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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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The Faces of a Romance Writer by Jina Bacarr

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

I write sensual romance. Spine-tingling fiction where the discovery of her bridegroom’s secret life signals a most unusual wedding night for the heroine in my new Spice novel, The Blonde Samurai.

Not exactly what every blushing bride has in mind, but then again, what we sensual romance (especially historical) writers write doesn’t always reflect reality.

You might say we’re Eve White by day and Eve Black at our computers.

Eve who? you ask.

Those are the names of the characters played by Joanne Woodward in the classic black and white film, “The Three Faces of Eve.” It’s based on the true story of a conservative southern housewife in Augusta, Georgia and the psychiatrist who tries to help her integrate her split personalities.

How easy is it for us writers to switch from one personality to another? Does Eve Black whisper in our ear when we’re writing those hot scenes then go back inside us when we head off to soccer practice or do the laundry?

What part of our personality is Eve White?

We all have moments when the story’s not working or we get a rejection or we doubt ourselves. That’s when we have to work hard to put Eve White back in her place and keep going.

Which brings me to the third persona in the film: Jane. She’s the normal one. The personality who keeps us sane, does our editing, helps us with the plotting and cuts “-ly” words when they get in the way of our story.

But let’s go back to Eve Black…There’s a scene in the film with two psychiatrists and Eve where the more experienced doctor thinks she’s faking it until he sees a remarkable transformation as Eve changes from her dark personality to her naïve persona–her voice, body posture, mannerisms, thoughts and objectives.
That’s what we writers do. We become our sexy selves on paper, wearing those black stockings, pink garter belts and full of mischief…

And if you’re wondering who wrote this blog post–Eve White or Eve Black…

I’ll let you guess.

Now it’s your turn. Do you have an Eve Black personality who helps you write those hot scenes?

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

Jina Bacarr is also the author of The Blonde Geisha ,

Cleopatra’s Perfume, Naughty Paris, Tokyo Rendezvous, a Spice Brief,

and Spies, Lies & Naked Thighs

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Blogging in Victorian England by Jina Bacarr

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

Imagine if Queen Victoria twittered (“We are not amused today…”) or Dickens posted a Facebook Profile (Relationship Status: married with ten children, Employer: law clerk turned freelance writer) or Jack the Ripper updated his status on his MySpace page (Mood: agitated. Headed over to Whitechapel).

What if you wanted to blog about Victorian England as your character? What challenges would you face? It was a different lifestyle back then with a different manner of speech, decorum and way of life. A world without Blackberrys and YouTube, yet a very civilized and fascinating world.

And more of a challenge than I realized when I set out to write a blog in the voice of my heroine in my February 2010 Spice novel, “The Blonde Samurai,” the story of an Irish-American heiress who weds a British lord then falls in love with a handsome samurai in 1873 Japan.

I was determined to offer readers an amusing and witty look at the world of Victorian England and Japan in the late nineteenth century. A Naughty Victorian Lady tells all…” launched at the eHarlequin.com website with A Naughty Victorian Lady’s Christmas Stocking.

Everything was going well until–

I wanted to blog about the video I made in the voice of my heroine, Lady Carlton, showcasing “The Blonde Samurai.” Not plausible, since the first celluloid film (a few seconds long) wasn’t shot until the late 1880s, years after my novel takes place.

Fortunately, the idea of “moving pictures” wasn’t as outlandish to Victorians as one might believe. Several patents were applied for during this time, including a British patent for “…moving images optically combined with a reflected ‘background’ ” and another for “Improvement in the Method and Apparatus for Photographing Objects in Motion.”

Interesting, but not the amusing and romantic tone I wanted for my blog.

What was a writer to do? Go with what I know best: romance. I combined Victorian England and Japan in a romantic setting to describe my video about “The Blonde Samurai.”

Here is an excerpt:

Believe that I have fastened together silk paintings and that I shall make them “move” by flipping through them; or that I have painted scenes on the ribs of a folding fan, then I shall open it slowly to make the scenes change from one to the next.

Imagine, if you will.

So I request that you transcend the world of London with its insufferable saffron-colored fog and the bone-chilling weather this time of year that makes you don flannel petticoats to keep the cold from darting up your backside–

And come with me back to the warm Spring of 1873 as I tell you the story of The Blonde Samurai in a most unique and charming manner…

February 2010: meet The Blonde Samurai

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

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