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The Titanic and the Iceberg: Would you have survived?

Titanic Rhapsody from Jina Bacarr on Vimeo.

Titanic: Iceberg and the Sinking

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 post today 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 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.

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, 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.

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?

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); 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, 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 Katie O’Reilly, my heroine, does in Titanic Rhapsody. 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. 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.

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

Jina

 

 

My Titanic romance “Titanic Rhapsody” is available on:

US: Amazon Kindle and Amazon KU http://a.co/1wSE0rb

UK: Amazon Kindle and Amazon KU http://amzn.eu/75Lw9NS

Smart Girls Grow Up . . . International Women’s Day

Women in every era have struggled for equality.

Especially during the Civil War when women bound their breasts and cut their hair and fought as men in both the Union and Confederate Armies.

Like my heroine.

In Love Me Forever.

As you can see in the excerpt below from LOVE ME FOREVER

Flynt grabbed the young officer and a flash of heat shot through him, a sensation so unexpected it shook his senses to the core.

My God, what’s this?

A woman’s breasts?

He drew back, puzzled then disturbed. Warm nights . . . silken sheets . . . perfume.

He couldn’t speak. He was dumbfounded, his entire being shaken. He couldn’t move and he could barely breathe. He struggled to keep from blurting out his discovery.

The Rebel prisoner was a female.

Would his nurse give her away? Or was she waiting for him to say something? He couldn’t. He felt a stirring within him, something he didn’t want to admit, that brought a hardness between his loins. Did he dare imagine that a beautiful woman existed under all that blood and dirt? He’d heard stories about women enlisting in the army, both North and South, and fighting as men. A good set of teeth to rip open a bullet cartridge, a trigger finger that worked, and a firm handshake was all that was required to join up. It was no secret the promise of a steady paycheck was often the reason behind such reckless female behavior.

That didn’t solve his immediate problem.

Flynt couldn’t see her face under the broad-brimmed hat, but the fullness of her breasts was quite evident when she fell against him. She was tall, making her charade as a man believable, with a leanness about her uncommon to most women he knew. Too often they bound their bodies with boned corsets and rounded hip pads.

He released her, though not willingly. Her lean figure added to her appeal. She was strong and lithe, like the mountain cats he’d hunted west of the Mississippi, but she was no country girl. Her manner of speaking, though strange to his ears, told him she was well educated.

An adventuress? Or was she a female physician? That would explain her disguise since women in the medical field were rare.

Her presence put him off balance, but he couldn’t stop a smile from curving over his lips.

Who is she? he wanted to know.

More important, what was he going to do with her?

Meet Liberty Jordan:

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

Let’s celebrate the acts of courage of women throughout the centuries on International Women’s Day!

~Jina

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

1862: How the Tooth Fairy helped soldiers during the Civil War

tooth_fairy_day

Remember when Frank posed as a dentist assistant in Mercy Street on PBS? He was spying . . . and didn’t know a thing about teeth.

Too bad he didn’t have the Tooth Fairy on his side.

The Tooth Fairy took on a new role during the Civil War. She fought long and hard to help the soldiers keep their teeth, not take them. If a soldier had a toothbrush, it was homemade.

Brushes didn’t show up as commercially made until 1885. Most used a “chewing stick” made from a twig from a tree or bush.

Chomping on hardtack didn’t help. Called tooth-dullers by the soldiers, they tried to soften them in coffee, but often cracked a tooth.

No wonder the Tooth Fairy was so into preventive care.

You see, for a man (or woman disguised as a man) to join the army of the North or the South, they needed a good set of teeth.

As you can see in the excerpt below from LOVE ME FOREVER

Flynt grabbed the young officer and a flash of heat shot through him, a sensation so unexpected it shook his senses to the core.

My God, what’s this?

A woman’s breasts?

He drew back, puzzled then disturbed. Warm nights . . . silken sheets . . . perfume.

He couldn’t speak. He was dumbfounded, his entire being shaken. He couldn’t move and he could barely breathe. He struggled to keep from blurting out his discovery.

The Rebel prisoner was a female.

Would his nurse give her away? Or was she waiting for him to say something? He couldn’t. He felt a stirring within him, something he didn’t want to admit, that brought a hardness between his loins. Did he dare imagine that a beautiful woman existed under all that blood and dirt? He’d heard stories about women enlisting in the army, both North and South, and fighting as men. A good set of teeth to rip open a bullet cartridge, a trigger finger that worked, and a firm handshake was all that was required to join up. It was no secret the promise of a steady paycheck was often the reason behind such reckless female behavior.

That didn’t solve his immediate problem.

Flynt couldn’t see her face under the broad-brimmed hat, but the fullness of her breasts was quite evident when she fell against him. She was tall, making her charade as a man believable, with a leanness about her uncommon to most women he knew. Too often they bound their bodies with boned corsets and rounded hip pads.

He released her, though not willingly. Her lean figure added to her appeal. She was strong and lithe, like the mountain cats he’d hunted west of the Mississippi, but she was no country girl. Her manner of speaking, though strange to his ears, told him she was well educated.

An adventuress? Or was she a female physician? That would explain her disguise since women in the medical field were rare.

Her presence put him off balance, but he couldn’t stop a smile from curving over his lips.

Who is she? he wanted to know.

More important, what was he going to do with her?

Meet Liberty Jordan:

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

So keep our Tooth Fairy happy. Take care of your teeth!!

~Jina

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

Two Twins–a Time Traveler and a Civil War Spy celebrate “Women’s Equality Day”

womens_equality_CivilWar

Meet my battling twins: Two heroines in my Civil War time travel romance, LOVE ME FOREVER

A time traveler from the future.

A Southern belle and a spy.

An odd couple in every way. One a strawberry-blonde, the other raven-haired. One believes in the Union; the other will do anything for the cause. One in love with a man she can’t have…the other engaged to a man she doesn’t love.

But these two women do have one thing in common: believing in women’s equality. Here my time traveler, Liberty, questions her involvement with belle Pauletta Sue:

She couldn’t stop questioning how she got mixed up with this crazy secesh woman and her insane scheme. She’d never seen a woman so passionate about a cause, so truly believing what she was doing was patriotism. The war had unleashed a fire in her, and the more Liberty understood about the protected, delicate lifestyle these women led, the more she knew a great movement was underway that went beyond their cause.

It wasn’t until 1866 that the American Equal Rights Association was founded, but this was the beginning of the movement leading to women’s freedom and that she could understand. What bothered her was that Pauletta Sue was on the losing side of the war and because of that, she might not benefit from the changes women embraced afterward. She worked so hard at her cause, Liberty believed she deserved better, but the belle wouldn’t listen to her.

=========

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

Love_Me_Forever_500x798LOVE ME FOREVER

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

 

 

 

Love Me on Forever on Sale for $1.99 for August 2016 from Jina Bacarr on Vimeo.

LOVE ME FOREVER is available from Kindle Press at Amazon.com and is on sale the month of August for $1.99!

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

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.

 

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

hot_java_gold_sexy_couple

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

===========

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

 

1862: How the Tooth Fairy helped soldiers during the Civil War

tooth_fairy_day

Yes, it’s true. This sweet little Tooth Fairy took on a new role during the Civil War. She fought long and hard to help the soldiers keep their teeth, not take them. If a soldier had a toothbrush, it was homemade.

Brushes didn’t show up as commercially made until 1885. Most used a “chewing stick” made from a twig from a tree or bush.

Chomping on hardtack didn’t help. Called tooth-dullers by the soldiers, they tried to soften them in coffee, but often cracked a tooth.

No wonder the Tooth Fairy was so into preventive care.

You see, for a man (or woman disguised as a man) to join the army of the North or the South, they needed a good set of teeth.

As you can see in the excerpt below from LOVE ME FOREVER

Flynt grabbed the young officer and a flash of heat shot through him, a sensation so unexpected it shook his senses to the core.

My God, what’s this?

A woman’s breasts?

He drew back, puzzled then disturbed. Warm nights . . . silken sheets . . . perfume.

He couldn’t speak. He was dumbfounded, his entire being shaken. He couldn’t move and he could barely breathe. He struggled to keep from blurting out his discovery.

The Rebel prisoner was a female.

Would his nurse give her away? Or was she waiting for him to say something? He couldn’t. He felt a stirring within him, something he didn’t want to admit, that brought a hardness between his loins. Did he dare imagine that a beautiful woman existed under all that blood and dirt? He’d heard stories about women enlisting in the army, both North and South, and fighting as men. A good set of teeth to rip open a bullet cartridge, a trigger finger that worked, and a firm handshake was all that was required to join up. It was no secret the promise of a steady paycheck was often the reason behind such reckless female behavior.

That didn’t solve his immediate problem.

Flynt couldn’t see her face under the broad-brimmed hat, but the fullness of her breasts was quite evident when she fell against him. She was tall, making her charade as a man believable, with a leanness about her uncommon to most women he knew. Too often they bound their bodies with boned corsets and rounded hip pads.

He released her, though not willingly. Her lean figure added to her appeal. She was strong and lithe, like the mountain cats he’d hunted west of the Mississippi, but she was no country girl. Her manner of speaking, though strange to his ears, told him she was well educated.

An adventuress? Or was she a female physician? That would explain her disguise since women in the medical field were rare.

Her presence put him off balance, but he couldn’t stop a smile from curving over his lips.

Who is she? he wanted to know.

More important, what was he going to do with her?

Meet Liberty Jordan:

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

So keep our Tooth Fairy happy. Take care of your teeth!!

~Jina

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 Slipper fits…the fairytale come true about my Civil War Kindle Scout book “Love Me Forever” and our KP Authors Sunday Jan 10th Facebook Event 8 pm EST

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A year ago I was finishing up my Kindle Scout winner, LOVE ME FOREVER, to submit to the program.

A year later . . . and it’s been an amazing ride! This coming Sunday, January 10, 2015 8 pm Eastern Time, you can meet a whole bunch of Kindle Scout winners when we host a Facebook Event.

In honor of that, I’m re-posting Part 1 of my Kindle Scout story. I hope you enjoy it and I look forward to seeing you at the FB event next Sunday!

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

You know the fairy tale, but here’s the story behind it:

How my Kindle Scout book, LOVE ME FOREVER, was selected for publication, Part 1.

What is Kindle Scout? you ask. How does it work? Is it right for me?

The best way I can answer that is to tell you my story. Adding tips and observations along the way that I hslipper_fits_KSope will help guide you, whether you’re a reader or a writer…so here we go!

Once upon a time I had a book of the heart, a story I loved like a comfy, fave pair of jeans. I just couldn’t throw them away…

That book is LOVE ME FOREVER, a Civil War time travel novel that takes place from 1862-1863. It’s a big, family saga with two feisty heroines and the military men they love, coming in at 150,000 words. But as everyone knows, trad pubs don’t want Civil War…no problem, I’ll self publish it, right?

Or—and here’s where temptation comes in, like circling the pastry case at Starbucks, should I try Kindle Scout? The Amazon publishing venture where readers pick the books they publish:
https://kindlescout.amazon.com/about 

So I did…and for thirty days I was on a wild rollercoaster ride during my campaign for LOVE ME FOREVER. I’d check the “Hot and Trending” List all hours of the day and night on my cell phone—fretting when I wasn’t on the list and cheering when I was.

Bonus: if you nominate a book and it’s selected for publication, you receive a free advance copy before it’s published.

Here are some tips re: submitting to Kindle Scout:

1 – Format your book as if you’re going to self-pub it. I renamed my original .doc and then took out the copyright page and TOC, links to my other books, no header needed (you can add the copyright, links, and TOC back in later if you’re selected). I left in the page numbers (not needed for self-pub), but they don’t show up on the excerpt. If your book is selected, you’re ready to begin your final read-through. If not, you have your original .doc if you decide to self-publish your m/s.

2 – Don’t wait until you’re ready to submit to Kindle Scout to answer the questions, write your bio, description, etc. It took a lot of preparation to answer the questions in a way that highlighted who I am as a writer (3 questions), bio, description, logline—all have character length restrictions. I’d recommend getting that out of the way before you finish your book or do a final read-through.

3 – Cover: I did a dreamy Civil War lady cover with a beautiful rendering. It says “romance” right away so you can attract that reader. Also, keep it clean and simple with a strong focal point to grab the eye, but not confuse it. Be sure to adhere to the required size: 4500 pixels high and 2820 pixels wide (or a 1.5 height/width ratio). PNG (.png) or JPEG (.jpeg or .jpg) format, no larger than 5MB.

4 – Read the contract carefully – the percentage is 50 percent royalties instead of 70; you have to ask for your book back in writing if they don’t publish it after the 45-day exclusive; the $1,500 advance is against royalties; Amazon owns the exclusive digital and audio worldwide rights for 5 years in all languages—renewable.

Your book is published by Amazon Kindle Press in e-book, not print. Here is the breakdown from the Kindle Scout website:

Royalty Table:
E-Book: 50% of Net Revenue
Digital Audio: 25% of Net Revenue
Translation in e-Book format: 20% of Net Revenue

I believe they have 6 months to publish it or you get your rights back (you have to ask in writing).

5 – I see Kindle Scout as a new, exciting venture that combines both self-pubbing and traditional. You write, edit, copy edit, format your book and submit your own cover, but if you’re selected, you have Kindle Press as your publisher with an additional copy edit, PR, etc.

For me, it was also the opportunity to put my story out there during the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War. I blogged every day with stories and excerpts about the Civil War. I added graphics I did myself with Royalty Free stock I bought a while ago. I enjoy designing the graphics, so that’s a plus. You can see my graphics here on my blog by looking at older posts.

6 – All in all, I’m extremely happy with the professionalism at Kindle Scout. I submitted my package online (very easy to fill out and submit) and my book was accepted within 2 hours and went live 2 days later.

Here is the link to my Kindle Scout page: https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/1EBUHZH3PWQRK

=========
The selection process:

I was on the Hot list more than half the time during the 30-day campaign. I would get on the list, jump around for a few days from first to last (about 10 books average are on the list at any one time), drop off for a day or two, then pop back on.

I blogged, tweeted, etc. every day, which helped me get the message out on a consistent basis, but I believe support from good people like you was very important to staying on the Hot list. Again, thank you.

I’m not sure what other criteria KS uses to make their selection. I submitted the cleanest m/s I could. I spent a lot of time checking it after it was written and giving it a thorough copy edit before I submitted it, checked the timeline, looked for inconsistencies, etc. It’s vital to give them the best book you can.

==========
The next step:

After my 30-day campaign ended, it took only two days for me to receive word my book was selected. My book cover was up on the KS header almost immediately along with the other selected books. I had 30 days to make any changes. I went over my manuscript for content, punctuation, spacing, etc. I also printed out a hard copy and gave it a quick read-through. You’d be surprised what you see on paper that you don’t see on a computer screen.

Next, after you submit your Final m/s, your book receives a Kindle Press copy edit. I’ll talk more about that in a future post. The Kindle Press Team is the best–all the KS authors are pleased with the entire process.

The contract becomes active as soon as you receive their email. It also indicated the accounting team would contact me. (I spoke with a member of the KP team a few days afterward). I’m already self-pubbed with Amazon, so I have an account with bank numbers, tax info, etc. in place, but KP has additional paperwork to be filled out.

============
What I would have done differently:

I wouldn’t have waited so long to reach out to groups for help and support. I’ve always been a shy kid and still suffer from good girl syndrome after attending numerous parochial schools, but I credit the Sisters of Mercy with teaching me good tradecraft re: writing. I can diagram a sentence with the best of them and that’s helped me as a writer.

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

I’m here for questions about Kindle Scout and anything you’d like to ask about the process. 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?

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.

 

Strawberry Pie Day…just because…

strawberry_pie

…I love Strawberry Pie…love to eat it, bake it, drool over it…did I mention eat it?

Enjoy!

~Jina

Featured Image -- 2069

LOVE ME FOREVER

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

LOVE ME FOREVER is now available from Kindle Press at Amazon.com

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