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Titanic and Me by Jina Bacarr: How I discovered the ship of dreams and how you can listen to my novel on Spotify

April 11, 2021 by in category Jina’s Book Chat, Writing tagged as , , , ,
Once upon the ship of dreams… me dressed as a first class lady

I read ‘A Night to Remember’ a million times, imaging myself on the ship of dreams wearing an elegant gown and long white gloves, dancing in first class with a handsome gentleman. Then reality would set in and I realized I’d more likely be in steerage since my family came over from Ireland.

The place dreams are made of…

When I was a little girl, I lived with my Irish grandmother for a while and I remember sitting at the big, wooden table with her as she added flour, milk, and herbs to leftover mashed spuds for potato cakes, or wound her blue rosary beads around her gnarled fingers while she spun tales about life in Ireland. Grand times they were, and a lovely thread woven through the quilt of my childhood.

Books were my companions back then and I’d read anywhere, anytime. I read tons of romances, but I’d often end up in the history section of the library looking for more stories about the Titanic. Imagining sneaking into first class and pretending I belonged there. Something I found hard to do growing up since we moved a lot and I was always the ‘new kid’ (I went to fifteen schools before college). I yearned to be among the popular kids at the beach, but somewhere in my heart, I knew the way to better myself was reading and the rest would come later.

Reading was my world.

That became the basis of my heroine, Ava O’Reilly, in THE RUNAWAY GIRL, a girl who wants to better herself by reading books but it’s forbidden to the servants in the grand house in Ireland where she’s in service.

Then when she’s wrongly accused of stealing a diamond bracelet, she escapes.

To the Titanic.

And every tale I’d heard at my grandmother’s knee, every book I’d read, every film about the ship of dreams I’d watched over and over again became the fodder for telling my own story about the Titanic.

Based on my girlhood and love of books.

And the sea.

And yes, romance, too.

And how an Irish girl makes a daring choice on that fateful night when the Titanic hits an iceberg at 11:40 p.m. that changes her life forever…

And mine, too.

Spotify has a wonderful platform for AUTHORS and their novels!

You can listen to THE RUNAWAY GIRL on Spotify HERE. All you need is a FREE Spotify account!


Two women hold the keys to his heart. Only one will survive that fateful night…

When Ava O’Reilly is wrongly accused of stealing from her employer, she has no option but to flee Ireland. The law is after her, and she has only one chance at escape – the Titanic.

Aboard the ship of dreams, she runs straight into the arms of Captain ‘Buck’ Blackthorn, a dashing gentleman gambler who promises to be her protector. He is intrigued by her Irish beauty and manages to disguise her as the maid of his good friend, the lovely Countess of Marbury. Little does he realise, that the Countess is also in love with him.

As the fateful night approaches, tragedy strikes further when Ava is separated from Buck, and must make a daring choice that will change her life forever…

A sweeping historical romance set aboard the Titanic, from the author of Her Lost Love (Christmas Once Again).

Praise for Jina Bacarr:

‘A delightful holiday romance that has all the charm of a classic Christmas movie. Christmas Once Again is perfect for anyone who loves a holiday romance brimming with mistletoe, hope, and what ifs.’ Andie Newton, author of The Girl I Left Behind

‘A breathtaking holiday romance that is sure to stay with you long after reading’

‘A mesmerizing holiday romance that is sure to sweep you off your feet and take you away to another place, another time.’

‘A fabulous book you won’t want to miss’

THE RUNAWAY GIRL e-book, print and audio book:

Buy from Amazon
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March 10, 2021 by in category Charmed Writer by Tari Lynn Jewett, Writing tagged as , , ,
May be an image of one or more people, outerwear, outdoors and text that says 'Fearless'

For the last few years, instead of making New Year’s resolutions, my friends, authors Caraway Carter, Jeri Bronson and Ellen Kosuda have picked a word to inspire us for the year. A word to help us reach reach goals. A word to hopefully make us better people. In 2020 my word was Focus. It turned out to be a really good word for me, especially during a year of isolation and chaos. I focused on two things. My writing and my health. I released four romcoms last year, and I lost 86 lbs. that I desperately needed to lose.

I had a hard time picking a word for 2021, and it wasn’t until late on New Year’s Eve that I finally realized what my word should be. FEARLESS. My word for 2021 is Fearless.

There are people who think I’m already fearless, but the truth is, I tend to work out of fear. Fear of not being good enough, fear of failing…fear, fear, fear.

So here it is March, and already I’ve found this a challenging word. Which probably means it’s the right word for me. Two weeks into the New Year I was seriously doubting whether I should be writing at all. Whether I should just walk away, enjoy the freedom I have now that my kids are home, and I’m not working. Cook, keep house and sew for grandbabies.

But that word kept popping up, and I’d push myself a little more…and a little more, until I’d pushed myself through that crisis of confidence.

The most fearless thing I’ve done this year, is to stay alone in our little house in Arizona, that’s in the middle of nowhere. Okay, not really in the middle of nowhere, but it kind of feels like it. I’ve never been alone before. Even when Hunky Hubby had to work out of town, I always had kids with me. And HH and I don’t like to be separated. But, I thought that time alone would free me up to get more work done. I was right. And while I missed Hunky Hubby, I really enjoyed those two weeks of freedom and I won’t be afraid to do it again.

May be an image of road and mountain

And this week I conquered another fear. I submitted a romcom to a publisher, and I’ll be waiting anxiously for their response. I realized if they don’t accept it, I can publish it myself. I CAN DO IT MYSELF!!

Now on to my biggest writing fear. I have to finish Fascinator. Fascinator is my full 1920’s women’s fiction novel that I’ve been working on (or not) for several years. A friend told me a few years ago that I was the only one she knew who used writing to procrastinate on my writing. And that’s probably true. To a great degree, writing my romcoms, which are fun and light have been a way to procrastinate on my more serious novel, which for me is a test of whether I can really write.

So, time to pull on my big girl panties and woman up. I’ve got this. I’m FEARLESS. Oh, and my word for 2022 came to me this week. But I’ll share that later.

Do you ever feel like hold yourself back? What areas do you need to be more fearless? Or are you already fearless? Share your stories, I could use some inspiration!


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#PLEASE SAY YES (#HermosafortheHolidays Book 1)


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The ‘Kissing Bandit’ High School extravaganza for Valentine’s Day by Jina Bacarr

February 11, 2021 by in category Jina’s Book Chat, Writing tagged as , , , ,

Valentine’s Day is Sunday — 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 is a short story I wrote that I’m serializing in 1-minute segments.

I’m inserting my video intro here and my audio story Parts 1-9 for V-Day!

Virgin Kiss Instagram 1-minute posts (text on audio is included in IG comments). I hope you enjoy my time travel trip back to high school!

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Dear Extra Squeeze, Do You Have Audio Book Tips?

January 31, 2021 by in category The Extra Squeeze by The Extra Squeeze Team, Writing tagged as , , , , ,

Dear Extra Squeeze Team, I am interested in audio books, but I do not know how to get started in that arena…what are your tips?

Robin Blakely | The Extra Squeeze Team | A Slice of Orange

Robin Blakely

PR/Business Development coach for writers and artists; CEO, Creative Center of America; member, Forbes Coaches Council.

The most important thing is to evaluate and prepare to articulate what you want. Listen to audio books in the genre of your work. Find the best ones that resonate with you. Note who the voice talent is and what you like about their performances. Then, step back and listen to the best audio books in other genres. Sometimes there is a huge difference between what is good in one genre and what is good in another genre. Noticing what you like and don’t like becomes more apparent through comparisons. Researching what you like and why will strengthen your vision for the end product. If you know what you really want and can express it, you will be able to find the talent you want in the audio arena.

Jenny Jensen | A Slice of Orange

Jenny Jensen

Developmental editor who has worked for twenty plus years with new and established authors of both fiction and non-fiction, traditional and indie.

Not sure how much help I can offer as I know nothing about distributing audio books, but I can say that the place to begin is with the voice talent. I used to produce radio spots and one had to keep a book of voice talent and jump through audition hoops to find the voice that best fit the ad’s product and audience. It’s so much easier today.


There are hundreds of really fine voice actors on the internet and most of them have the equipment needed at their fingertips. The actor’s websites have links to examples of their work so all you have to do is listen and consider if that voice has the right intonation, quality, clarity and personality to be a good narrator for your particular story. That’s a pretty subjective decision, so no tips on that.


I do suggest, however, that you test enough of the actor’s handling of dialog to know if it will work. Do you like the way she handles a man’s voice? How does he handle female voices? Children? Old people? Surprise, Anger? Most actors, once contacted, will audition a passage from your work. Then be aware of how the actor handles the issue of rights.

Rebecca Forster | Extra Squeeze

Rebecca Forster 

USA Today Bestselling author of 35 books, including the Witness series and the new Finn O’Brien series.

I’m the wrong person to ask about audio books. I am not an ‘audio’ reader and I proved it when a producer bought my series. I was asked to choose a narrator, and I did not choose well. I will eagerly read my colleagues suggestions and we’ll learn together.

H. O. Charles | A Slice of Orange

H.O. Charles

Cover designer and author of the fantasy series, The Fireblade Array

I’ve yet to record mine, despite years of working on radio programs and in audio production! From a production perspective, you need a room with dampened sound (soft furnishings to absorb echo–think of a studio with egg cartons and foam on the walls). You need a good microphone and a lot of disk space. There’s probably a way of recording using a mobile phone, these days (I’m a bit out of date!), as their microphones are improving all the time.


Avoid mic pops – this is where your Ps and Bs thump the mic as you spit at it. Make your editing easier by enunciating clearly and repeating a whole line when you make a mistake. Keep your background noise (kicking the desk, pets, traffic…) to the absolute minimum. For editing, Adobe Audition has long been the best tool, but it requires some getting-used-to for those just learning. Audacity is free and much simpler for the newbie.


Practice your acting skills. There’s nothing more boring than a reader going through an entire novel in monotone. Listeners latch onto variation in pitch and tone, and emotion. You may feel ridiculous doing it, but it’ll sound much better in the final edit.

The Extra Squeeze | A Slice of Orange

Ever wonder what industry professionals think about the issues that can really impact our careers? Each month The Extra Squeeze features a fresh topic related to books and publishing.

Amazon mover and shaker Rebecca Forster and her handpicked team of book professionals offer frank responses from the POV of each of their specialties — Writing, Editing, PR/Biz Development, and Cover Design.

If you have a question for The Extra Squeeze Team, use our handy dandy contact form.

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