I can’t find my blue parasol.
White lace ruffle, long white handle.
I’ve looked high and low, in closets, in the garage behind old lawn tools, everywhere.
Oh, fiddle de dee, as Scarlett would say. This charming piece of Southern femininity is an important symbol to me as I work on my Civil War romance time travel, “The Bride Wore Gray.” It’s a prop I’ve had for years when I worked in the theatre. A symbol of the attitudes and mores of ladies in a time gone by.
Can you imagine maneuvering your parasol over your shoulder while trying to text on your smart phone?
Not a pretty sight.
But don’t the dismiss the uses of a parasol too easily. These ladies knew what they were doing. A parasol can be used for:
Protecting your skin from the sun.
Whacking a gent over the head if he makes an unwelcome advance.
A quick cover in a rain emergency.
And certainly, a parasol is at its best if you’re Mary Poppins.
No, that was an umbrella, but you get the idea. But I believe a parasol has the same magic as Mary Poppins’ brolly when you pop it open and sling it over your shoulder in a sexy manner. It gives that provocative Southern charm to any woman. And makes flirting more fun.
That’s why I need my blue parasol. When I’m writing the character of Pauletta Sue Buckingham, the Southern spy in “The Bride Wore Gray,” it evokes that era and the slow, easy living of the time, as well as the seductive nature of her character.
Last time, I posted the beginning of the Prologue for “The Bride Wore Gray” with Pauletta Sue trying to out ride the Yankees hot on her tail. She remembers her first night with her beloved, Captain Colton Trent:
Here is the next installment of “The Bride Wore Gray:”
I’ll keep looking for my blue parasol.
After all, in Scarlett’s words, tomorrow is another day.
Morning sunlight, wiggling through the petit-point pattern on the lacy curtain, hovers over my shoulder to see what Iâ€™m writing. A red-breasted robin fluttering about on the window sill holds its breath, pen scratchings fill my ears.
I am beside myself with excitement, spilling blue ink on my gown and smudging the fine rice paper upon which I write with dirty fingerprints, but I know you shall forgive me for word has reached me that my memoir, The Blonde Samurai, has found its way to faraway shores.
A place whereâ€“
The romance of carnival and exquisite masks enchants the eye.
The sacred mount of the holy saints restores oneâ€™s faith.
The musical language of the arts and literature delights the ear and enriches the soul.
I must recount to you how pleased I am that the story of this Irish-American lass and her samurai has made its way to such a grand place.
Here then is the visual and audio presentation in Italian of the publisherâ€™s synopsis of â€œBionda Samuraiâ€ (available May 13th). Grazie!
Postscript: I have also included the English translation for you:
â€œShe is determined to recount her adventures in every detail, from the electrifying moments to the salacious, her life ruled by her insatiable appetite for all things sensual. Her story takes us from London to Japan, where the journey takes you through a maze of raw and vivid eroticism.
â€œTantalizing and provocative scenes of sensuality await you in Japan. This is the return of class because Jina Bacarr (author of â€œThe Blonde Geishaâ€ and â€œCleopatraâ€™s Perfumeâ€œ) puts forward with her usual skill a story that is unique and has earned her millions of readers around the world, her themes more endearing and bold with provocative situations raw and sexy but always romantic.”
Iâ€™m very honored to be a Fresh Pick. According to the email I receivedâ€“â€œThe Fresh Pick is chosen by a group of readersâ€¦â€
Writing is a solitary profession, but I can tell you that as a writer, my characters make me laugh, angry at times (when they donâ€™t do what you tell them) and cry.
I remember feeling the anguish of my heroine, Katie, when she feared she would never have a child.
“Yet I was aware that by keeping separate quarters from my husband, I had doomed myself to a life left unfulfilled. The reality of what they meant raked across my heart, grabbing me, my faith shaken, my mood saddened. Would I ever know the joy, the soft smells, the magic of motherhood? A dull ache settled in my empty womb, disheartened as I was by the thought of a life of barrenness.”
Or how much she missed her Irish-American family when she first arrived in Japan.
“A maudlin homesickness seeped through the layers of my silken kimono and made me yearn for the times when I was a girl back home in our white frame house surrounded by woods, Da and Mother and my little sister, Elva, gathered around the wood fire on cold nights, eating cream cakes and listening to my father tell tall stories about what it was like back in Ireland when he was a young man during the potato famine some thirty years ago.”
“Too stubborn to ask for help, my Irish pride and my bustle got the better of me when I sat down and slid off the cushion and onto the matting, my legs flying up into the air, my layers of petticoats and skirts covering my face. I was a sight to behold sprawled out on the floor, laughing, with poor Mr. Fawkes trying to pull me up without grabbing the wrong part of my anatomy.”
And how amazed she was to discover that the Empress of Japan was a charming young woman who shared her interest in fashion.
“…the Empress was openly curious about the rows and rows of lace trimming my flounces and petticoats. I was delighted when she suggested sponsoring a school to make the beautiful fabric. I knew she longed to have a red satin petticoat and white velvet gown set with off-the-shoulder cap sleeves and dotted with pearls like the one I’d brought with me from Paris.”
Then there was Shintaro.
â€œYet the first man I took to my bed after my wedding night was not my husbandâ€”or yoursâ€”but one of the most mysterious, elusive and enigmatic men in all Japan. A samurai.â€œHis name was Shintaro.â€
Iâ€™m thrilled that the readers at FreshFiction.com also enjoyed the adventures of Lady Carlton nÃ©e Katie Oâ€™Roarke. Thank you!!
The Blonde Samuraiâ€œShe embraced the way of the warrior. Two swords. Two loves.â€
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