The Triple 7 Challenge

Published April 14, 2015 by Ashley Townsend
The 777 Writing Challenge caught my attention a couple weeks ago, and I decided to jump in on the action. Who doesn’t like a bit of writing/blogging fun? ^_^ 


Go to page 7 of your work-in-progress

Scroll down to line 7

Share the next 7 lines, or sentences, in a blog post. 

Once finished, you can also tag 7 bloggers to do the writing challenge themselves on their own blog.

The below snippet is from the prologue of Book III in the Rising Shadows Trilogy. I got as close to 7 lines/sentences as I could, but it’s so hard to stop in the middle of the action! Anyway, this is the opening of the story, traveling back several years to when Karen and Professor Charles had just managed to get the time machine up and running. Cadius (yes, THE Cadius!) had been staying in Ridlan years ago and somehow managed to deposit himself in the future and . . . well, I suppose you’ll just have to figure out the rest for yourself this summer when the final installment in the trilogy is released. ;) I was nearly late for work this morning because I was in the middle of writing about a very important wedding in the last book. . . . What, did I say too much? *evil cackle* This is just a teensy taste beforehand, and we’re still in the blissful first draft stage, where everything appears perfect before you look over it again. If you’re interested in being part of my team of pre-readers, just give me a shout-out and let me know

Sarah in the castle
“We did it, Professor,” the girl whispered, shaking her head with a laugh. “We finally fixed it.”
The older man gave her shoulders a squeeze. “I couldn’t have done it without you, my dear girl.”
Cadius glared at them over being ignored, using the icy tone that struck fear in lords around the country. “What the devil is going on? I demand an explana—” The room lurched, throwing him off balance, though it didn’t seem to bother the fixed characters before him. He landed prostrate on the ground, slamming his knee into the smooth, rock-hard surface.
 Cadius glared up at the two, sure they’d had something to do with his fall, but his reprimand stuck in his throat as he witnessed them disappear, shifting and fading into dim orbs that were replaced by—no, the girl was still there, smiling, but the old man was gone. The walls lost their gray tinge as they brightened to a sunny yellow hue, and an enormous fur rug replaced the cold stone beneath Cadius, though he could not feel it’s softness even as he gripped it to steady his shaking hands; his mind continued to register the stone of the basement floor against his palms. He could see it, but it was as though he could not truly touch this world, wherever it might be.
I now challenge:
Nadine @Nadine Brandes Author
Morgan @In Darkness There is Light
Ness @Of Words and Books
Sarah @123 This is My Home
E.M @I Write My Heart
Ashlee @Ashlee Willis Author
Kystal @Books and Bookmarks
Happy reading!

Happy Women in Fiction Day!

Published April 10, 2015 by Ashley Townsend

Ashley Townsend:

Oh. My. Gosh. SARAH MADE THE LIST! Lydia wasn’t kidding; Sarah Matthews–MY relatable, time traveling, awkward teen with a penchant for getting herself into trouble–is actually on a list of her favorite fiction women. I can now die in peace! ….. But I can’t, because now I want to write and finish Sarah’s story!

Originally posted on Lydia Thomas, Author:

Since it’s Women in Fiction Day, I thought I’d take a post to discuss some of my favorite literary heroines.

The Classics

anne of green gablesAnne of Green Gables

I mean, who doesn’t love a girl with this much imagination and flare for the dramatic?

“Why must people kneel down to pray? If I really wanted to pray I’ll tell you what I’d do. I’d go out into a great big field all alone or in the deep, deep woods and I’d look up into the sky—up—up—up—into that lovely blue sky that looks as if there was no end to its blueness. And then I’d just feel a prayer.” ~Lucy Maud Montgomery,  Anne of Green Gables


She’s the ultimate warrior princess.

“And then her heart changed, or at least she understood it; and the winter passed, and the sun shone upon her.”  ~J. R. R.   Tolkien, The Return of the King

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Dear Ashley: An Unconventional Review of ‘Rising Shadows’

Published April 10, 2015 by Ashley Townsend

Ashley Townsend:

This review had me in tears…… Of sweetness and joy! I honestly could not believe Lydia enjoyed Book I in the Rising Shadows trilogy so much. I queried her to read and review Chasing Shadows, but she insisted on buying Rising Shadows first. Now, many of you know that I can be rather self-conscious of my first effort as a real writer, and my style and ability have shifted quite a bit since I first penned the start of Sarah’s time traveling adventures in Serimone. So when Lydia told me that she was insisting on starting with the first book, I launched into my under-selling explanation of why the book is so “simple”: “I was really young when I wrote it”; “My ability has progressed sooo much since then”; “Don’t let it stop you from reading Chasing Shadows.”
I was honestly anticipating her thinking the first book was so boring that she wouldn’t even get around to the book I wanted her to review. So you can imagine my surprise to find an email from her simply stating “Your family is right; you do undersell it” and a link to her glorious review of Rising Shadows. . . . Yes, she LOVED IT!!! Her review is completely unconventional in the sense that it’s written as a letter of encouragement address to ME, gushing about how Sarah is one of her favorite heroines in fiction history and that she adores Will so much that he had her crying. Haha.
Just follow the link to the original post and check it out for yourself before I spoil it for you. And take this as encouragement that you don’t have to undersell things that are important to you or pretend that you failed just because someone might criticize your efforts and you want to beat them to the punch (actually, I’ve never really received a negative review for any of my books—go figure!). God has a great plan in store for all of us that does NOT include fear, and if it’s important to you, it’s definitely important to Him.
Oh, yeah, and Lydia still wants to read Chasing Shadows. ^_^ Who knew?!

Originally posted on Lydia Thomas, Author:

Dear Ashley,

This is totally not how ever conduct my reviews.

However, when you contacted me about reviewing the second book in your trilogy, Chasing Shadows, I wanted to read and review the first book – well, first.  You shared a few things with me about the some of the differences I might note between Rising Shadows  and its sequel, and mentioned that your family thinks you undersell this first book in your trilogy.  I hardly know you at all, but based on what you told me, I’d like to tell you something.  Your family is right.

Here’s why:

I couldn’t put Rising Shadows down.  I put books down all of the time – it’s a necessity of my busy life and I wouldn’t get anything else done otherwise.  I just find a good stopping point, bookmark it, and pick it up later.  I couldn’t find a good stopping…

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Published April 8, 2015 by Ashley Townsend

It’s here! Quick! Follow the link to enter the giveaway before it ends like the first one if you want to win a FREE copy of Chasing Shadows in paperback. But you’d better run!

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We’re Blowing Up Amazon Today!!!

Published April 8, 2015 by Ashley Townsend

No, not literally; I’m not actually contemplating arson, crazy pants! I listed a contest for a few copies of “Chasing Shadows” in paperback on Amazon after just discovering that authors can list giveaways on the website. Who knew?! (probably everyone, but that’s beside the point) I had several copies available and set it to end in 1 week, because I assumed I would have to build traction and interest over a couple days as the giveaway spread. WRONG! I don’t know if people have alerts if a book is in their Wish List, or what, but the giveaway went live at around 1pm PST this afternoon, and it reach its max capacity for entrants in 13 MINUTES!!!! Yes, one-three, just three more minutes than 10 and WAAAAAY less than the solid week I had projected.

I couldn’t believe it!


I had just received an email that the giveaway was live, and Twitter notifications kept popping up at the top of the screen to let me know I had 10, 20, 35 new followers. I was laughing and had to ask Katie to read the notification of the giveaway’s end to make sure I wasn’t seeing things. But, nope, Chasing Shadows sold out in 13 minutes.

Panda - Uncyclopedia, the content-free encyclopedia - via
I can't stop smiling - and neither can this bunny. Click through for GIF.

It sold out so quickly that I just scheduled another giveaway on Amazon for this afternoon with the same details, so hopefully some of you who missed out on entering the one earlier will have another chance at a free copy. I’ll post the link as soon as it goes live here and on Twitter and Facebook, and then be sure to enter as quickly as possible and share with your friends before all paperback copies are gone. Or don’t share, since their entry could potentially reduce your odds. ;-) If you don’t win, though, don’t let it stop you from buying a copy of Chasing Shadows for yourself and adding it on Goodreads:

Oh, yeah, and did I mention that Chasing Shadows sold out in 13 minutes?

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Rising Shadows Book Review

Published April 7, 2015 by Ashley Townsend

Check out the latest review for the series! Christine gave Rising Shadows a great review, and she will be reviewing Chasing Shadows very soon in the future, as well.  Be sure to follow her and keep an eye out for other great posts!

Please Read This Before April 6th!

Published April 2, 2015 by Ashley Townsend

Ashley Townsend:

I recently discovered that the government is looking to remove YOUR choice to decide what goes into your children’s bodies in the form of a bill called SB 277. It overrides parents’ refusal of their children being vaccinated due to religion, personal preference, and the general interest of the child—public, charter, and private schools, which includes homeschoolers, are not excused from this mandate. My family has stayed incredibly healthy by implementing vitamins into our routine rather than be vaccinated after a serious family reaction to them years ago. I know that not everyone shares the same opinion on whether the constant and rapid influx of vaccines into a child’s system is a positive or negative thing–they can be both helpful and incredibly harmful–but I think we can all agree that the decision to choose should NOT be left to a third party who has no personal interest in your child and cannot decide from their distant standpoint what is best for them, potentially against your own will, I might add. You, the parent, should be allowed to make that choice regarding your child’s health. Please read this post my sister did on the issue of SB 277, read the brief articles, and decide for yourself. Katie’s post is written from a personal story of how she dealt with the side effects of vaccines, but it is also an incredibly valid argument. If you follow the links to the articles, you’ll also find email and phone numbers to call and voice your necessary and valid opinion on this issue (before April 6th, 2015). Please also be sure to pass along any articles and posts that you would like to share with others who feel that this lack of choice is a concern.

“We need to teach the next generation of children from day one that they are responsible for their lives. Mankind’s greatest gift, also its greatest curse, is that we have free choice. We can make our choices built from love or from fear.” –Elizabeth Rubler-Ross

Originally posted on booksandwonderful-things:

I picked this particular link concerning “SB 277″ because it had the most simple explanation as to what this bill could do to parental rights.

I’m a cancer survivor.

I don’t tell this to people often, and only my family really knows this fact about me. If others know about it, they probably did not hear the story from me. But today I am telling you, readers, because I wanted to share with you some info about a certain bill that the government is trying to pass.

 A bill called “SB 277″ is trying to passed and its purpose is to remove the right for vaccine exemptions. Most beliefs on vaccines will be considered invalid by the government and health officials if “SB 277” is passed. To simplify the definition of its purpose: mandatory vaccination for all children attending school. In essence, this law that they are…

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