Wednesday, May 23, 2012

LILY - Diane T Ashley and Aaron McCarver - Free Book

Readers, I was privileged to read this manuscript for endorsement. I loved the book, and I believe you will, too.

Welcome, Diane and Aaron. Why do you write the kind of books you do?
Diane – Writing historical novels is interesting because of all the history I learn from the research. I enjoyed reading Regency romances as a teenager, so writing historicals now is not too much of a stretch.
Aaron – I fell in love with Christian historical fiction after reading The Honorable Imposter by Gilbert Morris. I was thrilled to see this type of novel with the added bonus of glorifying the Lord. I am blessed that God allows me to use the talents He has given to continue to write these types of books.

Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
Diane – My wedding day. I am so lucky to have met and married Gene. He is a special gift from God.
Aaron – I have been blessed with many, so I’ll just choose the day I received my first book contract. What a special feeling!

How has being published changed your life?
Diane – It has helped me understand the industry better. Having the extra income is also allowing me to retire from my day job this summer so I can spend more time writing.
Aaron – I have met so many wonderful people who have added so many things to my life and blessed me in so many ways.

What are you reading right now?
Diane - Book of Days by James L. Rubart.
Aaron – I am reading The River Queen by Gilbert Morris.

What is your current work in progress?
We are currently working on book three, Jasmine, in our “Song of the River” series.

What would be your dream vacation?
Diane – A warm beach, my computer and an Internet connection, and my husband.
Aaron – Visiting a historical site like an old home or attending some writers’ or Christian publishing event. I love being with like-minded people who love to talk “book” shop.

How do you choose your settings for each book?
Diane – The settings for our current series seemed to flow naturally from the story ideas.
Aaron – They usually come with the idea for a story as Diane said. I tend to choose that from eras and events in history that capture my interest and which, I believe, will capture the interests of our readers.

If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
Diane - Frank Peretti. His books changed my view of reality and the spiritual realm. I would love to talk to him about his ideas, beliefs, and his newest book.
Aaron – Wow, what an interesting question. I would like to spend some time with George W. Bush. I admire him for his positions on issues like gay marriage and abortion when many were opposed to his conservative morality.

What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
Diane – Surf-fishing, looking at real estate, traveling.
Aaron – You mean there are other things to do besides those?! Just kidding. I enjoy spending evenings with friends and watching classic movies.

What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
Diane – By the time I’m at the end of a project, I feel it is absolutely the worst story ever written. I send it to Aaron for edits, knowing in my heart he is going to call and confirm my fears. Prayer and trust in God’s provision are the only solutions.
Aaron – Finding the time to juggle my jobs of teaching and editing along with the writing is a problem at times. Scheduling my projects and an understanding and supportive co-author help through the especially busy times.

What advice would you give to a beginning author?
Diane – Be patient. My brother often teases me about my “overnight” success, as he knows I wrote for about ten years before getting that contract. God has given you this dream of writing for a purpose…His purpose. He will help you fulfill that purpose if you trust Him.
Aaron – Amen to that. I will add a couple of things. Attend writers’ conferences and read, read, read in your chosen genre.

Tell us about the featured book.
From the back of the book:
In 1859 Natchez, Mississippi, Lily Anderson is determined to thwart a marriage of convenience. She embarks on a riverboat venture to keep her and her two sisters afloat financially. But gambler Blake Matthews has won part ownership of Lily’s riverboat. How will their business profit if he and the feisty Mississippi miss disagree about almost everything? The affluent Jean Luc Champney will do anything to get back what he lost in a card game, including wooing and endangering the pretty new owner. Will the siren song of the river evolve into a serenade or a somber lament?

Please give us the first page of the book.
Lily Anderson watched the passing scenery from the comfort of her uncle’s carriage. Stately mansions with manicured grounds gave way to the smaller, sturdy homes of local merchants as they traveled toward the Mississippi River. They passed a busy mercantile and several shops before the carriage took a sharp leftward downturn toward the raucous, bustling dock that lay far beneath the genteel residences of Natchez’s wealthy plantation owners and merchants.

Natchez Under-the-Hill. She sniffed the air appreciatively as she disembarked, picking up the scents of fresh coffee, burning wood, and fish. How she loved the river. She barely noticed the disreputable, rickety inns and saloons that sprouted like weeds on either side of the winding road called Silver Street.

Roustabouts slumbered in the scant shade of the ramshackle buildings while a pair of glassy-eyed Indians staggered down the street, each clutching a brown bottle close to his chest. Lily’s eyes widened at their blatant drunkenness, but their presence did not deter her eagerness to absorb every detail of her surroundings as she followed Aunt Dahlia.

Voices shouted in an exciting mix of languages. She wondered how many countries were represented in this one place. . .English, French, German, and even lilting Norwegian dialects. The latter brought disturbing memories, but Lily pushed them away, determined to enjoy her outing on the Mississippi River.

As she and her aunt picked their way past bales of cotton and barrels of tobacco, her gaze absorbed the myriad boats lining the banks. Rugged keelboats and waterlogged rafts butted up against lofty steamboats, each awaiting cargo or passengers to be floated down the river to the port of New Orleans.

How can readers find you on the Internet?
Diane - It needs updating, but I have a website at . Our publisher’s website is, and we are also both listed on ACFW’s wonderful resource:

Thank you so much for sharing your lives and your wonderful book with us.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Lily (Song of the River) - paperback
Lily - Kindle

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Feedblitz, Facebook, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link.


Unknown said...

Good morning, Lena. Looks like i am one of the first here. I loved the interview - what is surf fishing? (obviously i am not a fisher). This novel sounds like a great read. Why can't they use novels to teach history in school? Seems we'd all have learnt a lot more that way.

Thanks for your post, and the great opportunity to win an awesome novel.

Marianne from Northern Alberta

mitzi underscore wanham at yahoo dot com

Anonymous said...

I was wondering about surf fishing also!

JoyAnne in TN

Diane Ashley said...

Hi Marianne and JoyAnne,
When my husband and I fish from the beach, we cast into the surf, thus surf fishing. I'm glad you enjoyed the interview. Lena is the greatest. I love her books and appreciate the chance to reach out to readers. God bless you.

Faith Hope and Cherrytea said...

i like Marianne's previous comment on learning history via novels! especially ones written w/ accuracy to details :) great idea ...
this book sounds great and loved your interview !
faithhopecherrytea at*gmail.*com
from CA

Lorna Faith said...

Lena thanks for having Diane and Aaron on your blog today:) I totally love historical fictions. I love learning about history along with a large dose of drama and romance. Your book sounds like a great read:) BTW thanks for the great interview...I feel like I know you both better!
I would love to be entered for a chance to win :-)

Lorna from Alberta Canada

lornafaith at gmail dot com

scottsgal said...

I definitely like Diane's idea of a vacation! Thanks for the chance
cheryl in IL
msboatgal at

Aaron McCarver said...

Hey everyone! I am glad you all are enjoying the interview! Thanks for the opportunity, Lena! I love the idea of using historical fiction in history classes. I have seen history teachers use historical movies, so novels really aren't such a stretch. As an English teacher myself, that combines by loves of teaching and reading. Also, I think Christian historical fiction is so important to tell the truth about our country's spiritual heritage which is being lost in secularism.

Rhonda Gibson said...

Hi Lena, Diane and Aaron :)

Great interview!

Diane- You and I have the same vacation plans, except I'll take my husband, and you can take yours.

Aaron- I'm amazed at all you do. And I love your ideas. You and Diane make a great team!!

Keep those books coming out you two, I can't wait to read Lilly's story.

Janet Lee Barton said...

Great interviews, Aaron, Diane and Lena!
I love both of those vacation ideas--Dan and I love touring historical towns and homes and we love the beach too!

I love the setting of these stories you are doing and I can't wait to read Lily!

Aaron McCarver said...

Thanks, Rhonda and Janet! You are such wonderful friends and such great writers! I am definitely not a beach person, but if you all go, I know I would have a good time!

Patty said...

I've been reading a bit more contemporary fiction recently, but I totally prefer historical fiction. Like others have said, I feel I learn a great deal from it!
Thanks for the chance to win this book!

Patty in SC

Nancee said...

I enjoy southern historic fiction, and the collaboration for this book sounds very interesting. Thank you for offering this giveaway!
Nancee, Michigan

Cynthia Leavelle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cynthia Leavelle said...

Great interview. I like learning more about Diane and Aaron. I look forward to reading the book.

Diane Ashley said...

Thanks everyone for leaving your comments today. Aaron and I both enjoy the collaboration and have said many times that we cannot imagine trying to write alone.

I have a question for everyone that occurs to me because of the vacation comments. What is your favorite vacation destination? Beach, mountains, or somewhere in between?

Lorraine Beatty said...

I've only read the first couple of pages and had to put it down because it was so good I want to save it for when I have lots of quiet time uninterrupted to sink into it. LOL On more thing about Aaron and Diane - they always have time to support and encourage the rest of us.

Love you guys.

Lorraine Beatty

Aaron McCarver said...

Thanks everyone for commenting. Diane knows for me it would be the Appalachian mountains for their beauty and history.

Aaron McCarver said...

Thanks Cynthia and Lori for coming by today and leaving such nice comments!

Mary Preston said...

I enjoyed the dual interview. It's interesting to see the different answers for questions side by side.

I am looking forward to reading LILY.

Mary P


Judy Cooper said...

I love historical novels. As others have noted, I learn a lot about history in the chosen settings. Please enter my name. Judy Cooper in Louisiana

apple blossom said...

historical novels are fun thanks for chance to win
I live in ND

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

CarlybirdK said...

If the cover is any indication of what the story is like, I know I will love it. Thank you
Carly in NC

Joanna Richmond said...

It Looks Interesting, I would love to read it, Thanks for the chance to win this Book.
Joanna Richmond
Blanch NC

Katie said...

Hi! Please enter me. Sounds really good. I'm from NC.

Nancee said...

I really enjoyed this interview and the description of the plot. Would love to win a copy. Thanks for offering it!
Nancee, Michigan

Krista said...

Sounds like a good book. Please enter me.

Krista in Oregon

Abigail Mitchell said...

I love the Cover! Sounds interesting too. Please enter me.
Thanks and God Bless!
Blanch, N.C.

Sarah Rebekah Richmond said...

Sounds and looks very interesting!
Please enter me in the drawing!
Thanks for the chance to win.
God Bless!

Diana Gardner said...

Looks great. Please enter me in the drawing. Portsmouth, VA

Sharon Richmond said...

Enter me It looks great!!
Sharon Richmond
Blanch, NC.

rubynreba said...

Historical fiction is a favorite of mine. Thanks for the chance to win this book.
Beth from Iowa

Merry said...

Lily sounds like it will be a lovely adventure, thank for the sneak peek.
Merry in TX