Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Blog Tour and Giveaway: Behind the Scenes


 
To order your copy, click here.

About the Book


Book: Behind the Scenes  

Author: Jen Turano  

Genre: Inspirational Historical Romance  

Release Date: April, 2017

Miss Permilia Griswold may have been given the opportunity of a debut into New York high society, but no one warned her she wasn’t guaranteed to “take.” After spending the last six years banished to the wallflower section of the ballroom, she’s finally putting her status on the fringes of society to good use by penning anonymous society gossip columns under the pseudonym “Miss Quill.”

Mr. Asher Rutherford has managed to maintain his status as a reputable gentleman of society despite opening his own department store. While pretending it’s simply a lark to fill his time, he has quite legitimate reasons for needing to make his store the most successful in the country. When Permilia overhears a threat against the estimable Mr. Rutherford, she’s determined to find and warn the man. Disgruntled at a first meeting that goes quite poorly and results in Asher not believing her, she decides to take matters into her own hands, never realizing she’ll end up at risk as well.

As Asher and Permilia are forced to work together and spend time away from the spotlight of society, perhaps there’s more going on behind the scenes than they ever could have anticipated. . . .

 My Thoughts                           


Ever since I read Jen Turano's novella Gentleman of Her Dreams, I have been a fan of her work. I had no idea what to expect from her latest novel and it proved to be an entertaining read just like the rest of her novels. I love the time period and the discussion of being in society and what is required - it's just something I have always found fascinating. 

I enjoyed the plot, although I will admit I did expect there to be more intrigue and not just a couple of chapters. But it was still interesting to see how the cast of characters interact with each other and I loved reading about a time that is over a hundred years in the past. 

I loved Permilia! She was witty and lovely, but also trying to be as respectful in society although a lot of the situations that she was in caused her to commit several social faux pas. I enjoyed the interaction between her and Asher, especially after reading about their first interaction in the prequel novella to this series, At Your Request. I liked how their relationship blossomed and how he grew to respect her as he got to know her. Asher was also interesting, although I do wish we found out more details about his upbringing that was actually given. Finally, the side characters were great! The Huxley sisters added an interesting dynamic to the story as well as their nephew, Mr. Tooker. I also enjoyed getting to know Gertrude Cadwalader and Harrison Sinclair, who are the main characters in the next novel in this series! 

Overall, I really enjoyed the novel but I would have liked more intrigue as to who was plotting to get rid of Asher - I felt like this was in some ways glossed over until the final 50 pages of the novel. But again, it was delightful plot and I did enjoy the twist near the end. I loved the historical setting and the characters and I can't wait to read the rest of the Apart From the Crowd series! I am giving this book 4/5 Stars. 

About the Author



Jen Turano, author of nine books and two novellas, is a graduate of the University of Akron with a degree in clothing and textiles. She is a member of ACFW and lives in a suburb of Denver, Colorado. Visit her website at www.jenturano.com.








Interview With Jen Turano

  1. What is the funniest thing that has ever happened to you personally?

Amusing things happen to me all the time, but I think my favorite was back in college when I was a lifeguard. You see, there’s a lifeguard code – You will be cool at all times, especially when you’re sitting in a lifeguard chair, twirling your whistle exactly so, and, you know…looking cool. So, there I was, in my black lifeguard bathing suit – swinging my whistle. It was an unusually hot day, so I’d angled my umbrella exactly right as I watched the diving-board section. Now, I know this might come as a surprise, but being a lifeguard at the neighborhood pool isn’t exactly thrilling. It’s rare that anything exciting happens, and that particular day was no exception…until a large gust of wind came out of nowhere and the umbrella took it upon itself to close – right over me. And because it was now really gusty, the umbrella then lifted up, taking me with it right off the chair and into the depths of the deep end of the pool. From all accounts, it was quite the sight. First, there I was, swinging my whistle and looking groovy. Then all you could see were my legs flailing about as the umbrella covered the rest of me, and then…I was plummeting toward the pool, hit the water with the umbrella over me, and promptly sank. Obviously I managed to get out of the umbrella, but in the process, part of my bathing suit came off, and…well, that’s a story for another day.

  1. What is your favorite book from your childhood?

“Andrew Henry’s Meadow.” It was actually my little brother’s book, gotten from one of those book of the month clubs, but I loved it. I recently found a copy on an e-site and ordered it, and it’s just as delightful today as it was back in my childhood.

  1. Who does the cooking and cleaning in your house when you are on a deadline?

I don’t actually cook much even when I’m not on deadline, so that’s not really an issue. Al and I do a lot of salads or throw some chicken on the grill. We also have a lot of grocery stores that have wonderful deli and gourmet foods, so we get a lot of things there. As for cleaning, I’m one of those neurotic people who can’t work without everything being in place, so I do a lot of tidying up before I go to bed. And, because I do some of my best thinking when I clean, I’ve been known to abandon my writing when I get stuck and pick up a mop or cleaning rag, which means my house is rarely a disaster since I need to get unstuck a lot.

  1. Where is your favorite place to write?

I do the majority of my writing in my office, although I will occasionally take a pad of paper and a pen outside to handwrite when I get bored of my office or it’s a really nice day and I don’t feel like being trapped inside. It’s not that my office is my favorite place to write, it’s more that my writing is my job and I’m more focused on that writing when I approach it as such.

  1. What is your favorite part of the writing process?

I really like when characters and new story ideas begin to fester. That normally happens when I’m in the midst of another series. By the time I’m done with whatever series I’m working on, the next series is pretty firmly set in my mind, which means I can jump right in as I wait for edits on recently completed work. My absolute favorite part of writing, though, is when I turn in the very final edit on a book and don’t see it again until it comes out in print. Although, I must admit, I’ve never, not once, read one of my books after it has gone to print. Seems rather pointless since I do always know how the book is going to end.

  1. Why did you choose the timeframe or setting this book is written in?

I’ve been wanting to set a book during Alva Vanderbilt’s famous costume ball of March, 1883, for years. Since I decided to slowly travel through the Gilded Age, I just reached 1883 on my plot timeline, so knew I was finally going to get to throw some characters into the very midst of Alva’s ball. It was a blast to write, loved going back to all my books on this particular ball and seeing the pictures, and only wish the Vanderbilt house at 660 Fifth Avenue was still standing so I could visit it in person to visualize the splendors located inside a little more clearly.

  1. What inspires you?

I think like most writers, I simply get inspired by the world around me. I love to people watch, and I love to imagine all sorts of outlandish scenarios as I do that watching. I also get inspired by reading the headlines of the daily papers, and by the research books I read. I also love to look through old photographs of the Gilded Age, and became intrigued with Alva Vanderbilt’s ball when I saw a picture of a young lady, Miss Kate Strong, with a stuffed cat on her head and wearing a choker necklace with the name Puss engraved on it. That was all it took for me to investigate the Vanderbilt ball further, delighted to discover it truly was a ball that only comes along every blue moon.

Blog Stops

April 27: The Scribbler
April 27: Genesis 5020
April 28: Back Porch Reads
April 29: Bookworm Mama
April 30: Radiant Light
April 30: Bigreadersite
April 30: Lane Hill House
May 3: Book by Book
May 5: Baker Kella

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Jen is giving away a $25 Barnes and Noble Gift Card and the four books: After a Fashion, In Good Company, Playing the Part, Behind the Scenes!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/4664b04910/

Friday, April 21, 2017

Library Haul #8

Once again I went to the library a few weeks ago and I went a little bit crazy, especially since most of these I requested to be put on hold for me. Here are the books that I got:

1. City of Saints and Thieves by Natalie C. Anderson

2. The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

3.Where I Am Now? by Mara Wilson

4. Ms. Marvel Vol. 1 by G. Willow Wilson

5. The Vile Village by Lemony Snicket

6. The Hostile Hospital by Lemony Snicket

7. The Carnivorous Carnival by Lemony Snicket

8. The Slippery Slope by Lemony Snicket



Some of these I have already read, and others I still need to get to!

Happy Reading,

Janelle L. C.

P.S. Don't forget to subscribe to the blog, like The Scribbler Facebook Page, follow me on Twitter (@Jlc0904Janelle) and Instagram (@JazzyJan101). 

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Book Review: Between Shades of Gray

Today's review is on Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
This book was so good! It tells the story of the deportation of Lithuanians to Siberia by the Soviet Union during World War II - a piece of history that I had never heard about until I read this book. Not since I first read The Diary of Anne Frank have I been moved to tears from the very beginning of a book.

The novel starts in 1941 and fifteen-year-old Lina is a normal teenage girl. However, one night the Soviets come to her family's house and she is forced, along with her mother and younger brother, to get onto a train filled with their fellow Lithuanians. They are eventually taking to a work camp in Siberia where they forced to farm for the Soviet soldiers. Meanwhile Line tries to find some comfort in her art by documenting the harsh conditions that she faces, as well as tries to make contact with her father, who is in a different prison camp.

Between Shades of Gray was a captivating read, especially since, as I've mentioned before, it covers a piece of  World War II that no one really knows about or talks about. It shows how harsh and cruel the Soviets were to those who dared to speak out against them during this volatile time.

I enjoyed reading the events from Lina's point-of-view because it made it seem more real. I also liked that throughout the story, the author jumps back to certain scenes from Lina's past in order for the reader to understand why Lina is reminded of certain things and even as to how her family ended up in the prison camps.

I gave this book 5/5 Stars because it is captivating and I read it in one sitting because I could not put it down! It was so good especially because even though it historical fiction it deals with a piece of history that is unknown by the vast majority. It is beautifully written and it is just a fantastic read!

Happy Reading,
Janelle L. C.

P.S. If you have any book recommendations let me know and I will check them out! :) 

Friday, April 7, 2017

What I read in March

March ended up being a good reading month for me even though I had a lot of big assignments due. I had a week off for Spring Break and during my break I challenged myself to read as much as I could that week and I managed to read seven books during that time. Here are the books that I read in March:

1. First and Then by Emma Mills

This book was a contemporary YA novel that is is a loose Pride and Prejudice retelling. It was an okay read, it was kind of slow for the most part and there was bad language, which in some ways made it sound more realistic. I loved the finding the Pride and Prejudice elements in this novel and I identified with the main character! I will have longer review up soon. 3/5 Stars.

2. By Your Side by Kasie West
This was a cute story where the boy and girl are locked in a library over a weekend and get to know each other and what happens once they get out of the library and go back to reality. I am looking forward to reading more books by Kasie West. 4/5 Stars

3. The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett
I had to read this for my Detective Fiction class. It was interesting to read about the hard-boiled detective and the seedy underworld. It is very different from the likes of Agatha Christie's mysteries or Sherlock Holmes, but it was entertaining, however it wasn't my favorite. 3/5 Stars.

4. The Holy Spirit by Charles C. Ryrie
I had to read this for my Christian Theology class. It as a comprehensive study of The Holy Spirit and his role and attributes. I really enjoyed it and it definitely answered some of my questions regarding the Holy Spirit! I want to read this again sometime in the future. 5/5 Stars.

5. Just Listen by Sarah Dessen
Just Listen was an interesting read, however it took me a while to get into it, but once I was 100 pages in I loved it. I found the main character relatable and she felt real and three-dimensional. I liked seeing the struggles that she dealt with and I loved the romance in it. 3.75/ 5 Stars.

6. Wires and Nerve Vol. 1 by Marissa Meyer
I loved the Lunar Chronicles and I loved this first volume of Iko the android's story! I can't wait to find out what happens in volume two. 5/5 Stars.

7. Ronit and Jamil by Pamela L. Laskin
This was a Romeo and Juliet retelling set in modern-day Israel and deals with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It was told in verse and I enjoyed it, but it was too short and it left me with more questions about what happened to main characters in the end. 3.75/5 Stars

8. The Miserable Mill by Lemony Snicket
The Miserable Mill is the fourth book in the A Series of Unfortunate Events series and I like this series, I still find the word definitions annoying though! 3/5 Stars.

9. The Secret of a Heart Note by Stacey Lee
This was an interesting book that had magic realism and love potions. However, I never really connected with characters a whole lot and it didn't draw me in a whole lot. It was a cute plot though! 3/5 Stars.

10. The Austere Academy by Lemony Snicket
I liked this fifth installment in the A Series of Unfortunate Events. 3/5 Stars

11. Rebel Spring by Morgan Rhodes
Rebel Spring is the second book in the Falling Kingdoms series and it was great follow up to the first book. The last few chapters of this book were super intense and I didn't know what to do with myself after I finished it. I can't wait to read Gathering Darkness soon! 4/5 Stars

12. The Ersatz Elevator by Lemony Snicket
The Ersatz Elevator was an interesting installment in the A Series of Unfortunate Events. And it was a really quick read. 3/5 Stars.

13. 21 Days of Grace compiled by Kathy Ide
This was a great devotional for fiction lover's and I really enjoyed it! Click here to read my review! 4/5 Stars.

14. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
I have been listening to the audiobook for several months. Although I liked it, I didn't love it and it was hard to get into it. 3/5 Stars

15.  Ms. Marvel Vol. 1: No Normal by G. Willow Wilson
I haven't read a lot of comics and I picked this one up to fulfill one of the challenges for Around the Year in 52 books. It was a good introduction to the series and I have already read the 2nd volume! 3/5 Stars

16. Such A Tease by Chautona Havig
This is a sequel to Sweet on You. I liked it but it was hard to keep up with the changes in the points of view. Click here to read my review. 3/5 Stars.

17. The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler
This was another book I had to read for my Detective Fiction class. It had an interesting ending and it was intense. Once again it dealt with the underbelly of Los Angeles society in 1939 and the hard-boiled detective. 3/5 Stars 

Those are all the books I read in March! I hope April also ends up to be a good reading month! 

Happy Reading, 
Janelle L. C.