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: Copy of Genie Knows Best in my hands!

“They” say a picture is worth a thousand words…

Genie Knows Best, November 2011


This one, to me, is worth almost 200,000. That’s how many I had to write to get this thing in my hands.

Why so many? Well, this is The Book That Tried To Kill Me ™, aka: TBTTTKM-2 ™ (kudos to my friend Lisa Brackmann for coining that phrase; hers is the original TBTTTKM.)

I’d written Genie Knows Best and turned it in a few days before my deadline. (yay, me!) Unfortunately, it turned out that my editor didn’t like it. At all. Now, normally, there are a few points we need to change/clarify/fix and I do some revisions and the book is ready. But this one, for various reasons, didn’t work for her. So it was Back To The Drawing Board. Ugh. Can I just say that again? Ugh.

I had to start over. Had to come up with a different spin on the story, a different spin on the world, and a new way of doing things. The only things I kept from the original book were the main characters’ names, the love scenes, the basic idea for the world, and the ending. I love this ending; I truly do.

So, okay, maybe we’re talking 150,000 words.

Was this what I wanted to do? No way. Was it what I had to do? Yep. Am I satisfied with the result? I am. It’s a whole other story about the same characters, whom I love. Kal is an alpha male in a beta role, or maybe even a gamma one. I had fun trying to contain him within The Service he’s been in for four thousand years with the end in sight for him. Samantha Blaine was someone I wanted to help. All she wants is someone to love her for her (and not her inheritance/bank account) and to find herself being used at every turn… well, she deserved a happy ending, too. As did I. :) Honestly, I was never so happy as when I turned this new story in because it’s one thing to write a book under contract and know that it’s going to go into production; it’s quite another to write that book only to have to completely re-write it.

I haven’t really spoken about this bummer of a year writing this book because, of course, you want to put your best foot forward in the marketplace. “Sure, I write books and they all go on to win awards!” is a good image, but the reality is, writing and publication are hard work–and this is why you need an editor. Mine could have tried to fix the original version up with me, but who knows what the result would have been since she had such an adverse reaction to it. She wasn’t “feeling” it, and therefore, she couldn’t get excited about it. Trust me, you want your editor excited about your work.

So, I pulled up my big girl panties, took a deep breath, and started off on story #2 for this couple. And, like I said, I love the result. It’s a fun story, a lot of action with the largest cast of characters I’ve ever written. I had a blast writing the fight scenes (try orchestrating a fight scene with centaurs, trolls, leprechauns, dragons, and gnomes and keeping all those body parts straight!), and loved creating Harv’s lair that was inspired by Riley’s comment in National Treasure, “Who wants to go down the creepy tunnel inside the tomb first?” And, of course, I got to spend more time with Kal and Samantha and learned more about them, what made them tick. That journey is always fun, so I really can’t complain (though I did, loudly) about having to spend so much time with them.

And I recently turned in Leave It To Genie and am waiting for my editor to read it. You can bet (and the leprechauns in Genie Knows Best already are…) that I’m waiting with baited breath.

Now these ARCs go out to the reviewers and I have another reason to wait with baited breath to see if this version of Kal and Samantha’s story is as well received as Eden and Matt’s was (starred review in Publishers Weekly). That’s this business: hurry up and write, revise, and wait. :)

On Sale for $2.97! I Dream of Genies!

Lots happening these days. First, and foremost, for a limited time, Amazon is offering both the paperback and Kindle versions of I Dream of Genies for $2.97 and $2.82 respectively, so grab ‘em while they’re hot:

Links :

Kindle for $2.82 at:

Paperback for $2.97 at:

This book received a Starred Review from Publishers Weekly:
“Cute as a pink Persian kitten, this scamper of a romance is populated by a whimsical cast of characters: Humphrey the baby dragon, Obo the talking cat, a villainous vizier, a cross-dressing High Master genie, the Egyptian goddess Bastet, and a hunky carpenter. Centuries-old genie Eden (her name one of several nods to the book’s namesake TV show) escapes her bottle only to fall for Matt Ewing, the handsome jogger she’s been watching from her glass prison’s position in the window of Murphy’s Antiques. When Eden’s magic malfunctions, the nonstop cinematic gee-whiz results will keep the reader enraptured. Fennell (Catch of a Lifetime) also tosses in sultry sex scenes, a bubble-gum–sweet but passionate romance, quick-moving action, and a variety of puns and riddle-making beasts, many of which are sure to reappear in the two planned sequels.”

Also happening:

I, and many other authors, editors and agents are offering critiques for bidders in Brenda Novak’s Online Auction to benefit Juvenile Diabetes. The auction runs for the month of May and has some AMAZING items: 2 tickets and Meet & Greet with Celine Dion, Hawaiian Getaways, iPad 2, vacations, autographed books, crafts, jewelry, etc. There are daily one-day special items to bid on and so many wonderful things I can’t list them all here.

Plus, of course, a 30-page manuscript critique from moi.

This is the 7th year for Brenda’s auction and last year, it broke the $1M mark. This is my 3rd year participating both donating and bidding, and I can tell you, it’s a lot of fun on both ends.

Stop by, take a look, and maybe you’ll win that critique that will start you on your career or break out the one you already have.

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. :)

Let’s Get This Party Started!!!

The Rita and Golden Heart nominee calls go out today. Come join us at Rita/GH 2011 to “squee” along with the nominees.

And you just might find an editor or agent (or two, or three or four…) hanging out.

Did you enter the contest? Did you get the call? Do you know someone who did? Post it in the comments, or email me at JudiFennell (at) JudiFennell (dot) com!

Let’s chat about it on the Rita/GH 2011 page!

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

Our Big Adventure Out West – Part I

So I went to RomCon in Denver and then the family and I rented a van and drove.

And drove and drove and drove.

We figured we did 2500 miles +/-. Besides Denver and its environs, we hit Mt. Crazy Horse, Mt. Rushmore, Devil’s Tower, Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons, and all parts in between. Here are some of the highlights:

Casa Bonita - You can't miss this cheesy must-see. The food wasn't as bad as has been described online, and the sopapillas are to DIE for!!

Inside the restaurant (Denver, CO)

Mt. Crazy Horse. Do yourself a favor and skip paying the $27 to get into the "park." You see the same view from the road for free. And forget the extra $5 pp to take a tour bus up to the base of the rubble. Disappointing.

Mt. Rushmore as seen from the walkway below the rubble pile. Worth the walk.

ampitheater at Mt. Rushmore

The Cosmos. Supposedly some sort of gravity-defying area. Most can be explained, but not all. Interesting.

The Badlands. Incredibly cool landscape that has inspired a new series.

More Badlands

Bear Country, USA. Worth every bit of the $55 to get in (per car). These are arctic wolves who frolicked right next to our car then ran in front of us for a while.

More Bear Country - big horn sheep

Black bear right next to our car. We have great video of this.

More Bear Country - elk

Tons of bears.

cubs at Bear Country. They have timberwolves, and mountain lions, and so much more. Great time!

the quintessential shot of Devil's Tower. 31 years after my first trip, I'm still looking for that alien landing strip!

The rubble pile

prairie dog field at the base of Devil's Tower

another side of the tower

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.

BEA 2010

I was signing at the RWA booth yesterday and took these photos beforehand. Special shout-out to the Sourcebooks crew for a gorgeous booth. Those folks were working it! There was always someone having a meeting with someone.

A huge thank you to RWA for the time to sign, to Sourcebooks (and Danielle Jackson) for the books and to the ladies from: and for “petting” my book! :)

Mers and Genies together :)

Olivia Cunning's Debut and Erotic Romance Launch book

Rick Springfield signing promo for his memoir

another shot - but you can't see his smudged guyliner

Author Kate Douglas signing at the RWA booth

James Patterson

Scott Turow

Ken Corday of Days Of Our Lives, book pubbed by Sourcebooks

Kathryne Kennedy and Jennifer Blake, Sourcebooks

More Sourcebooks authors

And the winners are…

No, sadly, I don’t have a crystal ball. Well, wait a minute. Actually, I DO have one. But, sadly, it doesn’t tell me the future, so I don’t know who will win the Rita and Golden Heart awards.

No, the winners I’m talking about are the two commenters on the Rita/Golden Heart 2010 “Squee” Party blog who won signed copies of my Mer trilogy. They were picked by’s true random number generator. And the winners are:

Sally G (commented at 1:09 pm)


Laurie Green (commented at 9:52 am)

Please contact me through my website’s contact button with your mailing address so I can send them to you.

I’m so glad everyone had a fun time with the blog party! Check back next year for the FOURTH annual Squee Party.


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