Love, Lust, and Deb Tawna’s MAKING WAVES! (Giveaway!)

I was raised by romance novels.

Not literally. I mean I do have actual parents.

But I grew up reading them.

I started out with the Sweet Dreams series, which had covers like this one (and according to the Wikipedia article, models included Diane Lane and Courteney Cox – don’t you love Wikipedia?), and gave me a very skewed view of teen romance. Or maybe I was just choosing my boyfriends poorly. By the way, click the image for a review of that particular title, which happens to be about computer dating, though it was written in 1980-something.

Then I moved on to Silhouette Special Edition (don’t even get me started on the example pictured), which had actual sex in them – kind of -, and were produced at a rate almost as fast as I could read them.



I even wrote my master’s thesis on romance novels, which was actually a terrible idea, because I was so sick of them and had pulled them apart in such detail that I couldn’t even stand to read one for years. Until I discovered Lori Foster. Who led me to Janelle Denison. Tawna would be very disappointed in me, as I only just now, while I was uploading that picture, got the symbolism of the champagne bottle.

In any case, I like my romance novels to have: smart heroines (and heroes), lots of sexual tension, and a plot that’s strong enough to keep them apart exactly when they most want to be together.

Enter Deb Tawna’s Making Waves, which not only has all three of the above, in spades, but also has a sense of humor. If you’ve been reading her posts all year, none of this will surprise you.

In fact, I wasn’t surprised at all that I loved Making Waves the way I did. The heroine, Juli, is smart as a whip, and her hero, Alex, is absolutely worthy of her.

The plot is fun – how much do you love that there are actual pirates in this book? – and there’s even a secondary romance, in addition to Juli and Alex’s. Having tried once to write a romance myself, I know how hard it is to keep two people who love and lust after each other apart, and I was never disappointed by the way Juli and Alex kept running into obstacles to keep them apart.

Is it steamy? And how.

Is it funny? Have you been reading Tawna’s posts all year? I mentioned that the characters were smart, so they’re forever making good quips, but they’re also just funny in who they are – the way all of us are. Because we all are, no matter how suave we try to be, pretty darn silly at the core of it.

Tawna recently mentioned that when she was writing Making Waves, she really wanted to make it a light, fun beach read. And that it is. I read it in one sitting, and though Colorado is short on beaches, the Caribbean adventures in Making Waves absolutely made me feel like I was there.

Tawna, I know you’ve had a long road to publication, and I’m so happy for you. And for those of you who haven’t yet read Making Waves, you’re in for a treat!

What’s your history with romance novels? Love ’em? Hate ’em? Never met ’em?

Congrats to Coleen, who won Tawna Fenske’s Making Waves!

39 Replies to “Love, Lust, and Deb Tawna’s MAKING WAVES! (Giveaway!)”

  1. I’ve only just discovered romance novels in the past couple of years but boy, have I been making up for lost time! I guess I’ve always been an undiagnosed romance-junkie and have written romance into MY books, but just didn’t know how satisfying and addictive actual romance novels could be. Although spare time has been very spare recently, I’ve been reading a ton of romances, particularly historicals, because I kind of crave escape from a life of cell phones, computers and that in which I don’t have a maid, butler and a cook.

    1. Have you read the Outlander series? I’m not much on historical fiction in general, but those are lovely. I can definitely understand the need to escape, though – I’m right there with you!

      1. Funny you mention the Outlander Series – I have determined that I will take book one with me on my next cruise (in November). I started to read it once, but life/crit work/new puppy stuff got in the way.

        1. Yeah, it definitely is a book you need time to devote to. But it’s much like Pringles, in a very delicious way.

  2. I started out with Gothic romances as a teen (Victoria Holt, Phyllis Whitney, and the like), and moved on from there. Now I tend to gravitate toward romances with an element of humor, so Tawna’s books are perfect reads for me.

  3. Don’t need the copy of Tawna’s book (since I’ve ordered it), but she might be the way I ever go back to romance novels. My mom was into Barbara Cartland’s books–which meant I read them too–and I did listen to several Amanda Quick novels on tape, in between medieval and renaissance readings for my Ph.D, but I can’t say I’ve had a lot of experience reading romances. Especially GOOD romances. I’ll need to check out the authors you name. Maybe I’ll try Phyllis Whitney, too, as Linda suggests.

    1. I’ve never been a huge fan of “traditional” romances, though I’ve read my fair share. I love romantic comedy, and my favorite authors in that realm are Jennifer Crusie, Lani Diane Rich (who also writes as Lucy March), and Kristan Higgins.

    2. Lori Foster and Janelle Denison are fabulous, but they are very racy. Not at all Barbara Cartland-esque!

      And thank you for supporting Tawna’s book!

  4. Having been a Steph Plum fan for years, I checked out some of Evanovich’s romance – you can feel the same vibe in both genres. It’s the humor that stands out for me. I have so much serious kaka in my life that I read purely for F-U-N unless it’s non-fic, and even then, I avoid morose, downer stories. Needless to say, Oprah’s book picks where RARELY in my TBR pile. Making Waves is funny! And the characters, while “out there”, are real enough that you’d like to know them, if they could come to life. And in Making Waves, thanks to Tawna’s skill – they have! So GO MEET THEM on the dock, hop aboard and bon voyeurage! (Get it? Ha ha – see why I do NOT write romacne?)


      1. Okay, I really need to try some Janet Evanovich now. I am not a mystery reader, so I think I’d always turned away from them, but every time you bring them up, I think, ‘I should read one!’

      2. Tawna, you kick the living daylights out of the later Steph Plum books (seven and on), and can go head to head with awesome, early Steph Plum any day!

    1. I don’t think there’s a book on this earth that could not be improved by the addition of pirates. I think I may start a new craze, a la Pride & Prejudice & Zombies.

    1. So many people who’ve read MAKING WAVES tell me, “I don’t normally like romance novels, but I laughed all the way through yours.” I’m thrilled by the idea that I might be able to lure skeptics to the genre.

  5. Oh, how long do we have? My first intro was a LaVryle Spencer VOWS which my friend and I read on a senior trip to one another every night for two weeks–oh, Tom Jeffcoat! You ruined me for countless men! My first manuscript was a romance and it was my first foray into the world of querying–which clearly didn’t happen for me (but then, maybe I should have actually, you know, KISSED a fella before writing love scenes–just a thought). I will always have a soft spot for the genre. And Tawna’s book has me itching to get back in the water…

    1. What Eleanor said about writing romance being much harder than it looks is SO TRUE! I worked with a critique partner who’s an absolutely brilliant women’s fiction writer, but her foray into romance was truly abysmal (she’d be the first to tell you).

  6. WOW, what news! Deb Eleanor was raised on romance novels!! There may well now be an increase readership in that genre among aspiring authors and their first selection needs to be MAKING WAVES!!!

  7. and p.s. I started reading Making Waves last night and brought it with me to work to read over lunch. It should have come with a warning – May Cause Blushing around Co-Workers. This book is HAWT.

    1. Eeee! I’m SO glad someone else remembers those books. They were like pre-teen literary crack. The one title that sticks in my head? Te Amo Means I Love You. And that, right there, is why I will never amount to anything – because that is what I remember!

  8. Yay Tawna!! I got back into reading romance novels when I discovered Suzanne Brockman. Her books sound a lot like Tawna’s – which I just ordered!! – because they’re sassy, snappy, and smart. And I love it that she has gay characters who find romance in her novels. But just from reading Tawna’s posts this year, I can safely say she’s my new favorite romance writer.

    1. Suzanne Brockman wrote one of my all-time favorite romances, STAND-IN GROOM. I will buy you a copy for your birthday and read it aloud to you as I follow you around.

  9. I really do not enjoy romance novels at all…zero interest, zero entertainment factor for me. It sets the bar to unrealistic heights for real life romance. But Tawna’s blog MADE me want to buy it. I was in stitches by page 57! I loved the book. The romance was realistic. I thoroughly enjoyed the book! If all romance was like Tawna’s book, I may enjoy the genre a lot more! Kudos on an excellent debut!

    1. What a great endorsement! Fortunately, romance is a great big genre, so there’s lots of diversity – there’s some sub-genres that I refuse to read, and others I just love. And then, of course, there’s superstar Tawna Fenske!

  10. Eleanor, I NEVER would have pegged you as a romance novel junkie!!!!

    I shunned ’em like the plague, but I will proudly carry any Tawna Fenske novel and read it wherever I go, waving it around and proclaiming for all to hear, “I AM READING A ROMANCE NOVEL AND IT FRICKIN ROCKS!!!”

    1. I am definitely not the way I once was. Like I said, the master’s thesis kinda ruined ’em for me, and I’ve never gotten into them in the same way again. But occasionally I will go on a binge, and I love it!

      I love that you read Tawna’s book at the beach, too! Perfect!

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