Fee-Fi-Fo-Fu…FinnedNot long ago, you might’ve been in a grocery store parking lot witnessing a rather spastic girl trying to escape a dive-bombing bee. She may have been circling the car in a semi-crouched position, while swinging her much-too-heavy purse at the microscopic beast. The purse, of course, ended up whacking her in the head. Twice. Yeah, that was meEver see Marilyn Monroe in How to Marry a Millionaire? Instead of wearing her much needed, yet un-sexy glasses, she decides to trip and slam into just about everything, which, as luck would have it, leads her to the love of her life. I seem to do the same…only I don’t need glasses (yet)…and the only thing it has ever led me to is the dating pool from hell…and an ant pile…not necessarily in that order.
I’m pretty sure I inherited the semi-spaz gene from my mom, who was forever known as the crazy southern lady who missed three steps and crashed into a pie display.
We also share the gene of inappropriate laughter, which soon spreads like hives to people around us. Just ask her about the time she went to the ballet…
Combined, we are probably akin to the deleted scenes section from a Shrek movie. Fortunately, the Inner Idiot isn’t an ‘always’ thing. No, it rears its ugly little head at the most inopportune times.
Such was the case with my book cover…and poor, wonderful Ashley was stuck in the middle of the spaz-fest.
For about two years now, my mom has been a remarkable warrior against a rather nasty little stomach beastie. She swears she’s getting paid back for her unhealthy love affair with the McDonald’s Big Mac. Whatever the reason, when she goes into battle, I make sure I’m right there with her.
So, when the stomach monster popped up again this summer, we went into ‘go get ´em’ mode. Unfortunately, this particular baddie was fierce. After thirteen hours, it finally let her rest. Hell would be an understatement.
Fast forward to just days before the cover reveal: With a book cover more magical than anything I could ever dream, a reveal date set, and bookmarks literally heading to the printer, I thought we were ready to make a splash (I totally went for the lame pun, there…yeah, I’m a dork).
And then came this:
Me: “Bookmarks are going to the printer, Mom!”
Me: “Ooh, not an uh-oh. Uh-oh, what?”
Mom: “Well, I kind of forgot.”
Me: “Forgot what, and why’s it an uh-oh?”
Mom: “I realize this may not be the best timing, since you have your cover and bookmarks. But, during that night when I was sick, I was kind of cursing my stomach…and…um…I have a new title for your book. My gut is really telling me it has to be this: FINNED. It’s like the mermaid version of F*#ked, so it has that double meaning.”
Only my mama would think of something like this while in agony. Well, I burst out laughing…until I thought of Ashley. Holy Mother of Santa, how could I possibly ask her to CHANGE EVERYTHING AT THE LAST MINUTE?! She has had to deal with a terrified, slightly timid, wanting-to-do-everything-right, nervous newbie. I’m basically just a big wad of stress, and she has been so patient and kind. Let me tell you, it was the toughest e-mail to write. I felt like reindeer crap.
Perhaps more befitting of some magical little movie, the bookmarks had not been printed yet, and Ashley was as awesome as always. She totally understood why I needed to make this change—for my mom.
Looking back on it, I don’t think it was an ‘uh-oh moment’ brought on by our bad timing gene—I think it was fate. Now, my mom—my strength and my best friend—will forever be a part of my book. I couldn’t have done any of this without her constant support and encouragement, so it only seems right. Fate may not favor me in the love-life department (or the everyday life department), but it does seem to work a little magic now and again.
Mom and I will both remember this when our next humiliatingly classic moment arises…tomorrow.
Um… BAHAHAHA!!!! Spastic woman… Microscopic beasts and Reindeer crap? Hmmmm sounds like my life only WAY more hilariously told! Sutton Shields is an amazing chick, and her book is HILARIOUSLY awesome! The MC is sarcastic, rebelious and hilarious- my favorite kind of course!
Cover by Claudia @ PhatPuppy Art
FINNED by Sutton Shields
Sixteen-year-old Marina Valentine is a rule-stretcher in an uptight Texas seaside town. She’s hormonally challenged, curious to a fault, hates fish, and has a dating resume that makes the queen look like a slut. It’s not that guys don’t ask her out. They do. She just has an unfortunate reaction to dating—uncontrollable gags. It’s not exactly a turn on.
One by one, her oddball friends start disappearing—much to the joy of the snobby high school royals—and Marina fears she is a walking bull’s eye. Inquiries into their disappearances lead to startling, gag-worthy discoveries. Toss in an increasingly inconvenient attraction to one of the royals—who holds the key to solving the mystery…in his fin—and it’s an anti-fish girl’s worst nightmare come true. Soon, Marina finds herself at the center of a looming underwater war that’s really going to play games with her love life.
As time closes in—and the Merpeople officially come out of the ocean—Marina must choose between the lives of her friends, the future of an underwater utopia, and the life of her first love. There’s just one problem. Where does a love-shy, fish-phobic, non-mergirl even begin…especially when her enemy may be the one person she trusted above everyone else?