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Author Guest Post & Giveaway: Jennifer Ashley

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Hello Readers! Today I bring you romance author Jennifer Ashley. New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Jennifer Ashley has lived and traveled all over the world, and now lives in the Southwest. She writes historical, paranormal, and contemporary romance as Jennifer Ashley; mysteries as Ashley Gardner; and paranormal romance and urban fantasy as Allyson James.
Jennifer enjoys writing and reading above all else, but her hobbies include cooking, hiking, playing flute and guitar, painting, and building miniature rooms and dollhouses.
Today Jennifer is going to tell us about her research for writing about Shifters. Please help me welcome Jennifer to That’s What I’m Talking About.
Thanks so much for asking me to post! I’m excited about the release of Mate Claimed (Shifters Unbound Book 4). 
If you’re new to the Shifter series, this is a contemporary paranormal romance series about shape-shifters who have revealed themselves to the world, only to be rounded up and made to live in Shiftertowns and wear shock collars to control their violence. Or so humans think. The Shifters know who’s really in charge.
In Mate Claimed, Eric Warden, the leader of his Shiftertown must round up a half-Shifter half-human woman who’s been passing for human all her life. She’s resistant, not wanting to reveal her Shifter side to the world, but her Shifter instincts are making her crazy, and Eric fears she’ll go feral if he doesn’t bring her in.
It’s a hot, sexy book. :-) But also has a meaty plot and lots of heart.
I’ve been asked how I do research for writing about the Shifters. I’ve always loved animals (horses, dogs, cats), and am very aware that they each have their own personalities, wants and needs. Even the cats I have now—twins—are completely different from each other (though the same in many entertaining ways—for “entertaining” read “exasperating.”)
I’m also lucky enough to live near a private wildlife refuge which rescues big cats, wolves, bears, and other animals that have been mistreated, illegally captured, or abandoned. The animals live in giant enclosures in the countryside, and the owners and caretakers do lectures on animal behavior. It is fascinating to watch big cats of different species interact with each other—the smallest cats, like leopards, often are the most dominant. Watching a giant tiger rub heads with a panther is an amazing thing. 
My Shifters are very tactile—they touch and hug for reassurance (and for more fun things as well :-)). The humans who enter Shiftertown are often startled to see male Shifters hugging each other for comfort, or a whole family in a group cuddle. But the humans soon learn it’s not so bad!
When I’m writing about other kinds of shifters—such as dragons (see the Stormwalker series I write as Allyson James), I am free to make up whatever I want. Fun stuff! But I take as given that a dragon is an animal, and their human sides take on animal instincts (scent, ability to see in well in the dark, possessiveness of a mate).
Why do I like shapeshifters so much? I don’t know. When I first started reading fantasy way back when, I wasn’t always as fond of shapeshifters. How can you communicate with someone when they’re an animal? Or a dragon?
But the more I wrote about them, the more I liked them. Now, I can’t imagine not writing a shapeshifter book. Mine are hot, hunky males who can change in to warm, fuzzy animals. And it’s such fun to write about the cubs!
I hope you enjoy my shapeshifter world and Mate Claimed
I’ll do a giveaway—comment on why you like shapeshifter books (or why you don’t!) and be qualified to win a signed book.
Thanks so much, Jennifer! For more about Mate Claimed and the  giveaway, read below!
You can find Jennifer on line at 
Her Website 
Twitter 
Facebook 
Her Blog 
More on Mate Claimed 
Shifters Unbound #4
Berkley, Oct. 2, 2012
To protect her, he will unleash the beast within…
Eric Warden knows that half-Shifter wildcat Iona is passing for human, living without a Collar in the human world. He also knows that if she does not acknowledge her Shifter nature and her mating hunger, it could kill her. Iona finds the mysterious and dangerous Eric, a wildcat and leader of his Shiftertown, haunting her dreams, but she vows never to “come out” and take the Collar, fearing backlash against her mother and sister for hiding the fact that she’s Shifter. But Eric is a compelling Shifter male, and Iona’s hunger calls to him.
GIVEAWAY:
Thank you to Jennifer Ashley for stopping by today and also thanks to Jennifer and Berkley for generously donating one (1) copy of Mate Claimed to giveaway. To be entered, please use the RAFFLECOPTER form below. As part of your entry, please leave a comment answering the question: Why do you like shapeshifter books (or why don’t you!)? You do not need to be a google friends connect follower of my blog, but it is always appreciated. Contest is open from October 2, 2012 until Tuesday October 9, 2012 at 12:01 AM EDT. Contest is restricted to US mailing addresses only. One (1) winner will be selected from eligible entries. I am not responsible for items lost in the mail. If you have problems with the RAFFLECOPTER form, please email me at twimom227 (at) gmail (dot) com.

Happy Reading!



a Rafflecopter giveaway

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03672411720794588173 Queen of Books Sue

    I like reading Ms Ashley’s books very much. I’ve never read any of her paranormal books, but would like to read this one. Thanks for giveaway/contest.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16392692656456938856 Maureen

    I like them because the heroes are strong and determined.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08431929502948422987 shauntih

    I think I love shifters because I love animals. Who hasn’t wanted to know what it is like to have their senses? And really, who hasn’t WANTED to be an animal at some point?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10905574606129534214 erin

    Thanks for a great post and congrats to Jennifer on the new release! I like shifter books b/c it’s they are so primal and strong and sexy :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16501969781398343424 Jennifer Ashley/ Allyson James / Ashley Gardner

    Thanks for having me on the blog today! I hope everyone enjoys Mate Claimed.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00946774506785829157 Alexis Morgan

    Amazon notified me the book has been shipped! Can’t wait to read it–I love the strong protective nature you’ve built into your shifters.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12363432341222250307 AJ

    I love getting lost in these books great story lines and the men ooh love their primal sexiness

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17869315732973378180 bookbunny68

    I love shape shifter novels because they don’t conform to typical society rules. Anything goes!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04257515273069743223 vadeluna07

    I love shapeshifter books because you get to not only see these people change into animals, but also they take on the primal urges of an animal. Sometimes they struggle with them and sometimes they benefit from them. Either way it’s great to read about it.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09825626390454857666 Sheila Hudnall

    I love the unbound world and the strive to survive mentality of the shifters. Plus, who doesn’t love a good alpha male story?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07399102550558478198 mandy

    I love shapeshifers! I really dont know why LOL I guess cause i love cats.I really love the unbound series! I loved them from the start! I cant wait to read eric’s story. I havent got to spike yet but he is on the list! Thank you for the chance to win!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01462863285102317081 Carriefort29

    I love shifters because there wild free and so sexy animal magnetism baby!! Love ur books!!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10042665559975481397 Barbara E.

    I like shapeshifter books because it’s fun to imagine that someone could turn into an animal and have all of that animal’s power and weapons at their disposal.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11267405113503713323 Twimom227

    Jennifer: Thanks so much for stopping by. I have the Shifters Unbound series on my TBR list. As I’ve told you many times, I LOVE your Stormwalker series. Shifters are sexy!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17083422956218281154 Texas Book Lover

    I like them because they are so far from reality that they take me to someplace that I would otherwise never get to go. It also helps that they usually have a big sexy alpha lead character in them that is fun to read about!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07162185669406984912 justpeachy36

    I love shape-shifter books! The main reason I think, is basically the same reason I read. Reading is an escape and reading about fantastical circumstances or creatures in this case is a very good escape for me.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10844721821377286848 Megan@Riverina Romantics

    I love shifters. We can all be animals sometimes. As a shifter it’s easy to explain that fact LOL!

    riverinaromantic AT aol DOT com

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04229301738737301045 Elizabeth H.

    I love shifters because I love the feral nature of the beast side of the shifter. It makes them more alpha male and you can’t have enough of that! Thanks for the post and the chance to win!
    ehaney578 at AOL.com

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