Hero

All posts tagged Hero

Chasing Shadows Has a New Look!

Published June 11, 2017 by Ashley Townsend

At long last!! I am proud and excited to announce that Chasing Shadows has a new look, and there’s also a giveaway for the entire series at the end of this post. *let the medieval flutes and trumpets toot a happy jig*

There’s no cause for alarm—Chasing Shadows is just as beautiful as it has always been. But while I love the cover unconditionally, the book itself was originally printed in a different size and format than the rest of the series, and my OCD would act up every time I saw it towering above the others on my bookshelf. So thanks to Lisa M. (visit her new blog here!), who revamped the cover to include the series title while I burned my eyes with countless hours of editing, the second edition of Chasing Shadows is available, and it’s perfectly uniform!! (get it from Barnes & Noble today)

Revisiting the pages of Chasing Shadows was like having coffee with a best friend—comforting, delightful, and full of deep conversations. . . . And Will and Damien. Yeah, there’s that. ~_^ It was fabulous being reminded of all the adventures these characters have been on and how far they came in the end, and also how fantastic these opposing gentlemen are. *le sigh*

You can find the book anywhere, and Amazon is great, but I love supporting local bookstores and Barnes & Noble, so feel free to use those 20% off coupons and order Chasing Shadows online or request that your favorite local bookstore pick up the series. 

***OR if you love winning free books, because let’s be real, who DOESN’T? Well, you will be entered to win the entire Rising Shadows Trilogy plus swag if you sign up for Mandy Fender’s newsletter (click here to follow the easy instructions). She gives a Christian book box every month to one lucky follower, and if an entire book series and free swag aren’t motivation enough to click the link below, just remember that Mandy is doing an amazing thing by supporting writers AND readers by getting free books into their hands. Sounds awesome? So follow the link above and enter to win!!

http://mandyfender.com/christian-book-box

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Shhhhh! It’s Book Confession Time!

Published January 8, 2013 by Ashley Townsend

We all do it—cringe, cough, gasp, gag, flinch, faint. Well, usually the instances where I managed to do ALL six of these, other than when I encounter a lizard, tend to revolve around books. So, with the help of my ever-awesome and always-passionate fellow book lover and roommate—my younger sis, Katie, who also happens to review books. www.booksandwonderfulthings.wordpress.com–helped me compile a list of my reading and writing confessions. Perhaps she thought I could move past my sometimes mentally incapacitating quirks and hang-ups. Here’s to hopin’ I can look at the next book I read with fresh eyes! And for your edification; I am not crazy, just passionate. And we passionate lexophiles prefer the term quirks, not ticks or challenges. It might not seem like there’s a different, but I assure you, there is.

book 1

1) I cannot STAND when I see a brand new paperback open and placed face-down to hold the reader’s place in the story. I can almost hear the binding ripping. THAT’S WHAT BOOKMARKS ARE FOR!!!! Have compassion! I guess I should also lump into this category the presence of turned corners and covers folded back like a magazine. They give me the chills.

When I discover a really great hero at the library.....

When I discover a really great hero at the library…..

2) I tend to fall for the same kind of male lead in almost every book. And in case you’re wondering what that is, my character Will Taylor in “Rising Shadows” is pretty much the epitome of that ideal. My sisters tease me that I have a type, and I’ve tried to change, really. But tall, dark, and mysterious is just plain classic. And when he’s a blacksmith, well……. That’s just an added bonus. ^__^

3) Unless it’s a textbook, it pains me to see pencil and/or pen marks on a page. I get if you want to make notes, but I will personally buy you colored flags from Staples, if that’s the case.

4) Oober whiny or obsessive heroines bug the living monkey out of me. I’m all gung-ho for a girl who can stand her own, but when they go on this crazy, seemingly pointless vendetta or get obsessed over a weird pale kid, I tend to roll my eyes. So when I get a book with a selfless, mostly level-headed leading lady, it is quite refreshing.

book 3

5) Writing confession: I cannot listen to music too loudly when I write. I love listening to music and get inspired by it, but it has to be at a certain volume, otherwise I get distracted. Also, if I’m in the middle of an intense action scene, I either have to turn off the music or put on something without words.

book 4

6) People who say they have never entered a library for either business or booky goodness scare me. No, seriously; they’re probably robots, or something.

7) As much as I cringe at the sight of a new book lying face-down, some marks or an accidentally bent page are a beautiful sight on older books. I know, I know; it sounds contradictory. But a well-loved and frequently read book should never look brand new.

8) I love to read everywhere, and I really mean that. I’ve brought huge—I had to swap out my usual purse for a baby-snatcher—novels into the movie theater before when I thought there might be some down time.

9) I realize that it’s necessary, but filler is just a drag to write—that’s usually why I like jumping from one meaningful scene to the next action scene, with minimal drag between. I don’t skimp on backstories or necessary info, but do we need a four-page description of a vegetable cart? No. I’ll give you what you need and let your imagination fill in the veggie details.

10) It honestly confuses me as to why authors feel such a need to throw their readers for a loop that they would surprise us by killing a very necessary and loveable character with little or no to-do about it. If they’re going down, I want a flippin’ parade to honor them!

book 5

11) Like I said before, I can honestly read just about anywhere, but if I can, I prefer to curl up on my bed with a beverage in total silence. Or in a hammock, which I do not own. Hey, a girl can dream.

Trust me, there are plenty more where that came from, but I thought this was a good start. I’ve been reading so many books lately that I’m really starting to get what I like and don’t like in novels. Some have dazzled and amazed, while others made me question why, exactly, people read them. Just more motivation to write, which I’ve been doing a lot of lately. We’re up to 423 pages for Book II. Yippee! Can’t wait to share some of it with you all.

Check out my Goodreads page to see the kind of books that I really LOVE, and also the ones that I . . . well, the opposite of love. http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5839773.Ashley_Townsend

Hero Complex

Published June 1, 2012 by Ashley Townsend

“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.”

Isaiah 40:29

I’ve always had a bit of a hero complex. That is to say, I’ve always loved heroes—both in real life and in the world of fantasy. It started at a young age when I became obsessed with Disney’s Robin Hood. I would watch that movie until someone extricated my little body from the tiny rocking chair my dad made for me, which I unfailingly scooted closer and closer to the television. Part of my fixation on that film and the heroes that followed was because of my thirst for adventure. Even when I was five I dreamt of faraway lands where I would slay the dragon and free the kingdom from a malevolent ruler. Watching the Disney heroes and princes of old defeat evil caused my imagination to make kingdoms out of my backyard and wild beasts of our dog. Everything was an adventure to me, and those heroes gave me confidence that little kids—and foxes alike—could prevail over even the most imposing forces.

As we’ve previously established, I have a fairly wild imagination; if I have an idea in my head, I can usually entertain myself for hours imaging and building on that singular thought. That’s one of the reasons why I love writing so much: I can take all these ideas and fantasies and weave them together for someone else to enjoy and live, if only in their imagination. I must reluctantly admit that I am a hopeless romantic at heart, and I don’t know a girl out there who hasn’t dreamt of being rescued by a prince . . . or an enigmatic hooded hero (but that might be just me).

I don’t really know where the somewhat unrealistic desire to be saved from a band rogue invaders in a dark forest emerged from—probably from absorbing copious amounts of fantasy and expanding on it with my imagination, but we won’t go there for now. I love journeys where valiant gentlemen and wounded men search for the light in a black sea. Circumstances inevitably reveal their inner hero as they draw courage to face the darkness surrounding them. But damsels in distress aren’t the only ones who need to be rescued: everyone needs saving, even the most valiant of heroes with all their courage and strength. Sometimes all their valor and human strength isn’t enough to save the maiden or themselves, and they have to rely on others and God to help them prevail.

I love writing about courageous heroes who have to swallow their pride and call on the aid of others, which you will discover when my book comes out. But Rising Shadows didn’t originally start out that way, though: it was a short story final for my creative writing class with only Sarah, Lilly, and Karen as the main characters. I will go into more detail another time about the full back story of Rising Shadows (previously The Shadow, and in its earliest stages Bethany Lane), but suffice it to say that an afternoon of watching BBC’s Robin Hood definitely inspired me to add a certain pivotal character and his journey to the story years later. The Ultimate Hero saved me years ago on the cross, but it doesn’t hurt to write a little fantasy inspired by the biggest sacrifice and most courageous Hero the world will ever know. I do my best to create endearing characters and strong men of valor, but if you look at the two side by side, my heroes and their sacrifices pale in comparison.

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” –Edmund Burke

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