Thursday, September 27, 2018

Interview ~ Jen Turner Turano, author of Caught by Surprise (Apart from the Crowd #3) + Giveaway!!!


I am pleased to welcome USA Today best-selling author Jen Turano to the blog today! Jen is one of my favorite Christian fiction writers. She has 11 published books and another due out in January 2019. Always providing a perfect combination of cozy mystery, humor and faith, Jen's stories will bless your heart!

Welcome, Jen! Tell us a little bit about your latest bookand why you wrote it?

“Caught by Surprise” is the final book in the “Apart from the Crowd” series. It revolves around Miss Temperance Flowerdew and Mr. Gilbert Cavendish, good friends from childhood who land in a most unusual situation, one that might require them, at least according to society rules, to marry. I’ve been wanting to do a friends to something more story for some time now. I’ve dabbled with that troupe in my two novellas, but I wanted to see if I could do a full-length novel, and…I think it turned out rather well.  

Tell us a little about yourself and your writing journey.

I never intended on becoming a writer. I majored in fashion, used to be a buyer, then turned into a stay-at-home mom when my son was born. When he was in third grade, we read this awful series about a bird. He thought it would be fun to try to write our own story, and that’s when I realized I’d forgotten how cool it was to use my brain. My early attempts were awful, but after I got some great advice from agents, some of it rather painful, I worked on the craft of writing, and eventually got to where I landed an agent. She then went out and sold “A Change of Fortune” to Bethany House, and I’ve been writing for them ever since.   

What do you think makes a good story?

Conflict and relatable characters. 

Where is your favorite place to write?

I only write first drafts in my office. I can edit outside or anywhere else in the house, but first drafts I have to be sitting at my desk, typing away.

Do you ever wake up in the middle of the night and just have to get up and write down a thought?
If so, do you keep a tablet on your bedside table or go to the computer?

I don’t ever wake up in the middle of the night. I will get thoughts at the most unusual times, like in the grocery store, so I will send myself a text, or if I’m cleaning, I always have post-it notes handy to scribble down ideas. 

Do you talk to your characters? Keep story boards? Pictures?

I do talk to my characters, normally when I’m out walking – tends to have people giving me a wide berth. I do keep story boards, but I don’t do pictures, that just messes me up.   

https://jenturano.com/flights-of-fancy/
Can you give us a glimpse into your next book or story idea?

My next series is an American Heiress series. The first book, “Flights of Fancy” will release January 2019. I just turned in the second book in that series, currently untitled, and next I’ll be writing a novella about the Harvey Girls that will feature other Bethany House authors.

In your spare time, do you have any hobbies you enjoy?

I’m very social, so when I’m not writing, my husband and I enjoy meeting friends out. I used to do cross-stitch, but I haven’t done that in years. My eyes just get too tired from being on the computer so much these days.

Do you have a favorite book? What makes it stand out from others?

I’ve always said that “In Good Company” was my very favorite because I adore Millie Longfellow, but “Caught by Surprise” seems to be turning into my favorite. It’s just so out there, what with all the outlandish situations, that I can’t help but love it.

What’s the one food item you can’t live without?

I love cereal – Cheerios is my absolute favorite.

Where can you be found on the internet?

I do most of my interaction on Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/jenturanoauthor/

But all of my books are featured on my web – www.jenturano.com

And I have a twitter account – JenTurano@JenTurano – but I’ll be honest, I sometimes forget I have twitter. 

Is there a question you would like my readers to answer in order to be entered to win a copy of your book?

Was there ever a time when something caught you by surprise?

Thank you, Jen, for indulging us today! It is always fascinating to learn more about a favorite writer/author. I am almost finished with my review copy and I can tell my readers that this is one of your best works, maybe the finest! :)

Thanks so much for having me on your blog, Anne. Too fun!! 




GIVEAWAY 


After years of hiding her true nature, Miss Temperance Flowerdew is finally enjoying freedom outside of the shadow of her relations, so the last thing she expected on her way to work was to be grabbed off the street by a stranger and put on a train bound for Chicago.

When Mr. Gilbert Cavendish is called upon to rescue a missing woman, he follows the trail to Chicago only to discover that the woman is his good friend, Temperance. Before they can discover who was behind her abduction, they're spotted alone together by a New York society matron, putting their reputations at risk.

Even though Gilbert is willing to propose marriage, Temperance is determined not to lose her newfound independence. But when the misunderstanding in Chicago escalates into a threat on her life, accepting Gilbert's help in solving the mystery may lead to more than she ever could have dreamed.




Jen is offering a signed copy of Caught by Surprise to one blog follower. Please leave your email address in a non-spam format AND a comment answering Jen's question --

Was there ever a time when something caught you by surprise?

-- along with how you follow Stuff & Nonsense and a winner will be chosen using Random Number Generator on Oct 2. US Only due to postage costs.



77 comments:

  1. *No Entry* I was Caught by Surprise at how much I love this series. I'm not kidding. I loved Jen Turano's other books but there is just something, I can't put it into words, about these three "wallflowers" and the full cast of characters surrounding them that grabbed my heart.
    I'm looking forward to the new series too.

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    1. I agree, Andrea! There is something about these wallflowers and their beaus that just settles down deep in the heart. I love them!!!

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  2. I have been wanting to read Jen Turano's books for awhile. I have heard so many good things about them! Fun interview to read. I love Cheerios too. :) I think the biggest and best things have caught me by surprise--when my husband and I got engaged and when I found out I was pregnant with our son.

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    1. All great surprises, Monica! Jen's books are fabulous. I hope you get to read all of them. I love cereal. Period. ;-)

      Please come back and leave an email address so you can be contacted if you win.

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  3. My favorite surprise was being told I was going to be a grandmother! That's the best surprise ever! I would love to read Caught By Surprise!

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    1. I can remember when I was told that very same thing the first time. I was so excited and surprised. Best news ever!!

      Please come back and leave an email address so you can be contacted if you win.

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  4. I was caught by surprise when I was fired from a job that I thought I was finally getting the hang of. Oh well, I have a better job now as the church secretary. Love Jen's books!
    grams57[at]gmail[dot]com

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    1. One door closed and God opened a better one. Praise for that, Grams! :-)

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  5. Caught by surprise.. it's been a while...but when my ex husband gave me a diamond tennis bracelet for no reason. Thankfully we are still friendly and I do still have the bracelet.

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    1. Awwww....love those kinds of surprises! It's like getting flowers for no reason. :-)

      Please come back and leave an email address so you can be contacted if you win.

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  6. I love the amount of humor in Jen Turano's books. Truly fun reads without sacrificing quality plot and characters! I would love to read this newest one. I was truly caught by surprise when I found out we were expecting child #4! Unplanned and truly unexpected, but it was the best surprise and I can't imagine our family without her.

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    1. Babies are the BEST surprises, Joleen! Thanks for sharing with us today.

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  7. Can't wait to read it!
    gracelz1 at hotmail dot com

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    1. Thanks for leaving a comment, Charis. In order to be entered for the giveaway, you'll need to answer Jen's question, please. :-)

      Can you share something that caught you by surprise?

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  8. I was told 6 weeks before my retirement that I was above to become a grandmother for the VERY FIRST time! Surprised? Yes, I was!!
    Thanks for your giveaway.

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    1. Connie, That is the BEST news ever!!! I have four grands and every time it was a surprise; a very welcome one. :-)

      Please come back and leave an email so you can be contacted if you win.

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  9. Thanks for the opportunity to win! When I found out for the first time I was going to be a great aunt!

    cook dot nicole at msn dot com

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    1. I was 15 when I found I was going to be an aunt for the first time and I can remember how excited I was! Thanks for sharing, Nicole.

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  10. What was I caught by surprise with? Our 3rd and 4th children, when we didn't think we would be able to have anymore! They are 18 months apart. :) jumpforjoy at gmail dot com

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    1. Oh, wow!!! That would definitely be a surprise but a GOOD one!!! :-)

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  11. For sure! I've known (and had a crush on) my husband since I was three. He always just saw me as a little girl. So when I turned 16 and he told me he loved me I was very surprised! We've now been together for 22 years and married for 19! Thanks for the chance to win Jen's book!
    dmandres5 (at) gmail (dot) com

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  12. My biggest surprise was a phone call telling me I was going to be a grandmother, by a child who thought they could not have biological children. malbraaten at yahoo dot com

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    1. Praise God from Whom ALL blessings flow!!! That is wonderful good news!

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  13. I have been caught by surprise a few times. Baby #2 , I was sure was a girl. Had to wait til he was 10 before I got my girl. No tests in the old days! I just learned I am to be a great grandma! I’m too young— only 69!
    I love Jen’s books! Thanks for the chance! paulams49ATsbcglobalDOTnet

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    1. I didn't know what I was having the first three times and was totally in shock with #3. I was sure I would have another girl but 'she' was a 'he'... :-)

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  14. For my 50th birthday my first daughter planned a party, even flying her brother in from another state. At the party my last gift was a bag full of grandmotherly items. She was announcing my first grandchild. It was a wonderful surprise and that little bundle of joy is now turning 18 and is a beautiful young lady.
    Anne at Rightler dot com

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    1. Oh, Anne!!! That is an awesome surprise...a two-for-one! :-)

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  15. My most recent surprise was when our baby was a girl (we hadn't found out in advance) and my husband thought we were going to have a boy.
    kwyrzy [at] hotmail [dot] com

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    1. That seems to happen more often than we hear, Kathy. :-)

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  16. Not a good surprise to be told I had to go into hospital last week! Home now recovering.
    I do enjoy Jen Turano's books.

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    1. Oh no!!! Rainey, I am so sorry. I have been absent in much of visiting blogs and didn't know. Praise God you are recovering. I will be praying for you, my friend. {{hugs}}

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  18. When I was 16 my parents gave me a surprise birthday party and I was really surprised. I had no idea that they were planning it for my birthday.

    faithdcreech at gmail dot com

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    1. How sweet!!! They gave you a precious memory.

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  19. When we found out we were expecting our fourth child. Boy, was that a surprise.
    mindyhoung AT msn DOT com

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    1. This made me laugh! Babies do seem to surprise us sometimes but they never surprise God! He has formed each one. :)

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  20. A 50th birthday party! jarning67@hotmail.com

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  21. I was surprised this year when my BFF asked me over for dinner and I walked into a surprise birthday party. I thought I was going there to celebrate their anniversary.
    diannekc8(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Awwww...I had one of those one time and they really are the most pleasant and loving surprises.

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  22. I was caught by surprise when my husband told me he wanted a divorce. This was the worst surprise I've had.
    I really enjoy Jen's books and really want to read Caught by Surprise. Thanks for this interview and giveaway.

    pmkellogg56[at]gmail[dot]com

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    1. Oh, Pam! I am so sorry. That is not a good one at all. :'(

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  23. I was caught by surprise when my babies arrived early. My first came eight days early and my second came three weeks early and on my mother and daddy's anniversary to boot! I love Jen's books and she is a great gal! mauback55 at gmail dot com

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    1. Babies have their own schedule, don't they? :-) Mine all came within two days of their due date until #4. He came on his due date. I was beyond ready to have that boy outta there. haha

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  24. I was caught by surprise when I was asked to teach the youth Sunday school class at church. I had been teaching children for a long time. I was reluctant at first, but three years later I’m happy I made the change.
    scruggs2 at comcast dot net

    Thanks for offering the giveaway. Jen’s books are so much fun!

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    1. Obviously the Lord had equipped you for a new challenge and you have done a great job.

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  25. I guess I've been "caught by surprise" a number of times:) Once, when at a Baptist Spanish/English conference, when I (as a preacher's wife) was asked to speak (cold turkey) at a women's meeting, which actually did go well. . . When the Lord has answered an urgent prayer; and, more recently, when I heard that one of our sons planned to get engaged, and married in the not-too-distant future! Thank you for the opportunity to enter a giveaway! Would love to win a print copy of "In Good Company"! krautter12ATbresnanDOTnet

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    1. Those are all wonderful surprises, Lual! Maybe a little disconcerting having to speak 'on the fly' as they say but as a Pastor's wife, I'm sure you are well equipped for the challenge. Congrats on the engagement and soon-to-be wedding!

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    2. Thanks for the congrats and can always use more prayer for us, as we continue to minister in Deer Lodge, MT! As always, really enjoy entering in book giveaways! Would love to win any print copy! Thanks, again, for being a blessing! krautter12ATbresnanDOTnet

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  26. I was surprise when my second child was only born a few days after my birthday was not her due date. cheetahthecat1986ATgmailDOTcom

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  27. It wasn't that long ago, 15 months. My daughter and her husband who had been trying to have a baby for 13 years told me she was expecting. Our beautiful baby boy is 6 months old today!

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    1. Congratulations, Moonpie!!! Babies are precious gifts from God.

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  28. I was caught by surprise with a trip to the mountains. I wasn’t told until the night before and it turned out to be a great trip. :D

    maddycroneATgmailDOTcom

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    1. Sounds fun, Maddy! I had a similar experience a few years ago when my husband surprised me with a trip to Amish country. I'd never been to PA and I loved it!

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  29. Lots of things have caught me by surprise. But since we are talking about books, I’m like another reader, I was caught by surprise the first book I read by Jen Turano, A Change Of Fortune. I don’t know what I was expecting but it wasn’t to laugh so much. I can’t wait to get this one to read!

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    1. Oops I forgot to leave my name and email.
      Blessings Joy
      ibjoy1953 AT Yahoo DOT com

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    2. I feel the same way, Joy! Jen has a way with words and emotions just pour forth, mostly joy and laughter.

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  30. The thing that brought me the most surprise in my life, I think, would be my husband asking me to marry him after only 10 days of us dating and me saying yes. We have been married for 34 years this year.

    dlphsmom AT aim DOT com

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    1. Awwww....that was God-ordained! Congratulations, Debbie, on a fabulous love story. :)

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  31. I was caught by surprise the other day when my husband came home from work and handing me a long stemmed, deep-read rose for no reason :-) He knows I'm not normally a flower person, but the sentiment just touched my heart. I love when he does little surprising things like that to show his love for me!

    Thank you for the wonderful author interview and giveaway chance for Jen's new book!

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    1. OOPPS! In my excitement I forgot my email

      teamob4 (at) gmail (dot) com

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    2. Trixi, I oohed and ahhed over that romantic gesture! <3

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  32. Caught by Surprise by a vacation being gifted to us. I cried from shock and happiness and awe in the shower when I found out. Then 2 weeks before we were to leave I fell down our basement stairs doing laundry and broke my leg. Now I am working on healing and my husband worked on building safer stairs during what was to be our vacation. Not sure why it happened, sad we missed our vacation, but feel blessed to have been thought of by others to even gift us that in the first place. We will see what the future holds!

    LLWaltz [at] gmail [dot] com

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    1. Also, I am a new follower of your on Facebook. Forgot to say that. Thanks for the fun giveaway!

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    2. Oh, my, Laura!!! I am so sorry you broke your leg but praise God it wasn't worse, right? Maybe you and your husband can take a trip at a later date when you've healed. And yes, it was very sweet to be gifted a vacation. Thanks for following on FB! Appreciate it :-)

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  33. I was caught by surprise when my Mom paying for my trip to Israel.

    psalm103and138atgmaildotcom

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    1. Caryl, I have to say that would be an amazing surprise, for sure! I bet you had a grand time.

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  34. I was teaching a class to kids the other day about compost and when I opened the worm bin, out jumped a little cute green tree frog. Difficult to know who was most excited, me or the kids :x <3

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    1. Oh wow! I'm sure the children were thrilled to see that little frog. I probably would have been startled and given them something to laugh about. hehe

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  35. Last year for my birthday, my mom let me do a scavenger hunt, where I hopped from one location to the next getting pampered or receiving a gift. It was so sweet, thoughtful and surprising!

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    1. My email is usedtextbooks5(AT)gmail(DOT)com.

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    2. C. Monroe, That sounds like a lot of fun and such a sweet thing for your mom to do!!! We had a scavenger hunt for our daughter one year on her birthday. I'm not sure she enjoyed it all that much at the time but it has become a good memory since then. :-)

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  36. Hi Anne! I'm just sitting here today finally playing catch-up on blogging! What a fabulous interview with Jen Turano! I have never read any of her books, but hope to visit a local Christian book store soon, and will look for her books. Sounds like a wonderful series to read! Congratulations to the winner of her book, what fun to have a new book to read :) Hope you are doing well, and enjoying October, blessings and hugs to you!

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I am so delighted that you've taken time to come by and comment. Blessings for a joy-filled day!

1 Corinthians 1:3 ~ Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.