Note from RA Marshall
Recently I've been networking with some fellow independent authors, which is how I came across Jena Baxter. Here's the description for her book, The Carriage, which she published in February. An excerpt follows below.
"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, a man recently murdered by an assassin his brother Amos, hired. Now he’s a supernatural creature and with a touch Ezra sees into Alexis’ mind. Intrigued by her memories, Ezra offers Alexis his help only to be rebuffed for his kindness.
Alexis runs away, but Ezra can’t shake off what he saw. He follows her through the streets of London, but vulnerable after the loss of his Father, Amos’ harassment, and Alexis’ many rejections, Ezra eventually decides to leave her alone.
Alexis is unable to find work and threatened with starvation. She steals a tomato and Ezra finds her facing the local magistrate and an angry mob. He fights and 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’ and Brooke’s. While Ezra and Alexis seek a way to send her home, Amos looks for a way to kill them. "
And Now… An Excerpt from The Carriage by Jena Baxter
A sense of fear and abandonment blanketed me. I stood at the foot of the steps, not knowing what to do. I needed to pull myself together. Alexis would be leaving as soon as we found a way to send her home. I wondered what would become of me once she was gone, and shuddered at the loneliness ahead.
Soft snores soon came from her room. Amos and Cora had gone to bed long ago. I debated going for another walk, but I wanted to be home where Alexis was. I went to my room, hard wood creaking under my feet, and picked up A Hero of our Time, a new novel I had purchased, and sat in my favorite chair to read.
A shrill scream shattered the silence. Alexis! My heart beat like a cudgel as I ran to her room with lightning speed. She sat, clinging to the ivory bedspread. Brown strands of hair clinging to her face, her eyes large and wild.
“Alexis? What is it? Has someone tried to harm you?”
She shook her head. “No, it was ... just a dream.”
I didn’t know what to do or say. She looked up at me as one soft hand reached for my arm, her eyes infused with fear.
“Please, hold me, Ezra. Just for a few minutes.”
I swallowed the lump in my throat, sat down on the bed and embraced her. It was the first ungentlemanly thing I had ever done, and yet it was with the woman I wanted most. One I would never have disrespected. I took it a step further when she stopped trembling, and kissed her forehead before letting her go. She crossed her arms over her chest as if holding herself.
“I’m not like you, Ezra.” Her voice was toned with frustration. “Where I come from, a man can hold a woman without it ruining her reputation. Sometimes people just need to feel safe, or they want to show affection. There’s nothing wrong with that.”
I tilted her chin until her eyes met mine. “And what are the rules of kissing where you come from?”