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Guest Blogger: Jennifer Ashley (Contest)
Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

Hard Mated, by Jennifer Ashley

Shifters! I love them, especially the sexy wildcats, wolves, and bears that populate my Shiftertowns.

A few years ago, when my publisher nixed my idea for a vampire series (too many vamps out there, they said), I pouted, then brought forth an idea for a shapeshifter series that had been swimming around in the back of my head.

I’m so glad I did! The first book, Pride Mates, was my first New York Times bestseller, and paved the way for more Shifters to come.

I decided right from the start that my series wouldn’t be “save the world from evil,” or “save the species from the evil thing trying to kill it.” The books would be about the Shifters themselves, how they live and love, about their families, how they interact with the human world, and the problems (sometimes dire) that they have to solve in order to thrive.

Pride Mates and Primal Bonds (Books 1 and 2) introduce Liam Morrissey and his family, three generations of charming Irish bachelor wildcat Shifters living in the same house in Austin, Texas.

Indie publishing has let me put out stories in this word between the main books, and Bodyguard (Book 2.5), is about Ronan, a Kodiak bear Shifter who works for Liam. The book is available in print from Amazon, and in e-book everywhere you can buy ebooks.

This was followed by Wild Cat (Book 3) which introduces yet another family—wildcat Shifters Cassidy and Eric Warden (brother and sister), Eric’s son Jace, and the grizzlies next door. Wild Cat is Cassidy’s story (she meets up with a hunk of a Latino cop).

In October, Mate Claimed (Book 4), Eric’s story, will hit the shelves, and introduce yet another Shifter (Tiger), who gets his book next June.

Meanwhile, I’m pleased that this week, another character from the Austin Shiftertown gets his story told: Spike in Hard Mated (Book 3.5).

Spike is a “tracker”, a Shifter who works for the Shiftertown leader, one of a team of bodyguards and fighters. Spike is also a champion fighter at the Shifters’ fight club. Spike has a colorful past, working for the villain in Book 1, but now he’s one of the good guys. He’s tough and strong, and he’s about to meet he woman who cracks his hard exterior.

Hard Mated is available in ebook first, with a print edition following in a couple of weeks.

For more about the series—characters, blurbs, books, links, and my “Humans’ Guide to Shifters” see

More about all my series is at

Post a comment and you’ll be entered to win a free book from this series’ backlist! Winner’s Choice! 

Excerpt from Hard Mated:

“Fight’s over!” one of the refs shouted. “The bear  is down.”

The grizzly’s few supporters moaned in disappointment. The rest of the crowd screamed and hollered, humans punching the air, beasts doing victory leaps. Spike, champion of the Austin Shiftertown, had won again.

Spike stood still and caught his breath, his Collar sending fiery jolts of pain down his neck and into his spine. He’d pay a long time for what he’d done in the rings tonight. Close fight. The bear was damn good.

Spike stretched his forepaws into the air and let himself become human, his tall six foot six. He kept his arms up, acknowledging his victory, and his fans filled the place with noise.

Cormac the bear came across the ring, Collar sparking with residual arcs, and gave Spike a nod. “Good fight,” he said, his voice rasping.

The bear had no malice in his eyes, only approval for Spike’s technique and stamina. That was the problem with bears. They were so damn affable—when they weren’t trying to kill you.

“Good fight,” Spike said back. He kept his words light, pretending he didn’t want to fall onto the soft dirt of the ring and pass out. A few gallons of water poured down his throat wouldn’t hurt either.

Cormac turned away to his friends and a woman ran to Spike with a sports bottle.

Spike grabbed the bottle and upended a stream of water into his mouth before he realized two things. First, the woman who’d handed him the bottle was human, and second, he’d never seen her here before.

She had black hair cut short but wildly curly, blue eyes that looked back at him in perfect equanimity, a round face that was cute rather than pretty, and lips that any male, human or Shifter would want to sink into. Her plump body had nice curves that she didn’t much hide behind a button-down shirt, a sexily-cut lace tank, and jeans that rested low on her hips.

Shifter groupie? Maybe, but she didn’t have the obsessed look, nor did she wear a fake Collar or paint on whiskers or anything like that.

On the other hand, Spike was standing next to her wearing nothing but his tattoos, sweat, and the blood from the fight. The woman kept her gaze on Spike’s face, not even flickering it to his very naked body.

Spike upended the bottle, squirted water onto his face, and rubbed his hand over it. A shower was going to feel good.

A nice roll the sack would be great too, and here was this nice little morsel, handing him water and looking fine in a Texas cowgirl kind of way.

Not that Spike usually went for humans. He had to be too careful in bed with humans, because things could get wild and wicked. Shifters women were more resilient, more used to male Shifters and what they wanted.

But there was something Spike liked about this human.

“Who are you, sweetheart?” he asked.

“My name’s Myka. Myka Thompson. You don’t know me, but you know Jillian.”

Jillian. Jillian. Who the hell was Jillian?

“You knew her, I should say,” Myka said. “For one night at least. Five years ago. Shifter bar. You were a Shifter, she was a Shifter groupie . . .” She trailed off, one hand moving before she returned it to her shapely hip.

Memory came to him. Five years ago, sure, and Spike had been very drunk that night, but Jillian had been the hottest thing he’d seen in a long, long time. “Red-headed little thing, fiery. Yeah, I remember her.”

He’d never seen Jillian again. Spike liked to date his ladies for more than a night, much more than a night, but the phone number Jillian had given him had been disconnected, and she’d not come to the bar again—that one or any other Shifter bar.

Some humans were like that. They wanted a taste of the beast, but they didn’t want anything long-term with a Shifter.

“How’s she doing?” Spike asked. He grabbed a towel he’d left on a box outside the ring and rubbed his wet face.

“She’s dying,” Myka said.

Spike jerked back to her, towel dangling from his grasp. “What?”

“I said, Jillian’s dying. She wants to see you, but you have to come with me now.”

* * * * *

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29 comments to “Guest Blogger: Jennifer Ashley (Contest)”

  1. Karin Anderson
    · August 21st, 2012 at 7:45 am · Link

    I so look forward to all of your books! I started with Ian MacKenzie and haven’t looked back. Good luck with the newest release!

    AquarianDancer at gmail dot com

  2. Lisa J
    · August 21st, 2012 at 8:41 am · Link

    I’ll have to go look for this one.

  3. Sandy S.
    · August 21st, 2012 at 9:54 am · Link

    Love the Shifter series….so easy to fall in love with an ‘animal’…lol

  4. Pam B
    · August 21st, 2012 at 9:55 am · Link


    I love this series and I am looking forward to this book and Mate Claimed.

    Thanks for the chance

  5. Gayle Latreille
    · August 21st, 2012 at 9:56 am · Link

    This is an awesome series, who wouldn’t love these hot, hunky shifters? 😈 😛


  6. Brenda Rumsey
    · August 21st, 2012 at 10:03 am · Link

    Your a new author to me. Sounds like a must have book. Thank you for running the contest and congrats on the new book.

  7. Marika Weber
    · August 21st, 2012 at 10:10 am · Link

    I will admit that you are a new to me author and I’m glad. I grew tired of shifters stories that had to save the world, etc. I like to read shifters stories that are about their world and how they interact with humans.

    Great excerpt, too. 😛


  8. Angel Shaw
    · August 21st, 2012 at 10:17 am · Link

    You know if it would hurry up and load on nook…..I could be reading right now!!! Love this series

  9. Kim
    · August 21st, 2012 at 12:08 pm · Link

    Thanks for the giveaway.

  10. Stephanie
    · August 21st, 2012 at 12:33 pm · Link

    Ack! What a cliffhanger! This is one of your series I have caught yet but now I definitely plan too! Thanks for sharing today!


  11. Pam Howell
    · August 21st, 2012 at 12:44 pm · Link

    ooh – LOVE your work!!! would LOVE to WIN!!! PICK ME!!
    PICK ME!! Pam 😳

  12. ELF
    · August 21st, 2012 at 1:10 pm · Link

    Excellent teaser! Thanks for sharing and good luck with the new release (and thanks for the giveaway).

  13. Carolline
    · August 21st, 2012 at 1:25 pm · Link

    I absolutely adore Ms. Ashley! I found her first book Pride Mates at my local library earlier this year… I ended up buying them all on my kindle and reading the rest that weekend! I am glad I saw this to know to look for Hard Mated and Mate Claimed.

  14. Jackie
    · August 21st, 2012 at 1:28 pm · Link

    Wow this is a good teaser for not having read the first few books but now going to go and do so. This is what i love, when the teaser draws me in and boom im a goner gotta get the book, e-book something to get my reading fix. lol

  15. Lynn R.
    · August 21st, 2012 at 2:09 pm · Link

    So, I’m new here, and Jennifer is also a new-to-me author, and yes, I’m muttering about that cliffhanger, too!! Talk about cruel and unusual punishment!




  16. Stacy Wilson
    · August 21st, 2012 at 6:48 pm · Link

    I SO love this series! SO much so that when my daughter found book 2 for sale at a resale shop, she ended up giving it to ME, because I pouted so much. I also have book 3. She let me borrow her Nook to read Bodyguard.

    Stacy Wilson

    dragn_lady at yahoo dot com

  17. Melissa Porter
    · August 21st, 2012 at 7:06 pm · Link

    Okay…Here goes another book that is added to my need to get list.
    I love shape shifters. They have that attitude thing going on for them.

  18. Joanne B
    · August 21st, 2012 at 7:11 pm · Link

    Haven’t read this series but it sounds fantastic. Another one to put on my wishlist. Thanks for the great excerpt.

    Joanne B

  19. elaing8
    · August 21st, 2012 at 8:07 pm · Link

    Great excerpt.I have the first book in this series.I need to catch up.
    Thanks for the giveaway

  20. Jen B.
    · August 21st, 2012 at 8:27 pm · Link

    This is why I don’t read teasers! Darn it, now I really want to know what happens next! Another book for the wish list! Thanks for the giveaway!

  21. Suzanne
    · August 21st, 2012 at 8:57 pm · Link

    😉 I started tearing up after reading the blurb . I will buy this book no

  22. margaret whelehan
    · August 21st, 2012 at 11:02 pm · Link

    i have been a big fan of jennifer ever since i found her. i cannot wait to read this, it finally downloaded. 🙂

  23. donnas
    · August 21st, 2012 at 11:18 pm · Link

    Great excerpt. I love a good shifter

  24. Virginia E
    · August 22nd, 2012 at 5:40 am · Link

    I’m already getting this series. They;ve all been great reading.

    vlettel @ cox . net

  25. Zina
    · August 22nd, 2012 at 7:38 am · Link

    Love Jennifer’s books have many different series by her, I own a book or two of her shifter series but they are still in my TBR shelves I am sad to say. If you see this Jennifer say hello to Minion! Hope to see you two at another RomCon.

  26. P Howell
    · August 22nd, 2012 at 9:12 am · Link

    I’ve read the 1st 2 books – LOVE the series – LOVE Jennifer’s work!!!! 😯

  27. Pamk
    · August 26th, 2012 at 12:56 am · Link

    Love this series and need to catch up on it.

  28. helene tompkins
    · August 26th, 2012 at 7:59 pm · Link

    😛 😛 lovelove the excerpt please enter me into the contest 😛 😛

  29. P Howell
    · August 27th, 2012 at 12:16 pm · Link

    ok – who won?? 😳

Comments are closed.