Tag: World War II

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When a writer’s best-kept secrets inspire a novel… and that writer is me by Jina Bacarr

September 11, 2023 by in category Jina’s Book Chat, Writing tagged as , , , ,

Writers have secrets.

Even when we don’t want them to, those secrets sneak into our stories. Subtle at first, a moment in your heroine’s life that mirrors something awful you lived through. You shiver. How’d that get in there? Oh-oh, it’s flashback time. I’m not going there again… am I?

You dismiss it at first, then you fixate on those moments. They fester, begging for attention. Like the scar covering an old wound, it’s always there to remind you. 

That’s what happened to me when I was working on Sisters at War.

My two worlds collided head-on—my writing world with my past.

When I look back on my life, it’s been a wild ride. I traveled a lot, lived in different places, had crazy jobs, but I kept going and never spoke about what happened to me because you just didn’t.

I was sexually assaulted.

And I was ashamed.

When I saw the same thing happening to women in the Ukraine (rape by Russian soldiers), it hit me in the gut. I asked myself, why don’t things ever change? Why must women always be victims? Would they, if women spoke up? Told their stories? Should I tell my stories?

No, I said. People will judge me. Let it be. It’s over. Done.

Me back in the day…

Then when I was researching WW2, I came across the horrible sexual violence the Nazis did to women prisoners (I decided to concentrate on the emotional wounds instead). Then I discovered something that infuriated me. At the Nuremberg Trials, they kept out rape victims’ testimony because, and I quote, they didn’t ‘want a bunch of crying women in the courtroom’.

I was livid.

That’s when it became clear to me I had to write Sisters at War no holds barred. And I did. It’s raw in places, gut-wrenching, emotional, but in the end it’s a story about love, courage, and redemption.

I told the story of women assaulted during WW2 through the eyes of two sisters. Meet the Beaufort Sisters in Occupied Paris. Eve and Justine. They were once painted by a famous artist when they were fourteen and sixteen. The painting became known as ‘The Daisy Sisters’; then in August 1940, the SS stormed their home and stole the painting.

And one of the sisters.

The story continues with how each sister copes with the aftermath of sexual violence, how it affects her part in the war, and the men in their lives who stand by them.

The early reviews have been amazing:

‘A must read for anyone’

‘Hard hitting and heart breaking’

‘An absolutely gripping, powerful story’

Then a question popped up from more than one reviewer: Will there be a sequel? Yes!

I’m writing book 2 now about the Beaufort Sisters and continuing their story through the war and afterward. I admit, I’m petrified writing the sequel, praying I can make it as exciting and inspiring as ‘Sisters at War’.

Well, there you have it. My secrets are out in the open. I recounted what happened to me in the Acknowledgements of Sisters of War so readers will know the words of my heroine, her emotions, guilt, shame, and choices come from a real place. Along with the healing that still goes on. My editor said my acknowledgements were the bravest she’d ever read. Brave? I don’t know. Emotional, truthful. A cleansing. It was time.

 I hope readers give my story a chance. I hope you give my story a chance.

Thank you for listening.



Who are the Beaufort Sisters?

They’re beautiful

They’re smart

They’re dangerous

They’re at war with the Nazis… and each other.


US https://a.co/d/eZ25gZb 

UK https://amzn.eu/d/0LEWy2z

NetGalley: http://netgal.ly/gSCTrL


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UPROOTED by Albert Marrin—A Review by Veronica Jorge

January 22, 2023 by in category Book Reviews by Veronica Jorge, Write From the Heart by Veronica Jorge tagged as , , , , , ,

Uprooted: The Japanese American Experience During World War II   

Albert Marrin

Alfred A. Knopf


ISBN: 9780553509366

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We all come from someplace. For varying reasons an ancestor set America as a goal post, made it their home, and so here we are; one, two, or many generations later.

The migration and uprooting of peoples are nothing new as any student of history or intelligent observer knows. But the current migratory events beg us to question. As a nation of immigrants, by and for immigrants, when will we get it right?

In Uprooted: The Japanese American Experience During World War II, Albert Marrin skillfully balances facts, first-hand narratives, news clips, photos and illustrations to present a comprehensive and insightful account of the uprooting and internment of Americans of Japanese descent after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

Albert Marrin’s writing is clear and concise as he explores the foundations, historical events and racial attitudes of both America and Japan that culminated in war between the two nations.

In addition, he details the role that the news media played in stirring panic that encouraged animosity toward the Japanese-Americans.

The author also references similar experiences of other groups throughout our history. For example; the forced removal of Native Americans, the Chinese Exclusion Laws of the 1880s, and the racism against African-Americans that led to the Civil Rights Movement.

Lovers of history, in addition, will recall the English Only Movements that have surfaced at various times in the United States in order to protect and secure the country from foreigners, and the expulsion of Mexican-Americans in 1929-1936, who were blamed for taking American jobs.

Uprooted: The Japanese American Experience During World War II challenges readers to grapple with thought provoking questions. How do we ensure the safety and liberty of each individual? Should race and religion exist as factors when determining a nation’s security? Should the media be held to a higher standard of accountability in its news coverage?

These questions are all the more relevant today as the world becomes an increasingly migratory multi-cultural environment and continues its war against terrorism, human trafficking, drugs, pandemics, and the like.

Albert Marrin reminds us of the importance of studying history. It not only informs us about the past. It helps us decide about the future. We can learn from our collective knowledge and experience.

Veronica Jorge  

See you next time on February 22nd!

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The Resistance Girl Red Roses, Fires… and Kelly and me by Jina Bacarr

November 11, 2020 by in category Jina’s Book Chat, Writing tagged as ,

Me dressed as my heroine, Sylvie Martone, for a holiday party

The day before publication day for The Resistance Girl, I jolted awoke at 7:30 a.m. to the acute smell of smoke.

Burning in my eyes, throat. My chest heavy.

Tree branches scrapping against my windowpane and strong winds blowing and howling like a wild banshee had escaped from the netherworld. I swear the creature was hell-bent on dragging the hot flames closer and closer on the hem of her petticoats.

A cold fear rattled my bones. A sense of ‘This can’t be happening‘ turned my blood to ice.

I had gone to bed two hours earlier since I was up all night tweeting and posting on social media about my Paris WW 2 historical, The Resistance Girl, set during the Occupation and scheduled to pub the next day. I was exhausted but…

The acrid smell was so powerful, it dragged me out of a deep sleep.

I ran to my window on the second floor overlooking the front lawn, my heart in my throat. What I saw shook me to the bone.

A bright, rusty-orange sky… 

Fire… but where?

I soon discovered the fire was less than six miles away… zero percent contained with capricious winds powered by a powerful Santa Ana with flames popping up in random places. Who knew where the burning embers would land… then ignite?

A nightmare in the making.

I turned on the air purifier, closed all the windows, and flipped on the local TV news.

And drank a ton of hot mocha coffee.

Then boom! Just when I was starting to get a grip on the situation, the powerful winds blew down my backyard fence in a big huff and puff worthy of Mr Wolf himself. What next?

I kept telling myself my heroine Sylvie Martone, French cinema star, had survived horrific events during the war… grilling by the Gestapo, dangerous treks across France to save downed pilots, attacked by SS. Whatever happened, I could handle it.

Fueled by her courage, I kept working on promoting my book while tossing important stuff into a go-to bag just in case I had to leave (note to self: keep that bag up-to-date). The next two days were a mad blur of Emergency Alerts on my phone, texts, phone calls, stand-by evacuation orders… and checking on family and friends.

Dear friends of mine did have to evacuate, but their home was undamaged, thank God. And my beautiful and vivacious daughter-in-law Kelly got caught on the toll road with smoke rolling across the highway as the fire advanced — I insisted she come and stay with me rather than go back to her place. My son agreed and rushed over to help us. 

Kelly ended up spending a few days with me and I was so grateful for her support… and happy I could help her. It was then I realized how Sylvie felt when she was working for the Resistance and had no one to confide in…. except a young woman who becomes very important in her life when Sylvie saves her from the hands of the Gestapo. 

Which brings me to my Boldwood red roses…

My lovely editor, Nia Beynon, and Team Boldwood sent me a dozen red roses on pub day. The gorgeous scent of roses lifted my mood and filled my soul. 

The moment was made more special because I waited to open the box of flowers until Kelly arrived after work so she could share it with me. We gushed over them like teenagers getting corsages for the prom. Even my usually quiet, surfer-dude son was impressed with the lovely roses — and grateful we were both okay.

Which brings me to an important theme in The Resistance Girl.


My story is a dual timeline with Sylvie’s granddaughter Juliana intent on solving the mystery of her grandmother’s mysterious and notorious past in present day.

While Sylvie risks her life to save those she loves in Paris during World War II — her family. France. And her home.

Over the next few days, the fires were slowly contained and evacuation orders lifted, but I’ll never forget the fear and trepidation they brought, the mad dash to pack, and the instinct to keep my loved ones close and safe. Like my heroine, Sylvie Martone, I believe there’s nothing more important than family.

Because in the end…

There’s no place like home.


My gorgeous Boldwood Red Roses


Two women. One heartbreaking secret.

Paris, 1943.

Sylvie Martone is the star of French cinema, and adored by fans. But as Nazi officers swarm the streets of Paris, she is spotted arm in arm with an SS Officer and her fellow Parisians begin to turn against her.

However Sylvie has a secret – one she must protect with her life.

Paris, 2020.

Juliana Chastain doesn’t know anything about her family history. While her mother was alive she remained very secretive about her past.

So when Juliana discovers a photograph of a glamorous French actress from World War Two amongst her mother’s possessions, she is in shock to find herself looking at her grandmother – especially as she is arm in arm with a Nazi Officer…

Desperate for answers, Juliana is determined to trace the journey of her grandmother. Surely there is more to the photograph than meets the eye?

But as she delves into Sylvie’s past, nothing can prepare Juliana for the tales of secrets, betrayal and sacrifice which she will uncover.


Amazon Buy Links:

US https://amzn.to/32IgAeS

UK https://amzn.to/3bU18Qv

And read the story behind the story about how my love affair with Paris shaped The Resistance Girl. https://www.boldwoodbooks.com/the-resistance-girl-jina-bacarr/

Listen to ‘chapters’ read by my favorite narrator, Laurel Lefkow, and relive the story of cinema star Sylvie Martone out to defeat the Occupiers


Other Books by Jina Bacarr


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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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Sometimes You Can Go Back

October 10, 2019 by in category Charmed Writer by Tari Lynn Jewett tagged as , ,

If you love Christmas and romance, you’ll want to add author, Jina Bacarr’s latest book, Christmas Once Again, to your holiday reading list, it’s available TODAY!!

Jina has taken all that is Christmas, and woven it through this tale of love, heartbreak and breathtaking magic to take us back in time. Kate Arden, an accomplished career woman in the 1950’s has never gotten over the loss of her first love in World War II.

Defying the conventions of the 1940’s, Kate, a beautiful young typist from a warm, caring, blue collar family, and Jeffrey Rushbrooke, heir to the Rushbrooke paper mill that supports the economy in the small town of Posey Creek, fall in love, pledging to be together forever.

On the night that they plan to elope, Jeff is called to Washington on a special mission, and Kate never sees him again

By 1955, Kate is an accomplished single, career woman, living in New York. When her younger sister calls and begs her to come home for Christmas, Kate reluctantly gives in dreading the memories of her lost love. She would give anything to be able to go back in time to change history, or at least see Jeff just one more time.

But once on the train, the magic of Christmas and true love take over. Kate finds herself getting off of the train in 1943, one week before Jeff is called to Washington. Going back isn’t as easy as it seems. While she looks like the 19-year-old girl that all of the people in her life knew, inside she’s a more mature and independent young woman, and she knows what the future holds for those around her.

Can two young lovers reach across time to be together again? Is the magic of Christmas strong enough to change history?

Christmas Once Again is the perfect mix of romance and Christmas past, and a great start to the current holiday season. If you’re looking for that Norman Rockwell Christmas with a little bit of Miracle on 34th Street. Look no further. You’ll find it here!

And to watch the book trailer:

Available Today: Christmas Once Again

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