disappointment

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August Wrap-Up: The Heat Wave, The Music, The Insanity

Published September 4, 2017 by Ashley Townsend

I don’t know about you, but I felt like August flew by! It wasn’t that there were so many activities, but just general business that caused the summer to jump from July to September in a flash. Although I can’t say I’m too sorry to see August go because:

a) FALL! . . . You know, for those of us who don’t live in Southern California. But I will enjoy my flannel and all things pumpkin while trying not to get heat stroke.

b) August was a fun but kind of stressful month *rocks back and forth in shock blanket*

c) If I hear the words “path” and “totality” in the same sentence one more time . . .

d) It’s always insanity at the office right before school starts.

e) The sun tried to kill us at the end of the month, more than likely because it didn’t like being overshadowed for even a few hours in *whispers* the path of totality.

not amused.jpg

Monthly recap: My sisters and I spent the month of August looking for apartments and finally nailed down a place (we have a roof!!), we did plenty of prep-packing, and then celebrated my grandpa’s 90th birthday with our relatives from Orange County, which was a wonderful time of fellowship and laughter. I failed miserably in my editing and writing goals for the month due to the afore-mentioned busyness (boo *sad face*). BUT I actually managed to read several books last month (huzzah!) and scheduled a bunch of author events and signings through the fall, so I feel like I can revel in those accomplishments. 

loki cheering

I read this hilarious post by Nadine Brandes about the near-assassination by her shower, and I also joined a few amazing Instagram challenges that I’m really looking forward to playing with this month (check them out on some of my latest Insta posts here). Music-wise, my sisters and I saw Dierks Bentley in concert for the fourth year in a row . . . and realized we might be getting too old to stay up past midnight. Haha. Unless it’s for writing and reading purposes, of course! (I technically can’t include One Republic’s amazing concert to this list, since it was Sept 1st, but it will be in next month’s wrap-up.) And as much as I’d love to share some fabulous photos of August’s exploits with you, friends, my phone staged a coo and ran off with all of my personal data and photos, so I’m still waiting for the ransom note to come so I can retrieve my belongings.

Lastly, the past week has been consumed by such an intense heat wave (110 degrees, anyone??) that we haven’t been able to enjoy any of summer’s final moments or focus on anything other than not dying. Although the clouds finally let loose with some cooling rain today, and you know how rain and weather inspire me to write, so maybe I can finally make up for weeks of neglect. I’m coming, precious work in progress!!!

 

supernatural jensen ackles

What I read:

Lucky in Love by Kasie West *****

lucky in love

One word: adorable! Kasie is my auto-buy author, and this is a sweet, funny story of a girl who finds herself faced with the age-old question: Can money solve all your problems?

Unsanctioned Eyes by Brianna Merritt *****

Unsanctioned Eyes

I met Brianna last year at Realm Makers, and I had the pleasure of reading Unsanctioned Eyes before most. This book is incredible, intense, and depicts a beautiful story of redemption and love. Show Brianna some love and get this book before you regret it!

In Some Other Life by Jessica Brody ****

in some other life

I bought this book at Barnes and Noble because of the cover, and I’m so glad I did! I don’t usually reach for contemporary, but it was a fun and surprisingly moving story of a girl who suddenly finds herself living the life she regretted giving up, though getting what she wishes for turns out to be a curse. 

Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo ***

wonder woman

WHY??? If you read my Comic Con post, you know how excited I was for this book. I was just incredibly disappointed. I had a hard time giving it 3 stars and know this doesn’t go along with popular opinion, but I had to force myself to come back to it. I have yet to write a review and am waiting until I can sort out my disappointment.  

sheba

I also started “The Legend of Sheba” by Tosca Lee last month, so this one is in progress. Definitely worth picking up if you enjoy Middle Eastern settings and Biblical history!

My TBR pile

this savage song

Everyone talks so highly of this series, and I’m itching to start!

hunted

I just ordered this on B&N, and, c’mon son, that cover.

deliver

I need this book in my life right now!!!!!!

John-Thornton-john-thornton-9995746-480-516

Why am I reading North and South again? Because it’s one of my favorite classics and we’re reading it for book club. Oh, you mean why is there a picture of Richard Armitage (as John Thornton) brooding all sexy-like? Because his portrayal of Thornton is amazing and because I CAN!

I’m sure there are things that I’m forgetting, but they’ll just have to wait. For now, I’ll be dreaming of fall leaves, crisp autumn air, and any type of coffee that doesn’t have to be iced. ^_~ 

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A Time to Speak is my New Patronus!

Published June 17, 2015 by Ashley Townsend

I was lucky enough to be a beta reader for “A Time to die,” Book I in the Out of Time series by dystopian author Nadine Brandes, and have been salivating for the sequel ever since! Nadine and I have only met a few times, but we’ve honestly bonded for life over fellow author struggles and fangirling/lamenting over the same books (“Mockingjay” can burn in the fiery pits of Mordor!!!) And when the cover came out for “A Time to Speak,” I was just #deadonthefloor #dyingoffeels #OhTheHumanity #MyPrecious #NewPatronus 

So when Nadine asked if I would like to be part of her team announcing the arrival of the cover of “A Time to Speak,” I was eee-lated! I love supporting fellow authors and friends, and let me tell you, knowing Nadine as a person and writer and inspiration, this book. Will. Not. Disappoint. . . . If I survive the emotional turmoil. 

Without further ado: BA-DA-DA-DAAAAAA!!!!

a time

The feeeeeels!!!! The cover is fantastic and intriguing, no? *wiggles eyebrows* Okay, now to the interview.

Nadine, let’s kick things off by telling us a little bit about your upcoming release “A Time to Speak” *fangirl squeal*. 

Was there a defining moment that made you decide to become a writer?
Frankly, I was just born with a blank book for a brain. Thankfully God gave me a love for words, so I was able to scribble on that book and fill it up. 😛 But I really got serious about writing when I was in college – that’s when I decided to write for publication instead of just for myself.

I’ve noticed you prefer to write YA—a girl after my own heart—but is there a specific reason that you favor this genre and are there any subgenres that you connect to as a writer?
I like the YA genre for many reasons. 1) It’s what I read the most. 2) I think those readers are in a very transformative time of life, which I remember vividly from my own growing up. I want to reach in to that confusing time of life and help bring clarity and hope. 3) Um…it’s clearly the funnest genre. Just sayin’.

I tend to connect mostly to dystopian and fantasy. Science fiction gets a bit too techy for my brain. 😛

You’re experiencing the dreaded writer’s block *gasps* and need inspiration to keep going. You go/do…
I’ve yet to really have writer’s block. *knock on wood* BUT…when I have a tough time hashing out a scene, I’ll usually go take a walk, try to find a new adventure, and live life a bit. Life inspires me the most. That and the LOTR extended edition movie trilogy. [grin]
  
Of all of the characters you have written, which is your favorite and can you give me three key words to describe him or her?
Parvin is my favorite. I’d describe her with these words: Impulsive. Passionate. Searching.
 
Favorite place/environment to write?
Near a window…preferably in a chic old-townish coffee shop.
 
Plotter or pantser?
Mostly pantser, but I tend to have a rough plot in my head of where the whole thing is going.

As a reader, choose your favorite 5 drool-worthy book covers of all time.
Siren’s Fury (Mary Weber), Plenilune (Jennifer Freitag), Defiance (C. J. Redwine), Dreamtreaders (Wayne Thomas Batson), and Curio (Evangeline Denmark – not released yet)

Let’s say I give you an airplane ticket to any fantasyland from books/film. You would go to…
HOGWARTS! Sorry, but I wasn’t meant to be a muggle. I’d go there with a snap of my fingers, even if I had to be a Squib. (Literally, my favorite answer of Nadine’s!!! Muggles gonna hate…)

We’ve all experienced it—that incredibly disappointing book ending/series finale that spoils a brilliant trilogy (for me: Requiem by Lauren Oliver, Sever by Lauren DeStefano—blek!). Name one of the worst endings to a series or stand-alone that sticks out to you and why. I know, sorry to dredge up painful memories, but the people need to know!
Mockingjay. Still bitter. Still angry. Still throw the book against the wall every time. Not just because of the “last line ending” or anything, but because of the digression of Katniss’s entire character, the depressing plot…just…. *hides under soapbox*

What is the biggest draw to you as a reader picking up a new series (cover, blurb, relatable characters, plot)? Does being an author give you a bigger appreciation for other works?
The cover and title usually catch me. And then if the blurb shows an awesome storyworld I’m usually hooked – flat characters or not. And yes, being an author gives me a much bigger appreciation for other works! I frequently find myself moaning, “Why can’t I write like this?!” In a backwards way, it’s inspiring.

Thanks so much for stopping by, Nadine! And be sure to add “A Time to Speak” on Goodreads, check out “A Time to Die,” and follow this soon to be best-seller wherever she goes. Trust me on this, guys! I’m a professional reader. 😉

And again, just because I love it so much!

And again, just because I love it so much!

Back Cover Blurb for “A Time to Speak”:

How do you live after you planned to die?

Parvin Blackwater should have died in her brother’s place. She didn’t. Now she’s the only one who can protect her village, but no one wants to listen. When the Council starts forcing “new and improved” Clocks on the public, those who refuse are declared Radicals and exiled.

Having been across the Wall once, Parvin is the only one who can save them. But instead of going through the Wall, she’s packed into a boxcar, loaded on a cargo ship, and forced out to sea.  How will she lead when facing the unknown? 

Worse yet, why are people suddenly dying before their Clocks have zeroed-out? 

ABOUT NADINE:

Nadine Brandes is an adventurer, fusing authentic faith with bold imagination. Her dystopian trilogy, the Out of Time Series, challenged her to pursue shalom, which is now her favorite word (followed closely by ‘bumbershoot’.) When Nadine’s not taste-testing a new chai, editing fantasy novels, or being a Harry Potter super-nerd, she and her knight-in-shining armor (nickname: “hubby”) are out chasing adventures.

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Places you can find Nadine:
Website
Facebook
Newsletter
Amazon
Goodreads
Twitter

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