Rising Shadows Blog Tour

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Rising Shadows 

Sarah Matthews didn’t think a little taste of adventure this summer was too much to ask. But when she finds herself transported to the twelfth century, she learns she must be careful what she wishes for.

After Sarah’s closest companion—and her ticket home—is arrested on charges of witchcraft, Sarah finds herself trapped in this dangerous land and alone in her knowledge of a dangerous conspiracy. Knowing that she has no chance of stopping the treachery and saving her friend on her own, Sarah seeks help from the Shadow, a masked hero who has already saved her life once. As they work together to unravel the truth before it’s too late, Sarah realizes that it isn’t the Shadow who she’s come to rely on, but Will, a handsome and intriguing blacksmith who’s plagued by the secrets and pains of his past.http://www.amazon.com/Rising-Shadows-Ashley-Townsend-ebook/dp/B008EMMOYG/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1414194881&sr=1-1&keywords=rising+shadows+townsend

Chasing Shadows

Would you choose to entwine your fate with a hero of the past, even if it meant altering the future? The murder of an ancient king spurs Sarah Matthews to travel back in time, putting her life in jeopardy as she races against the clock to solve a thousand-year-old mystery and pick up the pieces of her star-crossed romance. Her return to Serimone reveals that the kingdom is in upheaval under the new regime, and unable to right the empire alone, Sarah seeks out the help of Will, the town's blacksmith and secret vigilante. But her hopes of rekindling their fairy tale romance are dashed when a discovery about his past severs their fragile relationship. Confused and alone, Sarah throws herself into her mission at the castle, though the fearsome solitude of the stonework prison causes her to seek out an unlikely ally. Damien Lisandro is a dashing Spaniard who brightens her dull world with his kindness and disarming charm. But as Sarah draws closer to him and to the faceless killer in their midst, she realizes that the severed threads of time and the mystery surrounding Serimone Castle are unraveling rapidly, weaving new tapestries of devastation. When a counterfeit Shadow tragically claims the life of someone Sarah cares for, and with Damien running from a dark past and secrets of his own, she wonders whom she can trust. Knowing the murders are connected, Sarah scrambles to uncover the identity of the impostor on her own. But as more lives are lost in her personal crusade, she questions how far she is willing to go to bring the guilty party to justice. Sarah is forced into harm's way countless times as she races to solve the puzzle before it is too late and Serimone becomes nothing more than a faded memory of the past. . . And before Sarah herself becomes a permanent fixture in history.

 Spotlight -
“Halt!” Will yelled, raising the bow as he splashed into the freezing ankle-deep

water after him. “I have you in my sights!” The man jerked to a stop, turning around

slowly to face him. Will squinted into the near darkness. “Now remove the hood.”

The man ignored his command and advanced on him slowly, hands raised in

surrender. There was something familiar about the way he walked. . . . Will drew the

string back, letting him know he meant business. “I said stop!” The imposter obeyed,

though still he did not reveal his identity. “The hood,” he growled, angling the bow.

The man reached up and flipped his hood back without hesitation. “You wouldn’t

shoot a woman, would you, darling?”

He felt Jade’s cocky grin across the feet that separated them and ground his teeth

in irritation. Lowering the weapon, he glowered at her. “You’re the one who has been

masquerading as the Shadow? You murdered someone, Jade! This isn’t one of your little


She sauntered toward him, her eyes narrowing in that catlike way that let him

know she was pleased with herself.  “I’ve never killed anyone, William.” Pressing a hand

to her heart in a move meant to distract him, she cocked her head to the side and turned

her lips down in a pout. “It hurts that you think I could do such a thing.”

“Well, then what is this?” He shook the bow in front of her face. “I could have

killed you!”

“I had to get your attention somehow.” Jade flipped her braid over her shoulder.

Shooting him a seductive smile, she placed a hand on his shoulder and leaned toward his

ear. He tightened his grip on the bow, but didn’t give her the satisfaction of pulling away.

“I was not the one who killed that woman, and you know that,” she whispered,

her mouth brushing his ear. Will pursed his lips and thought he heard one of his knuckles

pop. “But I know who did.”

That caught his attention.

Gripping her shoulders, he pushed her back to see her face. “You know who

broke into the castle?”

She grinned coyly and ran a finger playfully down his chest. “I know a lot of


He grabbed her wrists and held them tight, though she didn’t pull away. “Cut the

charade,” he said sternly, giving her a little shake to knock some sense into her. “Now

who killed that woman?”

Her voice turned husky, a habit she couldn’t seem to break. “And what will you

do for me if I tell you?”

Will released her abruptly and took a step back, suddenly disgusted with this

woman he had once called a friend. “Good God, Jade, what is wrong with you? You can

be so exasperating!”

The façade chipped away for a moment, and he could see his words had hurt

before the indifferent mask veiled her features once more. “Aren’t you curious?” Her

voice had lost its purposefully alluring tone.

Though he was terribly curious, he knew that Jade would never divulge the secret;

she loved them too much to lose one so intriguing. Will turned around without another

word, tromping back through the shallow water.

“I know your secret, too,” she blurted loudly to be heard over the falls. He

hesitated, and she cried out a little desperately at his retreating form, “How else would I

know that you would follow me in this costume?”

Swallowing tightly, he turned back to her, feigning ignorance, though his heart

was beating wildly in his chest. “What are you talking about? I have no secrets.”

Jade straightened the front of her shirt, tucking it back into her pants where it had

come loose. She smoothed her braid, a nervous movement meant to regain her

composure. “I recently discovered your alter-ego, and I must say that I’m surprised I

hadn’t thought of it before. You had me fooled along with everyone else.”

Dropping the guise, he sloshed over to her. “Who else knows?” She grinned,

lording it over him. He leaned down and enunciated each word. “Who. Else. Knows?”

A delicate brow arched in defiance.

“Who did you tell, Jade?”

“I’m not the one you should concern yourself with!” she snapped. Blinking, she

seemed to realize how harsh her tone had been, and her expression turned suddenly sad.

She retreated a few steps. “You foolishly trusted her with your secret, but I won’t tell a

soul, William, if that’s what concerns you—I promise. I shall remain silent if you just

answer one question.”

He narrowed his eyes suspiciously, wondering how she knew about Sarah’s

awareness of his secret. Jade was still backing towards the falls, and his eyes widened as

he realized her intent. “Jade stop!”

She did. Tilting her head to the side, she watched him intently from the knee-deep

water. The cold didn’t seem to affect her. “Why not me? Just answer me that. She doesn’t

deserve you, you know,” she added quietly.

Will took a few tentative steps toward her, eyes darting to the frothing water that

spilled over the falls. She would never survive that drop. “Come back from the edge and

I’ll discus this with you.”

“And that shall garner your attention?” Shaking her head, Jade stepped onto a

large rock that jetted out over the edge of the water. She didn’t possess the nerve, did

she? Will swallowed.

“You never wanted me,” she went on. “I see now that deceiving that girl could

never bring you into my arms.” Her face looked tormented. “Just say my name. My real

name—the name you gave me when we were children, when I wished to forget my past.”

Will was suddenly aware of how deep her obsession for him went and searched

his mind for a solution to get the both of them out of this alive. He took a few more steps,

having to pick up his knees as the water deepened. He kept his eyes focused on hers as he

sloshed along, and his thighs went numb. “Don’t do this. Please.”

A lone tear spilled down her cheek. “Why not? I spend my life being used and

controlled by men and receive nothing in return. What do I have here but emptiness and

loss—of my home, my parents, of your affection?”

Seeing she refused to be talked down, Will suddenly raised the bow in a last ditch

effort. “Get down from there or I’ll shoot.” He realized that it was foolish to threaten to

kill someone on the brink of suicide, but it was all he could think of.

“You won’t shoot me.” She seemed so certain of it, and he knew it was true; he

couldn’t do it.

Tossing the bow into the water, it swirled through the bubbling water and dropped

over the falls. He kept his eyes focused on Jade as he advanced cautiously, trying not to

startle her as he rose up on the rock before her. The sun had set, and it was difficult to

make out her features in the pale moonlight. “You’re right. I can’t shoot you.”

She wrapped her arms around his middle, startling him. Jade sighed, pressing her

body hard against his own, as though he would evaporate if she lessened her hold. “It

feels so good to be in your arms.” She paused, arms freezing. “But I can never really have

you, can I?”

Will hesitated, barely returning her embrace. He knew he couldn’t lie to her, even

under such dire circumstances. “I’m sorry, no. But that doesn’t mean I don’t want you in

my life. You deserve more than this.”

She released him, and he caught a flash of teeth as she smiled sadly. “Thank you

for that. I will always love you, William, and your secret is safe with me.” Something in

her eyes shifted, and his own widened in alarm as he realized she was done speaking.

Then she took a step back, and her body tumbled over the falls.

“Marian!” he cried thoughtlessly, lunging for her. His breath was forced from his

lungs as he landed on the rock, hard, but he managed to grab ahold of her slick wrist

before he lost her completely.

Will grunted, struggling to hang on as the falls pulled at her from below. “Hang

on,” he yelled, reaching down with his other hand. His stomach slipped over the rock,

and he caught sight of her face. She looked vaguely frightened, yet her mind seemed

intent on something other than their plight.

“Say my name again,” she cried.

He ground his teeth, trying to get a better grip on her. His chest slowly inched

over the edge of the slick rock, further over the churning water far below.

“Say it!” Jade screamed desperately when he remained silent. She seemed more

concerned in hearing him affirm her existence than she was in helping him pull her to


Muscles straining, he managed through clenched teeth, “Don’t let go, Marian!”

The words were lost in the roar of the water, but she smiled anyway, knowing he had said

what she wanted to hear. Will felt her hand relax, no longer returning his hold.

He arched his back as he struggled to hold on, trying to turn his body to take some

of the strain off his arms, but his sudden weight shift caused his body to jerk across the

wet surface of the rock. Eyes widening, his free hand searched frantically for some

handhold as Jade’s weight pulled him over the edge.

His hand slipped over an exposed tree root, and he made a desperate grab for it.

Their bodies jerked to a stop as he closed his fingers around the end of the root, and their

weight nearly yanked it from the sodden earth. Groaning in pain, he tightened his hold

around Jade’s wrist. He knew that there was no air in the spray of the falls where her

body dangled, but he couldn’t let her go.

“Hold on!” he yelled. But she had already gone limp. Just hold on, he told

himself, closing his lids tightly as he focused on doing just that. His fingers had gone

numb, and they loosened against his will, slipping from around the exposed root. He

closed his eyes and his last thought as they both fell toward the rocks at the base of

Glenborough Falls was that he would get his wish: He would die attempting to save




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