Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Takeover Tuesday: Author Jena Baxter

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 Paranormal Romance novel and novella to be released in 2015.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
I have two works in process right now. This is an unedited scene from the sequel to The Carriage, called ‘Silas”.
I draped my black robe on the back of my chair and went through the door, locking my office behind me, and winced at the scratch on my car. How could Alexis possibly consider having a child like me? I shook my head, how does one birth a child who would technically be dead? The answer was irrelevant. I had thought I would deny Alexis nothing. This was the one situation where there was no way I was going to concede. I drove to the local bakery lost in thought, parked the car and purchased a napoleon. My forehead lined with worry as I returned to the car. I hated when Alexis was angry.
I pulled into the car into the driveway, then grabbed the peace offering and heard Brooke’s frightened voice from the house.
“Alex? Alex, where are you?”
I hurried up the walkway. The door was open and books were strewn all over the place. Brooke shrieked and spun around when she heard me enter. My chest and neck heated at her ashen face.
“What the devil is going on?”
“He took her. You have to do something fast.”
“Who took her?”
She looked back at the open bedroom window, shaking.
“The man in the shadows.”
“You saw someone take her?”
“No, but she yelled for me to come in. I heard her scream but the door was locked and I was juggling books and trying to find my key. Then I heard her scream. I dropped the books and found the key. Then there was a loud noise like someone hit a wall. I ran in ... I’m not lying Ezra. That man took her!”
My heart pounded. I could smell an odd, but vaguely familiar scent. A fight in the darkness decades ago, outside the manor that had been our home in London. Then again in Alexis’ home right after he tried to kill me. My brother. A vampire ... but Amos was dead.
“Don’t just stand there,” Brooke demanded. “Do something! We have to help her.”
The hair on my arms and neck were standing on end. I tossed me cell phone to Brooke. “Look for Alen. Call and ask him to come as soon as he can. I’m going to follow the scent.” I left before she could utter another word.
The scent was already weak, but Alexis’ scent was familiar to me so I followed hers through the darkest shadows. It was a zig-zag sort of pattern going from building to building or tree to tree. The smell began to increase. I had to be getting closer. I ran through some shrubs, thin branches tearing my slacks and ripping my skin and came out at the ocean. I fell to my knees, chest heaving. The scent had flown with the ocean breeze. I began walking down the beach, taking care to check every shadow. I wasn’t worried about whether he heard me or not. It had to be me he wanted. I was a judge, enemies were a given in my chosen profession. I doubted Alexis even had one.
“Alexis,” I yelled. “tell me where you are, love.” I walked farther, then retraced my steps, calling her name every few steps. At one point I heard rustling in the bushes. I headed that direction until a couple of squirrels ran out of them.
After hours of searching my voice was hoarse. I’d no idea what to do. He was this man in the shadows and why had he chosen Alexis. I returned home. I needed to be near my phone in case she managed to call. I entered through the window I used to follow the vampire’s scent. It was almost completely gone on the outside now, but still lingered in the house.
Brooke jumped when she saw me. “Did you find them?”
I shook my head as I grabbed my phone out of her hand.
She paced the room chewing her fingernails.
“Did you contact Alen?” I pushed the buttons for the police department.
Alen came through the door as she spoke. Brooke stopped pacing and wrapped her arms across her chest, gripping her shoulders as Alen joined us, sniffing the air.
“A vampire has been here,” Alen said.
“I’m fully aware of that. Tell me something helpful.”
The police department answered. I hadn’t thought this out, it could easily be all over the news if I wasn’t careful. It might be helpful, but I doubted Alexis would thank me for it. A judge’s finace missing? We would never get a moments peace to ourselves once I brought her home ... And I would find this vampire, kill it and bring her home.
“Please send a car to 7349 Campbell,” I said, and hung up. Not very professional, but there was too much to think about. When I turned back, Alen was gone.
“Where did he go?”
Brooke pointed to the window.
“Stay here,” I said. “The police are on their way.”
I jumped through the window, rolled, and ran after Alen. I found him oceanside, the same place where I had lost her scent.
“Smart move on his part,” I said.
Alen glanced at me. “What makes you so sure it’s a he?”
“Brooke mentioned a man she saw in the shadows watching them when they were shopping today. Alexis had mentioned a man in the hallway of the restaurant we lunched in earlier today.” My face heated. “I’m afraid I didn’t take her seriously.”
I closed my eyes and rubbed my forehead as if I had a headache. The argument. Alexis had been right. I never meant to insinuate she was crazy, but she’d been tired much of the time over the last few weeks. A human’s eyes often play tricks on them when they’re tired.
“What’s the matter?”
Alen knew me too well. We’d became friends through the many long years I waited for Alexis. Now she was gone again. I glanced up and smirked. “Nothing really. A silly argument this afternoon is all.”
I walked the beach and called for Alexis again, but doubted she could hear me over the crashing waves and screaming seabirds.
“Let’s go home,” Alen said. “Your slacks are ruined.
I looked at the shredded fabric on my legs, then nodded and followed him back the way we came.
Blue and red lights flashed in the driveway when we arrived. Alen walked past the house as I turned to go up the walkway. There was no reason we knew up for him to be so secret anymore but old habits are hard to change so I didn’t question it. He would return later.
The police stopped me to ask questions, but I had no answers since I wasn’t home when Alexis disappeared. They still wanted to know everything she had done that day, who she was with and where. I told them everything I knew, but aside from the argument at lunch, it wasn’t much. They had already spoken to Brooke and began going through the house looking for clues before I’d returned. One of them looked at me strangely coming out of Alexis’ Victorian style bedroom. Another bent by the bathroom door and picked up a white stick. There were drops of blood not far from it. How had I missed those? Was it Alexis’ blood? I narrowed my eyes trying to figure out what the stick was. The police officer went into the washroom and came out with a pink box.
“You didn’t mention she might be pregnant.”
Flabbergasted, I shook my head. “I had no idea.”
My breathing stopped, the room felt cold. No wonder she was upset at my refusal to father a child. I’d already created one. I sat on the sofa and ran my hands over my face.
The officer placed the stick and box in a baggy. My eyesight allowed me to see two pink lines on the wand, but I had no idea what that meant. She wouldn’t have run away after the argument would she? I shook my head. No, Alexis wouldn’t have done that. First off, there was the vampire. Where a baby was concerned Alexis would have dug her heels in and given me a run for my money as they say. There was no question. Somebody took her.
My other work in progress is a serial called Pretentious, which I published the 20th of every month.
Who designs your covers?
My husband. We purchase images from Shutterstock and artists.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Be patient. Writing takes time, and a lot of effort, and remember that first impressions are important.
Do you have any writing rituals or certain things you do to aid your writing process?
Inspired by my friend Raven Williams, I’ve began to write a lot of poetry. It helps your muse I think.
Favorite snack and thing to drink while you write?
Peanuts and water.

Ebook or Print? - Ebook
Junk Food or Sweets? - Sweets
Dogs or Cats? - Dogs
Tea or Coffee? - Coffee
Dark Colors or Light Colors? - Dark
Angels or Demons? - Angels
Paranormal Romance or Historical Romance? – For me they are the same.
Boxers or Briefs? - Boxers
Control Freak or Careless Jerk? – Control Freak
Must read books
Mary Stewart’s Merlin Trilogy – It’s old but awesome
Anne Bishop’s Black Jewels Series – Adult with violence
Renea Mason – Symphony of Light and Winter – Adult
Rochelle Mead – Vampire Academy
Robert Jordan/Brandon Sanderson – Wheel of Time

Stalk Jena!
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Check out all of Jena's novels 
and come visit her during her takeover November 10
at Rising Indies United @ 10:00am PST

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