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Titanic and Me and the 1997 Movie and how my Irish grandmother helped me write my Ship of Dreams story by Jina Bacarr

February 11, 2023 by in category Jina’s Book Chat, Titanic, Writing tagged as , , , ,
Once upon the ship of dreams… me dressed as a first class lady

Can you believe it’s 25 years since James Cameron’s TITANIC film hit the theaters?

And guess what, it’s back in theaters this weekend!!

I’ve seen all the Titanic films — even the one made in German — but the 1997 film is an event to be enjoyed over and over again.

So I have a question, will you go back to the in-person theater and see it again?

OR: enjoy it once more in your own home?

I’d love to know how you feel about seeing it again in the theater.

Jina (dressed as a Titanic First Class lady)


And if you can’t enough TITANIC, check out THE RUNAWAY GIRL — my Titanic love story starring Ava O’Reilly, my Irish heroine. 

I had no problem writing an Irish heroine.

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.

Meet 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…

Super Romance Sale now until February 15th on #Kobo #Audiobook THE RUNAWAY GIRL is $9.99 AUDIOBOOK




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:

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Dipped in Chocolate: How I researched THE ORPHANS OF BERLIN and loved every minute by Jina Bacarr

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

Do you remember the hilarious scene in an episode of ‘I Love Lucy’ where Lucy and Ethel are working in a candy factory and the conveyor belt speeds up and they stuff their mouths with gourmet chocolates?

Pure heaven…

I didn’t have that experience, but I did have a blast researching the art of chocolate up close and personal for The Orphans of Berlin, tasting and munching on creams and caramels to my little heart’s content.

Then running on the treadmill for hours…

It was worth it.

I wanted to get a feel for what it was like to grow up in the world of chocolate like my debutante-heroine Kay Alexander and become familiar with how candy is made… as well as its importance during World War 2 when Ration D chocolate bars were loaded with vitamins and included in every soldier’s military ration kit.

It all started in 1868 when Kay’s candy-loving, Irish great-grandfather started a candy business called ‘Radwell’s French Chocolates’. Being a candy heiress gives Kay the opportunity to spare no expense getting Jewish children out of Nazi Germany.

I discovered a publication called the ‘Confectioners and Bakers Gazette’ which detailed the candy business from 1896 – 1930, including candy factories in Philadelphia (in 1908, there were twenty-five factories in the US manufacturing chocolate). I find it odd it ceased publication during the Depression since candy sales boomed during those lean years, including Radwell’s French chocolates.

‘Sorority Chocolates’ were a big seller reputed to reach seventy-five million customers, appealing to high school girls, their moms, aunts, and grandmas.

Other notable facts include the use of synthetic vanilla called vanillin even back then; but as any Christmas cookie baker will tell you, real vanilla in his cookies is what makes Santa smile.

I also read books on chocolates and searched the Internet for chocolatier’s ‘secrets’ and favorite recipes to come up with my own special chocolates for the Radwell’s brand.

Here are a few samples for your taste delight:

Renoir Dark Chocolate Bars

Hand-dipped, chocolate-covered squares

… topped with a swirl of buttercream


Caramels de Vendôme 

Dark chocolate

… filled with honey caramel and vanilla ganache


Truffles à l’Opéra

Bittersweet chocolate

…filled with raspberry ganache 


Montmartre Mints

Dark chocolate thin mints

… with flecks of almonds


Versailles Soft Creams

Dark chocolate hearts

… filled with raspberry buttercream 


Notre-Dame Angels

White chocolate truffles

… filled with pecans and vanilla ganache

I invite you to give yourself a treat when you’re reading The Orphans of Berlin. Stock up on your favorite chocolates filled with creamy mousse, rich ganache… and decadent truffles.

I dip my fingers into the box of gourmet chocolates and grab the last piece. A raspberry dark chocolate truffle. Mm… delicious. A gift from the candy gods.

Ah, the travails of a writer’s research… a tough job.

But somebody’s got to do it, n’est-ce pas?


1939 Berlin What if you’re a mom and you have to send your daughters to France to save their lives? #historytokwwiihistoricalfiction@bookandtonic

♬ original sound – Jina Bacarr Historical Author♥
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Author Jina Bacarr–Romance Makes the World Go Around!!

November 17, 2022 by in category Writing tagged as ,

I started out working as a reporter writing articles for a travel magazine based in Beverly Hills and then as a columnist for a computer magazine where I wrote about technology ‘Sweet Savage Byte’, as well as writing for academia, radio commercials and PR copy for a local AM/FM station. I’ve also had three plays produced in Malibu and I worked for a time writing scripts for children’s and daytime TV before publishing nonfiction books about Japan, and then later fiction.

Jann: You have an amazing writing career. How did it get started?

Jina: I’ve always written, having grown up with my Irish grandma who inspired me to write – a fine woman who was never without a story on her lips or a rosary in her hands… blue or white or green beads fastened together by her nimble fingers into a holy circle. I’d sit at her feet, holding my crayons in my left hand and coloring in my ballerina book or playing with my paper dolls, all the while making up stories of my own.

My first writing job was an article about the uniqueness of European bathrooms called ‘A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Loo’. After college, I was torn between working part time as an illustrator for Frederick’s of Hollywood or working as a reporter for a travel magazine. I needed to pay the rent, so I wrote articles under different names and never looked back.

Jann: Why romance, time travel and World War 2?

Jina: Romance makes the world go round no matter what century you’re in… time travel because I spent a lot of my childhood in museums. The voices of the past speak to me through stiff ivory-colored crinolines and worn satin slippers. I’ve always wondered what it was like to walk in those slippers when they were new. World War 2 because I love the clothes, the sophistication, the Victory Red lipstick… the drama and power of the women who helped win the war. They were feminine and daring and strong… and fell in love with brave pilots. Who doesn’t love a guy in a sheepskin leather jacket and aviator sunglasses?

Jann: Historical romance readers look for accuracy from the author. What are your favorite sources for research and how much time did you spend on research. Do you research before, while you write a first draft or after?

Jina: Re: doing research, I love the joy of finding old books or films produced during the time I’m writing about; e.g., there is an enormous amount of material from the 1930s and 1940s, both first person accounts published during the war as well as films. Newsreels, but also home movies shot by participants on both sides. I have a wonderful ‘coffee table’ book that’s filled with scenes of Paris during the Occupation, as well as detailed timelines both in print and on the Internet that help me in setting up scenes so I can drop my characters into the historical moment, then turn them loose and see what they do. They always surprise me!

I research during all phases of the writing process… from creating the characters to researching the weather on a certain day to the phases of the moon (I have RAF landings in France that depend on moonlight). I never hesitate to check a date or place at any time, right through the proofreading.

Jann: Your new historical, The Orphans of Berlin, is described as Heartbreaking and based on a true story. How did you find the story this book is based on?

Jina: It’s based on the Kindertransport, the children’s transport. It’s well documented in films and books… I was fascinated by a documentary featuring an American couple who orchestrated a Kindertransport at a time when the US limited immigration, making it impossible for German Jews escaping death at the hands of the Nazis to come to America. I discovered that Jewish children from Germany and Austria and other European countries were sent to England and also to France by their desperate parents. Since I write about Occupied France, the story took off from here.

I also write about a personal journey in The Orphans of Berlin related to my American heroine (all is revealed in the acknowledgements).

Jann: What major conflicts do your leading characters in The Orphans of Berlin, Kate Alexander and the Landau sisters, have to work through?

Jina: Kay Alexander is a debutante albeit a reluctant one. It’s a life chosen for her by her society mother, but Kay is determined to be her own person in spite of her mother’s domineering ways. Kay has to work through the delicate balance of finding her independence, yet never giving up hope her mother will see her as an individual. She loves her mom and is proud of her heritage, and wants to use her fortune to help others.

Rachel is twelve when we meet her, a time in the Jewish religion when a girl becomes an adult. We follow Rachel through the trials and tribulations every girl faces growing up: her maturing body, feelings for boys, seeking independence from her parents whom she adores, and yearning to be her own person. What makes all this so difficult is that Rachel faces the trials of impending womanhood in a time when the Nazis set about destroying her world of tradition and ancient culture… and also taking on the duty to keep her younger sisters safe in a dangerous time.

Jann: I understand there is a handsome British pilot. What can you tell us about this character? 

Jina: Max Hamilton-Jones is a daring pilot from a tough, English upbringing in Blackpool in Northern England. He grew up around airplanes and joined an air circus when he was a teenager. He has a fierce sense of protecting the innocent and uses his flying skills to fight in Spain before WW2… he’s an avant-garde artist who captures human foibles with his amazing sketches featuring slices of life. He loves beautiful woman and sees into the soul of his models with his pen… he’s sexy, witty, and protective of Kay and Rachel and her two sisters. I love that.

Jann: Are you working on something now that you can share with us?

Jina: I’m writing my fourth book about the Holocaust in Occupied France… this time I’m tackling the subject of rape during the war: how many cases were never reported and the stories of these Frenchwomen lay buried in the shadows.

I want to shine a light on one such story…

Jann: You’re a multi-published author, is there a character in one of your books whose personality most matches yours? If so, which book and character and why?


Jina: Aye, it’s Ava O’Reilly, my Irish heroine from Queenstown in The Runaway Girl, my story about the Titanic. Ava pokes her nose where she shouldn’t, is outspoken with her opinions, and is filled with colorful, witty phrases. Of course, Ava speaks her mind; me, I write it down in stories, but there’s a lot of Ava in me.



Jann: Where can we get your books? 


Jina: Readers can find my books published by Boldwood Books at Amazon US, UK, CA, AU, and international Amazon sites, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple, and in the UK, in brick and mortar stores, The Works and Waterstones.

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/jina.bacarr/

Twitter https://twitter.com/JinaBacarr

Blog https://jinabacarr.wordpress.com/

TikTok https://www.tiktok.com/@jinabacarrauthor

The Orphans of Berlin

US https://amzn.to/3TMKZlf

UK https://amzn.to/3Qjp5mB

Jann: What’s your all-time favorite book? 

Jina: Time and Again by Jack Finney

I love exploring the science behind traveling through time, the whys and what ifs. Mr Finney made me believe in time travel. I love his wit, his passion for the lady he loves in his time travel novel, his historical accuracy and gripping detail that put you there.

A true gentleman and a scholar for any time.

[I wrote two novels about time travel: Her Lost Love – WW2 on the home front where a lonely woman goes home on a magic Christmas train to save her fiancé who died in the war; and Love Me Forever – a female re-enactor goes back to the Civil War dressed as a soldier and meets her double, a Confederate spy.]

Jina, its been great to have a peak into your writing world. You write amazing stories. Good luck on The Orphans of Berlin. Have a wonderful holiday season.


Some of Jina’s Books

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Jina Bacarr September Featured Author

September 29, 2022 by in category Apples & Oranges by Marianne H. Donley, Featured Author of the Month tagged as , , , ,

About Jina Bacarr

I discovered early on that I inherited the gift of the gab from my large Irish family when I penned a story about a princess who ran away to Paris with her pet turtle Lulu. I was twelve.

I grew up listening to their wild, outlandish tales and it was those early years of storytelling that led to my love of history and traveling.

Jina Bacarr | A Slice of Orange

I enjoy writing to classical music with a hot cup of java by my side. I adore dark chocolate truffles, vintage anything, the smell of bread baking and rainy days in museums. I’ve always loved walking through history—from Pompeii to Verdun to Old Paris. The voices of the past speak to me through carriages with cracked leather seats, stiff ivory-colored crinolines, and worn satin slippers. I’ve always wondered what it was like to walk in those slippers when they were new.

You can follow Jina on social media:


Jina also has a column here on the 11th of every month: Jina’s Book Chat.

Jina’s newest novel, The Orphans of Berlin, is available for preorder and will be published November 10, 2022.

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A Few of Jina’s Other Books


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Wedding Wagers and Dukes, Dukes, and More Dukes

September 28, 2022 by in category Quarter Days by Alina K. Field tagged as , ,

I’m back with a quarterly post!

And this time I’m sharing three fantastic new collections of stories about every Regency romance reader’s favorite topics: weddings and dukes.

The Wedding Wager

My fellow Bluestocking Belle authors, Jude Knight, Cerise Deland, and Elizabeth Ellen Carter, have stories in this multi-author collection, released 9/27/22.

Here’s the Blurb:

The Boast—pride goeth before the fall…

After facilitating the match of the season, Lady Pandora “Pansy” Osbourne, has boasted that she is the best matchmaker The Ton has ever seen. Always willing to bring her cousin down a peg or two, her cousin, Lady Octavia Sewell insists that was no feat of matchmaking at all, as the couple involved were clearly destined for one another despite Pansy’s meddling. A bitter argument ensues and a dreadful challenge is issued. Pansy must do more than say it… she must prove it.

The terms of the wager are set!

Pansy must produce no less than one match per month between people who have been notoriously unmarriageable—spinsters, bluestockings, rakes and fortune hunters, oh my! But there’s more riding on this than simply her pride! If Pansy loses, she will have to give up her most prized possession—a tiara that belonged to their grandmother will be forfeited into Octavia’s grasping hands.

15 authors. 15 original novellas!

Download the prologue here: https://BookHip.com/SVWMCTV

Buy link: https://books2read.com/weddingwager

A Duke in Winter

Bring on the Dukes! This collection includes stories by fellow Bluestocking Belles Caroline Warfield and Elizabeth Ellen Carter and is available for pre-order for the 12/29/22 release.

“It was a dark and snowy night…”

Winter has come and the holiday seasons have arrived. ‘Tis the season to be jolly for most, but beneath the joyous celebrations lurks moody, dark, and seductive dukes that make England’s most famous bard’s brooding lords look like charm boys. But this isn’t a tortured Danish prince or a tormented king with three conniving daughters. This is…

A Duke In Winter.

Ten of your favorite historical romance authors have come together for this wintery collection to set your pulse racing. Melt the snow a little with this collection of sexy tales of moody dukes and the women hot enough to warm them.

Indulge in the most unexpected of winter romantic tales!

Available for pre-order at Amazon.com

And if you don’t want to wait until December for your dukes…

Get Your Duke On

This summertime collection of stories released in August 2022 and was a USA Today Bestseller!

Welcome to a rollicking summer in Regency England, where the weather is warm, the ladies warmer, and the dukes sizzling-hot!

For lovers of historical romance, lose yourself in this collection of never before published Regency tales. From gambling halls to ballrooms, you’ll enjoy a summer with a wide cast of unforgettable characters. Themes from your favorite summertime songs have inspired these tales, so get ready for fun, fun, fun or a little old lady who drives her phaeton far too fast.

It’s glamour, passion, and adventure in one magical summer in Regency England!

Available at Amazon.com

If you’re a fan of historical romance, some of your favorite authors will be gathering on October 1, 2022 at the Westgate Hotel in San Diego for a book signing as part of the 2022 Historical Romance Retreat. Don’t miss this event!

I’ll be back after Christmas for my next post. Until then, happy holidays, and happy reading!

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