My Speed Date with a Vampire… for research, of course

@jinabacarr

My Speed Date with a Vampire as told by#author J Taylor Wilde #shortstory #authorsoftiktok #authorlife #booktok #booktoker #vampire @boldwoodbooks

♬ original sound – jinabacarr

Okay, so a girl can get lonely waiting for edits from her editor on her new book…

So I decided to try speed dating… at least my alter ego did… and I… I mean… she ended up meeting this guy who claims he’s a vampire.

Oh, Lord, what have I… I mean… she gotten ourselves into?

Find out in my video ‘My Speed Date with a Vampire’.

Waiting for my editor’s notes…

When you’re waiting on pins and needles for notes on your new book and your editor drops you a note that’s music to your ears…

‘I’m really enjoying what I’ve read…’

Yes!

Mom and me on Mother’s Day when I was 10

You call her Mother, Mom… Mum

No matter how old you are

You’ll always be her shining star

And you’ll always be her kid

So go tell her you love her I did

If only in my dreams…

(Mom and me in video when I was 10)

#HappyMothersDay2022 #HappyMothersDay

Her Lost Love ‘Goldbox Romance Australia

I’m excited to announce HER LOST LOVE is a Kindle Australia Goldbox Romance today! Here’s the WW2 #Christmas letter that inspired my story… AU amazon.com.au/dp/B07V1QT9Z6 $1.09 AU

Time travel back to Christmas 1943 on the home front

On a cold December day in 1955, I got on a train to go back home for Christmas.
This is the story of what happened when I got off that train.
In 1943.

TITANIC Trivia Quiz: How many can you get right?

Titanic_Quiz_2020

TITANIC Week here on “Once Upon a Story.” Titanic Trivia Quiz

We’ve seen the films, read the books, but what do you know about the Titanic, really?

Take the quiz and find out!

(answers at the bottom of the page)

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

 Titanic Trivia Questions:

  1. You’ve just spent your honeymoon in Paris with your handsome husband and it’s time to return to America. He surprises you with first class tickets on the Titanic. From what French port do you sail?
  1. Marseilles
  2. Cherbourg
  3. Calais
  1. The Titanic has just arrived in Queenstown  and you see several bumboats with vendors hawking their wares. They come aboard ship with their Irish souvenirs. When John Jacob Astor buys his new bride a souvenir, your husband buys you one, too. What did Colonel Astor buy his bride?
  1. a set of china
  2. a Celtic brooch
  3. a lace shawl
  1. You’re thrilled to find fresh flowers in your cabin when you and your new hubby come on board the ship of dreams. You’re also excited to find out you’re one of several honeymoon couples sailing to New York. According to reliable sources, how many honeymoon couples were there on the Titanic?
  1. 8
  2. 11
  3. 13
  1. You hear heated whispers in the first class dining saloon when American millionaire Benjamin Guggenheim arrives with his latest mistress. Everyone’s curious, who is she? And where is she from?
  1. Mlle. Aubart, a Parisian entertainer
  2. Madame de Villiers, a Belgian cabaret singer
  3. Miss Annabelle Pearl, a British fashion designer
  1. You’re late for dinner in the first class dining saloon and lost in the maze of dead end corridors when you run into that handsome gentleman you met last night. He shows you the way to the dining room, then sneaks a kiss in the elevator. How many first class elevators are there on Titanic?
  1. one
  2. two
  3. three
  1. While you were waiting to board the ship at Queenstown, Ireland, you couldn’t resist flirting with the handsome lad who helped you carry your traveling bag. He whispered in your ear he’ll sneak into the single women’s 3rd class quarters to see you later. Where are the women’s steerage cabins on the ship?
  1. fore
  2. aft
  3. amidships
  1. You want to look alluring when you meet that handsome gentleman for dinner later in the first class dining saloon on D deck, so you pamper yourself in the Turkish baths. The bath stewardess insists you try out the latest beauty treatment:
  1. an electric bath which tans your skin with ultraviolet lights
  2. a face peel
  3. an exercise machine where you walk in one place
  1. Tonight you’re dining in the exclusive À La Carte Restaurant some first class passengers call the Ritz when you hear the ship’s musicians playing a lovely waltz. Later you hear them playing that same musical piece when you’re getting into a lifeboat. Some say it may have been the last song the musicians played as the Titanic foundered. What was the name of that waltz?
  1. Autumn
  2. Emperor
  3. Vienna
  1. It’s 10 p.m. on Sunday night, April 14th, and you can’t resist a stroll up on deck with your husband. It’s misty and getting colder. Even with his strong arms wrapped around you, you can’t stop shivering. How cold is it?
  1. 45 degrees F
  2. 29 degrees F
  3. 32 degrees F
  1. It’s 11:40 p.m. and you’re in bed with your husband enjoying a night of wedded bliss when the ship hits an iceberg. You want to cuddle up next to him in your warm bed, but he insists you get dressed and get into a lifeboat. How long do you have before the ship sinks?
  1. 1 hour and 45 minutes
  2. 2 hours and 40 minutes
  3. 2 hours and 10 minutes

Answers:

  1. (Answer: B Cherbourg)
  1. (Answer: C a lace shawl)
  1. (Answer: C 13)
  1. (Answer: A Mlle Aubart)
  1. (Answer: C three)
  1. (Answer: B aft)
  1. (Answer: A an electric bath)
  1. (Answer: A Autumn)
  1. (Answer: C 32 degrees F)
  1. (Answer: B 2 hours and 40 minutes)

————

Meet Ava O’Reilly and the handsome Captain Lord Buck Blackthorn:

THE RUNAWAY GIRL

——————————

 

THE RUNAWAY GIRL 

Two women hold the keys to his heart. Only one will survive that fateful night…

When Ava O’Reilly is wrongly accused of stealing from her employer, she has no option but to flee Ireland. The law is after her, and she has only one chance at escape – the Titanic.

Aboard the ship of dreams, she runs straight into the arms of Captain ‘Buck’ Blackthorn, a dashing gentleman gambler who promises to be her protector. He is intrigued by her Irish beauty and manages to disguise her as the maid of his good friend, the lovely Countess of Marbury. Little does he realise, that the Countess is also in love with him.

As the fateful night approaches, tragedy strikes further when Ava is separated from Buck, and must make a daring choice that will change her life forever…

————

Wat readers are saying about The Runaway Girl:

‘A fantastic Titanic take woven in with a great portrayal of love, friendship, and even forgiveness. I would have rather seen this as a movie than the Jack and Rose story!!!’

‘Oh how I adored this story… From start to finish I was enchanted with the story and the characters and all the finer details describing the ship, clothes and scenery.’

‘This book was so well written and such vivid descriptions were used that I really did feel as though Jina had put me in a time machine and sent me back to 1912,’

‘A breathtaking romance that is sure to stay with you long after reading’

‘Perfect for historical fiction and romance fans.’
‘A mesmerizing romance that is sure to sweep you off your feet and take you away to another place, another time.’

‘A fabulous book you won’t want to miss’

THE RUNAWAY GIRL:

US Amazon

UK Amazon

———–

US:

Barnes & Noble

Kobo.

Apple Books

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

[

April 14, 1912: The TITANIC hit an iceberg at 11:40 p.m. Would you have survived? ‘Part 4 Steerage Family’

TITANIC Week here on ‘Once Upon a Story‘.

Part 4 Steerage Class Irish Family

What Really Happened that Night…

Today on April 14, 1912, the Titanic struck an iceberg at 11:40 p.m. and sank at 2:20 a.m.

Would you have survived?

What were your chances?

————-

Steerage Class Family

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?

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.

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); 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, though I shan’t walk her decks or open doors to her cabins.

No, I want to take one more walk down her sweeping Grand Staircase with the great glass dome overhead like Ava O’Reilly, my heroine, does in The RUNAWAY GIRL. We 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. Ava 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.

Tomorrow I will pay tribute to the victims and survivors of the Titanic and answer your questions.

I pray you will join me.

Coming up tomorrow: TRIBUTE to the TITANIC and its passengers

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

Join me April 10-15th when I take you aboard the ship of dreams and we explore what happened during that fateful voyage…

 

===========

===========

Ongoing: Be sure to check out the wonderfully moving Titanic photos on the TITANIC LIGHTHOUSE Instagram page!  

——————

AUDIO PREVIEW:

Ava is a fine lass on the run from the law… find out why in this terrific audio excerpt.

I love Laurel Lefkow’s reading of my nasty villian, Lord Emsy…

Then see what happens when Ava runs away and boards the Titanic in Queenstown, Ireland in my video below.

Her sailing to America is a stormy one… one filled with adventure and romance with the dashing Captain Lord Buck Blackthorn…

———–

 The Runaway Girl  Want more audio? Listen to a different ample on Amazon at: amazon.com/dp/B084MM1D4R

Meet Ava O’Reilly and the handsome Captain Lord Buck Blackthorn:

THE RUNAWAY GIRL

——————————

 

THE RUNAWAY GIRL 

Two women hold the keys to his heart. Only one will survive that fateful night…

When Ava O’Reilly is wrongly accused of stealing from her employer, she has no option but to flee Ireland. The law is after her, and she has only one chance at escape – the Titanic.

Aboard the ship of dreams, she runs straight into the arms of Captain ‘Buck’ Blackthorn, a dashing gentleman gambler who promises to be her protector. He is intrigued by her Irish beauty and manages to disguise her as the maid of his good friend, the lovely Countess of Marbury. Little does he realise, that the Countess is also in love with him.

As the fateful night approaches, tragedy strikes further when Ava is separated from Buck, and must make a daring choice that will change her life forever…

————

A sweeping, emotional historical romance set aboard the Titanic, perfect for fans of Gill Paul and Suzanne Goldring.

This is a revised and fully updated edition of a novel previously published as Titanic Rhapsody.

————

What readers are saying about The Runaway Girl:

‘A fantastic Titanic take woven in with a great portrayal of love, friendship, and even forgiveness. I would have rather seen this as a movie than the Jack and Rose story!!!’

‘Oh how I adored this story… From start to finish I was enchanted with the story and the characters and all the finer details describing the ship, clothes and scenery.’

‘This book was so well written and such vivid descriptions were used that I really did feel as though Jina had put me in a time machine and sent me back to 1912,’

‘A breathtaking romance that is sure to stay with you long after reading’

‘Perfect for historical fiction and romance fans.’
‘A mesmerizing romance that is sure to sweep you off your feet and take you away to another place, another time.’

‘A fabulous book you won’t want to miss’

THE RUNAWAY GIRL:

US Amazon

UK Amazon

———–

US:

Barnes & Noble

Kobo.

Apple Books

April 14, 1912: The TITANIC hit an iceberg at 11:40 p.m. Would you have survived? ‘Part 3 Second Class Gentleman’

TITANIC Week here on ‘Once Upon a Story‘.

Part 3

What Really Happened that Night…

Today on April 14, 1912, the Titanic struck an iceberg at 11:40 p.m. and sank at 2:20 a.m.

Would you have survived?

What were your chances?

————-

Second Class Gentleman

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?

Coming up next: Irish Steerage Class Family

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

Join me April 10-15th when I take you aboard the ship of dreams and we explore what happened during that fateful voyage…

—————-

AUDIO PREVIEW:

Ava is a fine lass on the run from the law… find out why in this terrific audio excerpt.

I love Laurel Lefkow’s reading of my nasty villian, Lord Emsy…

Then see what happens when Ava runs away and boards the Titanic in Queenstown, Ireland in my video below.

Her sailing to America is a stormy one… one filled with adventure and romance with the dashing Captain Lord Buck Blackthorn…

———–

 The Runaway Girl  Want more audio? Listen to a different ample on Amazon at: amazon.com/dp/B084MM1D4R

Meet Ava O’Reilly and the handsome Captain Lord Buck Blackthorn:

THE RUNAWAY GIRL

——————————

 

THE RUNAWAY GIRL 

Two women hold the keys to his heart. Only one will survive that fateful night…

When Ava O’Reilly is wrongly accused of stealing from her employer, she has no option but to flee Ireland. The law is after her, and she has only one chance at escape – the Titanic.

Aboard the ship of dreams, she runs straight into the arms of Captain ‘Buck’ Blackthorn, a dashing gentleman gambler who promises to be her protector. He is intrigued by her Irish beauty and manages to disguise her as the maid of his good friend, the lovely Countess of Marbury. Little does he realise, that the Countess is also in love with him.

As the fateful night approaches, tragedy strikes further when Ava is separated from Buck, and must make a daring choice that will change her life forever…

————

What readers are saying about The Runaway Girl:

‘A fantastic Titanic take woven in with a great portrayal of love, friendship, and even forgiveness. I would have rather seen this as a movie than the Jack and Rose story!!!’

‘Oh how I adored this story… From start to finish I was enchanted with the story and the characters and all the finer details describing the ship, clothes and scenery.’

‘This book was so well written and such vivid descriptions were used that I really did feel as though Jina had put me in a time machine and sent me back to 1912,’

‘A breathtaking romance that is sure to stay with you long after reading’

‘Perfect for historical fiction and romance fans.’
‘A mesmerizing romance that is sure to sweep you off your feet and take you away to another place, another time.’

‘A fabulous book you won’t want to miss’

THE RUNAWAY GIRL:

US Amazon

UK Amazon

———–

US:

Barnes & Noble

Kobo.

Apple Books

April 14, 1912: The TITANIC hit an iceberg at 11:40 p.m. Would you have survived? ‘Part 2 First Class Lady’

Not every lady in first class survived that night…

TITANIC Week here on ‘Once Upon a Story‘.

Part 2

What Really Happened that Night…

Today on April 14, 1912, the Titanic struck an iceberg at 11:40 p.m. and sank at 2:20 a.m.

Would you have survived?

What were your chances?

————-

First Class Lady

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, 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’s 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.

 ===============

Coming up next: Second Class Gentleman

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

Join me April 10-15th when I take you aboard the ship of dreams and we explore what happened during that fateful voyage…

And check out the hashtag #SatBookChat on Twitter with fab blogger JORIE the Joyful Tweeter Saturday April 11th

===========

AUDIO PREVIEW:

Ava is a fine lass on the run from the law… find out why in this terrific audio excerpt.

I love Laurel Lefkow’s reading of my nasty villian, Lord Emsy…

Then see what happens when Ava runs away and boards the Titanic in Queenstown, Ireland in my video below.

Her sailing to America is a stormy one… one filled with adventure and romance with the dashing Captain Lord Buck Blackthorn…

———–

 The Runaway Girl  Want more audio? Listen to a different ample on Amazon at: amazon.com/dp/B084MM1D4R

Meet Ava O’Reilly and the handsome Captain Lord Buck Blackthorn:

THE RUNAWAY GIRL

——————————

 

THE RUNAWAY GIRL 

Two women hold the keys to his heart. Only one will survive that fateful night…

When Ava O’Reilly is wrongly accused of stealing from her employer, she has no option but to flee Ireland. The law is after her, and she has only one chance at escape – the Titanic.

Aboard the ship of dreams, she runs straight into the arms of Captain ‘Buck’ Blackthorn, a dashing gentleman gambler who promises to be her protector. He is intrigued by her Irish beauty and manages to disguise her as the maid of his good friend, the lovely Countess of Marbury. Little does he realise, that the Countess is also in love with him.

As the fateful night approaches, tragedy strikes further when Ava is separated from Buck, and must make a daring choice that will change her life forever…

————

What readers are saying about The Runaway Girl:

‘A fantastic Titanic take woven in with a great portrayal of love, friendship, and even forgiveness. I would have rather seen this as a movie than the Jack and Rose story!!!’

‘Oh how I adored this story… From start to finish I was enchanted with the story and the characters and all the finer details describing the ship, clothes and scenery.’

‘This book was so well written and such vivid descriptions were used that I really did feel as though Jina had put me in a time machine and sent me back to 1912,’

‘A breathtaking romance that is sure to stay with you long after reading’

‘Perfect for historical fiction and romance fans.’
‘A mesmerizing romance that is sure to sweep you off your feet and take you away to another place, another time.’

‘A fabulous book you won’t want to miss’

THE RUNAWAY GIRL:

US Amazon

UK Amazon

———–

US:

Barnes & Noble

Kobo.

Apple Books

April 14, 1912: The TITANIC hit an iceberg at 11:40 p.m. Part 1 What Really Happened that Night… would you have survived?

My thanks to my Irish family members who so kindly agreed to step in and play the parts of the first class lady, second class gent, and steerage Irish lass.

 

TITANIC Week here on ‘Once Upon a Story‘.

Part 1

What Really Happened that Night…

Today on April 14, 1912, the Titanic struck an iceberg at 11:40 p.m. and sank at 2:20 a.m.

Would you have survived?

What were your chances?

Find out in my posts today (3 more following throughout the day) as we experience what it was like that night through the eyes of a first class lady, a second class gentleman, and an Irish family in steerage class.

You might be surprised.

————

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 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 The Runaway Girl, Captain Lord Buck 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 Ava and Buck my heroine and hero in The RUNAWAY GIRL 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 Ava and Buck 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.

Coming up next: FIRST CLASS LADY

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

Join me April 10-15th when I take you aboard the ship of dreams and we explore what happened during that fateful voyage…

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AUDIO PREVIEW:

Ava is a fine lass on the run from the law… find out why in this terrific audio excerpt.

I love Laurel Lefkow’s reading of my nasty villian, Lord Emsy…

Then see what happens when Ava runs away and boards the Titanic in Queenstown, Ireland in my video below.

Her sailing to America is a stormy one… one filled with adventure and romance with the dashing Captain Lord Buck Blackthorn…

———–

 The Runaway Girl  Want more audio? Listen to a different ample on Amazon at: amazon.com/dp/B084MM1D4R

Meet Ava O’Reilly and the handsome Captain Lord Buck Blackthorn:

THE RUNAWAY GIRL

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THE RUNAWAY GIRL 

Two women hold the keys to his heart. Only one will survive that fateful night…

When Ava O’Reilly is wrongly accused of stealing from her employer, she has no option but to flee Ireland. The law is after her, and she has only one chance at escape – the Titanic.

Aboard the ship of dreams, she runs straight into the arms of Captain ‘Buck’ Blackthorn, a dashing gentleman gambler who promises to be her protector. He is intrigued by her Irish beauty and manages to disguise her as the maid of his good friend, the lovely Countess of Marbury. Little does he realise, that the Countess is also in love with him.

As the fateful night approaches, tragedy strikes further when Ava is separated from Buck, and must make a daring choice that will change her life forever…

————

A sweeping, emotional historical romance set aboard the Titanic, perfect for fans of Gill Paul and Suzanne Goldring.

This is a revised and fully updated edition of a novel previously published as Titanic Rhapsody.

————

What readers are saying about The Runaway Girl:

‘A fantastic Titanic take woven in with a great portrayal of love, friendship, and even forgiveness. I would have rather seen this as a movie than the Jack and Rose story!!!’

‘Oh how I adored this story… From start to finish I was enchanted with the story and the characters and all the finer details describing the ship, clothes and scenery.’

‘This book was so well written and such vivid descriptions were used that I really did feel as though Jina had put me in a time machine and sent me back to 1912,’

‘A breathtaking romance that is sure to stay with you long after reading’

‘Perfect for historical fiction and romance fans.’
‘A mesmerizing romance that is sure to sweep you off your feet and take you away to another place, another time.’

‘A fabulous book you won’t want to miss’

THE RUNAWAY GIRL:

US Amazon

UK Amazon

———–

US:

Barnes & Noble

Kobo.

Apple Books

Titanic: it’s 11:40 p.m. April 14 1912… Where have all the lifeboats gone?

Women and children first

This was the cry heard on that cold, bitter night of April 14, 1912. Earlier that Sunday morning passengers of all classes had attended divine services and offered prayers for a safe crossing.

At 11:40 pm the Titanic struck an iceberg and she was sinking fast.

Everyone scrambled to get to the lifeboats.

‘Women and children first,’ called out the ship’s officers.

Why then, when lifeboat number 5 was lowered (capacity 40), were there only 2 women and 10 men aboard?

If the call was for women and children first, why were gentlemen permitted to get into the boats on the starboard side?

While no male passengers were allowed to enter a lifeboat on the port side of the ship when there were women and children about?

And who can forget the look of pain on faces of the Irish family – the da, mum and three children – who fought their way up from the bowels of the ship only to discover there were no more lifeboats?

No more lifeboats.

With only a rosary and prayer and their arms wrapped around each other, they faced the end bravely.

Still, the question, persists, why were there not enough lifeboats?

Some put the blame on J. Bruce Ismay, the Chairman and Managing Director of the White Star Line, who insisted the number of lifeboats be cut from 48 to 16 (in addition, 4 Englehardt or collapsible lifeboats were stored on the Boat deck) because they ‘cluttered’ the deck.

For the record, Mr. Ismay escaped the sinking in collapsible lifeboat C.

The White Star Line argued that it had followed the British Board of Trade regulations that dictated for a liner the size of the Titanic (using a specific formula based in tonnage), sixteen lifeboats was more than the number of boats required.

Here is a model of the Titanic decks and lifeboats showing rigging and funnel so you can get an idea of what the upper deck looked like. This rule was hopelessly outdated when the Titanic was launched.

 

But no one seemed to notice.

Until it was too late.

It does me heart in, as my heroine Ava O’Reilly would say, to write this post, knowing so many more passengers could been saved if they’d had more boats. As it was, several lifeboats were lowered half full or less. (The first lifeboat left with only 28 people–it could hold 65).

Again, there is some confusion as to why this happened. The lifeboats had been tested and could hold forty to sixty-five people, but the captain decided to lower them half full, then fill the boats with passengers from the lower gangways.

That never happened. The doors were never opened.

As the lifeboats rowed away, the horrified passengers in the lifeboats watched the heartbreaking scene.

Was Ava among them in the lifeboats? Or fighting for her life in the cold, freezing sea?

Find out in THE RUNAWAY GIRL

——————————

 

THE RUNAWAY GIRL  

Two women hold the keys to his heart. Only one will survive that fateful night…

When Ava O’Reilly is wrongly accused of stealing from her employer, she has no option but to flee Ireland. The law is after her, and she has only one chance at escape – the Titanic.

Aboard the ship of dreams, she runs straight into the arms of Captain ‘Buck’ Blackthorn, a dashing gentleman gambler who promises to be her protector. He is intrigued by her Irish beauty and manages to disguise her as the maid of his good friend, the lovely Countess of Marbury. Little does he realise, that the Countess is also in love with him.

As the fateful night approaches, tragedy strikes further when Ava is separated from Buck, and must make a daring choice that will change her life forever…

————

What readers are saying about The Runaway Girl:

‘A fantastic Titanic take woven in with a great portrayal of love, friendship, and even forgiveness. I would have rather seen this as a movie than the Jack and Rose story!!!’

‘Oh how I adored this story… From start to finish I was enchanted with the story and the characters and all the finer details describing the ship, clothes and scenery.”

‘A breathtaking romance that is sure to stay with you long after reading’

‘Perfect for historical fiction and romance fans.’
‘A mesmerizing romance that is sure to sweep you off your feet and take you away to another place, another time.’

‘A fabulous book you won’t want to miss’

THE RUNAWAY GIRL:

US Amazon

UK Amazon

———–

US:

Barnes & Noble

Kobo.

Apple Books

 

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