Making Waves (Lake Manawa Summers Series #1)

Making Waves (Lake Manawa Summers Series #1)

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by Lorna Seilstad

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When spunky Marguerite Westing discovers that her family will summer at Lake Manawa in 1895, she couldn't be more thrilled. It is 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 gambling problems…  See more details below


When spunky Marguerite Westing discovers that her family will summer at Lake Manawa in 1895, she couldn't be more thrilled. It is 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 gambling problems 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 abandoning the family she loves?

Author Lorna Seilstad's fresh and entertaining voice will whisk readers away to a breezy lakeside summer holiday. Full of sharp wit and blossoming romance, Making Waves is the first book in the LAKE MANAWA SUMMERS series.

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Baker Publishing Group
Publication date:
Lake Manawa Summers Series , #1
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Making Waves

By Lorna Seilstad


Copyright © 2010 Lorna Seilstad
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-8007-3445-9

Chapter One

Council Bluffs, Iowa, 1895

If forced to endure Roger Gordon for five more minutes, Marguerite Westing would die. Dead. Gone. Buried. Six feet under Greenlawn Cemetery.

Her parents would need to purchase a large headstone to fit all the words of the epitaph, but they could do it. Money wasn't an issue, and after bearing this unbelievable torture, she deserved an enormous marble marker complete with a plethora of flowery engravings. She could see the words now:

Here lies Marguerite Westing. Only nineteen, but now she's resting. Strolling through the park with Roger Gordon, Once full of life, she died of boredom.

Marguerite giggled.

Roger stopped on the cobblestone path of the park and frowned at her. "I don't see anything funny about my uncle Myron's carbuncle, Marguerite."

"I'm sorry. My mind wandered for a minute."

"You do seem prone to that. Perhaps you should work on your self-control." He patted her hand, lodged in the crook of his arm, like a parent would an errant child.

And perhaps you should work on making yourself more interesting than milk toast. She bit her lip hard to keep the words from escaping. Good grief. What did he expect when he was talking to her about a boil?

"Now, as I was saying, Uncle Myron ..." He droned on, his dark mustache twitching like a wriggling fuzzy caterpillar on his upper lip. "Marguerite, are you listening?"

She forced a smile. "Of course I am. How terrible for your dear uncle."

This whole ordeal was her mother's fault. If her mother hadn't insisted she accept Roger's attentions, she could be home enjoying her newest book about the stars.

After the tedious monotony killed her this afternoon, she hoped her parents would make sure her final resting place would have a view of the Iowa bluffs, and that they wouldn't let Roger know where they'd buried her. After all, he'd insist on bringing flowers to her grave and would probably stay for a long, carbuncle-filled visit. No. They mustn't tell him where she was. She couldn't spend all of eternity listening to him. This afternoon was long enough.

Around the park, crab-apple trees exploded with crimson blossoms and lilacs perfumed the air. How could one man ruin such a spectacular summer day?

The clang of the streetcar's bell drew her attention, and she turned to see it clickety-clack past the two-story brick-andframe storefronts. Horse-drawn carriages and busy patrons bustled out of the car's way. It snaked its way down Main Street and made an easy turn onto Broadway, disappearing into the business district. Marguerite sighed. If only she could go with it.

Then she spotted the striped awning of the ice cream parlor on the corner directly across from the park. Salvation.

She squeezed her escort's arm. "Roger, let's get a soda."

He gaped at her, his spectacles sliding down his nose. "But it's still morning!"

"Oh, fiddle-faddle. For the life of me, I can't see what harm there is to drink a soda before lunch."


She wanted to swat the caterpillar off his scowling face. "Can't we at least get that new ice cream with the syrup on top? The sundae?"

"Very well. I suppose you are used to being indulged." He drew his hand over his mustache, smoothing the sides, and pushed up his spectacles.

His flippant words stung. And what about you, Roger Gordon, son of one of the wealthiest men in the state? "Indulged" should be your middle name.

She clamped down on her lip so hard she tasted blood. Glancing heavenward, she sent up a silent message. If You want the world to end right now, God, it's fine with me.

Upon entering the ice cream parlor, Marguerite disentangled her hand from Roger's arm. She selected a wood-topped round table out in the open before he could lead her to one of the darkened booths where the courting fellows often took their girls. Roger ordered two bowls of vanilla ice cream-no syrup, no nuts, no berries-without consulting her tastes.

Bland. Plain. Boring. Just like him.

He carried the scalloped bowls to the table and presented hers as if it were pure ambrosia.

After waiting until he sat in the heart-shaped iron dining chair, she picked up her spoon and dove into the treat. She scooped a spoonful into her mouth, and the creamy sweetness melted on her tongue, almost making up for the agony of the late morning stroll.

"For what these cost, we could have purchased a chair for our first home."

She dropped her spoon and it clattered against the bowl, the blissful taste replaced by a bitter one. Coughing, she waved her hand in front of her face. "Roger, please don't jest like that."

"I wasn't jesting."

Marguerite cringed as he covered her hand with his own. Please, Lord, strike him with muteness. Strike him with lightning. Strike him with anything. I don't care what. You choose the pestilence. Have fun. Be creative. Enjoy Yourself. Just don't let him say another word.

With a tug, she tried to pull her hand away, but he held fast.

"Surely, Marguerite, you've been able to see where our courting has been leading."

She could almost hear God's laughter. He must take great enjoyment in watching her squirm. It was punishment for the ungodly thoughts that ran rampant through her mind. Right now, for instance, she was seriously contemplating a murder-that of her mother.

* * *

Seeking the solace of the piano, Marguerite stomped into the parlor only to find her mother already in the room. Ignoring her, she sat on the bench and began to play an angry aria, pouring her frustration into the polished ivory keys.

"That's enough of that," her mother snapped minutes later, closing her leather-bound volume with a thud. "I take it things did not go well with Roger."

"I simply cannot endure one more outing with that man."

Her mother set the book on the marble-topped table beside her. "Theatrics are not becoming, Marguerite, and it can't be that bad. Roger Gordon is from an excellent family."

"But he's a miserable man to be with. He bores me to tears."

"Then you must engage him in more interesting topics. Please tell me that you did not let your lack of enthusiasm show."

"He talked about his uncle Myron's carbuncle for fifteen minutes!"

Her mother appeared to stifle a smile. "Still, he's a good catch. You'd be well taken care of."

"Taken care of? It's 1895, and more and more women are taking care of themselves. Besides, I could never love him."

"Love is highly overrated." She waved her hand in the air, pausing as one of the household servants delivered a tea tray. Waiting while the young woman poured a steaming cup, she kept her gaze on Marguerite. "Why can't you be like your older sister? She is well matched."

Marguerite rolled her eyes. "Being well matched is highly overrated."

Her mother shot her a stern look and touched her coiffed chignon to make sure all her golden hairs remained in place. Of course they were. They wouldn't dare defy Camille Westing and come loose.

War was imminent. Marguerite had thrown down the gauntlet. Steeling herself, she met her mother's hard blue eyes. "I don't want him to call again."

"What you want isn't the issue here. We're your parents, and we must see to your future-a future that should consist of you being cared for in the manner to which you're accustomed. If you are lucky, Roger will ask for your hand soon."

"If I'm lucky," Marguerite murmured, "Roger Gordon will be attacked by a pack of wolves on his way home."

"Marguerite! That's incorrigible. You should be ashamed."

"You didn't suffer through hours of boredom. I have to speak to Daddy about this. He won't give my hand to a man whose idea of adventure is choosing a patterned vest over a solid. I'd wither and die in a matter of months if I married him."

"Don't exaggerate." Her mother poured a second cup of tea and nodded toward the empty seat beside her. "Do come have tea with me and calm yourself. I have an additional item to discuss with you."

Discuss? Marguerite's stomach cinched. Whenever her mother began a talk in that way, it meant she intended to address something Marguerite would dislike, and there would be no discussion whatsoever. Marguerite's fingers clutched the lid of the piano to keep her from bolting from the room. This whole day had felt like one prison after another, and now her mother's worrisome comment slammed the jail door shut with an ominous clang.

"What is it?" she asked, refusing to join her mother on the settee.

Her mother set the teapot down on the tray. "I'm going to dismiss Lilly."

The news robbed Marguerite of her breath. Dropping the piano lid with a clunk, she jumped to her feet. "Mother, you can't send her away just like that! I won't let you!"

"You'd better control your tongue, young lady. And I will do as I wish with those in our employ." She reached for her needlework.

"Employ? Is that what you call it?"

"I believe you've made your position on our help quite clear." She pinned Marguerite with her steely blue gaze. "Your father may allow you to speak your opinions so openly, but I do not. Besides, you know we have always paid the Dawsons well."

"You pay enough for them to survive, but never leave. Her family came to Iowa with dreams of going West."

Her mother fired another warning look in her direction. "That was years ago, and before Alice lost her husband. She's lucky we took her in to cook and let her bring Lilly along. And now it's time for Lilly to find her own place of employment and make friends with those of her own station."

Hot coals of anger burned deep inside Marguerite. I know, I know-be slow to speak. Slow to become angry. But do You have to make it so hard? She inhaled a steadying breath. "Mother, how can you send her, of all people, away? She's like my sister."

Her mother took a sip from her teacup and released an exasperated sigh. "Must you always make waves, Marguerite? Lilly is not your sister. She's your chambermaid. I admit you are obviously fond of her-overly so." She paused, giving her words weight. "But dear, you need to realize your position in society and understand her place is not beside you."

A man cleared his throat in the parlor's doorway.

"Daddy!" Marguerite launched herself into his arms.

He swung her in a circle and lowered her to the floor. "What's all this? I thought I heard raised voices."

"Mother is going to dismiss Lilly."

Her father looked at his wife and raised an eyebrow. "Our Lilly?"

"Our staff is too large, and it needs to be trimmed. MarLorna guerite doesn't need a constant companion any longer. She's nineteen and will be marrying soon."

Irritated, Marguerite wrinkled her nose.

Her father appeared to bite back a chuckle and stroked his beard. "Well, I think we may need Lilly after all." He dropped his long frame into a wing chair.

"Edward, you can't keep babying her." Her mother puckered her lips.

He held up his hand. "Hear me out, Camille. I've secured a camping site for us at Lake Manawa. Marguerite will not want to be in a tent by herself."

Face ashen, her mother reached for her tea, the cup shaking in her hands. "We're going to spend the summer outdoors?"

"Yes, isn't it splendid? You know, all of the best families are doing it. I know the Grahams, the Deardons, the Longleys, and the Kelloggs have already set up campsites near the Grand Plaza. I was lucky to get one for us there at this late date. The season is already in full swing."

"The whole season at the lake?" Marguerite squealed with delight.

"All summer long."

"In tents?" Her mother's lips thinned to a tight line.

"Yes, but we'll take many of our things from the house." Her father reached for the newspaper and shook it open.

Her mother cleared her throat. "But Edward, dear, what about your work?"

"I'll take the streetcar into town every morning, but that shouldn't keep my son and the two beautiful women in my life from enjoying the greatest entertainment mecca of the West."

"And Lilly?" Marguerite dared to ask.

Her father grinned. "Well, I do believe you'll need your personal maid to keep all your party dresses in order. Don't you think? Now, go tell your brother the news."

* * *

Mosquitoes swarmed around Marguerite's head, tangling themselves in the netting of her new summer hat. She swatted them away with a gloved hand and smiled, refusing to let one minute of what her mother insisted on calling her "last summer of freedom" to be wasted on something as petty as insects.

The camping area her father had arranged was at the end of one of the long rows of tents. Well-established oak trees offered shade, and with neighbors only on their right side, they would have more privacy than most of the families. In front of their tents, a path led from the camp to the Grand Plaza. In the rear, a tree-lined service road provided access to area farms for fresh produce.

"Edward, can't you hurry them along? I think the whole lot must be dawdling." Cheeks flushed, her mother waved a fan in front of her face. She used the lacy instrument to point toward the area where their household servants struggled to erect the last of the four tents that would make up the Westing family summer home. Her parents would have the large tent like hers and Lilly's. The cook's tent and her brother's tent, which he would share with Isaiah, one of the male servants, were each considerably smaller.

Two weeks had passed since her father's announcement, and her mother had needed every moment to organize supplies and furniture for the lake home. A wagon loaded with their belongings sat a few yards away. Although Marguerite kept insisting they didn't need a silver tea service at the lake, a blanket lay on her mother's precious server, and a bit of the shiny surface reflected the bright sun. That, along with pots, pans, brass beds, feather mattresses, and Wedgwood china, would bring all the comforts of home into their tiny tents-even if home was only a few miles away.

The two male servants, Clay and Lewis, stretched a large sheet of heavy canvas over the two center poles and then covered the four corner poles in record time, but Camille grumbled about how slowly the two men worked. At least they would be returning to the main house in town.

Marguerite glanced at her mother and noticed a shimmer of perspiration beading her face. She touched her mother's arm. "They should be done soon. Why don't we go sit in the shade?"

"That's a wonderful idea." Without hesitation, her father scooped up two folding camp stools and carried them to the nearest tree. He snapped them open, patted one of the canvas seats, took his wife's hand, and seated her. "There, darling. I told you that you'd enjoy camping."

"Humph." Her mother settled on the stool and smoothed her green traveling dress until it appeared wrinkle free. "I'll have to watch over the staff like a hawk. All these diversions will have them dallying constantly. And Marguerite, don't you think for a minute that I won't have time to keep an eye on you as well."

"What about Mark?" She turned to see her twelve-year-old brother attempting to help Clay but getting shooed from the area.

"Mark's a boy. Exploring is what boys do."

Marguerite sighed and watched as the two burly servants each took a diagonal corner of the canvas and pulled it tight. Almost in unison, they drove in stakes to secure the tent in place.

"Are you listening to me?" her mother said.

"Yes, Mother, I heard you, and I assure you that I don't need to be watched like some child."

Her father patted Camille's arm. "She's right, darling. Our little girl is a young woman, and by next summer she'll be setting up a camp of her own." He winked at Marguerite.


Excerpted from Making Waves by Lorna Seilstad Copyright © 2010 by Lorna Seilstad. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Making Waves 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 207 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a sweet romance novel Perfect for Christians. I would reccommend this . It is only 280 pages. I will purchase this authors books again. It is refreshing to read a book without graffic sex scenes,or blood and guts.
Susan_Hollaway More than 1 year ago
Marguerite Westing seems bent to break all the elite set's rules for proper young ladies in 1895. She is a smart, capable, young lady and doesn't see any reason to pretend otherwise. When Marguerite Westing's father decides the family is spending the summer at Lake Manawa, Iowa, she is thrilled. It fits right in with her plan to avoid suitor Roger Gordon - the most boring man she's ever met. Her mother keeps pushing him at her and she can't seem to escape him when he follows her family to the lake. She's not the least bit attracted to him. In fact, she can barely tolerate him. However, he seems intent on winning her hand in marriage. Her mother won't listen to her objections and she finally stops voicing them. She knows that her father understands and won't let her marry a man who put the "bore" in boring and that she doesn't love, so she puts off doing the inevitable. There is a plethora of things to do at the lake - and her mother seems determined to put the kibosh on her plans to partake of them. Her brother gets to do whatever he wants and he's only twelve. All because he's a boy. It simply is not fair. Being a woman should not disqualify one from participating in fun and interesting activities. Despite the fact that the forced outings with Roger are mind-numbing and wearisome, Marguerite avoids telling her mother and Roger the truth about not wanting to marry him. She talks her father into taking her on a sailboat, and she falls in love with sailing, and soon after, a certain handsome sailing instructor. She escapes camp and her mother's influence and finagles a way to do what she wants. Will she weave a web that she finds herself caught in? Her summer of fun quickly turns to heartache, when she learns her father's secrets. Will she be forced to give up the man she's fallen in love with and marry Roger just to save her family? Or will she learn to trust God in all things and follow her heart -even if it means hurting the family she loves? This book was an absolute delight to read. It has it all - history, romance, humor, and some suspense. If you like any of those things - this book is a must read for you. The story drew me in and I was transported back to 1895 at Lake Manawa, Iowa. I'm looking forward to the next book in this series. Congratulations, Lorna, on your first novel. Well done!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great christian romance. A need to read book.
beachgirlchef More than 1 year ago
Great summer time read. Sweet love story with some very different twists. The ending will keep you on the edge of your seat. This is a good book for most women, young or old. Very entertaining. I am looking foreward to her next book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book had the whole package. It was funny, sweet and romantic, and mysterious at times! Blush Rating: PG I recommend this book to all ages!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book it was very realistic i would read this book again and again I love that they were very religious. And sometimes when u read a book you don't always want to read about sex or the details of it this was def this book.
Brenda_Anderson More than 1 year ago
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.
Janna6 More than 1 year ago
One of the most clever, fun books I have read this year. Lorna Seilstad takes a period of history and weaves a delightful story around the setting. The setting (Lake Manawa, Iowa) actually becomes one of the characters as the story progresses and I had so much fun visualizing the area around the lake. Marguerite Westing is a fantastic heroine - she is full of vim and vigor and won't conform to anyone's expectations, including the man who wants to marry her. Though her mother is pushing for the marriage, she is relying on her dad to let her marry for love not money... right? There are mysteries surrounding happenings at the lake, where everyone who's anyone is camping for the summer. It's hard for me to imagine camping as a sign of the "in crowd", but okay... I loved the history surrounding the lake as explained in the back of the book and I adored this story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved Marguerite's story and how she vacillated between Roger, the man her parents thought was best for her, and Trip, the man she loves. The author did a wonderful job pulling you into the tale and I would highly recommend this clean, 264 page Christian story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good book with 280 pages.
ChandraLynn More than 1 year ago
I found it hard to believe Making Waves was Lorna's first book! I read hundreds of books a year and am pretty stingy with my five star ratings. But I so enjoyed this book. The main character Marguerite Westing is such a spunky, driven, funny young lady. How could you not love her. Maybe one reason I loved the book so much is because I saw myself in her! Trip Andrews is a perfect counterpart for her and the conflicts they get into and they have are both humorous and touching. I grew up reading historicals and have pulled away from them over the years. This book takes place in the late 1800's and I did not mind a bit. The setting, the characters, the plot, and the romance all grabbed me and held on until I closed the book. I look forward to reading more from Lorna. I highly recommend this book!
kvbwrites More than 1 year ago
Seilstad's unique setting, intriguing characters, and easy-to-read style kept me engaged from start to finish. Her descriptions put you in Iowa so that you feel the summer heat and the cool lake water. You don't simply watch the characters interact, you get to know and care for them, thanks to Seilstad's careful crafting. A must-read for lovers of historical romance - you won't want to miss "Making Waves".
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Was a sweet and innocent romance. Worth reading. Enjoyed it very much.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved being transported back to the 1800's. If you enjoy stories about the simple pleasures of summer, read this. Anna
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Quick and easy read with a little bit of drama to keep you interested.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. I can't wait to read more of her books!
schoolmarmGG More than 1 year ago
When Marquerite goes to the lake for summer, she has two goals in mind - ditch the boring boyfriend and learn to sail. It takes some scheming to get these goals accomplished, but she is willing to give it her full effort. Little does she know what a can of worms she will open.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found myself shaking my head in disbelief at these characters. First of all, Marguerite's main reasons for not wanting to marry Roger is that she doesn't love him and he's boring when it SHOULD be that he displays physically and emotionally abusive characteristics. Second, Trip is unforgiving and is constantly rubbing Marguerite's failings in her face. But he's sooooo handsome and apparently Marguerite is willing to overlook this relationship red flag. There were a few things the author introduced that I felt could have been developed more fully and as a result provided the reader with a deeper story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very clean romance story. Cute/Sweet but totally predictable!
Cecelia Gardon More than 1 year ago
Read this book. I loved the characters, the plot & everything about this book. I love it when the "good guy" is really a jerk & the "bad guy" wins. I'll read a lot more from this author.
Caitlin Loftin More than 1 year ago
This book was an awesome love story. It is such cute love story. I nearly couldn't put it down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great message. The truth will set you free. Lies, even white lies, are wrong. It is a better policy to be up front with people, rather than telling half-truths, or small lies to spare someone's feelings in the short run. Good story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hi Anna!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"I gotta go..." she runs out. O.o