Monday, March 23, 2015

The Carriage by Jena Baxter Excerpt, Interview & Giveaway

The Carriage
Jena Baxter
Genre: YA, Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Jena Baxter Books
Date of Publication: February 16th, 15
ISBN: 978-0-9911677-2-2
Number of pages: 214
Word Count: 52,313
Cover Artist: Consuelo Parra
Model: Amber Ornelas

Book Description:

A teenage girl enters a carriage in Central Park and disembarks in Victorian, England.

Cursed by her sister Brooke, Alexis Powell arrives in the Victorian Era where she meets Ezra, who was recently murdered by an assassin his brother Amos hired. Now a supernatural creature, Ezra sees into Alexis’ mind with a touch and Intrigued by her memories, offers his help only to be rebuffed for his kindness. Alexis runs away, but Ezra is unable to shake off what he saw. He follows her through the streets of London.

Vulnerable after the death of his Father, his brother’s harassment, and Alexis’ many rejections, Ezra decides to stop following her. Alexis is unable to find work or food. Facing starvation, she steals a tomato and Ezra finds her facing the local magistrate and an angry mob. He pays for her freedom.

Finally accepting the help Ezra offers, Alexis moves into the manor he shares with his brother. Romance blossoms but the bond between Ezra and Amos is worse than Alexis’ relationship with Brooke.

While Ezra and Alexis search for a way to send her home, Amos looks for a way to kill them.

Available at Amazon


Somehow I was certain I was no longer in New York. The streets were cobblestone, and the buildings wood and brick. A lot of them were broken down, old and shabby. The alleys were filthy and smelled like shit. Exhausted, I looked for a place to hide but didn’t know where to go. When I couldn’t move another muscle, I hid behind a wooden staircase with my back against the wall and fought not to jump at every sound.

I hadn’t meant to fall asleep, and didn’t know how long I’d slept, but it looked close to mid-morning when I opened my eyes and looked around.

The women walking by were wearing long, full dresses, and big feathered hats. The men’s pants were more form fitting, not the jeans they usually wear. Some of the children running around were barefoot and downright filthy, looking as if they had been rolling in mud or playing with charcoal. I cringed when I saw a boy carrying a rat by the tail. Everything was straight out of a Dickens novel. I wouldn’t have been surprised to see little Dorrit, or Ebenezer Scrooge waltz by any minute now. I rubbed my nose with the palm of my hand. What the hell was I going to do?

This obviously wasn’t real, so I must have fallen in with a role playing community of some sort. My mother and father used to play dungeons and dragons. Maybe this was the same thing, but in the extreme.

Something slammed into my back. I screamed and turned at the sound of a woman yelling at me. The broom in her hand whooshed down again, just missing my face.

Whoa. Hey, stop!”

What was wrong with these people? I couldn’t understand a word she said, so I ran. She chased me, swinging the broom until I left the alley.

I stopped to catch my breath, smoothed my clothes, and approached a woman in a long brown dress with a white bonnet and black boots. She stared at me like I was some sort of freak. Uh ... she was the freak, not me. Maybe the men would be friendlier, but not one of them would stop. Then I saw the man that crashed into me yesterday across the road. He looked a little different, wearing a brown suit, and an odd piece of material similar to a scarf around his neck, with a top hat. He was actually still attractive in the weird clothes. Dodging carts and vendors, I made a bee-line for him. At least he wouldn’t chase me with a broom.

About the Author:

Jena Baxter has always loved history and time travel. She liked to read, and often wrote poetry as a stress inhibitor while growing up. But like other writers, she dreamed of writing a novel. So she enrolled at the UCLA Writer's Extension, to gain the confidence and skill to move forward.

Today Jena has a YA Fantasy novel, as well as a YA Paranormal Romance novel online and in print.


Where are you from?
Ojai, California.

Tell us your latest news?
I finally finished a story I’ve been working on for years, right behind The Carriage. I worked on it through writing classes, wrote and re-wrote it. I’m so glad it’s finished.

When and why did you begin writing?
I wrote a lot of poetry as a child. As I grew older I wanted to take creative writing classes. I put it off for years, then after taking that class, I enrolled in some classes that focused specifically on novels.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I never really questioned it. I guess I thought the poetry qualified me as a writer. I just needed to stretch out my wings a little bit.

What inspired you to write your first book?
I was watching the movie with a subplot about a girl who does something behind her boyfriend’s back and they break up. An entire sex, drugs and rock n roll story formed in my mind. I’ve recently started rewriting it.

Do you have a specific writing style?
I usually write in third because I like my supporting characters to have their own subplots that tie into the story. But I always wanted to try writing in first. The Carriage was planned in first from the beginning.

How did you come up with the title?
The Carriage is the foundation of the story. The only title I liked better was Ezra, but while he plays a huge part, the story belongs to Alexis’. This way they share it.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
There’s a strong sense of consequence to action, and how we treat each other.

How much of the book is realistic?
I try to make the time period as realistic as possible. While I made Ezra a man who hated being obligated by the restraints of society, it’s still very much a part of him. He’s also based on a mythical creature called a Fext. Alexis is a modern girl; cell phone, independent, modern hair and revealing clothes. They have to learn how to deal with a clash of cultures.

Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
No, I have some experiences in other stories I’ve written, but not this one.

What books have most influenced your life most?
Mary Stewart’s Merlin Trilogy. She goes so deep into the culture and what they believed in the era her characters are based in. I love cultures, whether I create them or use a historical period.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
One of my writing teachers. Her name is Lynn Hightower. Great teacher and a best-selling Author.

What book are you reading now?
Stone Guardian, by Paulina Woods. It’s been interesting so far, but I’ve been so busy lately that I’m not far into it. I loved the beginning though.

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Aubrey Wynne, Kishan Paul, Renea Mason. All great writers.

What are your current projects?
Well, I just finished the story I mentioned earlier. It’s a dramatic romantic fantasy about a warrior angel whose bonded-brother becomes a fallen angel. Ilan becomes rebellious and finds himself on a guardian assignment to restore a broken marriage. He falls in love with his charge and decides to make her his own until he realizes warriors aren’t sent on assignments like that, Lily is in danger and he has no idea what’s ahead. He veils her memories and waits for an unseen future.
I have another called One with the Dragon, about a culture entrusted to bond with dragons and guard the nations. But the Methali people began treating their dragons like slaves. A dictator has risen and is taking the nations one by one while the dragons are deserting Methalis.
The last is called Pretentious. It’s my sex, drugs and rock n roll story I mentioned earlier. It’s about a boy who promised his dying Father he would watch over and protect his family. He’s good with it until he gets a little older and has dreams of his own, and realizes he’s trapped in his Father’s world. His dream of becoming a rock star that was almost impossible from the start is beyond impossible now. Not many make it in the business and Danny can’t walk the walk and keep up the family restaurant.

What would you like my readers to know?

The Carriage is available on Amazon now. It’s an easy read and I think they’ll enjoy it. I also have a YA fantasy called Reflections. It’s set in the Regency Era, available for kindle and nook. Both books are time travel stories.

Tour giveaway 4 $10 Amazon Gift Cards 1 $20 Amazon gift card 2 e-book copies
a Rafflecopter giveaway