Time Travel back to the Civil War in 1862 for #NationalParanormalDay and fall in love…

 

Once upon a time…as in time travel…a young history teacher found herself in the gray officer’s uniform of a Confederate re-enactor. She was so good in her part, other Rebel re-enactors took her for a male officer. She was determined to impress her students…show them she had the grit to charge the advancing Union Army during the re-enactment of the Battle of Antietam.

The kids were dying to capture her on their cell phones.

Then something weird happened…

When the cannons fired, the motor shells exploded, she was thrust back to the REAL battle in 1862.

And when she found herself a prisoner of a very handsome Union Army physician…oh, my, did she really want to go back to her own time?

~Jina

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LOVE ME FOREVER is available on Kindle and Kindle Unlimited

Women Soldiers in the Civil War from “Love Me Forever” from Jina Bacarr on Vimeo.

Love Me Forever is now available in Print for $19.99
=============

Southern Belle and Spy: Excerpt from LOVE ME FOREVER from Jina Bacarr on Vimeo.

Featured Image -- 2069If you love Civil War romance and time travel and TWO hunky military heroes, check out my Kindle Scout winner:

LOVE ME FOREVER

She wore gray.
He wore blue.
But their love defied the boundaries of war.
And time.

 

 

 

Lemonade Day during the Civil War and how a little girl saved her home…

lemonade_day_novel

Soldiers fought hard battles day in and day out during the Civil War. Tired, weary, thirsty men and women…but what about the folks they encountered when they invaded a town or plantation?

Did they see their father, brother? Husband, wife? Daughter?

Or did they see the enemy…

I don’t rightly know how true it is, but Civil War legend has it that a mighty pretty little gal made lemonade on a hot, sweltering day back in August 1862 and offered it to the soldiers in the advancing Union Army.

Every soldier got a taste of cold, sweet lemonade and a smile…and they went on their way, leaving the plantation untouched.

Making us all hopeful that goodness can triumph…with the help of sweet lemonade and the kindness of a little girl.

~Jina

The spunky little girl reminds me of my secondary heroine, Pauletta Sue in my story, LOVE ME FOREVER. Check out the video excerpt below featuring the belle!

If you love Civil War romance and time travel and TWO hunky military heroes, check out my Kindle Scout winner below.

Love_Me_Forever_500x798LOVE ME FOREVER

She wore gray.
He wore blue.
But their love defied the boundaries of war.
And time.

LOVE ME FOREVER is a Kindle Scout winner and is now available from Kindle Press at Amazon.com

Southern Belle and Spy: Excerpt from LOVE ME FOREVER from Jina Bacarr on Vimeo.

 

My first Princess story for #NationalOatmealCookieDay

oatmeal_cookies_littlegirl

Do you see the book the little girl is reading?

“The Princess and a Turtle named LuLu go to Paris.”

Quite a mouthful for a little girl chewing oatmeal cookies.

I was in grade school and determined to write down the stories in my head and this was my first attempt. The pages have long been lost, scrawled by my young hand in Catholic school cursive writing, but the story line has always stayed with me.

My fictitious turtle LuLu helped me through hard times, moving a lot around the country and going to different schools, so I thought it only proper to celebrate my first princess story with National Oatmeal Cookie Day!

~Jina

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My latest Princess story:

I first met Princess Violetta in Sariah Wilson’s story, ROYAL DATE.

You can meet see what happened to her afterward in rehab in ROYAL DARE.

I fell in love with the Monterra family, especially Violetta. I call her the “misunderstood princess.” She has everything—looks, money and a title—yet she fell victim to the seductive power of drugs. Why? I wondered. What led her down this path?

I was intrigued tRD_KindleWorldso answer that question, but more importantly, I wanted to know what happened to Violetta when she went to rehab. How hard is it for a princess to get clean? And will she find her prince when she does?

I answer this question and more in my Kindle Worlds “The Royals of Monterra” story, ROYAL DARE.

I hope you enjoy it!

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Man Candy: Zipper Day, oh yeah!

ziipper_candyland

Zippers.

What goes up must go down…

Oh yeah.

His? Yours? Or both.

Nothing more needs to be said. Enjoy!

Enjoy National Zipper Day! And all the fun that comes with it…

Sweet.

~Jina

Liberty Jordan, the heroine in my Civil War time travel romance , doesn’t have to worry about zippers back in 1862.

Corsets were a whole other matter:

First, she had to pass as a Southern lady.

“We’ll have lots of time to dress you up proper-like when we get to Rosebriar,” Bedelia said, fluffing out the bishop sleeves on Liberty’s bodice. “Seeing how you’re taking Miss Pauletta’s place—”

Liberty spun around, taffeta rustling in her ears, her senses alert to more than the girl’s idle chat. “What do you mean, I’m taking Miss Pauletta’s place?” she demanded, but the girl pursed her lips together tighter than the lacings on her corset.

Bedelia dropped her chin, her big, brown eyes staring at the cell floor as she pushed the toe of her delicate slipper into the damp dirt. “Miss Pauletta says it’s a secret, and I don’t tell no secrets.”

Liberty felt a kick in the gut at this new revelation and wondered why she ever agreed to this insane idea. She might be better off taking her chances in here. Then she remembered the major, his brooding dark eyes watching her, his expression conveying a curious amusement. She mulled that over, and an unexpected passion to know more about him made her body hum. She’d never have the chance if she didn’t escape from this place.

Really? He’s not for you. He thinks of you as nothing more than a Confederate physician. Even if he did know you’re woman, he’d think you an oddity. A female with a brain.

With a reluctant sigh, Liberty gave up her daydream and went about the task of turning herself into a lady. She fastened the hooks and eyes running up the front of the bodice, noting the rows of buttons were merely decorative. It was a perfect fit. Even the fancy jacket with the velvet piping worked in her favor. By the lingering scent of a soft perfume, she had the feeling this was the jacket the belle wore this morning. They were similar in size, though Liberty was taller. A slight dizziness made her lightheaded since the corset was so tight she could barely breathe. Worse yet, the pointy feminine-looking boots Bedelia handed her didn’t fit. Her feet hurt too much to wear them. Instead, she had no choice but to keep on her comfortable hiking boots.

“Miss Pauletta ain’t gonna like you wearing men’s shoes,” Bedelia said, rolling her eyes.

“They’re my feet, not hers,” Liberty insisted, stepping into the hoop skirt. Six-boned and nearly twelve feet in circumference. A big ruffle circled the bottom. “Good grief,” she mumbled out loud. “How am I supposed to escape in a hoop skirt?”

A smile crept over Bedelia’s lips. “Miss Pauletta said you’d know how.”

Liberty looked with skepticism at the girl, praying she was right. She was no born flirt, but she saw how Pauletta Sue wound every man around her finger. She doubted there was anyone better.

You look like her. So now act like her.”

If you love Civil War romance and time travel and TWO hunky military heroes, check out my Kindle Scout winner below.

Love_Me_Forever_500x798LOVE ME FOREVER

She wore gray.
He wore blue.
But their love defied the boundaries of war.
And time.

LOVE ME FOREVER is a Kindle Scout winner and is now available from Kindle Press at Amazon.com

 

Hot Java for You on #GreatPoetryReadingDay

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Ever since I twirled my first Irish limerick off my tongue as a young lass, I’ve loved to write poems. Funny, sexy, heartwarming, you name it.

So on Great Poetry Reading Day, here’s HOT JAVA.

My ode to coffee.

And how awesome it is the morning after a great night with HIM. The man in your life.

And no, I don’t profess it to be great poetry. But I hope it will put a smile on your face.

 

HOT JAVA

Java is a girl’s best friend
When you don’t want that special night to end

“Stick around for a cup of Joe,” you say
After a night in bed that blew you away

Then watch his eyes glow with desire
When you put on the coffee and light his fire

Wearing a sexy black teddy, tight and see-through
You ask, “Eggs or cinnamon buns with your brew?”

“I’ll have the buns,” he says, eyeing yours with a smile
You shiver with glee. The coffee can wait for awhile

It’s back to bed with your man for round two
And to coffee you say, a big “Thank you!”

~Jina

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Guess what they used for coffee in 1862?

During the Civil War, it wasn’t easy to get supplies, as we see here in LOVE ME FOREVER when my time traveling heroine, Liberty Jordan, finds herself on a Virginia plantation–taking the place of a woman who happens to be her twin…and a Confederate spy:

Liberty  finished her tea, wishing it were coffee, but there were major shortages of salt and coffee. She wasn’t fond of the parched okra seed that replaced coffee, and she had no desire to try the grits-and-rye blend used as a java substitute. The price of salt was high and she’d heard stories of Southern cooks brushing grains of salt off salted pork to reuse it.”

If you love Civil War romance and time travel and TWO hunky military heroes, check out my Kindle Scout winner below.

Love_Me_Forever_500x798LOVE ME FOREVER

She wore gray.
He wore blue.
But their love defied the boundaries of war.
And time.

LOVE ME FOREVER is a Kindle Scout winner and is now available from Kindle Press at Amazon.com

 

The Day I became a Southern Belle on “Tell a Story Day”

Tell_Story_Day_Fan

It’s Tell a Story Day so here’s a story about how a scene in my Kindle Scout winner, “Love Me Forever,” was born when I was a little girl…

Who doesn’t love to go to a ball? I remember when I was 11 years old and I had the chance to go to a fancy dress ball in Lexington KY at a big mansion (my mother was invited and brought me with her). I had to sit in the corner and just watch, but I’ll never forget the pretty dresses the girls wore.

Big skirts and lace and crinolines.

And the handsome young men. When a young man asked me to dance, I almost died. My mom said it was okay. The young man took my hand and we glided across the hardwood floor, my chin up, my feet barely touching the ground.

It was then I knew I wanted to be a Southern belle. My character, Pauletta Sue, was born that night. Course I didn’t know it at the time…but my mom did. She was all smiles.

My secondary heroine in my Civil War time travel romance, Love Me Forever, is a Tennessee Belle who met the love of her life at a Confederate ball — then lost him so she became a Rebel spy…

~Jina

Love Me Forever (Kindle Scout Winner) http://amzn.com/B00YI8SX68

A Tennessee belle’s fan tells the story of the gentlemen officers she danced with back in 1862 on Tell a Story Day…including a handsome Texas Ranger. Can you find his name on the belle’s fan?

Tell_Me_Story_Day_Fan_closeup

I really enjoyed writing LOVE ME FOREVER, about two very different women, Liberty Jordan and Pauletta Sue Buckingham, who are thrown together in a mad, crazy scheme of spying, lost love, and passionate desire for what they can’t have.

The men they love.

Do they get their men?Tennessee_dance_1862

Well, it is a romance, but it’s also a wild dramatic journey based on actual events in the Civil War. Liberty and Pauletta Sue will make you cheer, then cry, then hold your breath when it looks like all is lost…

Thanks for stopping by and check out LOVE ME FOREVER on Amazon and Kindle Scout!

~Jina

===========

LOVE ME FOREVER is available on Kindle and Kindle Unlimited

Women Soldiers in the Civil War from “Love Me Forever” from Jina Bacarr on Vimeo.

Love Me Forever is now available in Print for $19.99
=============

Southern Belle and Spy: Excerpt from LOVE ME FOREVER from Jina Bacarr on Vimeo.

Featured Image -- 2069If you love Civil War romance and time travel and TWO hunky military heroes, check out my Kindle Scout winner:

LOVE ME FOREVER

She wore gray.
He wore blue.
But their love defied the boundaries of war.
And time.

 

 

Philly, Row Houses & Pretzels, oh my! #NationalPretzelDay

When I was a kid in Philly, the good Sisters of Charity welcomed the Pretzel Man every day past the iron gate and into the school yard. Oh, the excitement from the little girls in their blue uniforms–including me. I couldn’t wait to bite into the yummy pretzel during lunch recess…thank you, Sisters!

I love Philly pretzels.

They’re long, chewy, and have just the right amount of salt. As you can tell, that fond memory has stayed with me. When I wanted to write about a heroine for my next story in Sariah Wilson’s Kindle Worlds series, The Royals of Monterra, I wanted to take a girl who lives in a row house in Philly.

A girl with a dream to fly on the silks in an aerial ballet, but something is holding her back.

Until she receives a royal command to perform in Monterra.

There she meets a handsome member of the Monterran family who isn’t what he seems…

I’m writing ROYAL MAGIC now…release date in July along with Sariah Wilson’s next novel, ROYAL GAMES. Keep you posted!

~Jina

————-

I first met Princess Violetta in Sariah Wilson’s story, ROYAL DATE.

You can meet see what happened to her afterward in rehab in ROYAL DARE.

I fell in love with the Monterra family, especially Violetta. I call her the “misunderstood princess.” She has everything—looks, money and a title—yet she fell victim to the seductive power of drugs. Why? I wondered. What led her down this path?

I was intrigued tRD_KindleWorldso answer that question, but more importantly, I wanted to know what happened to Violetta when she went to rehab. How hard is it for a princess to get clean? And will she find her prince when she does?

I answer this question and more in my Kindle Worlds “The Royals of Monterra” story, ROYAL DARE.

I hope you enjoy it!

Jina

===========================================

 

A Princess wonders . . . what are you reading tonight? #WorldBookNight

world_book_night_LMFI always feel like a princess when I open up a book. It’s a special moment that makes my heart beat faster. . . giving me great joy that I’m about to enter a special place.Reading is magic.

You can go anywhere, be anyone…fall in love.

Like my heroine in Love Me Forever” — back to 1862 in my Civil War Romance.

Or get help if you’re suffering from addiction like Princess Violetta in “Royal Dare.”world_book_night_RD

Discover the magic of reading tonight on World Book Night.

~Jina

————-

My latest releases:

I first met Princess Violetta in Sariah Wilson’s story, ROYAL DATE.

You can meet see what happened to her afterward in rehab in ROYAL DARE.

I fell in love with the Monterra family, especially Violetta. I call her the “misunderstood princess.” She has everything—looks, money and a title—yet she fell victim to the seductive power of drugs. Why? I wondered. What led her down this path?

I was intrigued tRD_KindleWorldso answer that question, but more importantly, I wanted to know what happened to Violetta when she went to rehab. How hard is it for a princess to get clean? And will she find her prince when she does?

I answer this question and more in my Kindle Worlds “The Royals of Monterra” story, ROYAL DARE.

I hope you enjoy it!

Jina

===========================================

ROYAL DARE It ain’t easy getting clean. Even for a princess.

I am so excited to part of Sariah Wilson’s The Royals of Monterra Kindle Worlds. If you read Sariah’s ROYAL DATE you’ll remember Princess Violetta and her down slide into drugs. When the book ends, she’s off to rehab. In ROYAL DARE, we find out what happened to Violetta.

 

Featured Image -- 2069If you love Civil War romance and time travel and TWO hunky military heroes, check out my Kindle Scout winner:

LOVE ME FOREVER

She wore gray.
He wore blue.
But their love defied the boundaries of war.
And time.

 

What if Romeo and Juliet had cell phones? #TalkLikeShakespeareDay

Jina Bacarr's photo.

I can’t let “Talk like Shakespeare Day” end without a tribute to Romeo and Juliet…a day for all romantics who love the joy of words!

Whither I should dare partake of words like the Bard on “Talk like Shakespeare Day” to regale you, but I shall attempt to drink the wine that maketh words of beauty flow from my lips . . .

Or:

I’ll just spit it out and say:

Happy Shakespeare Day!!

To celebrate, here is a fun graphic I put together with a 21st century twist.

Who knows what would have happened to the two lovers if they’d had cell phones?

~Jina

————-

My latest releases:

I first met Princess Violetta in Sariah Wilson’s story, ROYAL DATE.

You can meet see what happened to her afterward in rehab in ROYAL DARE.

I fell in love with the Monterra family, especially Violetta. I call her the “misunderstood princess.” She has everything—looks, money and a title—yet she fell victim to the seductive power of drugs. Why? I wondered. What led her down this path?

I was intrigued tRD_KindleWorldso answer that question, but more importantly, I wanted to know what happened to Violetta when she went to rehab. How hard is it for a princess to get clean? And will she find her prince when she does?

I answer this question and more in my Kindle Worlds “The Royals of Monterra” story, ROYAL DARE.

I hope you enjoy it!

Jina

===========================================

ROYAL DARE It ain’t easy getting clean. Even for a princess.

I am so excited to part of Sariah Wilson’s The Royals of Monterra Kindle Worlds. If you read Sariah’s ROYAL DATE you’ll remember Princess Violetta and her down slide into drugs. When the book ends, she’s off to rehab. In ROYAL DARE, we find out what happened to Violetta.

 

Featured Image -- 2069If you love Civil War romance and time travel and TWO hunky military heroes, check out my Kindle Scout winner:

LOVE ME FOREVER

She wore gray.
He wore blue.
But their love defied the boundaries of war.
And time.

 

It’s 11:40 pm on the Titanic: Relive a Night to Remember on April 14, 1912 #Titanic104

Crossing the English Channel has always held a wildly mystical attraction for me, whether it was war-weary soldiers returning home from battle or long-suffering French aristocrats escaping Madame Guillotine. There was something brave and noble about standing on the deck of a ship with a fierce wind blowing in your face, angry waves crashing against the hull and sea spray wetting your lips with a briny taste.

Or so I believed. I had my own narrow escape from the ravages of the cold sea on such a trip. I never forgot it.

Boarding the ship at Oostende, Belgium with only my backpack and naïveté for company, I was eager to get to London to visit a friend studying there. So what if the ferry was overbooked and the weather was stormy? I was tough, I could take it.

I nearly froze to death when I lost my balance as the ship rolled on the swell of the sea and I slid across the deck like a greased seal. I ended up cold and wet and hanging onto the rail for dear life.

I never forgot my youthful folly and many times while writing about the sinking of the Titanic, I pulled up those emotions to try to understand what my characters were experiencing on that fateful night, April 14, 1912, when the ship hit an iceberg.

Bitter cold, calm sea and freezing water.

Let me recreate the scene for you at 11:40 p.m. that night.

Contrary to what some films and TV shows have depicted, most passengers were asleep or reading in their cabins when the Titanic hit the iceberg. They were not enjoying a party-like atmosphere in the dining saloons drinking champagne and dancing. The public rooms closed down around 11 pm in all classes. It is true that diehard poker players like my hero in Titanic Rhapsody, Captain Lord Jack Blackthorn, were busily engaged in a game of poker or bridge whist in the smoking room.

The Titanic glided as smoothly as a haughty swan over the sea on that starlit night. No moon. Which is why it has been speculated that the two lookouts didn’t see the one-hundred-foot tall iceberg until the last minute (they had no binoculars—a ship’s officer was transferred at the last moment and took the key to the locker with the binoculars with him).

“Iceberg right ahead!” shouted the lookout into his telephone to the bridge. He rang the bell three times.

For thirty-seven seconds the two lookouts waited as the ship appeared to be heading straight for the iceberg. The ship’s first officer tried to avoid the berg and ordered the ship turned to port (left). What happened next no one saw coming…

The Titanic was cruising close to top speed in spite of the iceberg warnings. This was not unusual. According to the thinking of that time, Captain Smith was justified in getting through the ice region as quickly as possible. What he didn’t know was that the ship was on a direct collision course with the berg, a huge mass of ice that had traveled farther south than was ever thought possible.

The cold Labrador Current swirled around the iceberg to form a protective layer, which insulated it from the warming effects of the Gulf Stream and prevented it from melting.

Pushing the iceberg into the shipping lanes.

The Titanic never had a chance.

The White Star Line ship smashed into the iceberg along her starboard (right) side, slashing open a 295 foot gash that doomed the ship. The passengers snug in their beds or enjoying a hot whiskey and water in the smoking room had no idea that five possibly six of her sixteen compartments were flooded.

Or that the mail hold down on G deck was rapidly filling with water. Or that down in the boiler rooms the air was heavy with steam as the engineers tried to pump out the water in boiler room 5, praying the bulkheads would hold. (The hull plates of the Titanic were held in place with 3-lb. rivets—three million rivets total.)

Thomas Andrews, the ship’s designer, did a quick assessment of the damage—the Titanic could float with two, three, even four of her first watertight compartments gone, he said, but not five. The ship had an hour, no more than two to survive.

After conferring with Mr. Andrews, Captain Smith ordered the wireless operator to send out the distress signal CQD (the British landline operators’ signal “CQ” was for “all stations” with the addition of “D” by the Marconi company for added emphasis—danger ). He added an “SOS” (adapted because of its distinctive Morse Code pattern of three dots…three dashes…three dots) with the Titanic’s call letters: “MGY.”

Where are Katie and Jack, my heroine and hero in Titanic Rhapsody, when first class passengers feel a “jar” in their staterooms? Or when the steerage passengers are tossed about in their bunks only to find seawater seeping in under their cabin doors?

I wish I could tell you…but I can’t or I will spoil the romance. I will say that Katie and Jack experience all the fear and dread of the passengers that night when the Titanic hits the iceberg.

To give you a feeling of what happened during those last hours, we’ll go through what a first cabin lady experienced, then a second class gentleman, and finally, a family in steerage.

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© Andreas Meyer | Dreamstime.com

If you’re a first cabin lady, you’re most likely asleep in your cabin where it’s cozy and warm with the electric heater going, the lights dim, when suddenly something jolts you awake. Strange, you think, but nothing to be alarmed about. You try to go back to sleep until you realize the engines have stopped. Here, in the middle of the Atlantic?

You’re curious, but not worried since everyone says the ship is unsinkable. You throw a heavy coat over your nightdress and peek outside, running down the corridor in your soft satin slippers. Others are about, gossiping, yawning, until the bedroom steward in a very nice manner tells you to put on your lifebelt and go up on deck.

In this cold? you ask him. Yes, he tells you, though he assures you it’s merely a matter of precaution. Begrudgingly, you tell your lady’s maid to help you put on your corset, then fasten on the lifebelt made of six squares of cork. All the while the girl frets about, saying you’re all doomed. At the last moment, you grab your gloves and hat and scarf and join the other ladies and gents on the Boat deck.

Ah, there’s nothing to worry about, you decide, relieved. The ship’s musicians are playing a lively ragtime tune and everyone is chatting about the chunks of ice on the forward well deck—then a ship’s officer orders you into a lifeboat. Yes, orders you, like you’re a common servant. Why, the nerve of the man.

Women and children first, he says. What about the gentlemen? You hear someone whisper men are being allowed into the boats on the starboard side, but not here. Why get into the boats at all? you wonder, believing you’re safer on the ship than that small boat.

Then someone says the Titanic is sinking…

It can’t be that serious, can it? you wonder, not believing it possible You wait with your maid on the port side of the ship, watching the ladies being separated from their husbands and put into the lifeboats. Boats not even half-filled. No need to hurry. You hear someone say they’ll be laughing about this over breakfast.

Really? You start to shiver from the bitter cold…frosty puffs of air come out of your mouth when you speak. Unbelievable noise fills your ears. From the boilers, someone says. Ladies screaming as they’re pulled from their husbands’ arms. Then you notice the ship is listing heavily to one side. Well, what are you waiting for? Get into the damn lifeboat!

You don’t protest when a seaman tosses you into a boat. Then your maid. After all, you’re the lucky ones, you realize as the boat is lowered over the side and hits the water. The lifeboat pulls away from the ship so as not to be pulled down by the suction when the ship sinks…yes, it is true. The Titanic is going down.

You put your shoulder to the oar and row…listening to the whispers that a rescue ship is on the way…the Carpathia. Will it arrive in time?

Will it?

Not if you’re a gentleman in second class…

dreamstime_xl_32288424

© Daniel Raustadt | Dreamstime.com

You’re anxious to get to New York and start your new job—and thrilled to be on the Titanic’s maiden voyage. Who would have thought you’d find yourself walking the second class promenade deck late at night, your hands in your pocket, your mind on the pretty girl you met earlier in the day? Still, you’ve no time for romance. You’ve got family back in England needing the money you’ll send home to them. It’s nearly midnight. Time to turn in for the night.

You head for the second class staircase when—

Wait, what was that? Did you feel a bump?

You rush to the starboard side—good God, was that an iceberg? Did we hit it? you wonder. No alarm sounds, though you don’t find out until later the Titanic has no PA system and relies on the three hundred stewards to alert the passengers to put on their lifebelts and go topside.

You wait, noting the other passengers seem calm and no one is in a hurry to get into the lifeboats. Then you spy the pretty girl you had your eye on over on the port side. She’s trying to convince her aunt to get into a lifeboat. She’s grateful when you charm the older woman and talk her into getting into a boat with her niece following her. Then you see the girl waving at you as the boat is lowered over the side. She’s smiling. Tears in her eyes.

You’ll never forget that smile.

No time to waste. The chap you share a cabin with finds you and tosses you a lifebelt. The grim look on his face tells you that you’ll both need more than a lifebelt to make it. No men are allowed into the boats here on the port side, so you do your duty and assist the women and children getting into the boats.

It’s been more than two hours since the Titanic hit the iceberg and she’s listing heavily.

The last few minutes are chaotic. Men rush the lifeboats, then a shot rings out—they’re pushed back. You help a woman get into a boat, then someone hands you a baby. You give it to the woman before the boat is lowered.

No more wooden lifeboats left. You try to help the ship’s officers launch one of the four collapsibles when suddenly there’s a thunderous explosion. You’re blown clear of the ship, but after swimming long, hard strokes, your hands swell up, your legs go numb and your back feels like it’s breaking in two.

Cries, screams ringing in your head, people clinging to you, clutching you around the throat, dragging you down underwater. You can’t breathe, you’re choking. Then the cold…the bitter, freezing cold

The last thing you remember is the pretty girl’s smiling face…

But what if you can’t get topside? It is time to speak of the steerage passengers, who until now have waited patiently for a steward to bring them up on top to get into the lifeboats.

Well, not all the third class passengers have been patient.

How could you be if you’re a good wife and mother and your family’s lot depends on you getting to the lifeboats?

dreamstime_xl_14221240

© Photodynamx | Dreamstime.com

Holy Mary, you’ve had time of it since you boarded the Titanic at Queenstown. Getting the two little ones, Mary and Bridget, settled in their bunks with Danny, a lad of ten, wanting so to follow his da around the ship.

And then there’s Patrick, your man. A strong, blustering bloke with strong hands and a big heart. Him always ready to enjoy a pint after a hard day’s work and eager to give you a hug and a kiss when you’re weary from toiling from dawn till night.

“You’ll have a better life in America,” he promises you, after buying passage on the grand ship. And now look at the lot of you. Huddling in the stairway down here on E deck like drowned rats after the seawater came flooding into your cabin. The ship hit an iceberg, they say, split her open where you’re quartered in the fore part of the ship in the married couples section.

And would you believe the likes of them stewards shouting and hollering to put on lifebelts that don’t exist? Only through the help of the good Lord did Patrick find belts for you and the children. And now they won’t let you through the gate to go topside?

“Have you no heart, man?” Patrick yells to the steward, asking him to let his family through. No, he tells him, you have to wait. Then you put your hands over the girls’ ears when Patrick lets go with a barrage of expletives and his fists. He pushes the steward aside and bangs on the barrier. With help from the other men, down it goes with a loud crash.

Then Patrick picks up the girls, one in each arm, and orders you to grab Danny and go ahead of him. Up the stairs you go, the companionway taking you up to the next deck. Then someone says go through the second class door and somehow through Divine grace you find your way up on top.

Oh, such chaos you’ve never seen. People yelling and rushing about like frightened mice with their tails caught in the jaws of a hungry cat. Patrick, good man that he is, doesn’t stop. From boat to boat he goes until he finds one that will take you and the girls. And Danny.

But not him.

“Women and children first,” orders the ship’s officer, shaking his head. Patrick nods. He knew all along there’s no place for him, but he didn’t let anything stop him until his family was saved.

God bless him.

“A kiss to you, lass,” he says, brushing your lips with his, then he tosses you into the boat and it’s lowered away. You huddle in the lifeboat with your children close to you. The sea is so calm, so smooth, the piercing screams and pitiful pleas for help sound sharp and clear in your ears, but you can’t cry. That will come later. Now you have to be strong. For the girls and Danny.

Patrick would want it that way.

And there you have it. A trio of passengers and how they fare on that fateful night. Then at 2:20 a.m. on April 15, 1912, the Titanic breaks in two and sinks into the North Atlantic, a pale gray vapor hanging like smoke over the spot where she disappears.

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© Igokapil | Dreamstime.com

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© Igokapil | Dreamstime.com

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These three photos show items retrieved from the Titanic © Igokapil | Dreamstime.com

For the passengers and crew, cold and freezing in the lifeboats, it will be hours before the rescue ship Carpathia reaches them. Then it’s on to New York. Between twenty and thirty thousand people crowd Chelsea Piers when the Carpathia steams into New York Harbor around 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 18, 1912.

Even the aftermath of the Titanic is dramatic. Reporters hire their own tugboat to try to get to the passengers first and buy their exclusives stories; the newspapers blast the headlines for days about the society folks on board (third class passengers don’t fare as well—they’re sent to homeless shelters and their names don’t appear on the survivors’ list); and the U.S. Senate subcommittee holds hearings at the Waldorf-Astoria, interviewing first class passengers and crew.

We’ve come to the end of our journey on the Titanic and a grand tale it is. Before I go, I want to take one last look at the ship of dreams.

I want to take one more walk down her sweeping Grand Staircase with the great glass dome overhead like Katie O’Reilly, my heroine, does in Titanic Rhapsody. I see the stars peeking through, heavenly witnesses to all that is elegant and romantic.

A place of enchantment where everything is unique to this time, this place. Katie can’t believe she’s really here and neither can I.

I quicken my pace and leave the ship, knowing the Titanic will stay with me always.

~Jina

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Titanic Rhapsody from Jina Bacarr on Vimeo.

 

 

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