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‘Once Upon a Christmastime with the Oprah Show’ and how it inspired CHRISTMAS ONCE AGAIN… by Jina Bacarr

December 11, 2019 by in category Jina’s Book Chat, Writing tagged as , , , , ,

Once upon a Christmastime, I had a fun experience with the Oprah Show that has remained a fond memory… even if it took a different path than the show planned…

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‘Ring… ring… ’

I was halfway out the door when the telephone rang. I slammed to a halt, clutching my car keys, my purse slung over my shoulder. Who could be calling me this early in the morning? 

It was 8 a.m. 

I was running late for a meeting and the last thing I needed was another telemarketer trying to sell me carpet cleaning for Christmas.

Then it hit me. I remembered the Christmas tradition story I wrote about my mom and her old piano and sent to the Oprah Show

I swallowed hard. It was 10 a.m. in Chicago. Oprah Time.

I grabbed the phone and mumbled a breathless, ‘Hello…

‘Hi, this is the Oprah Show calling.’

‘Did you say Oprah?’ I gulped, my heart pounding like a million elves working overtime.

“Do you have time to talk?” the producer asked, hopeful.

I cleared my throat. ‘Yeah, sure… no problem.’

Wait till I tell my boss why I’m late today.

‘Awesome. We received your story about your Christmas tradition… ’

I tossed my purse and car keys onto a chair, my pulse racing out of control. ‘Yes?’

‘We’d like to use it for a segment on our holiday show.’

You do?’ I said, my voice squeaking like a little kid seeing Santa Claus.

The producer chuckled. ‘Yes… now here’s what we need from you.’

Knees wobbly, I fumbled in my purse for a pencil while the producer give me instructions on what happened next. Tears misted in my eyes. I couldn’t believe it. My Christmas tradition was going to be on Oprah.

I let out a deep sigh. If only my mom could see this, praying somehow she did know.

My mother loved to play the piano, especially at Christmastime. She knew every holiday carol by heart and every year, she’d sit down at our old studio upright piano and take us on a musical trip to Bethlehem or a journey with the Three Wise Men or rock ‘n roll with Jingle Bell Rock.

We lived in the Pennsylvania woods when I was a kid and one Christmas we were snowed in and couldn’t get into town to buy a tree. So my mom decorated our old piano with shiny, silver tinsel and red and blue and green balls with a gold star on top.

After all, a piano is made out of wood, and that wood was once a tree.

 So why not a Christmas Piano Tree?

 My mother passed away a few days before Christmas many years ago. I didn’t have the heart to trim a tree that year. Then I remembered her Christmas piano tree. I decorated that same old, wonderful studio upright with Christmas ornaments that year and I do so every Christmas since then as a tribute to my mom.  

It was an exciting time after the Oprah Show producer called. They asked for photos of my Christmas piano tree, then we taped the segment for my holiday tradition with me reading what I wrote about my mom. The sound crew added holiday music and I got all ready to watch the show when it aired…

But the show ran overtime, so my segment didn’t make the national broadcast. I was devastated, but the Oprah producer promised she’d do something for me.

She did. The next year the Oprah Show ran my old home Christmas movies and used them as part of their promo for their holiday show.

So here’s my pretty young mom at Christmastime hanging up Christmas stockings.

Awesome…

When I wanted to write a Christmas time travel story, I thought about how much I missed my mom every year and those wonderful holidays when I was a kid in Pennsylvania. If only I could go back in time and see her again and tell her how much I loved her…

I dedicated CHRISTMAS ONCE AGAIN to my mom. It’s the story of the Arden Family during World War 2 on the home front with Kate, the older daughter, as the heroine sending the man she loves off to war in 1943… she never sees him again.

Then years later she has the chance to go back in time and warn him about a secret mission gone wrong in France. Will he believe her?

All she wants for Christmas is to save the man she loves…

Christmas Once Again is available at e-tailers everywhere, print, and audio book, too!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Jina

PS – some of my favorite scenes in Christmas Once Again are when Kate reconnects with Ma…and their wonderful moments together.

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CHRISTMAS ONCE AGAIN is on sale for 99 cents for a limited time!

US Amazon https://amzn.to/2pcz2eN

UK Amazon https://amzn.to/31rF4pZ

Audio US https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07YL6KG3W

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https://www.bookbub.com/profile/jina-bacarr

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Sometimes You Can Go Back

October 10, 2019 by in category Charmed Writer by Tari Lynn Jewett tagged as , ,

If you love Christmas and romance, you’ll want to add author, Jina Bacarr’s latest book, Christmas Once Again, to your holiday reading list, it’s available TODAY!!

Jina has taken all that is Christmas, and woven it through this tale of love, heartbreak and breathtaking magic to take us back in time. Kate Arden, an accomplished career woman in the 1950’s has never gotten over the loss of her first love in World War II.

Defying the conventions of the 1940’s, Kate, a beautiful young typist from a warm, caring, blue collar family, and Jeffrey Rushbrooke, heir to the Rushbrooke paper mill that supports the economy in the small town of Posey Creek, fall in love, pledging to be together forever.

On the night that they plan to elope, Jeff is called to Washington on a special mission, and Kate never sees him again

By 1955, Kate is an accomplished single, career woman, living in New York. When her younger sister calls and begs her to come home for Christmas, Kate reluctantly gives in dreading the memories of her lost love. She would give anything to be able to go back in time to change history, or at least see Jeff just one more time.

But once on the train, the magic of Christmas and true love take over. Kate finds herself getting off of the train in 1943, one week before Jeff is called to Washington. Going back isn’t as easy as it seems. While she looks like the 19-year-old girl that all of the people in her life knew, inside she’s a more mature and independent young woman, and she knows what the future holds for those around her.

Can two young lovers reach across time to be together again? Is the magic of Christmas strong enough to change history?

Christmas Once Again is the perfect mix of romance and Christmas past, and a great start to the current holiday season. If you’re looking for that Norman Rockwell Christmas with a little bit of Miracle on 34th Street. Look no further. You’ll find it here!

And to watch the book trailer:


Available Today: Christmas Once Again

CHRISTMAS ONCE AGAIN
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OCC RWA Proudly Presents Our March Online Class

February 26, 2014 by in category Archives tagged as , , , ,


March 10 – April 6, 2014
WRITING HOLIDAY-THEMED ROMANCE STORIES YEAR ROUND
with Beth Daniels

About the Class:
They show up on the bookseller’s lists, at the book section at the grocery store, the pharmacy, the BOOK store, and are featured in cases at the library and on end caps at various and sundry places. They even blanket the bestseller lists at those special times of year.
What are they? Well, the holiday themed novels, novellas, and short story collections, of course!
Holiday stories not only send regular readers staggering to the check out stand with armloads of titles, they snag the not so regular readers, the folks stuck looking for a Secret Santa gift, or a stocking stuffer or a “thinking of you at the holidays” token for the babysitter, the hairdresser, the…well, fill in your own blank!
December isn’t the only month that has a holiday though! There are holidays every month of some sort, and they are worth gold when it comes to themes for stories.
During the four weeks of this workshop will deal with: all those THINGS that relate to the special event at the heart of your story.
Because it is the most “profitable” of the holiday season, we’ll spend two weeks on the Winter solstice timed tales then move on through the calendar year seeing what other holidays could supply a tasty tale or two.
We’ll also talk about what might be the best time of year for a holiday themed manuscript to land on an editor’s desk.
No ideas needed beforehand as we’ll dream them up during the workshop – perhaps even more than one!
About the Instructor:
When wearing her Beth Henderson hat, Beth Daniels has had a number of storylines that worked in the holiday extravaganzas of December: RING IN THE NEW (originally published as NEW YEAR’S EVE) and SEDUCING SANTA both reveled in the season while MR ANGEL finished off under a gaily decorated tree. While she hasn’t considered Halloween personally, she is laying claim to guys in bunny suits for a Spring story, so hands off Pete Rabbit!
Enrollment & Payment Information
For more information on how to enroll and play please click here

If you are interested in more online classes, the 2014 class schedule is here.
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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.
 
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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


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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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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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