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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Spotlight on Lorna Seilstad and Making Waves

Don't forget the rules of the spotlights here. Answer the random question associated with this spotlight in the comments in order to be entered in the drawing.


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 naptime, I wrote." Today, she writes historical fiction with a generous dash of humor, and lives in Iowa with her husband and three children--ages 18, 16, and 11. Read more at

by Lorna Seilstad
Published by Revell


Sun, summer, and a scrumptious sailing instructor. What more could a girl want?

When spunky Marguerite Westing discovers that her family will spend the summer of 1895 at Lake Manawa, Iowa, she couldn't be more thrilled. It's the perfect way to escape her agonizingly boring suitor, Roger Gordon. It's also where she stumbles upon two new loves: sailing, and sailing instructor Trip Andrews.

But this summer of fun turns to turmoil as her father's secrets threaten to ruin the family forever. Will free-spirited Marguerite marry Roger to save her father's name and fortune? Or will she follow her heart--even if it means hurting the family she loves?

Full of sharp wit and blossoming romance, Making Waves will whisk you away to a breezy lakeside summer holiday.

Readers, buy your copy of Making Waves today!


Wow! Brand new authors these days are putting out such amazing books, it's hard to believe they're debut releases. And Lorna is no different. Making Waves is a delightful story with a unique setting, a spunky heroine, and a cast of characters that will have you turning pages from start to finish. You'll laugh with Marguerite, Trip, and Mark, and you'll groan at Roger, as well as Marguerite's mother. But the heroine has a devotion to her family that is honorable and admirable.

I loved the setting on Lake Manawa, and especially enjoyed seeing how the upper class relaxed in the summer. The descriptions of the tents where they camped reminded me of the one showed in the 2nd movie of the Love Comes Softly series. All the comforts of home, with a tent that resembled actual living space inside a house. I first learned of this series on another blog, Writes of Passage, and knew I had to read it.

With a delightful lake setting and endearing characters, this is a book that will draw you in leave you wanting more. A stellar debut novel. Lorna is an author to watch if you're looking for a great historical.


1. This is your debut novel. Congratulations! What gave you the inspiration for this story?

My father grew up in the Lake Manawa area and told me stories about the resort that had once been there. In fact, when the Lake Manawa resort closed in 1927, my grandfather purchased one of the bath houses for $300 and moved it to a lot where the Midway had once stood. The long, narrow building was the house my dad spent his childhood in.

2. How much of your own experiences influenced your characters? What aspects became traits that were theirs and theirs alone?

I’m really not like Marguerite. If anything is true, I’m more like Trip and my husband is more like Marguerite. She is a risk-taker and so is my husband. (He went to Thailand from North Dakota, not speaking the language to spend two years teaching agriculture.) Marguerite sees something she wants and nothing will stop her in getting it. However, Marguerite’s struggle with the truth is one I think we all deal with. I know I have. It’s so easy to justify our choices and not tell ourselves the truth about things.

3. If your hero/heroine were an ice cream flavor, what would he/she be and why?

This one is easy because at one place in the book, Marguerite describes herself as a strawberry (sundae) girl. She doesn’t think she can survive in Roger’s boring vanilla world. She is vivacious and alive. There is nothing plain about Marguerite.

4. Are there any themes in Making Waves that you hope the reader sees? Are there any themes that weren't overt but developed as the story progressed?

What a great question! The main theme was how important truth is to God—especially us telling ourselves the truth. We try to justify so many of our choices. Some of the other themes that came out of Making Waves involved parental relationships and friendships between various social/economic classes of the day.

5. What were your most difficult parts to write? Your favorite?

It’s always hard for me just after the half way point because I get anxious to write the rest and pull all the thread together. It’s very hard to pick a favorite scene because I liked a lot of them for different reasons. I guess I’d have to say the strawberry sundae scene towards the end takes the cake for me.

6. When is your next book coming out and what is the story?

A Great Catch is set to release in May of 2011, and I can’t wait! Here’s the back cover copy I’ve submitted to Revell.

If a never-grow-up baseball player strikes out with a spunky suffragette, Independence Day may take on a whole new meaning.

When twenty-two year old Emily Graham’s meddlesome aunts and grandmother take it upon themselves to find her a husband among the Lake Manawa resort guests, the spunky, slightly clumsy suffragette is determined to politely decline each and every suitor. Busy working in the suffrage movement, she has neither the time nor the need for a man in
her life. The “cause” God has called her to is much too important.

Carter Stockton, a recent college graduate and a pitcher for the Manawa Owls, intends to enjoy every minute of the summer at Lake Manawa before he is forced into the straight-laced, dawn-to-dusk business world of his stern father. He has no plans for romance until Emily crashes into his life at a roller skating rink.

When subterfuge and distrust interfere with their budding romance, will the pitcher strike out completely? Or will the suffragette find strength in her faith and cast her vote for a love that might costs her dreams?

* * * * *

Thank you, Lorna, for being in the spotlight with us.

ENTRY RULES: Readers, answer the question associated with the spotlight in the comments, then leave your email address for your chance to win a FREE autographed copy of Making Waves. If you do not answer the question, you will not be entered.

Question: On a scale of 1 to 10 with one being “Stay Safe” and ten being a “Bring on the Risk,” where would you rate yourself as a risk taker? What is the biggest risk you’ve ever taken?

Make sure you also leave your email address (name at domainname You won't be entered in the drawing without it. If you wish to comment but don't want to be entered, say so when you post.

This week, the contest is open to US/Canada residents only.


adge said...

I am a 1 or 2. Not going to lie. One of my favorite things to say is it is better to be safe than sorry. The biggest risk I have ever taken was walking down a narrow beam in a cave.
I haven't seen an author say that it was hard to write after the half way point, but I can image it would be.

Unknown said...

I think I am about a 6 or 7... I don't take unnecessary risks, but if a risk comes up that I believe I need to take for the betterment of myself and/or others, I will. :)
Please enter me this giveaway! The book looks so good! :)

Carole said...

I tend to be a supporter rather than one who leads by taking risks - so a 1-2 for me.

I love to see new authors like Lorna and am glad publishers welcome new writers. The reviews that I've read are great and I look forward to reading Making Waves. Thank you for the chance to win a copy.

cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

Merry said...

I've grown from a 2 or 3 on the risk taking scale to about a 7. I think my husband and kids challenging me to try something new over the years has made the difference.

Lorna said...

Adge, I'm on the low end of the risk scale myself, and you wouldn't find me walking on anything narrow in a cave. My lack of gracefulness and my fear of heights would keep my feet firmly planted on the solid ground.

K, what a great point about taking chances when they better yourself or others. Those kinds of risks are easier for some of us.

Carole, I have received such a wonderful welcome as a new writer from both my publisher (Revell) and from readers like you. Thank you!

Merry, I'm impressed that you've been able to become more of a risk taker. That isn't easy to do!

Lori Benton said...

Lorna, great to read more about Making Waves. Can't wait to read this book. It was so lovely to meet you in person at ACFW. You are such a sweet, funny lady.

As for risk taking... gosh, I tend to swing back and forth from a 2-3 to a 6-7. Normally I'm conservative, even on the timid side (comes from being a plotter; I tend to project every possible negative outcome to a situation and then steer clear). But then I've been known to do some pretty independent and risky things, like traveling to Israel by myself, or experiencing a lightning storm from the inside, while huddled in an abandoned fire tower on a 10,000 ft. peak in Montana. That last one was not intentional, and I was in far more danger than I knew, but it was tres exciting at the time.

And this whole writing gig is laden with risks. We risk our time, our finances, our souls on the page, in the hopes of connecting with readers one day, of maybe enriching another soul, or even changing a life.

A risk well worth taking.

Lori Benton said...

Ack! I forgot to add my email address for the drawing. Did I miss my chance? Dare I risk it? YES!


Anonymous said...

Guess I am 2-3....."senior Citizen" now!! When a teenager, I climbed a huge mountain in GA...passed out when reached the top. Please enter me for this book; have been so anxious to read it! Thanks!!!

Lorna said...

Lori, you seem to have an adventurous heart! Israel alone? You'll have to tell me about that sometime.

Jackie, passing out isn't nearly as important as the fact you made it to the top of that mountain! I'm glad you're anxious to read Making Waves.

Jo said...

I am probably around a 5 on taking risks. It depends on what kind of risks we are talking about. I know when I was younger there was risks that I was willing to take that I probably wouldn't do now and by the same token, there are risks now that I am willing to take that I wouldn't before. Please enter me in the drawing.


Michelle said...

I would rate myself a 2 as a risk taker. I would much rather play it safe. Taking risks has never been my thing, but when I was 21 I did go para-sailing which might be considered risky.

Thank you for entering me to win Lorna's book! I've read wonderful things about it, and look forward to reading it!

scraphappy71 at sbcglobal dot net

Tiffany Amber Stockton said...

We have a winner from this spotlight, and that is:


Congratulations! I've emailed you for your mailing information so Lorna can send out your book.

Thanks to everyone for your support.