Rising Shadows Trilogy

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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. 😉

 

writing

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… ^_^

 

nationa

 

—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.

 jerti

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.

irish

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.

Nadine Brandes - Head Shot

 

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

Revision Derision

Published September 17, 2013 by Ashley Townsend

reclining

Editing and revising can sometimes be my least favorite part of being an author. You write something that, in the moment, you feel is so inspired. That is, until you read back over it and wonder how much sugar and coffee you had at the time to make you type such nonsensical gibberish in so hurried a fashion. Then comes the fantastic task of trying to make sense of what you were working on. And don’t even get me started on summarizing! Yes, I would love to describe 900 pages of my blood, sweat, tears, and emotional turmoil in 200 words or less. YES! You’ve heard me share my agony over writing a synopsis before, and it hasn’t changed.

But, there are also some days where revising feels like reimagining the entire story, seeing it from a new angle where the ideas you originally put down on paper can fit so seamlessly into a new and more complex plot that you’re devising—those are the days that just make you smile and remind you that you don’t want to be doing anything else, the days that give you the courage to keep pressing on.

courage ralphu  

Every spare second I have between work and school (halfway there for one of my classes, so huzzah!) is spent on my laptop, pouring over the “Chasing Shadows” manuscript at the same time that I plot out the series’ conclusion on my note cards. I introduced an entirely new character and renamed another to subtly throw in some Robin Hood elements for my own enjoyment, and then I had a “Holy mackerel!” moment when I realized that it would beautifully complicate time travel for Sarah; it makes everything so much more disastrous because they fear her presence is corrupting the past. My favorite “Rising Shadows” fan and fellow writer, who is actually named Sarah—you are the absolute best, girl!—enjoys tormenting her characters as much as I do. I think it must be an author thing, because the farther our characters fall, the higher we have to lift them up, and watching them rise from the mire is a beautiful thing. Anyway, after I let God take the reins on this story, he completely opened up a whole new realm of possibilities for the final book, and I’m adding some minor and major elements to “Chasing Shadows” that are totally setting the stage for a bunch of disaster and perfection in the next installment, which is coming along rather nicely. Even my fellow writer and blogger-friend, Sarah (who is 100% Team Will Taylor), fell for Damien Lisandro against her will. Honestly, he is one of my favorite characters, and I’ve never written someone into a story who controls what I write as much as Damien—every time he entered a scene or opened his mouth, he owned the scene, and I found myself grinning like a giggly school girl or grimacing because I wanted to fix him. I have never been so happy to change an older, moderately interesting character named Bormeo into a handsome, cheeky Spaniard who is caught up with the wrong people, but you love him nonetheless. I can’t wait for you to get acquainted with him, but he’s mine, so don’t get any ideas. 😉   

love fairytales best of all end

God has been so faithful throughout this process, and I love you guys for sticking by my side! I’d appreciate some prayer, though, because I have to make a few big decisions soon—kind of a huge career jump that I’m looking for the Lord’s guidance on. Wish me faith! (sounds way better than luck!)

And can I get a smattering of applause or a “woot, woot!” for a new record of absence to this blog on my part. Four weeks, baby! But, seriously, sorry about that, and don’t be shy about sending me scathing reminder emails to get me back on here. Haha. Time has flown these past few weeks. In that time, “Deception” by CJ Redwine came out, “Thornhill” by Ms. Peacock was released, I had my teeth cleaned at the dentist, and my baby sister, Katie, turned the big 1-7 yesterday. Can’t believe the little girl I used to finger paint with outback (actually, that was just a few weeks ago, but we’ve matured in that time!) is all grown up with her own blog and the title of official Zondervan Book Reviewer under her belt. So proud of you, Kiddo!

www.booksandwonderfulthings.wordpress.com

Oh! I almost forgot. Friday, October 18th, I will be at the Casa de Oro Library Branch for a few hours to talk about my books and the publishing process, and I’m especially looking forward to getting to know a lot of you at the party that day. A few of the San Diego branches are getting started with teen and college age groups one Friday of the month to get kids back into reading, but there is no age limit. Everyone is welcome! It will just be a fun afternoon of getting to know one another and getting involved. If you know anyone in the area, encourage them to come and bring a friend, or if you want me tell kids about the publishing process at your school or library, just shoot me an email. You have no idea how much I love meeting you guys!  

I’m super jazzed and honored to kick off the first Friday of Teen Week and hope to see some of you there! ^__^

 

 

BOOK II EXCERPTS!!!!

Published January 29, 2013 by Ashley Townsend

Yes! I finally got around to getting some snippits from book II of the Shadow Trilogy together for your pleasure. Just a little random taste of what I’ve been working on, and I’ll probably post some quotes and excerpts from the sequel and Rising Shadows in the future, too. Enjoy!

Chapter 4: Calm down, Matthews, she chided herself. You’re being ridiculous. She turned around and began to jog down the narrow street toward the main square. Glancing over her shoulder as she moved, she ran straight into something hard. Strong hands gripped her upper arms to keep her from toppling backwards and pulled her close, over compensating for her lost balance. Sarah had to lean back slightly to look up at the man who held her, and the action caused the hood to fall back. Her breath caught in her throat as she looked up into Will’s startled blue eyes.

Chapter 11: “Well, my lady,” Damien said smoothly, still appearing comfortable and unaffected by her silence. “Now it’s your turn.”

Sarah eyed the Spaniard warily. “My turn for what?”

He leaned forward and lowered his voice, golden eyes gleaming with mischief. “It is your turn to tell me who you really are.” 

Chapter 19: She waited in the darkness. Nothing. The absence of noise was more ominous than the ones Sarah had braced herself for. She shivered at the cold wind that whistled softly in the tunnel directly ahead. It moved toward her, curling through her hair and touching her body with icy fingers as it brushed past. A whip snapped somewhere down the way, and she started. Her breath caught when she made out the faint sound of the lifeless, almost inhuman moan that rode on the breeze coming from what she imagined must be the torture chamber. Sarah felt chilled to the bone at the hollow sound of someone too weak to cry out and stood frozen in wide-eyed horror.

Chapter 22: Swallowing the desire to express her confused feelings about him, Sarah said, “I want us to be friends.” She was relieved when she didn’t stammer over the words.

Will’s chest swelled with air, and his lips parted as it escaped his lips in a shaky breath. His nod was almost imperceptible. “As you wish,” he said. Then he launched himself over the ledge. Sarah’s eyes widened in alarm, and she ran to the window to peer down at his retreating form as he quickly scaled the walls of the castle. With shaking fingers, Sarah closed the window screen to keep out the cold that seemed to have found its way into her bones. Now she was alone in her new home with the necklace and the single rose as her only companions. Her breathing was the only sound in the room—that and three words that played themselves loudly in her head: As you wish.

Chapter 32: Guilty sorrow tightened Sarah’s chest. She tore her eyes away from her hands, which had been covered in blood moments before, and looked up at him. He was watching her closely, eyes searching her face. “But it’s my fault she’s dead,” she whispered brokenly.

His expression softened. “How could it be your fault your friend was killed?”

 “Because the arrow was meant for me.”

Chapter 35: Will surprised her by pulling her into his arms and holding her tightly against his chest. But even as he held her close and told her everything was going to be all right, Sarah couldn’t shake the feeling that a storm was coming, and if they couldn’t fight it together, it was going to tear them apart.

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