of Writing a Novella:
Hi, all! Jennifer here.
Some of you may already know that I'm a romance writer. But I usually write category length romances (romances that are in that 50-60K range). It's what I started writing and apparently that length works for me and I've stuck with it for many years.

Until recently.

Last year, my writer friend came up with a great idea to try and write a novella to submit to Entangled Publishing's Call for Submissions. She thought it would be a great way to reach new readers.

"Okay" was my second thought--right after "Is she nuts? I can't write a novella!"

I mean, how can I possibly condense 60,000 words to 15,000 words? I was afraid my brain wasn't wired that way. But in the end, after some long thought, I decided to take it as a challenge to myself.

To stretch my writing abilities.

And to help myself grow as a writer as well.

But one of things I noticed was that I couldn't spend too time on the internal conflict of my characters. Yes, it had to be there, but I couldn't wallow in it nor could I make it too deep-rooted, otherwise I was never going to have enough time to change my character's feelings by the end of the book.

Normally, in my category romances, there are circumstances that my character's have been through in their past that has shaped their beliefs, and I can take my time expanding that and then showing how their beliefs change by the end of the book so they can have their happy ever after.

No time for that in a novella!

One of the things that helped me through my story was that I kept it more or less plot driven. In A LITTLE BIT CUPID, Phoebe has one goal: to save humanity by falling in love with Adam. She has one conflict: she's starting to fall for his friend Cal. Those two things drove the story. And basically her motivations and her actions, were shaped by how internal conflicts: not trusting her judgment because of her past experience with dating. I tried to concentrate on JUST that and not get off track.

In some way ways, it was refreshing because I couldn't go real deep. But in other ways, I wondered if people would still connect with my characters and even care enough to stick with the story. You'll have to be the judge!

A novella was a good way to stretch my writing muscles and there are still things I'm learning about them, but the good news is that I definitely have plans to write another in my future!

Thanks so much for having me today!

And I hope you all get to check out A LITTLE BIT CUPID for yourself!


  1. Thanks so much for having me and for the review!

    1. You're welcome. Thanks for the guest post. Feel free to stop by anytime!

  2. You nailed it! I definitely have to limit my plots and conflicts when writing a novella. I also found it is helpful to limit the characters. Each character who does not play a bit part tends to add at least 1000 words to the story. This works in short stories as well.

  3. YES! That's true. You can't have too many characters. :)

  4. I'm just AMAZED how creative all of you authors are. I have to say that the minute Cal made an appearance I was hooked. I can't wait for your next novella, Jennifer. Oh and Kissing Kendall is waiting for me to read it.

  5. Novellas are definitely a good way to make a writer tear their hair out! Congrats on your Valentine story :)


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