About The Book:
When a man arrives at the Bleecker Street Inquiry Agency, anxious to hire them to find a missing heiress, Eunice Holbrooke realizes her past has finally caught up with her . . . and that she may no longer be able to hide under the disguise that has kept her safe for so long.
Arthur Livingston’s goal in life is to make his mark on the world as a mining industrialist, but after the man who could help him achieve his goal is murdered, Arthur feels compelled to seek justice for the family–but he’s left with more questions than answers after the eccentric Bleecker Street Inquiry Agency refuses to take on his case.
Desperate to conceal her real identity and avoid the irritatingly handsome Arthur, Eunice takes on a different case that requires her to go deep undercover and entangles her in one troublesome situation after another. When other secrets come to light, Eunice has no choice but to confront her past, hopeful that it will set her free but knowing it could very well place her life–and the lives of those she loves–in jeopardy.
Jen has graciously offered to give away a print copy of To Disguise The Truth to one lucky reader. Sorry, due to pesky postages rates, this giveaway is limited to those living in the contiguous 48 United States. To enter the giveaway, you need to do three things:
1. Leave a comment on this blog.
2. Give your full name
3. Leave your email in a non-spammy format. Example: Susan (at) yahoo (dot) com.
The giveaway will last for one week.
- When did you know you wanted to be a writer? Were you a reader as a child?
Unlike a lot of authors I know, I never really considered becoming a writer when I was younger. I merely fell into it when my son was in third grade and we plodded through this horrendous series about this owl. After we finished book number six, he told me that the stories I used to make up for him when he was little – because being in third grade was so old – were far better than the series we’d just read. We decided to write a book together, just for fun, mind you, but I discovered that I really enjoyed using my brain again after being a stay-at-home mom for years. It took me seven manuscripts before I perfected my craft enough to secure an agent, and then she very kindly sold one of my books, A Change of Fortune, to Bethany House. I’ve been writing for them ever since.
And, yes, I’ve always been a reader. I learned to read when I was three because I was really shy and used to disappear into my closet with a book. My mom fixed up a reading spot for me in there, and before everyone knew it, I could read on my own.
- Why did you decide to write in this particular time period?
Interestingly enough, when I first tried my hand at historical romance, I wrote during the Regency period. But then, as I was perusing research books, I stumbled across this fascinating book – Consuelo and Alva Vanderbilt: The Story of a Daughter and a Mother in the Gilded Age. After I read it, I was hooked. In all honesty, I knew next to nothing about the Gilded Age, but the more I delved into it, the more I knew I wanted to write a story set in that time. That book turned out to be A Change of Fortune, and I’ve been writing in the Gilded Age from that book on. I now know more about that period in time than I ever imagined, but in a good way.
- Your books are so hilarious. I often find myself laughing uproariously, once even scared my dog. I go back and read funny passages all over again just so I can laugh some more. Do you consider yourself a funny or particularly witty person.
You know, I’ve always had a weird sense of humor. And in all honesty, people either find me amusing or else they think I’ve lost my mind. I’m good with either reaction.
- Do you have inspirations for your characters?
I use a lot of traits from people I know in all of my characters, but I never tell my friends if I’ve crafted a character specifically after them because, well, what if they don’t like how I created that character? I also find inspiration from just watching people. People fascinate me, what with all their quirks and delightful idiosyncrasies, and I can amuse myself for hours simply sitting in a café watching everyone come and go. I’m a shameless eavesdropper, and you would not believe the fodder for stories I’ve gotten from that eavesdropping.
- How long does it take you to write a book?
That depends. Normally it takes about four months. Then two months on and off with edits. Writing through the beginning of Covid almost killed me, though, which is why I decided to take nine months between books for my next series, The Matchmakers. Oddly enough, because I haven’t been under any pressure, I wrote the first book in that series in two months, and now I’m way ahead of schedule. Who knew that writing would get easier if I wasn’t faced with such daunting deadlines?
- What does a writing day look like for you? Do you write every day?
I’m a morning person, so I get up before six. I’m at my desk by eight, and I usually put in at least eight hours of writing during weekdays, unless I’m under a deadline, or finishing up a book – then it’s twelve to eighteen hours. I don’t work on the weekends unless I’m under deadline, but it’s definitely a job, so that’s how I approach it. Contracts that come with pesky deadlines seem to help keep me on track.
- Do you have a favorite character or series?
I do have a favorite character and book. Ready? It’s “Diamond in the Rough” with my favorite character being Poppy Garrison, and no, I have no idea why. Also, don’t tell anyone because my other characters may stage a revolt if word gets out.
- When I read your books, as I mentioned earlier, I am always completely undone with laughter in parts. Is this what you want readers to do?
Yes. One of the best parts of my job is getting letters from readers, telling me my stories amuse them. Life is tough, so my hope with every book is that I’m providing someone with a few hours of escape from their worries, and perhaps giving them a smile or two in the process.
- Can you tell my readers more about the New York Four Hundred?
This is a question I could speak about for hours – but the condensed version is this – The New York Four Hundred came about because, after the Civil War, fortunes were being made like never before. Well, all of sudden, these nouveau riche as they were called, were trying to breach the walls of old New York society. Something had to be done to keep them out – enter Mr. Ward McAllister and Mrs. Astor. They formed an alliance, along with lists of people ‘we know’ who were then proclaimed to be acceptable in society’s eyes. Newcomers were left out in the cold, given the cut direct unless they could win Mrs. Astor’s favor. She believed that anyone who could trace their fortune back three generations could be considered for society, which is how Alva Vanderbilt was finally able to get Mrs. Astor’s agreement to allow the Vanderbilt family into high society. As for the name, The New York Four Hundred, that came about merely because only 400 guests could fit comfortably in the ballroom of Mrs. Astor’s Fifth Avenue brownstone.
Thanks so much for visiting with us today, Jen. I’m sure everyone has enjoyed it as much as I have. Now, folks, don’t forget to enter the giveaway. Scroll back to see exactly how to do that. And check below for my review.
My Rating: 5 Stars!
‘How can you honestly think a woman who shot you is going to want to marry you?’
When Jen Turano began The Bleecker Street Inquiry Agency series, I was so much looking forward to the mysterious Eunice’s story. Eunice, who wears widow’s weeds and several veils at a time. And Turano does not disappoint.
It seems Eunice has some serious secrets in her past and in one evening, they have turned up to smack her right in the face and she is at a loss as to how to handle it. Eunice, who seems to have an answer for everything.
Turano is the best with her dry wit, let me tell you. Her books never fail to bring me to absolute hilarity! She is completely perfect in her genre. Reading her books bring me such complete joy! Well done!
My thanks to Bethany House Publishers for a copy of this book via Net Galley. The review here is my own opinion.