Friday, March 29, 2013

Pre-order button - wishful thinking!

*** Coming Soon!!!

I have a new book being released on April 3rd and just for the heck of it, I went to see whether there’s a way to set up a pre-order button for my readers so they can be notified when the book has finally been released. It would act as a reminder to anyone reading my series that the newest segment is ready for purchase.


Makes sense to me.

Of course, I went on Google to find my answer and was rather disappointed. What I found on Amazon was that if you were hooked with a big-name publisher, then yes, pre-orders were available. But sadly, for the independent authors – not so much.

I guess there is a convoluted way around this dilemma explained by a fellow author on the Kindle Direct Publishing page who set up a cover, a welcome note, and instructions for getting the full ebook when it became available. But this didn’t sound like the best solution for me. Unless readers were aware of this being done, I can’t imagine most folks going along with paying for a book and having to wait for it to be released.

Besides, I wasn’t really thinking that money should be paid up front, more along the lines of our fans being able to fill in some type of notification form. For instance, as soon as the book written by Mimi Barbour is released with the specific title of High Stakes Gamble then the people who filled in the request would be automatically sent a notice with a nice BIG link or buy button.

Doesn’t that make sense?? Wished Amazon thought so.

Oh well! I guess if an author is really well organized, he/she could put up a pre-order list where fans can sign up on their website or blog to be notified when the book is released. Maybe they could offer the reader a discount on the first few days before setting the proper price to be charged.

Wouldn’t work too well for me since I charge 99cents for all my books…..grumble!! But the notification list for them to sign might not be a bad idea.

Have any of you tried different methods to get around this problem?
Please share J

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

I've just sent my book to the editor!!

High Stakes Gamble is at the editor's getting a nice polish and
will be released on April 3rd only 7 more days!!!
One of an author’s favorite sentences is, “I’ve just sent my book to the editor.”
At least it certainly is for me. It means my book is all but finished. I’ve done my part and now it’s up to the professional to do theirs. Luckily, I’ve formed a great rapport with my editor for the Vegas series, Bob Reed, and I trust him with my precious manuscript. It’s hugely important to have a relationship like that with the person who gets to make changes to your work. He’s quick, keeps me in the loop and the revisions he makes are necessary but minimal.

I found out about this man from a colleague whose books are always full of conflict and so well written. Because of that, I love to read her work. Figured I should have me a fellow just like him. Then decided– hell, why not just have him. Lucky for me he was available.

Previously, I’ve worked with others who didn’t quite get my voice the way he does and it was a painful experience.  Not only painful, but it put me back weeks in repairing the damages.

(Just so you know- he doesn’t edit my blogs – maybe he should…..gulp!)

Luckily, I’ve been blessed in my Vicarage Bench series also to have worked with a wonderful editor through Wild Rose Press called Nan Swanson. Because these books are spirit-travel romances set in Bury, England, she keeps me on the straight and narrow when it comes to researching my facts.  Plus, she gets the “romance” that’s so deeply engrained with these stories. The very first novella I wrote for this series, I sent to her and she gave me a contract – now I feel as if I need her special touch with each new book.

Unfortunately, as you know, I haven’t put out a new Vicarage Bench book for over 2 years. That’s because I’m riding out my contracts with an e-publisher in order to get the rights to those books back in my control and then self-pub them.  (but that’s a whole new blog J)

****Speaking about the Vicarage Bench series, the anthology is being advertised on the Free Kindle Book site today and my ranking dropped like fat lady perched on a thin branch.



Friday, March 22, 2013

Cover Reveal - "OPAL'S SONG" by multi-published author, SJ Byrne

Opal's Song
Coming 2013 - Release date to be announced
A horrific accident on a rain slicked mountainside and permanent paralysis from the waist down.

25 year old Lily Wade has to relearn simple, everyday activities just to live a seemingly normal life.

Opal—a precocious child in her rehabilitation group—teaches Lily about living joyfully after
surviving an immense tragedy and how to find peace within the pain.

To keep a promise made, Lily must dust off her once beloved cello and connect with the music she’s kept locked inside a velvet lined case for nearly a decade.
A Teaser
The headlights of Darren’s extended cab Chevy swung from left to right as he took the switch back curves much faster than normal. Lines of tension formed beside his mouth, and his usually relaxed hands clutched the black leather steering wheel in a white knuckle death grip. Something about the way he pumped the brakes wasn’t quite right, and the momentum of the truck was picking up instead of slowing down. 
Lily wanted to ask if everything was okay, but didn’t dare distract him from what was quickly becoming a dangerous situation. Deep ingrained reflex made her tug on the strap of her seat belt to ensure it would hold if the worst case scenario played itself out.
She’d ventured East with her boyfriend to explore and get away from the stifling rules of her parents. They had come into Western North Carolina via the Blue Ridge Mountains and immediately fallen in love with the place. Eclectic Asheville stole her heart with its combination of forward movement and backwards thinking. Only in that particular valley, surrounded by some of the oldest mountains in the world, could one community find the wherewithal to support so many varied lifestyle modalities. From the redneck–hillbilly descendants of the original Scottish settlers, to the new agers, dirty hippies, and flamboyant gays—Asheville catered to them all.
Lily wanted to share the exuberance of the area with her family, but suddenly feared the chance to do so would come at the cost of a glossy wooden box. Tears filled her eyes as she swallowed past a lump forming in her throat. She didn’t want to die.
“Aww, FUCK!”
Darren’s barely whispered expletive caught Lily’s attention as the tail end of the truck swung around. Suddenly they were facing the way they’d come. On any other day Darren would’ve calmly turned the wheel until the truck righted itself. For some reason the beast didn’t respond to his handling. The vehicle continued to spin until something in the front end snapped, and Lily stared in horror. One of the tires flew away from the truck, and in that instant she realized what people said was true—in the moments before death time slows down as the brain processes everything in minute detail. 
Bright headlamps illuminated the surrounding forest as the front end of the truck crashed down onto the road. Heavy metal screeching on asphalt filled Lily’s ears only to be replaced with the sound of trees snapping beneath the force of a full sized pick-up rolling down the side of a mountain.
Up became down, and Lily’s insides threatened to come out as she was jerked about behind the increasingly tighter band of her protective belt. If she’d been sitting next to Darren her head would’ve been spared the repetitive abuse of being tossed against the passenger window. Lily didn’t want to scream out her fear, but found she had no control over her vocal cords—her screeches of distress echoed in the confined space until the imploding windshield drowned her out. Shards from the window flew towards them, cutting her neck and face as they tumbled around inside the cab.
Everything stopped all at once. The crashing roll of the truck, the cutting of the glass shards, even Lily’s screams. The Chevy landed on its side with her hanging by her seat belt, staring down at the unconscious form of her boyfriend. The smell of gasoline filled the air and Lily felt the spike of adrenaline wash through her nervous system.
“Darren! Darren, wake up!” She yelled as loud as her constricted lungs would allow behind the crushing force of the nylon strap. “Darren, we have to get out of this truck!”
Darren remained unconscious, and Lily refused to give into the blind panic threatening to take over. Breathing deep she quickly surveyed her position and the quickest escape route. The windshield had completely shattered, making that the only way out of the wreckage as the door above her wouldn’t budge when she tried pushing it open. Grabbing hold of the oh-shit handle, she pulled the weight of her body off the belt and pushed the release button. Blinding heat zipped through her body as she crashed face first against Darren's side and was knocked out cold by the force of their skulls connecting.
Something wet trickled down the side of her face just before an excruciating pain exploded behind her eyes, and Lily knew she was about to have the mother of all migraines. She thought to press the heels of both hands against her throbbing eye sockets, but found her body remained motionless against the command. A soft moan beneath her was worrying, though she couldn’t think why. The muscle of her shoulder flexed involuntarily and a jolt of pain flashed down her spine, stopping abruptly in her hips. A deep breath meant to calm her frantic thoughts brought more pain and then the blessed blackness.
“Hang in there little lady. We’ve almost got you out.”
Lily whimpered as a sudden shock of agony rippled through her arms and torso, but the sound of someone talking eased her anxiety. She wasn’t alone—thank god. The voice became a life line she clung to with her mind until sweet oblivion pulled her back into its warm embrace.
“They rolled down the side of Mount Pisgah. From what I can gather she was pinned in place by her seat belt, until she managed to undo it and then fell against his side.”
The conversation felt a million miles away. Surely they weren’t talking about her. Before she could give it another thought, the air was filled with excited chatter and frantic movements. She wanted to open her eyes and see what was going on, but her lids were too heavy to lift. Moving the muscles of her body required a strength she didn’t possess and fear flooded her thoughts as she cried out in frustration. The air she pulled through her nose tasted strange on the back of her tongue. Oblivion stretched out its arms and Lily went into them without a fight.
Find out more about Opal's Song and it's release 
by visiting SJ Byrne or Opal's Song on Facebook
A portion of all proceeds from Opal's Song will be donated 
to help children with disabilities...more information forthcoming.
About the Author


Living in the mountains of Western North Carolina SJ Byrne is just trying to make her way through the insanity that comes with creativity. Writing is her passion - life is her muse. Keep an eye out for new books due later this year.


Connect with SJ via:

 Read more about her books on:



Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Finishing a book!

I haven’t put out any new blogs lately and I’m sorry.

Do you get those times when life just gets in the way?

Well it’s been happening to me. Coming home from holidays, I decided to go straight to my folk’s place for a long-overdue visit and they’ve decided to make the time more exciting. They’ve accepted a place in a retirement home and the move is ON!!! In seconds, my life took a one-eighty.

Of course I have to stay and help the oldies through this period, and of course I don’t mind….well I don’t. But… gulp… I have a book to finish.

Trying to work during the day is futile to say the least. Every time I sneak off to my room, either one or the other comes to have a little chat, and I certainly don’t mind.

Mealtime has now become my responsibility. Since hubby cooks at home, I’ve always enjoyed my time here because I can try my hand at cooking and I don’t mind at all, I like it… usually. But I have a book to finish.

I’d lay money on the table that I have two of only folks who like to stay up late. Bedtime doesn’t even begin to happen until eleven and then it can take anywhere from ten minutes to an hour, depending on how much has gone on during their day and what has to be discussed over the last cup of tea. I’ve always loved these times with them, so of course I don’t mind sharing these impromptu get-togethers but…you got it! I have a book to finish.

So… it’s been two and three o’clock in the mornings for me these last tiring days and you know what? The book has flowed beautifully – go figure!

Did I mention, my dad is an early riser and loves company? With my mom sleeping in till late in the mornings, we’ve always taken this time to spend together doing our own “thing” and absolutely, trust me - I don’t mind at all…. “yawn”

It’s just that I’ve now got a book to edit!
Coming soon!!!
Book #4 for the Vegas Series
Release Date - April 3rd


Monday, March 11, 2013

Are reviews here to stay?? Do we want them to??

Below is part of my reply in response to others' remarks about my last blog called "Future of Indie Authors".
One thing mentioned in your comments that I found surprising is the differences some have in the importance of reviews. We all know that many are requested. We also know that some of the five stars can be questionable. If a book only has five or even ten reviews, the readers might not believe their credibility, but once there are more than say – fifteen, I have no doubt that many are honorably earned from readers who like to have a say about a book they took the time to read.
Personally, like every other author, I have reviews from people whose names I recognize. Some are from close friends and a few from family. As I release more books, these ‘special’ reviews are showing up less. Since most had only gone to the effort on my behalf as a way to show support when I first started out, that doesn’t surprise me and I appreciate that they did so in the first place.

Another phenomenon I’ve recognized is that I have fans – (thank you Lord!) – ones who have followed me from book to book. Their reviews are my favorite because I don’t know any of the people and yet they have continued to support me by buying my novels, reading them and letting me know they like what I write.

I’ve also recognized that almost invariably after each FreePartay I’ve participated in, where I’ve given away hundreds, sometimes thousands of books, within a few days, reviews begin to appear. Hopefully, my back matter appeal has worked or else some of these folks respect our endeavours and just leave comments.  

I have no doubt that other readers are buying because of these comments and that’s the way it should be. As I said above, if there are only a few five-star reviews, it can be a bit suspect to whether the book is as good as being stated. But then the cautious buyer does have the ability to read a sample before putting out any money. As far as Amazon is concerned (I’m not familiar with any others) if a buyer is still unhappy, they can return the book and get their money back.

Because I know how important they are to an author, I do write reviews for almost every book I read. If it’s a three-star or less - I rarely finish it and I pass on leaving any comment. I’d rather not trash work that I knew took so long to create. (Just my own preference.)

I accept that not everyone likes my work and that they have the right to tell me so. But I must say it does grate me when the poor reviews are mean-hearted and tasteless. Some people even go as far as admitting they’ve never read the book, but since they had trouble downloading it, or because it had a swear word or some such foolishness, they decide to dock the author stars.

If people leave me a one or two star, I prefer that they tell me why they. If it’s something constructive, I will work on it. If it’s on my earlier work, I hope they check the dates and give me another chance. A principle that’s well known comes into play here and not just for authors. Practice makes perfect! Okay we’ll modify that a bit and say better.   

One of my books (Lovable Christmas Angel) has 90 reviews. It blows my mind every time I check to see if there’s more. I’ve read every one and have left them a thank you. This thrills my narcissistic side and is a partial payoff for all the hard work.

In summation, I guess you’ve gathered that I’m hopeful that Amazon won’t take away our reviews. To me, it would be like taking away ones right to an opinion.

What do you think?



Friday, March 8, 2013

The future of Indie authors…

Just recently, I listened to someone I really trust explain her thoughts about the future of Indie authors on Amazon.

She said that today we’re still able to create magic through social media such as Twitter, Facebook and blogs and by paid advertising spots like E-Reader News and Pixel of Ink. People like Amanda Hocking and John Locke showed us that it could be done and we’ve all been led to believe it can happen for us also. That just maybe our work can be brought to the attention of the readers by group efforts and building a strong fan base. And our sales will reflect the efforts we make.

The bad news is the bourgeoning amount of competition. Amazon no longer needs to give special treatment to anyone in order to fill their bookcases. The algorithms are spinning with so many choices that the cutthroat era will be soon upon us if it hasn’t already started. Example – I remember not too long ago when for every few books given away free, Amazon credited us with one book sold and increased the book’s ranking to reflect that sale. Today that number has changed and the difference is more like fifty free books equal one sold.

And those free days we all wanted so badly that we joined their select program, will they continue? Does it make sense when you think about it? Most of us are willing to pay for our reading material, especially when the cost is so low that a book for a buck is common. Will this promotional tactic go the same way as tags and likes?

No too long ago, we had a lot of sites where we were able to list those same free books. Recently, Amazon has shown their dissent with this routine and things have now changed. Those more popular places will not be promoting free books and so we won’t have the same ability to let readers know about our giveaways.

I know that progress is inevitable. We all understand things don’t remain constant. What worries me is how will Indie authors continue to find consumers? I know a large back list has always been important and will continue to be even more so in the future. I also suspect that we’ll have to spend a lot more money on promotion and that marketing experts will become as crucial as good editors.

As an Indie author, what keeps me hopeful is that I feel victory will happen for those who can write  wonderful books—ones that the readers love so much that their reviews and support will ensure that author’s continuing success.
What do you think?  

Today is your last chance to get wonderful books
marked down
for the sale price of



Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Is a lot of conflict TOO MUCH???


I don’t think so. And I sure as heck hope you feel the same way.

I’ve been working diligently on the new edition Book #4 of my Vegas series “High Stakes Gamble” which is slotted in the Romantic Suspense genre. And I’ve purposely incorporated a lot of…

You got it—Suspense!

The Thesaurus’ description of suspense includes words like uncertainly and anticipation. In my mind, uncertainty and anticipation is linked together with some sort of conflict… right? And looking up conflict on Thesaurus shows terms like battle, disagreement, and fight. Okay! So when you have controversy, tension and opposition there has to be a certain amount of suspense accumulating over the outcome.

And I have no doubt that the readers expect, prefer and relish a good chance to feel trepidation and fear of the outcome when reading these types of stories. At least I know that I do. I love it when the author makes the book so exciting that I lose sleep because I can’t stop reading.

I have another secret to share with you. I like suspense and conflict no matter what genre I read. Contemporary Romance, Historical, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, YA you name it. To me, a book without some sort of controversy is a flat story that doesn’t get finished.

(And this is just my opinion, but two characters who don’t get along in a love tale does not constitute a proper conflict.)

As authors, we all know that we can’t have our hero and heroine falling into each other’s arms on page one if we want the readers to stay engaged with the story. But we also know there has to be viable reasons for our two lovebirds to be kept apart in order to take up enough words so we can call our work a short story, novella or a novel. That’s where the conflict comes in. It’s the basis for their discord. And if a bit of suspense can be woven into this discord, then for me all the better.

Back to my original question – is a lot too much? I guess if it takes the place of long boring descriptions and narrative that forces one to skip to the next page, it isn’t. Therefore, if you feel the same as I do, High Stakes Gamble will be just your kind of read. It’s a blockbuster, full of conflict and fast-paced thrills. There’s sorrow and joy, laughter and tears, with romance (of course) intertwined into the tale. **To be released by the first week in April.

We're at it again!!!
Lots of new books...
March 6 & 7
Download your copies now...
See my collection: Mimi's Mix
1 story from each Series


Friday, March 1, 2013

Immune Cover Reveal, Release Date & Giveaways Blog Information


Information for Immune

Release date:

March 6, 2013

Age Group:



Urban Fantasy

Tour organizer:

Lysa Lessieur (


Book Description:

Blurb: *Warning* I’m so sorry Mom, this one will be no good for you to read either. There is a full on sex scene (nipples and everything), violence and well, lots of bad words. You know— the ones you used to wash my mouth out with soap for? Consider yourself warned.

Underestimating demons is a bad idea, and it’s a mistake Rylee may pay for with not only her life, but the life of a child who has gone missing.

That is, unless she allows O’Shea to help her; trusting the man who once sought for a way to bring her down.

If only life were that simple. And in Rylee’s world, it rarely is.

Two Giveaways:

Giveaway #1: See Raflecopter at this blog! 

“Reader and Fan Appreciation Giveaway” Feb 28th – Mar 13th

Three winners wil receive a $5 Amazon Gift Card AND a SIGNED copy of Priceless.

Open to United States and International.

Giveaway #2: See Rafflecopter at this blog! 

 “Reviewer Appreciation Giveaway” Feb 28th – Mar 27th

􀀁 One Grand Prize Winner receives and iPAD Mini or $250 Amazon Gift Card, a SIGNED

copy of Priceless AND their name will appear in the THIRD book.

􀀁 TWO winners will receive a SIGNED copy of Priceless AND their name will appear in the THIRD book.

􀀁 TWO SIGNED copies of Priceless.

􀀁 ONE SKYPE chat with Shannon Mayer.


 Open to United States and International. 


Information for Priceless


Release date:
November 2012

Age Group:



Urban Fantasy



Priceless will be on sale for ONLY $0.99 through March 6th!


*Warning* If you are my mother, do not read this book. There are things like "F" bombs, sexual tension,
and naughty, sexy supernatural creatures. Please don't say I didn't warn you.

When children go missing without a trace, there is only one person who can find them.

Welcome to the world of Rylee Adamson, a woman with unique abilities, some wild friends and a unstoppable drive to save those who can't save themselves.
But when the details of a missing child duplicate that of her worst case, things start to get freaky. And not in a good way.

About the Author



Shannon Mayer lives in the southwestern tip of Canada with her husband, dog, cats, horse, and cows.
When not writing she spends her time staring at immense amounts of rain, herding old people (similar to herding cats) and attempting to stay out of trouble. Especially that last is difficult for her.


Social Media links:
















































Rafflecopter code a Rafflecopter giveaway