Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Catching up...

I know, I've been a really bad blogger. The problem is, I really haven't. With the release of Bond Betrayed I've been blogging my little fingers off. Only the posts have been on other people's blogs. So, in case you've missed any of my blogs, here's a list of where I've been and what I've been blogging about over the last couple of weeks. The name of each blog is a link to the post. The contests are all closed but the posts are still up. And, if you were interested in winning a download of Bond Betrayed, there will be a couple more contests in the near future. One is going to be this Saturday, Dec. 1st. I'll post a link to that blog address, too!

On Nov. 8th I was on Sandra Sookoo's blog talking about realistic romance.

On Nov. 12 I was on Lissa Matthew's blog talking about good boys who are bad in all the right ways.

On Nov. 13th I was on Ella Jade's blog with a Tease us Thursday excerpt from Bond Betrayed.

On Nov. 19th Nerine Dorman had me on her blog with an interview.

On Nov. 20th Jocelyn Dex had me on her blog with a hilarious interview. (This is the one that had the    question about sex toys.)

On Nov. 23rd I was on Delilah Devlin's blog talking about the Community.

Whew... So I think that catches us up to where I am now. But wait!  There's more!!

On Dec. 1st I'm scheduled to be on Everybody Needs A Little Romance talking about holiday traditions and I will be giving away a download of Bond Betrayed to a commenter that tells me what their favorite tradition is.

On Dec. 3rd Renita Pizzitola is doing an author spotlight featuring me.

On Dec. 11th I'm scheduled to be on The Storm Goddess's Blog doing a post on the importance of ink in the Community.

At some point in Dec. I'm going to have a post on Long and Short Reviews talking about green Christmases. That post will also have a contest to win a download of Bond Betrayed. I'll update with the date and the link when I get it.

On Dec 20th I'm going to be on Cynthia D'Alba's blog talking about...well...something. I'll update this after I've written the blog

On Jan. 7th I'm going to be a Monday's Friend on Sara Jayne Townsend's blog where I'll be talking about the joys of being a pantser (sorry, I'm not sure why this keeps wanting me to blog about the joys of being a panther). I will be giving away a download of Bond Betrayed on this blog as well.

And on Jan. 29th. I'm going to be on Nine Naughty Novelists talking about...well...something else. Again, I'll update this as soon as I've written the post!

So that's where I am right now. Everything but three posts are done and submitted to the bloggers.  Now I need to get those last two done!  Huzzah.  I see the light....


Monday, November 19, 2012

Pushing the Envelope


I have to admit, I don’t 100% understand that saying. Yes, I have a vague understanding of what it means (I’ve watched The Right Stuff). I’m just not that mathematically inclined so, to me, the saying is completely abstract. I get that it’s about pushing boundaries. And boy oh boy am I doing that lately. Only, in my world, they’re usually social or moral boundaries.

When I first stared writing for submission, I decided I’d write romance. One of my writer friends told me one of my strengths was tension and I should capitalize on that. It sounded like a good idea to me. And, with the romance industry of today, there was so much freedom to write really any subgenre you liked. I could write the story I wanted and not have to worry about formulas or trying to make my story fit into a subgenre I didn’t want to write. I did, however, that I wasn’t going to write erotic romance…yet. I think there’s a blog about it somewhere in the archives. I didn’t want to write erotic romance not because I thought it was cheap or tawdry, though, quite the opposite. If I was going to write something, it was going do the best possible job I could. I was only starting to write seriously and writing erotic romance was tricky. I wasn’t sure I had the ability to write it and write it well.

So for my first couple of books I wrote seductive romance. And I loved the books. I loved the characters. I loved the stories the characters told. While writing though, I read tons and tons of erotic romance. I read fantastic stories that got my heart racing and my kept me on edge as I turned each page. I read some that introduced me to ideas and positions that I was not aware of. And, of course, I read some that had me rolling my eyes at the characters all the way through. Each book I read critically, cataloging what I liked and what I didn’t. I made mental notes of how I thought the story could be stronger or the characters more consistent and believable. And then, when I felt I’d grown enough to do it well, I started writing my own erotic romance.

This month, my first ever erotic romance-Bond Betrayed-was released by Ellora’s Cave and I must admit, I love the book. I love the story. And yes, I love the characters. But it wasn’t easy for me to write. Chapter seven of that book was me really pushing the envelope—then. It wouldn’t be considered pushing the envelope if you stopped, though. The story I’m working on now, Molly and Thomas’ story, continues pushing. In Nikki and Isaac we have some sex toys, handcuffs, and spanking. But in Molly and Thomas we have so much more. Molly and Thomas’ story will be my first real attempt at a permanent ménage. 

I’m not writing it for shock value or to try to sensationalize the book, though. It’s written as an ménage because I honestly think that’s what Molly’s character needs. It’s also, because of his magic, what Thomas needs. We’ll see if I can continue to push the envelope and finish this story. I hope I do justice to Molly and Thomas. And I hope to continue to grow and embrace new challenges as a writer.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Guest Blogging

Today I'm guest blogging over at Lissa Matthews' site.  I'm talking about good guys are bad in all the best possible ways.  Stop by and leave a comment with your e-mail address for a chance to win a download of Bond Betrayed!

http://lissamatthews.com/blog/2012/11/12/guest-chandra-ryan/

Sunday, November 11, 2012

So what now?

                                 There's always something about release weeks.  No matter how well they're scheduled, how meticulously they're planned, they always seem to be a whirlwind of chaos.  So you can imagine how crazy one is when it's competing with other things in the author's life.

Bond Betrayed was released on the 7th, which was fantastic.  But even better was that the 8th was my husband's and mine 15th anniversary.  We celebrated this weekend by watching Wreck it Ralph (in all its 3-D glory) and having a fancy...okay....fancy-ish...dinner with our two kids.  It was a super cute movie and a lovely dinner.  And it marked the end of the craziness of release week.  Which left me asking, so what now?

Of course, there's still more promo for Bond Betrayed the coming weeks and with Thanksgiving and Christmas coming up I've got more than enough to keep me busy, but what fun would busy be if there wasn't some new story in the works.  And there is!

I'm currently working on the next story in the Ink world.  The first one was Izzy and Jacob's story with Ink in the Blood (which is on sale at Amazon for $0.99 if you haven't had a chance to read it yet).  Next was Izzy's sister, Nikki, in the just released Bond Betrayed.  And so, when I started the third book I decided to stick with family for it as well.  Only instead of the Rathe family, I decided to switch to the Marrows and focus on Molly and Thomas.



My fascination with Molly and Thomas started while I was writing Bond Betrayed.  No spoilers but they're both in Nikki and Isaac's story.  And it continued even after I wrote Nikki's and Isaac's happy ending.  I knew deep down in my heart that Molly and Thomas were perfect for each other.  But how would their story start?  Could Molly forgive Thomas for his deception?  And could Thomas ever see her as anything other than the damsel in distress that needs him for protection?

Well of course they could!  They'll have to.  Because Molly, as damaged as she is, is brave and strong.  Thomas is a smart cookie.  They'll get their act together.  I'm willing to bet my next book on it ;)  And, because they're both born and bred in the Community and have lived in the lighter shades of gray that differentiate the good from the bad in that world, oh what a book it's shaping up to be!

If you want to get caught up in the Ink world here are links to the first two books:




Wednesday, November 7, 2012

It's Out!!

It's release day!!  It's release day!!  I'm so excited I finally get to share Bond Betrayed with you all.  And give away a digital copy to one of you.  All you have to do to enter the contest is leave a comment.  Make sure you put your e-mail address in the comment so I can notify you if you're the winner!  I'll be announcing the winner tomorrow evening so you have until then to enter.

In case you haven't been to the Ellora's Cave site, here's the blurb:


Isaac Marrow doesn’t care that Nikki Rathe is a seductress. She’s the only member of the Community who can help him get his sister Molly back from Nikki’s father, who holds the rest of their kind under his spell. But he doesn’t expect her to help willingly. Instead, he tricks her into giving up her blood, bonding her to him in an effort to compel her support. 

Nikki could have told Isaac that bonding himself to a seductress was a foolish move, but he never asked. Now, a powerful lust ties them together, driving them both mad. Isaac is hot, but the desire is a distraction she doesn’t need. Nikki wants to free Molly and bring down her father just as much as Isaac, if not more. The Community banished her as a child while letting her power-hungry father grow stronger. But Isaac’s betrayal of her trust can’t go unpunished. And a seductress can deliver a powerful punishment.

And here's the Excerpt:

By reading any further, you are stating that you are at least 18 years of age. If you are under the age of 18, it is necessary to exit this site.
An Excerpt From: BOND BETRAYED
Copyright © CHANDRA RYAN, 2012
All Rights Reserved, Ellora's Cave Publishing, Inc.
His hand returned to the base of her back as he guided her down a long, darkened hallway. She tried to scan rooms as they walked past, but it was difficult for her to focus on anything other than the sensation of his thumb slowly caressing her.
Finally, after reaching the end of the hallway and going up a flight of stairs, they came to the room he’d been directing her toward. Following him through the door, she was a little surprised to find the bedroom elegantly decorated with antique furniture, including a gorgeously canopied four-poster bed.
“You look surprised.” He pulled her closer, close enough for her to catch his subtle, earthy scent. “Don’t tell me you were expecting a dungeon.”
She hadn’t been expecting a dungeon, but this didn’t strike her as a bachelor pad. It felt lived in—homey, even. “I have heard they’re quite the fashion.” She slowly began unbuttoning his shirt, revealing more of the intricate tattoo work. Running her hand along his chest, she gently removed the article of clothing and drank in the sight of his well-defined torso. He was truly beautiful.
He took a step away from her and held his arms out so she could see all of the markings clearly before turning slowly in front of her. “There they are, all of them.”
It was an impressive collection of the who’s who, but she was much more entranced by the ripple of muscle under the artwork. Facing her once more, he put his hands down and smiled at her.
“I’ve shown you mine, I think it’s only fair you show me yours.”
“Sit.” She nodded to the large bed.
He chuckled softly but followed the command.
Slowly, she let her blazer slip down her arms and drop to the floor. The conditioned air of the room made the hair on her arms stand on end and her skin break out in goose bumps, but it felt good after being in the sweltering heat.
“Silk and pearls. Nice.” He was staring at her with a naked longing that made her want to rush. But rushing a seduction was like rushing a good brandy. Sacrilege.
“I do love the feel of silk on my skin. But since we’re playing ‘show me yours and I’ll show you mine’…” She lifted the cami over her head in a fluid motion and then smiled at him as the soft material fluttered to the floor and landed in a puddle at her heels.
She stood for a moment so he could admire the contrast of her black lace bra paired with the business pencil skirt and high heels of the suit. “Should I take these off?” She ran a fingertip along the strand of pearls that encircled her neck. “Or would you rather I leave them on?” She didn’t mind playing submissive over the trivial things. After all, happy men were pliant men.
“On.” His voice was hoarse. She liked that.
“As you wish.” She imitated his earlier turn to show off her pristine skin. Now that she was nearly naked from the waist up, she couldn’t hide it any longer.
“You have no family, no alliances?”
“No, and I’m not looking for any,” she confided, unbuttoning her pencil skirt. The zipper slid down easily, and that garment fell into a heap on top of cami. Standing in front of him in only her heels, matching black lace bra and panties and pearls, she wondered how he’d feel about that. Family was important. But so was sex.
He shook his head softly as she took the first step towards him. “That’s good to hear.”
She had to fight against the urge to breathe a sigh of relief. “Not the commitment type?” She continued walking toward him as she admired the glow of the sun reflecting off his olive skin. Kneeling on the floor in front of him, she gently kissed his chest, sending a shiver of desire through them both. His fingers ran through her hair, tugging at her curls until she was looking up at him.
“Would you be here if I were?”
No. Maybe he did know her better than she’d originally thought. After pushing him back until he was lying on the mattress, she kissed his navel and then stretched against him to kiss his rib cage. “You’re right. I would’ve declined your gracious invitation.”
The challenge had just enough sting to get a reaction. “You would have declined, would you?” He pulled her on top of him so her mouth hovered inches above his.
Straddling his ribcage, she let her heels slide off before answering. “No amount of hotness is worth the complications of a commitment.”
“Hotness?” His fingers traced the path of her backbone. His firm touch sent a searing wave of desire through her. Arching her back, she moaned softly. “You think I’m hot?”
Nikki heard the low growl of impatience, but it took a second for her to recognize it as her own. “You talk too much.” She covered his mouth with hers, silencing him.
The kiss was filled with challenge and desire, making it both hungry and vulnerable at the same time. His arms closed around her back as she deepened the kiss, pulling her closer, until every inch of her body was pressed against his. The feel of his skin under hers was intoxicating.
Pushing him away, she sat up and stared at him for a moment before lowering her mouth to his neck. Her tongue sought out and found his racing pulse. Savoring the lightly salty taste of his skin, she started working her way down to the sensitive spot where his neck met his shoulder. Biting him teasingly, she heard him moan as his hands clenched her thighs.
“You taste good.” Her voice was husky, seductive—intentionally so. Here, she was in her element.
“And what if I want to taste you?”
God, this was just what she needed. “Feel free.”
“No, I mean all of you.”
There was no mistaking his meaning. Their magic lived in their blood and, although she’d never shared hers with anyone, she’d heard it was an aphrodisiac. One hardly ever offered because it could also be used to enslave another.
But he couldn’t enslave her—couldn’t evoke the blood bond because he didn’t know her name. There was no way to bind another without their name. Also, a person could only place one blood bond in a lifetime. No one would waste something that precious on a one-night stand. She’d be safe. And the thought of his blood on her tongue made her quiver with need.
“Will you bleed for me?” she asked, her voice heavy with desire.
“Sounds fair.”
Sitting up, he pulled a small knife from a night table and ran it across his wrist. When he’d cut enough to provoke several drops of blood he held it out to her. The magic in their blood prevented blood-borne diseases, so she didn’t have to worry about that. But still, she felt suddenly nervous. She had no idea what to expect. The wave of desire that hit her at just the tangy smell of his blood was enough to overcome her nerves, though. Leaning forward, she touched the blood with just the tip of her tongue. His magic was a mystery, but the power of it rushed through her. She was flying with his strength, the constant anxiety and fear that ate away at her, gone. If this was how her sister felt on heroin, she could almost understand Izzy’s addiction.
“My turn?”
Even with her head buzzing, she felt a small measure of her earlier concern return but she quickly brushed it away. He’d lived up to his end of the deal. And if he meant to hurt her, he’d had plenty of time not to mention opportunity already. But he hadn’t harmed her in any way. In fact, he’d given her one of the most pleasurable experiences she’d ever had.
“Your turn.” She held out her wrist to him boldly. Nothing in her entire life had ever felt this good. Not even the knife slicing through her skin was enough to dull the sensation, especially when the warmth of his mouth covered the wound. She’d been wrong. Having him take her blood was even better than taking his.
He sucked in a ragged breath as the warmth of his body left her. Opening her eyes, she stared at him as confusion began to chase away her desire. She’d never wanted to be closer to another person than she did with him at that moment. Why was he pulling away from her?
“Nicola Lillian Rathe, I bond you to me with the power of your own blood.”
It took a moment for the words to sink through the heady desire that was wrapped around her, but when they finally did, white-hot anger killed what was left of the seductive warmth throbbing through her and made her breathing hard and ragged with disbelief. “What?”
“You’re mine.” He said the words triumphantly, but there was a sadness in his eyes. Refusing to see it, she leapt for the knife he’d left foolishly close to her.
“Like hell I am.” Her fingers closed around the sleek handle of the blade. She wasn’t an expert on blood bonds by any standard of measure, but she did know if you killed the holder, it’d set the slave free.
“You can try.” He held his arms out, giving her a clean shot at his heart. She’d never killed anyone, but if it was to free herself she was pretty sure she could. She tried to force the knife toward him, but as excruciating pain exploded in her head she dropped it again. “But the bond won’t let you hurt me.”
Cursing, she brought her gaze to meet his. “Bastard!”
His sigh was exaggerated. “If you can’t say anything nice, then don’t say anything at all.”
The word asshole sat on her tongue, but no matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t say it.
“That’s better.”
The condescending prick was going to pay. Maybe she couldn’t hurt him directly, hell, now she couldn’t even call him names, but she’d figure out a way to make him pay.


Monday, November 5, 2012

Promo...Really....Again?

If you ask writers what they dread the most about a new release,  I'm willing to bet nine times out of ten times their answer is going to be promo.  Promotion work.  Telling the world about your newest creation.  It's not that we aren't proud of our work, we are.  But, for the most part, we're kind of quiet people.  It's one of the reasons we write.  There are few jobs that pay you to sit at home and live vicariously though others.  Actually, writing is about all that comes to mind right now.  Sure, we've got Twitter and Facebook.  And I love them!!  But I don't use them to promote as much as to keep up with what's going on in the industry and to stay in touch with friends.

But here it is, almost release time, and I'm diligently working on my promo.  'Cause I am proud of my book and I do want people to know about it.  The first thing I always do is work out a bribe...I mean reward.  This time, it's chocolate!  I get a piece whenever I finish a blog post.  Then I determine why I'm proud of the story.  This helps me when coming up with ideas for blogs.  It helps me highlight what's special or interesting about the particular story.  So...in this story we have....

1. A strong female and a Malkovichian male.  That's a start.

2. Betrayal.  That'll keep things interesting.

3. Hot sex.  Always good to have in a story.

4. Addiction.  Because if we let them, our vices will define us.

5. Heat break.  The truest test of survival skills.

6. Trust issues.  Let's face it, we all have those.

7.  Oh, and did I mention hot sex?  Well, it bears repeating ;)

So after I have this list, I start writing posts that (I hope) are relatable.  And, of course, I start e-mailing my friends with blogs to see if I can guest blog for them.

It's all pretty straight forward but it requires a lot of exposure.  Which is kind of the point.  But I'm not all that fond of exposure.  I mean, I want my book to have exposure, but I want to stay on the sidelines in the shadows.  I'm realistic enough to know that just isn't possible though.  So look for my guest blog posts in the upcoming weeks and months.  I'll post links to them on here as they come up so you can come on over, check out a new blog, and say hi!  And maybe win something, like a free download of Bond Betrayed!


Sunday, November 4, 2012

Bond Betrayed

So I've spent most of last week alternating between panic and denial as I was coming to terms with my newest release. Panic because this is my first ever erotic romance and denial because it all happened so fast it's hard for me to believe it's actually almost release time!  Okay, the story didn't happen quickly. This particular story is actually the one I've spent the most time on but it went from acceptance to edits to release in record time. Record time for me, at least.

But, now that I'm finally starting to come to terms with its release, I find I'm experiencing a new emotion-excitement! I mean, not like 'new in my life' emotion. I'm human, I've been excited before about other things. But now I'm starting to get really excited about people reading this book. Yes, it's nerve-racking. So much so, I just had to google if it was nerve-racking or nerve-wracking. Yep, that's my state of mind right now. But if I didn't love the story so much, I wouldn't be so nervous. And that I'm this nervous tells me how much I really do love this story. 

Just like being a parent, I don't think authors are supposed to pick a favorite book. It's not fair to their other books, right? And I could never pick a favorite between my two children, but (and please don't tell my other stories) I think this story actually is my favorite. Should I feel guilty about that? I'm undecided. 

Why is it my favorite? It's simple really, this book is exactly as I wanted it. I refused to think about my mom's reaction or my ex-boyfriend's condescending comments or even about the shocked expressions of my RL friends as they read it and I just wrote. I felt I owed it to the characters. They're just so strong and real in my head that I couldn't tell Nikki to cover up as she pranced around Isaac's kitchen in nothing more than his button down shirt and a pair of panties. I couldn't even make her feel shame when other people saw her in nothing but the skimpy ensemble. And I most certainly couldn't force Isaac to hide his cuffs. She's a seductress and he's an enforcer. If she didn't seduce and he didn't enjoy a woman in cuffs, they wouldn't be themselves. If I ignored their personalities, I would be doing a great disservice to them. 

So I embraced not only them, but their story. And so, without further ado, here's the blurb:


Isaac Marrow doesn’t care that Nikki Rathe is a seductress. She’s the only member of the Community who can help him get his sister Molly back from Nikki’s father, who holds the rest of their kind under his spell. But he doesn’t expect her to help willingly. Instead, he tricks her into giving up her blood, bonding her to him in an effort to compel her support. 

Nikki could have told Isaac that bonding himself to a seductress was a foolish move, but he never asked. Now, a powerful lust ties them together, driving them both mad. Isaac is hot, but the desire is a distraction she doesn’t need. Nikki wants to free Molly and bring down her father just as much as Isaac, if not more. The Community banished her as a child while letting her power-hungry father grow stronger. But Isaac’s betrayal of her trust can’t go unpunished. And a seductress can deliver a powerful punishment.

All this week I'm going to be counting down to the release and on Wed, November 7th (release day) I'm going to be giving away a digital copy to a commenter so keep stopping by!  Maybe I'll even release a video of me doing my happy dance. I know I'll be doing it all day Wednesday :)
  

Friday, September 28, 2012

Chicken Sliders

















I made these last night and, after requests for the recipe, I decided to share.

Ingredients:

2lbs. Ground Chicken
3Tbs  Southwestern seasoning spice mix
2Tbs Garlic Salt
Dried minced onion
1 Med Onion
Mushrooms sliced and washed
1 container HEB (store brand) Pineapple Pico de Gallo
Jalapeño mustard
6 slices of cheese (optional)
Slider buns

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Spray 9x13 cooking sheet (make sure sheet has enough depth to hold grease on the sheet as chicken cooks) or casserole dish with non-stick spray (I use Pam) and then sprinkle the bottom with a thin layer of dried minced onion.

In a mixing bowl combine chicken, southwest spice, and garlic salt.  When combined pat the mixture into an even level in the the 9x13 dish,

Cook at 400 degrees for 25 min.  After 25 min, remove dish from oven and place sliced cheese on the chicken (optional) then place back in oven for 5 min or until cheese is melted and chicken is cooked through. Note:  I used pepper-jack cheese, but you can use whatever cheese sounds good to you as long as it's a cheese that melts smoothly.

While that is cooking, slice onion and separate rings.  Spread the rings on a different cooking sheet and then spread mushrooms on top of onions.  Drizzle onions and mushrooms with a light coating of Olive Oil and garlic salt.  Place in oven at 400 degrees for 25 min or until onions caramelize 

Slice the chicken into about 12 evenly sized squares.  Place on slider bun and then top with the onion-mushroom mix, pineapple pico de gallo, and jalapeño mustard.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

I’m So Damn Tired

Every day I open my netbook and I log on Twitter or Facebook or one of the countless news organizations out there and every day (it seems recently) I find some new news article designed to piss me off. First it was the birth control debate. Then it was the stupid ‘joke’ about aspirin as an effective birth control. Then it was Rush’s response to the birth control debate.

- I must admit, by the time this happened, I was kind of numb and apathetic to the whole thing. One can only handle so much hatred and vitriol being spewed at you simply because of your gender.

But it got even better, ‘cause then Arizona stepped up to the plate with a proposed law designed to protect doctors from ‘wrongful birth’ lawsuits. (Click 'Arizona' to go to Huffington Post article about the law) Now, I believe a doctor has the RIGHT to choose with procedures he/she is willing to and comfortable performing. If a doctor has religious beliefs that prevent him from performing an abortion, for instance, I believe the government shouldn’t be allowed to pass laws to force them to. But to withhold information from a patient (specifically a female patient because males can’t get pregnant) because that information might make an abortion more likely? And information that could be life saving to the mother, nonetheless? That’s where you’re crossing the line. Why should my doctor’s rights and beliefs carry more weight than mine? It’s my body, my life. And why is it always females under attack? Why are there no condescending reproduction laws aimed at men? Not that I want them to start making them. The only thing worse than the current attack of females is the tit for tat game.

But it’s all left me angry and frustrated that I have to keep explaining why I’m angry to people.

Here’s the thing, I like being a girl. Actually, I love being a girl. Don’t get me wrong, I love the men out there. I’m happily married and have two boys. But I wouldn’t want to be a man for all the gold in Spain. So I don’t understand why it is that so many people hate women—hate me just for being a woman. I have my college degree, earned it while waitressing tables at a pizza place to support myself, so why do so many people think I’m incapable of making decisions about my health and body? And (here’s the kicker) because I’m female, am I supposed to hate sex?

I don’t want special treatment. I just want to be treated like a human.

P.S. I vote.