Tag Archive | Jen Turano

Inquiring Minds Want to Know (Part 1 of 4)

I asked some of my Facebook friends to ask me questions . . . so the next few weeks, I’ll be answering!

Why romance fiction? How long have you had the passion to write?

I’ve always enjoyed sweet romances. In my late teens early twenties, I was enamored of Georgette Heyer and Marion Chesney’s Regency romances. Clean stories without the explicit sex. I guess you could say I’m a romantic at heart and I long for that. My characters get the love and romance I don’t.

What made you choose writing? What keeps you writing? What motivates you?

I believe God led me to writing by telling me in a dream to do write for National Novel Writing Month (www.nanowrimo.org) in 2009. I think I had always been afraid to try and once I started the dam broke and I found out how much I love the process of writing a story. I haven’t stopped. Once the characters start forming in my mind and that first scene or general story concept and I start writing, I can’t stop until I’ve come to the end. It becomes like an obsession for me.

Which writers inspire you?

I admire the wit and whimsy of writers like Jen Turano, Mary Conneley and Karen Witemeyer, Brooke Williams, Sandi Bricker and Jan Thomson. I love the characters that Dee Henderson, DiAnne Mills, Ronie Kendig paint in her writing. Combined with suspense it is amazing. Becky Wade, Melissa Tagg, Loree Lough, and Lisa Lickel . . . I wish I could write like all of them, but I’ve had to learn that I have my style and I need to be okay with that.

How is fiction writing a reflection of your Christianity?

I love to encourage others. Jesus told parables and there is power in telling stories that can show the process of sanctification which I hope my characters will go through. I also believe we need to grow emotionally as well as spiritually. I hope I encourage others to persevere in their own journeys, spiritually, emotionally and relationally. And hopefully the reader will see biblical truths in a new light based on the journey of the characters to motivate them to persevere through the trials that come their way.

Pothole road damageWhat inspired the idea for this story?

For Pesto & Potholes I actually started with the concept of the potholes based on something I learned in my undergraduate studies. The idea that healing—whether emotional or physical—can be a rocky journey out of the pit and not necessarily an upward smooth trajectory. I labeled it potholes, my prof was a little surprised but to me, it stuck.

For the entire Orchard Hill series, for which Pesto & Potholes is the first book, I wanted to explore one of the things I didn’t understand early in my faith journey was why the church was so important. Especially when so many young adults walk away. Beyond worship and teaching, I realized it was about the relationships. While I agree that the theology of origins and understanding how science supports Scripture is important, but I believe the disenfranchisement of younger adults is deeper than that.

Peter Scazzero wrote a book called Emotionally Healthy Spirituality and he posits that when we come to Christ we are born into a new family and need to learn the new rules. Not the “do’s and don’t’s” but how to relate to others in a way that honors God and His other image-bearers. Many times the way we’ve been raised has not been as healthy as the design God has for us in relationships. We are not mature if we only grow spiritually and not emotionally. So . . . I hope that my stories show the value and importance of the new “family” how valuable those relationships are for us to grow up in Christ as well as cope with the ups and downs of life.

More questions will be answered in the weeks to come. If you have some, please write them in the comments below!

A Match of Wits (Book Review)

a match of witsA Match of Wits by Jen Turano is the fourth book in her historical romance series. I was given this book to review at my request. I have enjoyed Jen’s writings ever since reading her first book A Change of Fortune. I equally enjoyed A Talent for Trouble and A Most Peculiar Circumstance. A Match of Wits did not disappoint in displaying Jen’s unique voice filled with wit and whimsy.

Agatha is a reporter from New York who someone wants dead. To preserve her life she heads West to seek stories and write, encountering a series of adventures along the way, keeping her bodyguard and companion busy. Her deepest secret is the love she had for a certain man, Zayne, who reappears when she least expects it in a Colorado mining town.

Zayne is at his low point in life and looks now more like a scraggly mountain man than the dashing man about town Agatha used to know. Having struck gold in a mine and been left with a permanent and painful leg, Zayne Beckett has chosen a life of isolation to nurse his wounds and avoid any real relationships, including that of his friends and family back in New York. Agatha however finds Zayne at this low point and through a further series of misadventures, and coerces him into going home to recover from his latest disaster.

Little did Zayne realize that the exquisite and irritating Agatha was the woman he loved all along. With her life in danger and his leg in a cast, how is he to protect her? And why, with all the schemes of the matchmakers around him, can he not woo this woman to be his wife?

If this book were a movie I think it would rival an old slapstick with the antics the characters engage in.  I could imagine a young Dick Van Dyke as Zayne! Jen writes her humorous romances with a light touch and while she places them in ridiculous situations at times, she writes a believable and enjoyable story filled with love and faith that will leave you smiling. Well done, Jen and again, a beautiful cover by Bethany House.

 

A Talent for Trouble (Book Review)

A talent for trouble 2I love Jen Turano’s witty writing and slapstick characters and she does not disappoint in her third novel, A Talent for Trouble.

As we follow the colorful cast of characters from Jen’s previous two novels, A Change of Fortune and A Most Peculiar Circumstance, which I have reviewed here on my blog, you’ll find the adventures continue here.

Miss Felicia Murdock has foolishly believed for years that she was destined to be a pastor’s wife and dressed and acted in a way that she thought would capture the heart of her desired mate. That dream crashed colorfully when that man married–another woman!  Sent to revive her spirits, Grayson Sumner, Lord Sefton finds himself involved in saving the beautiful woman from one scrape after another.

Grayson, however, is not devout and with a tainted past does not feel he could, in any way, be a suitor for Felicia’s hand. The only problem is, no one told his heart that. Felicia finds the nobleman to be an enigma. She delights in the fact that he does not tell her lies to placate her likes others have. But surely such an aggravating man could never be good husband material, could he?

Grayson’s past catches up with him and soon it is Lord Sefton who is in trouble. Will Felicia risk it all to help rescue him?

Not everyone will appreciate Jen’s unique voice but I personally love it and at times found myself laughing out loud at the antics of her characters or her way of turning a phrase. I also applaud Bethany for another beautiful cover that displays the spunk of the main character. I look forward to Jen’s fourth installment in this series and hope she has plans for more after that.

A Change of Fortune (Book Review)

a change of fortuneI love historical romances that have a bit of wit and whimsy to them and Jen Turano serves up a generous helping of both in her novel, A Change of Fortune.

Lady Eliza loses everything, including her fiance. In a desperate scheme, she sails from England to America to find the man who not only stole her money, but her families title and good reputation as well. To make her plan successful, however, the English aristocrat hires herself out as a governess, sports spectacles and seeks, in her spare time, to ferret out the whereabouts of yon thief.

The entire adventure puts her in the path of another man also in pursuit against said criminal and they team up with some fun results.

Mr. Hamilton Beckett seems intrigued with the mousy governess in her unattractive garb and her clumsy behavior. He is a widow raising two wild children who fall in love with Lady Eliza. As she leaves her post to come to his home, she takes the motherless children under her wing and the attachment becomes mutual.

Can a man trying to work on his business, avoid the sparks that fly when Eliza is around?

Also – I loved the cover of this book as well. The image of Lady Eliza seemed to fit perfectly with the descriptions in the book, including that spark of whimsy that is woven in the novel.

This story is a delightful romp that will have you smiling in many places. It was a delightful read. Thank you Jan for an entertaining romance and thank you Bethany House for publishing it.