"Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by doing so some people have entertained angels without knowing it." - Hebrews 13:2

Monday, November 26, 2012

A Change of Fortune Giveaway and Interview with Author, Jen Turano

Welcome everyone! Today, I want to introduce you to a wonderfully talented author, and my Seymour Agency sister, Jen Turano! Jen's debut novel, A Change of Fortune, was recently released from Bethany House. I've got to say, once I picked up her novel, I couldn't put it down - a totally delightful read! She is an author to be watched. Like me, Jen is represented by the awesome, Mary Sue Seymour.

Author, Jen Turano

THE GIVEAWAY - Jen has generously offered to give away a copy of A Change of Fortune, and I'm throwing in a Starbucks gift card to one lucky winner. To be entered in the drawing, all you have to do is answer Jen's question at the end of the interview, or for those who have trouble commenting on Blogger, leave your answer on my Facebook Author Page. The winner of Jen's book and the gift card will be drawn at random next Sunday, December 2, 2012, at 9pm CDT, and announced on next week’s blog post. I just love the cover of A Change of Fortune! Check it out!

Before we get to the interview... I will announce the winner of last week's giveaway. The winner of Stacy Henrie's debut novel, Lady Outlaw, and a $15 Starbucks gift card is...Sarah Forgrave! Congrats to Sarah! I will contact you this week for your address. 

Now to the interview... 

Welcome Jen! So glad to have you here!

Thank you so much for having me, Loree.  It’s an honor.

Your spectacular debut novel from Bethany House is titled, A Change of Fortune. How long have you been writing novels? Is this your first?

I wish I could make the claim that A Change of Fortune was my first book, but alas, that isn’t quite the case.  I’m afraid some of my early attempts were, well, horrible.  I have six books that are languishing in my computer, and these books will never, ever, see the light of day.  They’re riddled with POV and plot problems, but I was fortunate in that agents and editors took the time to write critiques to me as they sent their rejections, some of which were rather scathing in nature.  After I got over the initial reaction of “ouch,” I forced myself to really think about the points the agents and editors were making, and I realized that if I was ever going to get published, I was going to have to up my game.

The book is a work of historical fiction. What is the inspiration behind the book?

Funny you should ask that because this particular story actually flashed to mind while I was scrubbing the shower, which really isn’t a very inspirational task in the least.  There I was, waiting for my scrubbing bubbles to do their thing and…Eliza suddenly waltzed into my thoughts.  She stayed there all day – but since my house was an absolute disaster, I couldn’t very well stop cleaning, so I grabbed a stack of post-it notes and scribbled down thoughts as I mopped and dusted.  By the time I finally turned off the vacuum cleaner, the story was set.

I love when plots come about while doing ordinary things like cleaning…fun hearing your tale. They say that there is a bit of each of us in all of our characters. Which character in the book is most like you, and why? 

I think the character most like me would have to be…probably Agatha Watson.  She gets into outlandish situations almost by accident, and that happens to me all the time.  She’s also independent and quirky, and I’ve always been a little different.

Is there a sequel or series planned?

There are four books in The Ladies of Distinction series – and that is actually sort of a tongue in cheek description of the series, because my characters, while obviously high society, are anything but typical young ladies of that time.  The second book, A Most Peculiar Circumstance, will release to market in June, 2013.  That book is Miss Arabella Beckett and Mr. Theodore Wilder’s story.  The third book – currently untitled, is coming out in November, 2013 – it is Miss Felicia Murdock and Mr. Grayson Sumner’s story – and then the fourth, Miss Agatha Watson’s story, will release in 2014.

What do you read for enjoyment, Jen?

I read a wide range of genres, from romance to suspense, to thrillers, and even fantasy.  My favorite authors are Julia Quinn, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, and J.K. Rowling. 

What is your favorite cure for a sweet tooth? Have to ask this one!

This is a huge bummer for me, but I can’t eat sweets.  Ever since I had my son – and that was almost seventeen years ago – candy, chocolate, and anything with too much sugar in it gives me a headache – it’s a crying shameJ  I can’t even eat cake anymore – which makes it very difficult when my birthday comes around because everyone always brings me cake – and then I have to watch while everyone else eats it.

I’m sorry to hear sugar gives you headaches. I sometimes get migraines from pop or certain sodas. Well, I must declare that you have been so “sweet” to come by for a visit. It really has been a pleasure, Jen. Thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to visit, and I hope to have you back again on the release of your next novel.

Thank you so much for having me, Loree.  It was a true pleasure.

Now, Jen has a question for you—

I’m beginning work on a new series – and I need a fabulous name for a meddling grandfather who wants nothing more than to see his grandson well-married. The story is set in 1885 New York, and this grandfather is a self-made gentleman who has a rather gruff nature.   Any suggestions?

Names are fun! Here's my two cents, Jen. I googled "gruff" boy names and came up with - LOL - are you ready for this? - GRUFF - as a name. Babycenter.com defines the name Gruff as:
Gender: Boy
Origin: Welsh
Meaning: Lord, prince
I'm trying to imagine my son as Gruff Huebner. LOL! There's my suggestion! ~ Loree

For more information on Jen and her books, you can find her at:
On Facebook:
Stop in and "like" her page!

Between you, me and the gatepost,



Melissa Jagears said...

Man! I wish sugar gave me a headache, it might curb my propensity to partake too often. And for me, my pregnancy with me son did the opposite! I was never a fan of chocolate, and then while I was carrying him, I craved chocolate and meat. And now I feel like I need chocolate, every day, unfortunately for my midsection!

And I get a lot of my ideas in the shower too. But while actually showering. I bet hubby would love it if I'd start getting inspiration while cleaning it though. :)

As for a name.....I love my Baby Name Survey Book - the first impressions list is great though it has lots of modern names you can't use in historicals.

So I looked up the names that gave off the first impression of
Gruff to those surveyed: Grover and Wayne

Sandra Orchard said...

I love how you kept jotting ideas as they came to you. How about Harold...sounds old mannish and gruff :)

Victoria Lindstrom said...

Loree: Thanks for the wonderful interview with Jen - her book sounds awesome! The name I'll throw out there for her to consider is Archibald. It means bold; valiant.

Lindsay Harrel said...

Sounds like a great story! I don't know much about that time period, but I like Loree's suggestion.

Lisa Norato said...

Great interview, Loree and Jen! I loved this book and highly recommend it to everyone. Jen's characters are so much fun. You don't want to miss this book!

Melissa Tagg said...

Loved this interview...just finished Jen's book recently and LOVED that too. I can't wait for the rest in the series...especially Agatha Watson's story. I loved that character.

Gruff...totally fun name.

I also like the name Otis for a gruff grandfather. :)

Emily said...

Thanks so much for the giveaway! I've seen this book around and thought it an interesting story....as for the name, I'm thinking Weston....lol! Hope you find a good one!


Loree Huebner said...

Melissa: I get plot ideas in the shower too! Sometimes I run out of hot water...lol! Grover and Wayne...great names!

Sandra: ooooh...I like Harold! Definitely mannish!

Victoria: Jen's book is good. Love her writing style and story telling. Archibald - love it. It does sound bold and valiant.

Lindsay: It's so funny that I looked up "gruff" names and Gruff was a real name. I just cracked up and had to share. Happy Birthday, my dear!

Lisa: I loved her characters too! I can't wait for the next book in the series.

Melissa: I remember that you read it the same time I did. I loved Agatha too! Otis - good strong manly name!

Emily: The story is so good. Weston is a fabulous name!

Jen: my hubby Eric wanted to chime in on the name - he suggests Angus for the gruff granddaddy. LOL!

Getting a lot of great names!

Thanks for dropping in everyone!

Cecy said...

Wonderful post. Wishing Jen great success and many sales.

Loree Huebner said...

Cecy: Thanks for stopping in! So good to see you! Congrats on your recent success!

To everyone: Jen can't leave a comment on my blog - Blogger won't let her. But she did leave a comment on my face book page for everyone -

Hey Loree - thanks for the great interview - and I'm so sorry, but I can't get my comments to go on your blog page - so please tell everyone thank you for me - and that I love all the names - I'll let you know which one I choose at the end of the week, but I must say - I think I'm going to use all of them in one story or another:)

Thanks Jen! They are such great names to list for a later date!

Rhonda Schrock said...

Gruff, huh? Maybe...Oscar? Sesame Street has an Oscar, and he's pretty gruff. :)

Fun interview, Loree. Very interesting!


Anna Hamilton said...

I read A Change of Fortune and loved every page looking forward to reading the next three! How about Alton???

Cynthia Chapman Willis said...

What is it with showers and inspiration? Interesting. And a wonderful interview!

J.Grace said...

Thanks for hosting a book giveway and for the interesting interview.

I really enjoyed Gentleman of Her Dreams and would love to win!

My suggesstions are Milton, Warren or Walter.


Pat Trainum writing as Patricia Bradley said...

Looking forward to reading A Change of Fortune that's in my TBR pile. Great interview. Love Gruff. And Angus. And Oscar. I think of the Odd Couple there.

Loree Huebner said...

Rhonda: Oscar's an outstanding gruff sounding name. Love that pic of your son on fb. Can't believe the cost of 5 stitches!!

Anna: Thanks for popping in, Anna! So nice to see you here! I can't wait for the rest of the series either!

Cynthia: It must be the hot water...lol! I don't know but I get tons of inspiration in the shower.

Janella: So glad you dropped in! I enjoyed Jen's novella too. Beautifully written!

Pat: It's a great read, Pat. Those names do sound like the odd couple...lol!

Thanks for chiming in everyone!

Talli Roland said...

Very evocative cover, and a huge congrats to Jen. The book looks fabulous!

Sarah Forgrave said...

Thanks for the introduction to Jen, Loree! Just don't tell my husband that cleaning can multi-task as writing. Deadlines are handy when I want him to vacuum the house. ;)

Loree Huebner said...

Talli: Isn't the cover awesome? The book is fab.

Sarah: LOL! Your secret is safe with me...

Talli and Sarah, thanks for popping in!

Karen Lange said...

Great interview ladies! I appreciate the intro to Jen. I've seen this book and wondered how it was, and now I know! I love the cover too. :) Looking forward to reading it.

As for a name for a gruff gentleman, how about something like Earl, Ainsley or Marshall?

Thanks again for the interview and for offering the giveaway,

Sherri Wilson Johnson said...

Stopping by to say hi! I already have the book in my stack to read. I can't wait!! Much success with it. :)

Loree Huebner said...

Karen: The cover is so perfect for the story. Beautifully done. I love the name Ainsley!

Sherri: Welcome here! Thanks for mentioning that it's in your TBR list. You will love it!

Karen and Sherri, thanks for stopping in! We love reading your comments!

Loree Huebner said...


(Jen's having trouble commenting through blogger. She emailed me something to post...)

Thanks everyone for stopping by and leaving comments and names. I was really torn about which one to use - so put them all in a hat and pulled out....Archibald - so thank you to Victoria for that name - we'll see how Archibald develops - right now he's just a glimmer of a thought rattling around my mind. And, well, I also needed a name for a motley dog of undetermined parentage - so stuck my hand back in the bag and - Otis popped out. Thanks to Melissa for that name, and I hope you don't mind that instead of a grandfather figure, Otis is now a hound - and one that slobbers...a lot.

Hope everyone has a great week!

All the best,