Thursday, September 23, 2010

Making Waves

As a writer as well as a reader, I’m blessed to have two incredible critique partners. We’ve been working together for two and a half years and, in that time, we’ve all seen our fiction writing skills grow exponentially. But more importantly, I’ve gained two beautiful, encouraging friends. I am thrilled to highlight their debut novels here. So yes, I’m admitting my bias up front and am gladly giving them shameless plugs.

Shannon Taylor Vannatter’s book, White Roses, was released by Heartsong Presents in May to their book club readers and will be in stores come this November, just in time for Christmas. I’ll be reviewing her book in October so keep watching for it.

Making Waves
(Lake Manawa Summers Series #1)

debut novel by Lorna Seilstad

Published by Revell
363 pages

Romance Sprinkled with Humor

Lorna Seilstad’s Making Waves released this September and is already receiving rave reviews. The story begins in 1895 with spunky Marguerite Westing being courted by boring Roger Gordon, a very wealthy man chosen by her mother. The first paragraphs start you laughing with Marguerite’s sarcastic wit, and your smile doesn’t fade as you follow Marguerite’s journey. She falls in love with sailing--not a womanly thing to do in 1895--but more so, she falls for the handsome sailing instructor, Trip Andrews. Does she follow her heart and chose Trip? Or, to save her family’s fortune, will she be forced to marry Roger?

I absolutely love the subtle wit Lorna infuses throughout this story. Oftentimes when people write with humor, it’s evident they’re trying too hard. The laugh lines appear tacked on or forced. Not so with Making Waves. Wit flows naturally from the characters, particularly Marguerite, so keep a tissue handy.

One of my favorite parts of this novel is the setting. It takes place in Lake Manawa, Iowa a water resort community near Council Bluffs. Back in the late 1800’s and early 1900s, it was a real place where the wealthy tented for the summer. The resort area offered water shows and activities. It had dance and gambling halls. It even offered a water carnival that was modeled after the World’s Fair. Sadly, today you see no signs of this resort, but with Lorna’s multi-sensory descriptions she brings the area back to life so history can live on.

Award-winning author Lorna Seilstad has called Iowa home her whole life. She received her B.S. in Education from Lubbock Christian University. After her first child was born, she quit teaching and became a professional wiper. “I wiped noses, tears, skinned knees, baby's bottoms, and counter tops every day. But at nap time, I wrote." Today, she writes historical fiction with a generous dash of humor. Making Waves is her debut novel and the first in the Lake Manawa Summers Series. She and her husband have three children.

Making Waves is the first novel in a three book series (Lake Manawa Summers series). A Great Catch comes out the summer of 2011, and Summer of Dreams (working title) releases the summer of 2012.


  1. I agree, the setting reall attracted me too. Such a novel idea and the perfect backdrop for both drama and comedy.

  2. It was the perfect backdrop & Lorna described it so well. I was fortunate to receive a guided tour of Lake Manawa by Lorna & I could just picture everything. It's so sad that it's all gone now.