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The Case of the Missing Blue Parasol by Jina Bacarr

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

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:

Flirting.

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:”

A lone bird creased the early morning sky with its silent wings, soaring upward and out of sight. She [Pauletta Sue] watched it disappear into the heavens. Like a soul in flight.

His soul.

A humid breeze kissed the back of her neck as she breathed in the dawn so deeply her lungs hurt. Tears welled in her eyes. Was it only a fortnight ago she had trembled at his touch?

Holding her so close to him, the heat of their bodies stripped away the heavy cottons, whalebone and silk ribbons of her garments separating them, the hardness of his chest crushing her soft breasts.

Two weeks? Or a lifetime?

“I cannot send you on your mission without telling you how much I love you, my darling,” she’d whispered in his ear, leading his hand to her breast. Daring, unladylike, but Pauletta Sue was beyond acting like a lady.

Brazen as a cheeky farmer’s daughter, she’d slipped past the sentries down to the river, where the Confederate troops were camped, defying all authority to meet him. They’d planned to be married next spring when the roses bloomed again and the fields were thick with plump cotton. The war would be over by then, everyone said, but Pauletta Sue couldn’t wait. They were married in a secret ceremony by the magistrate, the paper not yet filed. They’d had no time for a wedding night.

Then she started thinking. What if something happened to her beloved? No, Pauletta Sue swore. She couldn’t bear to live. Something told her to come to him now.

Her hair blowing free as a restless wind, she didn’t care what anyone thought.

Only him.

“You crazy female,” he‘d said. “You’re as soft as a magnolia petal, Pauletta Sue, but as strong as an oak tree planted in Southern soil. Let me see your beautiful face.”

She lifted her wide‑brimmed straw bonnet with a big, black sash tied under her chin and smiled. She was proud of her small waist set off by a black cummerbund, her full skirts floating up around her in a sheer, filmy flower‑dotted pattern, her breasts outlined by her tight bodice. She winced as he squeezed her soft, womanly flesh, then swallowed hard when she heard him moan.

“Colton, I had to see you…touch you…love you.” She bit down on her lower lip, trying to make him understand what she wanted from him, needed, if she was going to get through this war.

“You must go, my love,” he said, the blazing look in his eyes telling her that he understood. “Before I do something to harm your reputation.”

“You do me more harm, sir, by leaving me unfulfilled,” she whispered, this time with an urgency he couldn’t deny. “We are married, in case it slipped your mind.”

He grinned. “I must have been a fool not to take you to my bed that night.”

“How could you when you were ordered back to your regiment before you even kissed your bride?”

“My bride…I want to love you as you should be loved, but not here in a dirt field with the smell of death still settling upon the ground.”

“It’s hallowed ground, my love,” she whispered. “We have but a few hours to live a lifetime.”

“Even a lifetime wouldn’t be long enough to love you, my darling.” He pulled up her skirt. The rounded hoops underneath bounced up around her, the fine French lace of her underskirts flitting through his eager fingers like frightened butterflies.

She felt no embarrassment. No silly school girl blush tinted her cheeks as she watched him pull his dirty muslin shirt up over his head, the broadness of his shoulders ripping apart the hastily-sewn seams.
She had given herself to no other.

Why must she wait for the war to be over to be with the man she loved? 
————-

I’ll keep looking for my blue parasol.

After all, in Scarlett’s words, tomorrow is another day.

Best,
Jina

Jina’s website


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A Naughty Victorian Lady travels to Italy as “Bionda Samurai” by Jina Bacarr

May 11, 2010 by in category Archives tagged as , , , , , , , , ,

by Lady Carlton née Katie O’Roarke, heroine of “The Blonde Samurai”

I take up my pen today not to write my romance, but to impart to you news, important news that has reached me in my place of solitude where I deign to call myself a novelist.

Morning sunlight, wiggling through the petit-point pattern on the lacy curtain, hovers over my shoulder to see what I’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.

To Italy.

A place where–

The romance of carnival and exquisite masks enchants the eye.

The sacred mount of the holy saints restores one’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 publisher’s synopsis of “Bionda Samurai” (available May 13th). Grazie!


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Postscript: I have also included the English translation for you:

“During the latter part of the nineteenth century, a beautiful and fascinating American woman named Katie is about to release her memoir with more than a hint to scandal, a scandal that will unleash an uproar in Society.

“She 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.

“Tantalizing and provocative scenes of sensuality await you in Japan. This is the return of class because Jina Bacarr (author of “The Blonde Geisha” and “Cleopatra’s Perfume“) 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.”

The Blonde Samurai

“She embraced the way of the warrior. Two swords. Two loves.”

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The Blonde Samurai is a “Fresh Pick” at FreshFiction.com by Jina Bacarr

March 11, 2010 by in category Archives tagged as , , , , , , , ,

My Harlequin Spice, The BLONDE SAMURAI, was recently chosen as the Fresh Pick for Friday, February 19th at FreshFiction.com
The Blonde Samurai appeared on every page of the FreshFiction.com website for that day and also in the Fresh Pick Newsletter. I can’t tell you how much fun I had clicking on the Fresh Ficiton website and seeing The Blonde Samurai pop up in the corner on every page!

I’m very honored to be a Fresh Pick. According to the email I received–“The Fresh Pick is chosen by a group of readers…”

Writing is a solitary profession, but I can tell you that as a writer, my characters make me laugh, angry at times (when they don’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.”

How the inimitable Mr. Fawkes (an Englishman who was her go-between) made her laugh.

“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.

“Yet the first man I took to my bed after my wedding night was not my husband—or yours—but one of the most mysterious, elusive and enigmatic men in all Japan. A samurai.“His name was Shintaro.”

I’m thrilled that the readers at FreshFiction.com also enjoyed the adventures of Lady Carlton née Katie O’Roarke. Thank you!!

The Blonde Samurai“She embraced the way of the warrior. Two swords. Two loves.”

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