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
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.
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.
a Rafflecopter giveaway