Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Blonde Samurai is a “Fresh Pick” at

My Harlequin Spice, The BLONDE SAMURAI, was recently chosen as the Fresh Pick for Friday, February 19th at

The Blonde Samurai appeared on every page of the website for that day and also in the Fresh Pick Newsletter. I can't tell you how much fun I had clicking on the Fresh Ficiton website and seeing The Blonde Samurai pop up in the corner on every page!

I’m very honored to be a Fresh Pick. According to the email I received–

“The Fresh Pick is chosen by a group of readers…”

Writing is a solitary profession, but I can tell you that as a writer, my characters make me laugh, angry at times (when they don’t do what you tell them) and cry.

I remember feeling the anguish of my heroine, Katie, when she feared she would never have a child.

"Yet I was aware that by keeping separate quarters from my husband, I had doomed myself to a life left unfulfilled. The reality of what they meant raked across my heart, grabbing me, my faith shaken, my mood saddened. Would I ever know the joy, the soft smells, the magic of motherhood? A dull ache settled in my empty womb, disheartened as I was by the thought of a life of barrenness."

Or how much she missed her Irish-American family when she first arrived in Japan.

"A maudlin homesickness seeped through the layers of my silken kimono and made me yearn for the times when I was a girl back home in our white frame house surrounded by woods, Da and Mother and my little sister, Elva, gathered around the wood fire on cold nights, eating cream cakes and listening to my father tell tall stories about what it was like back in Ireland when he was a young man during the potato famine some thirty years ago."'

How the inimitable Mr. Fawkes (an Englishman who was her go-between) made her laugh.

"Too stubborn to ask for help, my Irish pride and my bustle got the better of me when I sat down and slid off the cushion and onto the matting, my legs flying up into the air, my layers of petticoats and skirts covering my face. I was a sight to behold sprawled out on the floor, laughing, with poor Mr. Fawkes trying to pull me up without grabbing the wrong part of my anatomy."

And how amazed she was to discover that the Empress of Japan was a charming young woman who shared her interest in fashion.

"...the Empress was openly curious about the rows and rows of lace trimming my flounces and petticoats. I was delighted when she suggested sponsoring a school to make the beautiful fabric. I knew she longed to have a red satin petticoat and white velvet gown set with off-the-shoulder cap sleeves and dotted with pearls like the one I'd brought with me from Paris."

Then there was Shintaro.

“Yet the first man I took to my bed after my wedding night was not my husband—or yours—but one of the most mysterious, elusive and enigmatic men in all Japan. A samurai.

“His name was Shintaro.”

I’m thrilled that the readers at also enjoyed the adventures of Lady Carlton née Katie O’Roarke. Thank you!!

The Blonde Samurai

“She embraced the way of the warrior. Two swords. Two loves.”


Wynter Daniels said...

Congrats on the Fresh Pick!
My characters become very real to me, too. Like you, I feel their pain and their joy.

Savannah Stuart said...

Congrats, Jina!! That's so cool :)

Michelle Polaris said...

What a fun honor! Wonderful news, Jina.

Jina Bacarr said...

Thanks, Wynter. It's amazing how real our character become to us. At times I find myself saying, "Katie would wear that" when I'm watching an historical film.

Jina Bacarr said...

Thankz, Savannah! is an amazing website with so much info about books and authors. Well worth checking out.

Jina Bacarr said...

Thankz, Michelle! I enjoy reading the Fresh Pick email everyday, which includes a new book and author with an excerpt. It was exciting to see Blonde Samurai make the list!

Naima Simone said...

Yeah Jina!!! Congratulations! What an awesome honor!

Dalton Diaz said...

Oh, fabulous! Would have loved to be a fly on the wall when you saw The Blonde Samurai listed.

Stephanie Adkins said...

Congratulations on the award, Jina! That is so awesome! :)

Jina Bacarr said...

Thank you, Naima--what's amazing to me is that my book was chosen the month it was released. Very cool.

Jina Bacarr said...

Dalton, thankz for your congrats!! What was so funny was that I had been on the FreshFiction website literally ten minutes before it changed for the next day, which was my day.

I got the email just before it went live and I zoomed back to their website after midnight, and yes, I let out a holler!!

Jina Bacarr said...

Thank you, Stephanie, for the congrats! It's exciting to know readers enjoy your work.