Guest Post by Lyn Johanson

Writing a sequel: Is it harder or easier?
Before I could
answer this question, I had to mull it over for a few days. And the more I
thought about it, the more I realized I was comparing apples with oranges.
Writing Forged in
Fire was an entirely different experience from writing Till Death and Beyond.
Sure, I needed to remember certain details from Book 1 – but to be perfectly
honest, it’s a different beast to slay.
To me, it all
comes down to how forthcoming my characters are.
I had no problems
with Raven or Amira (the main protagonists of Till Death and Beyond). They
opened up to me; showed me who they were. Whereas Ciaran… He was a tough nut to
crack. At times I felt like I didn’t know him at all. He refused to let me in.
It took time and
some work to discover his truths. Which, as you’ve probably surmised, means
rewrites. Lots and lots of rewrites. And yet this didn’t make the book harder
to write – it only made the journey of discovery that much more interesting.
“Bow before your
master!” One of the guards spat an order.
“I bow before no
one,” Ciaran muttered without turning. That was one thing he refused to do.
Ever. No matter how many whips sliced his flesh.
Instantly, he felt
a fierce blow to his inner knee. His leg bent, and he went down. Ciaran gritted
his teeth at the impact with the hard floor, and before the guard could deliver
another blow, grabbed for the nearest weapon.
Suddenly fire
flashed through the space. As one, the guards sank to the ground, bowing their
“Enough!” Huge
eyes appeared in the air, above them.
Ciaran frowned.
Stood up.
The eyes narrowed.
Green flames consumed the irises, and for a second he thought the room would
catch fire.
“Out!” A sharp
order rang out, and was followed before the echo subsided.
The moment Ciaran
was left alone, shadows began swirling, the eyes got smaller, until a figure
stepped out of the darkness. He thought he was prepared for whatever was
coming. A two-headed ogre wouldn’t have surprised him, but when the shadows
dissipated, and his eyes locked with those of the creature he’d been summoned
by, he forgot whatever it was he wanted to say.
Her eyes were no
longer round, but almond-shaped, slightly tilted downward toward her straight
but narrow nose. Those eyes missed nothing—and right now, they were focused on
him. Not burning, but the way her irises caught the glare of light, it appeared
to glow with a cat-like luster.
In vibrant
copper-red, the strands that escaped her knee-length braid danced like flames
against her flawless, porcelain skin, conjuring up an image of a fragile,
ethereal beauty.
One look at her,
and Ciaran knew there was nothing fragile about her. She radiated power, and he
had no trouble seeing why the guards bowed before her. Why everyone was afraid
to even mention her name. The raw energy flowing around her was nothing he’d
ever experienced. No demon he’d met possessed a smidgeon of it.
He was screwed, he
concluded, determined to get this over with as quickly as possible.
“What do you want
from me?” he demanded, finally coming to his senses.
She approached, no
hesitation in her lithe, tall body. It moved with hypnotizing grace,
accentuated by her simple leather pants and top that hugged her like a second
skin. If he thought she had power before, it was nothing compared with the
sizzle of energy that shot through him when she stretched out her hand, and
gently touched his cheek.
It took everything
he had to keep his body stone-still. He dared not even breathe. He felt if he
did, she could actually bring him to his knees. And as seconds ticked by, her
lips curled into a lazy smile, transforming her face from beautiful to
stunning. She was a vision—a vision he expected to morph into a nightmare at
any moment.
That’s when she
whispered, “I want to play.”


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