Making Waves

Making Waves

by Tawna Fenske

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781402257216
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Publication date: 08/02/2011
Edition description: Original
Pages: 352
Product dimensions: 4.20(w) x 6.80(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Tawna Fenske traveled a career path that took her from newspaper reporter to English teacher in Venezuela to marketing geek. An avid globetrotter with a fondness for the sea, Tawna is the author of the popular daily blog Don't Pet Me, I'm Writing and lives in Bend, Oregon.

Read an Excerpt

"I'm sorry, he wants me to do what?"

Juli Flynn didn't think to hide the incredulity in her voice. She did, however, think of hiding beneath her mother's kitchen table. If it weren't for the memory of her brother wiping boogers there thirty years ago, she probably would have crawled right under.

Juli stared at her mother. Tina Flynn was chopping carrots for a Jell-O salad that would, in all likelihood, hold as much culinary appeal for the funeral guests as the actual corpse.

"You know you were always Uncle Frank's favorite," Tina said in the same voice she'd used to suggest her children not stick lima beans up their noses. "I think you should be flattered."

"Mom. I'd be flattered if he asked me to read a poem at the funeral or look after his cat or take his clothes to Goodwill. But this-this is just weird."

"Don't be so dramatic, Juli."

"Dramatic? Dramatic is making a deathbed request that your niece travel to the freakin' Virgin Islands to dump your ashes over the edge of a boat near St. John-that's dramatic. Why not spread them off the Oregon coast or on Mount Hood or something?"

Tina finished with the carrots and began chopping beets, her knife making neat little slivers of purple that scattered over the green countertop. Juli sighed and began hunting in the cupboard for sesame seeds to add to the Jell-O.

"Frank had fond memories of his years sailing over there," Juli's mother said.

"He had fond memories of the Polish hooker he traveled with while he was fleeing that federal indictment."

Tina smiled and set her knife down. "That's right-what was her name? Olga or Helga or something like that?"

"Oksana," said Juli, thinking this was so not the point.

Juli closed her eyes, hating the fact that at age thirty-seven, she felt like a petulant toddler. She had a sudden urge to stomp her feet and bang her fists on the counter in a full-blown tantrum.

It's not like she and Uncle Frank had been that close. She'd been living in Seattle for the past six years, coming home to Portland for the occasional holiday. Until last week, she hadn't even seen Uncle Frank since her birthday party a year ago when he'd gotten drunk on a quart of vanilla extract from Tina's baking cupboard and spent the evening pretending to be a stegosaurus. The rest of the family had been embarrassed. Juli had been delighted that, for once, she wasn't the oddest member of the family. That common bond was the reason she and Uncle Frank had always enjoyed a

special relationship.

Well, that, and the fact that advanced dementia had led him to believe his niece was Celine Dion.

"You didn't happen to tell Uncle Frank that I'm-"

"Terrified of the ocean? No, I didn't have the heart to mention that."

Juli nodded and watched her mother consult her handwritten recipe before reaching for the Worcestershire sauce.

"Did Uncle Frank say when I need to complete this mission?" Juli asked, grabbing three packets of orange Jell-O and her mother's fish-shaped Jell-O mold. "Do cremated remains have-um-a shelf life or anything?"

"He didn't really say. He was choking on his tongue a lot there at the end, so it was hard to understand him. Could you hand me that feta cheese?"

Juli gave her the container and scooted a knife out of the way, aware of her mother's tendency to drop sharp objects on her bare feet.

"So maybe you didn't understand him right?" Juli asked hopefully. "Maybe instead of 'throw my ashes off a fishing boat,' he said, 'roll my ass over, you stupid whore'?"

"Those bedsores were sure something! Hand me those Junior Mints?"

Juli sighed, sensing the conversation was going nowhere. Maybe she was arguing the wrong point.

"I can't just pack up and go to St. John. I have a life."

Tina beamed at her daughter. "Are you dating someone new, sweetie?"

Juli scowled. "That's not what I meant. I haven't dated anyone since-well, for a long time."

"Oh. Well, you know it can be a little bit intimidating for some men to date a woman with your particular-"

"Mom, can we not talk about this now?"

"Sweetie, I don't know why you're always so embarrassed about your special-"

"Please, Mom," Juli said weakly, feeling her ears flame the way they always did when someone drew attention to the fact that she was-well, different. She touched her fingers to her lobes, trying to cool them.

"Could we just stick with the subject of Uncle Frank?" she pleaded.

"Of course, dear. Can you hand me the dill?"

Juli spun the spice rack and located the appropriate jar. "I have a job, Mom. I have a bank account that can't exactly handle the strain of a Caribbean vacation."

"Well, Uncle Frank left a little bit of money in his will to cover some of the cost of your travels."

"Okay. That's half the equation. What about my job?"

"Didn't you say they asked for people in your department to volunteer to take a little time off? That sounds so nice."

That sounds like a layoff, Juli thought, biting into a carrot as she watched her mother mix the Jell-O.

Not that the idea didn't hold some appeal. She'd worked in the marketing department of a software company for less than a year and already she was so bored her skin itched. She'd hardly bothered to hide her delight the week before when the vice president had stood at the center of their cube-farm, running his fingers through his comb-over, asking if anyone was interested in a severance package of three weeks' salary and a scone-of-the-month club membership in exchange for "taking a little time off. Indefinitely."

Later that day, Juli had flung herself onto the sofa in her therapist's office and sighed. "I feel like my career is going nowhere," she told Dr. Gordon.

"What makes you say that?" he'd asked, looking wise and vaguely constipated on the edge of his orange armchair.

"The fact that my boss told me yesterday, 'Juli, your career is going nowhere.'"

"Right," Dr. Gordon said, nodding. "And how does that make you feel?"

Juli shot him a look. "Terrific."

Dr. Gordon was not amused. Dr. Gordon was seldom amused. Juli had fantasies about pinning him down on the carpet and tickling him until he peed.

"Juli, we've spoken before about the social oddities you've developed as a coping mechanism to deal with your self-consciousness and your lack of a sense of belonging, which is the direct result of the attention you've generated in the scientific community and the media for your-" He stopped and stared at her, then shook his head. "Are you covering your ears so you don't have to listen, or are you cooling them like you always do when you're embarrassed?"

"A little of both," she admitted, lowering her hands.

"I see," Dr. Gordon said, looking morose. "You're uncomfortable with this subject. Let's talk about your career. What did you want to be when you were a child?"

"The Bionic Woman."

Dr. Gordon didn't smile. "What was your first job after college?"

"I was a newspaper reporter for three months before an on-the-job injury forced me to change careers."


"I fell asleep in a City Council meeting and stabbed myself between the ribs with a pencil." She lifted the hem of her shirt. "Check it out, five stitches right here-"

Dr. Gordon sighed and began to flip through his notes. "Let's go back over some of the other jobs you've held. After you were a reporter, you spent some time as a data analyst?"

Juli lowered her shirttail and sat up straighter. "Oh. Sure, there was that. And marketing, of course. And I got my helicopter pilot license about seven years ago, and there was that stint as a pet store manager, and four months as a scout for forest fires, six months working in that hat shop, and-"

"Juli, your employment history leaves something to be desired."

She nodded, pleased to be understood. "You're right. I've never been a brain surgeon."

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Making Waves 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 37 reviews.
Katee_Robert More than 1 year ago
I can count on one hand how many books have made me laugh until I cry/snort/make seriously embarrassing noises. This book tops them all. Hilarious doesn't begin to cover it. I'm still giggling over the whole thing. So much LOVE!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Bought this book on a recommendation and I'm so glad did! The story was a little out there, but the characters are so likable and funny it doesn't matter. There were lots of laugh out loud moments and, of course, plenty of steamy moments, too. This is slightly screwball, but mostly just plain old fun. If you're looking for a fast and fun read, this is it.
Kristen_Lamb More than 1 year ago
Fenske is such a great humor author and she blends her insanely funny wit with great storytelling and rich characters. Tawna has a voice that will hook you five lines in and not let you go. I cannot praise her book enough.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Had me laughing out loud & tearing up....this is absolutely a new favorite.
booklover1335 More than 1 year ago
When I first learned about Making Waves, the debut novel by author Tawna Fenske, I had high hopes that she might be a new contemporary author that I would love. The cover quote on the front of Making Waves describes it as "Hilarious! A wild, sexy romp with a fresh, fun take on love." Hence my problem with cover quotes. I know that they are promotional, and therefore exaggerations and sometimes not exactly revealing or truthful and the story contained within the pages. And to be honest, the cover quote on the cover of Making Waves isn't misleading in any way, because the book is fun and at times laugh out loud funny....but because of the quote I think I had unrealistically high, misplaced and unfair expectations of this new to me author being like a beloved author, Jill Shalvis, who writes some of my absolute favorite contemporary romances...and it wasn't, much to my disappointment. Juli Flynn is a genius, literally. And like most geniuses, she has a problem connecting with people and fitting in and settling into a life with purpose. She's as infamous for her IQ, as for her failures in both life and in love. She's quirky, smart and fun and supposedly absolutely gorgeous. Alex Bradshaw is a forty something executive who has devoted his life to the pursuit of professional success to prove that he is worthy. After being dumped by his fiancée years ago for a Dentist who could offer her the kind of life, and the money that she wanted, he defines his self worth by his title and his bank account. So when he's given his pink slip with a drained bank account he is left with those old feelings of insecurity and the only way he knows to get back at his unscrupulous boss and fill his empty coffers is to become a pirate. Making Waves is a fun romance, which is light on the romance and heavy on the cliché's. There were moments in this book that were laugh out loud funny, but also moments that were completely ridiculous. This author loves dichotomies. For example, a quirky nerd who is bombshell beautiful, an Ex Pro Football player who likes to be called "Cookie", embroider his own aprons, grate his own nutmeg and wears women's clothing. Then there are also high seas pirates who are massive brooding muscle bound men who act like children yet are literary theologians. Go figure. At times it felt like the author was throwing polar opposite characteristics together to make the characters be more comical and funny, but instead seemed came off as contrived and absurd. For me funny is finding the humor in everyday life, not forcing situations in order to add substance to otherwise weak character development. I have mixed feelings about Making Waves. There were moments that I really when Alex and Juli first meet and pretend to be recently married in order to qualify to play a Newlywed type game to win some quick cash. That was pretty darn hilarious! Unfortunately those moments were few and far between for me. For me the story was much more focused on the "funny" characteristics of the characters, than the characters themselves which resulted in what I felt to be a very superficial love story. It was fluff, sometimes fun, but overall...forgettable.
lauralea.smith1 on LibraryThing 10 months ago
Oddball Juli Flynn is responsible for spreading her Uncle Frank's ashes in the water near St. John in the Virgin Islands. Laid off a month before reaching pension eligibility, Alex and his coworkers have turned to a life of piracy. When Juli has an adverse reaction to her motion sickness medication she winds up on Alex' boat rather than the charter boat she was meant to take. As Juli tries to make friends and fit in with this crazy group of "cartographers" which includes a former NFL linebacker turned chef who wants to be called Cookie, she and Alex are increasingly attracted to each other. The more the pirate crew learns about Juli, the less they're sure they can trust her with the details of their mission. The more time Juli spends on the boat and with Alex, the more she feels that she's finally found a group with whom she can finally feel normal, and somebody with whom she wants to spend the rest of her life. A really hilarious read, and very much recommended for fans of romantic comedy writers like Jennifer Crusie and Kristan Higgins.
Melanie_McCullough on LibraryThing 10 months ago
I had incredibly high expectations for this book. I mean like skyscraper high or James Franco in Pineapple Express high. Tawna Fenske and her blog have on many occasions provided me with unstoppable fits of laughter. I wanted it to be hilarious and quirky. I wanted it to be all the things I've come to love about Tawna's blog. And you know what? It was. Turned out it was everything I'd wanted and more. I breezed through it, each page making it impossible not to turn to the next and continue reading. At times it made me blush ferociously and at others laugh out loud until my sides hurt and I had to pee. It's unique and fresh. And I can honestly tell you that you won't find anything else quite like it out there.It was silly. It was sexy. There were pirates. Yes, that's right. Pirates. I don't think it can get much better than that. I am definitely a fan for life and I can't wait to see what Ms. Fenske has in store for us with her next book.Buy this book. Read this book. Stalk Tawna on her blog. I assure you, you will not be disappointed.
24girl on LibraryThing 10 months ago
When Juli Flynn is left in charge of spreading her Uncle Frank's ashes in the oceans of the Virgin Islands, she can't think of anything worse. She's a true landlubber that gets deathly sea sick. Pressured into getting it done by her month Juli bravely heads out to fulfill Uncle Frank's wishes.On the island of St. John Juli meets Alex Bradshaw. After winning an impromptu game of The Newlywed Game with Alex Juli is hoping to get to know Alex a little better. But Alex has other plans. He's on St. John with 3 of his former co-workers all of whom were fired after years of loyal service to Kranston Shipping Enterprises.Alex and his ragtag group of so-called pirates have a plan to get their revenge on Kranston but when Juli accidentally gets thrown into the mix all hell breaks loose.Making Waves was a light and breezy romance with a pirate twist. I enjoyed the situations the gang gets into and found the ending hilarious. Cody, the 6' 5" 275 pound lovable airhead is my favorite character. This is a must read for anyone who loves beach read romances with a guaranteed happy ending.
mjmbecky on LibraryThing 10 months ago
Sometimes there's nothing better than a fun, thriller to take your mind off of things. Making Waves had all the components of a fun get away, complete with crime, mystery, romance, and plenty of humor. Honestly, there's nothing that serious in the story that you can't sit back and enjoy the ride. Alex is the hot protagonist in the story who needs to get even with a crooked boss. He's thrown caution to the wind and has partnered up with all of his closest coworkers/friends to get the job done. In walks quirky, mysterious Juli Flynn, who says she's just there to scatter the ashes of her recently deceased uncle. But who in the world is this girl and how did she end up mixed up with Alex's plans?The chemistry between Alex and Juli is there from the beginning, but in some funny PG-13ish sort of moments that have you laughing. Juli is just so quirky that it's no wonder poor Alex has been sidetracked from his mission into trying to figure her out! If you've ever seen the movie Romancing the Stone, I couldn't help but feel like I was reading a novel version of that type of a story.I really enjoyed Making Waves. Yes, it's a romance and has some pretty racy scenes, but the context of the story around it is funny and unpredictable in many ways, so you keep reading. Personally, I found the writing to be engaging and well done. You knew everything would work out, but not how things would come together. I sometimes felt lost with all the other minor characters in the beginning, but it always circled back around to Alex and Juli's relationship amidst all the chaos and undisclosed information. In the end, I just wish I could sit on a boat in a gorgeous, tropical location to read this book! Now that would be a perfect combination!
cheriereich on LibraryThing 10 months ago
Tawna Fenske's Making Waves is a hilarious wild ride with dashes of sweet romance.Juli travels to St. John to honor her Uncle Frank's wishes for his cremated ashes to be tossed into the sea. Alex and his band of unlikely pirates arrive in St. John and plan to seize illegal diamonds from their former boss. When Juli accidentally stows away on Alex's ship, she has twenty-four hours to prove she belongs with Alex's ragtag crew and can help with the heist, if she can overcome her seasickness and use her attraction to Alex to further her cause. Making Waves excels in adventure, humor, and sexy romance. Fenske's characters are quirky and unique; each one is unforgettable. They are probably the worst band of pirates, but hilarity ensues, creating unexpected plot twists that keep a reader guessing. Alex and Juli's chemistry deserves an A plus. The sweet secondary romance between Jake and Phyllis is perfectly awkward and a wonderful addition to the book. Fenske has brilliant wit with dialogue, filled with fun innuendo. This novel is definitely a must-read romantic comedy.Dysfunctional pirates, humor, and romance abound in Making Waves by Tawna Fenske. I can't want to read more from this comedic debut author!
jenniandtony on LibraryThing 10 months ago
Wow! I loved this book. I think few authors can write humorous romance novels very well, but Tawna Fenske did a great job in this book. The characters are all kind of weird, but still relatable. In fact it was hard not to picture some of my friends filling the roles in this book. But the best part of the book was how much a funny situation would catch me off guard. I would laugh so hard while reading this that I'd have to put the book down and walk away for a while before I could start to read it again! I laughed until I cried and I loved every single page of this one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fun read
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book loved it
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I don't usually write reviews but this book surprised me, it was really good! In a sea of romance books that are all the same and mediocore at best, I found this book to be a stand out. The only thing that I would change is the pirate who was into poetry and books. I'll admit to skimming over those parts. I recommend this book and look forward to more from this author.
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bookowl828 More than 1 year ago
This debut book by Fenske was amazing! The characters are larger than life and the book was laugh out loud funny. A heartwarming all round feel good type of romance!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved juli and the "pirate" friends... best book ive read in a while. Funny lol
AdrianneWood More than 1 year ago
I read MAKING WAVES while flying cross-country and irritated the people around me with constant bursts of laughter. And the tension between the two characters is hot. Fenske isn't afraid to insert humor into even the most high-octane love scenes. A marvelously fun read.
BooksnKisses More than 1 year ago
In Making Waves we meet Juli Flynn. She has been asked by her late uncle to spread his ashes out at sea. Only problem is that Juli¿s hates the ocean. But being the ever good niece, Juli¿s sets out on the adventure to fulfill her uncle¿s wishes. Alex finds himself staring at his pink slip not knowing what just happened. While drinking and brain storming with his fellow fired co-workers they devise a plan to get back at their former employer. One thing Alex never planned on was the beautiful stow away sleeping in his bed. Juli¿s & Alex find them self on the adventure of a lifetime in Making Waves. But will these two survive the adventure or will one of them have to walk the plank? OMG!!! Let me tell you first I had the great pleasure of meeting Tawna over this past summer. She is so much fun and her book Making Waves was just as much fun. I am so glad that I meet her and pick up this book. I could not put this book down and was laughing the whole time. Let me also tell you that Jell-O salad and cheese doodles will NEVER be the same after you read this book!!!