Ahoy! Spoilers Ahead!

Published May 16, 2015 by Ashley Townsend

Okay, so this could definitely be considered cheating, but I am DYING to share a little snippet from Book III in the Rising Shadows trilogy!

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Yep, you heard right. I’ve been writing several pages each day, refining as I go, and spent basically all of yesterday working on an imperative, mystery-unraveling scene. I also had the opportunity—at last!—to pen the letters between Cadius and Alexis. . . . There aren’t any major spoilers within the actual letters (as long you’ve read Chasing Shadows), so don’t panic or get too excited.

The "Freaking Out Hard Core" (the BEST pin in history. I cant breathe. this is seriously amazing. Click on the link. NOW.)

… Or get excited—that’s okay, too! But if you are going into your second year of being cold turkey concerning spoilers, then you might want to back out now and wait for the book to release. I’d hate to be the one who set you back.

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That’s right, go ahead. I’ll wait a moment for you to leave…

Flash Cisco Ramon ♥♥♥

Ah, now that we’re all ready for some serious glimpses of the literary future, shall we continue on? 

Ned

Nonsense, poopy pants! (a little shout-out to Ace Ventura) Without further ado:

WARNING! SPOILERS AHEAD!

Sarah ran a tentative finger over the rough, discolored parchment she had found in the hidden compartment. With careful fingers, she removed the uppermost letter from the pile and set the box on the desk. Pausing to listen for the sound of footsteps and hearing only her own rapid breathing, Sarah reverently opened the letter, fingers shaking as she unstuck the seal, broken years before now. The ancient parchment crackled as she unfolded it gently, praying it didn’t disintegrate in her hands. Instinctively, her eyes roved the small letter quickly, catching glimpses of words that led her to believe it was a love letter, but her mouth swung open when she saw Cadius’ signature at the bottom.

We are nearing the end. You expressed your concern of my plans, but I assure you that I shall employ great care as my design unfolds. It will take time as I gather men who are willing to unseat the current monarch, but be patient, dear heart; I swear to you we will be free of this gilded cage soon. I shall release our souls from the tyranny of my brother by releasing his soul from this life, as I promised you I would. Your time is near, and the pieces are falling into place as planned. Patience, love–do not be so hasty as to try and rush our plan, as you proposed. All in due course, recall? Everything shall go into motion once the child is born.
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Me:

#Arrow reaction gifs "What?"

Just a little taste of what’s to come later this year when the series comes to a close. You’re welcome.

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Arrow reaction gifs - "Boom! drop the mic!"

Another Beautiful Review for Chasing Shadows!

Published May 12, 2015 by Ashley Townsend

I love the way that Christine writes on her Musings of An Elf blog; it’s so beautiful and heartfelt, and seeing how similarly impassioned we both get over good books was the reason why I asked her to review the Rising Shadows Trilogy, and I’m so glad I did. Christine loves the series! *happy dance* It warms an author’s heart to know that others connect with these characters as they do. I couldn’t be more pleased with her review of Chasing Shadows, so be sure to check it out and share around with your other book-loving/blogger friends. And don’t forget to follow Christine’s blog to keep an eye out for something about beta reading the final book in the series. . . Just sayin’! ^_^

Cover Reveal: The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski

Published May 11, 2015 by Ashley Townsend

Ashley Townsend:

*Screaming internally and also externally* The cover is gorgeous, and that summary! Arin, you saucy monkey—you need to pull yourself together. And Kestrel—you go, girl! I can’t believe we have to wait a year for this……. Where’s that time machine when I need it?!

Originally posted on Books and Wonderful Things:

Guys, it’s here! The cover for Marie Rutkoski’s “The Winner’s Kiss” has officially been revealed and a summary with it.

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Saying I’m excited for “The Winner’s Kiss” is an understatement. Marie Rutkoski is a magician of a writer, and the “Winner’s Trilogy” is one of my most favorite series/trilogies that I have EVER read! *starts to cry* Her writing is just so beautiful and I want more!

Captain America Steve Rodgers 7b01cbdbdca9adc311b640a3160d45ff

Okay, here’s the cover for the magnificent conclusion to the “Winner’s Trilogy.”

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3e8130f0-da10-0132-cec8-0e01949ad350 marie rutkoski the winner's kiss

I’m SO excited for “The Winner’s Kiss,” and it’s going to be a long year waiting for its release….

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If you’re interested in reading the synopsis of “The Winner’s Kiss,” visit this link to the blog that did the official cover reveal:http://www.bustle.com/articles/82384-marie-rutkowskis-the-winners-kiss-closes-her-winners-trilogy-with-more-secrets-and-deception-exclusive

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Chasing Shadows is Pretty Hot!

Published May 2, 2015 by Ashley Townsend

Ah, yes, the beauty of a sensational headline. ^_~ But it’s true; right now, “Chasing Shadows” is listed on Pretty-Hot, a website that hosts thousands of ebooks and authors (like me!!!). You can sign up for their email list and receive notifications of TONS of discounted, free, and just plain ol’ awesome books and ebooks that align with your tastes. I spent an hour on it the other day just perusing the books they had listed and found plenty of great-sounding reads to add to my Goodreads. “Chasing Shadows” has a separate link listed on their main page, which was pretty cool for me to discover, and it’s also at the top of the YA category. Check out and share the links below, and keep an eye out for the author interview I’ll be doing with Pretty-Hot in the next few weeks. 

Until next time!

http://pretty-hot.com/chasing-shadows/

http://pretty-hot.com/category/young-adult/

‘The Lunar Chronicles’

Published May 2, 2015 by Ashley Townsend

Originally posted on Oh, the Stories You'll Know:

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I’m going to do something a little different from what I usually do: instead of reviewing each book individually in multiple posts, I am going to talk about the series as a whole (well, partly whole as not all the books are released yet). I recently read ‘The Lunar Chronicles’ as part of BookshelfReflections and Olivia’sCatastrophes‘ Fantasy Favourites Read-A-Thon and absolutely loved them! They just continued to improve and improve as they went on, and that’s saying something as the first one was pretty great!

For those of you who haven’t read this series, or don’t know about it, I will give you a quick synopsis. The first thing I will tell you is that they are fairytale retellings, but like none you have ever encountered. It all starts with Cinder, a cyborg – yes, I said cyborg – who sets out on a path she never…

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How to Date a Fangirl Pt. 1

Published May 1, 2015 by Ashley Townsend

Ashley Townsend:

This. Is. Brilliant!!!

Originally posted on Verbosity Book Reviews:

How to Date a Fangirl

Ever wished you could have a charming fangirl to be your partner throughout your life? Well, look no further as this little tutorial tells you the best ways to find fangirls and sweep them off their feet in true fairy-tale happily ever after style.

Finding Fangirl:

Outside of the fancy online communities like Pinterest and Tumblr, it can be hard to tell who is a fangirl and who is not. After all, do any of us really know what ASDFGHJKL sounds like in real life?

jon stewart fangirling gif

1.) Dress appropriately

There are only two ways one can dress to attract a fangirl. Option #1 is looking like a nerd. After all, smart and nerdy is the new sexy. Put on your favorite fandom shirt and make yourself look really smart and potentially successful. After all, someone is going to have to pay for the cable and all the books.

nerdy guys meme

Option #2 takes…

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A Cold Legacy Review

Published April 27, 2015 by Ashley Townsend

***** FIVE STARS FOR A COLD LEGACY!!!

A few words to describe this story: poignant, maddening, beautiful, heartbreaking, marvelous, gripping, haunting, heartwarming, and just plain old fashioned AWESOME.

I finished the final installment in The Madman’s Daughter trilogy a little while ago and am just now getting my review together, but believe me, my excitement and heartbreak over this book are still perfectly fresh.

For starters, this series is amazing! If you look through my Goodreads reviews, The Madman’s Daughter and Her Dark Curiosity all get extremely high marks. Shepherd’s stories and characters are incredibly inventive, fascinating, and delightfully twisted—and by that I mean complex, although there certainly are some moments where Juliet and a few of the other characters appear a little warped. However, Shepherd draws in a highly redeeming factor in the story, which was just beautifully done, I might add. Now I realize that life before this story was meaningless and that it woke me from book-slumber. *snoring* “Oh, look, a new book!”

Not that Tumblr needed another SebStan blog...

The story begins exactly where Curiosity left off, with Juliet, Montgomery, Lucy, and Edward—I love you!—escaping from the repercussions of events that occurred in the previous book that you’ll just have to discover for yourself (insert evil cackle and lightning strike). Though this story is a slower, unfolding ride, the author has an amazing knack for packing each sentence with meaning and making your hair stand on-end as you read over haunting images; it’s a bit like an old-fashioned suspense novel in the sense that readers are constantly wondering what lurks around the corner as they flip madly to the next page. I love how Shepherd worked legends and other classic monster characters into her series: the first book revolves around the history of Dr. Moreau, Jack the Ripper was the center of Her Dark Curiosity, and the monster in Frankenstein (one of my favorite darker stories in classic literature) is what this installment revolves around. And these elements could not have been handled by a better author!

Now, for my actual reactions while reading A Cold Legacy, though I’ll try to keep it as spoiler-free as possible:

When it arrived in the mail on a delightfully dreary day, all beautiful and smelling of fresh ink—a book druggie’s greatest weakness—I was ready to bunker down and enjoy myself.

Basically right out of the gate, I got so excited that Edward was going to come out of his monster-induced coma and be just awesome and endearing and wonderful and heartbreaking once again…. But, no, the Monster is still trying to take control of his body, so he basically spends half the story in chains. My baby!

my emotions

And then there’s the matter of Hensley, the creepy, emotional child who basically lives in the walls of the manor, carrying secrets and squeezing his pet rats to death. Like, frequently, because he has super human strength and terrifies the entire staff. Nothing unusual about that.

hmm

Oh! Also, one of my favorite “SURPRISE!” moments was when one of the island dwellers–you heard correctly, from book ONE–makes an appearance in this story. Waaaaa???

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That moment when we discover that Edward is awake, he’s fine! We’re all going to be okay. And then…

oh

We find out that the Beast has taken over Edward’s body completely and that they’re going to have to kill him to finish the Monster off for good this time. “Just give me a blanky and chocolate and leave me alone!”

emotions

I won’t say how, but (chuckles nervously) sweet, adorable little Hensley has a big part in helping to terminate the Beast (a.k.a.: Edward is dead, too). Thanks a lot, idiot! You ruined everything!

thank a lot

And then I remember that this is a book about regeneration, like in Frankenstein, and that they CAN BRING HIM BACK!!!

yess

yes

But then we discover that stupid Lucy has been trying to mimic Frankestein’s science, though she is completely unqualified and stupid and annoying and crazy. . . Did I mention stupid?

omg

stupid

Sorry, but I was particularly annoyed by her. I was also a little disappointed in Juliet that she would once again attempt to be like her father and create life herself, but I felt that I really understood her more; she was saving a friend this time, and loved seeing her actually struggle, because it made her more relatable. Plus, with Lucy (blegh) practically forcing her to do the operation so that the dumb-dumb doesn’t botch the procedure and ruin Edward’s body, Juliet basically had to do it. So throw the bloody switch!

working

workin

So (spoiler! but you should have expected it, given the Frankenstein theme) Edward comes back to life, albeit a little changed yet completely devoid of the Monster. Yippee! But he totally broke my heart in the way that he didn’t wish to come back as a different kind of monster. And selfish Lucy’s just like:

sorry not sorry

But just before all this happens, something wonderful occurs between Juliet and Montgomery, your next stable, incredibly level-headed and amazing fictional heartthrob who’s like Tarzan and lived on an island with Dr. Moreau for many years. After going between Edward and Montgomery for what seems like ages, Juliet FINALLY commits.

ohhsigh

hot

Yeah, it’s that good.

Anyway, the gang this whole time was being tracked down by Lucy’s father, who is after Juliet’s knowledge of regeneration and wants them all dead. And, of course, Lucy does the absolute dumbest thing imaginable. So stupid, in fact, that I need several gifs to express my annoyance with her.

idiotsod onesee what you've done well done

So, anyway, Lucy does the-thing-that-shall-not-be-named (for spoiler’s sake), and gets the gang into a serious heap of trouble. It’s a really awesome, intense stand-off/fight club where the circus troupe they befriend and the manor staff team-up against Lucy’s father and his cronies.

During this rather fantastic scuffle, someone sacrifices themselves to save one of my favorite characters, but I was so ready for someone to actually die, and I also didn’t care much for the character at this point, so I was basically like, “Pass the popcorn!”

when she dies yay

So the story comes to a close, and I’m getting my heartbroken tears ready–you know, the ones I shed at the end of Book I and also the middle/end of Book II–when one of my favorite heart-wrenching characters decides to walk away from it all. And then Shepherd hits you while you’re down and gives Juliet the most beautiful discovery where she realizes that she has a choice in who she becomes and that she doesn’t have to follow in her demented father’s footsteps, something she’s feared since the beginning.

at the end when Edwrad goes off

*sniffs* Yes, this book is definitely worth the read. Shepherd is an incredibly vivid, emotional, and just all around hauntingly poetic writer. If you enjoy suspenseful, beautifully crafted literature that contains elements of classic gothic stories (Jane Eyre, etc.), then this book is definitely for you. But you CANNOT read these out of order; go and get yourself the previous two books. You won’t be sorry!

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