Spring Into Reading with Storing Up Trouble!

Hello reader friends! Welcome to my Spring Into Reading Event! Every day this month I’m going to feature a new release (or will be released) book for you to add to your TBR. There will be guest posts, giveaways, book excerpts, and more! So make sure you come back daily and see what book is in the spotlight next! And if you’ve missed any, be sure to click on the “Spring Into Reading” tab and look at the other posts!

Today I am pleased to have the wonderfully talented, funny, and beautiful Jen Turano on the blog! I’ve had the pleasure of meeting her twice now, both at CFRR events. She’s such a delight to speak to, and her books are some of my favorites! Jen even got my introverted daughter to chat a little bit 🙂 After we chat, Jen is giving away a copy of her newest release, Storing Up Trouble set to release May 5th. Please join me in welcoming Jen today!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Storing Up Trouble (American Heiresses Book #3) by [Jen Turano]

After Miss Beatrix Waterbury suffers multiple mishaps due to her involvement with the suffrage movement, her mother decides a change of scenery is in order for her incorrigible daughter. Banished from New York, Beatrix is sent off for an extended stay with her Aunt Gladys. 

Mr. Norman Nesbit, a gentleman and a brilliant man of science devoted to his work, doesn’t have time to be distracted with members of the feminine set. When robbers descend on the train, intent on divesting him from his important research papers, Norman is thrust into Beatrix’s company when she has the audacity to interfere—leaving him no choice but to try to save her from herself.

When Beatrix’s life is put at stake after her arrival and employment as a salesgirl in Chicago, they find themselves propelled into each other’s company again and again. With danger and intrigue dogging their every step, they become surprisingly drawn to each other—until information comes to light that threatens to crush this relationship that’s barely had a chance to blossom.

Baker Book House / Amazon

INTERVIEW WITH JEN

Welcome back Jen! It’s so good to have you here again. Let’s dive right in. What was the most difficult part of writing this book?

Mr. Norman Nesbit was a tricky character to figure out. I originally thought he was going to be a Sheldon Cooper type from the Big Bang Theory, but as I started writing him, I realized that I didn’t care for the way his story arc was developing. I then deleted the first few chapters and started from scratch, which set me back on my deadline, but allowed me to fix the Norman problem and write him in a way that readers will, hopefully, enjoy.

I can’t wait to read about him! If Al was to pick one character that you’ve written that most reflects you, who would he pick and why?

Since Al’s only read one of my books, that being “After a Fashion” it would be tricky for him to choose given that the one heroine he’s read about, Miss Harriet Peabody, is nothing like me. For example, she’s a wonderful seamstress and I’m not proficient with a needle and thread in the least, even though I did have to take classes like Advanced Tailoring and Flat Pattern Design when I was in college. Now, if Al had actually read all of my books, I think he’d choose Miss Gertrude Cadwalader from “Out of the Ordinary” because she’s prone to landing herself in the most outlandish of situations, something I find happening to me all the time.   

I loved Gertrude!! And I think you might be right 🙂 There’s going to be a candy shortage – what candy do you make sure to stock up on?

I’m not really a candy person because it tends to give me a headache, but what I find myself stocking up on, and this is an odd item, is garbanzo beans. I love tossing them with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and have replaced snacking on chips with this particular dish – oh, and grapes. I definitely keep the fridge stocked up with grapes, but they have to be really hard grapes, not the mushy kind. 

Never in a million years would I think someone would answer this question with garbanzo beans! I know you love to take walks. See anything fun on your walks lately?

With time change, it’s been really dark on the trail lately, so I’m not seeing much. My flashlight did run out of batteries the other day, which had me breaking into a bit of a run – not my favorite way to enjoy the trail, but I was in fear for my very life – hahahahaha – not really, and since I’m not actually that fast when I run, if some critter was out there and had me in its sights, I’d be a goner.   

I hate being outside in the dark. Um, it may or may not have something to do with the fact that we have tons of wild animals around here. Who’s the jokester of the family? Any funny stories to share 😉

My son, Dominic, has this really dry sense of humor, but since he’s now out of the house (and gainfully employed as an engineer after graduating from college this summer) the level of jokes played on me has significantly decreased. The past few weeks, he’s been calling Al a lot to seek out investment advice, which is really freaky to me because it’s a very adult thing to do and…wow, it’s hard for a mom to realize her little guy is definitely not little anymore.   

My daughter is graduating high school in two months (well maybe?), so I am not far behind you in realizing they aren’t little anymore. Ok, you’re on a tight deadline. Al is driving you nuts. What do you do? Where do you go?

I only write in my office, so if Al is driving me nuts, he’s the one who has to go. However, what with this horrible virus shutting down the country, he is working from home now. He gets the main floor, my office is on the second floor, and we’re just taking it one day at a time. So far, so good.  

I’m not sure I’d be able to share workspace with my husband lol. What are you working on next?

I recently turned in the developmental edits for “To Steal a Heart” coming out in November, 2020. I’m now back to the first draft of the second book in that series, currently untitled, but it’s Miss Daphne Beekman’s story – she’s an interesting character because she suffers from a nervous condition which makes her swoon at the most inconvenient of times. 

I can’t even tell you how excited I am for that story!!! Thank you for chatting with me today. It’s always such a pleasure.

Thanks so much for having me, Jessica. Hope everyone stays healthy and safe during these very troubling times! God bless!!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jen Turano

Named One of the Funniest Voices in Inspirational Romance by Booklist, Jen Turano is a USA Today Best-Selling Author, known for penning quirky historical romances set in the Gilded Age. Her books have earned Publisher Weekly and Booklist starred reviews, top picks from Romantic Times, and praise from Library Journal. She’s been a finalist twice for the RT Reviewers’ Choice Awards and had two of her books listed in the top 100 romances of the past decade from Booklist. When she’s not writing, she spends her time outside of Denver, CO. Readers may find her at www.jenturano.comor https://www.facebook.com/jenturanoauthor/or on Twitter at JenTurano @JenTurano.

GIVEAWAY

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What’s one question you’ve always wanted to ask Jen? Don’t forget to stop back every day this month for more great reads, and if you’ve missed any days, go back and check them out!

52 thoughts on “Spring Into Reading with Storing Up Trouble!

  1. I’d like to ask Jen which is her favorite book and why? Was it because of the story, underlying message, or just fun to write? Also is any of her characters basically based after herself of someone she personally knows?

    Can’t wait for the opportunity to read “Storing Up Trouble” which is definitely on my TBR list. Thank you for the chance to win a copy!

    1. Hi, Kay!

      Thanks for stopping in. As for my favorite book – that’s a bit tricky but I’m going to say “Diamond in the Rough.” Poppy Garrison was just a blast to write, and that book didn’t give me nearly the amount of difficulties most of my books give me. Plus Murray Middleton is in the book and I just adore Murray. He was supposed to only be on the very first pages, but after he showed up, he took on a life of his own, and because one of my very favorite secondary characters of all time – although, Theodosia from “Storing Up Trouble” runs a close second to Murray.

      Have a great week!

      All the best,

      Jen

    1. Hi, Nancy!

      I’ve always been a reader of historical romance, although the first historical I wrote was actually Regency, not Gilded Age. That book never sold because I still had a few craft issues, but after I finished writing it, I stumbled on a story about Alva Vanderbilt and found myself completely in love with the Gilded Age. I’ve been writing in that era ever since.

      Thanks for visiting today!

      All the best,

      Jen

    1. Hi, Danielle,

      Thank you so much for visiting. As for plotting – that’s a bit complicated because, you see, I have to turn in a rather detailed synopsis to my editing team before I begin a new series. However, with that said, once I actually sit down to write that series, the characters take on a life of their own and the story idea I submitted never resembles what I end up with in the end. I usually plot out five chapters at a time while writing a first draft because I’ve found that doing more than that is just a waste of time, what with how plots and characters change so much during the early days of writing a story.

      Thanks for the question!

      All the best,

      Jen

  2. I’d like to know where she gets the ideas for her fun stories? They are always fun, but she does her research and there is always something to learn about in her novels.

    1. Hi, Perrianne!

      I get fodder for stories all over the place. With “Storing Up Trouble,” I’d been reading some books on Marshal Field and Nikola Tesla, and as I was reading those books, I decided it would be fun to set a book in Chicago, and also have a hero like Nikola – a gentleman who was clearly a genius but a bit flawed.

      Thanks for the question!

      All the best,

      Jen

    1. Hi, Lynette!

      It takes me about six months to write/edit a book, depending on the circumstances. Last year, Al (husband person) had three surgeries, so my schedule was definitely off and I found myself writing furiously at times in order to meet my deadlines. Right now, what with the pandemic, I’m a bit off again, but I’m sure I’ll snap back into some type of schedule at some point, hopefully long before my next deadline.

      As for my favorite authors, I have too many to name, but Elizabeth Camden, Bethany Turner, Kristi Hunter, and Rachel Dylan immediately spring to mind.

      Thanks for visiting!

      All the best,

      Jen

  3. what is your favorite part of research – location, history, fashion, food, mannerisms, etc?

    1. Hi, Heather!

      I really enjoy all aspects of research because I’m a bit of a history nerd. I’ve been collecting books about the Gilded Age for years now, and my collection now has about 300 books in it – some of them aren’t exactly riveting reads, but I find all sorts of ideas for future stories in them. The fashions of the day are definitely a favorite of mine, and I find all the rules of social decorum that went hand and hand with The New York Four Hundred riveting. Simply paying calls was a huge undertaking, something ladies did numerous times a week, and don’t even get me started on the etiquette rules ladies and gentleman were expected to adhere to at all times because we could be here for days 🙂

      Thanks for visiting!

      All the best,

      Jen

    1. Hi, Emily!

      So interesting tidbit about the names I use – I don’t make them up, contrary to popular belief. I spend a lot of time pouring over old obituaries and census data from the 1800’s, and this is where I find a lot of my names. The surnames I use are from families with connections to the New York Four Hundred. I’ve also had friends of mine send me their family names, Miss Temperance Flowerdew being a name I got from a friend who discovered she was related to Temperance after she delved into her family history. The moment I heard the name, well, I just had to use her in a story.

      Thanks for the question!

      All the best,

      Jen

  4. Where is your favorite place to write? Do you have music going? Do you have to have a favorite beverage nearby?

    1. Hi, Sarah!

      I only write in my office, although I can move out of my office after I finish a first draft. I like to edit outside if weather permits, so I’m really glad it’s getting nice out now, what with how so many of us are stuck at home.

      I never listen to music as I write, and I don’t snack either because that distracts me. Weird, I know, but there you have it.

      Thanks for visiting!

      All the best,

      Jen

    1. Hi, Abigail!

      Oddly enough, I really never considered being a writer. My family is filled with doctors, nurses, attorneys, and engineers, but, with that said, I was always the black sheep of my family. I majored in fashion in college, worked in the industry for years before I had my son, then decided to stay at home with him. It was when my son reached third grade that I penned my first story and all because we’d plodded through this horrible series about this bird. After we finished the sixth book, my son told me that the stories I used to tell him to keep him from launching himself out of his jogger stroller while I got a bit of a run in were more interesting than the books we’d been reading. We decided to write a book together, and that’s how it started. That book never went anywhere, but I realized I enjoyed using my brain again, so I began experimenting with different genres and learned all I could about the publishing industry. It took me five years and seven books before I landed an agent, but then she sold “A Change of Fortune” to Bethany House and I’ve been writing for them ever since.

      As for my least favorite character – that would definitely have to be the dastardly Duke of Montrose from “Flights of Fancy.”

      Thanks so much for visiting today!

      All the best,

      Jen

  5. What types of research do you perform while writing your historical fiction novels, Jen?

    1. Hi, June!

      Thank you so much for visiting us today! And my research varies from project to project. For “Storing Up Trouble,” I read numerous books about Nikola Tesla, Thomas Edison, and Marshal Fields, and I also visited Chicago to get a feel for the setting. I also use online data sources as well as my own, personal research library, and I have a slew of librarians who are always happy to track down obscure books for me – the one that I had the most difficulty finding for this project was “Silhouette in Diamonds – the Life of Mrs. Potter Palmer.” It took a librarian two months to find that book for me, but I’m really glad she did because it was a less than riveting read and would have cost me over a hundred dollars if I would have been forced to buy the copy I found online.

      Have a great week!

      All the best,

      Jen

  6. How do you pick character names? Do you ever name them after your family, friends, etc?

    1. Hi, April!

      So funny thing about using names of family or friends – that just doesn’t work for me because I always end up picturing the real person as I try to write, which distracts from building a true character arc.

      I comb through old obituaries, cemeteries, and census data for most of my names, while also using some of my favorite Gilded Age research books to include names of real Knickerbocker families, or families who traveled within the New York Four Hundred.

      Thanks for the question!

      Have a great week.

      All the best,

      Jen

    1. Hi, Heidi,

      What a great question, and no, I don’t believe I will write an epidemic into my stories. I’m currently finding it incredibly difficult to write witty and amusing, what with all the horrible news I see whenever I check my phone, so I’ll be staying away from anything dark in the near future.

      Have a great week, and stay safe!

      All the best,

      Jen

  7. How do you and your agent decide on the best plan for production/writing of your novels – such as the time factor, for instance? Some authors seems to have an annual release and a few seem to release more than once a year.

    1. Hi, Cathy!

      Since I’ve been doing this for what seems like a very long time now, I have a fairly good grasp of how much I can write in a given year, and that seems to be two books with an occasional novella thrown in. That leaves me enough time to write, edit, and market, while also allowing me time to spend with my family and friends on the weekends because I rarely work on weekends these days. I’m a social person, so having a job where I spend so much time alone is rather weird, hence the reason for needing time out and about.

      Thanks for the question!

      All the best,

      Jen

  8. Do you ever base pieces of your characters’ personalities on people you know or have met previously?

    1. Hi, Elizabeth!

      Of course I do – although I never divulge what character traits I take from people I know – one never can tell if they’ll be tickled that I’ve written them into one of my books or annoyed 🙂

      Thanks for visiting!

      All the best,

      Jen

  9. Hey Jen, and thanks Jessica for sharing! Jen, how do you “get to know” new characters?
    Terirose22 (at) hotmail (dot) com

    1. Hi, Teri!
      I first start by getting ideas for different series, which then leads to what characters I’m going to need to write those books. Then I hit the trail and walk for miles, which helps me sort through the characters and begins to bring them to life. It’s not until they start talking to me, though, that I really begin to understand them, but then, once I sit down to write, characters always seem to change their minds about who they want to be, which causes a ton of drama until I give in and write them the way they see themselves. In “Storing Up Trouble,” Norman Nesbit was the character to give me the most trouble. I rewrote him at least seven times before we agreed on who he was. After that, he didn’t give me any trouble 🙂

      Thanks for the question!

      All the best,

      Jen

  10. Does real life conversations you’ve overheard, say at a coffee shop or eating establishment, spark a story or make you say “what if”? Or perhaps you’ve made up a story in your head about someone you see in a store? I’m always curious what sparks an author to write their books 😊

    Thanks for the fun post & giveaway chance!

  11. Is there a perfect way to swoon? My husband got dizzy and lightheaded yesterday, and wondering if there are any pointers I could give him if he ever needs to pass out gracefully???

  12. Do you plan a series all at once or do you write one book and then decide to make it into a series? Just curious if you have all storylines planned before you write the first in the series.

  13. I’ve read all of Jen’s prior books and love them. I wonder how she comes up with such quirky characters.

  14. I love all of Jen’s books! They mix just the right amount of humor with fiction. I can’t wait to read this new book and maybe I’ll win!

  15. I would like to ask Jen how she knew she wanted to be an author? Thank you for sharing. Blessings

  16. I would ask Jen if she knows what the ending will be when she starts out, or if it rolls with the character development. I love that there is a constant plot flow. I get caught up in the story, and then here comes a surprise- but it all FITS TOGETHER so well, like it was effortless. That has to be hard.

  17. Before you began writing did you have someone who encouraged you to be a writer? Did you have a mentor? How did you ‘learn’ writing?

  18. I love Jen’s books! I would ask her how she comes up with the hilarious escapades that her characters always find themselves involved in? Are they from her own past experiences in life? 🙂

  19. I love a good book with humor in it and this sounds like a good one. Jen Turano is a great writer.

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