Author Interview | In conversation discussing Titanic and setting a #HistRom inside the historical background of its living history as we converse about Jina Bacarr’s newest Historical novel “The Runaway Girl”!

Posted Thursday, 19 March, 2020 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

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Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

At the close of [2019] I had the pleasure of JOY reading a delightful war drama entitled “Christmas Once Again” – this was a time travelling Historical Romance wherein the method of travel was through the component of a ‘train’. I joyfully talked extensively about this during my #SatBookChat whilst I happily also engaged with my readers talking about the finer points of what made this Historical Romance such a beautifully evocative read! Meanwhile – it was a wicked sweet joy to highlight today’s new release “The Runaway Girl” on my #TopTenTuesday List for Most Anticipated Reads for 2020.

When it comes to reading Historical Romances – I happen to *love!* when a writer captures the truer heart and atmosphere ‘behind’ the romance wherein we get to peer into History’s window and seek out the era of the age in which these characters are alive. We get to understand the breadth of their living realities whilst gaining a foothold into how they are living their lives with the shadow of historical events behind them. Whenever a writer can intersect History with a compelling realistic #HistRom, I am definitely the kind of reader who is oft in search of their collective works because I want to consistently reside in their stories!

This is why when I first learnt about “Christmas Once Again” & “The Runaway Girl” – I knew I wanted those to be purchase requests at my local library. Not just for the joy of my own readerly pleasures but to help other patrons in my local community find inspiration out of a story I personally *loved!* absorbing! You see, I didn’t just read “Christmas Once Again” – I felt convinced I had stepped through its theshold and lived those hours as if I had inhabited the characters directly. I love feeling that pull of narrative – where you are so wholly engaged into a story it doesn’t feel fictional but a realistic impression of a life which is still being lived. Literature is powerful that way and whenever you can find Historical voices of the craft pulling us into the windows of where history and human interest stories can intersect is a wicked wonderful way to spend your readerly hours!

Thus, when I first hear a whispering about “The Runaway Girl” – of how this story was anchoured to Titanic and my own literary and science interest in Titanic – as I loved learning the real-life story of how Titanic was discovered on the ocean floor and the journey of its recovery – I knew immediately that I wanted to live inside this new novel! There is something alluring about Titanic – not the tragedy of how everyone died but how hard they fought to survive – how even in the direness of their hours as the sinking was erasing the calm of where they felt they would be embarking on a new life abroad was instead replacing it with a darkness of uncertainity – they still rallied, they fought the ocean and they tried to make peace with their fate.

At least this is what I observed and understood whilst researching Titanic and of having taking the walking exhibit where I had a third class ticket where someone had gone down with the ship. It was a harrowing walk through because of the way they told the story but also how they left you with haunting reminders of the fragilty of our lives and the uncertain balance of how we all are living with uncertain futures. A sombering contemplation on a good year and a intuitive one during a world crisis.

There is so much I love about the premise of “The Runaway Girl” and it is a pleasure of absolute for me to host my final blog tour hosted by the publisher Boldwood Books to go out with a bit of a signal boost on this novel and a wicked engaging conversation with Ms Bacarr – wherein through our conversation you’ll find notations about the story, her process of writing and the allure of Historical Fiction by a writer as bemused about her own stories & characters as the reader behind Jorie Loves A Story!

This marks my third of three featured posts I’ve be sharing on behalf of Boldwood Books this Spring, 2020. I recently interviewed Jessica Redland on behalf of her Whitsborough Bay series as well as having featured Rosie Clarke to begin this series.

Brew yourself a lovely cuppa

and journey back to Titanic with us today as we uncover “The Runaway Girl”!

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The stories I’m keenly intrigued & excited about by Ms Bacarr:

Christmas Once Again by Jina BacarrThe Runaway Girl by Jina Bacarr

Christmas Once Again (see also Review)

The Runaway Girl (listed as one of my Top Anticipated Reads of 2020!)

Published by: Boldwood Books (@BoldwoodBooks)

Available Formats: Trade Paperback, Audiobook and Ebook

Converse via: #HistoricalRomance or #HistRom
as well as #Titanic and #JinaBacarr

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Jorie

Each of us has our own connection to Titanic in one way or another – as it is hard to grow-up in the 20th & 21st Century without finding the story about the ship, the tragedy and the aftermath of its sinking. How did you first learn about Titanic and how has the story of her sinking inspired the story behind “The Runaway Girl”?

Jina

I first discovered the Titanic nestled among paperback romance novels on a shelf in a small library branch near the sea. ‘A Night to Remember’, that wonderful tome definitive of all things Titanic, had found an unlikely home among princesses and maids. I imagine the Walter Lord book was shelved there by a fussy librarian because of its provocative title, but oh, what a lucky break for me.

I was thirteen and living in a small beach town on the coast. Every day that summer I’d walk to the small library branch and take out as many books as they’d let me. Then I’d walk down to the beach and sit under the boardwalk, listen to the roar of the pounding surf, eat strips and salsa, and read.

I read every book I could find over the years on the Titanic, building a nice collection of books that I’d often re-read. I saw all the movies (including the one in German) and for years one fact kept swimming around in my head: No one really knows how many passengers sailed on the maiden voyage of the Titanic on April 10, 1912. Modern historians have settled on the number 2,228 passengers, though no complete passenger list exists.

What is known are the passenger names recorded on thirty-four handwritten pages from 1912 currently stored at the National Archives in London. A rare second class passenger list was sold at auction a few years for $33,900 (Christie’s auctioned off a first class passenger list in a booklet in 1998), but no one really know for sure who was on that ship.

Fascinating fodder for a love story… so many what ifs come to mind.

What if your heroine was traveling under an alias?

Not unusual for passengers at that time to travel under an assumed name. Like Lady Duff-Gordon and her husband traveling as the ‘Morgans’ to allegedly avoid the press; or a Frenchman who kidnapped his two children and listed himself as a Mr. ‘Hoffman.’ We can’t forget the gambler, George Brereton, who traveled first class under the alias ‘George Brayton.’

We know the Titanic wasn’t filled to capacity (the ship could hold 3,547 passengers and crew).

And since no official passenger list will ever be completely accurate, it was exciting for me to create a heroine named Ava O’Reilly because she could have been on the Titanic.

And no one would have ever known.

Until now.

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Of all the trivia and bits I’ve learnt about Titanic – you would have thought I might have taken stock of the fact the *exact!* passenger count has remained unknown! I think I have been too caught up in the voyage of the ship, the passengers who choose to undertake the journey and of course, in this instance – of how there are so many variables of unknowns – it makes sense then, of course, how someone could gamble their way into tickets as well – from the infamous well-known film about Titanic by James Cameron.

The most fascinating thing for me is that it is such a lot of truth – because of the unknowns – only those who sailed on her would hold those truths still – of whom was aboard, of whom never made it to the docks to sail and perhaps even – who was amongst the passengers who had stolen away and tried to seek a better life on a ship which meant to be the top line of oceanliners for voyaging the North Atlantic without fear of icebergs and sinkings. Nowadays, the hardest part about considering ocean travel is how difficult it has become in believing that setting sail is a journey without its faults and worries for personal safety and health. I do hope we can eventually get back to the days where air travel and boarding ships will be enjoyable again – where their not just maintained but they the consistencey of being routes of travel you can have confidence in using.

I think it would be wonderfully adventurous to consider who was using an assumed name – the secrets they might have wished to keep behind in their ‘old life’ in exchange for a ‘fresh start elsewhere’ and how the name might have been a small clue into their personal character. It is remarkable how Titanic still has a grip on our imaginations and has become a firmed note of historical significance for well over 100+ years since it first came to its tragic end. I wonder what the passengers & crew might have thought had they known we’d all still be considering their lives – trying to peer past the shadows and better understand what it was like to sail on her?

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Jorie

How did you want to bring to life the majestic allure of Titanic through your story and what were some of the elements of visual textures you’ve included you are hoping readers will take a delight of joy in seeing as they read the story itself?

Jina

The Titanic represented the epitome of luxury for trans-Atlantic sailing at the time, especially in first class. Electric lifts, gym, gourmet restaurant, swimming pool. I mention these amenities, but it’s tricky – you don’t want to talk too much about décor etc., but show it through the characters’ eyes. For example, here is my heroine, Ava, after she ‘sneaks’ aboard the ship (she has a steerage ticket, but the law is after her):

Excerpt:

‘Me, Ava O’Reilly, in trouble?’ she said, chin up, his powerful and pleasing presence arousing her.

‘What makes you think that, sir?’

He put her down but didn’t release his hold on her. ‘Steerage passengers don’t belong up here in first class.’

First class? She blinked. That explained the ornately carved banisters and wide staircases. She’d heard the steerage passengers extolling about the luxury on board, from the swimming pool and Turkish baths to fresh strawberries served in first class.

* * *

As a writer, I want to show what’s impressive to Ava through her needs and wants – like fresh strawberries. Also, when she finds out there are only two bathtubs in steerage, Captain Lord Blackthorn’s offer of protection becomes very appealing to a girl who is poor Irish. Later on, when Ava takes a bath in the countess’s private stateroom, that scene becomes very important to the story.

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I concur with you about how to initiate historical details into the character’s POV as they are moving through the world you are imaginging for them to live within. It helps anchour the story for the reader but it also gives such a cardinal glimpse of insight into the era and to the technologies they might have had at the time as well. I love those hidden niches of details – the way you can add nuance to a scene and the way the background can feel ‘alive’ if only for a momentary line of sight to give you a reason to understand which era you’re reading about and how that era is unlike our own – even if it has similarities – each era in the past has its own distinctive edge of familiarity.

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Jorie

How did you conceive of the idea for a love triangle between Ava, the Countess and Buck? What did you want to show through the different ways in which both women were attracted to Buck?

Jina

I always knew I wanted my heroine to an Irish girl who yearned for a better life and wanted to prove she was as good as anyone. A girl who loves books. A girl who’s good and kind and dreams of being a lady. When she meets the Countess (Buck gets her a job aboard ship as his friend’s lady’s maid after the woman hurts her ankle), Ava is jealous at first, especially when she realizes the Countess is in love with Buck. Then again, the Countess is jealous of Ava because her natural beauty and inquiring mind, and her spirited Irish soul, charm Buck like no woman has ever done before.

In other words, they each want what the other woman has.

A fascinating love triangle with Buck in the middle… I wanted to show how we often believe we’re not good enough to be liked (or loved), even if you’re a countess… how we often don’t look at our strengths and what makes us unique, even if we have, as my Irish grams would say, ‘nothing in our pockets but our hands’. It’s not easy to find that confidence in ourselves, but I believe by reading stories that inspire us, they give us the tools to be the best we can be.

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I love the dimension you’ve given Ava – and the Countess, of how seemingly two women who have quite a bit of ahead of them still left to live are struggling to find the reasons to believe they have already achieved a measure of confidence and success in where they currently are in their lives. One might come from priviledge and the other was falling hard on difficult times – but they each knew who they were, they understood what they were passionate about and the lives they wanted to live – yet, in the back corners of their characters’ minds they still questioned their self-worth and that in of itself is a fascinating thesis to explore. What unravels self-esteem and the confidence to believe in one’s self – even if faced with someone who is in a different station of life – how does that alter you’re own self-identity and how you perceive of the world round you?

Interestingly I think it would be a keen story to just watch it play out – to see how they interact with each other and how their experiences on Titanic start to re-shape their lives.

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Jorie

Through my previous readings of your novel “Christmas Once Again” – I’ve found you have a strength for telling emotionally convicting narratives rooted in their era and pulled through the arc of the character’s journey. How did you want “The Runaway Girl” to feel authentically rooted to the era of Titanic but also feel realistically approachable for today’s reader?

Jina

Wow, that’s a really intriguing question and I have to honestly say a good part of writing historicals is in your gut. In other words, you absorb everything about the era until you just know when you’re writing a scene, you nailed it. It comes from not just reading about the era, but smelling it, tasting it, touching it.

I’ve been very fortunate in that I’ve had the opportunity to travel to many faraway places and nearly every state in the U.S. I love to soak up the culture, history, food, the smells. It’s like trying on a pretty pair of ballet flats. What color are they? Pink, white? Soft leather… pearls… ribbons around your ankles… do your toes pinch? Take a walk in them… are you gliding, dancing, or do your feet hurt? It’s in the details, as they say, but the trick is not to give too many details or you lose the emotional core of the scene and that’s what is most important.

Re: Titanic – I live not too far from where the Queen Mary is docked and over the years, I’ve spent many hours aboard the ship, walking the decks, dining in the restaurants, shopping in the arcade, touring the staterooms, dancing in the cocktail lounge. Even though the two ships were built two decades apart (the Queen Mary circa 1936), they’re both part of the White Star line and were ocean liners. I was able to put my personal experience into the story as far as the distance covered walking the decks, being out on deck at midnight looking at the stars, the coziness of the staterooms.

What I’ve just talked about is the physical aspects of being rooted in the era… like learning your lines in a play. You run lines over and over until they’re as natural to you as breathing. Then the magic begins when the curtain goes up and you’re in the moment… writing is similar. You ‘become’ the character and you know how the character reacts without overthinking it. Here again is the tricky part – avoid modern language, know the slang at the time but don’t overuse it; also, what your character is wearing dictates how she moves; what she ate for breakfast tells us her habits.

And lastly – and this is so important – what does your heroine want that’s relatable to a modern reader? The universal theme of falling in love is timeless; freedom to purse her dreams; revenge always works; getting over loss and finding a new life in a new world. Wanting a second chance…

Here’s what I mean from a scene in The Runaway Girl. Ava yearns for the freedom to find a better life. She’s on deck with Buck:

Excerpt:

[Ava] ‘The stars are brighter here at sea.’

‘Why is that?’ he asked, curious.

‘Because here they can wander about in the big, black sky anywhere they choose.’

‘And in Ireland?’ he asked, guiding her away from the entrance to the first-class staircase lest an officer spot them.

‘There they have to obey the rules and stay in their own patch of dark sky,’ she said, turning and looking at him square on. She sat down on an empty bench. Her eyes glistened with mist or tears, he couldn’t tell which. ‘There they can never be free.’

‘If you were a star,’ he asked, ‘where would you be?’

‘Here, your lordship,’ she said without hesitation, ‘where I can glow the brightest. Look, there, on the sea.’ She pointed to the starlight glistening like glass. Buck followed her gaze, the sparkle so bright since it was the only open space on the ship. ‘So still it is, as if someone threw an enchanted stone into the ocean and calmed the waters.’

‘What if you lost your way?’

‘It would be worth it… to be free.’

* * *

I know exactly where they are on the ship – know my background info is correct, the stars that were in the sky that night, etc. The core of the scene is Ava’s yearning to be free… something we all want. If I can evoke that feeling in the modern reader and give her the feeling she’s standing on the deck of the Titanic looking at the stars with a handsome gentleman at her side, then I’ve done my job.

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Love the parting sentiments of this response – but this is EXACTLY why I love reading – I want to better understand the writer’s own vision for the story and the character(s) they have created – to see those characters how the writer saw them and to fuse what I’m interpreting of the story to how they wanted us to find a resonation with a story which they felt was inspiring to be read. Reading is such an intrapersonal experience – we bring all of ourselves into the stories as we’re reading them and yet, there is this moment we all recognise where what we are feeling and thinking about a story is starting to merge beautifully with the writer’s own vision of it – where the circle is not just complete but continues to expand – as not every reader will align into a story in the same way and not all readers see a story the same way a writer might have conceived it either. Nor do I. Some stories speak to me differently than others and others thankfully help me align with the writer. The beauty is seeking stories and sorting out which story is going to be the one that hugs us closer together.

This is an observation I have remembered making on my reviews for Historical Fiction as a book blogger on Jorie Loves A Story. About the immersive feeling you feel whenever you recognise a writer has *trutly!* lived through the era they are writing about as if they wholly were present during the timeline of their story (or stories). There is no distinction from their responses to the era and the living histories of the era either – they are a full-on merge of truth and fable; granting the reader the extraordinary journey of experiencing an era as if it had been re-visited and brought to life just as it had once been but with a few small changes, of course!

Immersion research of this level is the best because it gives you a closer instinct for how those details would re-live inside your own story because you have created a tangible connection to them. I think our senses play a strong role in how we write and how we choose to re-interpret our world – either through the past, the present or a theory about the future – we are striving towards telling stories we feel everyone can cross-relate to reading because of shared mutually acceptable experiences which help carry through the imagined bits we might not have a tangible connection to if say they are a Historical story in context.

This insight into your writerly process shows how you can orchestrate the stories which touch our hearts because of how you’ve fused them with a reality we can believe by how you’ve told the stories of your characters.

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Jorie

What do you love most about writing Sagas and Historical Romances? What keeps your own heart invigorated by the life of your characters and keeps your muse wickedly refreshed?

Jina

I grew up on fairy tales and history… museums and old ribbons and lace. I’ve always loved dressing up since I was a kid and tried to walk in my mother’s high heels. I can’t really explain it, but when I set my mind to a specific time and start writing my thoughts, it’s like a portal opens up to me. I see, hear, smell the scene.

For example:

Taste the sweet, iced raisin cake at Marie Antoinette’s court.

See the Nazi soldiers marching down the Champs-Élysées, the pounding of their black hobnail boots hitting the pavement and making me shudder.

Inhale the clammy smell of ice when the Titanic hits the iceberg.

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.

What keeps me invigorated is digging into the research, always looking for a new angle on a story, searching for that unknown intel about a time or event that can turn a story upside down and drive my heroine crazy. Upping the stakes, but doing so by grounding it in something real about the time. As I mentioned before, no one really knows exactly who sailed on the Titanic, opening speculation that Ava O’Reilly could have been aboard the ship.

On a side note:

Did you ever have a surreal moment when a story you’ve read or written blurs with reality?

I was writing my next book a few days ago and sneaking peeks at ‘A Night to Remember’ playing on TCM. My absolute favorite Titanic film. I never tire of watching it. When I saw the ladies on deck clamoring to get into a lifeboat, I actually looked for Ava, my heroine, in the crowd.

Then I caught myself…

But for a second, maybe two, I really believed I would see her…

It was an amazing moment…

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I love when the lines between reality and fiction start to blur,… where you know what is true and what is fiction but evenso, there are small moments where you take that leap and wonder, ‘what if’? It is similar to how there are some stories you read which are so wholly intuitive about their own pacings and revelations that in order to extract yourself from reading them you have to mentally ‘pull yourself’ back into you’re own timeline and resume from whence you were before you picked up the story itself. It is jarring at times – this cursory line in the sand where our lives and the lives of stories start to intersect and connect.

Which is why ‘yes’ I could see why you were looking for Ava! (big smiles)

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Jorie

Of all the information you’ve gained about Titanic was there any points of interest which still stand out to you about what you’ve learnt of the people aboard or the stories of the survivors?

Jina

The pig.

Yes, there was a pig aboard the Titanic.

According to the New York Herald April 19, 1912: ‘Five women saved their pet dogs… another woman saved a little pig, which she said was her mascot.’

The reporter didn’t know how the woman cared for her pig aboard the Titanic, but she carried it up the ‘side of the ship [the Carpathia, rescue ship] in a big bag.’

How did the pig get into the lifeboat? Was the pig traveling first class?

In a word, yes.

The cute little pig with the curly tail was the lucky mascot of Miss Edith Russell. She loved to wind up its tail and it would play a lively musical tune similar to a two-step called ‘Maxixe’.

The pig was a musical pig.

It was given to her after she survived a horrific motorcar crash. She promised her mother it would never be out of her sight. When she realized the Titanic was sinking and she’d left her mascot in her cabin, she sent the steward to retrieve her lucky pig.

Still, Edith was hesitant to get into a lifeboat. When a seaman tossed her pig into a lifeboat (believing it was a baby wrapped up in a bag), Edith insisted on getting into the boat, too. Its nose was gone and its legs broken, but Edith and her little pig escaped in lifeboat no. 11.

Overcrowded with sixty-eight passengers (nearly one-third were children), Edith realized her little pig could comfort others as it had her. She wound up its tail so it would play music for the children. Most of the little ones stopped crying as the pig’s sparkling musical notes calmed their fears. Its furry, white-gray body wet with sea spray.

Its cute grin giving them hope they would be saved.

It was the little Titanic pig that could.

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I’ve never heard the story of Edith’s pig before and it is such a charming antidote to the history of Titanic. Of how ordinary kindness and a random act of hope allowed everyone on her lifeboat to feel something they had feared lost – the ability to rise past their fears and to see a light of hopefulness of being saved. Of surviving the tragedy and of being able to refocus off the horrors of what was happening to those still on Titanic. It was not lost on me how you referenced “The Little Engine That Could” which was a favourite book of mine as a young girl. I think I shall never quite forget Ms Edith and her delightfully musical pig!

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Jorie

What are your favourite resources when it comes to researching your novels? And, how long does it take to put in the inital research before you begin writing a story?

Jina

I love, love finding hardcover first editions of historical people, places, and events in their original bindings and print. It’s not a digital footprint that can be swept away by a mouse stroke, or a fancy, shiny reprint with a splashy cover that has nothing to do with the author’s original intent. But a moment in time that’s stood still, waiting for me to find it.

Then when I open the cover and read the first page, the journey begins…

I have several first editions dating back to the mid-nineteenth century on various subjects. Paris, Japan, Far East, Egypt, to name a few. And I love them all. But I’m also practical and I’ll haunt the Internet looking for an answer to a question I may have and I buy books on the subject, new or used.

But it’s my first editions that have a soft place in my heart.

I also watch documentaries, films, draw upon my own memories of a place, collect old maps, photos. Like a detective reconstructing a scene to solve a crime. Who, what, why? How? And most important for a writer, what if?

Regarding how long I research a book, as long as it takes to step into those shoes… weeks, months, sometimes you have an idea but you don’t act on it for a while, but it percolates in your brain. Even when I’m writing, I still research… like chocolate, I can’t get enough of it.

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Admittedly, we share this in common – whenever I am round an antiquarian book store or a musty old used bookstore – seeing the stacks of books which are on topics & subjects not always discussed in our modern era – or historical artifacts of insight into the past itself – those are the stores that give me the lovely surge of synergy to know there is a multitude of stories still left to be written and to be read! It is a curious nature our curiosity to reach for more knowledge – to gain insight into what we haven’t yet researched and to fuse all of that in the context of an idea we have for a ‘story’ which might in effect become re-imagined and re-interpreted by a reader who may or may not align with where we thought we had taken the story as we wrote it. Such a curiosity adventure it is isn’t it?

I truly felt this was accurate of myself – even in the process of laying down the bones of a story you haven’t quite finished with your research. There is still a bit more to find, to understand and to grow your vision for the story, too. You want to ensure you are left without future questions in order to tell the best story you can to a reader who is going to experience that story for the first time. In that, I can also relate.

Stories which percolate for longer periods of time become a part of you and as you’re thinking-writing the story itself, the story also evolves forward the more you’ve lived in the space of hours between writing it down. Again, the process of being a writer is as alluring as the end results. At least for me and it would appear for you, too.

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Jorie

Can you share what is coming next for your readers? Or, if it is too early to reveal the next story – can you give us a nod towards which era and historical timescape you’re curious about exploring next?

Jina

Ah, mais oui, Mademoiselle Jorie!

We’re going to Paris… when the Germans came to Paris in June 1940. It’s a story that alternates between present day LA and France – and the past… revolving around the world of French cinema and a shameful family secret.

From the era of silent movies in the 1920s through the liberation of Paris in 1944, it’s filled with glamour, intrigue, and two beautiful heroines and the men they love and would die for…

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Paris, eh? Ooh my — you’ve might have found a way to intrigue me back into a war drama – the one niche of literature I’ve almost sidelined due to having to take a firm step away from the grittier ones set at battlefields and opt instead for human interest stories or stories set at the homefront. This one though – I admit, is intriguing as I have been curious about the film industry during the 1920s. I attempted to read one previously but it didn’t quite take my interest and this one – because of the duality of the timeline, I think might be a better fit for me – which is wickedly delightful!

I have a firece passion and attachment to Old Hollywood – one channel I miss since I cut cable is Turner Classic. I wish they’d develop an app for Roku viewers – as that would be one service I’d love to have regularly. I used to love getting acquainted with different classical actors & actresses on a monthly rotation as they like to highlight different persons at different intervals of the year. I still remember seeing Claudette Colbert in “Since You Went Away” (1944) – which is a war drama in of itself but also at the heart of it a romance – and feeling so dearly moved by her performance. Another actress who left a strong impact was Ingrid Bergman. I have several favourites of course but I also want to peer back a bit further – as I tend to reside in the 30s and 40s – to see where the origins of film took us in the 20s.

On that note, I’ve only seen a few of Hitchcock’s – where you can see how he was growing his evolution of how to tell a story where the camera lens was another omnipotent character and how he was developing his talent for crafting a psychological suspense – those initial films were his schooling and it was keen to see how far he came lateron from how he made his first films. Some were silent ones, too!

So, yes, I am readily intrigued and primed to learn more!

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Feeing intriqued about “The Runaway Girl”?

Enjoy this lovely extract the publisher provided for me to share with my readers,…

Cameron Bally Manor House

Ireland

9 April 1912

‘Ava O’Reilly, you’re nothing but a common thief who brings shame upon this fine house,’ spewed Lord Emsy, wagging his fat finger in her face. ‘What have you to say for yourself, girl?’

‘A thief, am I, milord?’ Ava shot back, refusing to cower before a man so pompous and full of himself, even if he was her employer. With his wing tip collar and fancy silk ascot, he reminded her of a leg of lamb gussied up for Sunday dinner. ‘Says who? Your daughter?’ She narrowed her eyes, staring her accuser down. Lady Olivia greeted her angry look with a swift turning of the head, her nose in the air, but Ava wasn’t finished. ‘I’d rather dance with the devil than believe her.’

His lordship growled. ‘Then you deny stealing the bracelet?’

‘Aye, that I do.’ Ava smoothed down her shiny, black cotton uniform with her hands, making fists and fighting to keep her composure. Him with the glow of damnation in his eyes, accusing her like he was the Almighty Himself. She refused to back down. With the afternoon sun spilling an arc as bright as a pot o’ gold at her feet, she wondered how she, the daughter of a fine Irish mum and da, could be so unlucky. But here she was, accused of thievery because she was caught reading a book in a place where a housemaid had no right to be. The library. Now she was paying the price for her thirst for knowledge.

‘Well, how do you plead?’ asked his lordship.

‘I plead guilty to nothing more than reading your fine books.’

Ignoring her, Lord Emsy bellowed, ‘Then how do you explain this?’

He dangled a slender rope of sparkling diamonds in front of her nose, taking her breath away.

Ava swallowed hard. Each stone was a knot on the noose tightening around her neck.

‘I swear on me sainted mother’s grave, I never seen the likes of that till this morning.’

‘She’s lying, Papa,’ Lady Olivia decried. ‘She stole it from my jewel case and was trying to hide it when I caught her.’

Ava gritted her teeth. They both knew it was a lie.

Aye, what was a lass to do? His lordship’s daughter had hated her since Ava had first crossed paths with her, when she’d used the grand main staircase instead of scuttling down the backstairs. The breach of protocol had not only embarrassed the family, Lady Olivia scolded her, but Ava had attracted the eye of the young gentleman at her side. Lord Holm made no secret of his interest in the servant girl with the glorious red hair spilling down her back. Mary Dolores had warned her about him when Ava joined her sister to work as a housemaid in the grand manor.

A dandy, she had said, always ready to pat the bum of any servant girl he could get into a dark corner.

Did Ava listen to her? No. She was obstinate and bull-headed. A family trait, Mary Dolores admitted, shaking her head. Going through life casting her spell on every man caught looking at her. Ava paid them no mind, going about her way and insisting she didn’t need a man to better herself.

Unfortunately, Ava couldn’t control the wily fates determined to get in her way.

Her relationship with Lady Olivia became even more strained when Lord Holm saw her wearing a discarded dress belonging to her ladyship. Silk with delicate appliqué around the collar and cap sleeves, the vibrant emerald green set off her red hair.

And what was the crime in that, Ava wanted to know, since it was customary for servant girls to lay claim to their mistress’s tossed-away garments.

Her ears burned when she overheard her ladyship say to Lord Holm, ‘You never noticed when I wore that dress,’ to which he replied, ‘You never looked like that.’

His comment sealed her fate.

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About Jina Bacarr

Jina Bacarr

I started out working as a reporter writing articles for a travel magazine based in Beverly Hills and then for a computer magazine, as well as writing for academia, radio commercials, and PR copy. I’ve had three plays produced in Malibu, California and I worked for a time writing children’s and daytime TV before publishing nonfiction books about Japan, and then later fiction.

In addition to my WW 2 time travel romance, CHRISTMAS ONCE AGAIN, I’ve written a Civil War time travel in 1862 Virginia at the Battle of Antietam, a WW 2 Christmas novella in war torn Italy between a GI and a nun, an erotic novella about a hunky Scrooge from Wall Street, contemporary and historical erotic romance novels, and non-fiction books about Japan.

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.

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This blog tour is courtesy of: Boldwood Books

The Runaway Girl blog tour banner via Boldwood Books provided by the publisher and is used with permission.

Check out this fascinating #interview into how @JinaBacarr shares her #amwriting journey into crafting a lovely new #HistRom about #Titanic! Features an extract from the #newrelease! Click To Tweet

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comNOTE: Similar to blog tours wherein I feature book reviews, book spotlights (with or without extracts), book announcements (or Cover Reveals) – I may elect to feature an author, editor, narrator, publisher or other creative person connected to the book, audiobook, Indie film project or otherwise creative publishing medium being featured wherein the supplemental content on my blog is never compensated monetarily nor am I ever obligated to feature this kind of content. I provide (98.5%) of all questions and guest topics regularly featured on Jorie Loves A Story. I receive direct responses back to those enquiries by publicists, literary agents, authors, blog tour companies, etc of whom I am working with to bring these supplemental features and showcases to my blog. I am naturally curious about the ‘behind-the-scenes’ of stories and the writers who pen them: I have a heap of joy bringing this content to my readers. Whenever there is a conflict of connection I do disclose those connections per post and disclose the connection as it applies.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

{SOURCES: Cover art of “The Runaway Girl”, the author’s photo (for Jina Bacarr) and biography as well as the blog tour banner and extract from the novel were all provided by Boldwood Books and used with permission. Excerpts provided in-line with the interview were provided by the author Jina Bacarr and are used with permission. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets embedded by codes provided by Twitter. Blog graphics created by Jorie via Canva: Stories in the Spotlight banner and the Comment Box Banner.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2020.

I’m a social reader | I tweet my reading life

About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Thursday, 19 March, 2020 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host, Book | Novel Extract, Book Spotlight, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Romance Fiction




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