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Naked Sushi and RT Book Reviews by Jina Bacarr

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

“I got goose bumps thinking about the icy cold fish wiggling between my thighs even if they were dead fish,” says Pepper O’Malley in Naked Sushi, my upcoming Harlequin/Cosmo Red Hot Read (Oct 2013),

Naked Sushi is about more than dead fish.

It’s the story of a smart working girl who is trapped by her own fear of rejection. Pepper is a computer whiz, adventurous, and has all the right moves, but she keeps sabotaging her efforts to get the job she really wants.

Does that sound familiar?

All of us fear rejection, which is why we put off finishing that manuscript or sending it in until we do one more polish that is never enough. I know. I’ve been there. I learned that writing may be a solitary job, but publishing is a team effort. No matter how good your manuscript is, it will remain a lonely .doc file on your computer unless you press that Send button.

Like Pepper, I started in the world of video games, playing with the boys, so to speak. No one wanted to hire women, but somehow I got the job. I learned how to write interactive games, which has since helped me in writing novels. Keeping all the balls, that is story points, in the air and tying up all the ends to give the player, and now the reader, a satisfying ending.

It’s not all dark chocolate truffle delights. You will get rejected.

I have. For lots of reasons. But I never stop trying. Never will. It’s in my DNA. That’s why writing Pepper was so important to me. I wanted to show that we have to get to the root of our fears, as Pepper does, and sometimes that means opening up and letting it all hang out. Talking about it with a good friend or the hero in your life helps…so does writing in a journal.

It’s good for your soul.

And your story.

You’d be surprised what you’ll find out about yourself.

——————

Naked Sushi Update: I was so excited to see my Cosmo Red Hot Read from Harlequin mentioned on the RT Book Reviews site:

“With our column, Forewords, we let readers know the latest book news about some of the web team\’s most-anticipated upcoming releases across the genres — just as the projects are announced!”

via Forewords – The Books Before The Buzz | RT Book Reviews.

—————–

This is so cool!! Click on the link above to go to RT Book Reviews, then scroll down to DOWNLOAD AND GO and you’ll see NAKED SUSHI mentioned under Contemporary Romance.

Thank you for the mention, RT!

Jina

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Naked Sushi is a Cosmo Red Hot Read from Harlequin by Jina Bacarr

April 11, 2013 by in category Archives tagged as , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
“Naked Sushi” cover coming soon.
I thought this illo had a “Bond Girl” feel to it.

What girl doesn’t enjoy reading Cosmo? With its sexy articles and fun fashions, the magazine has evolved over the years. But one thing remains constant:

You know when you pick up Cosmo your libido is going to do a tap dance.

My libido is dancing overtime.

I’m thrilled that my novella, NAKED SUSHI, will be a Cosmo Red Hot Read from Harlequin.

I’m still pinching myself that my wise-cracking, computer-hacking, sex-starved heroine, Pepper O’Malley, will be a Cosmo Girl.

Pepper watches all the cop and spy shows on TV–Castle  and Covert Affairs are her favorites–and she’s intrigued by Person of Interest.

And now she’s got her own story to tell:

Amateur spy PEPPER O’MALLEY gets more than she bargained for when she discovers her sleazy boss is hiding corporate secrets.

She gets fired.

Was it her fault she got caught in the copy room with her pants down with a hunky thief?
The only way Pepper can get her job back is to become a naked sushi model and spy on her ex-boss.

She’s thrown into a world of corporate espionage she never imagined…

——— 
Pepper is a lot like me. I wrote a column for Microtimes magazine called “Sweet Savage Byte,” where I looked at the world of technology from a female pov. This didn’t always go over well with male programmers…though I did meet a bunch of great guys at the magazine.

Like Pepper, I also worked for a video game company, wrote code, and worked with audio/video. I also worked for Japanese companies and wrote a book called “The Japanese Art of Sex,” which was featured on Playboy TV.

I was thrilled when Harlequin added “Naked Sushi” to this exciting new series.

Sylvia Day is the launch author for the series with “Afterburn” in August 2013.

“Naked Sushi” is scheduled for October 2013.

More to come in the upcoming weeks!

————-

 
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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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The Bride Wore Gray and Mr. Lincoln by Jina Bacarr

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

I’ll never forget the time I had the chance to see the cabin where Lincoln was born. I was nine years old.

It had a dirt floor. Cool, I thought, his mom can’t yell at him for tracking dirt into the house.

It wasn’t the “real” cabin,of course, but a symbolic reconstruction in Central Kentucky to honor our sixteenth President.

I grew up in different parts of the US…but my favorite time was in Lexington, Kentucky.

We lived in what I called the “Civil War” house. It was a big ole home out in the boonies with a barn and plenty of Kentucky bluegrass. According to the locals, the antebellum house was built before the Civil War.

Over the years, the house had different owners, but it never lost its splendor in my eyes. Sure, it was run-down and the plumbing more often than not didn’t work. God knows, it was cold in the winter, but my dad–a historical buff–rented it for as long as my poor mom could take it. It wasn’t easy for her with no dishwasher or washer and an old, wood burning stove with a husband and two kids to take care of. No neighbors for what seemed like miles.

I loved it.

I’d race around the house with fireplaces taller than I was for hours, pretending I was hosting tea with fancy ladies or meeting that special gentleman in what I called my “secret” room. Wearing my mother’s long dresses, I dreamed of being a true Southern belle (years later I got my own authentic hoop skirt from the costume department when I was doing theater).

So it’s no wonder I followed my heart and wrote my own Civil War novel — “The Bride Wore Gray.” It’s a time travel romance where my modern day heroine, Liberty Jordan, meets up with her ancestor–who looks exactly like her! The only problem is, Pauletta Sue, is a Southern spy…

I’m working on formatting my story, making a cover, etc. so I can self-pub it. Which brings up a question: with the popularity of Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln,” will the Civil War make a come-back in romance novels?
What do you think? 
—-
Here’s a sample from the Prologue from “The Bride Wore Gray:”
On a lonely road in the Tennessee woods
1862
Even before she saw the swath of blue moving through the trees, Pauletta Sue could smell them.
Yankees.
The raw male odor of Federal soldiers made her nauseous, but she pushed her horse harder.
They won’t catch me.

“Faster, Savannah Lady, faster!”

Crack! came the sound of her whip hitting the mare’s flanks. Her scarlet-gloved hand trembled as she repeated her command, louder now. The animal sensed her urgency, snorted, then raced ahead down the dark, country road, its hooves making dull, thudding sounds on the hard dirt as horse and rider went deeper into the woods.

The young woman riding sidesaddle winced. What had come over her? She had never struck the beautiful bay mare before, preferring to ride her with only the tight bit and an easy hand, but she had to get through the Yankee pickets. Nothing must stop her from carrying out her mission.
Nothing.

Her gray silk skirts, frayed at the hem, whipped at her ankles. Her long, hooded cloak made of fine black wool, threadbare in places, billowed behind her like heavy smoke, shielding her face from the demons in blue hidden all around her. Ready to strike her down if she dared to stop.
She couldn’t. Wouldn’t.

The danger of her mission chilled her. She dared not think about what lay ahead of her. She feared dying before she found the revenge she sought, for only then could she release the madness and torment of her broken heart.
The man she loved was dead.
Shot as a Confederate spy.
No, no!

All around her, the sounds of the forest—the squeal of a trapped pig, the hard rumble of wagon wheels somewhere in the distance, a faraway cannon firing, the loud orders of Federal officers up ahead of her—were muffled by the loud beating of her heart in her ears.
I will not allow you to die in vain, my love. I promise. 
————–
Best,
Jina 
Jina Bacarr
www.jinabacarr.com 
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What Does Love Mean? by Kitty Bucholtz

February 9, 2013 by in category Archives tagged as , , ,

Valentine’s Day is coming up and I won’t be with my husband, I’ll be on a writing trip with friends. I’m not too worried about it though. I mostly think of Valentine’s Day as a Hallmark holiday.

That being said, I don’t think you can say “I love you” too much. You never know when it will be the last time, but more than that, expressing to someone that you love them forms and shapes and repairs the foundation of your relationship.

But what does it mean?

This year, the day before Valentine’s Day is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent in the Christian faith. Lent is a time of repentance, turning from the wrongs of the past, and pressing closer to God. It’s a reminder that God loves us so much that he’d be willing to take a bullet to keep us safe.

That’s the kind of love many romance writers weave into their stories every day. It’s most obvious in romantic suspense where one person can literally take a bullet for the other. But it’s in all the other stories where someone says, I’m sorry, I made a mistake, and the other person says, I forgive you because I love you. And then they grow closer than ever.

I love those stories!

Some people theorize that the reason people respond to stories of love and sacrifice and forgiveness and happily ever after is because we are wired that way. Our enjoyment of such stories opens our hearts to the possibility that those tales represent the Truth of why we are here. We are loved, we made mistakes, a sacrifice was made on our behalf so that we wouldn’t be lost forever, forgiveness was offered, and happily ever after is ours for eternity.

That’s a pretty amazing love story. Loved forever. I want that.

Much as I can’t wait for my writing trip, I’m going to miss my husband. I’ll miss waking up beside him every morning, trying to be the first one to say “I love you.” I’ll miss how much he makes me laugh. And as much as I’ll try to deny it, I’ll miss how much he teases me to the point of losing my mind.

Because somewhere in the layers of all of those things, I’ve found a taste of what love is all about – someone who sacrifices to make my life better, who always forgives me, who wants to be with me forever, no matter what.

Love is the answer to why I am here. It’s the answer to why I write about love.

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