Another Release for Ashley Stambaugh!

Readers of this blog first met Ashley when she did a Path to Publication post in March of 2014. CLICK HERE to check it out.

ashley-stambaugh-author-photoAnd now, she’s celebrating another release!

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You have to have the dark to see the light.

Over a month has gone by since Melina won her internal battle between good and evil. She and the elders have been vigilantly waiting for Maura and Adelia to enact their plan, but there have been no signs of them anywhere. Then one day, Melina sees a Noxin demon lurking behind an old building. As more and more demons start to appear around town, she begins to worry that their plan may have already been put into play.

While Melina tries to figure out what the demons are up to, she starts to notice a sudden increase in her negative emotions, which in turn seem to be amplifying her powers. At first, she likes how strong it makes her feel. But when she realizes that her newly acquired demon powers are the cause of her sense of empowerment, she wants nothing to do with it. Even though she has reversed her demon powers to do good, she still sees them as coming from an evil source and fears that by using them the evil she fought so hard to overcome will rise up in her again.

But as the demon activity increases, and the people in her town, including all the people she cares about the most, start to display strange and violent behavior, Melina finally understands that if she wants to stop the demons and help her friends, she must embrace not only the good in her but also the bad. Because the only way to truly empower herself is by finding a way to use them together.

 

Excerpt

She turned to look at the front of her store and saw that the huge front window had been completely busted in, allowing the chilly winter air to blow right through the room. The rest of the store wasn’t in any better shape. Broken glass, splintered wood, and burnt, ripped up books and paper covered the entire floor. She felt like she should be having déjà vu, seeing as how her store had been destroyed by Noxin demons before, but there was a difference this time. She didn’t have her friends to help her pick up the pieces.

Before she was able to get teary-eyed again, she heard footsteps coming from behind her. She turned around and saw that Walter was back, and he had Phinneas, Cecil, and Helene with him. They all nodded at Henry, who nodded back at them, and then they all returned their focus to Melina.

“Hi,” Melina said as she gave them all a slightly confused look. “What are you all doing here?”

“I thought it was necessary to tell them what’s happening with you,” Walter said.

Melina pulled her robe a little tighter around her and turned her gaze down to the floor. She wondered if they were disappointed in her for not telling any of them sooner.

“Melina,” Phinneas said as he took a step toward her. “None of us blame you for feeling the way you do. The fear you have of your anger and of your demon powers is completely valid. But it’s nothing to be afraid of, or ashamed of. I’ve told you before, not everyone is all good or all bad. We all have good and evil in us.”

“Yes,” Melina said as she nodded her head. “I remember you saying that. But then you also said that we just have to choose which one is going to win, and I chose good.”

“And I’m so glad you did,” Phinneas said. “But just because you chose good and were able to reverse the demon powers to use them for good, doesn’t mean that the bad aspects of the demon powers aren’t still a part of you, too.”

“Melina,” Walter said as he took a step toward her. “To truly embrace all of your powers, you must accept not only the good aspects of them but also the bad. I can only imagine how strong it must make you feel when your emotions amplify your powers, but instead of fighting them and trying to stop them, feel all of those emotions and use them in a good way. Use them to empower yourself.” He paused for effect and then continued. “You have become a force to be reckoned with. You just need to learn to accept them and then control them.”

Melina’s eyes were filled with tears again. His words reminded her of what Lee had told her—that she needed to accept all of herself. She knew they were both right, but she still couldn’t let go of her hesitation and fear.

“But what if it makes me susceptible to being taken over by evil again?” She bit down on her lip as she stared over at Walter with eyes full of distress.

He gave her a reassuring smile. “I know you’re scared, but I also think that you know, deep down, that you’re not going to be taken over by evil again. This is just how the demon powers are going to work in you. We all experience negative emotions, Melina. But it’s what we do after the emotions arise that matters. We can act upon those negative feelings and let them control us, or we can feel them, acknowledge them, but then choose not to act on them. And instead of letting them control us, use them as motivation for something good.” He was silent for a moment then said, “You have to have the dark to see the light.”

Melina sat quietly as his last words sunk in. She had never thought of it that way, but he was right. She had both light and dark in her, just like everyone else, but she just needed to make sure that her light always shone brighter.

 

Purchase Links

Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LY3LYYJ

Barnes & Noble:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/empower-ashley-stambaugh/1124771929?ean=2940157073169

 

About the author 

Ashley Stambaugh grew up in a small town in Illinois where she and her two siblings created some of the best memories playing on their family’s farm. She stayed in the southern region of the state to attend college where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree and also met her husband.

Now, she and her husband live in central Illinois and spend their time creating new memories with their two rambunctious boys. She also enjoys reading, taking long walks, and finding great bargains. When her sons are a little bit older, she has a great desire to travel with her family. Oh, and she also has a slight obsession with chocolate.

When she’s not busy chasing after her two young children or losing herself in a good book, you can find her curled up on her couch with her laptop, writing.

 

 

Social media links

Website: www.ashleystambaugh.blogspot.com
Facebook author page: www.facebook.com/ashleystambaughauthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ashleystambaugh

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8054295.Ashley_Stambaugh

Debut Novelist Ashley Stambaugh’s Path to Publication

Today’s guest host is fellow Astraea Press author, Ashley Stambaugh. She’s sharing her path to publication story today, and it’s a great one!

Without further ado, here’s Ashley…

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Author pictureFirst things first, I’d like to give a big thank you to Christi for having me here today!  I’m thrilled that she’s allowed me to share the details about my first novel, and how it finally came to be an actual book and not just a manuscript saved on my computer.

My journey to publication wasn’t an extremely long one, but it wasn’t a short one either.  It started back in the summer of 2009.  I had finally finished my first book, which had taken me over a year to write, and I was ready to start querying.  Or so I thought.

After months and months of receiving nothing but rejections, I had to admit to myself that I needed to rewrite my manuscript.  By then, it was the spring of 2010.  I had just had my first son, and I was working a full-time job, so I had to squeeze in writing whenever I could find the time.  A little over a year later, I was done with the rewrite and for sure that I had it right this time.  In the summer of 2011, I started my second round of querying.  And again, I received the same results.

Rejection e-mails were the norm in my inbox, and after a few months, I had finally had enough.  I couldn’t take the sting of rejection anymore, and the thought of just giving up for good even crossed my mind.  But then, in the spring of 2012, something happened that renewed my passion.  I actually received some feedback on my manuscript from an agent.  What she said to me was a rude awakening, but it was also helpful and honest.  So I rewrote my manuscript again, and I guess the third time really is a charm.  In the fall of 2013, a little over four years from when I sent out my first query letter, I finally received an offer of publication from Astraea Press.  And as the saying goes, the rest is history!

Rejection can hurt tremendously, especially when it’s given to something you’ve worked so hard on.  Trust me, I know.  But thick skin, perseverance, and not being afraid to rework your manuscript will ultimately lead to success!

I’m so excited that I’m finally able to share my first book with the world, and I hope everyone enjoys reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it!

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About Ashley 

Ashley Stambaugh grew up in a small town in Illinois where she and her two siblings created some of the best memories playing on their family’s farm. She stayed in the southern region of the state to attend college where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree and also met her husband.

Now, she and her husband live in central Illinois and spend their time creating new memories with their two rambunctious boys and their comical black Pug. She also enjoys reading, taking long walks, and finding great bargains. When her sons are a little bit older, she has a great desire to travel with her family. Oh, and she also has a slight obsession with chocolate.

When she’s not busy chasing after her two young children or losing herself in a good book, you can find her curled up on her couch with her laptop, writing.

Connect with Ashley via Social media links

Website: www.ashleystambaugh.blogspot.com
Facebook author page: www.facebook.com/ashleystambaughauthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ashleystambaugh

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Collide Cover ArtMelina Rowe never thought her quiet, simple life could change to one full of fear and confusion just by accidentally bumping into someone. But after she collides with an elderly man named Walter, she starts to hear people’s thoughts and have unsettling visions. 

Walter reveals himself as a guiding angel and explains to Melina that she’s a rare type of human who can absorb angel powers. But her special ability is more of a problem for her than a gift.

The powers are too strong for humans and will eventually kill Melina unless she can successfully use them to help a select individual who’s in need of guidance. Her chances are slim, though, seeing that the handful of other humans this has happened to before didn’t survive.

Scared for her life, Melina desperately tries to help a young man named Lee, but his continual resistance and her struggle with the powers make it almost impossible. Her situation only grows worse when a trio of soul-snatching demons is sent by an unknown entity to take her soul and kill her.

As a determined Walter sets out to discover who sent the demons and why, Melina must defend herself from their relentless attacks all while trying to use powers she doesn’t fully understand to help someone who doesn’t want to be helped. If she can’t figure out how to break through to Lee, the powers will ultimately destroy her. But if the powers don’t kill her first, the demons will.

Buy Links for Collide

Amazon         Barnes and Noble        Astraea Press