Hello, I’m Amanda Ryan, and I’m a romance addic…er…wait. I mean Hi! I’m Amanda Ryan. I’m a debut author and I have some amazing characters that I’m excited to share with the world.
Keeper is a fantasy-romance set in the world of Aren, a world ruled by magic and swords. It’s the story of Amalia, a woman hiding the fact she is a rare & powerful Keeper, a conduit of magic. Because her Keeper power is bound to another by physical intimacy, she has forbidden herself lovers or a future with a family. She craves freedom. When an escape attempt goes awry & lands her in the hands of Ilyas san Merin, the infamous mercenary & Right Hand to the Royal, the one person Lia needs to avoid, she is forced to make a decision that will change not only her life, but the world of Aren.
Let’s Get To Know Amanda Ryan
Q: What are the top five books that have influenced your career?
A: Kinda cheating on this one, but The Emperor’s Edge series by Lindsay Buroker. I stumbled across this author by accident (1st book free on Amazon I think?), and I fell in love with this fantasy series.
The Smoke Thief, Shana Abe: glorious, beautiful historical fantasy
Enchantment, Orson Scott Card Fairy tale fantasy/fiction crossover
The Fire Lord’s Lover, Kathryne Kennedy; Gothic and sensual.
Sabriel, Garth Nix SOOOOO much love for this series. A big influence for me.
Q: What’s the funniest thing a reader has ever said/emailed to you?
A: This is a total noob thing to admit, but the first time one of my beta readers ever said one of my character’s names aloud, I had this weird moment of “…whoa.” I’ve only ever heard these words in my head. Hearing them out of another person’s mouth was surreal.
Q: If you could go back in time before you published your first book, what advice would you give yourself about publishing?
A: Just Do It! 🙂
It took me awhile to work up the nerve to actually share my writing. It was the best leap of faith I ever took. It improved my writing and enriched my characters.
Q: What fictional character would you punch if the face if you thought you could get away with it without going to jail?
A: Dolores Umbridge. Hands down.
Q: What’s your favorite AND least favorite thing about being a writer/author?
A: Favorite thing about being a writer: spacing out in the clouds, man. My head is CONSTANTLY dreaming of “other” places, people, and potential.
Least Favorite thing about being a writer: editing. UUGGGH. It’s so important, but it’s killer.
About Keeper by Amanda Ryan
Civil war once again looms over Aren and the fate of its people lies in the hands of a slave and an assassin.
Aren is ruled by magic, a skill held by few and coveted by many. Magicians are powerless, however, without their Keepers – human conduits of power that were nearly hunted to extinction during a civil war.
Amalia has managed to keep the truth of her existence a secret, despite serving one of the most power hungry, reviled lords of Aren. When a desperate bid for freedom is thwarted by none other than Lord Ilyas san Merin, the Right Hand to the Royal of Aren, Lia believes her luck has run out. But Lord Merin plays a game to only which he knows the rules, and Lia is forced to make a quick decision – become one of his pawns and potentially earn freedom, or return to servitude.
Ilyas soon discovers a treacherous plot to overthrow the Royal, and Lia offers to help him track down the magical tome the traitors have stolen in exchange for asylum. He reluctantly accepts and they are thrust into an adventure that forces them each to trust one another, and slowly Lia realizes that Ilyas san Merin has secrets of his own.
Each step that brings them closer to the traitors reveals more complications, and before long the game Ilyas so artfully orchestrated shifts to make Lia the main player. She comes to learn the consequences of what it means to be a Keeper in a world rife with power hungry madness, and in the end she has to make a decision that not only will change her life, but also the world.
She was not bothered by nudity, but being so in front of Ilyas made her uneasy.
If he noticed this apprehension, he made no show of it. In fact, his expression was unreadable behind that damned facade of his she was coming to loathe.
“I have taken responsibility of you to use you as a means to an end. I have no desire to harm you or see harm come to you.”
She quieted the initial instinct to react. His detached response was unnerving, but she was becoming accustomed to his bluntness.
“Had you been captured,” he continued, “I would have retrieved you or removed you as a threat.”
“Removed me as a threat. Say it as it is, Ilyas. Killed me, you mean.”
“An unbound Keeper is a weapon.”
“So if I’m captured—”
“It is in your best interest not to be,” he interrupted sardonically.
Tension seeped into her bones, swaddling her in familiar anger.
“Are you purposefully trying to provoke me?”
“You asked for honesty.”
“Honesty, yes. Arrogance, no.”
He cocked a brow in challenge, and her eyes narrowed.
“You wear arrogance like armor.”
He leaned forward, a rare flash of genuine emotion inflecting his words. “And I’ve forged it in blood. How else do you think I’ve survived so long doing what I do?”
“I’m no threat to you,” she shook her head. “In fact I’m completely at your mercy.”
“You are impetuous.”
Lia scowled, “I imagine I’m something of a quandary to you, a gnat you can’t swat because it’s pricelessly useful. You don’t know what to do with me, do you?”
“I’ve no qualms about swatting you if necessary.”
There was a twist of innuendo to his words, but they were so drenched with rebuff that it passed without note. Lia’s peace wilted amid the heat of anger. It was suddenly too hot.
“Please leave,” she demanded flatly.
“We’re in the middle of a conversation.”
“I’d like to get out.”
He sat back with a smirk and spread his hands. “Am I stopping you?”
Did he expect her to shy away from such a challenge? He’d inadvertently handed her power. Though insignificant she wasn’t about to give it back.
Lia blinked, allowing him a few seconds to retract his words. He merely reflected her stare, victory emanating from his stance.
The pool was deep enough that when she rose to her feet the water came to just above her breasts. She flashed a smarmy smile before turning toward the submerged stone stairs. With grace mustered from years of playing music, she rose from the water in what she hoped channeled the lithest of nymphs. She kept her focus on the rack of robes, though she felt Ilyas’ eyes following her every movement. If she looked directly at him she’d lose her nerve, a fact that rankled more than she wanted to admit. She pulled on a robe only after taking an inordinate amount of time drying her skin.
The bastard was smiling, not a full-fledged grin but a smirk broad enough to draw attention to the dimples in his cheeks. Lia’s brief victory suddenly rang hollow.
“You’re a pretentious ass,” she tied the robe closed.
He barked a laugh.
“An obstinate idiot!” She scowled.
Lia’s hands settled on her hips as she gawked at his choice of her words.
“So we agree on the fact that you’re an idiot?”
He rose and Lia had to look up to meet his eyes.
“I can’t decide if your audacious mouth is refreshing or irritating,” he growled.
“Well, you said it yourself. I’m your means to an end. I’m of no use to you dead, so you’re not going to hurt me.”
“And when you’re no longer of use to me?”
A warning bell sounded in Lia’s ears. His tone was almost seductive, and if she hadn’t already taken his measure, she would have easily missed the razor hidden in the words.
“I’m a Keeper, Lord Merin,” she deferred. “I’m always of use to someone.”
He closed the distance to bring himself nearly nose-to-nose with her.
“Irritating,” he declared.
The space between them charged with something Lia struggled to identify. Her skin prickled with gooseflesh despite the warmth of the air, and heat throbbed from her belly and trickled lower.
She had a horrific revelation.
Ilyas san Merin was no threat to her life, but he was a threat to her in other ways.
My favorite quote from Keeper is:
She would never live out a normal, quiet life hidden away, not with such strong ties to Power. It was childish to believe that she ever could. It was time to embrace the fact she’d been born with a gift that could make a difference in a world of men who wreaked havoc in the name of power.