Guest Post: Titanic and Me by Jina Bacarr, Author of The Runaway Girl

RMS Titanic

RMS Titanic departing Southampton, April 10, 1912 By F.G.O. Stuart (1843-1923) – http://www.uwants.com/viewthread.php?tid=3817223&extra=page%3D1, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2990792

Titanic and Me

by Jina Bacarr

I first discovered the Titanic nestled among paperback romance novels on a shelf in a small library branch near the sea.

‘A Night to Remember’, that wonderful tome definitive of all things Titanic, had found an unlikely home among princesses and maids. I imagine the Walter Lord book was shelved there by a fussy librarian because of its provocative title, but oh, what a lucky break for me.

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

Read… read… read.

I read ‘A Night to Remember’ a million times, imaging myself on the ship of dreams wearing an elegant gown and long white gloves, dancing in first class with a handsome gentleman. Then reality set in and I realized I’d more likely be in steerage since my family came over from Ireland.

The place dreams are made of…

When I was a little girl, I lived with my Irish grandmother for a while and I remember sitting at the big, wooden table with her as she added flour, milk, and herbs to leftover mashed spuds for potato cakes; or wound her blue rosary beads around her gnarled fingers while she spun tales about life in Ireland. Grand times they were, and a lovely thread woven through the quilt of my childhood.

Books were my companions back then and I’d read anywhere, anytime. I read tons of romances, but I’d often end up in the history section of the library looking for more stories about the Titanic. Imagining sneaking into first class and pretending I belonged there. Something I found hard to do growing up since we moved a lot and I was always the ‘new kid’ (I went to fifteen schools before college). I yearned to be among the popular kids at the beach, but somewhere in my heart, I knew the way to better myself was reading and the rest would come later.

Reading was my world.

That became the basis of my heroine, Ava O’Reilly, in THE RUNAWAY GIRL, a girl who wants to better herself by reading books but it’s forbidden to the servants in the grand house in Ireland where she’s in service.

Then when she’s wrongly accused of stealing a diamond bracelet, she escapes.

To the Titanic.

And every tale I’d heard at my grandmother’s knee, every book I’d read, every film about the ship of dreams I’d watched over and over again became the fodder for telling my own story about the Titanic.

Based on my girlhood and love of books.

And the sea.

And yes, romance, too.

And how an Irish girl makes a daring choice on that fateful night when the Titanic hits an iceberg at 11:40 p.m. that changes her life forever…

The Runaway Girl book coverAnd mine, too.

Jina

The Runaway Girl: A Titanic Love Story
by Jina Bacarr

Blurb:

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.’

‘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’

‘You will start to love the favorable characters and the great storyline’

‘I was enchanted with the story’

‘Oh how I adored this story’

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The Runaway Girl Buy Links:

Amazon:

US https://amzn.to/30yll8P

UK https://amzn.to/2NCqTty

Audible https://www.amazon.com/dp/B084MM1D4R

Spotify https://open.spotify.com/album/3A08bcsCeI6LHWRQTmAM30

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-runaway-girl-jina-bacarr/1135653540?ean=9781838893736

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-runaway-girl-1

Apple Books: https://books.apple.com/us/book/the-runaway-girl/id14922691322

Celebrating Spring with a #Regency #KindleCountdown Deal

Lady Elinor KCD graphicTo celebrate the advent of spring, I’ve set up a Kindle Countdown Deal for my Regency romance, Lady Elinor’s Escape. The book will be on sale for 99 cents through March 27th.

The London Season which features so prominently in many Regency romances took place in spring after the opening of Parliament and usually ended in June. Here’s a spring shower excerpt from Lady Elinor’s Escape.

Stephen shows up at the dress shop on a rainy spring day with a basket of flowers.

He handed her the basket of flowers, then shrugged out of his coat and handed it and his hat to Peggy O’Shea. She gave him a flirtatious smile in return before hanging the wet items on a nearby rack.

Elinor stepped forward. “Flowers, Mr. Chaplin?”

He turned toward her. “Ah, Mrs. Brown. Yes, I thought these spring blossoms just the thing to brighten Madame Latour’s shop on such a dismal day.”

“How very kind you are,” said Ellie. “But an entire basketful?”

He smiled. “The young girl selling them was in despair over the lack of customers. She appeared to be almost drowned and nearly in tears, so I bought all she had, including the basket.”

“And paid far more than they were worth, I am certain,” Elinor murmured.

“Did you say something, Mrs. Brown?” he asked with a raised brow.

“Nothing of importance.”

Bluebell

bluebell flower

He rummaged through the basket and produced a nosegay of bluebells, which he presented to Dolly. “These are for you, to match your eyes.”

Her blue eyes grew wide with wonder as she accepted the nosegay. “Oh, sir, no one ever give me flowers afore.”

“Well, I am certain this will not be the last time,” he said gallantly. Ignoring Dolly’s worshipful look, he returned to the basket for another nosegay, white violets this time, which he gave to Peggy.

She bobbed him a curtsy. “Oh, thank ye, yer lordship.”

He gave her a warm smile. “You are very welcome, Miss O’Shea. But I am not a lord, merely a mister.”

“No matter. ’Tis a fine gentleman ye are, to be thinking of us working girls.”

“Girls, why do you not go on home?” Mimi asked. “You have all worked so very hard today, and there will be no more customers, n’est-ce-pas?”

With glad smiles for Mimi, and more thanks and curtsies for Stephen Chaplin, the girls donned their cloaks and left the shop.

“I will get a vase for these lovely flowers,” Mimi said. “Please come into the parlor, Monsieur Chaplin, and warm yourself by the fire. I have made the coffee and there is water for tea.”

Bouquet of Violets

Small bouquet with meadow violets.

“Thank you,” Stephen Chaplin said. He delved into the basket one last time before handing it to Mimi. As she left the room, he handed Elinor a bunch of purple violets.
++
Elinor held them to her nose and breathed in the sweet, delicate fragrance. “‘A violet in the youth of primary nature, forward, not permanent, sweet, not lasting,’” she quoted.

“‘The perfume and suppliance of a minute; no more,’” he added softly.

Startled, she gazed into his warm honey-brown eyes and her pulse began to race. She would have to guard her heart around this man? Why did he have to have such an effect on her? Was it simply because he was the only eligible gentleman she had ever known?

No, a gentleman who brought flowers to poor shop girls and quoted Shakespeare was surely out of the ordinary. What a catch he would be for some young lady. But of course, not for her.

Lady Elinor’s Escape is available at Amazon.com for 99 cents through 3/27 or read free with Kindle Unlimited.

Linda