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Naked Sushi and RT Book Reviews by Jina Bacarr

May 11, 2013 by in category Archives tagged as , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

“I got goose bumps thinking about the icy cold fish wiggling between my thighs even if they were dead fish,” says Pepper O’Malley in Naked Sushi, my upcoming Harlequin/Cosmo Red Hot Read (Oct 2013),

Naked Sushi is about more than dead fish.

It’s the story of a smart working girl who is trapped by her own fear of rejection. Pepper is a computer whiz, adventurous, and has all the right moves, but she keeps sabotaging her efforts to get the job she really wants.

Does that sound familiar?

All of us fear rejection, which is why we put off finishing that manuscript or sending it in until we do one more polish that is never enough. I know. I’ve been there. I learned that writing may be a solitary job, but publishing is a team effort. No matter how good your manuscript is, it will remain a lonely .doc file on your computer unless you press that Send button.

Like Pepper, I started in the world of video games, playing with the boys, so to speak. No one wanted to hire women, but somehow I got the job. I learned how to write interactive games, which has since helped me in writing novels. Keeping all the balls, that is story points, in the air and tying up all the ends to give the player, and now the reader, a satisfying ending.

It’s not all dark chocolate truffle delights. You will get rejected.

I have. For lots of reasons. But I never stop trying. Never will. It’s in my DNA. That’s why writing Pepper was so important to me. I wanted to show that we have to get to the root of our fears, as Pepper does, and sometimes that means opening up and letting it all hang out. Talking about it with a good friend or the hero in your life helps…so does writing in a journal.

It’s good for your soul.

And your story.

You’d be surprised what you’ll find out about yourself.


Naked Sushi Update: I was so excited to see my Cosmo Red Hot Read from Harlequin mentioned on the RT Book Reviews site:

“With our column, Forewords, we let readers know the latest book news about some of the web team\’s most-anticipated upcoming releases across the genres — just as the projects are announced!”

via Forewords – The Books Before The Buzz | RT Book Reviews.


This is so cool!! Click on the link above to go to RT Book Reviews, then scroll down to DOWNLOAD AND GO and you’ll see NAKED SUSHI mentioned under Contemporary Romance.

Thank you for the mention, RT!


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Bigger Books and Themes

March 25, 2011 by in category Lyon's Lair tagged as , , ,

by Jennifer Lyon

A friend and I were discussing what makes a “bigger” book. There’s no real definition for bigger, but the one thing I can guarantee you is that it’s not word count. Words are a tool to tell a story, they are NOT the story.

So what is “bigger?” I think it comes down to universal themes that resonate with a larger audience.

For instance, in the Harlequin/Silhouette category books, like Desire, Special Edition, Super Romance, etc, the writing is tightly focused on the emotions of falling in love, and therefore, limits the audience. That does NOT make these books any less enjoyable, it just narrows the audience.

But a bigger book has more ‘commercial’ themes. As an example, let’s talk about the movie Ghost. It works the same in books or movies, and my husband and I just watched it over the weekend so it’s fresh in my mind. The movie has been out for something like 20 years, yet it has a timeless quality to it, and I think that’s because of its themes.

The sudden loss of a loved one. Every person has or will experience this.

What happens when we die? Look at all the books, movies, religions and philosophies dedicated to trying to explain it.

Can a dead loved one reach us? Can we reach them? There’s a whole industry of psychics and others making money off “contacting the dead.” The emotional fragility of grieving will make even the strongest of us reach for any flicker of hope.

Letting go of a loved one. There’s many shades to this one. In the movie, it was time for the hero and heroine to let go of each other so the hero could move on. I had a moment like that with my mom at the very end of her life. She was so sick and I remember the moment clearly where I finally closed my eyes and said to my deceased brother; “You can have her now. Anything to stop her pain.” I was ready to let her go and she passed soon after that.

Betrayal by a friend. In the movie, the hero is betrayed by someone he knows and trusts. Who hasn’t at least seen that happen if not experienced it?

These themes touch all of us, helping us to relate to the movie or book on a personal, intimate level. And that helps create a bigger feel to the book.

In my books, I try to find these universal themes. It’s even more important, I think, because I’m writing paranormal. In NIGHT MAGIC, my heroine, Ailish, is handfasted to a demon and has two weeks to either complete the bond and become a demon witch (who is evil), or she dies.

Now I doubt many of us have ever been in that predicament. But the core theme there is something like: Can a good person be betrayed or tricked into becoming evil? That’s a pretty timeless theme, one that religions have explored and argued since the beginning of time. These themes spin off into more:

Betrayal: Ailish trusted her mother, and she betrayed her.

Redemption: Can Ailish atone for a mistake she made when she was 16?

Handicap: Ailish is blind, something that I believe really humanizes her.

Can she face her own death?

How far will the man who loves her go to save her?

I’m using the idea of “themes” here loosely, but these are the universal concepts that we have some familiarity with and therefore connect us to the characters strongly enough to feel like we’re in their skin. We understand their struggles and conflicts.

P.S. NIGHT MAGIC, the third book in my Wing Slayer Hunter Series went on sale March 22nd, and the forth book SINFUL MAGIC will be out May 31st.

Jennifer Lyon always wanted to be a witch. When her witch-powers didn’t materialize, she turned to creating magic in her books. NIGHT MAGIC is the third book in an enchanting, passionate and supernatural series. Jen’s also has a super secret alter ego known as Jennifer Apodaca, the author of the award winning Samantha Shaw Mystery Series. Visit Jen at http://www.jenniferlyonbooks.com/

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9 to 5: Love, Danger and Romance for the 21st century heroine

February 11, 2011 by in category Archives tagged as , , , , , , , , , , ,

Meet EVELYN Q. DARLING, Romance Reporter at Large, in her first blog today:

In the past, creating a job for a romantic heroine usually meant she was either a governess, a nurse, or in the early twentieth century, a “typewriter,” better known as a secretary.

Take a letter, Miss Jones…

To all writers of romance novels.

Dear Miss, Ms. or Madam:

It has come to this reporter’s attention that several of you have veered away from writing about governesses in dark, gloomy manor houses and pert, red-cheeked nurses and turned to writing about heroines who carry guns, sport black leather and can take a man down in fifty seconds flat.


What happened to the days when all a heroine had to do to get her man was flutter her black lace fan and bat her soot-caked eyelashes? (Ample cleavage didn’t hurt either.)

It was so much easier when all a writer had to worry about was how many flounces graced her heroine’s gown or the number of hooks on a corset. (A heroine’s age at marriage also determined the size of her waist: if she wed at 18, she aspired that her waist remained at 18 inches.)

And if all else failed, there was always the “smart” heroine who wrote novels, solved mysteries or planted her delicate boots on foreign soil and showed her moxie by becoming a globe-trotting adventuress.

Sigh. Ah, for the good ole days before our heroines decided they wanted equal rights between the sheets. And on the job.

Now to create the modern heroine, a romance writer has to know the difference between a Glock and a Sig Sauer (the latter sounds like a deli sandwich).

Be able to “street speak” in urban fantasies, suck blood without smudging her lipstick in vampire thrillers and shape-shift into an exotic creature with all her parts intact.

So I’m asking all you romance writers to drop me a line and tell me what “dangerous professions” for a heroine you’ve seen in recent novels or in a novel you’re writing.

What’s new for a heroine in the 21st century in the world of “9 to 5” that you haven’t seen or written about before?

I’ll be eagerly awaiting your answers.

Who knows?

Maybe we can start a new trend: Dangerous heroines in tight corsets and red high heels who live in an abandoned subway tunnel and belong to a secret society of lusty Victorian vampires who feed on handsome firefighters.

Then again, maybe not.

Best regards,

Evelyn Q. Darling

Romance Reporter At Large

“Artwork by Jina Bacarr”

The Blonde Samurai: “She embraced the way of the warrior. Two swords. Two loves.”

Jina Bacarr is also the author of The Blonde Geisha ,Cleopatra’s Perfume, Naughty Paris, Tokyo Rendezvous, a Spice Brief, and Spies, Lies & Naked Thighs

visit my website: http://www.jinabacarr.com/

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My JEM Interview: “Roxy Rumbles” for Literacy by Jina Bacarr

June 11, 2010 by in category Archives tagged as , , , , , ,

Imagine if you couldn’t read.

You’d miss out on connecting with friends at Facebook, couldn’t check your bank account (though at times you’d rather not), never be able to write a grocery list (can’t forget the chocolate chip cookies), check out the menu board at Starbucks for the latest latte sensation.

Or read the fabulous posts here at OCC Slice of Orange.

Hard to imagine that at one time in history being “literate” meant that a person could sign his name. It later evolved to mean that you could read Latin. During the early days of Queen Victoria, close to fifty percent of all women signed their marriage certificate with their “mark” on their wedding day because they couldn’t write.

It wasn’t until later in the nineteenth century that books became affordable to everyone.

Yet literacy is still a problem. According to a story in USA Today by Greg Toppo, a study in 2009 estimates that “…32 million adults in the USA—about one in seven—are saddled with such low literacy skills that it would be tough for them to read anything more challenging than a children’s picture book or to understand a medication’s side effects listed on a pill bottle.”

More than ever, it’s important to read, read, read. It spurs our imagination, educates us and gives us the opportunity to explore new and exciting worlds.

Reading books is just as important today as it was when I wrote a cartoon script for the girl band series JEM and the Holograms called “Roxy Rumbles.”

Roxy, the “bad girl,” can’t read, which gets her into all kinds of trouble.

You can see the first part of my “Roxy Rumbles” episode here (next 2 parts are listed on this same page):I am delighted to discover that JEM is still popular–and my message about reading more important than ever.

I was recently interviewed by Steve Savicki on his website devoted to JEM.

Read my interview here and find out all about this fab series!


The Blonde Samurai: “She embraced the way of the warrior. Two swords. Two loves.”

Jina Bacarr is also the author of The Blonde Geisha ,
Cleopatra’s Perfume, Naughty Paris, Tokyo Rendezvous, a Spice Brief, and Spies, Lies & Naked Thighs

visit my website: http://www.jinabacarr.com/

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