Mandy's Musings

Ramblings of romance author Madeline Baker/Amanda Ashley

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


So, I had a nice surprise a few days ago. I entered a contest last year and forgot all about it. But on the 21st of this month, I was notified that EVERLASTING KISS won 1st place in the Ancient City Romance Authors Heart of Excellence contest. I was understandably delighted. My thanks to everyone at the ACRA who made this possible.

I received a proof for the cover of my June 2012 book, His Dark Embrace. Happy to say, I'm happy with it.

And happy with the book, too.

I'm pleased to report that BOUND BY NIGHT and BOUND BY BLOOD both made the USA Today Bestseller list. Always a good thing.

Hard to believe Halloween is just around the corner. Can Christmas be far behind?


Sunday, October 02, 2011

If you can't say something nice..........

Okay, I've read a couple of unflattering reviews of my book, BOUND BY NIGHT, and since I've been told I shouldn't respond to such things, I'm venting here!

The main problem seems to be with my heroine because she isn’t aggressive, and because my vampire seems historical instead of contemporary because he lives in a rundown castle without electricity, etc. Also, the reviewers find it unbelievable that the vampires can keep people to feed on with no one knowing about it in this day and age.

To rebut - My heroine was raised by a strict uncle in a small town in Romania that is a little backward. She has scant knowledge of men or of life outside her home in a small village. Her parents are dead. Her aunt is dead. Her cousin is missing. She has little freedom to come and go because of her uncle.

My hero is a very old vampire, and he lives in an old, old castle that has not been modernized. Medieval castles didn’t come with electricity, modern indoor plumbing, forced air heat or air conditioning, etc. He has not added those things because he doesn’t live there all the time, and because he has no need for electricity, or heat, etc.

The people that the vampires keep to feed on have been born and raised inside the fortress where they live. They have no concept of life outside the fortress – no radio, no tv, no newspapers. They are treated well and educated, but they are not free. They are not allowed outside. They are kept by vampires who are hundreds of years old and cling to their old way of life.

I don’t write kick-ass heroines. I find them totally unbelievable. I don’t write heroines who sleep around. My people don’t swear often, they never use the “F” word.

I realize there are reviewers who don’t like heroines if they don't swear and kick ass and take names, nor do they care for heroines who happen to be virgins, but I have many, many loyal readers who like my heroines and my books, and they are the audience I wrote for.