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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

When Mers Go Walking

Please welcome guest blogger Judi Fennell

The title of this blog came to me and I thought it sounded catchy. (Yes, pun totally intended for the release of my third Mer novel, Catch of a Lifetime, out this month.)

But what does it mean?

You know, when we write paranormal, we pretty much have free reign. I mean, when you're writing a world, building it to your own specifications, you can do whatever you want with it. Let vampires run around in daylight? Sure. If you change the mythology for that world, it can work. Have werewolves be able to be killed with silver bullets? It's a twist on our "known" mythology, and definitely works.

So why can't Mers walk on land?

I was actually surprised by the question when I first started with this series. People were surprised that my first Mer, Reel, in In Over Her Head, had legs. Then, Rod, the hero in Wild Blue Under came out of the water and ended up with legs. And now Angel has them until she goes back in the sea--and boy, does that cause problems!

But I never considered my Mers not getting legs. First, there's the obvious question of "sensitive scenes." (And, yes, I've gotten that question more times than I can count!) But there's also the question of how the hero and heroine are going to overcome their prejudices about their different races. How better to do that than walk in each other's shoes? Or fins, as the case might be. Oh, not that the Humans can get fins; I figured that'd be stretching the suspension of disbelief too much. But they get to breathe, hear and see underwater by kissing a Mer (which was just so convenient, ya know? ;} ) Plus, it gave my heroes and heroines the chance to experience life "on the other side." Get the skinny on why the grass (or kelp) isn't always greener.

Here's Angel's intro in the world of Humans:


The seagulls were laughing at her.

Atop a lighting fixture at the end of the dock, the birds started making noise the minute Angel stepped off the rocking boat.

They could cut her some slack. So she was a little unsteady. This was the first time she’d ever had legs, and disembarking a rocking boat wasn’t easy. Not to mention, she was still floating over the fact that she’d pulled it off. Logan was letting her stay. She had an excuse and an opportunity to test out her plans for the Coalition.

Now she just needed to figure out how to pull off a disappearing act every other night to ensure the return of her tail so she could stay for more than a day or two. Much as she wanted to learn about Humans and get the directorship, she didn’t want to sacrifice her tail to do so, which is what would happen if she had legs for more than two consecutive sunsets.

“How long have you had the boat, Logan?” She turned around as he climbed over the gunwale. “Do you use it often? Have you ever lived in it on the marina? The ocean? What does it run on? Diesel? Biofuel?”

Logan stepped onto the dock. “What’s with the twenty questions?”

Damn. She had a bad habit of wanting to know the answer to everything right away.

“Oh, just curious.” Then she tripped over some loose mooring lines, and, on cue, the birds erupted with more laughter.

At least she stayed upright. As long as they didn’t start speaking to her, she could pretend they were squawking that signature caw Humans found so annoying—and would find even more annoying if they knew the gulls were laughing at them. Seabirds just loved bathing-suit season.

Then her heel came down awkwardly on a hose someone had left out. This time she couldn’t manage to keep her balance and fell—right into Logan’s arms.

Suddenly the seagull noise faded into the background. So did Michael’s laughter, the creak of the boat against the dock, the motor of someone’s charter leaving the marina, and all her twenty questions.

Everything faded into the background except the feel of Logan’s arms around her. The flexing biceps beneath her palms. The tightening of his stomach against her chest. That delicious blended scent of sea breeze and man…

Angel looked up—he was so much taller than she was. So much bigger. Yet he wouldn’t hurt her. She knew that. How she did, she didn’t know, but something… almost a quiet strength about him, told her, in one instant, that she could trust him with her life

She blinked. Now that was ridiculous. He was a Human. Humans were the last beings a Mer could trust.


So, what about you? Have you tried seeing a point from another person's perspective and ended up changing your opinion because of it?

Now, if only I could figure out how to get shoes on those fins, Angel truly could walk in Erica's shoes...

Catch of a Lifetime

Sourcebooks, Inc.

February, 2010


She’s on a mission to save the planet…

Mermaid Angel Tritone has been researching humans from afar, hoping to find a way to convince them to stop polluting. When she jumps into a boat to escape a shark attack, it’s her chance to pursue her mission, but she has to keep her identity a total secret…

When he finds out what she really is, they’re both in mortal danger…

For Logan Hardington, finding a beautiful woman on his boat is surely not a problem—until he discovers she’s a mermaid, and suddenly his life is on the line…

What people are saying:

"Fennell's got detailed worldbuilding, creative secondary characters and an impressive use of mythology in this great read. While this title is part of a series, it works well as a stand-alone. Angel and Logan are both incredibly textured characters.

-RT BookReview Magazine 4 Stars

"Judi Fennell has extraordinary imagination and has certainly used it in creating this exciting and colorful story. Her characters are wonderful."

Fresh Fiction

"The best blend of both worlds. I... love each and every character in Catch of A Lifetime (and) found (it) well worth diving into."

Long And Short Reviews 4.5 Books

4 Stars!

Affair de Coeur Magazine

"Catch of a Lifetime is a heart warming tale. Ms. Fennell Ms. Fennell has created a delightful world that, I have enjoyed escaping to. It is both dangerous and fun."

Anna's Book Blog

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.


To celebrate the release of each of her books, Judi Fennell and the Atlantis Inn (www.AtlantisInn.com) and the Hibiscus House (www.HibiscusHouse.com) bed and breakfasts are raffling off three romantic beach getaway weekends. All information is on Judi's website, www.JudiFennell.com


Nina Pierce said...

I love fantasy reads. I fell in love with mermaids years ago with Tom Hanks and Darryl Hannah in "Splash". And of course they have legs! *g* These books all sound wonderful. They're on my buy list.

Lisa Kessler said...

I think anytime you can walk in another person's shoes you gain a better respect and understanding of their point of view... :)

Great blog! I've got one of your books in my TBR pile.. I'm looking forward to it! :)


Judi Fennell said...

Hi Nina and Lisa! I hope you both have fun "diving into the romance!"

Thanks for stopping by!

Danica Avet said...

Judi, great post. You're the best! I'll never forget the help you gave me for my first editor submission :)

I think looking at things from another's perspective is part of the golden rule and the only way we can truly understand the world around us. If everyone did this, then we'd all probably be a lot happier.

Judi Fennell said...

aw, thanks, Danica! Glad to help! :)

Other Lisa said...

Well, writing IMO is a form of multiple personality disorder -- you have to think like your different characters in order to write them well.

I love that this one has an environmental theme, Judi!

aries18 said...

I love all three of your Mer books. All the characters, the world you built and the action just knocked me out! And those sensitive scenes! Whew. I hope there'll be more in the future.

Judi Fennell said...

Thank you OtherLisa and Wanda for stopping by! Love those Wombats!

Sheila Deeth said...

I moved from England to America. Does that count as trying to see things from the other side?