I am thrilled to have Chandra Ryan as a guest on my blog today. Her new release, Ulterior Motives, is right up my alley – a SciFi romance.
Kylie: Hi Chandra and welcome. I want to start out and say I love the cover of your book! Why don’t you tell us a little about your new release?
Chandra: Ulterior Motives is a sexy, sexy story about eminent domain. What? Eminent domain isn’t sexy, you say? Well it is when you have the devastatingly handsome lawyer, Jasper Lee, fly across the galaxy to champion the cause and help you save your land.
Kylie: You had me at “devastatingly handsome lawyer” :-). I am also curious about your heroine. Here’s a challenge for you…describe your heroine in one sentence.
Chandra: Kat is a tough but lonely rancher who loves her land and is willing to do whatever it takes to keep it out of the hands of the government cronies trying to steal it away from her. Whew! That might be the longest sentence I’ve ever typed.
Kylie: What drew you to the type of book you write?
Chandra: The characters. For me, it’s always about the characters. It starts with, “What if…” and then I have to create people who could, and realistically would, make that story come to life. Somewhere along the way, they become real. And that’s not just in my stories. I can’t count the number of times I’ve started bawling in public because I’m reading a good book. But for the book to be good, to really make people care, the characters have to shine.
Kylie: Okay, curious minds want to know – are you a plotter or pantser?
Chandra: I’m kind of a hybrid. I have a general idea what needs to happen when I start a book and then I just write until I find my way to happily-ever-after.
Kylie: What would be a perfect writing day for you?
Chandra: A perfect writing day….Hmmm….. I’m not sure I’ve ever had one. I think if I did coffee would definitely be involved. And an empty house. Yeah. That would be really nice.
Kylie: Rejection letters are a part of every writer’s journey. How do you deal with them?
Chandra: Ice cream and good friends. You’d be surprised at the number of crises that combination will get you through, though. You need a really good brand of full-fat, extra rich ice cream and a couple of people who never mind being cried on to live life to its fullest.
Kylie: I like the way you deal with a crisis! Now I am craving ice cream….must resist! Let’s switch gears a bit here; what was the biggest challenge you faced in writing your book?
Chandra: The biggest challenge I have is overcoming that little voice of doubt that’s always saying the story isn’t good, or that I’m never going to finish it, or that nobody’s going to want to read it when it is done. I think I read a meme once (and we all know that those things only tell the truth) that doubt kills more dreams that failure ever will. It really resonated with me.
Kylie: You hear that horrid little voice, too? Good thing you didn’t listen! So, what do you do when you are not writing? Any hobbies?
Chandra: My biggest hobby is reading. Big shock there, I know. I sometimes tease that I write so I have the money to buy books. But I also love hiking and swimming. It’s kind of a life of both extremes. I either want to be inside buried in a good book or outside in the sun sweating.
Kylie: Do you consider yourself an introvert or an extrovert?
Chandra: I’m an introvert all the way. And I know my friends are probably laughing at that one because I’m pretty good at hiding it. But the thing is, I’m always saying the most ridiculous things. Or zoning out in the middle of conversations. It’s really embarrassing. I know I’m socially awkward and that only makes me more awkward. I ordered ribs on my first date with my husband. Who does that? (He found it charming btw, which is why we’re still together fifteen years later.)
Kylie: As a fellow introvert I totally understand! Your husband sounds like a smart man 🙂 I want to thank you for stopping in and sharing a little about yourself. Here’s wishing you many, many sales.
Universal Defiance, Book One
On a rural settler planet, Kat must resort to putting out an ad to find a husband. She doesn’t expect to find love—that’s a dream in these parts—just a partner to help work her ranch. Then the devastatingly handsome Jasper answers her ad and turns her on in ways she never dreamed possible. Too bad he’s not who he says he is.
Jasper doesn’t know what he’s getting into when he ventures undercover to investigate a legal claim against Kat’s ranch. But after a toe-curling night under her roof and in her bed, he’s willing to do anything to stay there. He can’t say no to the tough-as-nails businesswoman who makes his body come alive.
When people start getting hurt, though, both Kat and Jasper have to decide how valuable one piece of land is. And the ranch that brought them together might be the very thing standing between them.
A Romantica® sci fi erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave
Kat stared at the man on the platform. With thick dark-brown hair and a muscular body that filled his clothes out nicely, he was handsome enough. Not that his looks mattered. Not really. She needed a husband to be a partner. She wasn’t some young, naive thing with silly notions of lust and love. Practical and pragmatic were a much better fit for her life. Still, a pragmatic woman could admit that having a man about the house who was easy on the eyes wouldn’t be a hardship.
She chuckled under her breath as she made her way over to him. She doubted she would fare as well if he were hoping for a piece of eye candy for his wife. Oh she could be pretty when she needed to be. But coming all the way to town to collect a man didn’t merit the fuss. She worked long days on the ranch and this excursion had already caused enough of a delay. If she got all gussied up, she’d not only lose that time but also the time it took her to get back into her work clothes when they returned to the ranch. Time was her most valuable commodity right now. She couldn’t afford to squander it.
“Excuse me, sir.” Her calm words broke through the chaos of the port station and gained his undivided attention. This close to him, staring into his rich, brown eyes, her stomach began to churn with nerves. She quickly pushed through the sensation though. She didn’t have the time for silliness. And it was the height of absurdity for her to be uncomfortable around her soon-to-be husband. “I’m Katarina Maxim. My friends call me Kat.”
She held her hand out to him in casual greeting as she tried not to fidget. She’d debated how to greet him as she’d driven to the station. A kiss seemed rather forward. But she did want him to feel welcomed. A handshake seemed like the best idea at the time. Now, as she waited for him to take her hand, she started second-guessing herself.
“Katarina, that’s a lovely name.”
She noted that he’d called her Katarina but tried not to let that color her first impression of him. She didn’t hate the name nor did she hate being called by it. It just didn’t fit her. Not anymore. Katarina sounded soft, delicate—refined even. As she’d been before her family had moved here. She could only hope that he didn’t see her as any of those things. If he did, he would be sorely disappointed when he got to know her better. “Kat. Only my mother called me by my full name,” she pressed.
“Kat it is.” His smile seemed genuine but his palm was as soft as new leather when he finally took hers. If he stayed, that would change. This planet demanded calluses and blisters. Her hands were proof of that. “Jasper Lee, ma’am. I’m honored to meet you. Out of the thousands of applications you must have received, I am grateful you selected mine.”
Apparently his tongue was as smooth as his hands. That didn’t bode well for their future. Smooth men didn’t do well when faced with the harsh realities of settler planets. “I’m not a politician nor am I a starlet, Mr. Lee. Out here we speak our minds and we keep our words straightforward. My ranch is a great opportunity, especially if you’re looking for a fresh start. But I think we both know there aren’t thousands of men out there looking for backbreaking work on a world so uncivilized that its brothel is its only restaurant.” She took a moment to look him over carefully. He wasn’t a dandy. His stance spoke of power and awareness. She couldn’t very well start patting him down like a horse at auction, but as far as she could tell, her first impression had been spot-on. The man looked to be in shape. “But if you’re willing to put in the time and the work, I’ve a feeling you could make it here.”
Ellora’s Cave: http://www.ellorascave.com/ulterior-motives.html
Thanks so much for having me on your blog today 🙂
It was my pleasure! The interview was a lot of fun and a wonderful chance to get to know you a little better.
Great interview! The book sounds sexy and intriguing, and I agree with Kylie about the cover. Steamin’ hot! ~ Viola
Thank you, Viola! I thought the cover artist did a fantastic job capturing the rustic yet futuristic feel of the book. When I filled out the cover art form I had no idea how they’d accomplish it, but they did 🙂
It’s always nice when the nail the cover, instead of ending up with the total opposite of what you want. 🙂
Yes, it is 🙂
Indeed, a fabulous cover and a really intriguing excerpt. Wow!
Thanks so much, Linda 🙂
Loved the cover! What a unique story concept. I like the idea of “western” settlers on one of the stellar planets. Good luck with sales.
Thanks, Diana! It was a lot of fun to write a futuristic western.
I confess, I’m a sucker for a space Western, and I love the role-reversal of a mail-order husband. Nice sparks in the excerpt, Chandra. Adding this one to my Goodreads to-read. 🙂
Thanks, M.Q. I’m glad you liked the excerpt. Jasper and Kat were a blast to write.
Wonderful interview Kylie. And as I’ve already publically admitted. I love Ulterior Motive.
Thank you, Liza! It’s great to see you 🙂
Love the excerpt and the interview! And, wow, what a cover!
Thank you, Melia 🙂
I love that the cover gives such a realistic feel of the world you are building. I am such a sucker for investigating new worlds that evoke images of our own. The frontiers of space may well look very familiar, and that is what draws us to them. Sexy, handsome men and strong, capable women are an irresistible combination. Looks like I am buying another book. 🙂
Thank you, Laurel 🙂 I love writing new worlds that are familiar to ours but with a twist. It’s both comforting and exciting at the same time.