Lights

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Chasing Shadows Turns 2 … AND I MISS IT???

Published October 6, 2016 by Ashley Townsend

There comes a time in every writer’s life where they become “that” writer—the one who forgets to put on shoes before going out or wears pajamas to church, who doesn’t remember to pick up Grandma from the airport and forgets that The Flash is returning. *face palm* And then the common, Did I brush my teeth today? We don’t like to admit it, because those writers should have a better grasp on things, but all these semi-disasters can and do happen because our heads sometimes get a teensy bit jumbled with all the crazy thoughts and plotting going on up there. Between author signings, my birthday, a coworker quitting and taking on extra shifts at the office, and trying to reach a deadline for my WIP Jungle Princess, I may or may not have forgotten that my beloved middle child, Chasing Shadows, turned TWO this past Tuesday. Excuse me while I hide in shame….

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It was a hard-fought battle to get Chasing Shadows out there in the world because of time constraints, publishing issues, and trying to find a marketing plan that worked for a busy student/office manager. So it was a gift worth squealing over when the second book in the Rising Shadows Trilogy released on October 4th, just a day after my own birthday. Raise a glass to help me celebrate a story that made me accidentally fall in love with a character who wasn’t Will Taylor (Damien … *le sigh*) and that caused me to realize caffeine addiction isn’t “technically” an addiction if you don’t drink after 4pm. 

chasing-shadows

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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. 

If I Had 1 Year Left to Live…

Published September 26, 2014 by Ashley Townsend

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Writing is obviously my life, and so creating outcomes for my characters is kind of like second nature to me. It seems only natural that I should have an “ideal” storyline plotted out for my own life. . . . Not so much, it appears.

When Nadine sent me the prompt to participate in the blog hop to support the release for her dystopian thriller “A Time to Die,” I was pretty ecstatic. Nadine is a good friend of mine (“We’ll always have dancing,” darling, which is a poor Bogart imitation), and I had the privilege of reading her book about a year ago. And let me tell you, I could NOT put it down! It was exciting and engaging, and I was in tears at the end—and you all know that if a story moves me like that, it’s a keeper and I’ll be obsessed; it’s just how I roll.

The entire idea of the book revolves around what we would do with our time if we knew our days were numbered, but more specifically, if we knew the exact moment our clocks would run out. It also challenged me personally to examine passing interests of mine and the things and places that I’m really passionate about. I am honored to be a part of Nadine’s Launch Team!

 

Sooooo…. Drum roll please….

 

If I had 1 Year Left to Live, I Would:

 

Find out what and who is really important in my life—get close to those people and experience those things that I’ve only ever dreamed about. I have one year, and that means time is precious.

Buy a lottery ticket to afford all that I must do. 😉

 

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Spend three weeks holed up in my room furiously penning away the final book in the Rising Shadows Trilogy, make it the best and most impacting it can be, and then send it off. I hate leaving things unfinished, and so to tie up loose ends in the series is important to me. Plus it’s guaranteed to become a best-seller after I’m gone, so step aside Nicholas Sparks! After that, though, as much as it pains me to say, I believe I would stop writing with deadlines in mind. But if some idea sparked my fancy, I definitely won’t keep myself from writing period; I can’t cut cold-turkey! 😉

Take three months to backpack around Europe, seeing history, meeting new people, enjoying foreign lands and cultures. This has been on my bucket list since I started one, and now I really want to hop on a plane and travel! I only have 12 weeks, so I would have to crack down and select the monuments and places that are a must-see.

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—The Eiffel Tower. The facts are these: I will go up to watch the sunset, stay until closing to see the amazing lights, and then come back the next morning to sip a cappuccino and eat a croissant while reading a book on the grass. It all just seems so dreamy. And then the Louvre to top it all off, of course. When in Paris… ^_^

 

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—Every museum in London (and also Ben Franklin’s house!). The National Gallery, the Henley Museum, Queens Gallery, and the Victoria and Albert Museum, to name a few.

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And to complete my European tour, I would spend plenty of time in my dreamland of Ireland. I could picnic on the hills, visits castles, admire God’s green creation all around me—and meet the craziest people, I hope! I will also purchase the perfect little cottage in which to retire. There is just something so magical about Ireland and the small towns and their gorgeous rolling hills that call to me. *sighs dreamily*

Work at an orphanage for a time. A year really isn’t a lot to accomplish fun things and save the world, but I’ve always been passionate about children and helping them to see their potential and how big God’s love is for them. It would be amazing to tutor and encourage kids who have no hope and don’t believe they have a future.

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Travel to Israel. If my clock’s working properly, then I still have a couple months left to explore the land. Yippee! I’ve always been fascinated by Israel and all of the Biblical history there, and I am so passionate about going. I would see every Biblical monument that they’ve marked, and hopefully discover some new ones, absorb every sight and sound, and dive into the Word during my stay. It would definitely be an eye-opening trip.

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Spend my final days in my Irish cottage admiring God’s incredible handy work. What better way to spend my last hours than enjoying time with my Creator?

So, there are my answers. And that begs the questions: If you had 1 year left to live, what would you do? Hopefully read “A Time to Die”! ^_~

Read the summary for “A Time to Die” below, and don’t forget to purchase your own copy of the ebook or pre-order the paperback (to be released October 1st, 2014).

http://www.amazon.com/Time-Die-Out-Book/dp/1621840298/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1411703342&sr=8-1&keywords=a+time+to+die+Nadine

 

Parvin Blackwater believes she has wasted her life. At only seventeen, she has one year left according to the Clock by her bedside. In a last-ditch effort to make a difference, she tries to rescue Radicals from the government’s crooked justice system.

But when the authorities find out about her illegal activity, they cast her through the Wall — her people’s death sentence. What she finds on the other side about the world, about eternity, and about herself changes Parvin forever and might just save her people. But her Clock is running out.

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Don’t forget to join the Rafflecopper giveaway!

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Want to hear what other people would do with their last years? Click the links below.

This is what it will look like:

9.03.14 – Nadine Brandes

9.08.14 – Ashlee Willis

9.11.14 – Caitlin Schesser

9.15.14 – Jennette Mbewe

9.17.14 – Heather Fitzgerald

9.19.14 – Kristen Stieffel

9.22.14 – Rebekah Gyger

9.25.14 – Lydia Thomas

9.26.14 – Ashley Olson

9.27.14 – Angel Roman

9.28.14 – Rosalie Valentine

9.29.14 – Aubrei Crooke-Adams

9.30.14 – Sarah Grimm

10.01.14 – Jon Del Arroz

10.02.14 – Amy Brandes

10.04.14 – Kathrese McKee

10.07.14 – Karen DeBlieck

10.09.14 – Bethany Jennings

10.10.14 – Angie Brashear

10.13.14 – Adam Collings

10.15.14 – Bree Courtney

10.20.14 – Gretchen Engel

10.24.14 – JC Morrows

10.30.14 – Lisa Gedfries

On the Seventh Day…

Published December 18, 2012 by Ashley Townsend

On the Seventh Day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:
Seven Super Accents!

Unfortunately for you, this seventh day isn’t actually about foreign accents, but my favorite types of Christmas decorations and the things that are needed to make this special day a little more super…

seven 5Bada-dada-dada! The first snow!

sevenA huge, fresh Christmas tree,

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Ridiculously overdone outdoor Christmas lights and hideous Christmas sweaters,

seven 4seven 2

Bright reindeer and flashy Christmas trees on a lawn,

seven 6And Penguins! They make me so happy!

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