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!


Deb Elise Would TOTALLY Stow Away With Deb Tawna’s Making Waves Crew!


I want to make a cake shaped like the cover of Making Waves, but with inappropriate toys instead of candles.  Or just with inappropriate candles, so you can… you know… blow them.

I can’t help but think in sexually loaded double entendres when I think about Tawna’s book.  I warn you — this is a hazard when you read Making Waves. Another hazard?  You won’t want to put it down, and you won’t stop laughing… except when you’re getting all hot and bothered by Alex, who is sexy enough to make you wonder what you ever saw in either Joe Morelli or Ranger.

Let me back up though, because I have a confession to make.  I have always been a snob when it comes to Romance Novels.  I thought they were all glorified Fabio “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter” commercials.  (The Stephanie Plum novels don’t count — I didn’t know Evanovich was a Romance writer when I read them.)  But if Tawna Fenske is the New Face of Romance (and I’m just going to go ahead and say she is), then I owe the whole genre a huge apology.

Making Waves is a fantastic read.  It’s smart, the plot is well-crafted, and it’s laugh-out-loud hysterical.  Yet what I loved most about it was Tawna’s cast of characters.  Her MC Juli is terrific, but when Juli ends up on a boat with the most unlikely crew in the universe, Tawna really shows off her writing chops.  Alex, the love interest, is sexy as hell, but it’s not because of chiseled abs or smoldering gazes, it’s because he’s three-dimensional and flawed and funny and trying to do the right thing despite a zillion obstacles in his way.

And he has chiseled abs and smoldering gazes.

As for the rest of the crew, I could go off on the million things I love about them, but I don’t want to give away any spoilers.  Suffice it to say that Jake, Cody (Cookie), and Phyllis are among the most brilliantly quirky characters I’ve ever encountered.  They’re completely over the top, but they work because Tawna makes them real.  And don’t even get me started on Malcolm the Shockingly Erudite Pirate.

If you love Romance, you’ll love Making Waves.  If you think you don’t love Romance, you’ll love Making Waves.  The book is pure fun, beginning to end, so pick up a copy and enjoy, then join me in waiting anxiously for Tawna’s next release — I have no doubt it’ll be just as fantastic.

~ Deb Elise