Sunday, May 31, 2009

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.

Hi everyone and thanks for having me!

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, 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, 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 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
Judi will give away a mermaid cell phone charm to one person who comments here. Check back Tuesday evening to see if you won.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Dark Harvest Wins!, Book Signing with Carrie Vaughn and Esri Rose, 5/26, Great Contest on Cecile's Blog and Guest Bloggers Wanted

I just got this email from Colorado Authors League:

Dear Lynda:

This is to let you know that your entry, Dark Harvest, won the Genre Fiction category of the 2009 Colorado Authors’ League “Top Hand” Awards. Please watch for your plaque and $50 check to arrive in the mail. Congratulations!

OK. That's just cool.
Carrie Vaughn (Kitty the werewolf series), Esri Rose (Bound to Love Her, Stolen Magic) and yours truly will be holding a signing at Boulder Bookstore (Boulder, CO) this Tuesday, May 26, 7:30 p.m. Stop by and say hello!
My cyber-pal Cecile has created a week-long contest for me and my books on her blog. She's my #1 supporter. Drop by and check out her efforts on my behalf!
And -- I'm looking for more paranormal guest bloggers for Mondays. I have openings starting this summer. Send an email to this address if you're interested: boulderboomer at The topic is anything paranormal.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Signed copies of my books

I've gotten requests, so I thought I'd post this information again.

A while back, I signed all my books at a Denver book store and the owners (lovely people!) are great about offering a discount price for the books and fair shipping. If you'd like a signed copy of one of my books, you can contact:

Nina and Ron Else

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Two Great Sites to Choose From!

My sweet reader friend Cecile is holding a week-long event on her blog for me. She's posting excerpts of my short stories and my books throughout the days, and will share the interview we did. There are lots of giveaways! Check it out:

Also, I'm guest blogging today at Silk and Shadows. Stop by and leave a comment to enter a giveaway where you can choose one of my books:

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Guest Blogger: Angie Fox

(I posted this earlier, but for some reason, it disappeared.) The winner of Angie's book is: Phoebe! Congratulations, Phoebe. Give me your contact info and I'll pass it along to Angie. Thanks to everyone who participated.

Hi, my name is Angie Fox and I write a series about a preschool teacher turned demon slayer who has to run off with her grandmother’s gang of geriatric biker witches. But what cracks me up is that nobody ever asks me about that.

Biker witches? Sure! Demon slaying preschool teachers? Why not? What readers most want to know is why the hero of the books, Dimitri, is a shapeshifting griffin.

My answer is always – why not? Don’t get me wrong – I love werewolves and vampires and all kinds of heroes. But frankly, I’m surprised we don’t see more griffins in paranormal books.

Aside from being sexy as all get out, griffins are known to be loyal, intense and strong. Griffins were even a symbol of marriage in the Medieval church because they mate for life. I can’t think of a better quality for a hero to have. And while griffins may not be your classic Alpha “my way or the highway” type of guys, they are tough and absolutely willing to leap tall mountains (literally) for the women they love.

In honor of Dimitri, and griffins everywhere, I’m giving away a copy of my latest book, The Dangerous Book for Demon Slayers. And if you’d like to learn more, be sure to visit


Leave a comment here to enter the drawing for Angie's book. The winner will be selected and posted on Tuesday evening. Check back to see if you won!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

German version of The Vampire Shrink

I discovered a link to my book's upcoming German version:
I hadn't seen the cover, nor did I realize they'd changed the name. And the blurb is very interesting (at least the Google translation from German). What fun! Last I heard, it was being released in November of this year. Click on the book cover.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Guest Blogger: Nancy Haddock

The winner of Nancy's book is: Kerry Nelson! Congratulations, Kerry. Send me your contact information and I'll pass it along to Nancy. Thanks to everyone who participated!

Where Are the Weres?

I write a paranormal mystery romance series for Penguin/Berkley starring Cesca Marinelli. Cesca is a 228-year old vampire who was born in St. Augustine, Florida in 1780, turned in 1800, then buried in a coffin in a half-basement and forgotten for over 200 years. When Maggie discovers Cesca during the restoration of a Victorian house, Cesca has a second shot at afterlife, and lot to learn to catch up to the 21st century.

You may surmise that my series is not dark or edgy, and you would be right!

After La Vida Vampire was released, several readers asked me why I didn’t have werewolves (or tigers or leopards, etc.) in my books. Several more asked why I killed off the werecreatures entirely.

The short answer is I didn’t want Weres in my story world. Not because I don’t like werecreature characters – oh, no! Far from it! I’ll read stories with Were characters all day long, be they the throat-ripping bad guys, the sexy good guys, or a mixed bag. Weres are an integral part of the paranormal and urban fantasy genre I love.

But let’s face the facts, folks. We have werelions and weretigers and werebears, oh, my! We have wereleopards, werewolves, werepanthers, wererats, and about any other werecreature an author wants to create.

Given that, where and when do Weres wear thin?

I did consider including Were characters during the early stages of my world building. After deliberating the pros and cons, I thought it was enough of a risk to write a vampire book when so many authors already wrote vampires so very well. The same applied to werecreatures. So many authors wrote them well – and so many populated their books with both Weres and vampires – I figured I didn’t need to go there. I “killed off” Weres for my story world, partly to take care of the question in the reader’s mind. I also made that choice so I could highlight the difference between lycanthropes and my magical shape-shifting character, Pandora, the Florida Panther.

As the time has neared for Last Vampire Standing to be released, a sneaky, savvy, darling reader pointed out that I killed off the Weres in the US, but made no mention of them being wiped out world wide. Might I, the reader asked, ever write a story line in which Weres from Europe trickle into town?

Hmmmm. Now there’s a fun possibility. And, since I’ve learned never to say never, who knows what may show up in future stories to challenge Cesca’s “normal” afterlife?

That’s a question for later. For now I hope that readers will embrace the old and new characters in Last Vampire Standing. Triton, Cesca’s first love from her girlhood, makes an appearance in the new book, and, of course, Maggie and Neil, Saber and Pandora figure prominently. Jo-Jo the Jester, the wannabe stand-up comic, was a scream to write for the sequel, and a paranormal investigation geek is also introduced along with a few more vamps in Daytona Beach.

What is your reading pleasure in paranormal and urban fantasy – the more supernaturals the better, or do you prefer a cast of fewer? Which kinds of supernaturals do you most like to see Weres paired with – vampires, witches, other Weres? Do you like to see new supernatural characters and elements brought into sequels, or do you like all the ingredients in the soup from the get go?

I’d love to discuss these questions, so please leave a comment. If you’re a published author and leave a comment, please also leave your web URL or title of your last or upcoming book! I like sharing the stage!

Nancy is giving away a copy of Last Vampire Standing, but you must leave an answer to one of the questions to be entered. For more opportunities to win a book, see the Beach Party page on Nancy’s web site – The winner will be posted here on Tuesday evening. Check back to see if you won!

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Multi-Author Book Signing, Saturday, May 9

If you're going to be in the Greeley, Colorado area this Saturday around noon, stop by the Borders Books and say hello to Elaine Levine, Melissa Mayhue, Robin Owens, Tara Janzen and me. We'll be signing our books for a couple of hours and would love to see some familiar faces.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Guest Blogger: Stephanie Julian

The winner of Stephanie's book is: Amber! Congratulations, Amber. Send me your contact info and I'll pass it along to Stephanie. Thanks to everyone who participated!!
At last month’s RT Booklovers Convention in Orlando, Florida, I gave a talk on worldbuilding, “Beyond Celtic Fairies and Greek Gods,” with Jessica Andersen, Lynne Connelly and Melissa Mayhue.

I first came up with the idea when I decided I was going to RT and knew I wanted to get my name out there other than only at the book signings.

Being a relatively shy person (no, really, I am), public speaking is so not my thing and I hate making small talk. But I love to talk writing.

And I love to write, particularly paranormal series. Seduced by Danger, the sixth story in my Magical Seduction series from Ellora’s Cave, was released Friday and in it you’ll find many of the characters from the previous books, along with the main couple, Michael and Cara.

I love writing series because it allows you to revisit favorite characters, to catch up with them every now and then and see what they’re doing.

And I adore writing paranormal series. There’s just so much more you can do with paranormal. You aren’t bound by the traditional rules of nature, except those you choose to follow and the ones you create yourself.

I chose to play with an Etruscan mythology in my books, mainly because no one else was. And my dad’s family is from Italy. It was a natural fit. And I didn’t want to do the traditional Greek gods. I wanted to do my own twist. But how do you find that twist?

When I started cruising the Internet for information on Etruscan mythology, I discovered the wild and wonderful world of speculative non-fiction. Sites dedicated to theories on who really built the sphinx and the pyramids and crystal skulls and the Piri Reis map.

I was fascinated by lost civilizations (yes, I mean Atlantis but also Ra and the Lost Mines of Murabeca and etc.), artifacts unearthed in Middle Eastern deserts that appeared to be ancient electrical equipment and cryptozoology.

I felt like I’d hit the goldmine of idea. The very nature of their being sparks little ideas that grow into big ideas.

Here are some of my favorite places on the Internet to find weird and wonderful ideas.

Encyclopedia Mythica
The mythology section is divided into six geographical regions: Africa, Americas, Asia, Europe, Middle East and Oceania. Each region has clearly defined subdivisions. The folklore section contains general folklore, Arthurian legends and folktales from many lands. There is also a bestiary, legendary heroes, image gallery and genealogical tables of various pantheons.

Crystalinks Ancient and Lost Civilizations
Good jumping off point if you’re looking for something to kickstart your creativity.

Pib Burns Cryptozoology
Want to read about weird creatures? Here’s the place to find some.

World Mysteries
Another weird stuff site but full of interesting tidbits to make you go hmm.

Skeptic’s Dictionary
The other side to some of the weird stuff you’re going to find on the other sites.

Rick Richards
A little bit of everything here, from Jesus to Mayan temples with lots of pictures.


One commenter will be selected to win a copy of Stephanie's book. The winner will be posted here on Tuesday evening.