Thursday, February 21, 2013

Bikers, Buyers and Books. Oh My!

A couple of days ago, I received a message on my Facebook page from an unlikely reader.  The self-described "old bearded biker" wanted to let me know how much he enjoyed Special Offers.  Definitely far afield from my usual reader demo-graphic.  Nevertheless, this guy really enjoyed the book.  And he liked it enough to plunk down more bucks for the sequel, Special Rewards.  I asked if he could post a review on Amazon, and he did.  When he finished Special Rewards (the next day, in fact),  he left another 5-star review:

"I'm an old bearded biker who is not usually into reading romance novels. With that said, M.L.Ryan's books are not the usual romance novels. She blends romance, fantasy, and humor, (With a light touch of SF) into a funny/sexy tale that I could not put down. I enjoyed both Special Rewards and her first book, Special Offers so much that I read them each cover to cover in one sitting. I love a book that keeps you guessing the whole way through, and Ms. Ryan's books do that admirably. I came across these books by accident (was looking for Amazon special offers/discounts), and I'm very glad that I did. OK Ms. Ryan, get cracking on the next one!"

In the days since he posted, the sales for Special Offers have increased significantly.  I have no definitive information that his reviews have made the difference, but I am clinging to the idea that all the new buyers are biker dudes!  I'm hoping this means a whole new group of people will hear about my books.  And maybe the word will spread to some other under appreciated bunch of readers, like Daughters of the American Revolution members who also enjoy paranormal fantasy or firefighters who get hot reading about a girl who can blow things up.  Hey, the possibilities are endless.

This is a perfect example of how leaving a review can make a difference to us fledgling indie authors.  We all secretly hope that one day, some influential someone - you, know, like the book editor for the New York Times - will be randomly searching for a new read and come across our tome.  Of course, they will be entranced with our masterpiece and write an article urging everyone to buy this little gem.  A delusional scenario?  Probably.  But that's kind of what happened with my biker.  I'm not saying his influence will be equivalent to that of a NYT book editor, but he is someone unexpected that feels passionate enough about what he just read to actually message an author to let her know. 

So remember - if you like it, review it!  And authors like to hear from readers.  It makes us feel as though someone (other than our loved ones who have to say nice things whether they mean it or not) appreciates all the hard work.  

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Why I Hate Valentine's Day

Now that Valentine’s Day is over, I wonder why everyone finds participating in a made-up holiday to celebrate love so appealing?  Is it because we are so deficient at showing the ones we love how much we care on the other 364 days of the year that we need a specific day to force us to do something nice?  Or are we so easily manipulated that we feel we must join in the V-Day hysteria or our loved ones will think we don’t care?  And who really benefits?  Certainly not those who aren’t in a relationship.  For them, it can be the most depressing day ever.  Not  one’s bank account or diets.  Nothing says “I love you” like an over-priced, four-pound box of chocolates in a heart-shaped box.  

Sure, that warm, fuzzy feeling one gets from a well-chosen gift can be wonderful.  But the real winners are the people who rake in our bucks selling jewelry, candy, cards, roses and fancy meals out.  They want to convince us that the gifts are a reflection of how much we cherish or are cherished.  Which forces people to buy said gifts so their loved ones won’t think they aren’t adored.  Just because someone gives you something nice on Valentine’s Day doesn’t necessarily mean they love you.  It just means they are easily swayed by mass marketing. 

Rather than buy into (pun intended) the manufactured hype, wouldn’t it make more sense to try to show your love all the time?  Rub their tired feet, offer to do some chore they despise.  Indulge in that freaky sex fantasy your love is always hinting at.  Look adoringly into their eyes and say, “I adore you,” and leave out the “but if you don’t remember to pick up your socks, I’m going to smother you in your sleep.”

See, it’s not so hard.  Let’s try and do something nice for those we care about every day and make fabricated love days a thing of the past.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Heartbreaker Blog Hop!!

Heart breakers come in two main categories:  Those who devastate you and don’t care and those who reduce you to a deflated shadow of your former self but feel really bad about it.  The former deserves to rot in a vat of toxic effluvium throughout eternity.   The latter probably should also be cursed with the same fate, but for some reason we always want him to realize the error of his ways and come on back for a happily-ever-after.   That can happen in books because as fictional characters, those bad boys usually have some altruistic reason for dumping you on your ass.  Like preventing the world from being destroyed by an evil demoness who desires him above all else.  In real life, the dude would leave you for a buxom bimbo he met waiting in line to pay the 27 parking tickets he owes (she had 32, they have so much in common), but every once in a while think that it would have been better to break up with you before you walked in on them doing the lust and thrust in your bed.

You have probably figured out that I don’t like heart breakers much.  My heroes are faithful and devoted.  Sort of like a dog, but a lot less hairy.  And they almost never lick their own butts.

Anyway, as long as you are here, check out Special Offers and Special Rewards, the first two books of the Coursodon Dimension Series. 

The series follows Hailey, a woman who is possessed by a supernatural being from another dimension who was previously trapped in her Kindle.  It’s fantasy, paranormal and sci-fi with a bit of romance and a lot of humor.

Now, onto the Heartbreaker Blog Hop.

Over 300 bloggers have giveaways and posts about those men we love (or love to hate)!

But that's not all....

We have THREE grand prizes. You can go to EACH blog and comment with your email address and be entered to win. Yep, you can enter over 300 times!

Now what are those prizes?

1st Grand Prize: A Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet
2nd Grand Prize: A $100 Amazon or B&N Gift Card
3rd Grand Prize (available only to US residents): A Swag Pack that contains paperbacks, ebooks, 50+ bookmarks, cover flats, magnets, pens, coffee cozies, and more! 

You’re thinking, could this get any better?  Of course!  Each blogger also has their own giveaway.  By leaving a comment and your email, you are also entered to win individual prizes!!

My giveaway is an awesome pair of Smokey Topaz, freshwater pearl and silver beaded earrings designed and created by me! 

(Note:  The extra entries provided in my Rafflecopter contest below apply only to the earrings.  Each time you leave a comment and your email on a blog, you get one entry for the grand prizes.  Also, the earrings can only be mailed to a US winner.  If you are from outside the US and are the chosen winner, you will receive a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card instead.)

And the winner is...

*****Shannon Bereza*****

Now go to 
to find links to the other 
302 bloggers participating in this hop.