Saturday, June 16, 2012

Interview: Alexa Egan

It's Paranormal Week here at TBQ's Book Palace as part of my 4 year blogoversary celebration!

And don't forget to stop by to enter my Week 2 giveaway for the event!

I'm more than happy to introduce readers to new authors. And so, dear readers, I introduce to you today Alexa Egan, author of the new paranormal (historical) book, Demon's Curse. I hope you enjoy!

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Meet Alexa:

A member of Romance Writers of America and a Golden Heart finalist, Alexa Egan lives in Maryland with her family.

Where to Find Alexa.:

The_Book_Queen: Hi Alexa! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Alexa: Thanks so much for having me today, Danielle. As you know, it was tough getting here, (I think the stars were aligned against me) but I made it only a little out of breath and slightly disheveled :) First, I want you and all your readers to know I’m usually not so disorganized. But it’s the first week of summer vacation, and I’m still acclimating myself to the lack of schedule and the influx of small children. As for details, I live in Maryland with my husband who is waiting impatiently for my fame and fortune to support us in a new and lavish lifestyle, three children for whom I serve as chauffeur, cook, nurse, social secretary, banker, and maid (not necessarily in that order), one cat … oh, and seven fish.

TBQ: What made you decide to start writing? Why romance?
A: I’ve always written from the time I was small and scribbling stories on notebook paper when I was supposed to be paying attention to Mrs. Larsen in the 4th grade. But it wasn’t until I was pregnant with my last child, that I started imagining myself as a published author and taking the steps and doing the work to make it happen. The decision to write romance really was never a conscious one. No matter what kind of book I began to write, it always ended up being a love story with a happy-ever-after. In the end, why fight a good thing? [Oh please, don't fight it! :)]

TBQ: Your upcoming release, Demon's Curse will be out January 2013 [So long! *pouts*] Can you tell us a little bit about this book, and why readers are going to love it?
A: You pouted, and the publisher listened, Danielle. :) For those who can’t wait until January to get a taste of the legendary race of Imnada shapechangers, there will be an e-novella Awaken The Curse released in October to kick the series off in style. As for Demon’s Curse, it’s the first book in The Imnada Brotherhood series.

The initial idea for the books came to me as a flash of inspiration—a legendary race of telepaths and shapechangers older than the Fey who have guarded their existence from a dangerous world for countless centuries…until now. Then, as I dug into that idea, the specifics of the books fell into place. Four Imnada cursed to live the hours of darkness as animals and their battle to break the spell.

Captain Flannery is the first to have his story told and the first to realize there just might be a way to lift the savage curse that has stripped him of everything and resulted in his exile from his clan. But while he searches for answers, in company with the beautiful actress Bianca Parrino, danger is closing in. Old enemies want the four soldiers dead and the entire race of Imnada destroyed, and they’ll kill anyone who gets in their way. Ancient wars, treacherous women, magic, King Arthur…what’s not to love? [Okay, that's it--where do I sign up to sell my soul for a copy?! LOL. That's just not fair teasing us like that, Alexa, now I'm dying to read this even more!]

TBQ: I love falling for the hero; can you tell us a little bit about Capt. Mac?
A: I’m a sucker for a tortured hero, the more they suffer, the better I like it. Poor Mac Flannery is no exception. He’s a straight arrow who is all about duty and honor, traits prized by the race of Imnada. And even though he has been cast out of his clan due to the curse, he remains loyal and wants nothing more than to break the spell and go home. Until he meets Covent garden actress, Bianca Parrino. Suddenly, he’s faced with an impossible choice—his lost home or his new love, and his sense of duty, family, honor and home are put to the test. [More teasing! Shame on you... lol]

TBQ: I think some of the best books have a heroine that we can either relate to, respect, or just want to have as a friend. Is Bianca such a heroine? :-)
A: I certainly hope readers relate to, respect, and love Bianca! She’s a strong independent woman who’s lived through tragedy and heartbreak and come out on top, but that success has come at the expense of a life beyond the stage and a bored cynicism. A cynicism tested when she meets Mac and discovers the truth about him as well as the existence of a fantastical world she never knew existed.

For some reason, my heroines tend to be older, wiser, and far more suspicious of life. I also love to play with the fringes of the Regency world. Bianca Parrino is a London actress. The heroine of the second book in the series, Shadow’s Curse spent years traveling the countryside as a carnival sideshow act. These types of characters are tons of fun to write and allow me to plunge them into situations that might not happen to the typical regency heroine. Hopefully, readers respond to heroes and heroines who fall outside the normal parameters and stretch the regency world they know and love. [I love when the hero and/or heroine fall outside of the "normal" box! :)]

TBQ: The Imnada Brotherhood series is a paranormal romance set in historical times. What made you decide to mesh these two genres together—does it come from a love of this “genre”? [I'm all for the marriage of historical and paranormal, myself!]
A: As a reader, I’ve always loved both genres and my bookshelves prove it. Tolkien and McCaffrey sit side by side with Quinn and MacKenzie. So, it was a natural extension of that love to try my hand at blending the two. Once I began, I realized how perfectly the romance and elegance of the regency time period works with fantasy’s mystery and magic. The Imnada Brotherhood series opens at the Battle of Waterloo and from there, we’re thrown into the familiar London we recognize from countless authors. But beyond the familiar, lies another reality, built on legend and myth and my own crazy imagination. A reality where the customs, laws, and characters are mine to shape any way I can. And that’s where the fun begins.

TBQ: Are there other genres you would like to write?
A: I started out writing straight regency-historicals, so if time and the marketplace allow, someday I might like to jump back into that world and see where that takes me. Right now, I’m having too much fun playing in my alternate regency to look around at other opportunities. But I’m never one to say “never” and I know too many authors who have reinvented themselves to ever count anything out.

TBQ: I know we all hate this question, author and reader alike. :) But I have to ask: What are a few of your favorite books and/or authors?
A: Actually, I love this question because it’s so easy for me to answer. The hard part is whittling my list down to just a few favorites.

As expected, Pride & Prejudice ranks up there with my all-time fave books. And anything by Heyer, the queen of regency romance. But then there’s Dorothy Dunnett whose historical fiction is amazingly complex and yet completely absorbing with a sexy hero to die for. As I said earlier, I’m also a huge fan of fantasy/sci-fi and adore Lois McMaster Bujold’s Vorkosigan saga, McCaffrey’s Pern series, anything by Robin McKinley, and now I’ve just discovered George RR Martin’s books and have been devouring them like candy. When I’m reading romance, I’m a huge fan of Julia Quinn and Lauren Willig, love Alyssa Day’s Atlanteans, and Karen Marie Moning’s Highlander series.  [Love Alyssa and Karen's books!]

TBQ: Have you ever fallen for a hero, either from one of your books or from another author? If so, who is he and what drew you to him?
A: Oh yeah. This has happened twice. My first love was Francis Crawford of Dunnett’s Lymond Chronicles, her fabulous series set during the Renaissance. Crawford is the quintessential romantic hero and Renaissance man; soldier, poet, scholar, general. Completely brilliant and utterly sexy. He’s also a tortured soul whose search for his missing past takes him from Scotland to the Ottoman Empire and back where after six books, he finally finds his happily-ever-after.

The second time I fell hard for a hero was reading McMaster Bujold and the fabulous character of Miles Vorkosigan. Accidentally forming a mercenary company, Miles goes on to use them as a dangerous force for good. He’s another brilliant, mercurial hero who thrives on excitement and danger and just oozes sexy off the page despite the fact he’s about four and a half feet tall and considered a mutant by his own people.

TBQ: What's next-- Can you tell us a little bit about what to expect with future books?
A: There are two more books in the series following Demon’s Curse. In October 2013 we get David St. Leger’s story in Shadow’s Curse, and in the spring of 2014, the series wraps up with the story of ‘The Ghost Earl’, Gray de Coursy in Warrior’s Curse. I’m hoping to bridge the span between the books with two more e-novellas that will offer some side stories and keep readers curious about what comes next, but no titles or timetables yet on those. So as you can see, it’s going to be a busy summer as I work to keep up with my schedule—and those pesky kids. [Good luck! :) Even without reading book 1 yet, I'm still anxious for the rest, too!]


A day on a secluded island OR a day at the spa?
A day at the spa.

Reading a spicy romance novel OR a sweet “my-heart-skips-a-beat” one?
Definitely spicy!

Which would you rather have an affair with: a sexy highlander OR a devilishly handsome English lord?
I’ll go devilishly handsome lord, thanks. [Either way, I think it's a win-win!]

Hot summer days OR cold winter nights?
I’ll stick with cold winter nights. With my woodstove and a cup of tea, I’m damn near perfect.

Where would your dream house be: in the city, where all the action is OR nestled in the mountain where you can enjoy the quiet and the wilderness?
Can I offer a third alternative and live by the ocean? I’m a water girl. [Oh, that would also be nice--just not during bad weather! Yikes!]

If you could live in any time period, past or future, which one would it be?
The roaring twenties always sounded like fun. Love the dresses and the idea of hanging out at a speak easy(sp?)!

Cover Lover OR Blurb Fan?
Gotta go with the blurb, though I suppose it’s the cover that might drive me to pull it off the shelf in the first place.

Steamy Novella OR Sweet Novel? (aka, Quickie or Slow Build Up?)
Sweet novel. I’m a sucker for sexual tension! [When done well, sexual tension can be quiet delicious and...satisfying! :)]

And finally, tell us 3 unique/wacky/fun things about yourself:
1) I’m a huge sports fan (Go Orioles and Ravens!) and listen to sports radio while I write.
2) I’m one of six children and the only girl. Can you say, outnumbered?
[WOW, that would be a bit tough!]
3) I name all my pets after characters in The Andy Griffith Show. How’s that for uniquely wacky?

Thanks so much for stopping by, Alexa, and please know that you are welcome back anytime! Do you have any questions for our readers—something to spark a good discussion? :)

A: It’s summertime and the living is supposed to be easy. I want to know what book you can’t wait to read this summer and where you want to be reading it. Me? I want to read A Storm Of Crows by the lake in Vermont. How about you?

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Demon's Curse by Alexa Egan
Publisher: Pocket Books (December 26, 2012)
Series: The Immortal Brotherhood, 1
Genre: Historical/Paranormal Romance

A fast-paced and captivating debut—the first in the dark and sexy Imnada Brotherhood series about shape shifters in Regency-era England.
A rising star on the Covent Garden stage, Bianca Parrino believes she has everything she wants. Independence. Wealth. And a life finally free of her violent, abusive husband. But when her close friend, Adam, is murdered and Bianca is suspected in his death, she is unwittingly drawn into the search for his killer and soon must question everything she believes—about her friend, about herself, and about a world she never knew existed.

A member of the mysterious race of shape-shifting Imnada and part of an elite military unit, Captain Mac Flannery gathered intelligence during the Napoleonic wars. As a result of a savage massacre, Mac and the men he served with are cursed. Now one of them has been found murdered, and Mac suspects the existence of the Imnada has been discovered at last. His only link to unearthing the truth is the beautiful actress who turns up unexpectedly at Adam’s funeral.

Before long, Mac has more to contend with than Bianca’s overt mistrust, his ill-fated attraction to the haughty and beautiful actress, and his ongoing search for an end to the curse. Because Adam’s killer is back, and Mac is next on his list.

Where to Buy*:

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Thanks for stopping by, Alexa! I really enjoyed reading your responses (finally! hehe), and I can't wait to read your book, it sounds perfect!   :)

Don't forget to answer Alexa's question!

 It’s summertime and the living is supposed to be easy. I want to know what book you can’t wait to read this summer and where you want to be reading it. Me? I want to read A Storm Of Crows by the lake in Vermont. How about you?

Hmm... with my TBR mountain, I won't be buying any new books for quiet some time, so I'll have to just live vicariously through everyone else's excitement for various upcoming books. :)

However, I'm hoping for plenty of free time this summer to catch up on my reading, preferably in the shade of a nice tree [swing would be nice], with a cool breeze and an ice cold Dr. Pepper.

As I have no shady trees on my property, and no swing, I guess I'll just have to make do. *sigh* But the cold Dr. Pepper? That's a must! :)

What about you? Share, please! :)  

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Until Next Time,

*TBQ's Book Palace is a member of both the Amazon and Barnes and Nobles affiliates program. By using the links provided to buy products from either website, I receive a very small percentage of the order. To read my full disclosure on the matter, please see this post!

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