Love In Small Packages + Interview & Giveaway!



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The Teacher’s Vet

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Normally, nothing about the first week of school is life or death, but Mr. Wibbley doesn’t look right, even for a turtle. Having one of the students’ parents be a veterinarian seems like kismet to substitute teacher Nora Pike—having him be single and the small town’s most eligible bachelor much less so. Navigating the drama of the substitute teaching pool is hard enough without all the single staff despising her.

Maybe once Mollie is in college, Caleb Bates, DVM can ease up and date again. Until then, he has his practice and his kindergartener, and that’s all he needs. That and to burn all the perfumed invitations to the PTA. Until Nora Pike enters his life—tall, intelligent, gorgeous, and pissed-off when he immediately dismisses her as using a sick class pet to get his attention. She’s disinterested. He’s intrigued. She’s not about to fall for the local vet—even if he is funny and sexy, and not even when he needs help overnight with a dog about to have puppies.

It’s just to help him. That’s all.

If the small-minded single women of Tall Pines find out their Most Wanted is taken, Nora may never substitute teach in the town again. Since the Garden and Eve, never has temptation looked as sweet as a guy with access to puppies and with a daughter who wants a mom just like Nora.


My Review

Earlier this summer I wrote an article about the beauty of novella, pointing out that they make fantastic pool-side reads. I restricted it to pool-side, because I (only on very rare occasions) find myself reading them anywhere else. Until yesterday when I realized I had a blog tour stopping by, and I had yet to crack the first page. So I did something I don’t normally do, instead of parking in my children’s car-pool line an hour early, pressing play on an audible book, and kicking back to enjoy my last 60 minutes of quiet bliss, I picked up Wendy Sparrow’s “The Teacher’s Vet.” Before I knew it I was 50% in and loving every minute of it. See, my reasoning behind only reading novella’s at the pool is because they generally take less thought. They are quick, (usually) fun, and being slightly distracted while reading it isn’t going to blow the story to smithereens. In short, they are just flat out easier to read. They lay down their point. We pick it up, and then we move on.

“The Teacher’s Vet” is the perfect example of what I am talking about.

If I’m being honest, I think this novella would have been an outstanding novel. The characters were entertaining, the plot was interesting, and the “villain” (and I say that very tongue in cheek considering the big V in this story happened to be a school nurse) spot on. But alas it was not. A novel that is. Tapping out at just over 100 pages (and spanning only a few weeks – plot wise) this story will only take a few hours to read. (Or in my case 1.) And, despite it being enjoyable and entertaining, having so few pages does indeed raise a few issues.

One…everything feels rushed. The kissing, the ILY’s, they all feel to be at warp speed. For lovers of quick fiction (for example Harlequin romances) chances are, you won’t even bat an eye at it. As a person who thrives on the chase and overall angst of love, zero to sixty is a little harder to choke down. (Though obviously I got over it. Quickly. *slaps knee*)

Two…imagination is necessary. Novellas (unless part of a bigger series) have considerably less description. While in longer novels you know everything down to the thread count of the protagonists sheets, novellas are more…want the couch to be red in your head? Done! Colors, street names, weather…etc are almost always missing. This isn’t that big of a deal for me (since my imagination is on hyperdrive 99% of the time) but for those of you that have a harder time movie-reeling a book in your head, you might stumble a little bit with this idiosyncrasies of quick-fire writing.

Overall, I think Mrs. Sparrow did a wonderful job in the space she allowed herself. I found myself rooting for some characters, wanting to slap others, and smiling when I finally flipped that last page.

If I had to describe it in one word… cute.

Happy Reading my fellow Kindle-ites and remember: Sometimes you don’t have time for 700 pages, and that’s OK.

Rating Report
Overall: 3.4




WendySparrow-1smWendy Sparrow
Bio: Wendy’s childhood as a military brat instilled in her a wanderlust to travel, but with the possibility of bugs, lost luggage, germs, a lack of parking, she just prefers the cleaner and safer visits to exciting places in her stories. It has very little to do with her obsessive compulsive disorder—maybe.  She is a passionate advocate both online and in her community for the welfare of autistic children.  In addition to writing, she enjoys painting and sketching, spending time with her two quirky kids, and running with her dog. Her wonderful husband makes sure she has the geeky, tech aspects of her stories just right.  She can often be found on Twitter where she will strike up a conversation with anyone she happens across.

Stalk Her: Webpage / Blog / Twitter / Facebook / Her FREE Short Stories





3 Questions with Wendy

KO: First off, Hi Wendy! Welcome to KO. I’m going to get to your latest novella in just a minute, but I saw something in your bio that interested me so I wanna corner you about that first. It says that you are a passionate advocate for the welfare of autistic children (which I applaud) have you ever thought of using an autistic character in one of your novels to raise awareness?

Wendy: I have two kids with high-functioning autism—one with Asperger’s. I’ve written two characters with Asperger’s, one adult and one YA. I never come out and say they have it in the text partly because I’m trying to normalize it. There is a broad spectrum of human behavior, and while it’s useful for my kids to be labelled at this point by some professionals, I’m hoping in adulthood the only label they’ll need is their names. Both my kids are mainstreamed and most of their peers don’t know, but they make subconscious adjustments to befriend my kids as they adapt to the way they think and react. Everyone is deserving of understanding and love, and I hope that comes across in my stories.

I also have more than one character with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and many of my characters have other issues which could be viewed as flaws, but I think we’re all flawed in some way and it’s these flaws that make us interesting.

KO: I absolutely love that you admit to having a bit of travel wanderlust (due to growing up as a military brat) but better yet…I am gut chuckling at your list of reasons to favor fictional travel vs realistic travel. The most notable: lack of parking. Having just spent a week in NOLA and shelling out $40 a day to park my car I can sympathize with your reasoning. Tell me, where is the most interesting place YOU have been, and has that place ever inspired a story?

Wendy: Well, interesting is an interesting choice of words…. I’ve usually set my stories in places I’ve been, so a lot of my novels and novellas take place in Vegas where I lived for five years. It was “interesting” in that I went to a super violent high school. It shouldn’t have been, but it was a problem with all the schools there at the time. My first day of high school: there I was—a tiny freshman, and we were stuck in homeroom due to a “situation.” After about an hour of sitting in homeroom, we were sent home because someone was shot and killed in the cafeteria. We also had days off during the Rodney King riots because gangs and racial hostility made high school too dangerous to attend. There were bomb threats, drive-by shootings, and I knew someone who died every year I attended.

I was also in Vegas when a chemical plant exploded. I was attending sixth grade, and the teachers rushed us inside, but not before we all saw a mushroom cloud in the distance. We were eventually all evacuated that day too. In one of my unpublished novels, I have a dystopian Vegas and the lead couple are trying to escape from it…so you could say I took some inspiration from my time there, and it was interesting.

KO: And last but certainly not least, tell us a little about “The Teacher’s Vet.” Was there one thing in particular that inspired this sweet little tale, or were you just smacked over the head by the writing fairy?

Wendy: I was writing a bunch of novellas centered on times of the year or holidays because I, personally, love to read seasonal novellas. I knew I wanted my female main character to be a substitute teacher, and I wanted her hooked-up with one of the kids’ parents. I knew I didn’t want Nora to be actively looking for love; she should be knocked upside the head with it. Getting to play matchmaker is sort of fun. Brainstorming on all the ways people could meet the person they’re meant to be with is a blast. That’s when my brain stumbled across the idea of a sick class pet, and it built from there. That’s one of the things I like about being a romance writer—we get to play matchmaker all the time, and we’re always right! Hah! They are perfect for each other. So there.
Another thing I like about being a romance writer is that it reminds us that there is someone for everyone out there and, hopefully, we all have the opportunity to be part of a love story.

Thanks again for stopping by KO!

Wendy: Thanks for having me—I liked your questions.


The Giveaway!


To celebrate the release of The Teacher’s Vet, Cerridwyn is hosting THIS Blog Tour and at the end of the blog tour, Wendy will be giving away a beautiful necklace that was created by Murphy’s Miscreations. The winner will be announced on Wendy’s blog around September 18, 2013.


About Misty

Your friendly neighborhood narcissist. I'm sarcastic, cynical and a bit cranky. I own a soap box so big that sometimes I have difficulty stepping down off of it, and I'm about 94% certain I have multiple personalities. I don't sleep enough, and I read more than any person should ever consider normal. I have anger management issues, especially when I'm stuck in traffic and I have an unhealthy obsession with my Kindle. I am a vampire lovin', zombie obsessed, book-in-hand, iPod freak. You either love me or hate me. You be the judge.