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Defying Shadows—A Glimpse Between the Pages

Published October 4, 2015 by Ashley Townsend

So you’ve seen the ah-mazing fan art that @Readiculousgirl created for “Chasing Shadows” (drool worthy!!!), and the giveaway went live this morning—the entries are pouring in! Keep entering and sharing the link for the Rafflecopter, and come back each day to enter again until the giveaway ends October 16th! And don’t forget to earn entries toward the 2 social media prizes by tagging @TownsendTales and using #TeamHood #ChasingShadowsBook https://ashley-townsend.com/2015/10/04/chasing-shadows-1-year-celebration-giveaway/

Now that we’re having a blast celebrating the 1-year birthday of “Chasing Shadows” with freebies and fan art, I figured I might give you a sneak peak at “Defying Shadows,” the final installment in the “Rising Shadows trilogy.” Don’t panic!

shock

You can freak out if you want to, actually—that’s totally all right with me. This is a never-before-seen sample from “Defying Shadows” that even my team of Hooders (beta readers) have yet to see yet. You all know how important this series is to me, so it’s so fun to be able to share a tempting morsel of some of the final words of the series. *feels attack* Curious? Keep reading, and reblog to your friends!

The wrinkled paper glared at her, the thick glob of red wax a stark contrast against the slightly yellow parchment. She knew the letter contained Damien’s writing, though she hadn’t yet brought herself to break the seal after months of holding it in her possession, unopened but never far from her mind.

Her hand twitched as she slid her finger under the seal with careful movements, the wax cracking and lifting as she did so. She held her breath when the seal broke and the letter unfolded an inch. She ignored the small piece of paper, crinkled and yellowed with age—whether because she’d left it in her dirty laundry for months or because it was nearly a thousand years old, she couldn’t say—that fell to the floor. She carefully held open Damien’s letter; his tight, beautiful script filled the entire page, as though he’d needed every inch for his thoughts, his looping a’s painfully familiar. Her eyes scanned quickly, unseeing, over the whole of the letter and then returned to the top, to the three perfectly sculpted words that looked like he had penned them with painstaking care: My dearest Sarah—

Abruptly, she snatched the smaller letter from the floor, stuffed it between the pages of Damien’s missive once more, and smashed the paper between her hands, balling it in her fists and chucking both letters the room with a screech of annoyance. It hit the frosted window and fell lamely to the floor atop a mound of clothes Clara had left behind.  

Feeling restless in her dorm room, where the air had suddenly become too thin to breathe properly, Sarah grabbed her heavy vest off the mattress and slipped her arms through it, not bothering to zip up the front. She shoved her feet into her leather boots and booked it down the stairs, needing fresh air. A girl she vaguely recognized smiled at her in the foyer, saying a friendly, “Have a great vacation!”

“You, too,” Sarah managed.

She immediately felt refreshed once she stepped outside into the cold, and the air helped to clear her head. The layers of soft white fluff covering the dead grass and piled on the trees that had been decorated with colorful lights made it look like Christmas had arrived on campus. Aside from those few bodies currently inhabiting the grounds, campus was otherwise deserted, Sarah realized as she let her gaze wander the snowy landscape. Hardly another soul in sight.

That was why her eyes found his so easily.

Sarah stopped dead in her tracks, arms falling to her sides in surprise. A dark-haired man stared back at her, and she could see, even from this distance, that his wide eyes were a deep blue. She imagined that she could make out the lighter blue ring surrounding his indigo irises, how the shadow along his jaw would feel against her fingertips. She blinked, sure he was a mirage, but he was still there when she opened her eyes. He looked exactly as she had last seen him—handsome, tall, and dressed for a different age—though he was also strangely like a ghost at the same time. It wasn’t that she could see through him, but there was something off about his appearance that was so subtle Sarah wondered if she might be imagining it.

Will’s lips parted when their gazes met, mouth working almost in slow motion as he shook his head. She squinted, trying to make out the words but too distracted by the fact that Will was in Oklahoma, on her campus, in the twenty-first century. Every instance they had spent together slammed into her, washing over her in a flood and reminding her just how much she had missed him, how much she loved him, and how he should not be here.

He advanced a step, eyes as big as saucers as he moved forward, motioning with one hand for her to come his way. He looked alarmed as he moved toward her, though his movements looked off somehow.

“Miss Matthews.”

She spun to find her professor behind her, smiling cordially. On instinct, she quickly whipped her head back around, though the apparition had already disappeared. She blinked, swallowing over how silly she had been to think he had been there at all, though she couldn’t keep her eyes from roving the grounds another moment in deluded hope. He had looked so real….

Her heart rate returned to normal, though there was a pain in her chest now. No, she reminded herself dully, Will is dead, and you’ll never see him in this world, or the next.

panic

I know how you feel—I basically reacted this way while I was writing the scene. Right in the fangirl!

agony

I tried to pick a spoiler-free sample from “Defying Shadows” so that it won’t ruin the series for those of you who have yet to begin, but I also really wanted to torture my fans. Muwahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!! But you all know I love you. I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for you and God’s mercy, so I gotta share some love and feels! Oh, and Hiddles love.

kiss

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1-Year Celebration Giveaway Details

Published September 24, 2015 by Ashley Townsend

After much deliberation and some serious use of the ol’ noggin (and also picking my sisters’ brains), I pulled together all of the prize details and entry rules for the Chasing Shadows 1-Year Celebration, which begins Sunday, October 4th, 2015. I extended the timeframe (the 4th to the 16th of Oct.) to give people more time to earn entries, but don’t forget to stop by on that Sunday when it begins, because I’ll be posting behind the scenes info about the series, sharing my favorite quotes from Chasing Shadows, and giving special glimpses Defying Shadows *squeal of delight*. I’m also adding a Rafflecopter for the Chasing Shadows Grand Prize and switching up the two social media prizes, as well—all of the details and conditions are below. And don’t forget that you will earn entries toward the Most Social Hooder Grand Prize by sharing about the celebration on social media. We want as many people as possible to have the chance to enter!

Tag @TownsendTales

Use #TeamHood

       #ChasingShadowsBook           

       #CSBook

All 3 winners will be announced on here, Twitter, and Facebook on Sunday, October 18th, 2015. If your name is announced, you must email me at ashleytownsend.author@yahoo.com within 72 hours of announcement to claim your prize package, otherwise a different winner will be selected.

Rafflecopter Grand Prize:

1 (one) entrant will receive the Chasing Shadows Grand prize from the Rafflecopter giveaway.

Package details:

            —1 signed paperback copy of Chasing Shadows

            —1 $20 Amazon e-gift card

            —goodies & book swag

            —a never before seen sneak peak at Defying Shadows

            —a special message from me!

Rafflecopter goes live October 4th (Sunday). You can enter each day until it closes at 11:59pm (PST) on Friday, October 16th.

Most Social Hooder Grand Prize:

The Hooder who shares and has the most mentions of the giveaway celebration on social media will be selected. 1 (one) winner will be chosen for this prize after all entries are counted.

Package details:

            —1 signed paperback copy of Chasing Shadows

            —your choice of 1 (one) $10 Amazon OR $10 Barnes & Noble e-gift card

Begin earning entries now through October 16th (11:59pm PST)!

TeamHood Winner:

1 (one) winner will be randomly selected. Your odds increase the more you share/reblog and mention the giveaway using #TeamHood.

Package details:

            — 1 ebook copy of Chasing Shadows

            —your choice of 1 (one) $5 Amazon or Barnes & Noble e-gift card

Begin earning entries now through October 16th (11:59pm PST)!

Social media:

Let’s get this party started by letting people know about it before it begins Oct. 4th! You’ll earn one entry toward the social media prizes each time you mention the giveaway celebration online. To receive credit, tag @TownsendTales and use #TeamHood #ChasingShadowsBook and #CSBook.

Blogging:

You can also earn entries toward the social media prizes by creating posts about the giveaway celebration and reblogging posts from friends and myself that contain #TeamHood, starting now through the end of the celebration on October 16th at 11:59pm (PST). Each fresh or reblogged post earns one entry. Make sure that you leave you first name, last initial, and social media handle (if applicable) in the comments section on my blog, either on the post you reblogged or any of my posts that contain #TeamHood (when you create your own or reblog from somewhere else). If I don’t know who you are, I won’t know to combine your entries!

Note: Liking doesn’t count toward bonus entries—you must reblog directly from www.ashley-townsend.com or from someone else who blogged about it, or you can create your own eligible entry. Posts that contain #TeamHood anywhere in the text and link back to the giveaway are eligible.

Conditions: All entrants must live within the continental United States (no Alaska or Hawaii residents—sorry!). Social media prizes are open to all ages, but you must be 13 and older to participate in the Rafflecopter Grand Prize.

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