Book Review, Author Interview & Giveaway! ‘A Diamond In The Rough’ by Jen Turano

About The Book:

To save her family from financial ruin, Miss Poppy Garrison accepts an unusual proposition to participate in the New York social season in exchange for her grandmother settling a family loan that has unexpectedly come due. Ill-equipped to handle the intricacies of mingling within the New York Four Hundred, Poppy becomes embroiled in one hilarious fiasco after another, doomed to suffer a grand societal failure instead of being deemed the diamond of the first water her grandmother longs for her to become.

Reginald Blackburn, second son of a duke, has been forced to travel to America to help his cousin, Charles Wynn, Earl of Lonsdale, find an American heiress to wed in order to shore up his family estate that is in desperate need of funds. Reginald himself has no interest in finding an heiress to marry, but when Poppy’s grandmother asks him to give etiquette lessons to Poppy, he swiftly discovers he may be in for much more than he bargained for.

About 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. She can be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/jenturanoauthor/ or visit her on the web at http://www.jenturano.com. She is represented by the Natasha Kern Literary Agency.

Detail from Too Early, 1873, by James Tissot (French, 1836-1902)

I am so excited to have Jen Turano as a guest on my blog today!  I have been reading her books since the very first one and loved them all!  Today, Jen is going to answer some questions and giving away a copy of her latest book, A Diamond in The Rough.  Stay with us until the end for a chance to win. 

Have you always loved books and been a reader?

As a child, I was incredibly shy.  I know, I know, shocking, right?  But because of that, I liked to hide away with my books, which was probably responsible for how I was able to read by the time I was three.  My parents, being typical parents, thought that meant I was a genius—they soon discovered they were quite mistaken because, well, I’m no genius, just a lover of story.

When did you know w you wanted to be a writer?

Oddly enough, I never really considered the idea of becoming a writer until my son was in third grade.  I majored in fashion in college, worked retail for years, then decided to be a stay-at-home mom after Dom was born.  But, when he was in third grade, we read this ridiculous series together, and after finishing the sixth book (I never fessed up to him that the sixth book was not the end of the series—he only learned that last year when he was in college.) Dom said that the stories I used to make up for him when he was really little were better than the story we’d just read.  That was the start of me writing, and while I have seven books in different genres that will never see the light of day because they’re seriously lacking, I finally figured things out with historical romance, and I’ve been writing ever since.

You set your books, with the exception of one, in the late 19th century.  How did you come to that setting?

I read a book about Alva Vanderbilt, and found her story fascinating.  That led to a love of the Gilded Age, and because it was an age with such progressive inventions and fortunes being made overnight, I have enough fodder for story ideas that’ll last for years.

Your novels have a decidedly humorous bent.  Are you a naturally funny person?

I’ve been told I look at the world in an unusual way, which might mean I’m slightly amusing, although I’m pretty sure I’m more on the lines of weird, which seems to help with writing stories that embrace my love of the absurd.

Do you plot a book and then write or are you a by-the-seat-of-your-pants writer?

When I have a new idea for a series, I’m required to write out a detailed synopsis to send to my editing team, which they ten take to publishing committee to get it approved.  That means that I always know where a series is going, and to some extent, where a book is heading.  Nevertheless, with that said, when I get down to writing an actual book, I only plot out five chapters at a time because doing anything more than that is a waste of time, since my characters definitely change as I write them, as do plotlines.

I have been with you since the first book and eagerly await each one.  What do you hope readers take away from A Diamond in the Rough?

I’ve always felt that my job as a writer is to entertain.  Life is difficult these days, and so my hope is that my books will provide readers with a short escape from their difficulties, or better yet, provide them with a much needed laugh or two.

My Rating: 5 Stars!!!

‘You must have realized by now that I’m not always keen to follow rules.’

Well, if you have never read a book by Jen Turano, you are definitely missing out on a wonderfully funny, delightful and rip roaring good time. Miss Poppy Garrison (don’t you love that name?) wants to help save her family from financial setbacks, so she accepts what she truly believes is blackmail from her grandmother to have a social season in New York. Poppy, however, is not the least bit socially adept and misfortune and chaos seem to follow her everywhere. Now, at the same time Poppy is having her season and quite ruining it, the Earl of Lonsdale comes to America in search of an American heiress, accompanied by his cousin, Reginald Blackburn, the second son of a very well known duke, a fact he does not broadcast. Somehow or another, Reginald finds himself roped into teaching Poppy all the social intricacies of the day by her grandmother! How did that happen? Well, when two people are thrown together all the time, certain feelings are bound to develop.

Poppy Garrison is a law unto herself and crazy exploits ensue in every direction in this book. I declare to goodness, I loved it tremendously! I was eating lunch out one day and reading this book and just burst into great laughter. Out loud! And I didn’t care one bit what people thought about me. Turano’s books are so good that I find myself going back and reading passages all over again just so I can laugh some more. Her trademark dry humor is the absolute best! Her books are so vividly written, that they run across the screen in my mind like a play, while I enjoy every single sentence. I highly recommend not only this book, but every one of her books! They are so much fun!

My thanks to Bethany House Publishers for a copy of this book via Net Galley. The opinions stated here are entirely my own.

Giveaway Rules:

  1.  You must leave a comment on the blog.
  2. You must leave your first and last name.
  3. You must leave your email in a non spammy format: susan (at) yahoo (dot) com.
  4. The giveaway will run for one week and end at 5:00 pm, Tuesday, September 10th.
  5. Winner will be notified via email and will have 48 hours to contact me with a mailing address.  If winner does not respond, another name will be drawn.

Good Luck to you all!