Jennifer Ashley

Anne Marvin Blog Posts

When Dreams Die

When Dreams Die

I’ve been dreaming lately. Daydreaming, eyes becoming unfocused and the world softening around the edges. It’s a pleasant way to spend some time on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Often, I find myself thinking and dreaming about the characters in my favorite books. Today, though, I’m thinking about the nature of dreams themselves. We talk about daring to dream, and I think that is an accurate depiction of the risks involved in making an emotional investment in desiring a certain outcome. When we admit to wanting something, we also subject ourselves to the possibility of disappointment, which leads inevitably to pain. Because most of us avoid pain and even discomfort at all costs, assuming the necessary burden of vulnerability isn’t the path of least resistance that most of us prefer to travel. The ability to dream is the engine of great achievement and advances. Dreams inspire and motivate us to work… READ MORE

Mixing It Up

Mixing It Up

I’m still enjoying Jennifer Ashley’s Shifters Unbound series. The characters are well developed, the world building is interesting, the plots move along nicely and the sex is hot. What more can I ask?  Not much, I’ll tell you. In Ms. Ashley’s world, there are several varieties of shifters, including Feline (cats), Lupine (wolves) and Ursine (bears). Each variety is a souped-up combination of species found in the wild, so each type of shifter already represents a mix. Then, when the shifters are brought in from the wild, they begin to mix with each other and with humans. Talk about your blended families.  This mixology got me thinking about the difficulties that ensue when people from different countries, cultures, religions, races, and ethnicities get together and try to make a go of marriage or committed relationships. I remember my mother warning me about the challenges of interfaith marriage (I don’t think… READ MORE

The Politics of Prejudice

The Politics of Prejudice

I’m enjoying a new author, Jennifer Ashley, and the first book of her Shifters Unbound series, Pride Mates. It’s light and airy, mostly, and the perfect antidote to the marvelous but depressingly heavy Robin Hobb trilogy I just finished. But even when an author colors inside the lines of the paranormal fantasy genre, as Ms. Ashley does (and this is not at all a criticism, I read these books with a certain expectation of knowing what to expect), there is a depth to the best of the genre that transcends the stereotypes of strong, independent women, hot alpha males, hotter sex, and inevitable HEAs. In this case, Ms. Ashley writes about beautiful people, who happen also to change into feline and lupine alter egos (or alter bodies, really), and the decidedly not beautiful consequences of prejudice that attend their ability to transform. Ms. Ashley is not the first to explore… READ MORE

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