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A Soldier’s Italian Christmas Video Debut by Jina Bacarr

December 11, 2013 by in category Archives tagged as , , , , , , , , , ,
UPDATED: A full 11:32 minute excerpt from Chapter ONE of A Soldier’s Italian Christmas!


A Soldier’s Italian Christmas: Excerpt from Chapter One from Jina Bacarr on Vimeo.

A web debut: I just finished this video trailer for my holiday novella. I’m debuting it here!!

“A Soldier’s Italian Christmas”

O’Casey Brothers in Arms 1

December 1943
Italy

 

He is a U.S Army captain, a battle-weary soldier who has lost his faith.
She is a nun, her life dedicated to God.        
Together they are going to commit an act the civilized world will not tolerate.
They are about to fall in love.    


A Soldier’s Italian Christmas from Jina Bacarr on Vimeo.

 

Making videos is a labor of love…choosing the photos, the music, editing, cutting, transitions, effects. This one is filled with visuals that I believe bring the story to life in a different way. Giving you a sense of place but it’s the emotion that tells the story…
 
Words or video. You gotta feel it.
 
Writers write to tell a story. At Christmas, that story can make you laugh, sigh, or wish you had that hunky Santa coming down your chimney.
 
My holiday novella takes on a different tone. It’s a sweet romance filled with the spirit of Christmas in a time when soldiers paused to remember the night of the birth of the Christ Child in a time when they wondered if they’d be home for the next Christmas…
 
Captain Mack O’Casey is one such soldier. You’ll meet him in my video and in this excerpt. He first met Sister Angelina dressed in men’s clothes when she was on a mission to steal food from the Nazis. This is the first time he sees her in a nun’s habit:
 
He never spoke about it, how sometimes he didn’t want to keep going. Keep killing. And then they stumbled into this place, giving him the chance to renew his spirit, get back the faith in God he’d lost. He felt whole again, believing there was still good left in the world. That knocked the hell out of him. He’d even whistled a tune this morning he heard in the canteen back in the States about carousels and wishing wells.
Damn, it wasn’t right for a man to feel these things in the middle of a war. It tore at his gut. Men were getting killed or wounded, groveling through mud and booby traps for every foot closer to victory. And him thinking about home and apple blossoms and the smell of spaghetti sauce simmering on the stove. Rich tomatoes and oregano sifting up to his nose until he couldn’t stand it any longer. His younger brothers fighting over who got the first taste from the smooth wooden spoon.
Mack ached to go home, to sit by the fire and warm his cold feet and have a beer, but that wouldn’t happen until this war was won. Hell, since coming here, he felt like he could win it single-handed. Thanks to Sister Angelina. He felt a bond between them that could only happen in wartime. He wanted to tell how he felt, but when he awoke this morning, Sister Benedetto told him she’d gone to the chapel to pray. He couldn’t leave without seeing her again.
The rustle of heavy skirts alerted him to her presence as a gentle waft of roses tickled his nose. Yellow roses. He sucked in the clean, fresh smell deep into his lungs, praying it would kill the smell of death he’d lived with for so long. A wild anticipation made him sweat and set off feelings he had no business admitting to in a place of worship.
For her.
He uttered a prayer of contrition. He needed forgiveness for what he was thinking. His mind and body scarred and wracked with pain, all that changed when he first saw Sister Angelina that night. Daring, beautiful. An angel with invisible wings. Her presence filled him. Mack felt a stirring in his groin. He prayed he’d be strong enough to resist temptation.
“I assure you, Captain,” he heard her say behind him. His chest expanded, his lips curved at hearing her voice. “There are no Nazis here.”
“Have you checked the rat holes?” he said, turning around. A wild, blinding light hit him in the eyes. My God, who was this saintly creature? He didn’t expect her to, well, look like a nun.
She wore the black habit of her order with the long veil trailing down to her knees, wide white collar, full black sleeves, and skirt down to the floor. A stern white band hugged her forehead, bringing out the beauty of her dark upswept eyes. A rigid tightness locked every bone in his body. The sight of her holy state hit him hard, as if someone had dumped him into a cold river.
He must look like a fool standing here, staring at her.
“They wouldn’t dare enter the house of our Lord without His permission,” she responded in a serious tone. If she noticed his surprise, she gave no indication. “That includes the four-legged ones.”
He grinned. A nun with a sense of humor. He liked that.
Rain pounded on the roof giving him a moment to collect his thoughts. Deal with the insanity that had overtaken him. And, in spite of himself, smile. “You’re right, Sister. No man can compete with the will of God. You taught me that.”
His words made her take a step backward, grab onto the pew. She understood and nodded, though slowly. His heart broke when he saw an amber light in her eyes flicker wildly. Then, as if by sheer determination, the light dimmed.
“You’re a strong man, Captain,” she said, “even if you profess to be a pagan.”
Her words surprised him. Was that what she thought of him? Had he grown so hard that no humanity was left in him?
“You’re the one who is strong, Sister Angelina. This pagan is made of flesh and bone,” he said, keeping his voice calm. “I don’t have your courage.”
He swore her hands trembled before she hid them in the deep pockets of her habit. But it was her face that held his attention. Clean and untouched, her cheeks flamed. She bowed her head, her long eyelashes fluttering. “I have little choice. I must obey His will.”
“Is that the only reason you hid the sergeant and me in the orphanage?” He had to know the answer. Then he could hide his feelings away in the shadows of war and not feel the pain of wanting her.
“No,” she said softly. “My vows prohibit me from saying more.” She stared at him, daring him to cross the line they both knew couldn’t be crossed.
Telling him what he wanted to know, but that nothing could come of it.
 
======================
 
A Soldier’s Italian Christmas (O’Casey Brothers in Arms 1) is the story of a soldier and a nun who discover forbidden love in war torn Italy during the winter of 1943.

It is a sweet romance 35,000+ word novella and is now available as an e-book on Amazon

Happy Holidays!!
Jina


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

If your Christmas reading is on the spicier side (as in erotic), check out A Naughty Christmas Carol about a modern day Scrooge named Nick Radnor. A New York Wall Street hottie who has it all…except the woman he loves.


Can three sexy female ghosts save his soul on this naughty Christmas Eve?

Find out in A Naughty Christmas Carol.
Cover Design for A Soldier’s Italian Christmas and A Naughty Christmas Carol by Ramona Lockwood
 
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For Veterans Day: A Soldier’s Italian Christmas by Jina Bacarr

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

UPDATE: A Soldier’s Italian Christmas is now for sale on Amazon.

On this Veterans Day, we honor those who have served in all wars. For that, we say thank you. As we approach the Christmas Holidays, I’ve often wondered what it was like during World War II for the boys so far from home. In A Soldier’s Italian Christmasthe first of the O’Casey Brothers in Arms series, we meet Captain Mack O’Casey, the oldest of four brothers from Brooklyn who join the fight.

It’s December 1943, one of the coldest winters on record, and the Allied advance to Rome is bogged down on a long stretch of road leading from Naples to the Eternal City.

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

 

O’Casey Brothers in Arms
 
Captain Mack O’Casey and his sergeant have been separated from their unit after intense fighting in Central Italy. They find their way to a small village hit by shelling. Everyone has gone, or so they think…
 
Excerpt from Chapter One:
 
Italy
December 1943
 
Mack edged closer to the door, taking his time, knowing a barrage of bullets could be waiting for them on the other side, cracking their skulls open with sharpshooter precision. Or deadly explosive traps that could blow their legs off. 

He nodded to his sergeant to cover him. His heart pounded in his ears. It never got easy staring the enemy in the eye, but it didn’t do any damn good to stand out here waiting to be picked off like wild turkeys. He kicked the door open and did a clean sweep of the courtyard when a cold chill stopped him.

He froze. Someone had a gun aimed at his back. His instinct never failed.  

“Don’t move,” said a low, sultry voice in Italian. “I know how to use this.”  

For chrissakes, a female. 

“We mean you no harm,” Mack said in English, hoping to gain her confidence. She couldn’t see him in the dark. “We’re Americans, not Germans.” 

“American?” Her voice changed. “Oh, thank God,” she said in English. 

Mack turned around slowly and saw a young woman holding a gun on him. She bent down and turned up the wick on the lantern on the ground next to her and light flooded the small courtyard. He didn’t breathe until he was certain she wouldn’t shoot him. Dark, beautiful eyes sucked the fatigue right out of him. Flashing with a wildness that surprised him, she never flinched. Looking him over with intense scrutiny, she waved the lantern up and down his body. Over his boots, his uniform, the silver bars on his shoulders, and then his face. Her eyes locked with his, her lips parted. Full lips that rendered her face with an exotic aura held him transfixed. The girl was a beauty. Creamy complexion with a straight nose tipped at a perfect angle, expressive dark brows crossed in thought. She clenched her jaw, but her gaze never wavered. An absolute show of power on her part. It was clear she was relieved to see him, but she didn’t fully trust him.  

“I thought this village was deserted,” he said, taking a moment to return her scrutiny. Dressed in a man’s dark pants and heavy jacket, he noticed mud clinging to her boots and the knees of her pants with a torn cuff. A navy blue beret fit snugly over her head, hiding her hair. Curly wisps of silky brown hair escaped onto her cheeks making him wish he could smooth them back with his fingers. Kiss her cheek. “My sergeant and I have been walking for miles since the Nazis big guns cut us off from the main road.”   

Satisfied he was telling the truth, she said, “We’ve been holed up here praying the Allies would come.”
 
As she spoke, half a dozen little boys came from out of nowhere and crowded around her. Mack smiled. Round, cherub faces, black unruly hair. They reminded him of his brothers back home in Brooklynwhen they were kids. The oldest boy couldn’t have been more than ten, the youngest about three. What surprised him was how clean their hands and faces were. Most children he’d seen in Naples since landing near Salerno were dirty and barefoot. 

A familiar itch up crawled his backside. First, the shining cross in the sky. Now a beautiful woman with a brood of scrappy angels. What holy place had he stumbled into?  

“Are you alone?” he asked, wondering where her husband was. Most likely fighting in the North. Ever since the devastating Allied losses in Bari, most partisans had fled into the hills. By the looks of the destruction, the village had been under attack for weeks. 

“No, Sister Benedetto and I stayed behind to care for the children when the town was evacuated.” 

“You’re in danger. The Germans have fortified this whole area with armed defense. Barbed wire and mines.” 

“We are never truly alone, Captain. We have God to protect us.” 

“And now the U.S.Fifth Army, Signorina.” 

She lowered her chin, but her eyes looked directly at him. “I am called Sister Angelina.”
 
======================
 
A Soldier’s Italian Christmas (O’Casey Brothers in Arms 1) is the story of a soldier and a nun who discover forbidden love in war torn Italy during the winter of 1943.

It is a sweet romance 35,000+ word novella and is now available as an e-book on Amazon


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

If your Christmas reading is on the spicier side (as in erotic), check out A Naughty Christmas Carol about a modern day Scrooge named Nick Radnor. A New York Wall Street hottie who has it all…except the woman he loves.


Can three sexy female ghosts save his soul on this naughty Christmas Eve?

Find out in A Naughty Christmas Carol.
Cover Design for A Soldier’s Italian Christmas and A Naughty Christmas Carol by Ramona Lockwood
 
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“Santa, Soldiers, and Orphans, oh, my!” hundred word fiction by Jina Bacarr

December 11, 2012 by in category Archives tagged as , , , , , , , , , , , ,



Winter…the days are getting shorter and have you noticed how we communicate is also getting shorter?

We live in a world of texting (“hw r u?”) and Twitter madness that forces us to express ourselves in 140 characters or less. (God help Tolstoy…)

Not to mention acronyms — we plop onto the couch, turn on the DVR or watch a DVD while drinking our OJ, then check out this week’s episode of NCIS.

Now a UK newsletter has come up with “hundred word fiction.”

Indie Book Bargains UK-based Daily Kindle Book Deals

Everyday they publish Kindle deals and a short story with no more than a hundred words.

I thought it would be fun to take up the challenge so I put together a story in less than 100 words. Since it’s Christmas, I wrote a holiday story for the UK newsletter: “Santas, Soldiers, and Orphans, oh, my!” 

Here’s how it appears on their website: 

Santa, Soldiers, and Orphans, oh my!

by Jina Bacarr
“Signorina, Daniele is missing,” whispered the nun.
I panicked. It was hard enough dealing with shell-shocked soldiers and orphans who didn’t speak the same language.
Now I had a lost child on Christmas Eve.
“We’ll organize a search party,” a sergeant offered, relating to a missing comrade in any language. “Al, you’re point man. Bill, you bring up the rear.”
Soon we heard a shout coming from the supply room. “We found him!”
Daniele. A loud cheer went up. Each soldier had a grin on his face. I’ll never forget those smiles.
That Christmas Eve was their first step toward home.
——-
Happy Holidays, everyone!
Jina 
What if Scrooge was a sexy hunk with a smart phone?

Check out my Naughty Christmas Carol book video with my voice-over and the Sugar Plum fairy music along with a very sexy excerpt on my website at: http://jinabacarr.com/anaughtychristmascarol.html 

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The Santa Shop Entertains & Inspires

December 15, 2011 by in category Archives tagged as , ,

This morning (Sunday) I was supposed to work on my new book – the one I intend to complete for a December release. Instead, I snuggled down in my warm bed and finished an e-book called The Santa Shop (The Santa Conspiracy) by Tim Greaton.

The Santa Shop is a short novel, but it was epic in its affect on me. This wonderfully crafted work held my attention, played on my emotions (yes, I wiped away a few tears at the end), made me think, and made me want to be an author just like Tim.

After I got over the heady reader-delight of having just read a good book, I also realized that I had been given the gift of professional inspiration. I realized that if I was agonizing over my work, maybe there was something wrong. If I had a good story, it should unfold; if I couldn’t figure out which direction to go, perhaps I was trying to fabricate a story where one didn’t exist. The Santa Shop was a story waiting to be told. It really was as simple as that and here’s why it worked.

I was instantly invested in the main character, Skip. I knew his circumstances, the joy and tragedy of his backstory, the pain of his current situation, and the torture in his heart and soul within the first chapter. I went with Skip on a journey that was equally spare and eloquent in the telling. I saw through Skip’s eyes. I felt with his heart. I worried that he would not survive. I wanted a happy ending. I longed for a happy ending and, as anyone who reads my books knows, I am not a happy ending, ribbons-and-bows kind of gal.

However, it wasn’t until I reached the last page and read the very last word that I realized it was not Skip who was leading me on, it was Tim. If this author agonized about word count, it didn’t show. If he struggled to find just the right turn of phrase, it didn’t show. If he edited this baby for a year, it didn’t show. Therein lies the brilliance of what he accomplished. I never had to work for my literary pleasure. For a reader, there is no better experience; for a writer, there is no better lesson.

So, on this chilly Sunday morning, I want to thank Tim Greaton for reminding me of the very simple lessons to creating a good book:

1) Have a story, not an idea.

2) Know your character, not just his or her name.

3) Write as if you are pointing the way not giving directions.

4) Stop when the story is told.

Finally, no matter how complex the plot, no matter how many characters are in a book, no matter how intricate relationships we create for our fictional friends, we, as authors, should not be present in the books we write. Simplicity – whether natural or hard won – is the key to writing a wonderful book.

Thanks, Tim, for the gift of The Santa Shop.

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A Naughty Christmas Carol by Jina Bacarr

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

What if Scrooge was a sexy hunk? 

I couldn’t resist writing about this modern day Scrooge in my holiday novella, A Naughty Christmas Carol.

Three sexy female ghosts try to save the soul of a Wall Street trader on this naughty Christmas Eve.

Nick Radnor is a Wall Street trader with no heart.

Money is his mistress.

That doesn’t stop him from having sex in his office on Christmas Eve with his secretary, Jinger Hunt.

Or keeping his beautiful fiancée, Monique Ashford, dangling on a string. He’s relentless in his pursuit of wealth and power. Wall Street is in his blood, along with the thrill of risking it all, but he can’t forget the painful memories of Christmas when he was a kid.

Nick works hard, but plays harder in a gentlemen’s club called Mamie’s. After a wild Christmas Eve at Mamie’s, Nick is in a drunken stupor when he hears the eerie sound of rattling chains proclaiming the arrival of the tormented ghost of Charlie Harris, his dead partner.

The last thing Nick needs is Charlie’s ghost telling him he is doomed to walk the earth for eternity, chained by his sins.

What’s even more disturbing to Nick is the arrival of three sexy female ghosts, who warn him that if he doesn’t change his ways he will lose it all, including Monique, the woman he loves.

On this naughty Christmas Eve, Nick will learn the terrifying full scope of where his life is headed because of his corporate greed. In a peek into the future that will shatter his every expectation, Nick realizes the choices he makes now will have deadly consequences for everyone he loves.

Check out A Naughty Christmas Carol on Amazon Kindle.

Happy Holidays, everyone! 

Jina 

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