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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!

THE RUNAWAY GIRL

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:

THE RUNAWAY GIRL
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Apple Books
Buy from Barnes and Noble
Buy from Kobo


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Author Leslie V. Knowles debuts The Wolverton World of Regency Romance!!

April 2, 2021 by in category Jann says . . . tagged as , , ,

My husband and I met, married and raised our two children in Southern California where we still live. Our oldest is married and has three grown sons. The other is an aerospace engineer who made watching The Big Bang Theory seem oddly familiar. I started writing when a co-worker challenged me to write my own book after I complained about a disappointing story. At the urging of friends and critique partners, I entered the Golden Heart Contest for Unpublished Writers, and Silent Song was one of six finalists in the short contemporary category. It eventually sold to Kensington Publishing. Between my day job as a high school teacher and family obligations, writing was put on hold for several years. Once I retired, however, characters and story ideas began dancing in my head again, but now they danced to Regency music. The Wolverton World is the result of letting them dance onto the manuscript page.

Jann: Tell us about your road to publication?

Leslie: My road trip was long, winding, and a bit rocky at times. My first book (a contemporary), Silent Song, took 10 years from first concept until Kate Duffy bought it for Meteor Publishing, then for Kensington when Meteor was sold off. By that time, my day job and growing family obligations pretty much took over and I set aside my writing for several years. When I retired, I had time to immerse myself in reading for pleasure, and it wasn’t long before the “what if” ideas started popping up again. I rejoined RWA to get caught up on the changes in the market and started writing once more. I completed Scandalizing the Duke and Chasing Scandal before I started submitting to the traditional houses. The long waits between submission and check-backs, the almost-but-not-quite editor nibbles from contest entries and the black hole of Covid lockdowns finally made me decide that I didn’t want to wait another 10 years to see my book in print. I researched all the “new” stuff and asked lots of questions, then uploaded Scandalizing the Duke through Draft2Digital and set my release date. I’m still learning, but I’m back on track.

Jann: What motivated you to write Regency romance?

Leslie: I decided to focus on historical in general, and Regency in particular, for their unlimited shelf life for readers. Contemporary stories quickly lose their freshness which can limit their appeal to new readers. Readers of historically set stories embrace the time warp instead of being distracted by it. I also write what I like to read, and I love historical fiction.

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?

Leslie: I tend to research as needed while I write. I usually begin with overview information off the internet for key events for the time period when the story will be set. I use historical study sites like universities and English history sites that I come across, then cross check for accuracy. I look for events that might impact my characters or move the story in a particular direction. I’m also a member of Regency Fiction Writers and we share a lot of links and sources, so I can often verify information that way. One of our members (Kristine Hughs) has recently completed an exhaustive research book on Waterloo in which she has read reams of primary source letters and dispatches, etc. to include. I know I’ll be able to rely on the accuracy of that book for both facts and flavor of the time period. My third book, Scandal’s Choice has an amputee hero, and I read the biography of Lord Oxley as well as researched recovery times, the history of prosthesis, and interviewed a man about the actual sensations of using and wearing one. Every story has a different research component, so I use whatever seems appropriate at the time.

Jann: Where did the idea come from for this series? Did you think of character, plot or theme first?

Leslie: I always think of people first. My first concept for the series was a what if–what if a widower returned to London with three daughters to launch and one was a bluestocking, one was a rescuer, and the third an intuitive, and what if the mother of one of his suitor’s mother caught his attention?

Once the writing/plotting began the bluestocking, Elizabeth, became a woodworker and enters a marriage of convenience, the rescuer became Charlotte in Scandalizing the Duke, and the intuitive has yet to emerge from the schoolroom. The widower papa doesn’t show until Scandal’s choice (Elizabeth’s story) and he has remarried when he does.  First concepts never make it past research and revisions. 

Jann: How long did it take you to write Book One?

Leslie: About 6 or 9 months initially. I think of book like babies: 3 months of trying, 9 months to delivery.

Jann: Book One, Scandalizing the Duke, from your new series The Wolverton World, debuted in February of this year. How did it feel?

Leslie: Fabulous, exciting, and scary.

Jann: Tell us about your main characters, Lucien, Duke of Wolverton and Charlotte Longborough. What major conflicts did you set for Lucien and Charlotte to work through on the way to their HEA?

Jann: Charlotte is a compulsive rescuer whose determination to rescue her former neighbor’s wife from his abuse will surely spell disaster and scandal if she is caught.

Lucien is determined to see that scandal never again attaches itself to him, or anyone under his roof.

Charlotte can’t achieve her goal without help, and Lucien can’t take the chance that she’ll act on her own.

Jann: I see you have Book Two, Chasing Scandal and Book Three, Scandal’s Choice, set to publish soon. Can you share what these two books are about? Will you have more books for this series?

Leslie: Book 2, Chasing Scandal, is about Lucien’s illegitimate brother Tristan who is an agent of the Crown. His mission to uncover a traitor is complicated by an abducted child and the woman who believes he is the kidnapper. To protect the child, the two of them must work together though their journey leads to unexpected discoveries and rewards.

Book 3, Scandal’s Choice is Charlotte’s sister Elizabeth’s story.

Known among the ton as the odd sister, Elizabeth has decided two failed Seasons are as much as she can tolerate. But her plan to return home and run her father’s household is shattered when he remarries, and an unfortunate incident at a local assembly limits her prospects even more.

Faced with war injuries that resulted in amputation, Major Warleigh hates the idea of being dependent on anyone, especially his brother and sister-in-law. Their overwrought sympathy and plans for his invalid care make him shudder. Neither of them like the prospect of returning home, nor do they have many choices in the matter. What began as a flippant remark grows into a genuine proposal for marriage of convenience. They discover loyalty, honor, and love are more than ideas, and marriage is more than spoken vows when a woman claiming to be his fiancé arrives, unannounced, at their door.

One on my beta readers asked for Anne’s story (Lucien’s sister), and I had originally planned on her book being book 2, but I realized I didn’t know her fears and secrets yet. Her personality is a lot like the heroine in my current work in progress, but her background and goals don’t fit, so she’ll have to wait.

I do want to do a book for the Duke of Everham (I affectionately call him the doggie-duke). There is a good reason he prefers dogs to people.

Jann: What do you hope readers will take away from this series?

Leslie: Satisfaction. I want the reader to like the people in the stories and root for their journey to happily ever after. I don’t begin with theme as my goal, but certain ones tend to show up. Family is always a part of my stories since the support or absence of family impacts how we deal with life and the goals we form for ourselves.

Jann: You also have a new series, Hazardous House Parties, coming out in the future. What can you share with us today about the series?

Leslie: Several guests at Lady Kirkwood’s birthday house party deal with accidents a bit more frequently than normal. The first book is currently titled Braxton’s Vow and is a second chance trope that evolved from friends to enemies to lovers.  

Jann: In your books, who is your favorite character and why?

 Leslie: My favorite character is the one I am developing at any given time. Charlotte was eager and hopeful, Julia was braver than she realized, Elizabeth is a creative who cannot deny her drive. In Braxton’s Vow, Arabella is clever, inquisitive, and daring.

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

 Leslie: Only one?? How does anyone pick just one? I’ve read Pride and Prejudice every other year since I was in the 4th grade, so I guess that’s it, but I cherish so many stories and the authors who’ve written them. It is like asking who’s your favorite child. Always for different reasons, but always equally.

Jann: Where can we get your books?

Leslie: You should be able to get my books at all the major vendors by typing in the title of the book. This lets you select the vendor you prefer to make your ebook preference. The paperback should be able to be ordered from any of the vendors.  (Editor’s note: see below for buy links.)

 

Jann: Congratulations Leslie on The Wolverton World!! It’s been a real pleasure talking with you today. Take care and stay healthy!!



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Linda Carroll-Bradd – Author writing with a touch of humor and a bit of sass!!

January 2, 2021 by in category Jann says . . . tagged as , , ,

As a young girl, Linda was often found lying on her bed reading about fascinating characters having exciting adventures in places far away and in other time periods. In later years, she read and then started writing romances and achieved her first publication–a confession story. Married with 4 adult children and 2 granddaughters, award-winning author Linda writes heartwarming contemporary and historical stories with a touch of humor and a bit of sass from her home in the southern California mountains.

To start the new year, we’re spending time with author Linda Carroll-Bradd, who will talk with us about her latest story and more.

Jann: You are an author of both historical and contemporary stories. Which genre do you prefer and why?

Linda: I absolutely love doing the research for a historical story because I always include ethnic elements for at least one of the protagonists. The time period in which I write is the second half of the 19th century, which was such a melting pot time in America. I also rely heavily on my own ethnic makeup of Scandinavian/Irish as a way of exploring my ancestry and those customs.

Jann: On December 9th, Snowflake Cottage had its debut. What prompted you to write a holiday story?

Linda: Before I became an author, I always spent the month of December reading only Harlequin Christmas stories. When I had less time for reading, I watched Hallmark holiday movies. An opportunity arose to write a contemporary in a multi-author series. Almost from the moment I agreed to write the novella, an idea started building, and it came together so fast because I had a smaller amount of research to accumulate.

 

Jann:  Tell us about Jada Beldane and Graham Seaver’s, the main characters from Snowflake Cottage, and their road to HEA.

Linda: Jada received an infertility diagnosis and just wanted to get through the holidays avoiding children. She rents a cottage in a Colorado resort town and believes she’ll find joy again by working through assignments from a self-help book. Fulfilling her first exercise, she encounters the hero who turns out to be a single parent. Graham has already had one bad experience by getting involved with a tourist in his hometown and doesn’t want to repeat that mistake. But being in a small town meant they kept running into one another. In a way, both characters had to work past their prejudices to give the other one a chance. As I wrote, I kept in mind all those Hallmark movies, as well as my favorite book Pride and Prejudice, and I balanced high moments with low ones. I actually teared up a couple times as I created scenes, which hasn’t happened often as an author.

Jann: How did it feel getting invited to write for the Montana Sky series? 

Linda: I felt honored to be invited to contribute a story to Debra Holland’s Sweetwater Springs Christmas anthology in 2013. I’d been editing Debra’s stories for a couple years before being invited to participate in the Montana Sky Kindle World. Writing in a story world that I was familiar with encouraged me to create my eight-book series, “Entertainers of the West.” That first invitation is what sent me on the path of writing thirty-three historical novellas (plus five contemporary ones) since 2015.

Jann: Do you have a favorite that you have written for the series? Which one and why?

Linda: Each is special in its own way, but the first one, Laced by Love, set up the backgrounds for three vaudeville troupe members who ended up being the heroines of the first three titles. The Laced by Love heroine, Cinnia, makes a decision that ends up affecting the lives of her sister, Nola, and friend, Dorrie. Also, that first book establishes the hero, his two brothers, and introduces the hero of the second story. I hoped the initial story would spark others but never thought the total would be eight with another story plotted.

Jann: Are you working on a new story? Can you share with us what it’s about?

Linda: My next novella to be released in February 2021 is a historical and part of the “Cupids and Cowboys” series. Amata, who was an infant in Grayson, from the “Bachelors and Babies” series, is all grown up, and her romance is initiated by a child who brings together the hero and heroine. The setting is Cheyenne, WY, and Amata helped run her lawyer father, Grayson’s, campaign for state senator then went to teacher’s college to learn how to help her brother who suffers from a learning disability. The rancher hero’s son has a similar problem and the boy’s the one who contrives to get the two adults together.

Jann: What kind of writer are you? A page a day or a burst writer?

Linda: Throughout my writing years, I’ve kept on track by the need to submit to a critique group. For several years, my daughter, Shenoa, my husband, and Sheila Hansberger met two Tuesdays a month at a Panera Bread restaurant. With COVID, we switched to Zoom, went to weekly sessions, and usually averaged three per month. I might have only created five pages but the group created a deadline. I also participate in an online group where I submit new pages on Friday night or revised and enlarged versions of the Tuesday critique pages. But when I’m in crunch writing time, the groups might see only the first two chapters of a story before I finish and release it.

Jann: Have you ever suffered writer’s block? If so, how did/do you get past it?

Linda: During the first five months of this year, I wrote 4 novellas and then just stopped. The COVID restrictions kept me from being with family and prevented any vacation to look forward to–both just blocked my creative energy. I did a whole lot of crocheting as an outlet. I usually start plotting the next project when I’m halfway done writing the current story, but I just couldn’t. So over the summer, I read–mysteries, romances, thrillers, non-fiction writing craft books. The next story on my schedule was to be a love triangle plot, and I’d never written one, which I think was part of the block. Then practicality set in. I checked my preorder deadline, divided the word count by the remaining days, and sat at the computer to start with those daily word requirements in mind. Sheer determination pounded out that first chapter, and the block broke.

Jann: What profession other than your own would you love to attempt?

Linda: I took a career evaluation test in the eighth grade that scored Librarian as the job most suited to my abilities. At the time, I didn’t connect with that profession and focused on business classes in high school then earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. I went on to work in administrative support positions for many years in the educational field and then in a land survey business. When we moved back to California after a dozen years in Texas, I organized the books on our shelves by the Dewey Decimal system…just because I could. I’m happy with being a freelance editor and not looking for a new profession, but the shelves in my office burst with non-fiction books I’ve read as background for stories I’ve written.

Jann: Thank you Linda for being with us today on A Slice of Orange. Snowflake Cottage is a wonderful holiday story. You also had two historical releases in 2020–Between Two Beaus and A Promise for Christmas, which are also great. We’ll be looking forward to your historical release in February. Have a wonderful 2021!!


A Few of Linda’s Many Titles

(Click on the covers for buy links.)

A PROMISE FOR CHRISTMAS

Buy now!
A PROMISE FOR CHRISTMAS

BETWEEN TWO BEAUS

Buy now!
BETWEEN TWO BEAUS

SNOWFLAKE COTTAGE

Buy now!
SNOWFLAKE COTTAGE

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The Book Review that touched my heart by Jina Bacarr

October 10, 2020 by in category Jina’s Book Chat, Writing tagged as , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Sometimes, you get it right….

When I saw this review of my Titanic love story THE RUNAWAY GIRL, it tugged at my heart.

Yes, it’s a wonderful 5 star review, but more importantly, my story has captured the interest of a young girl who wasn’t much of a reader beforehand. 

Amazon Review:

Crystal E. Rose

Reviewed in the United States on September 23, 2020

My daughter has not read the whole book yet but likes it. She likes the romance part. She is not much of a reader and I always see this book in her hands.
 
================
 
Wow. What sets my kettle brewing is that this young girl has discovered the joy of reading through the eyes of Ava O’Reilly, my intrepid Irish heroine who flees to America for a new life when she’s wrongly accused of stealing a diamond bracelet.
 
I wonder…
 
Will my book go on her keeper shelf as she gets older?
 
Will she look back on it fondly when she’s plowing through college textbooks and remember the joy she found ‘reading for fun’?
 
Will she grab the dog-eared copy off the shelf in a moment of needing a hug when her romantic life isn’t going so well?
 
Will she re-read it wrapped up in a cozy blanket, holding her hot cocoa? When her eyes tire easily and her hands hurt from arthritis, but her heart soars to once again walk the decks of the Titanic with Ava and remember when she was young?
 
I hope so.
 
Not because it’s my story, but because we never forget the books that touched our hearts when we were young and introduced us to new worlds and changed our lives.
 
And if my story set this young girl on a lifelong love of reading, then I couldn’t be more pleased. 
 
It doesn’t get better than that.
 
Jina
 
 
 

————–

 

THE RUNAWAY GIRL

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’ https://youtu.be/S-33oEM4DlI

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

THE RUNAWAY GIRL
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Apple Books
Buy from Barnes and Noble
Buy from Kobo
 
===============
 
 
This book is incredible a truly remarkable story, Sylvie diary, notes photo's and recordings are inspiring. the real story of glamourous Sylvie Martone has to be solved and told. She will never be forgotten.
I loved it
 — Booklover B 

 

 

https://twitter.com/BoldwoodBooks/status/1315245890874093569

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Meet the unsung heroine of publishing: Miss Proofreader by Jina Bacarr

September 11, 2020 by in category Jina’s Book Chat, Writing tagged as , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Ode to my Proofreader My proofreader has the eye of an eagle and patience of a saint, No matter what I write, she swears not to faint Through missed commas, wrong tenses, and a lost full stop or two She carries on in spite of, through and through But what I never expected when I sent my m/s off with a sigh Was that parts of my book would make her cry… ——— Last month I wrote about the copy edits and mentioned that I sent my Paris WW 2 historical novel is off to the proofreader! Oh, my, I had no idea I’d make her cry… I actually stopped in the middle of proofreading my manuscript when she sent it back to me and shed a tear or two myself, I felt so bad for upsetting her. My first thought was… I had to change the scene, make it happy, not have this lovely professional proofreader stop her work because my characters made her cry. How dare they! I was totally surprised how much this affected me. It’s okay for me to bawl my eyes out when bad stuff happens to my heroine, but I think we writers live in a bubble and don’t know realize how much the stories we tell affect our readers. They’re just as invested in the story as we are. And for that I thank you for allowing my stories to touch your soul, wrench your heart, and send you on a journey to a place far, far away, but bring them home, nourish them, cheer with them cry with them when you let our characters come into your life. And yes, my proofreader did finish her proofreading on time (with a tissue or two in tow).
————– THE RUNAWAY GIRL 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:
THE RUNAWAY GIRL
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Apple Books
Buy from Barnes and Noble
Buy from Kobo
BONUS this month: meet Daisy in my Boldwood Books 1st anniversary video!
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