Many thanks to Joyce Lamb for allowing me some space in the HEA column in USA Today to talk about my new release in the Bottled Magic series, Magic Gone Wild.

Check it out!

Bloody Judi Strikes Again!

For those of you who have ever had the (mis?)fortune of getting a critique/edit by me, I wanted to alleviate some of your pain. I’ve warned you all that I’m called Bloody Judi, and there’s a reason.

Well, if you want to feel better, see the picture below and know that I also bloody up my own manuscripts. This is the last round of edits before I sent the third genie book, Leave It To Genie, into my editor. I print it out and go through with a red magic marker. This is the result.

Leave It To Genie--once Bloody Judi got her hands on it.

I can’t even claim to have sorted out the worst of the pages; this is a random sampling. I’ve done this with each of my manuscripts before sending it to my editor, and then, of course, she works her magic on the pages.

As you can see, it’s a process.

So take heart if I give you a critique. You are not alone in cleaning up a mess. :)

FIRST OFFICIAL: Sighting of Genie Knows Best on Amazon!

I had no idea it was going to be up for pre-order today. To say I’m thrilled is definitely an understatement. This book was a labor of love and I’m so excited for it to hit the shelves.

I’m also excited because I figured out how to do an Amazon page of my books, grouping all of them together. A lot of authors have started doing this – Amazon actually gives us a kickback, which, in this world of shrinking advances and print runs, really helps. Thanks to whomever ordered a Kindle copy of In Over Her Head through my Amazon store.

And thanks, once again, to the incredibly talented Anne Cain for the AWESOME cover! I incorporated Samantha’s cover outfit into the story because I liked what Anne came up with better than my original idea. :)

FIRST OFFICIAL: Look at I Dream of Genies

The ARCs are here! The ARCs are here!

That’s Advanced Reading Copies. I have a few authors lined up to read the story for quotes, so my publicist sent me a few copies to send out.

Of course I had to hold the ARCs in my hot little hands, and, okay, maybe I snuggled with them a little, but they’re now all off to their respective readers.

I have to say, this STILL hasn’t lost its thrill after the 4th book!

And a special shout out to Kate Douglas for her awesome quote that my publisher put on the cover of the ARC:

“Filled with laughs, action, and an asolutely magical romance, this book is one for the keeper shelf.”

~Kate Douglas, best-selling author of Wolf Tales and The Demon Slayers

FIRST OFFICIAL: Look at Genie Knows Best

Now that Genie Knows Best is with the beta readers and most of the copy edits have been finished on I Dream of Genies, and the house has been SCRUBBED from top to bottom, eleventy-million loads of laundry done, too much food has been bought, and all the bills have been paid, I figured it was time to post the amazingly gorgeous cover for Genie Knows Best. Thanks, again, to Anne Cain, artiste extraordinaire. She captures my world so beautifully!

For now, the blurb is:

Kal, the only genie ever to remove the gold bracelets that bind genies into The Service, has been on the run for over two thousand years, but when Samantha Blaine finds his lantern in a Moroccan bazaar, he’s got to get it back: whoever owns the lantern, owns him.

Finding out what a doormat she was for her soon-to-be fiancé was enough incentive for Samantha Blaine to break off the relationship and head off on a voyage of self discovery in Casablanca. And there’s no way she’s giving up the treasure she found to some guy, no matter how hot he is.

But when a shady antiques dealer breaks into her hotel room, Samantha has to take Kal up on his offer of help, but she’s adamant about it being on her terms.

The thing is, those terms just might include Kal and the words happily-ever-after.

Pinch me! I must be dreaming – of genies!

It’s official! The cover is here!

What’s funny is, the cover is done and I have yet to get edits from my editor. It’s always a nerve-wracking time between handing the story in and waiting for edits. All sorts of questions pop up: Did I do it again? Does it work? Is the emotional story there as much as the action/adventure one or vice-versa? Does she like it? Will readers? Does it suck? Do I? Can I really do this? Who do I think I am to think I can do this? What if everyone hates it? What if I let everyone down – my readers, my editor, the Marketing Department, the Sales department, the buyers, Anne Cain the talented artist because the story can’t possibly match up to the beautiful cover she created?

I know; I go through this with every book and yet they still get published and end up on shelves, and people buy them and they email me about which one they liked the best or wonder if I’ll continue the series, and my editor wants more, and somehow these 4″x6″ congolomerations with pretty covers end up on my bookshelf with my name on them…

Self-doubt? Who, me? Surely you jest. :)

All that angst aside, I have to thank Anne Cain for once again capturing my world in a way I never could. The cover is beautiful and huge shout-out again to Jill Barnett for her generosity and all-around wonderfulness for the support for this newbie. And, as always, to Deb Werksman who will take the words I gave her and come up with ways to make them better.

Well this made my day…

On, Wild Blue Under was the Most Popular book this week.

Thanks to Liz Pelletier for letting me know, and for everyone who made it the most popular! Wow.

Also in my email today, Joey W. Hill gave me a lovely review of In Over Her Head.

Okay, next up, In Over Her Head by Judi Fennell. This book was such fun. We have a heroine who is water-phobic, who, through a series of mishaps, ends up having to spend time under the sea with a really hot merman. The opening to this book is one of the best hooks I’ve read. I don’t know who could set it down after the first few pages. Since I’m not really a humor reader (I prefer to live on angsty, high stakes emotional conflict, etc in my reading, as well as my writing), that’s high praise.

I’d had the pleasure of sharing a forum with Judi at the Authors After Dark conference, and I wanted to try one of her books. Her undersea world building is incomparable – ten times richer than my own, and far more well integrated with the story, I have no problem admitting. Plus, her sense of humor is terrific – I laughed out loud quite a few times. As she progressed, I was pleased to see her transition from slapstick into a more fully fleshed emotional motivation for the hero, which helped me identify with him and start rooting for his success. This also deepened the impact of his relationship with our heroine. This is the first in a series of these books, so if you enjoy humorous, extremely well written paranormal mermaid romance, this is an excellent choice.

Yep, definitely a nice thing (times 2!) to wake up to. And coming on the heels of In Over Her Head being #2 on Publishers Weekly Beyond Her Book Readers Choice for Best Book 2009, well… Santa has come early this year.

And then there were 3

Christmas, my birthday, my anniversary and any other celebratory day you care to mention came to my house today, and my FedEx delivery person played Santa. Here’s why:


My 3 books

The ARC for Catch of a Lifetime arrived, putting all three of my books in my hand.

To say I squee’d would be an understatement.

(and if you’ll notice, I’ve also included my genie bottle for my next series – for which I am almost finished book #1. Woo hoo!)

In Celebration (AKA I love my Husband!)

I Dream of Jeannie Bottle

Yep, I now own this.

Silly, I know. But I LOVED I Dream of Jeannie and now that I’m writing a genie trilogy, well, it was a no brainer.

I have to say thank you to my wonderful husband who not only didn’t roll his eyes when I found this online, but was the one to say, “Go ahead and buy it. You deserve it and it’s cool.”

Really, is it any wonder where my heroes in my stories come from?

Thanks for sharing the excitement!

First Official: Look at Wild Blue Under

At the Sourcebooks signing during the RWA National Conference this year, we didn’t have a lot of copies of In Over Her Head (trWildBlueUnderCVR.inddy 5) to sign and give away. Now, this was actually a good thing because In Over Her Head  has gone into a second printing. BUT it meant people wouldn’t get my books – except that I found out that ARCs (Advanced Reading Copies) for Wild Blue Under were available.

It was the first time I got to hold that book in my hands and let me tell you, it was just as sweet as the first time I held In Over Her Head. The magic doesn’t go away.

So now that the ARCs are out and about in the review community, as well as with about 18 readers who got in my line early, I’ve posted an excerpt from the story on my website and here for you to see.

Wild Blue Under back cover copy:

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…


      “Rod,” Valerie asked during a lull of “Do you see?”s. “Will you please tell me what’s going on? Why there’s an albatross after us? Where we’re headed? Why we’re headed? Why I’m in a car with a prince?”

          Rod swung his gaze from the window. He exhaled, his chest expanding in a way guaranteed to make her forget her own name, not to mention the questions she’d asked him.

          But she wasn’t going to allow herself to be distracted. Good looks and charm—and a crown—only got someone so far. Right now she needed to know she wasn’t heading toward some hostage situation or international incident.

          And why. Why her? All she wanted was to collect the inheritance so she could save her store.

          “This won’t be easy for you to understand, Valerie.”

          “Tell me something I don’t know.”

          “He’s got a lot to tell you that you don’t know,” said the talking seagull with what she would swear was sarcasm, as he ran from one side of the backseat to the other, beak skyward, “but now’s not exactly the right time for it. Albatross, remember? Just go east.”

          “I remember, Livingston. That doesn’t necessarily mean I believe it. Besides, I have more important concerns on my mind.”

          “Nothing’s more important than this right now, trust me.”

          A talking bird? She was supposed to trust a talking bird?

          “Valerie,” Rod, a voice of reason, answered. “There’s a lot you need to know, but most of it you won’t believe without proof. When we get to our destination, I promise to explain everything.”

          “Does this have anything to do with my inheritance, or was that all a story to get me to come on this mission for God-knows-whatever reason?” She should have taken a closer look at those papers.

          “Indirectly, yes, it does have to do with the inheritance,” Rod answered.

          “Indirectly? How indirect are we talking?”

          “Direct enough that if this albatross succeeds,” quipped Livingston, “you won’t be able to touch the inheritance. My guess is you won’t be able to touch much of anything.”

          Words she did not find comforting.

          “What if I don’t want to go to this mysterious destination of yours?” she bluffed. She was going, but only to get her inheritance. She hadn’t signed on for albatrosses, and surely she didn’t need Rod with her to claim the inheritance.     “You can just tell me the lawyer’s name and I’ll contact him myself. I’m perfectly capable of getting to New Jersey without you guys. Then you can take your albatross wherever it is you want to go and none of this will affect me.”

“No can do, Valerie,” the bird said through tight lips—er, beak. Which was an interesting ability.

“Sure I can—”

“Valerie, he’s right.” Rod touched her arm again. “Once we get to the beach, The Council will administer your inheritance. It’s all been spelled out. So you’re along for the ride.”

As long as she wasn’t being taken for one…

Wait a minute.

“The beach? You mean the beach town where they’re going to meet us, right? Not the actual beach?”

“No, our rendezvous point is on the beach behind my brother’s home. He has… facilities there for such a meeting. Is that a problem?”

For her? Yes. Big one. “Okay, what’s going on? This isn’t funny. I’ve got taxes to worry about and you guys are taking me on a wild-goose chase.”

“Al-ba-tross, Valerie. Not a goose,” Livingston said from the backseat. “Albatross are bigger. More cunning.”

Someone’s trying to be cunning. What—are you guys working for the developer? I’ve already told him I’m not selling. Is this the next tactic? Trying to make me late with the taxes by getting me out of town?”

“Valerie, I have no idea what you’re talking about,” Rod said, all insulted.

She was insulted. “Look, I don’t like being made a fool of. I’ll find some way to come up with the tax money. I’m not selling to him, especially after he’s pulled this, and that’s final. You and your trained bird can tell your boss to take a hike. I’m turning this car around right now so you two can go find some other patsy to play your prank on.”

“Prank?” Rod almost growled the word as he grabbed the steering wheel. “I am not playing a prank on you, Valerie. I don’t play pranks. I came here to tell you about your inheritance and bring you to it.”

“On the beach.”


“See? That’s where this falls apart, Rod.” She wrenched the wheel out of his grasp and turned them back the way they’d come, jamming the stick shift into the correct gear. “Even with the seagull, I was onboard with this whole thing, but next time, you should do your homework before you try something like this.”

“Something like what? I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

“Fine. Here’s the problem with this scenario.” She jerked her head to face him. “I can’t go to the beach.”

“Why not? It’s not that hard to get to.”

The sarcasm came from the bird, so she threw it right back at him. “Because, Livingston, I’m allergic to the ocean. Deathly allergic.”


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