Next week my second book, Wild Blue Under, will be available in bookstores, and I have to say, this last week or so has been incredibly surreal, which is appropro since Halloween is just around the corner. Oh, it’s been plenty surreal since my first book, In Over Her Head, launched back in June, but I’d written that story about a year and a half prior, so I had time to read it, envision it on the bookshelves; it was in an online contest so people had read the first 10,000 words and had given me their feedback… I knew how people would feel when they read it. But, with Wild Blue Under, I was just treading water, waiting. (Pun totally intended.)
So when I went to a readers’ conference this past weekend, it was so nice to meet people who had read In Over Her Head and were looking forward to reading Rod’s story. What was even more surreal was talking to them about my characters as real people. Well, as real as Mermen can be… ;}
In Over Her Head is the story of a Merman and a woman who’s afraid of the ocean, and what happens when she accidentally ends up in that ocean, has to recover stolen treasure and figure out how she’s going to make it living under the sea. Having a hunky Merman named Reel around certainly makes that prospect easier to consider ;)
Wild Blue Under is the story of Reel’s brother, Rod. And, yes, you’re supposed to laugh. The stories are full of plays-on-words, puns, pokes at pop culture and a couple of talking fish. Toss in some Greek gods, a few sea monsters, a whole host of myths, and, well, it’s not your average scuba dive.
Rod is going to inherit the Mer throne but in order to do that, he has to fulfill the Mer Prophecy by bringing a lost half-Mer princess to Atlantis. The problem is, she lives in land-locked Kansas, has no idea she’s a Mer AND a princess, and thinks she’s allergic to the ocean. Quite a few things for them to overcome—including the fact that Rod can only be out of the water for so long before he loses the ability to shift his legs back to his tail, and someone is trying to keep the Mer Prince from gaining the throne. Pretty surreal for both Rod and Valerie, especially when dive-bombing peregrines and a mercenary albatross get in on the act.
In February, the third book in the series, Catch of a Lifetime, comes out, and this will be a twist on my series. Instead of mer men, we’ll have Angel, Rod & Reel’s sister, who is a mermaid. (Well, the maid part isn’t exactly true…) We’ll have to see how single dad, Logan Hardington, who wants nothing but Normal in his life, reacts to her tail—er, tale. No wait, make that t-a-i-l. And t-a-l-e. Yes, more shifting of humans’ reality in the next story.
To help everyone “dive into the romance,” I’m offering one of my limited edition (read: can’t get anymore unless I order 10,000 of them from China) Mermaid Cell phone charms to be drawn from the comments on the blog. Don't forget to leave us a way to contact you.
I’m also giving away two (remaining) romantic beach getaway weekends in the locales where I set my stories. The drawing for the weekend at the Atlantis Inn in Ocean City NJ (www.AtlantisInn.com) will be on November 30, 2009, so hurry up and get your entry in by going to my website: www.JudiFennell.com, and the drawing for the weekend at the Hibiscus House in West Palm Beach, FL (www.HibiscusHouse.com) will be February 28, 2010.
Best of luck and happy Halloween!
Wild Blue Under
Rod Tritone is all set to take over the Mer kingdom when his father retires, until the ruling council tells him he has to marry first. The council gives him legs for the duration of his mission, as well as his future queen's address and phone number.
She's Valerie Dumere, the daughter of a Mer father and a human mother who raised her in landlocked Kansas. When devastatingly handsome Rod Tritone shows up and tries to tell her about the kingdom under the sea, not only does she think he's crazy, she's determined that's the last place she'd ever want to go.
Then a vicious squad of seagulls tries to stop the Mer Prince from inheriting his throne and Val finds out about her true nature. Now she has to make the choice of a lifetime—stay on land, or follow Rod to his underwater world...
When the front window rattled, the first thing Val noticed was his eyes.
The second was his smile.
And the third, well… the third was all the rest.
Rod was back.
Val reached for the edge of a display table to keep from falling over the pile of T-shirts she still had to clean up. Not because he made her weak in the knees, as some would argue—namely Tricia, if she hadn’t left to feed her family—and headed to the door.
She opened it, trying to tuck a few wayward curls back behind her ear again. “What are you doing here?”
“I couldn’t leave you to clean this up by yourself. It’s late. Have you even eaten yet?”
“Really, I’ll be fine.” She did a good job of hiding the limp as she shut the door behind him, if she did say so herself.
“Valerie, you’re injured.”
Okay, so maybe not as good a job as she would have liked.
His arm brushed hers as he walked past her. “I can do it for you.”
He certainly could, and she didn’t mean clean up.
God, what was wrong with her? She’d vowed when she’d returned home this last time that she was going to stand on her own two feet—
Okay, so that wasn’t the best analogy at the moment.
But she’d come back with every intention of making this work. Of making Mom’s dream come true. The last thing she needed was to change her focus just because a guy who had a killer smile wanted her to leave. She was not about to be swayed by a pretty face.
But when Rod bent down to grab the pile of shirts, she did start to sway.
And it didn’t have anything to do with the nice butt she got a glimpse of.
“You want to help in those clothes?” She had to get her mind off that butt.
He stood up and looked at his clothes. “What’s wrong with them?”
Not a blessed thing. “Well, they’re not exactly clean-up quality.”
“Oh. That’s easily remedied.” Before she could react, Rod had whipped the shirt over his head from the back of his neck the way guys did, and she almost swallowed her tongue.
“Is this better?”
So much it was sinful.
“So where do you want to start?”
The countertop would be a good place. Followed by a bed in the apartment upstairs, then maybe a nice, long, erotic soak in the claw-foot tub…
What people are saying about Wild Blue Under:
"Fennell returns with another underwater adventure, her second story about the Tritone brothers. She's proving herself to be a solid storyteller, and this tale is an enjoyable and pleasant read."
-Devon Paige, RT BookReviews Magazine.com
"Wild Blue Under" is the second book of author, Judi Fennell's Mer Trilogy, and the first of hers I have read and definitely won't be the last! This book was such a fun, delightful read."
-Jaime, Revenge of the Book Nerds
"Judi Fennell is a bright star on the horizon of romance.
-Judi McCoy, author of Hounding the Pavement
"The best Mer book I've ever read."
-Rowena Cherry, author of Knight's Fork
"Bubbly fun! Judi Fennell whips together talking birds, princely peril and a sexy Mer man in this sparkling 'under the sea' tale."
-Virginia Kantra, USA Today best-selling author
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.