Tag Archives: dark fantasy

Holiday Deals for my series “From the Ashes of Ruin.”

Hi All,

Just a note to let everyone know: from now until January 7th, 2017, in celebration of the holidays–all of them, but especially Christmas–I’m offering special holidays deals on the ebook novels in my fantasy series, “From the Ashes of Ruin,” at Smashwords. “Drasmyr,” of course, will remain free. “The Children of Lubrochius” will be available for $0.99 if you provide the code: ZH97C. “The Sceptre of Morgulan” will be available for $0.99 if you provide the code: PT26G. That’s a savings of $6.00. Six dollars! That’s a price of about $2 for nearly 300, 000 words of pure fantasy fun, plus a 120k word prequel. Can’t beat that! Anyway, here’s the fancy graphic:



Interview and Promotion on Megan Cashman’s Site

I have a guest spot on a fellow writer’s blog today. The writer’s name is Megan Cashman. We met (on-line, that is—we’ve never met in person) a couple years back on one of my previous blog tours. Anyway, she offered to do a promotion for me when I released my latest book, The Sceptre of Morgulan, back in November 2015. Unfortunately, at the time I lost the email amidst the chaos of events and never replied. When I finally discovered my mistake—about a month ago—I dropped her a line to apologize and she offered again. Which is way cool of her. Anyway, she’s agreed to promote my books on her site. The promotion should last one week or so. The books in question include my series From the Ashes of Ruin. The series starts with the prequel, Drasmyr, continues with The Children of Lubrochius and then The Sceptre of Morgulan. My series is primarily a fantasy story, but it does have strong horror elements running through it. Specifically, it features a gothic-style vampire much more in the line of Bram Stoker’s Dracula than Stephanie Meyers Twilight. My vampire is evil and diabolical. You wouldn’t want to date him. There are also a number of demons scattered throughout the series, so there is that dark element as well.

Anyway, you can find my promotion on Megan Cashman’s site here: http://wp.me/p2q6dm-lM

Please go check it out and lend her your support. You’ll also be able to find the coupon codes on the bottom of the page for a promotion running simultaneously on Smashwords. If you use both codes, you’ll save six dollars. SIX DOLLARS! WOO HOO! (And spend only $2) Anyway, check it out and leave a comment.

Guest Post on Farish’s Freehold

SceptreMorgulan_ebookcoverI have a guest spot on a fellow writer’s blog that will last for the next few days. The owner of the blog is a man by the name of Lincoln S. Farish. We met through Twitter and arranged this promotion for my book The Sceptre of Morgulan on his blog—a site dedicated to horror and dark fantasy entitled Farish’s Freehold. Technically my book is more fantasy than horror, but it does have strong horror elements running through it. Specifically, it features a gothic-style vampire much more in the line of Bram Stoker’s Dracula than Stephanie Meyers Twilight. My vampire is evil and diabolical. You wouldn’t want to date him. There are also a number of demons scattered throughout the series, so there is that dark element as well.

Anyway, you can find my promotion on Mr. Farish’s blog here: http://farishsfreehold.blogspot.com/2016/03/matt-ryans-got-witches-bounty-hunters.html

It’s pretty intense. Make sure you check it out.

The general link for the site is: http://farishsfreehold.blogspot.com

Fantasy and Demons


A ways back, I wrote an article for my newsletter (sign up here, if you are interested in receiving future mailings of my newsletter) dealing with demons. It was a light-hearted foray into a potentially serious subject. I say ‘serious’ because I’m not entirely certain if real-life demons are fiction or reality. Those familiar with my life story might know that I suffer from a psychological disorder and a delusion that revolves around demons. So, forgive me if I take them more seriously than you might be inclined to.


Anyway, most of the different religious sects across the globe believe (or at least through much of their history did believe) in demons. They developed various rites to exorcise demons from possessed people (that is drive them out). I’ve never studied demon lore and I have no idea how to perform such an exorcism. I just want to point out that there may be a ‘demon phenomenon’ whose underlying reality is markedly different from what the religious believe it to be.


According to the religious a demon is a spirit or entity that can harass or even possess (that is, take over) a regular human being. When this happens, a priest or even witch doctor is needed to drive the demon out. However, in this modern age the whole concept of a demon seems kind of archaic, a throwback to primitive times. Nowadays, most psychiatrists and medical doctors would attribute demonic activity to psychological disorders. Even things like uncontrolled telekinesis and other such phenomena could be explained if we allow that the brain is hideously complex; it might be responsible for such activity at an unconscious level.


Anyway, back to my original point. I am a fantasy author. And I write about demons. However, I will be the first to admit that I did not do massive amounts of research on the subject of ‘real’ demons existing here on Earth. What I “know” of demons I’ve gathered from a miscellany of sources throughout my younger reading years: I’ve been influenced by AD&D, my Catholic upbringing, and other sources, but I never seriously studied the subject under the auspices of the aforementioned Catholic Church. So, basically, I may have made mistakes in my so-called demonic lore.


And I have no intention of trying to fix those.


If there is any truth to demon lore, I don’t want to inadvertently give a recipe for someone to try to summon a demon in real life. Hence, the lore in my novels is basically misinformation. I’ve heard this or that where wizards would use salt (I incorporated that bit a little in my latest book) or some other detail, but all the details and information are summoned mostly from my imagination. If you try a ritual detailed in my book, be assured: it won’t work—even if demons are real and not figments of the imaginations of disturbed people; you need more than a circle cut in stone to summon them. Also, in my book, all the demonologists are evil, and the rituals described are likewise evil. After all, in my mythical fantasy universe summoning demons requires a blood sacrifice. Don’t do that in real life. If it’s an animal, it’s unnecessary, cruel and very uncool. If it’s a human, it’s murder, no ifs, ands, or buts. Not that I’d really expect someone to re-enact something they read in a fantasy book. But I had to write about something today; so, I chose this.


That’s all I wanted to say today.


I’m Looking for Reviewers for my Novel

Hi All,


This is an open request to any fantasy aficionados out there. I have previously published the novels “Drasmyr” and “The Children of Lubrochius.” “Drasmyr” is the prequel, and “The Children of Lubrochius” is Book I in my series “From the Ashes of Ruin.” I am nearing the final stages of Book II “The Sceptre of Morgulan” and I’m looking for reviewers. If you have read the prequel and Book I, great, I’m hoping you will consider reading Book II and reviewing it for me in exchange for a free download (ebook only). If you have not read any of my books, I’d like to recruit you to review all three: “Drasmyr,” “The Children of Lubrochius,” and “The Sceptre of Morgulan.” Deal will be the same: free ebooks (all 3) in exchange for an honest review of each (although “Drasmyr” is free for everyone). If you start the series and decide you don’t wish to continue, let me know and I will drop your name from my list of reviewers. No hard feelings.


Just for your information, although a vampire has a major role in this series it is not a romantic role. The vampire in this series is evil; he’s kind of my sinister alter-ego. It is nothing like “Twilight.” The series as a whole could best be described as a cross between “Dracula” and “The Lord of the Rings,” or perhaps an AD&D style story. Additionally, you should be informed that I am planning two more books for this series, so that in the end it’ll be a four book series with a prequel, or five books in all.


I would ask that all reviewers post a review on Amazon and on Smashwords. Especially Smashwords.


If you are interested, send me a DM on Twitter: @MatthewDRyan1. Then we can exchange e-mails and go from there.



Thanks in advance.


Matthew D. Ryan

Author of “Drasmyr” and “The Children of Lubrochius.”


Book Review: Emperor of Thorns (Mark Lawrence) (4 *’s)

Emperor of Thorns is the third book of Mark Lawrence’s Broken Empire series. You can find my reviews of the preceding books here: Prince of Thorns and King of Thorns. I’ve been looking forward to this book, and I enjoyed it considerably. It continues the story of Jorg Ancrath, now a king, 20 (I think) years of age. He’s still ruthless and basically corrupt, but he has grown to care for his pregnant wife and soon-to-be born son. And now he has his eyes set on the throne of the Emperor which has been vacant for over one hundred years.

The story begins with Jorg Ancrath and a small contingent of his loyal forces being escorted by the Gilden Guards to the formal meeting of the kings to select an emperor called the Congression. Much of the present day tale follows him and his journey on the road. He encounters undead creatures of various sorts: common undead soldiers, and more powerful lichkin. Throughout there are flashbacks to Jorg’s adventures five years ago when he traveled to radiation poisoned lands in search of ancient technology, the land of the Moors to meet a powerful caliph and his mathmagician, and to Vyene, the seat of the empire. He has his trials and tribulations along the way, influenced by both modern magic and ancient technologies (that’s kind of a funny twist I just noticed: modern magic and ancient technology). The whole leads to a climax in the Empire’s throne room where he confronts the horror of horrors: the Dead King, leader of the unholy armies of the dead.

Strengths: the writing was excellent, the story gripping and sufficiently convoluted to keep me engaged, and the plot was well done. Weaknesses: I’ve said in my prior two reviews that I was not fond of the character of Jorg as a main character since he’s basically evil. He’s grown on me to a certain extent, and I do enjoy his adventures now. He’s grown a little: he cares somewhat for his wife and even more for his son. That doesn’t justify anything he’s done, and makes the juxtaposition between himself and savior of the realms an odd one, to say the least. Finally, I was raised Catholic and the prevalent corruption throughout his Church did not appeal to me. He can paint his Church any way he likes, of course, and the modern Catholic Church has known some well-deserved criticism for its moral failings at times, but not one of the priests in these novels really measured up to any of the priests I have known in my life.

Anyway, I enjoyed the book and I’ll give Emperor of Thorns four stars out of five.

Goodreads Giveaway for Drasmyr, 3 Copies Available

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Drasmyr by Matthew D. Ryan


by Matthew D. Ryan

Giveaway ends December 12, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win


Blog Tour: Stop #13

My blog tour for my fantasy novel, The Children of Lubrochius, continues today. Every day until June 27th, I’ll be visiting a variety of blogs across the Internet where I’ll be interviewing, guest posting, and providing promotional material for my novel. At the end of the tour, one of the commenters on the tour (the tour sites, NOT AToastToDragons) will win a prize (a gift card at Amazon.com for $20). Likewise one of the tour hosts will win a prize at Amazon (a $10 gift card). Todaywe have four linked sites: Paranormal Romance and Authors That Rock(http://www.pratr.wordpress.com/). Please check them out and show them your support.


And check out the sponsor of the tour: http://www.goddessfish.com/.


Finally, I am running a promotion during the entire tour. My novel will be available on Smashwords for 50% off for all those using the appropriate coupon code: LX23U.


Announcement: Upcoming Blog Tour for The Children of Lubrochius

Goddess Fish Promotions is organizing a Virtual Book Tour for The Children of Lubrochius by Matthew D. Ryan (me), a Fantasy book available now. The tour will run June 9 – 27, 2014. The tour will consist of guest posts, promotional blurbs, interviews, and perhaps the occasional review. Throughout the tour, The Children of Lubrochius will be available for 50% off at Smashwords for those who use the appropriate coupon (to be announced at a later date). I will be awarding a $20 Amazon Gift Card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour, and a $10 Amazon Gift Card to a randomly drawn host.

The list of tour sites is currently under development. We will keep you informed as we get more information. Remember to check out Goddess Fish Promotions; it wouldn’t have been possible without them!

Old Movie Review: Dracula Reborn (2012)

Dracula Rebornis one of the many movies made for DVD to cash in on the recent vampire fad. Unlike the likes of Twilight and similar such films, it is, as the name suggests, a return to the original sinister vampire of medieval lore. From the get-go it is pretty obviously a grade-B movie. I’ve never heard of any of the actors, directors, or anyone else associated with the film. The plot … well, it isn’t a precise retelling of the original Dracula tale; instead it takes the skeleton of the original tale and fits it to a modern-setting to mold it. Many of the characters from the original book are there, filling similar roles as they did in that excellent story, only transformed into a modern depiction.


The story begins with a woman in an empty parking lot, being stalked by a mysterious entity. There are a number brief shots of Dracula crossing the camera for suspense. Then, the woman is taken. Dun dun dun. From there, the story tries to follow, at least for a while, some elements from the original tale. Jonathan Harker, a real estate agent, meets a mysterious stranger on the premises of a large building that the stranger is interested in purchasing. Of course, the meeting takes place only at night, and, of course, the stranger (Vladimir Sarkany a.k.a. Dracula) has brought along an escort (Renfield). Harker shows much of the property without incident until a group of gang members show up, threaten the three “men,” then leave after Sarkany stares at them a bit. Later, they (the gang members) return to do Sarkany in, and he basically mops the floor with them. Not easy to kill Dracula unless you are prepared. From there the story evolves like many other traditional vampire tales. Harker’s wife, Lina, is bitten and the vampire must be destroyed to save her. Harker calls on the help of a certain vampire expert he meets through the boyfriend of another victim of the vampire (Lucy, if I recall). This expert, of course, is named Van Helsing, although he is a young, vibrant man, unlike the elderly, respected scientist of the original tale. They set out to destroy Dracula. Will they succeed? Or will they perish in the attempt?


Strengths: like I said, this was a grade-B movie. That said, I thought most of the acting was fine. The special effects were decent given the likely budget, and the plot made a single, logical hole. Most importantly, the tale was intriguing enough to keep me interested. Weaknesses: there was nothing spectacular about this film. It was, although interesting, pretty much standard hunt down the undead without being killed type of stuff. It was really a kind of modern homage to the original tale. As such, it does deserve some credit. My biggest problem with the film was one that is common in most vampire films: they make the vampire look like a hideous monster when it attacks. I remember once had a conversation with a friend a number of years ago and we both agreed that the true horror of a vampire is a subtle one that comes from its virtual undetectability. It is almost entirely human in appearance, and that makes its evil all the more disturbing. My other issue is a minor one. A cross wouldn’t work on this Dracula, because as Van Helsing queries in response to Harker’s query, “What denomination?” The more I think about this, the more of a failing it is. Part of the horror of a vampire is that it is a quasi-demonic creature, literally a minion of hell. And religious symbols don’t work? To me, if you are hung up on denominations, you have at least two options. You can go the “one true religion” route, which would probably be unpopular, or you could simply say, whereas there are multiple religions, there is but one God, and He won’t be particularly picky who He’s going to defend from the powers of darkness. All that is required is a faithful reliance on His power. The particular symbol, as long as it religious in nature, doesn’t matter.


Anyway, I’ll give Dracula Reborn three stars out of five.