Jen Turano: This or That (with a giveaway)

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The delightful Jen Turano has made a name for herself penning historical rom-coms and coming up with the most fun names for her characters! Jen took on my new This or That interview and I love her responses. Hope you enjoy them, too. Be sure to enter the giveaway, courtesy of Bethany House Publishers, via the Rafflecopter form below!

Cake or Cookies – Cake, definitely cake. But since I’m on this crazy diet/exercise thing ever since I realized I’d gained the proportions of, well, something large, I rarely eat cake or cookies. Having said that, though, I have to admit that if I do pick up a cake from the store, because I don’t bake, I adore nothing more than taking a fork and eating the cake without a plate – right out of the box because it just tastes better that way – as if I’m getting away with doing something, er, naughty.  And don’t worry that I’m freaking anyone out. It’s just me and Al (husband) these days, and since he does the very same thing on the other side of the cake – it’s all good.

Call or Text – I prefer to call people, although I mostly only text with my son. He’s not a phone person, and only calls me from college when he really needs something. Otherwise, he sends me a one or two-word text, letting me know he’s still alive.

Coke or Pepsi – Neither. I gave up soda about two years ago. Now it’s unsweetened green tea, which is not exactly tasty, but I get sick of water.

Dogs or Cats – Dogs. I don’t currently have a dog. My Australian Cattle Dog died about a year and a half ago. I’d had Sasha for fifteen years and I’m just not ready to get another one just yet.

Eggs or Pancakes – Eggs – and only scrambled.

Facebook or Twitter – Facebook – I have a Twitter account, but I always forget about it.

First person or Third person – Third person. I read first person a lot, but I’ve never written in first person. My brain just doesn’t work that way.

Instagram or Pinterest – I think I might have a Pinterest account, but not certain about that. And, as for Instagram, I made a deal with my son when he was in high school that I wouldn’t do Instagram. For some reason, I think he believes I’m like one of those stalker mom-types. Just because I’ve been known to look who the girls are he’s dating – but…oh, hmmm…maybe he does have a point.

Marvel or DC – Neither – Have never been into comics or the movies. I’ve been to all the movies, mind you, but I can’t say they’re my favorites.

Paperback or EBook – Paperback. I’m just old school that way. I have an e-reader, but I’m always misplacing it.

Summer or Winter – Winter, I don’t like hot weather. My favorite time of the year, though, is Fall.

Sweet or Spicy – Spicy – especially chicken wings.

Tattoos or Piercings – I have pierced ears, but I never wear earrings, and no, I don’t have a tattoo.

Tea or Coffee – Coffee – but I only drink one cup right when I get up in the morning. If I have a second cup, I’m crazy for the entire day.

Thornton or Darcy – Darcy – and I don’t think there needs to be a reason for that, does there?

Yoga Pants or Jeans – Jeans – because cool shoes just look a little weird with yoga pants.

Zoo or Aquarium – Zoo – Denver has a great zoo which I still visit even though my son is out of the house. We also have an aquarium, but after they put a seafood restaurant in it, well, I’ve not been back. Seemed a little odd to be looking at all the fish, and then being served up fish for lunch.

Out of the Ordinary

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Out of the Ordinary

Miss Gertrude Cadwalader hoped her position as the paid companion to Mrs. Davenport would be easy. But as she becomes acquainted with her employer, she realizes the wealthy Mrs. Davenport has a strange tendency to be a bit light-fingered with other people’s trinkets. Gertrude is relieved when Mrs. Davenport decides to have a quiet summer away from the social scene–until the woman changes her mind in order to help a young socialite launch into society.

When Gertrude is caught in the act of trying to return one of the trinkets by Mrs. Sinclair, the mother of shipping magnate Harrison Sinclair, the woman jumps to an unfortunate conclusion. Harrison is determined to mend fences with Miss Cadwalader, but he’s unprepared for the escapades a friendship with her will entail.

Jen has shared these photos so we can imagine the world in which Gertrude and Harrison lived!

Jay Gould's Atalanta1880’s yacht


Harrison and Gertrude walk along this boardwalk

Thanks Jen! Always a treat to have you visit :)

Relz Reviewz Extras
All things Turano @ Relz Reviewz
Visit Jen’s website and blog
Buy at Amazon: Out of the Ordinary or Koorong

RR Giveaways (32)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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58 Responses to Jen Turano: This or That (with a giveaway)

  1. Mable Griswold! Hey thanks for the chance to win! LOVE LOVE LOVE Jen’s books! Can’t wait to read this one :)

    • Thank you, Jeanne!

      And you know – I have a Griswold in some of my books – Permilia Grisold – and then I have a Mable in that same series – just didn’t put those two together!! Fun :)

      Thanks for stopping by!

      All the best,


  2. So terrible with names! It took us the whole pregnancy and two days after birth to name our third child (our fourth was a little easier to name).
    I’ve always like the name Gavin. Maybe Gavin Hollister.

    • Al and I went back and forth about what to name our son. I was all for Brandon, but Al was like…”No.” He liked Dalton, and I was okay with that, but then his dad passed away. Well, Al wanted to name our son after his dad but I couldn’t do Fred because I used to have a dog named Fred and that just wouldn’t work. But, his dad’s real name was Dominic – so that’s how my son came to get his name.

      Thanks for visiting!!

      All the best,


  3. Geez! This is partially why I’m a reader and not a writer. How about Elizabeth Masterson.

    Enjoyed getting to know Jen a bit and learning we have a number of commonalities. Her novels are such fun!

    • Thank you, Staci!

      I haven’t used the name Elizabeth yet – I do have an Izzie in a first draft of the book I’m working on now, but that’s a nickname for Isadora! I have trouble using names if I know a person – and I have a cousin by the name of Elizabeth. Love the name, just keep seeing an image of my cousin whenever I’ve tried to use it, which messes up my writing. Who knew, right?

      Good luck with the giveaway!

      All the best,


  4. Verna Louise Baumberger – the last name was actually my 2nd grade nemesis. He and I had quite a few rows on the playground. Needless to say, I always came out on top…or at least ran faster than he did to get away :-)

    • Amy – hahaha – your nemesis. Don’t we always seem to have those from our elementary days? Mine was a Nester – he used to be such a bully. I was really shy, though, so I’m afraid he always got the best of me.

      Thanks for stopping in!

      All the best,


  5. I would love to read one of your books. oh my I am awful with names. hmmm how about Sandpiper

    • Thanks for visiting today, Lori!

      Good luck with the giveaway, and know that I get a lot of my names through all the research I have to do. It’s like a treasure hunt. I’m not very good with just coming up with names either :)

      All the best,


  6. For a lady maybe Daphne Winifred Cartwright, or as man maybe Jameson Northridge Powell

    • Hi Merry!

      I’ve been meaning to use the name Daphne at some point – was actually set to use it for one of the wallflowers but then it simply wouldn’t work for the character I’d chosen for that name. She ended up being a Lucetta instead. It’s very weird how names work or don’t work for me.

      Good luck with the giveaway!

      All the best,


  7. How about Penelope Meriwether? She would make a great heiress.

    • Hi Brittaney!

      So…Penelope. Not many people remember this, but Piper from my very first book, “A Change of Fortune” was actually a Penelope. She was then supposed to go by the nickname Pippi – The problem with that, though, was every time I typed out Pippi, well, I kept getting that image of the Wendy’s logo flashing to mind. Totally messed me up. So I tried changing the name to Harriet and she could go by Harry for short – didn’t work – neither did any of the other twenty names I tried, but then, Penelope decided she wanted to be called Piper for short, and nothing I tried could change that – so there you have it – how Penelope turned into a Piper.

      Thanks for stopping in today.

      All the best,


  8. I love Jen’s books and her quirky characters! How about Gunilla Fernly Hogshead?

    • Hi Becky!!

      Hogshead – now that made me smiled. I’m a huge Harry Potter fan, so you never know – that may show up at some point :)

      Thanks for stopping in!

      All the best,


  9. GREAT post — I love learning ‘normal’ human things about others. Cake right out of the box, huh? I have to admit I was kind of excited when I was the only one in the house who couldn’t eat dairy so I was able to eat my almond ice cream right out of the carton. It does feel slightly naughty!

    I love Jen’s books!

    • Hey Susan!!

      Thanks for visiting, and nice to know someone else eats tasty treats out of the carton – although I don’t have a problem with dairy so I don’t get special ice cream for myself :)

      Have a great weekend!

      All the best,

      ~ Jen ~

  10. A fun name would be Clementine George!

    • Hi Faith!!

      Interesting story about the name Clementine – so I’d decided to use that for a heroine in this latest series, wouldn’t work. At all. I tried changing the character’s description, her personality a bit, but…nope. It wasn’t until I turned her into a less than nice secondary character that it worked – and then I had to find another name for my heroine. Names can be so tricky!!

      Have a great weekend!

      All the best,


  11. I love Jen’s books, but I am not so good with names. How about Horace?

    • Hi Gina!

      I love the name Horace, although…you know, now that I think about it, I don’t believe I’ve ever used it before in any of my books. Now, I might be wrong about that since I forget my stories almost as soon as I turn them in, but…I might have to use Horace soon if I discover I’ve been neglectful of that name. Thanks!

      Good luck with the giveaway!

      All the best,


  12. Hmm I have always been partial to the name Adelaide. :)

    • Hi Jordann!

      Oh, I like that name, and no, I don’t think I’ve ever used it before – might have to remedy that in the future. Thanks!

      Have a great weekend!

      All the best,


  13. Adelaide Ashford kinda sounds romantic, right? Thank you for the giveaway opportunity and Merry Christmas.

    • Hi Perrianne!

      Nice to see you over here. I first met Rel a few years ago at a conference. She has the most delightful accent :)

      Good luck with the giveaway, and Merry Christmas to you as well.

      ~ Jen ~

  14. Funny character name? Rosie Thornbush.

    • Oh I like that, Rebecca!

      I’m currently writing a new series – American Heiress Gone Rogue – or something like that – and I have this heroine on a farm at the moment – wouldn’t Rosie Thornbush be like the best for one of the animals or…maybe she could be one of the members of the small town. Hmmmmm…I going to have to think about this one. Thanks!

      All the best,


  15. A fun name for a character would be Tillie VanBuren .

    • Hi Paula!

      I like the name Tillie!!! In fact, I think there was a lady who was a member of the New York Four-Hundred who went by that name, but now…I’m gonna have to look back and see what Tillie was short for because that’s a great name.

      Good luck with the giveaway!

      All the best,


  16. danielle hammelef

    A funny name–Elsie Bodine.

    • Love it, Danielle!!! As I mentioned a few posts above, I’ve got this heroine hiding out on a farm at the moment and…Elsie Bodine – now that’s just too good to pass up. Thanks!!

      Have a great weekend!


  17. How about Indiana McCraw? Actually that is a real person, an aunt of mine from the 1800’s. Love Jen’s books and enjoyed the interview!

  18. How fun that you have an ancestor with the name Indiana McCraw, Cathy! That’s too fabulous. I got the name Temperance Flowerdew from a friend of mine who was looking into her history and found she was related to a Temperance Flowerdew. Well, as soon as I heard the name, I knew I just had to use it.

    Good luck with the giveaway, and thank you for sharing.

    All the best,

    ~ Jen ~

  19. I loved this book! Harrison has become one of my favorite fictional characters.
    I think Lemon Clementine would be a hoot of a lady. :)

    • Okay, scratch the last name since it was suggested earlier. I didn’t see that. How about Lemon Portendorfer? I just like the name Lemon since I heard it on TV and Portendorfer is an endangered surname according to one website I looked at. Can’t have that, now can we? :-)

  20. Hi Jen!
    I’m so excited for this book! I loved the rest of the Apart From the Crowd series!

  21. My Great Grandmother’s name is Permelia. My Uncle’s middle name is Hezekiah. My cousin’s name is JD. No first name or middle initial just JD.
    Thanks for entering me in your giveaway.

  22. Roman Evans….. ok I’m not good at this, good thing Jen comes up with character names. Love her books. Always enjoy the storyline with romance and comedy, my two favorite things!

  23. Not good with names but how about Ainsley Mayfair?!!! Love the cover and synopsis and would love to win a copy of this book. It sounds like a good read. Thanks for the giveaway. 😍

  24. I just love the names Jen comes up with for her characters! They’re fabulous! 😀

    I work with old court documents on a daily basis and have taken to writing down any interesting names I come across. (Some of the names we’ve seen have gotten the whole office laughing!) These are a couple of my favorites– Mr. Drury Wainwright Middleton and Mr. Coonie & Mrs. Jannie Goingtosleep. I always thought those should be used in a book. 😀

    But as for making up a fun name myself… How about Ms. Gretna Strawbridge and Mr. Wenzel Toothaker (he would not be a hero, in case you wondered).

  25. What fun suggestions! I’m not good at coming up with names, but my granddaughter wanted to name her new baby sister Buttercup. That might be fun! *Mom vetoed it!

  26. A fun character name in my opinion would be Bradley! One of my faves!😁 Or Judah… Would love to win jen’s book! So good!

  27. I’ve always loved the old names! Sadie, Bertha, Edna, and Eunice.
    Can’t wait to read this story!!

  28. Oh this is so much fun to come up with unusual names. How about Hilda Donovan? Although Hilda always reminds me of the character in the Gene Kelly musical, On the Town. But she was a pretty quirky character. :) Thanks so much for the interview and the giveaway.

  29. Charlamein has a good ring to it. :)

  30. Delilah Mae Adelson

    I am not particularly creative but a spin around the internet came up with some interesting options.

  31. Persephone Bennet

    I am terrible at making up names, as you can tell!

  32. I’ll leave characters names to the authors! *wink*

  33. Krinna Longweiler! Yeah, that kinda just popped into my head! :-)
    I am reading Behind the Scenes right now, and Out of the Ordinary sounds just hilarious! Thank you for the giveaway.

  34. I’m no good with coming up with characters name! Authors do a much better job :-)

    Thank you for the giveaway chance!

  35. I love historically Irish and Scottish names like Fergus (male) and Finlay (female.) Seamus has always been one of my favorite Scottish names, but I find that it is being used more and more in fiction. So many Scottish heroes. :)

  36. Berniece O’Brien. I think my imagination isn’t that great, but I have plenty of ancestors with neat names to mix and match from!

  37. I have not read a Jan Turano book yet. I have been looking at this one. It has some great reviews! No imagination for the name thing!!

  38. I’ve read some of Jen Turano’s books. Great author!

  39. Hmmm, Pearl Merryweather could be for a heroine who is both classy and quirky! :)

    I’m looking forward to reading Harrison and Gertrude’s story!

  40. Lily Bloom

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