Summer’s on the way, and just in time, Judi Fennell’s new book IN OVER HER HEAD debuts on June 1. When Erica Peck, one terrified-of-the-ocean marina owner, finds herself at the bottom of the sea conversing with a Mer man named Reel, she thinks she’s died and gone to her own version of Hell. When the Oceanic Council demands she and Reel retrieve a lost cache of diamonds from the resident sea monster in return for their lives, she knows she’s died and gone to Hell.
When they escape the monster and end up on a deserted island, she amends her opinion – she’s died and gone to Heaven.
But when Reel sacrifices himself to allow her to return to her world, she realizes that, Heaven or Hell, with Reel, she’s In Over Her Head.
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.
To celebrate the release of each of her books, Judi Fennell and the Atlantis Inn and the Hibiscus House bed and breakfasts are raffling off three romantic beach getaway weekends. All information is on Judi’s website.
And last but not least, I like to ask visiting authors what their characters would have to say to my psychologist character, Dr. Rebecca Butterman. But Judi went one better–she wrote the entire therapy session! Have a look:
Dr. Butterman: So, Erica, why are you here today?
Erica: Well, Doctor, I have this stupid phobia.
D.B.: Why is it stupid?
Erica: I’m scared of the ocean. Well, what’s IN the ocean. There’s a difference, you know. The water doesn’t scare me, nor does the deep, but what’s in it? Yeah. Totally freaks me out.
D.B.: Do you know what instigated this fear?
Erica: (Nodding). Yes, but I can’t talk about it.
D.B.: Erica, if you can’t talk about it, you won’t be able to resolve it.
Erica: That’s not a bad thing, is it? I mean, I don’t need to go in the ocean to live, right? I’m fine on land so it’s a non-issue, really.
D.B.: But I thought you helped out at a marina?
Erica: I own the marina. With my brothers. But they’re off serving our country so it’s up to me to handle the business.
D.B.: Do you do charters from the marina?
D.B.: So how do you manage that? I would think that running charters would entail having to go out on the ocean.
Erica: (Squirming in her seat). Well, that is, I… I did take out a charter. But that didn’t work out so well.
D.B.: What happened?
Erica: (Biting her lip and fiddling with the fringe on the sofa pillow) I… uh… accidentally threw some diamonds overboard.
D.B.: Diamonds? What were diamonds doing on your boat?
Erica: (Huffing) My stupid ex-boyfriend hid them in my grandfather’s urn. Can you imagine? Who hides diamonds in someone’s urn? That’s just gross. But I guess he knew they weren’t going anywhere, since I have this phobia and Grandpa was still in that urn. It’d been a… while.
D.B.: So then what happened? How did your ex react?
Erica: (Sits up straight and folds her hands in her lap) The bastard forced me in the water to go after them. At gunpoint.
D.B.: And how did that make you feel?
Erica: How do you think? I was totally p.o’d. How dare he!
D.B.: But you went?
Erica: Well, yes. I mean, he had a gun.
D.B.: And then what happened?
Erica: (biting her lip again and fidgeting. And playing with the pillow fringe) I… I met a merman.
D.B.: A merman. (arches eyebrow).
D.B.: And did this merman have a name?
D.B.: Were there any other mermen?
Erica: Oh, yes. His brother. Rod.
D.B.: (Her pencil falls onto her notebook and the good doctor interlaces her fingers and rests her hands on top of the notebook.) Rod and Reel. The mermen. Who’s their father? Fisher?
Erica: (Smiling) Oh, you’ve met them, too!
D.B.: (Stands) I think that’s all for today, Erica.
Erica: (watching the doctor leave the room) What’d I say?
Thanks for stopping by Judi and very best wishes with the new book!