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Author Jina Bacarr–Romance Makes the World Go Around!!

November 17, 2022 by in category Writing tagged as ,

I started out working as a reporter writing articles for a travel magazine based in Beverly Hills and then as a columnist for a computer magazine where I wrote about technology ‘Sweet Savage Byte’, as well as writing for academia, radio commercials and PR copy for a local AM/FM station. I’ve also had three plays produced in Malibu and I worked for a time writing scripts for children’s and daytime TV before publishing nonfiction books about Japan, and then later fiction.

Jann: You have an amazing writing career. How did it get started?

Jina: I’ve always written, having grown up with my Irish grandma who inspired me to write – a fine woman who was never without a story on her lips or a rosary in her hands… blue or white or green beads fastened together by her nimble fingers into a holy circle. I’d sit at her feet, holding my crayons in my left hand and coloring in my ballerina book or playing with my paper dolls, all the while making up stories of my own.

My first writing job was an article about the uniqueness of European bathrooms called ‘A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Loo’. After college, I was torn between working part time as an illustrator for Frederick’s of Hollywood or working as a reporter for a travel magazine. I needed to pay the rent, so I wrote articles under different names and never looked back.

Jann: Why romance, time travel and World War 2?

Jina: Romance makes the world go round no matter what century you’re in… time travel because I spent a lot of my childhood in museums. The voices of the past speak to me through stiff ivory-colored crinolines and worn satin slippers. I’ve always wondered what it was like to walk in those slippers when they were new. World War 2 because I love the clothes, the sophistication, the Victory Red lipstick… the drama and power of the women who helped win the war. They were feminine and daring and strong… and fell in love with brave pilots. Who doesn’t love a guy in a sheepskin leather jacket and aviator sunglasses?

Jann: Historical romance readers look for accuracy from the author. What are your favorite sources for research and how much time did you spend on research. Do you research before, while you write a first draft or after?

Jina: Re: doing research, I love the joy of finding old books or films produced during the time I’m writing about; e.g., there is an enormous amount of material from the 1930s and 1940s, both first person accounts published during the war as well as films. Newsreels, but also home movies shot by participants on both sides. I have a wonderful ‘coffee table’ book that’s filled with scenes of Paris during the Occupation, as well as detailed timelines both in print and on the Internet that help me in setting up scenes so I can drop my characters into the historical moment, then turn them loose and see what they do. They always surprise me!

I research during all phases of the writing process… from creating the characters to researching the weather on a certain day to the phases of the moon (I have RAF landings in France that depend on moonlight). I never hesitate to check a date or place at any time, right through the proofreading.

Jann: Your new historical, The Orphans of Berlin, is described as Heartbreaking and based on a true story. How did you find the story this book is based on?

Jina: It’s based on the Kindertransport, the children’s transport. It’s well documented in films and books… I was fascinated by a documentary featuring an American couple who orchestrated a Kindertransport at a time when the US limited immigration, making it impossible for German Jews escaping death at the hands of the Nazis to come to America. I discovered that Jewish children from Germany and Austria and other European countries were sent to England and also to France by their desperate parents. Since I write about Occupied France, the story took off from here.

I also write about a personal journey in The Orphans of Berlin related to my American heroine (all is revealed in the acknowledgements).

Jann: What major conflicts do your leading characters in The Orphans of Berlin, Kate Alexander and the Landau sisters, have to work through?

Jina: Kay Alexander is a debutante albeit a reluctant one. It’s a life chosen for her by her society mother, but Kay is determined to be her own person in spite of her mother’s domineering ways. Kay has to work through the delicate balance of finding her independence, yet never giving up hope her mother will see her as an individual. She loves her mom and is proud of her heritage, and wants to use her fortune to help others.

Rachel is twelve when we meet her, a time in the Jewish religion when a girl becomes an adult. We follow Rachel through the trials and tribulations every girl faces growing up: her maturing body, feelings for boys, seeking independence from her parents whom she adores, and yearning to be her own person. What makes all this so difficult is that Rachel faces the trials of impending womanhood in a time when the Nazis set about destroying her world of tradition and ancient culture… and also taking on the duty to keep her younger sisters safe in a dangerous time.

Jann: I understand there is a handsome British pilot. What can you tell us about this character? 

Jina: Max Hamilton-Jones is a daring pilot from a tough, English upbringing in Blackpool in Northern England. He grew up around airplanes and joined an air circus when he was a teenager. He has a fierce sense of protecting the innocent and uses his flying skills to fight in Spain before WW2… he’s an avant-garde artist who captures human foibles with his amazing sketches featuring slices of life. He loves beautiful woman and sees into the soul of his models with his pen… he’s sexy, witty, and protective of Kay and Rachel and her two sisters. I love that.

Jann: Are you working on something now that you can share with us?

Jina: I’m writing my fourth book about the Holocaust in Occupied France… this time I’m tackling the subject of rape during the war: how many cases were never reported and the stories of these Frenchwomen lay buried in the shadows.

I want to shine a light on one such story…

Jann: You’re a multi-published author, is there a character in one of your books whose personality most matches yours? If so, which book and character and why?

 

Jina: Aye, it’s Ava O’Reilly, my Irish heroine from Queenstown in The Runaway Girl, my story about the Titanic. Ava pokes her nose where she shouldn’t, is outspoken with her opinions, and is filled with colorful, witty phrases. Of course, Ava speaks her mind; me, I write it down in stories, but there’s a lot of Ava in me.

 

 

Jann: Where can we get your books? 

 

Jina: Readers can find my books published by Boldwood Books at Amazon US, UK, CA, AU, and international Amazon sites, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple, and in the UK, in brick and mortar stores, The Works and Waterstones.

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/jina.bacarr/

Twitter https://twitter.com/JinaBacarr

Blog https://jinabacarr.wordpress.com/

TikTok https://www.tiktok.com/@jinabacarrauthor

The Orphans of Berlin

US https://amzn.to/3TMKZlf

UK https://amzn.to/3Qjp5mB

Jann: What’s your all-time favorite book? 

Jina: Time and Again by Jack Finney

I love exploring the science behind traveling through time, the whys and what ifs. Mr Finney made me believe in time travel. I love his wit, his passion for the lady he loves in his time travel novel, his historical accuracy and gripping detail that put you there.

A true gentleman and a scholar for any time.

[I wrote two novels about time travel: Her Lost Love – WW2 on the home front where a lonely woman goes home on a magic Christmas train to save her fiancé who died in the war; and Love Me Forever – a female re-enactor goes back to the Civil War dressed as a soldier and meets her double, a Confederate spy.]

Jina, its been great to have a peak into your writing world. You write amazing stories. Good luck on The Orphans of Berlin. Have a wonderful holiday season.

 

Some of Jina’s Books

(Click the cover for more information. Hover over the cover for buy buttons.)

A NAUGHTY CHRISTMAS CAROL

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A NAUGHTY CHRISTMAS CAROL

A SOLDIER’S ITALIAN CHRISTMAS

Buy now!
A SOLDIER’S ITALIAN CHRISTMAS

HER LOST LOVE

Buy now!
HER LOST LOVE

COME FLY WITH ME

Buy now!
COME FLY WITH ME

LOVE ME FOREVER

Buy now!
LOVE ME FOREVER

RESISTANCE GIRL

Buy now!
RESISTANCE GIRL

THE LOST GIRL IN PARIS

Buy now!
THE LOST GIRL IN PARIS

THE ORPHANS OF BERLIN

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THE ORPHANS OF BERLIN

THE RUNAWAY GIRL

Buy now!
THE RUNAWAY GIRL
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Time Travel

October 18, 2020 by in category Apples & Oranges by Marianne H. Donley tagged as , , ,

Time Travel – visiting another time, meeting Di Vinci, Mark Twain, or Archimedes sounds fun, on paper.   Yet, I’m not sure I would be happy doing so in real life, especially those pops to the past–flush toilets, Starbucks, blow-dryers and antibiotics would be hard to give up.  But I enjoy the idea in fiction.

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Time Travel in the Beginning

I started out time traveling young, about nine, by reading Madeleine L’Engle’s A WRINKLE IN TIME. How I loved that book. I probably read it five or six times in a row because I was so taken with Meg, a GIRL, who was good at math, so good that she could help other children with their math homework. The time traveling part was just a side benefit.

Soon after I read PORTRAIT OF JENNIE by Robert Nathan, a haunting very short novel about an artist and a little girl who ages oddly.  THE TIME MACHINE by HG Wells followed and gave me nightmares for a weeks –Morlocks! My reading lists were rounded out by PEBBLE IN THE SKY and END OF ETERNITY both by Isaac Asimov.

My Favorite Time Travel Novel

But my very favorite time travel novel is THE MIRROR by Marlys Millhiser. This novel is the story of Brandy and Shay –grandmother and granddaughter, who both look into an antique mirror on the eve of their weddings and switch places.  I’ve never read any of Marlys Millhisner’s other novels, but they look interesting.

Time Travel on the Screen

Time Travel has been a fun plot device in lots of TV shows I’ve enjoyed over the years, from Sam and Darrin traveling to Salem in BEWITCHED, to the many episodes of STAR TREK, DR. WHO, QUANTUM LEAP and of course Mr. Peabody and Sherman’s WABAC machine.

Movies are included in my time traveling adventures.  I love BACK TO THE FUTURE.  I’m laughing just typing the title for BILL AND TED’S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE.  A writing bubby and I dragged a gaggle of our kids and several of their friends to see this movie.  We sat several rows behind the kids laughing our heads off, while the kids, ranging in age of seven to thirteen, sat there looking blankly from the screen to their clearly nutty mothers.  I also enjoyed THE PHILADELPHIA EXPERIMENT.  

My Favorite Time Travel Movie

The time travel movie I’ve enjoyed the most is the made for TV movie, THE GIRL, THE GOLD WATCH & EVERYTHING.

In searching for an image for THE GIRL, THE GOLD WATCH & EVERYTHING, I found out the movie was first a novel by John D. MacDonald.  The same John D. MacDonald who wrote the Travis McGee hard boiled private detective novels.  I was stunned, and now I really want a copy of the novel to read. The reissue copy of this novel includes an introduction by Dean Koontz.

Last but Not Least

I found other gems while looking on the Internet for time traveling tidbits.  Andy’s Anachronisms  is a website completely devoted to time travel in popular media.  I also found Time Travel Institute a website that discusses possible theories behind time travel.

But, I saved the best gem for last.  Susan Squires, who is an excellent writer and really nice person, has a series of time travel romance novels involving a time machine built by Da Vinci.

Do you have a favorite time travel novel, short story, TV show, or movie?

Would you like to travel in time?  

Where would you go?

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On the Home Front and Overseas during World War 2 for this Veterans Day by Jina Bacarr

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

Happy Veterans Day!

I can’t wait to see the new PBS series ‘The World on Fire‘ about different people’s lives during World War 2 — the series begins in 1939 and ends in 1940. We can never forget those times. Especially at the beginning of the Holiday Season. So on this Veterans Day, I want to highlight what December 1943 was like for two veterans. Whether they were on the home front getting ready to report for dangerous duty overseas and saying goodbye to their girl at the train station… Or caught up in a fierce winter storm in Italy fighting to advance the Allies to Rome… ————- Posey Creek, Pennsylvania December 1943 In CHRISTMAS ONCE AGAIN we meet Kate Arden saying goodbye to her fiancé at the train station…he’s off to join the Army Air Force. Months later, he’s killed in action…or was he? Years later she has the chance to travel back in time and warn him about a mission gone wrong… ‘All she wants for Christmas is to save the man she loves…’ Amazon Buy Links (also available at e-tailers everywhere!) US https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07V1QT9Z6 UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07V1QT9Z6 ————- Italy December 1943 Two days before Christmas, Captain Mack O’Casey gets separated from his unit during battle. He makes a wrong turn and finds himself in a small bombed-out village called Monte D’Oro Rose. It appears to be deserted. It isn’t. A beautiful young woman is watching his every move… Who is she? Excerpt from Chapter 1 ‘A Soldier’s Italian Christmas’ 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. ————- Amazon Buy Link: A Soldier’s Italian Christmas http://amzn.to/1bcVMwG Holiday Novella for 99 cents! ————- Bonus: Audio Book Sample CHRISTMAS ONCE AGAIN narrated by Laurel Lefkow Amazon Audio Book Buy Link: US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07YL6KG3W  UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07YL4Z593
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Featuring Jina Bacarr

October 28, 2019 by in category Featured Author of the Month, Jina’s Book Chat tagged as , , ,

October featured author is Jina Bacarr.

Jina Bacarr | A Slice of Orange

I discovered early on that I inherited the gift of the gab from my large Irish family when I penned a story about a princess who ran away to Paris with her pet turtle Lulu. I was twelve. I grew up listening to their wild, outlandish tales and it was those early years of storytelling that led to my love of history and traveling.

I enjoy writing to classical music with a hot cup of java by my side. I adore dark chocolate truffles, vintage anything, the smell of bread baking and rainy days in museums. I’ve always loved walking through history—from Pompeii to Verdun to Old Paris.

The voices of the past speak to me through carriages with cracked leather seats, stiff ivory-colored crinolines, and worn satin slippers. I’ve always wondered what it was like to walk in those slippers when they were new.

Sign up for Jina’s Newsletter.


Everyone here at A Slice of Orange is excited about Jina’s newest novel. Christmas Once Again was published October 10th. You can use the links below to order the book. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

About Christmas Once Again

On a cold December day in 1955, Kate Arden got on a train to go home for Christmas.

This is the story of what happened when she got off that train. In 1943.

In 1943 Kate Arden was engaged to the man she loved, Jeffrey Rushbrooke. She was devastated and heartbroken when he was called up for wartime duty and later killed on a secret mission in France.

But what if Kate could change that? What if she could warn him and save his life before Christmas?
Or will fate have a bigger surprise in store for her?

Christmas Once Again is a sweeping, heartbreakingly romantic novel—it’s one woman’s chance to follow a different path and mend her broken heart…

Happy Almost Hallowee! Here is a picture of my heroine, Kate Arden, her sister Lucy and her best friend Helen on Halloween 1943…less than 2 months before Kate’s world crashed and she lost the man she loved in World War 2…

Kate is standing, her sister Lucy on the left and her best friend Helen on the right


Enjoy this audio book sample of Kate and her sister Lucy narrated by the fab Laurel Lefkow.
 
 

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Other Books by Jina

A NAUGHTY CHRISTMAS CAROL

Buy now!
A NAUGHTY CHRISTMAS CAROL

A SOLDIER’S ITALIAN CHRISTMAS

Buy now!
A SOLDIER’S ITALIAN CHRISTMAS

HER LOST LOVE

Buy now!
HER LOST LOVE

COME FLY WITH ME

Buy now!
COME FLY WITH ME

LOVE ME FOREVER

Buy now!
LOVE ME FOREVER

RESISTANCE GIRL

Buy now!
RESISTANCE GIRL

THE LOST GIRL IN PARIS

Buy now!
THE LOST GIRL IN PARIS

THE ORPHANS OF BERLIN

Buy now!
THE ORPHANS OF BERLIN

THE RUNAWAY GIRL

Buy now!
THE RUNAWAY GIRL
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Veronica Jorge Reviews Christmas Once Again by Jina Bacarr

October 22, 2019 by in category Book Reviews by Veronica Jorge, Write From the Heart by Veronica Jorge tagged as , , , , ,

Christmas Once Again  by Jina Bacarr

Boldwood Books  2019   ASIN: B07V1QT9Z6

Once in a while you come across a book that makes you believe that impossible and wonderful things can happen, and that restores your hope in the power of love. A book like Christmas Once Again, by Jina Bacarr.

Childhood sweethearts Kate Arden and Jeffrey Rushbrooke pledge to love each other for always and to marry when they grow up.  But Jeff’s family is rich and Kate is a mere employee at the family’s mill in Posey Creek.  What’s more, Jeff’s mother will never allow Kate to marry into her family and Kate’s not sure how far the woman will go to prevent their union.

Kate and Jeff decide to elope during the magical Christmas season, but it’s 1943 and a new challenge presents itself, World War II.  Jeff gets called up for duty so the couple vows to wed upon his return.

Fast-forward to 1955.  Kate is a single woman and working as a food editor in New York City. She never saw Jeff again and she hasn’t gone back to Posey Creek in years.  Now, it’s Christmas time again and her sister Lucy begs her to come home. Kate gives in deciding that it’s time she let go of the past, and Jeff.

On the train ride back to Posey Creek, Kate reads a special delivery letter she had stuffed in her bag.  The writer reveals information about Jeff’s wartime activities and the name of the spy who betrayed him.  The discovery sets Kate’s heart racing. She would give anything to go back in time to warn Jeff about the traitor and give him a fighting chance to survive.

Whether it was some kind of magic in the letter, the wonder of Christmas, or the power of her love for Jeff, somehow when the Kate’s train arrives in Posey Creek it’s 1943 all over again.  Kate is determined to risk it all to save the man she loves.  But what happens when you know the future and tamper with the past?

Christmas Once Again unfolds during the holiday season, but the story is about so much more.  It’s about family and hope. Above all, it’s about the power that makes all things possible when you love with all your heart.

Veronica Jorge

See you next time on November 22nd.

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