Archives

Home > Archives

The Titanic sailed today 110 years ago…with a Pig on board by Jina Bacarr

April 11, 2022 by in category Jina’s Book Chat, Reading, Titanic, Writing tagged as , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Photos: Dreamstime.com — using RF stock, my interpretation of the ship and female passenger and of course, the little pig.

Downton Abbey is but a memory… but it will be forever in our hearts.

Do you remember that first scene when a messenger on a bicycle brought a telegram to the Crawley family that would forever change their lives?

And ours?

A telegram about two male relatives lost at sea.

On the Titanic.

Hard to believe it’s 110 years ago today the grand ship Titanic left Ireland.

So in honor of the souls who perished that night and those who survived, here is a lesser known story about the Titanic.

And the pig.

According to the New York Herald on April 19, 1912: Five women saved their pet dogs and another woman saved a little pig, which she said was her mascot.

The reporter goes on to say that she didn’t know how the woman cared for her pig aboard the Titanic, but she carried it up the side of the ship [the Carpathia, rescue ship] in a big bag.

How did the pig get into the lifeboat?

Was the little pig traveling first class?

In a word, yes.

More about this intrepid little piggy and the important part it played in the sinking of the Titanic later. First, it seems you can’t get away from pigs and the Titanic.

In the Julian Fellowes’ mini-series Titanic, a passenger in third class isn’t happy about traveling steerage to New York. She tells her husband that her daughter said their Irish Catholic family is like six little pigs packed into that cabin, all trussed and bound for market.

They’re not the only Irish aboard the ship with pigs on their mind.

Ava O’Reilly, the heroine in my historical romance, THE RUNAWAY GIRL nearly doesn’t make it on board the ship because of a pig.

Katie runs away from the grand house where she is in service after she is wrongly accused of stealing a diamond bracelet. The law is after her, but she has one chance to escape.

The Titanic.

Will Ava make it on board the Titanic before she sails? Only by the skin of her teeth.

Does she see the pig during the crossing?

Few passengers did because the cute little pig with the curly tail was the lucky mascot of Miss Edith Russell.

She loved to wind up its tail and it would play a lively musical tune similar to a two-step called Maxixe.

You see, the pig was musical pig.

The reporter on the Carpathia didn’t know the real story behind Miss Russell’s pig. How it was given to her after she survived a horrific motorcar crash. She promised her mother it would never be out of her sight. When she realized the Titanic was sinking and she’d left her mascot in her cabin, she sent the steward to retrieve her lucky pig.

Still, Edith was hesitant to get into a lifeboat. When a seaman tossed her pig into a boat (believing it was a baby wrapped up in a bag), Edith insisted on getting into the boat, too. Its nose was gone and its legs broken, but Edith and her little pig escaped in lifeboat no. 11.

Overcrowded with sixty-eight passengers (nearly one-third were children), Edith realized her little pig could comfort others as it had her. She wound up its tail so it would play music for the children. Most of the little ones stopped crying as the pig’s sparkling musical notes calmed their fears.

Its furry, white-gray body wet with sea spray.

Its cute grin giving them hope they would be saved.

It was the little Titanic pig that could.

Thanks for stopping by!

~Jina

The Runaway Girl

Buy Links:

Amazon:

US https://amzn.to/30yll8P

UK https://amzn.to/2NCqTty

Audible https://www.amazon.com/dp/B084MM1D4R

Spotify https://open.spotify.com/album/3A08bcsCeI6LHWRQTmAM30

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-runaway-girl-jina-bacarr/1135653540?ean=9781838893736

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-runaway-girl-1

Apple Books: https://books.apple.com/us/book/the-runaway-girl/id1492269132

 

PS check out TITANIC AND ME, my story behind the story on the BOLDWOOD BOOKS Blog.

Once upon the ship of dreams… me dressed as a first class lady

============

jinabacarr.wordpress.com
twitter.com/jinabacarr
facebook.com/JinaBacarr

0 0 Read more

The Lost Girl in Paris hit # 33 on the Kindle Charts & # 2 Fiction & Literature on Apple by Jina Bacarr

March 11, 2022 by in category Jina’s Book Chat, Writing tagged as ,
@jinabacarr

The Lost Girl in Paris hit 33 on #Amazon #kindle @boldwoodbooks #booktok #booksoftiktok #authorlife #authorsoftiktok #writer #author #histfictok

♬ original sound – jinabacarr

Celebrating The Lost Girl in Paris hitting # 33 on the US Amazon Kindle List.

And # 2 in the Fiction & Literature category on Apple.

Amazing…

BookBub Deal:

99 cents/99p

My heroine, Angeline de Cadieux, is a Roma girl in WW2 Paris… she’s strong, fights in the Resistance… makes exquisite perfumes and comes up with an amazing marketing campaign during the war to boost morale in France.

Thank you!

UK https://amzn.to/3j7eU6S

US https://amzn.to/3aD9Jae

CA https://amzn.to/3IbaVRZ

AU https://amzn.to/3xtrF1A

0 2 Read more

The ‘Kissing Bandit’ for Valentine’s Day or how I learned to ‘Know Your Value’ as a young woman in High School by Jina Bacarr

February 11, 2022 by in category Jina’s Book Chat, Writing tagged as , , , ,

 

As Mika Brzezinski, co-host of MSNBC’s ;Morning Joe’ says, ‘Know Your Value.’ She’s the founder of this fabulous empowerment community and it’s not just in the workplace. Knowing your value starts in high school, as my heroine, Riley Murphy, finds out on Valentine’s Day in my short story, VIRGIN KISS

Valentine’s Day.is Monday — a time for kissing.

But what if your first kiss was just plain awful?

Meet Riley Murphy. She’s a kissing virgin, waiting for the right guy to come along. Until she joins the Drama Club at Holywell High and has to kiss the class dweeb on stage in front of the whole school on Valentine’s Day.

 

VIRGIN KISS

Jina Bacarr

Introduction

What’s in a kiss? A kiss by any other name is—

—sweet, romantic, intimate, passionate, wet, sloppy, disgusting, probing, awful, nasty, sexy, tingly, and sometimes just plain wonderful.

But what if it’s your first kiss? And you have to pucker up in front of a live audience at your high school? What then?

Pass the Altoids, please.

The kiss-from-hell happened to me, Riley Murphy.

This is my story.

* * *

A few weeks before Valentine’s Day…

I’m the new kid at Holywell High School, a shy, skinny freshman with cinnamon-colored freckles sprinkled across my nose. Flat-chested. I’ll never be Miss Popularity with the bouncy boobs and flirty lashes.

I’m more like an olive stuck on the end of a toothpick.

Even with that dossier, I’m not a total dork. I’ve gotten pecks on the cheek and quick brushes on the lips, but I’ve yet to experience the soul-melting kisses you see in the flicks. The passionate lip-lock I’ve dreamed about, wrote about in my diary.

I’ve pined for that kiss, but it’s yet to happen to me. God knows, I’ll be in graduate school facing lifelong debt before the right pair of lips meet mine.

To overcome my shyness, my mom convinces me to try out for the Drama Club. Somehow I land the leading role in a one-act Chekhov play.Yes, Chekhov.

I play this mad, beautiful countess with passion and heart. I love it. I come alive on stage. I can do anything, be anybody, say anything, I can—

—kiss the male lead?

A gangly sophomore named Harold Brimwell with long, greasy hair and an upper lip curled in a perpetual snarl. He’s going to anoint my virgin lips with my first kiss?

Forget the Altoids. I need a stress pill.

I quit the play. They can find another dupe. Not me. I’m not going to let him use my lips for kissing practice.

Then I hear this little voice in my head telling me this is acting. Going through the motions at rehearsals and on stage don’t count on the kissing scale. I can pucker up with Harold on stage and still be a kissing virgin.

Right?

After my pep talk to myself, I sail through rehearsals, knowing my lines and ‘connecting to my character’ according to the director. He says I’m a natural, my emotions raw but real. This is amazing. Me, Riley Murphy, the kid who’s always the ‘new girl’ at school because we move around so much because of my dad’s job, found something she’s good at.

Then the trouble starts.

The director insists on method acting.We don’t rehearse the kiss. He wants a real kiss on stage, not a phony smooch.

Worse yet, we open on Valentine’s Day with a preview performance at the afternoon school assembly. Not only do I have to kiss this guy, I have to do it on the most romantic day of the year in front of the entire student body.

I dump the Altoids… along with my confidence down the toilet.

* * *

Valentine’s Day dawns rainy and cold. Perfect weather for a Russian play.

I arrive at the gym early, put on my makeup in the girls’ bathroom then, with my hands shaking, I hook up my long Victorian black lace dress borrowed from the costume department, the silk petticoats rustling around my feet. I’m way nervous, but something cool happens as I run my lines over and over, my fear slowly dissolving into a shaky confidence as I slip into my character’s skin. Humming ‘I will survive’, I check my props, my fingertips tingling as I pull on my snug dueling gloves, then twirl the dainty parasol over my head like a spinning top.

I grab the small pistol for my big dueling scene, then heave out a big breath, praying I don’t drop it and everybody laughs at me.

I save putting on my lipstick for last.

First, I gargle mint-flavored mouthwash until my lips turn green and my mouth goes numb. Next, I line my lips with Chekhovian, dark red lipstick and smack them together. Perfect. I’m ready for my lip close-up.

It’s showtime.

I’m so nervous when the lights come up, I garble my opening lines. Then I trip over my own feet and nearly crash into the backdrop. Hot tears form in my eyes, but I want this too bad to give up now. All my life, I’ve stayed in the shadows. If I fail now, I may never get the courage to try again. I ignore the smirks and catcalls and swish my long skirts around like a real countess to boost my confidence.

I can do this.

Somehow, I get my groove on and my theatre training takes over. I sail across the stage, chin up, shoulders back, my voice clear, my lines down to a T. I’m ‘in the moment’. Much to my relief, the dueling scene goes off without the pistols misfiring.

Then it’s time for…

… the kiss.

I’ll never forget the expression on Harold’s face when he takes two long strides toward me. A mixture of sadistic pleasure and baddass ‘tude comes over his face, as shiny and sweaty as his palms, freaking me out. Lower lip snarling, my co-star gives me that ‘I’ve got you now’ look all fired up in his eyes, pinning me to the wall.

My teeth chatter. My mouthwash stops working.

It’s so quiet in the high school gym you can hear the director chewing on the end of his pencil.

My heart pounds so hard I can’t get my breath on when Harold pulls me into his arms, yanking me around like I’m a dollar store rag doll and then—

—he slams his mouth onto mine.

Bile rises in my throat as he pushes my lips apart and thrusts his mushy, saliva-coated gum into my mouth, making me nauseous. I swear if my dress wasn’t hooked up so tight, I would have ralphed all over him. Before I can push him off me, he shoves his tongue down my throat, way down, nearly gagging me.

I start choking.

I can’t breathe. Oh, my God, I’m going to pass out.

No, I can’t, I won’t. I’m determined not to faint. I have to get him off me. No gum-chewing, phony-macho sophomore is going to get the best of me.

I’m an actress, I tell myself, so act!

With stars circling around in my pounding head, I pull up my strength and kick him in the shin. There.

Startled, he jerks backward, but not before he bites my lower lip.

What the—

I taste coppery blood. Fresh, oozing, smearing my perfectly-applied lipstick. I’m in shock, disbelieving. It can’t get any worse.

Can it?

It can.

Dabbing my bleeding lip with my silk sleeve, I struggle in his arms, but he holds me tight, slobbering all over me, licking my face, my throat, coating my skin with stringy gum. My ears won’t stop ringing. The audience is going crazy, yelling and shouting like they’re at a basketball game and I’m the bouncing ball.

No, no, he’s not going to take advantage of me. I worked hard to get this part, learn my lines. Practiced how to walk, how to find the core of my character. Gosh darn, this is the first time in my whole life I’ve come out of my shell and done something really special.

He’s not going to ruin it for me.

I have to do something. Fast.

The pistol.

Where is it? After the mock dueling scene, I threw the prop gun down on the round table. It has to be there, but where?

I reach out behind me, my nails catching on the lace doily… I twist my head just a little… yes, I see it. I edge the gun toward me, an inch at a time. Sweat oozes down my too-tight collar and my knees buckle, but I don’t give up.

Almost got it… there. My fingers wrap around the pearl-inlayed handle. I suck in a breath then, without losing my nerve, I jam the prop into his ribs. Hard. I yank my body with such fury, I rip the black silk sleeve right out of the armpit. It slides down my shoulder, but it doesn’t stop me.

Get your hands off me, you sloppy-kissing, gum-chewer!’ I yell, ignoring the script and re-writing Chekhov. ‘Or you’re getting an “F” in drama class.’

The director gasps. Loudly. But he doesn’t refute what I said.

‘Yeah, sure,’ Harold stutters, letting me go, raising up his hands and backing away. ‘Anything you say, Riley.’

‘That’s telling him!’ a girl yells from the audience.

Amy Zanderbar. His ex-girlfriend.

She’s not the only one. All the girls stand up and start chanting, ‘Go, Riley, go!’

Wow. I hit a nerve with the females sitting in the bleachers who had their share of bad kissers.

They love it.

The audience starts clapping wildly and stomping their feet and continue chanting my name. I break the fourth wall and give them a ‘V’ for Victory high sign until the chanting dies down, then my thespian instincts kick in and I get back into character, giving Chekhov his due and ending the play as he wrote it.

I’ll always remember this night when a shy freshman girl in a borrowed Victorian dress took on a snarky sophomore and became empowered to stand up for herself in front of the whole student body.

It changed my life.

* * *

Epilogue

We performed the one-act play for the next few nights without further incident, faking the kiss each time. Harold is cool, not attempting any more way-out kissing. For me, it’s strictly acting.

I’m still a virgin in lip-land.

But I’ll never forget V-Day and my experience with the gum-toting, kissing bandit. Not a bad guy, just a rotten kisser.

And in case you’re curious, next semester I do find the right pair of lips to land that first kiss.

A hottie junior. Jack Dwayne.

When Jack takes me in his arms and lowers his face to mine, I quiver with anticipation and soon discover a kiss isn’t just a kiss, it’s…

… magic.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

——————–

PS — yes, Riley is me, a shy freshman back in the day.

And here’s a short clip of me back in high school…

—————

Music: ‘Sweeter Vermouth’ Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/b…

Photos: https//www.Dreamstime.com

BONUS: The Princess and the Stilettos for VALENTINE’S DAY.

Music: ‘Fairytale Waltz’ Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/b…

Photos: https//www.Dreamstime.com

—————- 

Love Forties Fiction?

A girl from a controversial upbringing becomes a famous perfumer during the war when she comes to Paris in 1940 to escape the Gestapo. Then how she uses perfume to do her part to win the war…

THE LOST GIRL IN PARIS is on Amazon!

US https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09B1QDRVW/

UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B09B1QDRVW/

CA https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B09B1QDRVW/

Australia https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B09B1QDRVW/ 

——————–

Over 600 ratings on Amazon UK!

The Resistance Girl is a KINDLE MONTHLY DEAL IN THE UK FOR FEBRUARY!

Juliana discovers her grandmamma was a famous French film star in Occupied Paris & her shocking secret…

UK https://amzn.to/3bU18Qv 

US https://amzn.to/2FoKKeS

 

0 0 Read more

The Secret Babies of Dachau by Jina Bacarr

January 11, 2022 by in category Holocaust, Jina’s Book Chat, Paris, Paris novels, perfume, Reading, Writing tagged as , , , ,

(The video above takes place on a train in 1944 Germany — my heroine, Angeline, is very pregnant and on her way back to Auschwitz with two SS guards…)

————-

Nothing is more heartbreaking than holding a newborn baby in your arms and it doesn’t cry.

The anguish, holding your breath while you wait for that first sign of life, the tears that fall upon your cheeks as you pray for that lovely, beautiful cry.

Then… a burst from the baby’s lungs and a heart-swelling joy overcomes you when the infant’s wail fills the air like an angels’ choir.

But what if you’re pregnant and imprisoned in a concentration camp in Southern Germany? A place where American soldiers were so devastated by the horror they found when they neared the camp, they wept when they liberated Dachau on April 29, 1945.

They discovered more than thirty railroad cars filled with dead bodies.

What if you were imprisoned there? Would you have lived? The odds were against you if you were a soon-to-be-mother.

It’s well documented the chances for survival for pregnant women and their babies in the camps was practically zero. They were immediately singled out for execution when they arrived.

It pains me to write this, but Heinrich Himmler, head of the SS, was determined to exterminate all Jewish children (he proclaimed his policy in a secret speech in Poland on October 6, 1943).

As many as 1.5 million Jewish children died in the Holocaust.

Thanks to survivors’ stories and seven Jewish mothers from Hungary, we have the miracle of the Dachau babies. How for reasons never made clear, these mothers were allowed to live and brought to a sub-camp of Dachau in the waning days of the war known as Kaufering I.

And how under horrific conditions (no hot water, no instruments for the prisoner/doctor), they delivered seven healthy babies from December 1944 to April 1945 when fate stepped in and dealt them a cruel blow… I shan’t spoil it for you, but I promise you, I followed these events as they happened in ‘The Lost Girl in Paris’.

My heroine, Angéline de Cadieux, was there and very pregnant.

How did this Frenchwoman born Roma find herself in a concentration camp with Hungarian mothers-to-be? It was a challenge to orchestrate the series of events that bring her there… counting the days of her pregnancy in Paris, being honest to the unsanitary, degrading conditions found in the camps, the treatment of Roma by the Third Reich. Few have written about the Roma Holocaust and how anywhere from 220,000 to half a million Romani people died at the hands of the Nazis.

I admit it was a tremendous undertaking bringing all this to my story. I spent many sleepless nights trying to bring justice to these unbelievable women who not only survived the camps, but had the courage to tell their stories.

I have tried to tell one woman’s story albeit fiction, but everything Angéline de Cadieux experiences in the camps is based on truth.

So, my friends, cry as I did, become angry these events ever happened, but most of all, never forget.

—————- 

THE LOST GIRL IN PARIS is now available across all platforms.

Available in e-book, print and audio

The Lost Girl in Paris universal link: https://books2read.com/u/3LyrdN

It’s the story of woman who survived both Auschwitz and Dachau, but never spoke about it until she meets a young reporter named Emma Keane who touches a nerve in her that now is the time to speak about those times. Her memories are as vivid to this eighty-year-old as if she were the seventeen-year-old girl who ran away to Paris to become a parfumier after losing her mother to the Nazi war machine.

I wrote THE LOST GIRL IN PARIS to pay tribute to the strong women who survived the Holocaust and willingly shared their stories with us. The horror of Nazi brutality, the loss of family, their dignity… but also about their strength just to ‘survive another day’.

And the strong bonds with their sisters-in-arms they formed with fellow prisoners. How they learned to trust each other and stood up against the enemy to save each other.

We must never forget.

——————-

Here is a second short excerpt from THE LOST GIRL IN PARIS:

 

—————- 

 The LOST GIRL IN PARIS is part of the ‘Get Inspired’ promotion in UK, AU, and NZ

New Zealand: https://www.kobo.com/nz/en/ebook/the-lost-girl-in-paris-1

UK: https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/the-lost-girl-in-paris-1

AU: https://www.kobo.com/au/en/ebook/the-lost-girl-in-paris-1

 

 

5 0 Read more

Step Back in Time Podcast with The Lost Girl in Paris by Jina Bacarr

December 11, 2021 by in category Jina’s Book Chat, Writing

Madame de Cadieux has stepped back in time!

THE LOST GIRL IN PARIS is now available across all platforms.

Available in e-book, print and audio

The Lost Girl in Paris universal link: https://books2read.com/u/3LyrdN

It’s the story of woman who survived both Auschwitz and Dachau, but never spoke about it until she meets a young reporter named Emma Keane who touches a nerve in her that now is the time to speak about those times. Her memories are as vivid to this eighty-year-old as if she were the seventeen-year-old girl who ran away to Paris to become a parfumier after losing her mother to the Nazi war machine.

I was privileged to be on a panel with Boldwood BHooks authors Lizzie Lane and Rosie Clarke — we talk about all things historical!

I wrote THE LOST GIRL IN PARIS to pay tribute to the strong women who survived the Holocaust and willingly shared their stories with us. The horror of Nazi brutality, the loss of family, their dignity… but also about their strength just to ‘survive another day’. And the strong bonds with their sisters-in-arms they formed with fellow prisoners. How they learned to trust each other and stood up against the enemy to save each other.

We must never forget.

——————-

Here is a short excerpt from THE LOST GIRL IN PARIS:

 

—————- 

 

 

 

 

0 0 Read more

Copyright ©2017 A Slice of Orange. All Rights Reserved. ~PROUDLY POWERED BY WORDPRESS ~ CREATED BY ISHYOBOY.COM