Saturday, September 20, 2008

Dive into Romance with Me!

Since this is my first post as a Casa Author, I thought I should tell you a little about me. Oh, you can get the basics on my website, where I say that I grew up on Bewitched and I Dream of Jeannie. That two of my favorite books are Bewitching by Jill Barnett and A Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Devereaux. What I don’t go into and will here is how these shows made me the writer I am today.

I studied Spanish in college. Actually, I studied it from 7th grade on and lived in Spain for a semester. I have a “thing” for languages. I love words. I love manipulating words and, like my heroine Erica in In Over Her Head, am a sucker for puns. I love double entendre and playing with meanings and alliteration and taking clich├ęs and twisting them to a whole new meaning.

Combine a love of language with a love of the paranormal, throw in Disney--with an attitude (because I love those princesses), add in some Indiana Jones action (and the hot heroes naturally follow), stir in some of my favorite romantic comedies (Failure to Launch was an inspiration for In Over Her Head) and you get my stories.

When I told my critique group way-back-when that I was writing a Mer man story with a talking fish named Chum they rolled their eyes and said, “Only you, Judi,” but come on--a fish named Chum? I couldn’t resist. The hero’s name is Reel--you KNOW he has to have a twin brother named Rod. Rod gets his story in book 2, Whale of a Tail, which also has some language manipulation in it that has me both chuckling and pulling my hair out trying to make it work in some places. Not quite sure yet what I envision for book 3 (Catch of a Lifetime), but the characters are already tugging at my heartstrings.

The picture is from artist, Emerald de Leeuw, who kindly allowed me to use this image in one of the online contests I was in for In Over Her Head. She does beautiful work and I'm happy to report that she earned a few cover art commissions from her generosity. Please check out her other works.

I’m looking forward to sharing these stories with all of you next summer when you can “dive into romance” with me!

79 comments:

  1. Good morning Judi. I absolutely loved the book "A Knight in Shining Armor" too. It was an early first experience for me, of a romance novel that was not entirely traditional, bringing in the element of time travel. Your stories also sound very unusual but intriguing and sexy. That puts you right at home here. We are so glad to have you with us!

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  2. Judi, I'm sure you'll come up with something equally amusing and amazing for that third book -- and as you know, the Soons stand ready to help out if needed.

    So glad your stories have found such a good home. I'm looking forward to your first book signing!

    J

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  3. Judi~

    I was one of those chapter mates rolling her eyes, but I had no doubt you could pull it off. You've made me laugh for years. Four years, I think. I'm so glad we're on this roller coaster together.

    Hugs...Robin :)

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  4. Hi, Judi

    Great post. "A Knight in Shining Armor" is one of my all time favorite books too. I'm so happy for your success and look forward to reading all of your books.

    Carolyn
    www.caramarsi.com

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  5. Thanks for stopping by, you guys! Yes, Robin, I do recall your eyes rolling. LOL.

    JL - you might be brainstorming in the VERY near future!

    A Knight In Shining Armor - I even love the title!

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  6. Judi--I remember the fish friend named Chum. Only you could pull that off. :)

    Great description of your voice and style. Congratulations on your book sales. I wish you the best!

    --Adele Dubois

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  7. Congratulations, Judi. You must be on cloud nine and a half. Your books sound awesome.

    Beverly

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  8. A Mer man with a talking fish named Chum!! It sounds like so much fun:-) I can't wait to read it. And the art work is gorgeous...

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  9. I have to tell everyone that this is NOT the cover for the book. Sourcebooks is still working on that, but when I was in the First Chapters Romance Contest, I wanted to give readers a visual before they started reading, so they knew what they were getting. Emerald does magnificent work and my friend Pat Shaw found this picture online. Emerald was so sweet to allow me to use it for the contest. Please check out her site (www.EmeralddeLeeuw.com) to see more of her work.

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  10. Boy, do I remember the contest days. I'm so delighted for you that those days are behind you! (Except for the Rita, of course!) I can't wait to get the full picture of Erica and Reel's story! Since your First Chapters, I've been left hanging on the hook! (Sorry, I couldn't resist.)

    Congrats on your first Casa blog!
    Carla

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  11. Congratulations, Judi! I fell in love with Chum during First Chapters at Gather and it is so great to know that he's going to be in print. Best of luck to you!

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  12. Hey Judi!

    Ever since I saw you at the airport at 6 a.m. (was it even 6 yet?), waiting for luggage after RWA in San Fran, I've been thinking of you.

    Looks like everything is going great! Congrats!

    --Diana

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  13. Sounds like such a fun story, Judi!
    Best of luck with it.

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  14. This is wonderful news. I loved what I read of In Over Your Head, and I hope it is a tremendous success..

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  15. And you are no chum, either ;-)
    SOOOO happy to see you FINALLY getting what you deserved in the publishing business!!!!

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  16. If your books reflect your sense of humor and light hearted nature, they will be huge sellers!
    Congrats - looking forward to reading them!
    Cuz KT1

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  17. Judi, you know I'm such a fan of Rod and Erica in In Over Her Head. What else could inspire me to spend an entire afternoon arduously trolling the internet, drooling on pictures of mermen! As soon as I saw Emerald's painting, I knew it was just perfect! And only somethng perfect would suit such a wonderful, funny story! Many congratulations on publishing!

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  18. Well, this is a first. 17 comments before 8AM--on a SATURDAY! If this is any indication of your following, promotion will be a cinch for you!
    Congrats on the books--they sound like fun, and I love fun!

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  19. Judi, welcome, so great to see you here and learn about your book. I am totally intrigued. Can't wait to read it.

    And the picture is to die for... Just beautiful.

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  20. Pat - was it really arduous? I still have soem of those links you sent me. That didn't look arduous to me :)

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  21. Judi, Your storyline is so intriguing! I can't wait! Another to add to the list of books I have little time to read. Ha!! From one newbie to another: Congratulations and welcome to the blog! Isn't it fun?!!! :)

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  22. Romance with a twist and a promise of love and laughter--what's not to love about your stories, Judi? Can't wait to read the full series and the many books that come after. Congrats on your first blog entry here. May the writing and editing prove rewarding by every measure.

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  23. Judi, you so richly deserve your success! Not only are you a spirited and talented writer but you are incredibly generous and supportive of other writers.

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  24. Hi Judi! Just dropping in to say congratulations!! I'm so glad you and your wonderful stories have found a home with such a great group of authors!

    Rod and Reel? LOL. Can't wait to read these books!

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  25. Judi you worked so hard for this I couldn't be happier for you if I tried.. Yip! Viva la Rod and Erica!

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  26. Hi Judy, Love your blog! Congrats on being a published author. When you get time check out my blog at http://www.anythingwriting.blogspot.com

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  27. hi Judi. Congratulations on your success. I'm looking forward to reading more of your work.

    Linda R.

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  28. Congratulations, Judi! You worked hard. Your hard work is a testimonial to all!

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  29. Rod and Reel and a fish named Chum. How clever and absolutely delightful!

    I can't wait to read the book. But about mermen--I've always wondered, where do they keep their...you know?

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  30. Ah, Mary Margaret - you have voiced the question I've gotten many, many times. All I'm going to say (besides, "read the book") is "think of your mythology."

    I can't give away ALL my secrets...

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  31. Judi, that's too good. Chum, Reel and Rod...I love doing that myself, but I have a different slant on it, which is a good thing, since it makes us both unique in our writing style.
    So pleased to see your success. When I first read your entry at Gather I was enchanted, and the art image is perfect.
    Lots of good things down the author trail.

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  32. It's about time the Merpeople got some literary press.

    The series sounds fun and exciting. I know from your writing it will be a fun read and look forward to being able to pick up a copy.

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  33. Welcome to the blog, Judi! Looking forward to your mermaid books! Have we talked about Spain? I lived there for three years, and my daughter was born there!

    Viva Espana!

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  34. Welcome to the blog, Judi! This is great and I love the picture.

    Now I can't wait to read the books!

    Linda

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  35. Oh, boy, Marie, the friendship circle just tightens! We'll have to chat it up. I looooooooved Spain!

    John - yes, it's true. The Mers have finally stood up to be counted (or swam up...or whatever...)

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  36. Judi
    "A Knight in Shining Armor" magnificent as always. I love it. Thanks for inviting me to the site.

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  37. Hi Judi,
    Big congratulations to you. I knew this day would come. Gotta go order the book and some others I saw here that interest me.

    write on,
    SandyF from Gather.com

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  38. Hey Judi!
    I'm thrilled to see you blogging here! I wish all the best for you (go mermen!) and I have to say, there's nothing on earth like a good chum.
    Maggie
    writer wednesday at The Book Spa
    www.maggietoussaint.com

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  39. Judi,

    What can I say? You deserve this. You are one talented, beautiful person.

    When you hit the NY Times Best Selling list I can look fondly and say "I remember her when she was just starting out." You always have a fan in me.

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  40. Judi,
    Congratulations. Your artwork is wonderfully sexy, and I well remember chatting with you last year on our environmental special radio show about merfolk.

    By the way, my book is out this week, Knight's Fork.

    Best wishes
    Rowena Cherry

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  41. It's so great to see so many familiar names and new ones too. This has been really fun today! Thanks for all the private emails and links. You guys are great!

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  42. Congrats Judi. You earned it. I still remember the peacock slippers. They have to get into a book one day.

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  43. Judi, Congratulations on your success. You've worked hard for it and you deserve every good thing that follows. I'm looking forward to catching up with those characters! See you around the old wombat cave.

    hugs, wanda

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  44. I can't wait to see these in print! So very excited :)

    Sue Barton

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  45. You go Judi. Hoping for much success for you.

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  46. Congrats, Judi! I love double entendre, too. The books sound fun and I love the artwork!

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  47. WTG, Judi! I can't wait to read them all. And can I add another vote for the fabulous art? Psst, hey, Sourcebooks! Whaddya say?

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  48. Thanks, everyone. Lisa, I love Emerald's artwork, but it no longer fits the book as it once did. Besides, the art dept does WONDERFUL work - check out the covers on the sidebar. I can't wait to see what they come up with for mine!

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  50. Judi,

    Wanted to take a moment to congratulate you once again on getting In Over Her Head published, but I also want to commend you for all the hard work you are doing to get the other two written. You aren't caving under the presure of a deadline, but instead are more than rising to the occassion. You go, girl!

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  51. Hey, Judi! This is Clarisa from Gather. I don't think we've had the chance to talk yet (I've just subscribed to the site a couple of days ago).

    Anyway, great idea for a book! Mermen? That's original, for sure. Congrats on your success!

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  52. Hi Judi,

    I'm looking forward to seeing your books in print. It's been a long ride since the First Chapters contests we both were in. Good to see you writing in the Sourcebooks blog -- keep up the great promos.

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  53. Guess there's something going on inside that head of fantastic hair!
    You know what I mean, Judi.
    I wish you all the success in the world...fish people and dragons, perfect together!

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  54. Judi, you are going to hit it big with this one. You have a knack for the quirky and the different and the enthusiasm and skill to carry it through.

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  55. Awww...you guys are too kind! And, yes, Irene, I know. :)

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  56. Hi, Judi. I didn't want to miss your first appearance as a published author. Looks like your book found a good home. Best of luck!

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  57. I can't wait to own "In Over Her Head", "A Whale of a Tail", and "The Catch of a Lifetime"!! Congrats, Judi! You've worked hard for this. I'm so glad it's paying off for you.

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  58. Judi
    I am so proud for you. Congrats!

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  59. Judi
    I am so proud for you. Congrats!

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  60. Hi Judi,

    That is a great picture. I'm looking forward to seeing your cover,and to reading the books!

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  61. Great post, Judi. Can't wait until the books out next summer. Daria

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  62. Judi, who glows, is living proof of the axiom... The harder she works, the luckier she gets. You go, girl.

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  63. Hello Judi!

    I'm so happy for you! What a blessing! I pray nothing but success for you. I enjoy your writing...it completely takes me to a whole other world! The best of everything to you and yours!

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  64. Judi, I have to say that The Little Mermaid was one of my favorite Disney flicks. Must have watched at least a 100 times with a very young Jake and probably knew all the songs by heart. I love the whole story with Erica and rod. You already know Jake likes your story "even though it's got mushy love stuff in mom."

    I've read Knight in Shining Armor numerous times, loved Jill Barnetts comedic magical series of books she did. And given your sense of humor, I fully expect to laugh through parts of your series. How smart of Sourcebooks to pick you up!

    I'm not real familiar with Blogs but I'll try to keep up with yours my friend!

    Congratulations, sweetie!

    ~Sia~

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  65. Judi, I LOVE the idea and inspiration behind your books! And it's nice to see another lover of Jill Barnett and Disney Princesses (I think my fave is Belle). Can't wait to read this, and welcome to the blog!

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  66. Judi,
    I am waiting, impatiently of course, for next summer and your debut. I am looking forward to acquiring a signed trilogy,hint, hint- even if it means flying back east to get them signed :)

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  67. Judi, I wish you all the best on this trilogy. I can't wait to read about Reel, Rod,and Chum. I've followed your career from the beginning. May these books put you on the NYTimes Best Seller list.

    Oh and thanks for the apron.

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  68. Pat! Thanks for stopping by!

    Pat won an apron during my run in the American Title contest with my manuscript, Beauty and The Best.

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  69. Oh Judi, you are a great inspiration! I also am a fan of "Knight in Shining Armor" or any thing by Jude...I wish you all the success in the world-we all know you deserve it.

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  70. Judi - You are living my dream! Enjoy every minute of it! Congratulations on all of your success.

    -Stephanie

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  71. Judi: Yay on your new books and yay on your first blogpost. I'm looking forward to more. You're my inspiration!

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  72. Yay, Judi!! Can't wait till the the first book comes out!

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  73. Yay Judi! Congratulations! And nice to read more about where your inspiration came from. Only you could make names like that work, and you do it so well.

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  74. Judi,

    Glad to see that you're published!

    Your penchant for puns reminds me of Piers Anthony's "Xanth" series - one of my favorites!

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  75. Judi:

    You have worked so hard and now it is time to reap the benefits! I can't wait to buy your first book. Best wishes for continued success.

    Jenny

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  76. Hey Judi,

    Oh QOTFU, you did it and I knew you would. The only thing that disappoints me is that I have to wait until next summer to buy In Over Her Head. Congratulations on your trilogy. I mean really, what could be better than having a threesome for your first. ;) Just think of all the time you saved me from having to search the shelves for a few good summer reading books. Thanks Judi! But seriously, Congratulations.

    Michelle

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  77. Judi...
    Congratulations and best wishes for your great success! It's great to see the clever entries in the First Chapters Contest now coming into print. It gives us all hope! Enjoy every moment.

    ~Natalie Neal Whitefield

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