Once Upon a Time

Originally posted on booksandwonderfulthings:

Sorry, guys, about the lack of book posts lately. Sadly, I haven’t found a good book to read in over a month. But, alas, I have not despaired (yet) because of a magical show (no pun intended) called “Once Upon a Time.” I have watched all of season three (up until the newest episode), and I have enjoyed it quite a bit, but it was just in the last couple of weeks that I really got into the show. Me and my sisters started watching a few episodes every night, and it has been so much fun going through it again. It has been a while since I’ve had something to really fangirl over; I was a bit out of shape there for a while, but now I’m once again a full-time, high functioning fangirl. My favorite thing to fangirl over has to be Captain Swan (Emma Swan and Captain Hook…

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Enlisted on Fox

Ashley Townsend:

YES! If you check my Twitter, it’s pretty much blowing up with pleas to save “Enlisted.” Haha. But, seriously, if you like clean, ridiculously hilarious comedies with brotherly love and humor at the center of every episode, please reblog, pin, Tweet, post, whatever you can think to bring this puppy back! And be sure to watch the show to see just how fantastic it is.

Originally posted on booksandwonderfulthings:

Today I heard some very distressing news concerning my new favorite show, Enlisted. It’s on the chopper block!! My reaction this awful news was as follows:

psych oh my gosh!

flynn rider tangledand in my opinion, it’sa terrible decision to even have it on the chopper block.

what does the fox say?Why must the Fox always say, “Cancelled”?

tumblr_m8fu3etzdf1r6v7x1If I need to, I will bring this show back all by myself. Why can’t people like funny, lighthearted shows anymore? Why?

uncle sam

I want YOU to watch Enlisted on Fox on your Friday night. You won’t regret it.

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Fangirls and Shipping and Fandoms, Oh My!

professional fangirling

Ahhh, Fandoms. Groups of fanatics and shippers who bond over a common interest in television, books, relationships in said entertainment, music, etc. There are big Fandoms, small Fandoms, serious Fandoms, and silly Fandoms, though just about anyone who is a hard-core Shipper tends to get a little carried away from time to time.  Here are a few of the things that we’re anticipating, have always loved, are Fangirling over right now (side note: refer to bottom of page for definitions), and also some nifty explanations as to what Fandoms entail.

downton abbey

We are officially Downton Abbey addicts! And I am wholly in love with…

Tom Branson (Allen Leech), the handsome Irish chauffeur turned nobleman who stole my heart the first time he stepped on the scene. And I officially ship...

Tom Branson (Allen Leech), the handsome Irish chauffeur turned nobleman who stole my heart the first time he stepped on the scene. And I officially ship…

Branson and the Lady Sybil. Yes, I definitely wished I had fainted and he had carried me away the day I started shipping Sybson. Will I stop shipping?

Branson and the Lady Sybil. Yes, I definitely wished I had fainted and he had carried me away the day I started shipping Sybson. Will I stop shipping?

Ah, nope

Getting jazzed for Captain America: The Winter Soldier!

Getting jazzed for Captain America: The Winter Soldier!

Yes, and also the fact that the movies are so fantastic.

We love Elementary's take on Sherlock Holmes, but this is also scary accurate for a fandom's devotion.

We love Elementary’s take on Sherlock Holmes, but this is also scary accurate for a fandom’s devotion.

Cannot WAIT for Shatter Me Book III, but I think Liz and Kates are fangirling a teensy bit more than me.

Cannot WAIT for Shatter Me Book III, but I think Liz and Kates are fangirling a teensy bit more than me.

This film looks so beautiful, and it stars the actress who plays Sybil on Downton. Sold!

This film looks so beautiful, and it stars the actress who plays Sybil on Downton. Sold!

YES! We've been waiting for them to reboot the series for years.

YES! We’ve been waiting for them to reboot the series for years.

Jamaican Inspector Man, Psych the Musical. 'Nuff said.

Jamaican Inspector Man, Psych the Musical. ‘Nuff said.

fandom reference

no time to explain

Fandom; noun: a group of devoted individuals engaged in a similar display of fanaticism and dedication over a specific form of entertainment (i.e. T.V., books, music, etc.). A Fandom requires full dedication and most of one’s free time. WARNING! Being involved in a Fandom can result in Pinterest boards dedicated solely to one particular interest/obsession and may end in a loss of followers due to said dedication. It may also cause blurry vision when driving, RLS (restless leg syndrome), rapid eye movement during normal sleeping hours, loss of focus, and also lack of ambition in other areas not pertaining to said interest.

shipping

Shippers; noun: fans of a form of entertainment that cling to a particular fictional relationship. Posters, Pinterest boards, blog posts, helium balloons, and a ridiculous mashing of names to create a new “power” couple pseudonym are common signs that you are a Shipper. In some instances, Shipping may cause one to lose interest in any relationships that exist outside of books or television (i.e. a relative’s engagement, wedding announcements, couples that actually exist, etc.). It is also very common for Shippers of different groups to form a strong dislike of the other group for no apparent reason, other than the fact that _____ harassed _____ before the series even began.

fangirling expl

Fangirling; verb: the action of expressing one’s obsession of a particular interest, which generally involves screaming, giggling, fainting, running, jumping, climbing, making/pinning things, etc.

Fanatic; adj: marked by excessive enthusiasm and often intense uncritical devotion (directly from Webster’s dict.). Some may refer to people expressing fanatic tendencies toward fictional characters (refer to definition of “Shipper”) as being rabid, revolutionists, extremists, mentally unstable, overly involved, etc. Someone involved in a Fandom or a Shipper will most certainly exhibit these characteristics unashamedly and will also encourage fanatical tendencies in others new to a Fandom/the Fangirling universe.

END

2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,600 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 27 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Finding the Road. . . Again.

don't let past ruin future

It’s been an interesting few weeks. . . . Well, couple of months, if I’m being honest. I have spent most of my free time pouring over list after list of literary agents and publishing companies to get “Chasing Shadows” picked up by a physical publisher. But almost zero publishers, Christian and otherwise, are accepting unsolicited manuscripts. That led me to creating a query letter and setting out in search of an agent who believes in this story as much as I do. But every agent I found was looking for something different, so each query letter sent had to be tweaked and reworded. After that it was a waiting game until I either got rejected or they asked to see the manuscript, and let me tell you, I got rejected a lot; it’s a little painful to admit (ACK! My pride!), but, yeah, about 58 times. The plus side was that they were all very kind and “encouraging,” and nearly every agent said my query letter was perfect, so if you need some direction on writing a query of your own or how to deal with some seriously repetitive rejection, I’m your gal! ^_^ Or we can just eat chocolate together. ashleytownsend.author@yahoo.com

success is not final

Another little hiccup was that almost none of the Christian literary agents are looking for the element of fantasy, and the agents interested in time travel don’t have an interest in promoting Christian fiction. So it put me in a teensy bit of a bind. I was alone at work one day when I got my magillionth rejection, and I basically had a mini meltdown in the bathroom. Though I reference it in my stories, I’ve never actually felt a broken heart until the moment I read the words “Thanks, but.” Yet that is honestly what it felt like. I spent an hour busying myself with insurance billing so I didn’t have to make a choice between believing all the other rejections and moving past it. But no matter how hard I tried to block it out, there would be these brief moments where God’s Voice snuck in and reminded me that it was a choice. Soooo not what I wanted to hear at that moment, but then I realized that the entire Shadows Trilogy is based off of this principle: “Everything is a choice.” I’ve written about it for years but never fully understood until a few days ago when I realized I was choosing to wallow and stop trying. To tell you the truth, that scared the stuffing out of me, so I played a little Russian roulette with my Bible (it’s a highly scientific process), but the verse it flopped open to was completely non-applicable (I have no need to trade in goats OR sandals, dangit!!!). I was going to give up when I kind of begrudgingly flipped to the next page, and a small, random, un-highlighted verse caught my eye:

“He will not fear evil tidings. His heart is steadfast, trusting in the LORD.” Psalm 112:7

Psalm 112

…….. Oh. That was a tad spot-on. And this simple, random thing made me realize that so many times the answer is as simple as us being willing to turn the page or round the corner, to not give up when the answer doesn’t readily present itself. I decided then that I didn’t want to live life as a victim anymore and chose to have a better attitude, to not give in to despair and give up on Hope. Yes, there are still times when my friends are talking about graduating and boyfriends and careers and traveling the world, and I’m just sitting here like, “Oh, yeah, I love rocks, and this part-time community college student is totally going to have a best seller before 2090.” But I’m choosing not to believe the Devil’s lies when he says God made me the way I am with no purpose in mind. Even when I don’t know what that purpose is, God knows exactly where He’s directing me. And you, too.

I so wish I could tell you that I received hundreds of offers and that I have an incredible underdog story to tell, but alas, not as of this moment. So why am I admitting all of this? Because I want you to know how low I fell and how far and gently God was able to pick me up. . . . I didn’t realize until I typed those words just now that “Chasing Shadows” is all about that. Cool beans!

louisaI want to create the type of book that is intriguing and fun, serious and clever, full of incredibly realistic and relatable characters, and also the kind of story that won’t just appeal to those who were raised in a Christian home. Yes, of course I want to reach those who have already heard God’s message, but I so desire for readers who are only interested in secular books to connect to the story and characters—no “in your face” Christianity, but a guilt-free book that they love and learn from and that has God’s heart at the center of the story. THAT is what I want. I always wanted to follow in the footsteps of my mom and grandma, who both love and loved to write, and Jesus was the ultimate storyteller. Why wouldn’t I want to be like Him? So I know He has a plan for my wandering thoughts and inner story-maker, but as of right now, I have absolutely no idea what that is. But I’m trusting that God has a plan, and whatever spiritual journey you’re on, He has a plan for you, too, and it will be one of Victory. Our job is to not lose our enthusiasm for our passions along the way as we enjoy the ride.

success failure to another

If you have an unpublished manuscript of your own that you want to put out there, Deep River Books is having a contest and will give the winner a full-ride publishing contract with Carmichael Publishing. The contest is going on now through January 15th, so take a chance and put it out there! You never know what might come of it. http://www.deepriverbooks.com/contest.html

Please Read This

This is incredibly important for a German family who has been through so much the past few years. We underestimate the freedom we Americans have: We can pray in public, openly express our opinions, and go to church. This family is seeking asylum in our country from the persecution of their government for home schooling their children. The Romeike family came to the US and was granted asylum in 2010, but the current administration overturned the ruling and had them deported this year. In late September of this year, German police invaded the home of the Wunderlich family and forcibly removed their children, placing them in “protective” custody and stating that their children would only be given back to them if they placed them in the public education system. As a former home schooler, these stories hit home for my family and I. Home School Legal Defense Association is working on behalf of The Romeikes, and also the Wunderlichs, and have appealed to the courts. so we are gathering groups together for fasting and prayer today that the courts will hear their appeal. There is no obligation to join in this if you feel uncomfortable doing so, but please, please take three minutes to read the tiny article and spread the word to others. Be sure to have them on your hearts. They will certainly be on ours!

All Our Yesterdays

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I finished “All Our Yesterdays” by Cristin Terrill a few weeks ago and forgot to post my review on here (you can find it on my Goodreads, as well). But when a book is THIS awesome, I have to spread the word about it, however delayed it may be. 

THIS BOOK BLEW MY MIND! It was the most gripping story I have read in a long time, and I felt a bond with each character. From the very first page to the last, the story is non-stop action and intrigue. I promise not to spoil the story for you, because there are plenty of plot twists, but every single character–past, present, and future–pull you in as a reader; you cannot help but feel drawn to them, and their actions and the reasons behind who they are make them seem incredibly real. I will admit that Marina and her friends bothered me a little at first, but her character growth was so incredible and realistic for who she was that I ended up truly caring for her.

As a fellow time travel author, I really appreciated–and loved!–Terrill’s take on the subject. It wasn’t too far-fetched or complicated for the reader to follow, but she still managed to throw in loopholes and scientific elements that added complexity to the story and forced you to pay attention, while also making the entire notion seem very real and possible. A few times I caught myself nodding and thinking, “Whoah, this could have already happened!”

There was nothing I didn’t like about the book!

The relationships are so different and have so many layers (Marina and James, Em and Finn), and Finn stole my heart in twelve different lifetimes! I also loved the younger characters, and Em, though rough around the edges, felt so real to me in her actions and thoughts, her fears and desires. I was in tears the last thirty pages, and my heart was literally clenched in dread. I bawled over the last chapter, but in such a good, sad way. Then I went into my sister’s room clutching the book to my chest with my red eyes, and she just nodded sympathetically, because she knew. BUT DO NOT LET THAT KEEP YOU FROM THIS STORY! It ends beautifully and perfectly, but I had to allow myself time to mourn the loss of someone’s future. The fact that this author forced me to love so many characters, even those who thrived in this life and those who might cease to exist, makes her an A in my book! I was a little surprised when I discovered that a sequel to “All Our Yesterdays” will be coming out soon, but I trust Terrill with my book-loving heart. Bring it on, girl!