Ashley, Amanda

Ashley, Amanda

(pop culture)

Amanda Ashley is the pseudonym of writer Madeline Baker. Baker was born, raised, married and still resides in southern California. Her first books were Western historical romances written under her real name. At one point, her editor asked if she would like to try her hand at a paranormal story. She produced a short story, “Masquerade” for an anthology, The Topaz Man Favorites, Secrets of the Heart. She found she liked vampires, so she chose a pseudonym and got to work. Having read a few vampire books, she came to see the potential of vampires as great heroes with an element of danger built in. In different novels she experimented with a variety of types from the pure hero to the conflicted vampire still struggling to be human. At one point she even played with Elvis Presley as a vampire. Their heroic quality is best seen in their willingness to give up even their immortality for the one woman who can perceive the humanity that resides within their monstrous exterior.

Ashley/Baker was among the pioneers of the contemporary vampire romance novels, though she followed a generation of romance vampire novelists such as Lori Herter, Florence Stevenson, and the prolific Daniel Ross. Of almost a dozen vampire romance titles that appeared in 1995, her book, Embrace the Night, and a title by Linda Lael Miller rose from the stack. Ashley and Miller began to redefine the field and open the way that numerous later authors tred.

In her first novel, Ashley introduced Gabriel, who through his hundreds of years of existence had yet to solve the problem of loving mortals who aged and died on him and the subsequent loneliness. The novel begins with his love of Sara whom he meets as a child in 1881 and then moves a hundred years into the future when he meets a new Sarah to whom he is drawn. The magnetic Gabriel would become the model for a number of vampires that appeared after him.

Much to the delight of her readers, she would frequently revisit the theme of the lonely vampire searching for eternal love in the present but always haunted by his knowledge that while his life goes on, the best of love will die. Her vampires began as rather traditional, especially in their need for darkness during the daylight hours, but as she wrote more and more she varied the rules. Vincent Cordova, the vampire of Night’s Touch, fathers two children (twins). They are human even though their mother is the daughter of a vampire couple. Other vampires have become daywalkers and some see their reflections in mirrors. Ashley has survived the ups and downs of the vampire book market, and even with more than a dozen vampire titles on the shelves, she has no plans to stop—with several new titles in the pipeline. She began her career with the Love Spell imprint of Dorchester Publishing, switching to Zebra Books at the much larger Kensington Publishing Corporation in 2004. All of her vampire titles remain in print (as of 2009).

Sources:

Ashley, Amanda (pseudonym of Madeline Baker). After Sundown. New York: Zebra Books/Kensington Publishing, 2004. 384 pp.
———. A Darker Dream. New York: Love Spell, 1997. 392 pp.
———. Dead Perfect. New York: Zebra Books/Kensington Publishing, 2008. 384 pp.
———. Dead Sexy. Zebra Books: New York, 2007. 362 pp.
———. Deeper Than the Night. New York: Love Spell, 1996. 391 pp.
———. Desire After Dark. New York: Zebra Books,/Kensington Publishing, 2006.
———. Embrace the Night. New York: Love Spell, 1995. 441 pp.
———. Midnight Embrace. New York: Love Spell, 2002. 378 pp.
———. Night’s Kiss. New York: Zebra Books/Kensington Publishing, 2005. 345 pp.
———. Night’s Master. New York: Zebra Books/Kensington Publishing, 2008. 377 pp.
———. Night’s Pleasure. New York: Zebra Books/Kensington Publishing, 2009. 384 pp.
———. Night’s Touch. New York: Zebra Books/Kensington Publishing, 2007. 380 pp.
———. Shades of Gray. New York: Love Spell, 1998. 390 pp.
———. Sunlight/Moonlight. New York: Love Spell, 1997. 394 pp.
———. A Whisper of Eternity. New York: Zebra Books,/Kensington Publishing, 2004. 352 pp.
Ashley, Amanda, Christine Feehan, and Ronda Thompson. After Twilight. New York: Lobe Spell, 2001. 395 pp.
Ashley, Amanda. et al. Midnight Pleasures. New York: St. Martin’s Paperbacks, 2003. 374 pp.
Blake, Jennifer, Madeline Baker, et al. Topaz Man Favorites: Secrets of the Heart: Five Irresistible Love Stories. New York: Topaz, 1994. 381 pp.
Sherida, Barbara. “Interview with Amanda Ashley.” Posted at http://paranormalromance.org/AmandaAshley.htm. Accessed on April 10, 2010.

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Aspen see: Stake

Assamite Vampire Clan see: Vampire: The Eternal Struggle

Assyria, Vampires in see: Babylon and Assyria, Vampires in Ancient

Aswang see: Philippines, Vampires in the