Guest Blogger: Judi Fennell
The winner of Judi's charm is: Lil. Congratulations, Lil! Send me your contact information and I'll pass it along to Judi. Thanks to everyone who participated.
My debut novel, In Over Her Head, is out and about in stores now. In Over Her Head is the story of Erica who is afraid of the ocean and a Mer man named Reel, "The Spare" heir to the Mer throne, and the undersea adventure they have to recover stolen diamonds and escape a sea monster.
I'm eagerly awaiting feedback from readers, but have had an initial idea of what people will think because this story was in an online contest, similar to American Idol, on the social networking site, Gather.com. The contest, First Chapters Romance, took place in August 2007 and those of us who entered had to post our first chapter for people to read and be able to comment on. The story made the Top 5 finalists and caught the eye of one of the judges who was instrumental in helping me sell it to Sourcebooks.
The minute the contest opened, the fish puns started flowing fast and furious. And now the reviewers have gotten in on the act, and I have so enjoyed them. It's been as fun to read what people say about the story as it was to write the plays-on-words, the double entendres, puns, and tongue-in-cheek poking fun at language and culture. Here are some:
"a hurricane of sensuality"
"Judi Fennell dives into the paranormal scene with a splash"
"This debut has grabbed me hook, line, and sinker!"
"I truly found a pearl in my oyster when I read this delightful tale"
"From the beginning you feel the chemistry flowing between he and Erica."
I've been asked where I came up with the idea for the story since there aren't any Mer men stories out there. In Over Her Head came out of a series I was working on that was a twist on fairy tales: Beauty and The Best, Cinda Bella, Fairest of Them All. I wanted to do a twist on The Little Mermaid. The most natural way was to make the guy the Mer. Toss in some talking fish and a bunch of mythology and there you have it.
I wrote the story more for me than any thought to getting it published; it's the kind of story I would love to read. Gather had had a previous contest, First Chapters, for all genre fiction and Beauty and The Best was the only romance to make it to the Top 20 finalists in that contest (out of 2700 entries), so when they announced the First Chapters Romance contest, over a hundred people emailed me to ask me to enter the contest. I didn't want to enter the same manuscript and In Over Her Head was almost finished. I figured, why not? What did I have to lose?
Well, I didn't win the contest, but selling the book - and the next two in the series certainly made up for it.
To celebrate the release of each of my books, and to keep with my "contesting" mindset, as well as a great tie-in to the sea theme of the stories, I'm offering readers a chance to win one of 3 romantic beach getaways on my website, www.JudiFennell.com. All the information and rules to enter are there - no purchase necessary.
About The Author:
Judi Fennell has had her nose in a book and her head in some celestial realm all her life, including those early years when her mom would exhort her to "get outside!" instead of watching Bewitched or I Dream of Jeannie on television. So she did--right into Dad's hammock with her Nancy Drew books.
These days she's more likely to have her nose in her laptop and her head (and the rest of her body) at her favorite bookstore, but she's still reading, whether it be her latest manuscript or friends' books.
A three-time finalist in online contests, Judi has enjoyed the reader feedback she's received and would love to hear what you think about her Mer series. Check out her website at www.JudiFennell.com for excerpts, reviews and fun pictures from reader and writer conferences, and the chance to "dive in" to her stories.
In Over Her Head, coming from Sourcebooks, 6/09
Wild Blue Under & Catch of a Lifetime, books 2 & 3 in the Mer trilogy