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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

Finding the Road. . . Again.

Published December 13, 2013 by Ashley Townsend

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

Daughter of the King

Published June 15, 2012 by Ashley Townsend

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: the old has gone, the new is here!” 2 Corinthians 5:17 

Recently, my sisters and I conducted an accidental psych experiment on how people perceive things that are different. All it took was a quick trip to a fast food joint and a moment of courage to inadvertently compile our results. The four of us had spent the morning at Barnes and Nobles discovering new book titles and authors, quietly giggling over some of the more ridiculous plots involving vampires protecting the world from savage fluffy ducklings (a bit of an exaggeration, but we’ve all seen books like this!), and containing our shrieks of delight as we rejoiced over the discovery of a favorite book in the clearance section, of which we all proceeded to purchase a copy. We were on an excitement high as we marched from the bookstore, our faces toward the sky, a thick, identical hardback tucked safely under the arm of each girl.

To keep the good times rolling, we stopped at Burger King for lunch. Perhaps we did it unconsciously to relive our youth of so very long ago, or maybe it was the scent of chicken strips, grease, and ketchup packets that pulled us to our munching destination. Whatever the reason, sitting in the drive through put me in one of my silly moods, and when I saw those paper birthday crowns sitting just behind that glass window, I knew we had to have them. My oldest sister DeAnna, being very well acquainted with my ever-changing eccentricities in the heat of the moment, hesitated only a second before asking the woman in the window if we could have four of the kiddy crowns. Smiling, the woman handed us our crowns, which we wore on the drive home.

It didn’t take long to catch the disapproving stares and glances of amusement from the others drivers and passerby. It was obvious to us that people were taking note of the paper crowns on our heads and viewed us differently because of them; we appeared unusual and didn’t fit in perfectly, and people immediately took note of this fact. It didn’t really bother any of us; actually, we were all grinning like idiots because we were so happy and uncaring what the world thought of us. My sister Elizabeth was actually the one to point out the similarity between this event and being a Christian. I know it seems like an odd connection, but being a child of the King of kings means that each of us is a prince or princess—hence the crowns. We weren’t ashamed to wear them, either, completely unfazed by the questioning gazes we received. It took courage for DeAnna to ask for those crowns, even though it was such a simple thing to do: ask and it shall be given unto you. We wore those silly paper crowns with our heads held high, and it made me think that we should be as comfortable proclaiming our heavenly crowns as we are ridiculous paper headdresses that are made for children. That’s not to say we should boast about our crowns with a sense of pride, because we are entirely underserving of them. But rather we should wear that symbol with awe and wonder and declare it with love when we remember that God actually thought we were worth sacrificing his Son. It had nothing to do with anything we had ever done to deserve such a gift, and yet we were each given a crown with a smile. All we had to do was gather the courage to ask.   

“Every man’s life is a fairytale written by God’s hand.” –Hans Christian Andersen

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