ABOUT AUTHOR: Jen Turano is the acclaimed author of The Ladies of Distinction Series, published through Bethany House publishers. Her second novel, A Most Peculiar Circumstance was chosen by Booklist as a Top Ten Romance for 2013. Her fourth book, A Match of Wits, releases in July, 2014, while a new series, A Class of Their Own, will begin hitting the shelves in early 2015. She is a member of ACFW and makes her home outside of Denver, Colorado with her husband and teenage son. Visit her website at www.jenturano.com or Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/jenturanoauthor.
ABOUT BOOK: Two years ago, Zayne Beckett's departure from New York City to meet up with his almost-fiance caused Agatha Watson no small amount of grief. So he is the last person she wanted to stumble upon in her travels as a reporter with the "New York Tribune." Looking worse for the wear, he clearly needs to be taken in hand and taken back East to his family. Even though she's over him, Agatha can't help feeling sorry for him and realizes she'll have to be the one to get the stubborn man back home.
Zayne has no desire to be taken anywhere. Content to sit and mope over his recent bad fortune and the desertion of his not-quite-fiancé, he's prepared to drag his heels all the way back to New York. That is, until he and Agatha find themselves slipping back into the strangely enjoyable bickering and bantering of their old friendship.
It isn't until they arrive in New York City that Zayne realizes Agatha's determined nose for news has earned her a few enemies. When his attempts to repay her for helping him go sadly awry, Agatha proves herself just as stubborn as Zayne. Everyone else may think them a match, but nothing could be further from the truth--until Agatha finds herself in real trouble. Have these two stubborn, too-smart-for-their-own-good people been meant for each other all along?
How did you come up with the idea for A Match of Wits?
A Match of Wits started coming together after I finished writing A Most Peculiar Circumstance. The problem I faced was realizing something of a dramatic nature was going to have to occur to allow Agatha and Zayne to come back together – that’s why the reader will find Zayne in quite the sorry state at the beginning of the book and…out of New York City.
What was your favorite scene to write? Why? What was the hardest? Why was it hard?
There were quite a few favorite scenes. I loved bringing Matilda into the story and really enjoyed it when she learned how to spell. Then there was giving Agatha dynamite, and…Charlotte’s invention showing up, and Zayne and Piper having a bit of a chat in his carriage.
The hardest part – trying to write the book so it could be read as somewhat of a stand-alone book. Agatha has been with me forever now, so trying to look at her as if I really didn't know her as I wrote her story was somewhat difficult.
In your research for this book about being a reporter did you uncover some interesting things about the job you hadn't realized they did? IF so what was it? What interested you the most about this job? Surprised you most?
The few women journalist of that day faced a very difficult time of it. They were subjected to criticism by their fellow male counterparts, and most of them were viewed as radical feminist. However, they did work for newspapers, and two of the most famous female journalist, Margaret Fuller and Jane Grey Swisshelm, were hired by Horace Greeley of the New-York Tribune, the paper where Miss Agatha Watson works. These two ladies were great supporters of the suffrage movement and published articles that reflected that- articles that I’m sure garnered a lot of disapproval – but Jane and Margaret were what inspired me to write Agatha as a journalist.
Nora: This does sound interesting. I can't to read your new book!
We discussed previously that being a mom is an important job and one we are honored to have? Can you share some cherished memorable moments with us?
Being a mom is the best job I've ever had. It was a little difficult for me at first, transitioning from a career woman to stay-at-home mom, and, quite honestly, there were days when I was sitting at yet another playground, watching my son play with his friends, that I truly thought I might lose my mind. But, I had the privilege of seeing everything – Dominic making new friends, experiencing things like the ocean for the very first time, getting scared to death on rides at Disney, watching him with my parents – those are moments I wouldn't trade for anything, nor would I trade the not so pleasant moments. Dominic is incredibly…strong willed. He was the inspiration behind Ben in A Change of Fortune and yes, he did go through a rather nasty biting phase, which is why he’s an only child. But, to see him grow into a rather charming young man, well, besides being a little surprised about that, I am incredibly proud to be able to call him my son.
Nora: Fun! Thanks for sharing him with us! Sweet picture!
Being a mom has many different seasons to it. The hardest for me has been letting them go and watching them enter the world without us being there. It’s felt like being the mother bird watching the little ones jump out of nest, hoping they don't have a crash landing! Grin! You've said that you are in or quickly approaching this season yourself. What keeps you sane? What gives you hope? What do you enjoy most about this time?
Dominic just graduated from high school this past May, so will be heading off to college at the end of August. It’s going to be very odd, not having him around. But, he’s always been an independent sort and told me a few weeks ago that this is what’s supposed to happen. I’m, along with my husband Al, supposed to get him to adulthood, and then…he’s supposed to take it from there. That’s why I know he’ll be fine. He’s got a good head on his shoulders, a good attitude about life, and now…it’s time for him to fly.
Nora: Love this picture too! Grin!
Nora: Love this picture too! Grin!
Can you give us a peek at what you are working on how? When will it be out?
I’m working on two books for the next series – A Class of Their Own – at the moment. After a Fashion, a book that I’m waiting to review the galleys on, will be out in March, 2015. It revolves around Miss Harriet Peabody, a young lady who works in a hat shop, and Mr. Oliver Addleshaw, one of the wealthiest gentlemen of the day. They form this really interesting alliance, and then…well…their lives take a somewhat interesting turn. I’m also working on the second book in the series – In Good Company. It’s due to my editor in a month so I’m just putting the finishing touches on it now. It’s Miss Millie Longfellow’s story, a nanny with the unfortunate propensity of getting dismissed from her positions far too frequently. When she accepts a position with Mr. Everett Mulberry, a gentleman who unexpectedly inherited three unruly children, they clash a bit over child-rearing tactics, but with the help of a slightly meddling older woman by the name of Abigail Hart, they might just….nope, can’t tell you more, but you get the idea. That book will release later in 2015, followed by the last book in that series, currently untitled and unwritten.
Nora: Wow, you are one busy lady! These books sound like fun. I'm marking my calendar! Grin!
What made you set your new book in New York City?
New York City was the desirable place to live during the Gilded Age if you belonged to high society. It was home to Astor’s, Vanderbilt’s, McAllister’s, etc., and was the place to live if you had social ambitions. Fifth Avenue mansions were popping up like crazy, and it just seemed to me to be the logical place to set a rather quirky series with unlikely characters.
SEE you at TBCN!!
Thanks for stopping by and helping us get to know you and your books better Jen. I’m THRILLED about the Giveaway opportunity that is going on right now at The Book Club Network www.bookfun.org (10) copies of A Match of Wits. It’s easy to enter the drawing. Go to www.bookfun.org Become a member if you aren't already (It’s FREE and EASY). Scroll down the front page until you get to the cover. Click on the link above the book cover A Match of Wits. It will take you to the place to enter. ANSWER one of the questions listed to be entered into the contest. It’s easy!
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