Friday, February 10, 2012

On heavy breathing & good reviews

I used to think authors were full of crap when they whined about the pressure they feel after a debut novel.

Will the next book get panned? Will readers sneer and insist the first was better? Will groups of roving literary bullies find me in a dark alley and snap my bra and stick ballpoint pens in my eyeballs and light me on fire while chanting "you suck, one hit wonder!"?

It's true – these are the things new authors worry about.

That's why I'm breathing a huge sigh of relief right now (insert heaving bosom joke here).

Early reviews are trickling in for my second romantic comedy, Believe it or Not, which hits shelves in early March. Lucky for me, reviewers have been saying such nice things, I start bawling every time I read what they've written.

Here's a sampling:

From Booklist magazine (a starred review!):
Mar 2012. 384 p. Sourcebooks/Casablanca, paperback, $6.99. (9781402257186).
Fenske’s second romance, after Making Waves (2011), mixes laugh-out-loud funny scenes with a charming pair bent on not becoming a couple. When psychic Moonbeam breaks her pelvis and a number of other bones and lands in the hospital, her daughter, accountant Violet (named for her eye color), returns from Portland, Maine, to her hometown of Portland, Oregon, to take over the psychic-reading business until her mother recovers. There she meets Drew, who owns and runs a bar that features male strippers a couple of nights a week. Although the air ignites when Violet and Drew are together, they agree they aren’t each other’s type. This is just as well since Violet is struggling to give psychic readings and to balance her long-distance accounting clients. Drew, on the other hand, thinks he is perfectly fine dating bimbos, even though he has become somewhat bored with his life. Snappy, endearing dialogue and often hilarious situations unite the couple, and Fenske proves to be a romance author worthy of a loyal following. — Pat Henshaw

RT Book Reviews magazine (a 4.5 star review, their highest score!):
Genre: Contemporary Romance, General Contemporary Romance
Sensuality: HOT
Fenske hits all the right humor notes without teetering into the pit of slapstick in her lighthearted book of strippers, psychics, free spirits and an accountant. She handles the cast of oddball characters well, making them sympathetic, funny and very real. Violet has always been embarrassed by her mother’s wackiness, but she doesn’t hesitate to fly across the country when her mom is injured. Now she is stuck running her mom’s psychic studio, even though she doesn’t believe in it. Next door is a bar run by Drew, who’s hotter than the male strippers he hires. He quickly reconsiders his ongoing battle with Miss Moonbeam after meeting her seriously sexy daughter. As Drew and Violet fight their sexual attraction, they can’t seem to stay out of each other’s lives, especially when the businesses are threatened and Violet’s “psychic powers” put the wrong guy in jail. (SOURCEBOOKS, Mar., 352 pp., $6.99) Reviewed By: M.H. Morrison

Publisher's Weekly:
Fenske’s sophomore effort (after Making Waves) is an extended meet-cute scenario, with an entertainingly quirky cast that makes for fine escapist reading as long as the reader is willing to exert a stronger than normal suspension of disbelief. When popular psychic Moonbeam is hospitalized, her accountant daughter, Violet, reluctantly steps in to run the shop. Neighboring bar owner Drew Watson has found success by bringing in male exotic dancers. Despite Violet’s protestations about preferring life in Portland, Maine, to Portland, Ore.; her attempts to reciprocate the romantic attentions of Moonbeam’s orthopedic surgeon; and Drew’s stated skepticism of psychic powers and disinterest in dating a type-A woman, they immediately generate a great deal of sexual tension, plus Drew keeps “randomly” selecting songs that answer Violet’s clients’ questions. Are circumstances conspiring to bring them together or drive them apart? Sexually charged dialogue and steamy make-out scenes will keep readers turning the pages to discover the answer. Agent: Michelle Wolfson, Wolfson Literary Agency. (Mar.)


There's another awesome review at The Last Word blog, which is so beautifully thorough and detailed, I'd rather send you there to read it than regurgitate the whole thing on my blog.

So that's what has me feeling oh-so-relieved on this Friday morning. How about you? Anything giving you a reason to wipe the sweat from your brow and say, "Yes, YES, YES!"

Please share!


Anne Gallagher said...

Congratulations! Sounds like an awesome book. Much continued success to you.

Matthew MacNish said...

Congrats, Tawna!

out of the wordwork said...

Fabulous reviews, Tawna! Here's to your continued success!

Kimberly Sabatini said...

Congrats!!! I'm not the least bit surprised and can't wait to read it!!!! <3

RamblingWords said...

Congratulations Tawna! The reviews sound so good. Can't wait to get the book! I am glad you are getting such good press. WTG!!!


Rachell H said...

The reviews look great!! I can't wait to read Believe It or Not!!! Pre-ordered from Amazon. Hoping it ships early like Making Waves did!

Linda G. said...

WOWZER!!! Those are fantastic reviews! Not that I'm at all surprised. :)

Ebony McKenna. said...


Isn't it amazing when people say they love your book?
And you know what's even better? It never gets old. Never!

Yay you!!!!!!!

Kelly Byrne said...

Congrats, Tawna. These are great reviews.

I tell ya, at this point in my own career, I'd be happy if a reviewer from Publisher's Weekly used pages from my book to wipe with - at least they'd be in the same room with it (although that could get tricky with a Kindle).

Anywho - kudos to you. What an exciting time and to know you didn't totally mess it up is a great feeling. At least I think it would be. ;)

In all seriouslyness, seriouslessness, seriousosity? I'm super happy for you and wish you much continued successfulness. ;)

Btw - I downloaded "Getting Dumped" to my Kindle (possibly the one in the loo with Publisher's Weekly) and am very much looking forward to reading this new and exciting type of story. Seriously. :)

Crystal Posey said...

Fantastic! I can't wait to read it.