Elf on the Shelf

Published December 9, 2014 by Ashley Townsend

Yes, Elf on the Shelf is a toy designed for children, but let’s be honest–adults spend way more time with this magical doll than the kids they’re setting it up for, and I also think they get a strange kick out of arranging it in hilariously ridiculous poses and situations. Actually, I don’t think, I know, because Elizabeth, Katie, and I went to town setting up random scenarios for our Lady Elf on the Shelf.

If you’re unfamiliar with Elf on the Shelf, first of all, please call 911 to get yourself out from under that rock you’ve been hiding beneath. But if you really don’t know, it’s a supposedly magical red doll that comes with a book that parents are supposed to read to their kids that talks about how the elf comes alive at night. And then parents will spend hours hiding the creature in random places and setting it up so that it looks as though it has a secret life at night. Kids get a kick out of it, and adults have a ton of fun staging it. You can educate yourself on the process by checking it out on Pinterest; there are some seriously creative pictures out there (and definitely some that are not kid-appropriate, but oh-so hilarious).

Liz got a Lady Elf for herself, and the three of us decided to go to town the other night setting Eleanor (that’s right, she has a name) up for her photo shoot. We had a ton of fun and plan to do 25 different shots for the month of December. Probably even more than that! Anyway, since we’re starting this later on in the month, we’re throwing a couple shots at you all together today. Hope you enjoy the adorableness that is Elf on the Shelf, and stay tuned all this month for more pics, Christmas recipes, and all sorts of shenanigans. 

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Elf on the Shelf watching “Elf.” Yes, she has a habit of only watching Christmas films Jan-Dec.

What else would a magical creature watch? These elves have to stick together!

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Hangin’ with the ladies and enjoying an elf-sized Christmas blend from Starbucks.

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She was so jazzed about her coffee that she started climbing on things, like inside the guitar…

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And inside my shoe. -_-

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Aaaaaaand up the tree. Her skirt caught on fire twice from the lights (she went up like a Roman candle). 

Needless to say, the fire department was not happy.

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Eleanor was so excited to be alive that she even came onto Flynn Rider…. Who was inside plastic.

And who is, consequently, not real. Don’t tell her, though. 

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But by the end of the night, she always returns to our favorite bookshelf,

with a bubble pipe and a snow globe to keep her company.  Hey, she is an Elf on the Shelf, after all. 

Ashley Townsend Interview: Part 1

Published December 2, 2014 by Ashley Townsend

Originally posted on booksandwonderful-things:

RisingShadowsBlogTour(1)

Today’s post is very special to me because I am writing my first author interview. I joined the Double Decker Books blog tour for Ashley Townsend, and here we are! Alright, here is Ashley’s interview with Double Decker Books!

Q: What are the major themes of your work?

A: I crafted the entire series around the fact that forgiveness is never too far from reach and also the idea that everything we do is a choice—that we aren’t victims of fate or circumstance, but that we can choose to turn our lives around. This comes up more than anything in “Chasing Shadows,” and nearly every character at some point references how they “don’t have a choice” in life, while their circumstances say otherwise.

Q: What’s your inspiration or who is?

A: Pretty much anything can spark my interest and inspire me to write—a particular song lyric, wondering how I can…

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Ashley Townsend Interview: Part 2

Published December 2, 2014 by Ashley Townsend

Originally posted on booksandwonderful-things:

risingshadowsseries

Download Ashley Townsend’s books for free at: http://doubledeckerbooks.blogspot.com/p/available-to.html. Here are the summaries for both of her books! Now that we have met Ashley Townsend, she wanted you all to meet her main characters, and check out the link under each of their pictures so you can read their own interviews!

Will TaylorWill Taylor:

http://ashley-townsend.com/chasing-shadows/between-the-pages/meet-sarah-matthews/

Sarah Matthews

Sarah Matthews:

http://ashley-townsend.com/chasing-shadows/between-the-pages/between-the-pages-meet-sarah-matthews/

Damien Lisandro 3

Damien Lisandro:

http://ashley-townsend.com/chasing-shadows/between-the-pages/meet-damien-lisandro/

karen ashmore

Karen Ashmore:

http://ashley-townsend.com/chasing-shadows/between-the-pages/meet-karen-ashmore/

Check out these links to watch the trailers for “Rising Shadows”  and “Chasing Shadows.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DVlhMaHDbUA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DWT2Slp5hwI

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New Interviews and Reviews Released!

Published November 25, 2014 by Ashley Townsend

We’re kicking off another blog tour with Double Decker Books for the Rising Shadows trilogy that will go through December 4th on http://doubledeckerbooks.blogspot.com/ Keep track of their blog, my Facebook author page and Twitter account (links on the right), and right here for updates on the most recent posts, reviews, interviews, and info about the upcoming tour. And if you’d like to participate in the tour or receive FREE copies of Chasing Shadows to review for yourselves, sign up for the tour at http://doubledeckerbooks.blogspot.com/2014/11/rising-shadows-blog-tour-sign-up.html  and sign up for a free copy of either/both Rising Shadows and Chasing Shadows at http://doubledeckerbooks.blogspot.com/2014/11/sign-up-to-read-rising-shadows-series.html

And don’t forget to look into the other amazing books they’re promoting right now!

http://doubledeckerbooks.blogspot.com/2014/11/coffee-with-ashley-townsend-rising.html

Check out the playlist and music videos they posted for Chasing Shadows

http://doubledeckerbooks.blogspot.com/2014/11/hot-coco-playlist-for-chasing-shadows.html

The Evolution of Writing

Published November 15, 2014 by Ashley Townsend

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Stories are ever-changing, either because of how we grow as writers, events that influence our perception, or simply things that we see that spark our interest. For me, this constant evolution is one of the most exciting, and sometimes frustrating, things about being an author—exciting because with each month or so that passes, I can look back on what I’ve written and realize how much I’ve matured as a writer, and frustrating because it’s difficult for me to ever be totally satisfied with a whole manuscript.

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I was immensely happy and proud when “Rising Shadows” first came out because it was the type of writing that I was drawn to at the time. And then I proceeded to spend the next two years in embarrassment of my first published work. As I spent endless hours writing several different stories and started expanding my reading repertoire, I watched as my style of writing shifted and my ability grew—I’m not tooting my own horn, because there is always room for improvement. Since I couldn’t go back and completely revise the entire manuscript to match exactly what my preference was, I focused all of my attention on making “Chasing Shadows” into something better.

love writing

Surprisingly, I don’t believe I’ll ever feel more content with how a book turned out than I am with this installment in the series. And it isn’t just temporary satisfaction, either; I had two whole years to play around and re-read “Chasing Shadows” while I sought out a physical publisher, and I never got sick of it or upset with how it was coming together. My writing ability didn’t become stagnant but still progressed, thank the Lord, yet I never felt dissatisfied with this story even as my interests changed.

That’s not to say that there weren’t—ahem—a few alterations that I made to it along the way.

me trying to finish an essay at the last minute :)

Originally, while writing the bare bones of the story, there was a rekindling of the romance between Will and Sarah, with no Jade to muddle things up between them, Karen was still a great friend, and the resolution in the end was very cut-and-dry (i.e. bad guy dies, kingdom restored: TA-DA!). But then I was, like, wow, I’m not even interested. So I prayed for wisdom on where God wanted the story to go, and three weeks later, my entire perception of it changed. I’ve always been fascinated with the idea of time travel and figured out a whole new way to make it muddle things up for the gang and expand on time’s presence in the story. I made Will and Sarah’s lives and their relationship less “easy” to show how they’re overcomers, revealing their struggles and highs and lows; they aren’t perfect, but then again, who is? And I altered the ending of “Chasing Shadows” drastically, and I’m so glad I did! So much more drama, craziness, plot reveals, questions, history muddled. Muwah-ah-ah-ah!!!!! ^_~  

You have thought of many gruesome and unique ways to kill people. | Community Post: 20 Signs That You're A Writer

Then there was the length of the story. Its predecessor was sweet and simple and straightforward and, well, a skosh smaller—no filler or mishagosh, but just straight up action, adventure, and fun. But then I found that I actually enjoyed challenging myself by not just taking up space on the page for the sake of length, but by creating transitional scenes that help move the story along with either interesting dialogue, descriptions of the surroundings to transport the reader into the moment, and also small plot reveals that you can find if you pay attention. It was a blast to finally challenge myself!

Oh, yes, and Lord Bormeo Lisandro was not, in fact, a romantic interest setupfor Sarah. Yes, ladies, you may release your gasps of surprise. The handsome Spaniard that you’ve come to know and love—let’s be honest, he’s stolen my heart and makes me swoon!—was first a lord named Bormeo (pronounces Bor-may-o. Bahahaha!), pale (like Mayo), thin, regal, and super evil. And then I realized I had two bad guys running about town, and my sister Katie was dying for me to write a handsome Spaniard in somewhere, so, voilà! Damien Romeo Lisandro was born! I first wanted to just throw him in for some eye-candy as a sort of humorous anecdote within the story, but then I pretty much fell in love as his past revealed itself and as his and Sarah’s relationship evolved. I just friggin’ adore him and how he and Sarah lean on each other as they experience highs and lows in Serimone. *tear* He is probably my favorite alteration to this story, and I hope you find deepest love and sympathy for him as I have!

Let me love you Hook!!

Whelp, that’s all I have for today’s little glimpse Between the Pages of “Chasing Shadows.” Next weekend might be another character interview, plot reveal, excerpt from the book, or just fun goodies from the series. You’ll never know unless you stop by here again! ^_^

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Insane Rafflecopter Giveaways!

Published November 15, 2014 by Ashley Townsend

I’m participating in a crazy awesome Rafflecopter giveaway, with tons of giveaways, like books and gift cards. “Chasing Shadows” is even on the list of freebies! Click on the link below and follow the simple steps to enter the giveaway, and embed and share on your own blogs.

http://is.gd/eoQJ6u

New Book Trailer Released!

Published November 11, 2014 by Ashley Townsend

I’m super excited to announce that not only have I launched an official website for “Chasing Shadows,” which I mentioned in my previous post, but the book trailers for both “Chasing Shadows” and it’s adorable predecessor “Rising Shadows” just came out. *Squeal of delight* I’d love for you to view, like, share, subscribe, or leave a comment to support the series. ^_^

You can find the trailers on YouTube via Double Decker Books, on the official “Chasing Shadows” launch page, and all over Goodreads! As always, don’t forget to add the books on Goodreads and find them on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. 

Thanks, all, for your support of this series and my endeavors to reach as many people as possible with characters that I believe God is going to use to encourage and touch the lives of many. These characters have already changed my life! And if you have any stories about how reading has impacted your own life in some way, please write to me at ashleytownsend.author@yahoo.com  

Youtube:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC90HuGRNZPWlM5Vwb2SW4Uw

Website: https://booklaunch.io/townsendtales/545d6bf6a62bd3941dcfdfe0

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5839773.Ashley_Townsend

 Trailer for Chasing Shadows

Trailer for Rising Shadows

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