Be wary when you enter here. This is the realm of shadows, of dark and dangerous men (like Damon Salvatore) who haunt the night, dark eyes burning with need and desire. Men who will lure you into places you might be wiser not to go, men who can promise to love you forever…and make good on that promise.
Well, here we are, in January of 2016. If all goes as planned, I'll have a new short story out sometime between now and February. It's titled DONOVAN'S WOMAN and my critique group says it's the best thing I've ever written. I don't know about that, but I really, really love the story.
My next vampire romance, TWILIGHT DREAMS, will be published in September. I know, I know, it seems like forever away, but considering how fast 2015 zipped past it should be here in no time at all.
The book after that, tentatively titled A FIRE IN THE BLOOD, will most likely be published in September 2017....and that really seems like forever away!!! Not only because that's when this book comes out, but because it's also the year the next Star Wars movie comes out. Anyone who knows me, knows I HATE TO WAIT.
Anyway, I hope you all have a spectacular New Year!!!!
"Hungering for something more in the books you read? Then sink your teeth into one of Amanda Ashley’s Paranormal Romances." Kara Cullen
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IN STORES NOW
A Fire in the Blood
VAMPIRE ROMANCES BY AMANDA ASHLEY
Published by Leisure Books
1. Embrace the Night 1995
2. Deeper Than the Night 1996
3. Sunlight Moonlight 1997
4. A Darker Dream 1998
5. Shades of Gray 1998
6. Midnight Embrace 2002
Published by Zebra Books
7. After Sundown 2003
sequel to Shades of Gray
8. A Whisper of Eternity 2004
9. Night's Kiss 2005
10. Desire After Dark 2006
sequel to After Sundown
11. Dead Sexy 2/07
12. Night's Touch 7/07
sequel to Night's Kiss
13. Dead Perfect 2/08
14. Night's Master 10/08
sequel to Night's Touch
15. Night's Pleasure 2/09
sequel to Night's Master
16. Immortal Sins 10/09
17. Everlasting Kiss 2/10 **
18. Everlasting Desire 10/10 **
sequel to Everlasting Kiss
19. Bound by Night 9/11 **
20. Bound by Blood 10/11 **
sequel to Bound by Night
21. His Dark Embrace 6/12 **
22. Desire the Night 9/12 **
23. As Twilight Falls 5/13 **
24. Night's Mistress 8/13
sequel to Night's Pleasure
25. Night's Promise 2/14
sequel to Night's Mistress
26. Night's Surrender 9/15
sequel to Night's Promise
**Available on audio CD from Recorded Books
1. Beneath a Midnight Moon
2. Masquerade (short story)
3. Jessie's Girl (short story)
4. Sandy's Angel (short story)
5. The Music of the Night (short story)
6. Midnight and Moonlight (novella)
7. Maiden's Song (novella)
1. Midnight Pleasures 2003
2. Stroke of Midnight 2004
3. Mammoth Book of Vampire Romance 2008
A vampire who was quite dandy
Just loved to snack on red candy
He was not very bold
And the truth be told
He was dreamed up by a writer
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HOW I GOT BIT BY THE VAMPIRE BUG
Some people love them. Some people hate them. Anne Rice reawakened our fascination with them. Lori Herter gave them a romantic twist. Yes, I'm talking about vampires. Not the blood-sucking fiendish ones who send shivers of fear down our spines, but those dark tortured heroes who give us shivers of another kind.
I can remember how entranced I was when I read Interview With a Vampire, yet how disappointed I was that Anne's vampires were unable to make love. All that charm and charisma, all that raw sexuality, going to waste! Then along came Nancy Gideon's hero in Midnight Kiss. He was everything I wanted in a vampire - he was handsome, mysterious, sexy, lonely, haunted, with just the right blend of danger and tenderness. Oh, yes, I loved him!
Another book that inspired me was Obsession by Lori Herter. Another tortured hero! I loved it.
About the time I was falling in love with children of the night, I reached a point in my career where I felt I needed a break from writing western historicals. As vampires were much on my mind at the time, I wrote my very first vampire romance, a short story titled MASQUERADE for an anthology titled THE TOPAZ MAN PRESENTS SECRETS OF THE HEART, which is now out of print. It was most recently published in a Leisure anthology titled AFTER TWILIGHT, which is also out of print.
As it turned out, a short story wasn't enough, and so I wrote EMBRACE THE NIGHT, currenlty available in eBook and paperback editions. And thus Amanda Ashley was born. Frank Langella was my inspiration for Gabriel. If you've seen the movie DRACULA, starring Frank, then you know why.
The Phantom of the Opera Final curtain
Simply no words to describe the incredible voice of Davis Gaines. We saw Phantom about 25 times and it just got better and better. The masquerade scene is simply stunning, the ending left me in tears.
This play has made such in impact on my life that I've mentioned it in several books. It is especially significant in my short stories, MASQUERADE, and THE MUSIC OF THE NIGHT. Thanks, Davis, for the inspiration.
Why are we so in love with vampires?
I think the answer is obvious! Think Damon and Stefan Salvatore from “The Vampires Diaries”. I am totally mesmerized by Damon, who has the most beautiful, expressive eyes. Then there’s the Cullen men from “Twilight”. Mick St. John from “Moonlight”. Angel from “Buffy, the Vampire Slayer”. Nick Knight. Henry from “Blood Ties”, Antonio Bandaras from “Interview with a Vampire”. When he came onscreen, I remember thinking, “Now, that’s a vampire!” The list goes on and on.
They are all, in varying degrees, handsome, sexy, and enigmatic. And they are all looking for that one special woman to ease the loneliness in their lives and make them feel human again. Some are tortured by a horrible past. What woman can resist a man like that?
My love of vampires started with Frank Langella. I saw him in the movie, “Dracula” and I was hooked. Of course, I’d seen other vampires in other movies. I loved George Hamilton in “Love at First Bite”. And Angel in Buffy. But Frank was my idea of drop dead sexy. His sultry voice, those deep, dark, compelling eyes, the sensual way he moved….oh, my!
I had him in mind when I wrote my first vampire short story, “Masquerade”, and again when I wrote “Embrace the Night”. I must confess, I watched the love scene in “Dracula” several times while writing both stories. For a scene with no nudity and, as I recall, not much dialogue, it was smokin’ hot. I hear the play was even better than the movie.
Perhaps the most appealing, yet scary part of the vampire equation is the fact that they are very, very dangerous and could be hazardous to your health. Unless you’ve fallen for one of the Cullen vamps, in which case you’re probably safe, as long as you stay away from Jasper!
Then there’s the other aspect – if you want to spend more than one lifetime with that special vampire, he can easily arrange it.
I love writing about the Undead because I can pick and choose whatever myths and legends fit the story I want to tell. Some can be awake during the day, some can’t. Some can see their reflection in a mirror, some can’t. Some love what they are, some don’t. Some are born that way, some are made that way. The variety is endless.
I just hope the trend toward the paranormal continues for a long, long time, because I’m in love with my vampire heroes – all of them! I hope you are, too.
So You Want to Be a Writer....
Like many authors, I frequently get letters from readers who have the desire to write a book. They ask for tips and/or advice on getting started and how to find a publisher and/or an agent.
I’m a published author, yes, but I sold my first book over 20 years ago, and with all the changes that are occurring in publishing today, I'm afraid I'm not up-to-date on marketing a novel. One thing I do know is that there are no secret words, no magic hand shakes. Getting published takes talent, perseverance, and a little bit of luck.
First, talent. Some people believe this is something you are born with; some believe it can be taught. I believe it’s something you are born with, but that’s only my opinion.
Second, perseverance. It took me six years and 31 rejections before I found a publisher. If I had given up at 30, I would probably still be writing stories and hiding them under the bed. Never give up!
Luck is an elusive quality. Perhaps a better word would be timing. An editor might read your manuscript one day and hate it, but might have loved it the next day. You just never know. One thing you have to remember is that a rejection is just one person’s opinion. Get over it and move on.
You can find many books in the library about how to write a romance and get it published.
If you’re writing romance, check in your area for a chapter of Romance Writers of America.
Read Romantic Times Magazine. It will help you know what kinds of books are selling, and also has articles geared toward unpublished writers.
Attend writers conferences. Enter contests. Many are judged by editors. A friend of mine sold his first book that way. He entered a contest, an editor read his manuscript and bought the book. It doesn’t happen often, but it happens.
Join a critique group.
Of course, the most important thing you can do is FINISH THE BOOK. Continually rewriting the first three chapters won’t get you anywhere. Having someone else read your story is a good idea – preferably someone who is not a good friend and not related, someone who will give you an honest opinion.
Some publishers will only deal with agented authors; some agents won’t represent a writer until she’s sold a book.
I haven’t read a copy of Writer’s Market in years, but it used to have lots of valuable information, plus listings for publishers and agents.
When I started writing, I didn't have an agent, I didn't know any published authors. I bought a copy of Writers Market, found publishers who were publishing what I was writing, and starting sending out query letters. As I said above, it was talent, perseverance, and luck.
I hope this is helpful. Best of luck to you!
Elizabeth Camp also sent me the following poem and I thought it was so cute, I just had to share it. If you think Elizabeth's name sounds familiar, it's because I've used her poetry in some of my books.
Elizabeth Camp sent me this plague, which reads:"This award is presented to Amanda Ashley, in recognition of your brilliance and excellence within the literary realm, and in appreciation for her hard work and dedication, in bringning her fans the stories that will forever live in their hearts..."
Dear Lord, yes it's me,
praying again from Tennessee;
My current readings have become a bore,
So to You I now implore;
I know You have a lot to do,
Normally I would not dare intrude;
But the request I make is awe inspired,
I want to read more of Mandy's Vampires.
Links to vampire sites on the web
Some of my favorite Paranormal books:
These Fallen Angels
The Vampire Viscount
The Sookie Stackhouse Books by Charlaine Harris
Tanya Huff's "Blood" series
The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher
The Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer
The Everworld series by K.A. Applegate
The Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs
The Paladin books by Alexis Morgan
The Wings of the Night series by Maggie Shayne
I never drink...wine
As some of you may know, the artist, Pino, is responsible for some of the beautiful artwork on my covers. I read this on a website and thought I'd share it, as it gives a glimpse into how he got started. He truly is a briliant and talented artist.
"Zebra Books Publishers commissioned Pino to paint his first book cover in February of 1980. This was to be the first of hundreds of covers created for both Zebra and Dell which would define Pino’s “romance period,” featuring beautiful women in flowing skirts and a then unknown Italian model named Fabio. Pino’s classically-based technique, richly warm colors and subtle, yet simple approach to his subjects became the hallmark of his craft, and made him the artist-indemand for Bantam, Simon & Schuster, Harlequin and Penguin USA in addition to Zebra and Dell. To date, he has illustrated more than 3,000 books, including many by Danielle Steele, Sylvie Summerfield, and Amanda Ashley.
From 1980 to 1993 he dedicated himself totally to cover art. Pino’s illustrations combined the elements of his European training and upbringing with a direct and powerful American interpretation that was new, fresh and exciting. Stylistically, he placed his subjects prominently in the foreground, celebrating the human body as he had been trained in the classical Italian genre. This style of illustration proved to be so successful that his work came to dominate and influence the entire romance market."
Some of my covers painted by Pino:
First Love, Wild Love (Original)
The Spirit Path
Beneath a Midnight Moon
The Angel and the Outlaw
Deeper Than the Night
A Darker Dream
Feather in the Wind
and my favorite
Embrace the Night (Original)
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