Monday, November 19, 2012

Guest Blog by Alexa Egan - Writing Bass-Akwards - November 19, 2012

Please welcome Alexa Egan to The Qwillery as part of the 2012 Debut Author Challenge Guest Blogs. Alexa's debut novel, Demon's Curse  (Imnada Brotherhood 1) will be published in December. Awaken the Curse, an e-novella prequel, will be published tomorrow.

Writing Bass-Akwards

     DEMON’S CURSE, the first book in my new Imnada Brotherhood trilogy releases at the end of December. But for those who like an appetizer before their main course, I have AWAKEN THE CURSE, the prequel novella coming out tomorrow. Thank you…thank you…hold the applause…there’s more, for while Awaken precedes Demon by almost two years in chronological time, the novella was in fact written almost a year after the book was turned in.

     Now I’m not a builder but I know you can’t shingle a roof before you erect the rafters and it’s never a good idea to lay carpet before you put up the drywall. Likewise, writing the prequel to a story AFTER you write the story is not the brightest of notions.

     But in the case of Awaken, it seemed like the perfect idea.

     In fact, the novella seemed to grow backwards out of the first book almost naturally, offering readers the ultimate flashback as characters and backstories barely hinted at in the first book are allowed more scope than a few measly paragraphs could ever offer.

     AWAKEN THE CURSE is the story of James Duncallan and Katherine Lacey, estranged lovers reunited over an ancient stone dolmen and tales of strange creatures known as nightwalkers. As James and Katherine dig to discover the secret behind both mysteries, they uncover powerful Fey magic, deadly enemies, and a race of shapechangers thought extinct since the days of King Arthur.

     While writing backwards let me explore seeds I planted in Demon’s Curse, it also presented a host of challenges. For starters, I knew what had to happen. I couldn’t change the future or the first book (it was already in production), so plotting became trickier as I worked to tell the story I wanted to tell without contradicting myself, writing myself into a corner, or otherwise f@!#ing up.

     Did I enjoy the process, messy as it was? You bet! So much so I’ve decided to do it again with a second novella to bridge the first and second books in the series. Once again, the second book is complete as I sit down to write the novella that will precede it. Once again, I will be leaping back through time with characters who just begged to have their stories told. And once again, I will be challenged to erect the rafters after I’ve already laid the shingles. Difficult, but it seems I’m a skilled builder after all.

About The Imnada Brotherhood

Awaken the Curse
Imnada Brotherhood
Pocket Star, November 20, 2012
eBook, 100 pages

One very passionate and very scandalous kiss separated university student James Farraday and professor’s daughter Katherine Lacey. Now five years later, James, the new Lord Duncallan, receives an unexpected summons from Kate’s father begging him to come to Wales. When James arrives, he finds Professor Lacey has vanished while studying a mysterious ancient obelisk and everyone blames the nightwalkers; sinister creatures said to haunt the surrounding remote Welsh mountains. Do these legends point to the existence of the Imnada; a race of shape-shifters said to have died off a thousand years ago? Or is the professor’s disappearance the result of a very human villain? James and Kate are determined to find out the truth, knowing it may be the only way to find her father.

Even as they work to unravel the mystery, they find that they’re not the only ones interested in the obelisk and the lost race of Imnada. Treasure hunter Gilles d’Espe believes the ancient dolmen is the focal point of the shape-shifters’ power and would do anything to lay his hands on the last of four silver disks he needs to unlock the dolmen. A disk that hangs around the neck of James Farraday. While Cade, a local villager, is determined to refute both the claims of nightwalker sightings and the power of the dolmen as superstitious nonsense.

James and Kate soon find themselves fighting for their lives. Yet every hour they spend together makes it harder to lay aside the bitterness of the past and a very new and very real temptation…


Wales, January 1814
Katherine was exactly as James remembered. Same trim figure. Same thick foxy mane pulled into a sloppy chignon. Same scattering of freckles across a nose just a tad too snubbed and eyes the inviting shade of good cognac. And her lips . . . they were just as full, pink, and disastrously kissable as they had been five years earlier. Only her guarded gaze and defensive posture revealed the changes time had wrought. Once, there had been nothing hidden between them. They had been passionately in love—or so he’d believed.
     She leaned over him, her eyes flicking between his face and his bare shoulder, and for a moment they were back in her father’s garret in Oxford, enjoying a few stolen moments together.
     “Hold still,” she murmured, “this might hurt.”
     He frowned. He didn’t remember her ever issuing such a warning during those sweet interludes when—Bugger fucking all! A sharp pain lanced up his arm and straight to his brain. He jerked against the hands pinning him down as he stifled a scream behind clenched teeth. Closing his eyes, he counted backward from ten. Made it to seven before the world collapsed into darkness around him.
     Someone shook him awake. “Lord Duncallan? Can you hear me?” He blinked up into her face—again. “I’ve finished stitching,” she said. “You can sit up if you’re not too dizzy.”
     He reached across to feel at the swathe of bandages wound tight around his upper arm, and five years screamed past in a single bone-aching throb of his shoulder. He was in the godforsaken wild Welsh mountains. It was snowing like the bloody Arctic. He’d been ambushed on the road. And the topper to this perfectly horrible day bent over him, worry hovering in her eyes.

Demon's Curse
Imnada Brotherhood 1
Pocket Books, December 26, 2012
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 400 pages

She holds the key . . .

One of the mythical race of shape-shifting Imnada and a member of an elite military unit, Captain Mac Flannery suffers under a ruthless curse. As the result of a savage massacre on the eve of Waterloo, he and the men he served with are forced to live the hours of darkness trapped as their animal aspects. Now one of them has been murdered, and Mac suspects the existence of the Imnada may finally have been discovered. His only link to unearthing the truth—Bianca Parrino, the beautiful actress whom every man desires.

. . . to his forbidden desires

Forging a new life for herself after escaping the clutches of her abusive husband, Bianca is again drawn into violence when a dear friend is brutally murdered and she becomes a suspect. Forced to place her trust and her life in Mac’s hands as they flee a determined killer, Bianca cannot deny she is falling for the mysterious soldier. But will his dark secrets tear them asunder? Or will love be the key to breaking even the cruelest of spells?

About Alexa

Alexa Egan lives in Maryland with a husband who’s waiting impatiently for her fame and fortune to support them in a new and lavish lifestyle, three children for whom she serves as chauffeur, cook, nurse, social secretary, banker, and maid (not necessarily in that order), one cat … and twenty-seven fish. You can find her at, friend her at or follow her at


What:  One commenter will win a digital copy of Awaken the Curse from Alexa.

How:   Answer The Qwillery's Question: 

I'm a huge fan of e-novella prequels and e-novellas in general.  What about you?

Please remember - if you don't answer the questions your entry will not be counted.

You may receive additional entries by:

1)   Being a Follower of The Qwillery.

2)   Mentioning the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter. Even if you mention the giveaway on both, you will get only one additional entry. You get only one additional entry even if you mention the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter multiple times.

There are a total of 3 entries you may receive: Comment (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry) and Facebook and/or Twitter (+ 1 entry).  This is subject to change again in the future for future giveaways.

Please leave links for Facebook or Twitter mentions. You MUST leave a way to contact you.

Who and When:  The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Monday, November 26, 2012. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*


  1. This looks like it is going to be a good series. I love novella's and prequel novella's. They set up the suspense for the series or keep the series interesting between books.

    Michel Reinhard-

    1. I hope this succeeds at setting up the suspense for the series, Michel. That was the idea. ;) Though as I said I wrote the stories in reverse order which sometimes made it difficult...I couldn't remember what my readers knew and when they knew it. Luckily I have a pair of beta readers who keep me on my toes.

  2. This series is definitely going on the wish list!! Looks great. Until I got a kindle I wasn't a fan of prequel novella's or novella's in general, because you had to buy a book that you might not like any of the stories in it! Now, since I have a kindle I love them!!

    gfc follower

    mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Martha! I think the advent of the e-reader really expanded the reach and viability of novellas. They seem to have become the next big thing for writers...which is great.

      ATC was my first ever attempt, and boy was I nervous. I can be pretty long-winded, so the shorter format was definitely intimidating. But it turned out to be a lot more fun than I imagined and allowed me to play with characters who wouldn't otherwise have gotten a book of their own.

  3. Thanks for a great post and congrats to Alexa on the newest release! Sounds fantastic :)

    I've actually really become a fan of prequel novellas. It gives me a taste of the world and what to expect, which is great if it's a new to me author. Plus, the pricing is pretty good and for just a dollar or two, you get almost a 1/3 of a book! Before my kindle, I'd have never searched out novellas but now that they are becoming more available, I've been gobbling them up :)

    gfc: erin

    1. Thanks for the congrats, Erin!! I'm very excited to see these books hit the shelves. It's been a long busy year waiting, and I had such a blast creating this world.

      I would love to know some of the novellas filling your shopping cart. I'm always on the prowl for new-to-me authors.

  4. Nice to meet you, Alexa. I love your covers.

    Hmm, prequels and series. I read a lot of series, but I can't recall any prequels off the top of my head. I'm considering writing one myself for a series I've just launched, but it's just a little side visit with minor characters who appear as an older couple enjoying their HEA in book 1.

    Who has recommendations for series with good prequels? That's what I'd like to know.

    1. Thanks for the cover love, Jessi! Pocket has done a fantastic job with the artwork for these books. Can't wait to see what they come up with for the rest of the series.

      The side visit was just how I envisioned these novellas...a place where I could linger with characters who may have only been mentioned briefly in the larger books. But I can see now that I've finished one and begun the second, that they're addicting. You can suddenly see all kinds of interesting side stories that would be ideal in the shorter format. The problem for me now might be how to quit. :)

      Good luck on the launch of your new series and if you do decide to try your hand at a novella, drop me a line and let me know how you liked writing short.

  5. I enjoy them too. I like getting a look at the "why" - Thank you.
    GFC Victoria Sloboda

  6. I am really starting to enjoy e novellas. They are easy and quick.
    debby236 at gmail dot com

  7. I am not very huge fan e-novella, but i enjoyed it. They're easy and quick to read.

    GFC as Filia Oktarina
    Facebook :
    filifantasy at gmail dot com

  8. I am staring to appreciate the enovella set-up and the mixing of the media because I do print and e-book. sdylion(at)gmail(dot)com
    GFC: sdylion
    and I subscribe via the email address above.