Mandy's Musings

Ramblings of romance author Madeline Baker/Amanda Ashley

Saturday, August 27, 2005


I had a great idea for what I was going to write about. It came to me as I was falling asleep the other night. I knew I should have written it down, because now I can’t remember what it was!

It is HOT HOT HOT. I am soooooooo sick of this heat. Winter, please hurry!

I received three copies of my book, Dude Ranch Bride, in Spanish today. It’s so much fun to receive foreign copies! I now have books in 12 different languages, which is so cool.

Readers often ask me where I get my ideas. I wish I knew! They just sort of come to me out of the blue. Beginnings are easy. I could write beginnings all day long. Endings, too. It’s filling up the middle that causes me trouble, since I’m not a particularly wordy writer.

The other night, my daughter-in-law IMd me and said she had just finished reading A WHISPER OF ETERNITY. She said she loved it and she loved Dominic. Always nice to hear! And I don’t think she was just saying it to be nice, since, if she didn’t like it, she didn’t have to say anything at all, since I didn’t know she was reading it. Does that make sense?

I’m loving my current work in progress. However, I’m fast approaching the dreaded middle, so that may change at any moment! And speaking of work, I guess I should get back to it.


Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Children of the Night

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!

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 a short story titled MASQUERADE for an anthology titled THE TOPAZ MAN PRESENTS SECRETS OF THE HEART.

As it turned out, a short story wasn't enough, and so I wrote EMBRACE THE NIGHT. And thus Amanda Ashley was born. The back cover copy says:
Master of Darkness
A creature doomed to wander the earth in eternal darkness, he searched the ages for someone to share the endless night of his existence, for that one woman who would recognize the man within the monster.
Mistress of Light
An angel of purity and sunlight, she feared the mysterious stranger whose eyes promised endless ecstasy even as he whispered dark secrets she dared not believe.
They were two people longing for fulfillment, braving the danger of a love like no other. Alone, they faced desolation and despair; together, they would share undying passion, defy eternity, and EMBRACE THE NIGHT.

When I began researching vampires, I discovered there were many myths and beliefs that I’d never heard of before. One of the things that makes writing about vampires so much fun is that you can pick and choose the characteristics you want to use and ignore the rest. Some of my vampires cast a reflection, some don't. Some can move about during the hours of daylight, some can’t; some are repelled by crosses, some aren’t. Half the fun of writing about ghosts, vampires, and other paranormal creatures is the freedom to let your imagination run wild.

In my book, DEEPER THAN THE NIGHT, I came up with the supposition that vampires were not native to Earth at all, but were outcasts from a distant planet.
In my book, MOONLIGHT, my hero was to be a sacrifice to a vampire goddess. Instead of dining on him, she gave him the Dark Gift.

The main thing to remember in writing about a vampire hero is that he must be sympathetic and romantic and still dangerous. Dark and tortured by what he is, separated from the rest of humanity by a secret he cannot share, he still yearns for love, for that one woman who can see past the monster to the man inside. The heroine, of course, is both attracted and repelled by what he is, and always aware that loving this man could be hazardous, even fatal. When a vampire hero says he'll love you forever, he means it!


Friday, August 19, 2005


Well, I'm bored so I thought I'd drop in on my blog and ramble....enjoyed the cool weather this past week. Supposed to warm up again, darn it. I'm ready for winter.

Watching Lord of the Rings. Have lost count of the number of times I've seen it. I love the Ring Wraiths! I seem to have a weakness for men in capes or long black cloaks :)

Have been hard at work on my new book. I'm about a third of the way through and still loving it, although I expect that to change when I get to the half way mark.

I'm reading a manuscript for a good friend of mine who's not yet published. I hope this book will do it for her. It's very good.

I bought myself a bracelet today...just cause I deserve it :)

Was reading Entertainment Weekly earlier today. They listed the upcoming fall movies. Sadly, I don't think I want to see most of them. Of course, Harry Potter is a must. Also Narnia. Maybe Elizabethtown and An Unfinished Life (I think that was the title). The New World looks interesting. Can't think of the others at the moment.

Looking forward to the next season of Lost and Two and a Half Men, which are about the only two tv shows I watch, other than reruns of MASH, Dick Van Dyke, and Frasier. Oh, and now Night Court. About time they brought that one back!

Wish they'd make a Mummy 3.

Wish Hollywood would make my Reckless books into a movie, or maybe Shades of Gray.

Wish I had a magic lamp to make my wishes on!!!

Sunday, August 07, 2005


Well, here it is, August already. Can Christmas be far behind? Probably not, since I was in a Hallmark store on Saturday, buying Star Wars ornaments, and they had a sign at the register counting down the days until Santa comes!

I read the latest Harry Potter. Loved it, as usual. Looking forward to the next movie in November, along with the release of Star Wars, Episode III on DVD.

I've been working on a new vampire book. My critique group loves it. Me, too, at the moment. Of course, I usually love the book while I'm writing it. Then I get the galleys and think, "why did they buy this?" Writers are notoriously insecure. Well, unless you're Nora Roberts or Dean Koontz, I guess. Selling millions of copies of books and making the New York Times list no doubt gives them a wonderful sense of security. Jealous? Who, me?

I got an actual cover for my next vampire book, DESIRE AFTER DARK. As mentioned previously, I wasn't crazy about it, but the actual cover is done in foil and is very striking.

It's HOT, HOT, HOT!!!