Guest Author: Judi Fennell

Remember when I said I found a new series involving merpeople?  There’s a ton of werewolves and vampires out there, but with In Over Her Head, we’ll be getting some hot merpeople action and we’ll have Judi Fennell to thank for that.

Today, I’m excited to welcome Judi to Literary Escapism where she’ll be talking about her new novel, In Over Her Head,


Hi and thanks for having me! So what do you do when you’re terrified of the ocean and someone is forcing you in at gunpoint?

Well, if you’re Erica Peck, the heroine of In Over Her Head, you beat the bad guy—who just so happens to be your ex-fiancé—at his own game.

If you’re me, well… probably not.

Now, I haven’t ever been forced into the ocean at gunpoint, but sometimes it feels that way. I’ve made no secret of the fact that I, like Erica, am terrified of the ocean. Oh, not the deep, or the water, but what’s in the deep water. Heck, what can show up in three feet of water.

Yes, I saw JAWS at a young age. It left a mark.

But I refuse to allow myself to be paralyzed by that fear, and I’d like to think I’d react as Erica does. Well, as she does after she realizes that she’s not going crazy. That starfish can have attitudes, that remoras are bossy, and Atlantis isn’t the myth we all believe. She takes it on the fin, I mean, chin, and sets her sights on getting out alive.

She also sets her sights on Reel, the hero. The merman.

And yes, the first question everyone—and I mean everyone—asks is about that. How do mermen “do it”?

You really think I’m going to spill the beans now?

See, one of the things I like to do with my writing is take myths, legends, pop culture, fables, fairy tales, what have you, and “twist” them. Take you down one road then suddenly go left. Or right. Or up. Or down.

Or under the sea. Onto a deserted island. Maybe both.

And of course you have to have a bad guy. And danger. And Atlantis. And diamonds…

This story gave me the chance to explore the oceans, yes, with sharks, in a way that I could control (well, as much as the characters let me) and maybe, just maybe, get it back for myself. So this summer, when I’m vacationing at the Jersey Shore, I might go in the water past my knees. Do some boogie-boarding, maybe even take a book out on a raft with me.

Although… Vincent, the great white, did scare Erica just offshore, so maybe I won’t. Or if I do, there will be someone else farther out. Someone on either side of me.

And my eyes not on any book, but looking for fins.

Now, if only they are Mer fins…

For your chance to win one of three romantic beach getaway weekends to celebrate the release of In Over Her Head and the next two in the series, Wild Blue Under in November ’09, and Catch of a Lifetime in February 2010, see my website to register to win.

This story was an absolute blast to write and the characters kept me laughing. It’s been so amazing to me that others have liked my “little talking fish” story, and I hope you do too.


Thank you Judi for stopping by and I can’t wait to read In Over Her Head!

Contest Time! We’re giving away a copy of Judi Fennell’s novel In Over Her Head to a lucky commentator and it’s very easy to enter. All you have to do is answer this one of these simple questions:  Do you have any fantasies involved mermen?  Do you already have a favorite merman?  Now that we have some more mermen, what other characters are sadly lacking in novels?

As always, if you want more chances to win, you can 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 (yes LE is now on Twitter as well!).  The more places you share it, the more entries you get.

Join the Literary Escapism Facebook page and you’ll get an additional entry (for each page).  Make sure you leave a comment so I know that’s why you’re joining.  Only new readers to the group will be considered.

For 2 additional entries, subscribe to Literary Escapism’s newsletter in the sidebar. This is for new subscribers only.

I’ll determine the winner with help from the Research Randomizer. All entries must be in by midnight on May 26th.

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.


  1. Great post, Judi, and good on you for facing your fears AND getting a kickin’ series out of it! Congrats!

    So I’m not the only one who thought of Patrick Duffy and “The Man from Atlantis” Whew! :)

  2. Hi, Judi! Congrats on In Over Her Head. :D I was lucky enough to get an ARC of it a few months ago to review and really liked it, as I’m sure a lot of others will, too.

    Congrats, again!

    • Can I say how jealous I am Wendy? You’ve already had a chance to read it?! How fabulous is it? I can’t wait to read it once it’s published.

  3. Hi Judi! I love reading mermen! Most I’ve read were ones I was able to find in ebooks but still not enough! I did love Emma Wildes THE MERMAN! Armand was a sizzling one :) I too remember an anthology of mermaid-mermen related stories from Midnight Seductions. Most were warm and good stories! It filled my appetite for this theme for a bit! So you can imagine I’m excited about yours! What merman books you recommend too? I’d love to be in for the contest for this one! My fantasy? LOL. I love the water, and swimming, as long as I know the depth so I don’t go far and panic, LOL, but I thought of swimming to an island and meeting one there :D

    Can you tell us what the difference is with a Merman and Selkie? I always wondered it they were the same? Will you have more related books from your debut here?

    Other thems I miss are more legends and the like, especially Greek gods! I’d love to read more about them, especially a series so I could look forward to more!

  4. I don’t really have any fantasies about mermen, but then again, I’ve never read a book about merman before. I have had this book on my TBR list since January when I saw it on another blog, so it’s awesome to be able to read this interview and possibly win a copy!

  5. Congrats on the first book release Judi, it sounds awesome! I haven’t come across many mermen in fiction or real life, but I live in Nova Scotia surrounded by the ocean so I’m hoping to come across a handsome one some day during one of my daily swims*grins*

    And I just joined the newsletter too!

  6. Thanks everyone for stopping by! Caffey, selkies are seals who can become human, and vice versa. They shed their pelt on land and have to hide it because if anyone steals the pelt, the selkie is now stranded on land. Virginia Kantra writes a wonderful selkie series.

    As for recommending other Mermen books, I’m going to have to say I haven’t seen any. MaryJanice Davidson has a mermaid series, featuring Fred(ricka) the mermaid. Swimming with The Fishes, Swimming Without a Net and Fish Out Of Water are hers. Joey W. Hill wrote A Mermaid’s Kiss, and Shana Abe has The Last Mermaid. Alesia Holiday has an Atlantian series – Warriors of Poseidon. So there are Mers out there. Here’s hoping it becomes a hot topic!

    Best of luck to everyone who entered!

  7. In Over Her Head is on my June To Buy list, so please bypass me on the drawing.

    Mermen? Have not read any mermen books, so I don’t have an ideal. I do very much enjoy Virginia Kantra’s selkies (seals) who can shift into human pnr’s …

    Vamps, shifters and werewolves are great, but it’s oh so refreshing to see new paranormal types like Merpeople! Being a lover of anything sea-related, I look forward to armchair “trips” to the ocean.

    In Over Her Head’s book description grabbed me the first time I came across it — I was SOLD!


  8. merpeople really do sound different – they were one of the most interesting races in the Harry Potter books, but sadly appeared very rarely.
    myself – I wonder if any author would be brave enough to tackle a were-racoon….

  9. Nope! I have no fantasies involving mermen!

    Please count me in – Thanks!

  10. Wow. Fantasys about mermen yes sir ee. I’d love to be transported down to the world down under and really experience the ocean and it’s many wonders.
    Anyhow the book does sound fantastic. Please count me in as I’d love to read it.
    polo-puppy-fluffy AT hotmail Dot com

  11. I never had mermen fantasies. Have to check with me again after reading the book though – thanks

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