Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Guest Blogger Chandra Ryan - Life, Love and the Art of Balance

I don’t want to sound like a commercial for a yoga studio or anything here, but isn’t it amazing how much smoother everything goes when we managed to balance the important areas of our life? My days go remarkably better when I schedule the time to not only get my writing and the chores done, but also find the time for me to do things for myself—like workout or sit down and read a good book.

The same can be said for my marriage. When my husband and I get the give and take, the work and the reward right (‘cause let’s face it, every marriage takes work and should provide rewards) we’re just happier people in general.

So whenever I start a new book, I always look for that balance. Who is giving and when will it be their turn to take? What is being taken and when will it be given back? In Ravenborne, for example, Sara lost everything at the hand of the king. Balance was found when the king, inadvertently as the case was, gave back everything he had taken. In Ink in the Blood, Jacob was the expert and put his life on the line to protect Izzy until they were sucked into a world he knew nothing about. Then it was Izzy’s turn to protect Jacob and guide him through the shadows of her childhood. But when I started writing Bond Betrayed, I knew that balance was going to be different, harder.

The idea of a blood bond, to bond someone with their blood so that they had to do whatever you ordered them to do, hit me from the beginning of the story. And I wondered, would a relationship, would balance, be possible under that kind of weight? The saying goes, power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely, but is it a truth or just a warning? Is there a hero who could stand true to his morals with that large a temptation? Would it be possible to be completely at someone’s mercy and yet still hold the power to balance out the relationship? If there were even a hope, the heroine would have to be just as strong as the hero. She would have to be his North Star in the darkness and she would have to be willing to lose herself to save him.

So who is this heroine? I’d like to you meet Nikki Rathe, seductress extraordinaire.

Fury burned in the pit of her stomach. And she welcomed it. Its heat dulled the sharp hunger that’d been buried deep in her core since she’d woken up. How could she still want him? He’d specifically put her into a vulnerable state just to betray her. That wasn’t the kind of guy a girl wastes fantasies over.

And yet, she was.

It only pissed her off more. But if she had to be pissed off and sexually frustrated, the least she could do was share the misery. And if the look on his face was anything to go by, she was succeeding marvelously.

“What’s happened to me?” he asked as soon as the door closed.

She probably should feel some guilt at the sound of confusion mixed with pain in his voice. Should, but didn’t. “You drank seductress blood,” she answered simply. “How does it feel?” Stepping close to him once more, she ran the tip of one finger down the front of his chest. “Is it a roaring fire burning what little is left of your soul to ash, or is it an icy dullness reminding you that you’ll never be whole if I’m not there?” For her, it was ice. She needed the warmth of his body on her, against her, in her so badly she hurt with it.

“Fire. God, how do I make it stop?” Turning his back to the wall, he leaned against its strength as if his whole world had just been shaken.

“I wouldn’t know. I’ve had the stuff running through my veins longer than I can remember.”

“But you shouldn’t be able to use your magic against me. The bond—”

“This has nothing to do with the bond and I’m not using my magic against you.” Needing the space as much as he did, she took a step away from him. He reached out to her but quickly caught himself, snatching his hand back to his side. “You drank my blood. I’m a seductress, what did you think my magic would feel like? Rainbows, unicorns and fairy dust?”


So did it work? Did I get the balance I was looking for? Honestly, I don’t know. I hope I did, but that’s really a question for the readers to answer.

If you’d like to read more about Nikki and Isaac you can find the blurb and another excerpt on my author site and the Ellora’s Cave website:



and on Amazon here: http://www.amazon.com/Bond-Betrayed-ebook/dp/B00A4E7FYQ

Author Bio: Being from a rather nomadic family, Chandra Ryan loves to travel and meet people. But she’s found that sometimes, like when you’re stuck inside because of a good old-fashioned Southwestern heat wave, you have to make do. Fortunately for her and her loving family, who don’t like seeing her suffer from cabin fever, she’s found creating new people and places equally as fascinating. Also, you’re a lot less likely to spill your ice tea.


Meg Benjamin said...

Hi Chandra:
Welcome to the Naughty Nine! I'm a pretty organized person myself, but in my case it usually runs to outlines!

Chandra Ryan said...

Hi Meg,

Thanks so much for having me on your blog today! One of the things I'm really working on this year is becoming more organized both in my writing and in my life in general. It's been difficult but, when I get it right, totally worth all the work. And when I get it wrong it's usually pretty humorous so not much is lost in the attempt :)

Kelly Jamieson said...

Oooh this sounds like a great book!! That excerpt really got to me...I think it's the seductress heroine - a definite challenge! Need to know more... :-)

Chandra Ryan said...

Thanks so much Kelly. I have to admit, writing a seductress was a challenge but also a lot of fun. She has a interesting perspective on sex that really allowed me write freely during the sex scenes. But, especially out of bedroom, she has a lot of the same insecurities women everywhere deal with.