Friday, November 16, 2012

CAMELLIA - Diane T Ashley, Aaron McCarver - One Free Book

God has really been moving in your writing life. What do you see on the horizon?
 More books. Aaron and I enjoy writing together. We look forward to many more years of working on new projects.
Yes, we have some things in the pipeline now with our agent. We will tell more when we can.

Tell us a little about your family.
I am married to a fantastic man, Gene, who is an auditor at a large local hospital. I have a brother (Mitch) who is a lawyer here in Mississippi. He’s been kind enough to let me set up a working office in his building. My sister (Vicki) lives in central Florida and has a really “cool” job – her own shaved ice business.
My dad still lives in Tennessee, in the home he built for my mother shortly after they married. My sister (Marilyn) is married with two college-aged children. She teaches at the elementary school in our home town. My other sister (Ginger) is married and lives in northeast Georgia. She has two grown children and two granddaughters.

Has your writing changed your reading habits? If so, how?
I spend more of my reading time doing research, but I do allow myself a little time for entertainment. So many of my friends are writers, and I love reading their books.
Writing has definitely changed my reading habits. I was always a voracious reader before being published. I still read as much Christian fiction, my favorite type of book to read, as I can, but much of my reading is now research, prepping for my college classes I teach, and editing, another job I have.

What are you working on right now?
We are waiting to hear from publishers about our new proposal.

What outside interests do you have?
I enjoy watching television, playing electronic games, and reading.
I love watching classic movies, watching some TV shows, and reading as much as possible.

How do you choose your settings for each book?
Aaron is the idea guy, so I’ll let him explain this one.
Ideas usually come to me through history. I may be watching a documentary or visiting a historic home or reading about some past event and will think about the people who lived during that time. I then start thinking of possible stories for these “real” people and come up with ideas for books and series. The settings come with where the events took place.

If you could spend an evening with one historical person, who would it be and why?
I’d love to spend some time with Benjamin Franklin. I would love to know what it was like to live during that time.
 I am going to cheat and name a few. I would love to hear from John the apostle about what it was like being the “disciple who Jesus loved.” I would love to talk to George Washington about the early days of our country. And I would love to talk to George W. Bush about his standing for godly principles when so many were against him.

What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing novels?
When I first started on my own, I found it difficult to think through a whole novel. Once I took a class Aaron taught on writing from an outline, I learned a logical approach that I’m still using. Everything, as I was so naïve. I would have loved to have known that authors go through difficult times like everyone else and your publishers and agents understand and want to help you through these times.

What new lessons is the Lord teaching you right now?
To lean on Him instead of my own strength.
To trust in His timing and not my own.

What are the three best things you can tell other authors to do to be successful?
Be persistent, patient, and flexible.
Persistence, I agree, is key to being a published author. Also attend conferences like ACFW’s. This is vital. And learn how to network. I do not mean social networking. I am talking about networking at conferences and similar events. As the commercial says, it is priceless.

Tell us about the featured book.
Camellia Anderson misses her life of wealth and privilege. She misses the balls, she misses the suitors. . .and she’s bored with hearing about politics despite the undeniable wave of unrest raging across the South. Then a routine trip to New Orleans brings Thad Watkins—staunch Southern supporter and dashing soldier—into her world, and they begin a whirlwind courtship.

Jonah Thornton is disappointed when he sees Camellia growing closer to Thad. He has admired Camellia from afar even though he knows he is no more than a friend to her. Having questioned the practice of slavery in the past, and without much hope of finding love with Camellia, Jonah heads north to join the Union Army.

When an injury brings Jonah back into Camellia’s life, she is both challenged by and drawn to this man of strong convictions. Suddenly Camellia is torn between two loves—just as the nation is torn between north and south. But is she willing to risk everything—her reputation, her life, and her heart—to save a Union soldier?

Please give us the first page of the book.
Jonah Thornton did not want to die.

His fingers cramped, and he loosened his grip on the trigger of his Sharps carbine. The butt of the rifle seemed grafted to his shoulder, an extra arm with deadly intent. He bent his head and sighted down the thirty-inch barrel, wondering if he could really pull the trigger. Wondering if he could take the life of another man. He raised his head and moved the rifle back to marching position, heel at waist level, barrel with bayonet over his shoulder.

A twig broke some distance away, and the tempo of Jonah’s heart soared. Was it a scout looking for evidence of the force mustering in the area between the city of Boonville and the Mississippi River? Or a rabbit or deer foraging for an early morning meal?

His awareness stretched outward. Around him, the breaths of his fellow soldiers sounded loud, as did the whisper of gunpowder sliding into the throats of their muskets, followed by the snick of minie balls—a sound as deadly as a rattlesnake’s tail. The moment was fast approaching when he would find out exactly what it meant to fight for his beliefs. Even to the point of risking his life in the protection of those beliefs.

Sweat sprouted on his forehead as he caught the rhythmic cadence of marching feet. The rest of the battalion was about to reach his position between two cornfields on the edge of Boonville.

How can readers find you on the Internet?
Aaron can be found at his author pages at  or at

Thank you, Diane and Aaron, for sharing another of your books with us today.

Readers, here is a link to the book. By using it when you order, you help support this blog. Camellia: Song of the River 2

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.


karenk said...

thanks for the chance to read this story

kmkuka at yahoo dot com
from pA

Unknown said...

i love to find out how people dealt with the convictions of the two sides of the war. Thanks for the chance to win. i enjoyed the interview, Diane, Aaron and Lena.

Marianne from northern Alberta


Diane T. Ashley said...

I am so excited for people to read Camellia. Because I live in the south, the civil war era has always intrigued me. I am curious about what time periods people like to read about. What is your favorite era and why does it fascinate you?

Patty said...

Love reading books containing American history. I think I learn more from them that from my school days=).

Patty in SC

Janet Lee Barton said...

Great interview Aaron and Diane! I can't wait to read this book! Thinking I might have time while we're waiting to get into our new house. :)

Rhonda Gibson said...

Love reading Diane and Aaron's books! Can't wait to read this one, too.

Diane T. Ashley said...

Patty, I so agree with you. If my history teacher had passed out copies of novels instead of those dry textbooks, I would have learned so much more back in high school.

Diane Ashley said...

Hi Janet Lee, It's great to see you here today. When do you move? I know one of your favorite historical times already because of those wonderful books set in NYC. Love you.

Diane Ashley said...

Hi Rhonda, Thanks for dropping by today. I'm guessing one of your favorite historical times might be reflected in the book I'm enjoying right now...something about a marshal and a promise.

Erica Vetsch said...

Love these two!!! Still busting with pride at your Carol Award win, and so happy to know you both. :)

Diane Ashley said...

Thanks, Erica. One of the best things about ACFW is all of the wonderful people who are a part of it. I always love seeing you each year. God bless you.

Aaron McCarver said...

Hello everyone,
Thank you for coming by Karen, Marianne, and Patty. I agree that historical novels are great for learning history. I think they offer more than texts many times because they show how people lived. And the Civil War era is fascinating to me, too. And thanks, Janet Lee, Rhonda, and Erica. Such dear friends and truly some of my favorite authors! And we appreciate your featuring our newest release, Lena. We all applaud your support of Christian fiction!

sharon m. said...

I would really like to win CAMELIA.
sharon m. san diego

Doris Aldrich Smith said...

I can't wait to read Diane's new book.
Monticello, IN and much of time since retired on Bruce Peninsula, Ontario.

Lisa said...

Really enjoyed the other books. This one sounds very interesting. Can't wait to read it.

Lisa Phillips
from MS

RED~Scribe said...

I'm definitely looking forward to reading this book. The cover is gorgeous.

Eldra from BC

Tammy C. said...

I have read "Lily" and I am sure I will enjoy "Camillia" just as much.

Keep up the good works. I really enjoy Civil War era books.

Tammy Cowart

Diane Ashley said...

Thanks Doris, Lisa, Eldra and Tammy. We are excited as well that Camellia is out. We love all the covers Barbour has done for us, but I'm especially happy with this one that has all of the reds and yellows in it, as well as the battle scene in the background.

Katie said...

Sounds really good! Please enter me. I would love to win this one. I'm from NC.

Katie G.

Aaron McCarver said...

Thanks Sharon, Doris, Lisa, Tammy, Katie, and Eldra, for commenting. We hope you enjoy the story. I fell in love with Camelli's story. She had such a long way to come and such a tumultuous time to endure.

Jen Cvelbar said...

It was so great to meet you in person at conference, Aaron and it was great meeting you for the first time Diane. I've already read one of your books so I know I'll love this one!
Jen Cvelbar
Central Ohio

Diane Ashley said...

Thanks so much, Jen. I loved getting to meet you too, and I look forward to seeing you again next year.

Aaron McCarver said...

Same here, Jen! I look forward to seeing more of your books releasing soon.

Mary Preston said...

It sounds like you work together very well. Two voices into the one book.

Mary P


Judy Cooper said...

I have not read any books by the two authors, but I enjoyed the interview and I know I would enjoy the book. Thanks for the opportunity to enter. Judy C. in Louisiana.

A Cooking Bookworm said...

Sounds good!! I love the Civil War setting!!

Binghamton, NY

mybabyblessings AT gmail DOT com

Lyndie Blevins said...

Thanks for the opportunity to get this book.
Lyndie Blevins

Duncanville, Tx

Sarah Rebekah Richmond said...

Enter me!!

Nancee said...

I love Civil War fiction! Thank you for offering this interview and giveaway!
Nancee in Michigan

ASC Book Reviews said...

PLEASE enter me!!! I have been REALLY wanting to get and read this one!!! And seeing the first page makes me want to read it all the more!!!

Amada Chavez, NM

sharon m. said...

CAMELLIA looks good. I would love to read.
Sharon M.
San Diego

Tammie Edington Shaw said...

Love to read this.
Tammie in Illinois

rubynreba said...

I've always enjoyed reading about the Civil War. Camellia sounds very interesting.
Beth from Iowa

Merry said...

Cameillia sounds like an engaging Civil War story, I'd love to be entered.
Merry in TX

Sharon Richmond said...

Enter me this book looks great!!
Sharon Richmond

Unknown said...

I cant' wait to read "Camellia". The first page got me wanting to read more. Diane and Aaron's books always make me feel that I am right there in the story. Great Interview!

apple blossom said...

thanks for the chance to win a copy of this book

live in ND

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Diane Ashley said...

Thanks for commenting, y'all. Good luck on winning a copy of Camellia. Lena we always appreciate the chance to appear on your far-reaching blog. God bless.

Shopgirl said...

I love historical novels! I'm in MN.

Lane Hill House said...

I read the first book and would love to win book 2 Song of the River - Camellia!!! Kathleen - Missouri