Monday, February 10, 2014

"Jaded" by Kenya Carlton

by Kenya Carlton

Jaded is currently on tour with Bewitching Book Tours. The tour stops here today for a guest post from the author. Be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.

War correspondent Mia James is back on US soil and ready to tackle a juicy political story that could make national headlines. A politician’s aid goes missing, and the son of the wealthiest family is the only suspect.
Determined to take down the mayor of the small seaside town, Mia comes up against an angry ghost with her own agenda.
Afraid she may be suffering from post traumatic stress Mia figures that she’s way over her head and enlists the help of resident black sheep Gabe Montgomery. Now, she must solve the mystery of her not so friendly ghost, stop herself from falling in love with the mysterious winery owner, all while making it out alive.

Martin Conway didn’t know what to expect. He idled in his police cruiser on the curb in anticipation of a few ominous clouds or some menacing lightening to strike down on the house. He wasn’t quite sure since he avoided this place as much as possible.
The manor that sat above Vine was a picture of Victorian splendor. Or at least that’s what the welcome brochure to all new tourists had professed.
No one had occupied the oldest standing mansion in town permanently for years and the historical society made sure no one probably ever would. Restrictions had been placed on the home that most modern families weren’t willing to contend with and older homeowners would be too overwhelmed to be bothered. The most that could be hoped for was the occasional renter. So the mansion that encompassed every viable asset that a haunted house possibly ever could, sat empty.
It didn’t matter that the lawn was cut and the bushes were trimmed. Nor did it matter whether fresh paint was applied every other year or so. Right now all that mattered was that he, Martin Conway, had to get his butt in gear to welcome the new residence of Holloway Manor to Vine.
As Sheriff he took his job seriously. Crime was virtually nonexistent. A few run-ins with the local teenagers now and again were the worse offenses he imagined but that was expected in any small town.
Martin turned the ignition off and grabbed his hat. Vibes of intense displeasure seemed to waft his way from the house, with a deep breath he pushed his apprehension to the side and sorted through his thoughts of what to say to the new neighbors of Vine.
"Good Afternoon, Ma'am." Martin tipped his head to the cute little number at the door. Pleasantly surprised he greeted the woman with all smiles.
"Good afternoon, Officer-"
"Conway, Sheriff Conway," he introduced himself.
The look on her adorable face made him forget the regular spiel he had prepared for all the newbie’s that entered town. She was this tiny little thing with big boobs and a nice ass which was a win-win combination in his estimation. Her smooth cocoa skin made his mouth water not to mention her face was kewpie doll cute but her expression told him she was all about being bad. The pool of her brown eyes seemed to suck him into her.
"Where are my manners? Please come in Sheriff. My name is Tracy and this tired piece of trash over here is my cousin, Mia." He followed the woman into the Holloway home to find it was exactly as he had imagined.
Big and creepy!
The structure was the only house that could be seen from the Carlisle hilltop that looked down on Vine. From the door the stained glass windows cast a colorful dance of colors around the front room. A bright and cheery effect that should have appeared fun and joyful, but came across eerie and haunting instead.
White dust cloths covered what he could only imagine was antique furniture. The unlived look probably lent a helping hand to the spooky factor of the estate.
Entranced with the infamous inside interior of the Holloway mansion, he almost stumbled over this woman. Simply stunned into stupidity by her perfect face he missed the hand that she held out to him.
"Mia James, what can I do for you?" His tongue twisted around his mouth. Ordinarily he would be considered a man of authority but this woman made him babble like a fool.
"I uh, I wanted to welcome you to Vine. I saw your truck and thought I would be first to welcome you to our fine city."
"I appreciate that," she replied.
"We have a little picnic scheduled this evening at The Grove and we would be delighted if you could join us." He flashed his pearly smile in hopes it would be enough to persuade them to come.
"Who is we, Sheriff?"
"The Mayor is sponsoring this little shindig to extend his hand of thanks to the people of Vine."
"Special thanks for what?" Mia asked.
"Uh.” Both women stared at him with something crossed between humor and confusion.
"He wants to thank everyone for their support in Vine and continued support when he runs for Congress."
"Well Conway,” Mia began, “that's a mighty fine invitation but I think I'll pass." she touched his elbow, with the sweetest smile. He was so enchanted with the Egyptian shape of her brown eyes that he found himself outside of the front door without the faintest idea how he got there. "Thank you for keeping us in mind."
"But there's barbecue and fireworks," he stupidly stammered.
"Sounds like a true hootenanny of a good time. We will definitely give it some thought." He understood a polite brush off when he saw one. Mia was so gracious he almost didn't mind how she had just kicked him out of the house.
“Oh well.” He stepped off the wraparound porch. Most likely he would see her again around town. Of course, the lack of information about these women would leave room for the Mayor to be unhappy with his fact finding duties.
Martin headed to his cruiser and figured he would go check across town for those vandals that kept spray painting something as silly as ‘Water’ in the quarry. It was the perfect excuse that he was too busy to be nosey if the Mayor asked.

Delightfully infused with danger, intrigue, witty repartee, complex and well-drawn characters, deceit, politics, murder, lust and vengeful ghosts, this story is one for the keeper shelf. With the various elements in this story, it should be a favorite for readers of many genres. I highly recommend Jaded to anyone looking for an action-packed story with plenty of spice. I look forward to reading more of this very talented author's works.

Guest Post by Kenya Carlton
Paranormals, When Did That Happen?
As an avid fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, I somehow missed out when paranormal books made their way onto bookshelves and exploded into several different genres. Where the hell was I? All of a sudden, great covers and cool art work were staring me in the face on the bestseller list and in movies. Perhaps I was still stuck in the romance section hoping someone would vamp out and bite the heroine … honestly, who knows. So at this point, I’m overwhelmed by all the options and need a little help. This is my best attempt at breaking down the genre.
YA’s seem to delve into every aspect of paranormal activities.
Mormon mother rewrites a classic. Twilight is a weird twist on John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, except with less sex (get it, no sex back then) and more biting. I read all four books and thought Twilight and Breaking Dawn were the best in this series. I haven’t quite gotten past the first movie, but I am considering skipping to Breaking Dawn. Let me know if it’s worth it.
Haven’t read the books but watched the series. I’ve missed the last two seasons. Sorry, but I can honestly say I don’t feel like I am adult enough to deal with an Elena and Stefan break-up.
P. C. Cast
Is wildly popular, but I haven’t read one book by this author. I don’t know where to start. P. C. Cast has so many series it’s a bit overwhelming for someone who likes to start at the beginning. I’m open to suggestions? Anyone, anyone …
Adults and YA readers who are mostly adults have a fascination with those sneaky creepy crawlers that all seemed to be stupid sexy. Top in this category are J. R. Ward, Jeaniene Frost, and Charlaine Harris. I’ve just begun to read the Night Huntress series by Jeaniene Frost, but I love the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris and the Jaz Parks series by Jennifer Rardin.  
These books should all have their own category, but come on people! How long is this blog going to be? Shape-shifters practically get their own section in the paranormal world; there has been much written about the werewolf or Lycan man-beast. This is a particularly interesting take on the paranormal love story. Just like the vampire the question begs to be asked, can the beast tame itself long enough to win over the beauty?
The Eileen Rendahl series is different and quirky. A messenger for the supernatural world can deliver anything of magical nature to the other realm without retribution due to her messenger status. The side characters are great and the main heroine actually shows growth in each installment.
Jennifer Estep has great covers and a great heroine. Gin is beyond broken and damaged, and the reader just hopes the assassin would one day get her shit together. However, so far the outlook is cloudy.
Victoria Laurie has the cutest little ghost hunter series with M. J. and her side–kick, Gilley. This is more of a campy take on the paranormal novels, but I’ve read every one. 
Steampunk Paranormals
This form of paranormal I’m not well versed in. Many of the books look good, but I’m once again scared that I’ll pick the wrong one so I don’t know where to start. Meljean Brook and Gail Carriger seem to be the top authors in this genre, and according to Goodreads they hold the top spot. A smidge intimidated by the covers; I fear that sci-fi would be the main theme in these novels. Not a book snob in the least, I’m willing to give the genre a try. My first shot will be Soulless and then I might be brave enough for something more.

About the Author
Native of Chicago Illinois, Kenya worked in the Network operation Center for PBS and TLN television stations. Executive producer of her own production company, Black R.O.K Productions, Kenya produced a pilot for travel series Destination Everywhere, independent short film Dawn shown at the Chicago Latino film Festival, and wrote and directed the documentary Our Africa. Writing titles available: Jaded, Sweet as Sin, Brazil, Devil’s Play, and Remember This.