Friday, June 28, 2013

Fabulous Friday Feature - Jen Turano


Today I welcome an author who discovered her gift for writing Christian Fiction after speaking with her agent. What happened when Jen's heart was won over by godly advice? 
Jen Turano

Enter to win Jen Turano's new release,
A Most Peculiar Circumstance 

Scroll to the end of the post to see how to enter.

I met Jen through the ACFW loop. What a great way to meet new friends. She mentioned her new June release, A Most Peculiar Circumstances. When I wrote to her, she shared the amazing writing journey God has led her on. I just had to ask her to share this with you:





A Divinely-Led Transition from Mainstream to Inspirational Novels


Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying “This is the way, walk in it.”
Isaiah 30:21

Jen and her agent Mary Sue
When I first began writing, my intention was not to write for the inspirational market.  I started with middle-grade stories meant for my son, and proceeded to delve into Young Adult, Contemporary Romance, and then Historical Romance.  When I sent out a story entitled, A Marriage of Inconvenience, I was fortunate to have more than one agent offer me representation.  While making my final decision, I kept being pulled toward a specific agent, Mary Sue Seymour.  
Sept, 2012 Release

Unlike the other agents, she was known to have a strong presence in the Christian market, but also placed titles in mainstream.  I had no way of knowing that by choosing her, by listening to that voice sounding behind me, my life was about to take an unexpected turn.   

While I was waiting, rather impatiently I might add, for that book to sell, I became better acquainted with Mary Sue, and we began to have lovely conversations, most of them regarding our faith.  She, after a talk or two, inquired why I hadn’t considered writing for the inspirational market since my stories were never, er, naughty, and I was a woman who had a strong belief in God.

Nov, 2012 Release
The answer to that left me a little uncomfortable.  I’ve always been a woman who has held my faith closely to my heart, not sharing my beliefs because of contentious situations that happened in my past.  I wasn’t willing, at that particular time, to put myself out there so to speak, knowing full-well that would make me vulnerable.  I initially balked at what she was suggesting.

God, it seemed, had other ideas.

Practically from the moment I’d had the discussion with my agent, the story I was working on, another mainstream romance, became almost impossible to write.  I’d sit and stare at a blank screen for what felt like forever, and when I did begin to type, it almost felt like writing through mud.  Finally, out of extreme frustration, I turned the matter over to God, telling Him that if He had a different plan for me, that was all well and good, but He needed to give me a little hint as to what I was expected to do.

June, 2013 Release
Unfortunately, there was no immediate bolt of lightning, no fabulous story springing to mind, so because I’m notorious for not always listening closely to that little voice that whispers things into my ear, I continued plodding through the work in progress until….

I was cleaning my shower a few weeks later, waiting for those scrubbing bubbles to do their thing so that I wouldn’t need to get out the power washer to blast away the shower scum, when it hit me – a complete character, along with her story, and side-characters who were all too intriguing to abandon.

Since I’m a rather compulsive sort, I couldn’t very well abandon my cleaning, so as I went about scrubbing, vacuuming, and dusting, I grabbed a stack of Post-It notes, and by the time I finished the house, I had an outline for an entire series.

I headed off the library the next day, and after completing a bit of research, I sat down at my computer. Everything in my life changed at that point.  The writing was easy, fast even, but with each page completed, something peculiar began to occur.  My heart lightened, laughter was more common in the house, and my faith began to grow, almost as if this was what I’d been waiting for forever. 

I finished the story and sent it off to Mary Sue, not really knowing whether or not she’d find it acceptable for the Christian market, but surprisingly enough, that didn’t even matter.  My life was better, more complete, and when she called and said she loved it, everything changed yet again.

October, 2013 Release
She sold the series, which I readily admit I found completely fabulous, but more importantly, by listening to that voice, the voice of God, instructing me to choose Mary Sue as my agent, I’m finally doing exactly what I believe God intended for me all along. 



Jen Turano, critically-acclaimed author of A Change of Fortune and A Most Peculiar Circumstance, is a graduate of the University of Akron with a degree in Clothing and Textiles.  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 visit her author Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/jenturanoauthor






To enter the contest for an autographed copy of Jen Turano's book: "A Most Peculiar Circumstance":
leave a comment (and email address)
and become a follower of this site if you aren't already.
U.S. residents only
Winner announced on my facebook page.

Thank you, Jen, for Joining us This Weekend!



Wow! I feel blessed just having read this story, Jen. 
Reader, how about you? At first Jen didn't think God would give her an idea for a Christian Fiction story. Who would have thought that household chores would bring an avenue for God to inspire. Has God inspired you at an unexpected time?

38 comments:

  1. Wow, what an amazing experience! Isn't it incredible what can happen when we listen to that "little voice"? Thank you for sharing!

    reviewkidsbooks(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Welcome, Dena, and thanks for becoming a follower. You are in the book drawing.

      I agree listening to the little voice brings amazing results. And I find her location at the time an amusing truism. Cleaning her house. God loves when are hearts are clean and prepared to listen.

      This is a beautiful testimony.

      Sure loved having you today, Dena.

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    2. Thank you so much for stopping by, Dena, and yes, it is incredible what can happen when we actually listen:)

      Hope you have a great weekend!

      Wishing you all the best,

      ~ Jen ~

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  2. <3 how amazing. I really enjoyed read this blog post, and I can't wait to read Jen's books!! I have one waiting on my kindle and another on its way

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Tonja.
      What a compliment that you have one of Jen's books on the waiting to read list.
      Sure enjoyed talking with you today. Did you get some virtual sweet tea? It's on the counter.
      Hope to see you again.

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    2. Hi Tonja!

      Completely delighted you have one of my books and thank you so much for participating in the book banter the other day. I do hope you'll enjoy A Most Peculiar Circumstance:)

      Have a fabulous weekend!

      All the best,

      ~ Jen ~

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  3. Very cool story! Amazing what happens when we turn everything... even fiction writing... over to the Lover of our soul! Just checked out Change of Fortune from the library yesterday and A Most Peculiar Circumstance is on my TBR list! :)

    cyndilou83(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Cyndi,
      So nice to see you here today. Yes, Jen's is a great story. God knew the exact right agent to link her with then he opened the doors with their friendship. What a blessing for not only them, but us as well since we get to read the fruit of that labor.
      Hope to see you again, Cyndi.

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    2. Thank you so much Cyndi and glad you were able to check out A Change of Fortune.

      Happy Reading!

      Wishing you all the best,

      ~ Jen ~

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  4. Love her gown.....but would hate to wear it on sweltering days.....uffda....
    mandn@wisper-wireless.com

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    1. I agree. I've often wondered how the women use to survive in dresses like that. All the layers they had to wear. The corsets. The heat in the summer, and awkwardness through snow. I am thankful I can look at a picture instead of actually wearing one.

      Thanks for stopping by today. sure loved having you.

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    2. I do believe those sweltering gowns were probably responsible for smelling salts being all the rage:) I've actually worn historical costumes before - had to take all those pesky costume classes in college - and I'm certainly thankful we ladies are not required to wear them these days:)

      Wishing you all the best, and thank you for stopping by.

      ~ Jen ~

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  5. Wow, that is a great story. I have yet to read one of Jen's novels, but how neat to know the person a bit before picking up the book :) Thank you for the chance to win!

    Beth
    bharbin07[at]gmail[dot]com

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    1. I agree, Beth. Her story is amazing and it is satisfying to know the author ahead of time.
      I enjoyed chatting with you and hope to see you again, here. God's blessings on you.

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    2. Thanks for becoming a follower, Beth. So happy to have you here.

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    3. Thank you, Beth - so glad you liked my story. Good luck with the drawing.

      Have a great weekend!

      All the best,

      ~ Jen ~

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  6. I enjoyed Jen's story. I haven't read any of her books, but they sound like wonderful books. Thank you for entering me in your giveaway.
    Barbara Thompson
    barbmaci61(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    Replies
    1. You are welcome, Barbara.
      I think, when you have a chance to read Jen's books, you will find them as equally wonderful as this testimony. So whether you win the book give away (and I'd love to give all of the commenters one) I hope you get a copy to enjoy.
      So loved chatting with you today, Barbara:)
      Looking forward to our next chat.

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    2. Hi Barbara!

      Thank you for dropping in today and I do hope you get the chance to read one of my books:)

      Have a wonderful weekend!

      All the best,

      ~ Jen ~

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  7. That is a great story! I have read Jen Turano's previous two books and look forward to reading this one! scrapnmom22@gmail.com

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    1. Christine,
      Thank you for becoming a follower. It was so nice to meet you today.
      What a compliment for Jen. You have already read two books and looking forward to her next. Now that is a reason for the rest of us to get busy and catch up to you.
      I hope you can come back again soon. Sure was nice chatting with you today. Oh, and don't forget to get some virtual sweet tea while you're here.

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    2. That is too fabulous, Christine, that you've read my books. I just got the display pages for book three, A Talent for Trouble, in the mail today - which means October is coming up sooner than I expected - and...just turned in book four - A Match of Wits - to my editor on Monday - still have edits to look forward to on that one - but at least the hard stuff is done:)

      Good luck with the drawing!

      Wishing you all the best,

      ~ Jen ~

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  8. What a great interview! I'm glad you decided to write inspirational fiction and look forward to the new book. danandlyndaedwards (at) msn (dot) com.

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    1. Hi Lynda!
      So nice to see you here today. With a testimony like Jen's, I agree and thankful she chose to write inspiration fiction. :)

      It was nice chatting with you over some virtual coffee. I hope to see you back again.

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    2. Thank you so much, Lynda, and I'm so glad you stopped by!

      Hope you have a great weekend:)

      Wishing you all the best,

      ~ Jen ~

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    3. Lynda,
      Thank you for becoming a follower. I sure look forward to seeing you here again. :)

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  9. I would really like to win this book, it sounds good and I love the cover and the title.

    wfnren(at)aol(dot)com

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    1. Wendy, so nice to have you back again. Sure loved chatting with you. And yes, you are entered in the book drawing. The cover and title are fantastic, I agree.
      Looking forward to seeing you again.

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    2. Hi Wendy.

      Thank you so much for swinging by, and I'd love to take credit for the cover and the title, but...hmmmm....nope - I didn't have anything to do with either of those.

      Good luck with the drawing and I hope you have a fabulous week.

      All the best,

      ~ Jen ~

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  10. Enjoyed the interview & would love to win the book - thanks for the opportunity!

    I am a follower.

    bonnieroof60(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Hi Bonnie,
      nice to have you here. We enjoyed sharing Jen's testimony and hearing from you.
      Looking forward to your next visit.

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    2. You're welcome, Bonnie and thank you for leaving a comment.

      Hope you have a great week and happy reading!

      All the best,

      ~ Jen ~

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  11. Please enter me to win - would love to review it. jrs362 at Hotmail dot com

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    Replies
    1. Be glad to. Thanks for stopping by today. Kind of warm outside. Stay and have some virtual sweet tea with us.

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    2. Thanks so much for stopping by! Good luck with the drawing and I hope you have a fabulous week:)

      Wishing you all the best,

      ~ Jen ~

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  12. I hope I am not too late to stop by and have a sip of tea with you gals! I am just catching up on e-mails, finally.

    Maybe if I did more housework I would be more inspired, LOL. Sometimes when I am half-way in and out of a dream I will wake up enough to jot down some of it.

    Thank you for the encouragement to listen to the still, small voice that speaks volumes.

    Blessings, Janice

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    1. Absolutely, Janice.
      We waited for you!

      And we loved chatting with you. (confession, my housework isn't done either) :)

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  13. Hi Janice,

    Thank you for stopping by and I know all about trying to catch up on e-mails. I was out of town for a week and I'm still catching up two weeks later:)

    I'm never able to remember those dreams - or motivate myself enough to reach for my post-its if I do happen to wake up with a stellar idea - I guess I'll just have to keep relying on those cleaning situations - but just so you know - it's not like my house is spotless all the time:)

    Have a great week and thank you again for leaving a comment.

    All the best,

    ~ Jen ~

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Thank you for commenting! Your thoughts add a lot to our conversations and the Never Give Up Stories