Guest Author: Judi Fennell

Judi FennellI am excited to welcome back author Judi Fennell, who has just began a fabulous new series with I Dream of Genies.

He needs to change his luck, and fast!
Matt Ewing would gladly hunt down a fortune in lucky pennies if he thought it would help save his business.

But for all his hoping, Matt’s clueless when his long awaited lucky charm falls in his lap in the form of a beguiling genie. He just can’t believe that this beautiful woman could be the answer to his prayers…

She’s been bottled up for far too long!
Spending 2,000 years in a bottle would make any woman go a little stir crazy. So when Matt releases Eden from her luxurious captivity, she’s thrilled to repay him by giving him the magical boost he needs…

But for all her good intentions, Eden’s magical prowess is a little rusty and her magical mistakes become more than embarrassing. And though Eden knows falling in love will end her magic and immortality, she can’t help but be drawn to the one man who wants her just for herself…

Make sure you stick around to the end. We’ll be giving away two copies of Judi’s novel, I Dream of Genies.
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Paranormal Romance – It’s What’s for Breakfast
(or lunch breaks, or before bedtime)

I’ve always loved to read. Anything I could get my hands on, from Nancy Drew to Hardy Boys to Judy Blume… you name it, I’ve probably read it. Or if I haven’t, I was reading something else instead. I was a voracious reader and if you’ve seen the bio at the back of my books, you’ll know that my mom used to yell at me to get outside all the time when I was a kid. I did, but I brought my treasure trove of books with me and climbed into Dad’s hammock. Hey, I was outside.

So now I’m a published author and one of the not-so-great side effects of that is that I have less time to read. Why? Because I’m on deadline to put out books that other people can take into their hammocks.

My latest release, I Dream of Genies, is the first in my new Bottled Magic series, which is a not-so-drastic change from my Mer series that came out in 2009 and 2010. Oh, sure, the Mers took place under the sea in Atlantis and this series takes place in the desert, so, yes, that’s a bit of a change. Maybe even a major one, given that we’re switching not only temperatures but also breathing mediums. And my genies have legs which the Mers did not (well, unless you count Reel, but he was trying to get rid of his the whole time, so that doesn’t really count). And, yes, this series has magic which the Mers didn’t. Except for the gods, but see? This story has a goddess in it, so not so different.

The thing is, these two series have one major component in common: they’re light-hearted, tongue-in-cheek (just whose tongue is in whose cheek is the question, but you can find out for yourself in the books…), paranormal romantic comedies. It’s a thing with me.

I’m often asked, “Why this genre?” in my blog tours and I honestly wish I had a better answer than, “It’s what I like to read.” But that’s the truth. I’ll read pretty much anything, but given my choice of books, I’ll gravitate to paranormals and if they have humor in them, even better.

So it wasn’t really a choice when I decided to write a book. Actually, that’s a misnomer: I didn’t decide to write a book; the story sort of crept up on me and wouldn’t not let me write it. A story idea formed in my head and wouldn’t let me sleep. It kept waking me up until I got up, schlubbed across the room to find a piece of paper and pen, and wrote it down. Once I’d done that, I could go back to sleep.

Until the next idea woke me up.

As an author with a deadline, I can’t tell you how wonderful that waking-me-up thing is.

As a mother of kids, with a full time job, I can’t tell you how not wonderful that waking-me-up thing is.

Genie Knows BestIt’s wonderful because having a story show up so that all I have to do is write it down is like a gift from the Universe. Not having to think of the next scene or wonder what your characters should do next makes writing fun. It makes it easy. Well, easier.

But it’s not wonderful because, well, I need my sleep. (You did see the full time day job and kids thing, right? Toss in a husband, a home, a pair of dogs, a cat, a hamster, laundry, messes, food shopping, bills, and oh-yeah, a personal life, and you can see that sleep is a highly prized commodity in my world.)

But given the choice, I’d rather do with less sleep and more story ideas.

Because story ideas just show up in my head, it’s not like I have any control over what kind of stories show up. I can certainly come up with non-paranormal stories, but if the paranormal ones are popping up relatively easily and I have an editor interested in publishing them, and a readership looking for the next one, I’ll keep writing them. Because they’re fun, because I get to use my imagination, I get to talk to the animals (cue Rex Harrison here), and make magic. I get to escape to a world that’s the same as ours but with just a bit more magic, and I’m usually reading for escapism. (See the house, kids, pets, laundry discussion above.)

I didn’t jump on the paranormal bandwagon—not that there’s anything wrong with that. On the contrary, my reading pool started to overflow with all the new paranormal authors and that can only be a good thing. But I’ve been reading paranormal for a long time—the very first time travel I read was Jude Devereaux’s A Knight In Shining Armor. Before that, though, I’d read Dodie Smith’s 101 Dalmatians, Frank Baum’s Oz books, Hugh Lofting’s Dr. Doolittle series…Perhaps not your “typical” paranormal, but any stories that have talking animals, are, to me, paranormals. Trust me; I’ve tried to get my dogs to talk, but either they’re too stubborn, too stupid, or it’s just not possible.

One of the things aspiring authors are told by “those in the know” is to write what you know and love. Wouldn’t life be great if animals could talk? Wouldn’t it be fun to have magical beings able to grant all your wishes? Have a hunky merman kiss you so you could breathe under the sea? (Okay, who am I kidding? Just having a hunky merman kissing you would be good enough!)

Paranormal romance is escapism in its most literal form, which, for something as nebulous as magic, is saying something.

Here’s a flavor of genie Eden’s take on mortal Matt’s world. He’s taken her to dinner with his family, none of whom know she’s a genie. She’s in borrowed clothing with a baby dragon-turned-gold-brooch, and she doesn’t know what’s going on with her suddenly-screwy magic.

Here’s my question for you: In this situation, WWYD? (What Would You Do?) You’ll have to read Chapter 11 in I Dream of Genies to find out how Eden, Matt, and the rest of his family handle it.

I Dream of GeniesMatt thought his brother was perfect? Eden didn’t see it.

Oh, Hayden was good-looking enough—they’d definitely hit the gene pool jackpot—but perfect? Big, blond, and handsome, but Eden wouldn’t say he was anywhere near as perfect as his tall, dark, and sexy brother.

Eden smoothed a hand down her beige pants, adjusted the hem of Cara’s sweater, and repositioned the handbag Matt had found at the back of his closet onto her shoulder while Matt’s mother swept her son into her arms.

“Matt! Welcome home, honey.” Then she reached for Eden’s hand, smiling. “And welcome, Matt’s friend. I’m Vicki Rogers. My, what a lovely pin.”

Eden ran her fingers quickly over the “brooch” on her neckline, hoping Humphrey stayed put. Wishing Humphrey would be as good as gold when all else had failed, she’d been utterly desperate, panic choking her as they’d pulled in front of his parents’ home. Apparently, desperation was the key. How that boded for this evening, they’d have to see. “Thank you, Mrs. Rogers. And for the invitation. I’m Eden.”

“Please, call me Vicki. Mrs. Rogers is too formal for a friend of Matt’s.” She hooked her arm with Eden’s and drew her around the foyer table with its pretty vase of red roses into the formal living room.

White wainscoting circled the bottom half of the walls, colonial-blue textured wallpaper on the upper half. Floral chintz covered the furniture, with heavy federal-style pieces gracing the perimeter. A fire warmed the brick hearth and two of the best-looking men—other than Matt—Eden had ever seen stood near it. One was the good-looking-but-not-quite-perfect brother who rose from his seat beside a petite blond, and the other had to be his stepfather. The men smiled and shook Matt’s hand, though Matt responded with a reluctance Eden didn’t understand.

Then the blond god turned his smile on Eden and she got the “perfect” reference. The guy could power a small nation with that wattage. But still, he didn’t light her lantern the way Matt did.

“Hi. I’m Hayden, Matt’s brother.”

“This is Eden,” Matt said, his arm snaking around her waist. Any closer, she’d be inside him, though she’d rather he be inside her.

Her knees turned to jelly with that utterly inappropriate thought. Good thing she hadn’t wished it; talk about bad first impressions.

Eden worked a smile past suddenly dry lips to shake Hayden’s hand. “Nice to meet you.”

The blond next to Hayden stood. “I’m Amanda, Hayden’s wife.”

“And I’m Paul. The dad.” Mr. Rogers gestured to the wet bar in the corner. “Can I get you something to drink? Wine? Iced tea? A soft drink?”

Wine was out. Genies didn’t drink alcohol. For good reason. It screwed with their chemistry and hyped up their magic. With the way her magic was going, that was the last thing she needed. And tea, she’d had her share of teas. Strong in the Far East, milky in England, sweet in Morocco, and julep-y during her stint in the South. But soda… She had yet to try the carbonated drink since Faruq considered it barbarian and had refused her repeated requests for it.

“Soda, please. Cola, if you’ve got it.” Those television ads where people had joined hands, singing about “the real thing,” had looked like a lot of fun. And to her lonely self, ideal.

“One cola coming up. Matt? What can I get for you?”

“Beer’s good. Thanks.”

“So, Matt,” Paul said after drinks and appetizers had been served and everyone took a seat, “I heard Henrietta Baker’s pool house is going to be a masterpiece.”

Eden choked on the fizz in her drink while Matt, oblivious to what she’d done to the roof—or rather, hoped she’d done—popped a crab puff into his mouth. “That’s the plan.”

One minute; that’s all she’d wanted to enjoy the new beverage and pretend that this was a normal conversation about a normal construction project with normal people and there wasn’t a baby dragon masquerading as jewelry on her sweater who could start breathing fire any second, or that a donkey or camel or dodo bird could show up uninvited.

Eden snorted at the image of Matt explaining those. Then the soda bubbles went down the wrong pipe and she choked again. Which led to hiccups. Drat. She hated hiccups. She always got them around violets. And now, apparently, carbonated beverages.

She hiccupped again—

And a budvase of violets poofed onto the table between her and Matt’s knees.

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Judi Fennell is an award-winning author and writes what she calls “fairy tales with a twist.” Her romance novels have been finalists in Gather.com’s First Chapters and FirstChapters Romance contests, and have won numerous RWA Chapter Awards, including the FF&P Prism Award, and the New Jersey Golden Leaf Award. Judi lives with her family in suburban Philadelphia, PA, where she is working on the next book in the Genie Trilogy, Genie Knows Best, set for release in November 2011. For more information, please visit http://www.judifennell.com/.

In Over Her HeadContact Info
Website: www.judifennell.com
Blog: http://judifennell.wordpress.com/
Social Media: Facebook / Twitter / GoodReads

Want to purchase Judi’s novels?
In Over Her Head at Amazon or the Book Depository
Wild Blue Under at Amazon or the Book Depository
Catch of a Lifetime at Amazon or the Book Depository
I Dream of Genies at Amazon or the Book Depository
Genie Knows Best (Fall 2011)
Leave It to Genie (Spring 2012)

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Thank you Judi for taking the time to stop by Literary Escapism!

Contest Time! Judi is giving away two copies of her new novel, I Dream of Genies. To enter, all you have to do is answer this one question: In the situation described about, WWYD? (What Would You Do?) (US/Canada only)

As always, there’s more ways of getting your name in the hat (remember, these aren’t mandatory to enter, just extra entries):

  • +1 for each place you post about today’s contest on your blog, social network, or anywhere you can. Digg it, stumble it, twit it, share it with the world. Wherever you share it, make sure you add a link to it along with your answer.
  • +1 to any review you comment on, however, comments must be meaningful. Just give me the title of the review and I’ll be able to figure it out from there.
  • +1 If you are a follower of Literary Escapism on Facebook and/or Twitter
  • +10 Purchase any of Judi’s novels (listed above), or any novel, through LE’s Amazon store or the Book Depository sometime during this contest and send a copy of the receipt VIA email for your purchase to: jackie AT literaryescapism DOT com. Each purchase is worth ten entries.

The winner must post a review of the novel someplace. Whether it is on their own blog, Amazon, GoodReads, LibraryThing or wherever, it doesn’t matter. Just help get the word out.

The contest will stay open until February 3rd, at which time I’ll determine the winner with help from the Research Randomizer and the List Randomizer.

I have not been contacting winners, so you will need to check back to see if you’ve won.

About Jackie 3273 Articles
I am a 30-something SAHM with two adorable boys and a supportive husband who is very tolerant of my reading addiction. I love to read and easily go through about a dozen books a month – well I did before I had kids. Now, not so much. After my first son was born, I began to take my hobby of reviewing a little more serious and started Literary Escapism to help with my sanity. I love to discuss the fabulous novels I’ve read and meeting all the wonderful people in the book blogging community has been amazing.

14 Comments

  1. Hi! I was snowed under and trying to get out yesterday, plus working, and we had an awful situation happen with one of my neighbors, so please excuse me for not checking in… yesterday was not the best of days.

    But I’m here now and hope you all are having a great time in the snow (if you’re in the Northeast, like me), or a great time in better weather.

    Thanks so much for having me!

  2. Hi,

    I’m in the Northeast too but I’m raelly tired of getting up at 5:30 to shovel snow so I can get to work.

    If I had to go to dinner with a boyfriends family and strange things kept happening because of screwy magic I think I’d try to ignore them and just get through dinner.

    +1 facebook follower

  3. My first experience with paranormal with fun humor was with <bHow to Marry a Millionaire Vampire in 2005. I loved it. But I couldn’t find too many other humorous paras I liked until I read In Over Her Head and I loved the play on words and just good honest laughter that came with a good story. I was a fan of Dr.Doolittle and loved Eddie Murphy’s rendition of it, too. My all time fav is Livingston in your second book.

    I’m looking forward to reading I Dream of Genies and I already like what I’ve read of a cat with an attitude.

    Keep writing and I’ll keep reading!

  4. I’ve already read I Dream of Genies, absolutely a wonderfully entertaining read. Yes, I nearly snorted my tea. Oh, and for some reason I had a craving for dates during the second part of the book.

    So beware: the descriptions are so intense that they cause food cravings and I actually started thinking about a perfume I haven’t worn in years. Anyway, the laughs and general sense of happiness that pervades you after reading a Fennell book is reason enough for me to be eagerly awaiting Genie Knows Best.

    Thanks for the great interview; it’s always fun to see the woman behind the curtain.

  5. You have no idea how happy I am to read these stories that insist on being told. It’s so cool when a writer tames the wild voices inside her head and winds up with a terrific book for her efforts. Or better yet, a series!

  6. I’ve just read chapter 11 and I’m not sure what I would do if those things kept happening. I guess I would just try to soldier on and get through.

    May I say I love this book! Not even finished with it yet and I’m in love with Matt, want Humphrey for my pet and I’m pretty sure I know Odo personally. As for Eden, she’s just awesome, strong and sweet and thoroughly human, even if she is a genie.

  7. Hi Judi! I hope you neighbor is ok. I’m in eastern PA so we got a good amount of snow between Wed and Thurs. My youngest had a blast spending her snow day playing outside while my DH and I worked from home taking breaks to shovel out the cars.
    As far as the WWYD answer. There are probably 2 options I might go with. 1. Quickly excuse myself to the bathroom and let the guy explain it.
    2. Divert attention by spilling the soda on myself and hoping no one noticed.
    Can’t wait to see how Eden and Matt deal with it.

  8. I loved that excerpt and it definitely made me want to read the book. WWID if a vase of violets suddenly appeared? I’d laugh (a bit hysterically) and explain to everyone how someone had given me a book of magician’s tricks for my Bday and I was practicing.

    +1 commented on The Iron Queen
    +1 commented on Kiss at your own Risk

  9. Hey, Wanda. It seems EVERYONE knows an Obo. Mine’s name is Pagan.

    Joanna – thanks for the good wishes for my neighbor. I can say that all’s well, thank goodness.

    JenB – ooooh, that’s a good answer. But what if they ask you to do something else and you say you can’t? And then something happens… Magic is a good thing – until it doesn’t work properly. ;)

  10. I’d probably pretend the flowers were there the whole time and say something like “Lilacs always did give me hiccups!” and be glad the baby dragon didn’t appear!

    meredithfl at gmail dot com

    +1 I follow on Facebook

  11. I really enjoyed the first series and looknig forward to the Genie series :)! I have no idea what I’d do in the situation – but it sounds like luck I’d have lol … sooo I guess I’d just suck it up and hope for the best.

    I’m a twitter follower – pams00

    tweeted and include @ LE in the tweet

    fb friend Pamela Freeman Sinclair

    posted to fb – http://www.facebook.com/pams00/posts/138850676178878

    commented on Kiss at Your Risk review

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