03 February 2013

Carrie Fancett Pagels Interviews Diane T. Ashley

Diane T. Ashley


Diane T. Ashley and Aaron McCarver are the co-authors of seven books and one novella. Their most recent release is Lily, Book 1 of the Song of the River Series. I met Diane through some online groups, including ACFW and Goodreads.

Diane, welcome to Overcoming With God.  We appreciate your willingness to share your testimony of overcoming with our readers.  Would you tell us about one of the most difficult things in your life you have had to overcome, with God’s help?

I have been so blessed by God that I feel almost ungrateful to speak of the things that I’ve struggled to overcome. I suppose the most difficult time in my life was when my father died unexpectedly. My mother was already struggling with a chronic illness, and I was suddenly thrust into the position of being a caregiver. As a single female with no children, I was not equipped to cope with the situation. At times I thought I would not survive. The grief over my father’s death was profound and inescapable, and watching my mother’s health dwindle in spite of the best medical support made me feel helpless. 

I can remember clinging to my Bible, looking inside for answers to overcoming the pain. One night I dreamed I was speaking with God. He told me He could relieve the pain of my grief if I would do one thing. Thrilled beyond belief I asked what that one thing was. His answer was a single word…forget. I knew in that instant that I could bear the pain because forgetting my parents and all of the love we shared was a price too high.

What is your favorite bible verse and why?
I love Psalm 37 and turn to it whenever I begin to feel hopeless or frightened. The deceiver is always eager to whisper words of doubt into the ears of believers. The promise in the fourth verse is what I cling to during those times: Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
Lily: Song of the River

What has been the most important thing you hope your readers will get from your books and why?
I hope our readers will turn to God in all things. Aaron and I like to create characters who are Christians but still cling to one or more areas of their lives, unwilling to let the Holy Spirit have complete control. Our title character, Lily, is exactly that sort of person. She is a strong female with great moral character, but she harbors hatred and a judgmental attitude in her heart. How she deals with those issues is the main point I hope our readers will take away from the book.



As you researched your books, did you learn anything that particularly touched your heart?
Forgiving someone—especially a family member—for something they did to you can be very difficult. As you work thorough that process, turn to God. He wants to help each of us.

Diane's and Aaron's books can be found by following any of the hotlinks below and at bookstores:

Here is a link to a nice video about Lily (click here.)

Giveaway: One of Diane's and Aaron's books will be given away this week. Extra counts given to OWG Followers. Simply put OWG at the end of your comment. 

56 comments:

  1. Lilly sounds like so many of us! OWG

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    1. Sounds like we might get some conviction from reading about Lily, DEBBIE!

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  2. Don't we all struggle with something that hinders us in our Christian walk. We all need encouragement from time to time, and that's what stories like this one does. Would love to read it, maybe even win it. OWG - Becky

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    1. Absolutely, BECKY! I need encouragement every day!!! That's why I try to get into the Word in the morning (wish it happened every day.) And I belong to an accountability group. Plus, I have the encouragement of the great ladies who review for OWG! Thanks for Following!!!

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  4. I absolutely loved Lily! What a wonderful book! DIANE, I am so sorry for your loss and amazed at the dream God gave you in His infinite wisdom. Thank you so much for sharing and being with us this week on OWG!

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  5. This looks like a great book. I too struggle with being judgmental. OWG shopgirl152nykiki(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  6. This is a wonderful interview. Thank you Diane for sharing your dark times and telling us how you over came them. You are an inspiritation!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Rhonda. I can't wait to read your next book. God bless.

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  7. Hi everyone. Sorry to be so late chiming in. I'm very excited to be featured on this wonderful blog. Debbie and Becky, it's great to hear your comments. One of the things Aaron and I wanted to do was show how all of us, even strong Christians, need to forgive and need forgiveness themselves.

    Thanks Diana for your comments. I too was amazed to hear from God in that dream. It was after that night that I really began to work through the grief. Even though I am currently walking through the valley of the shadow of death, I still cling to the truths God has shown me in His word and through that dream.

    Veronica, it's exactly because of that struggle that we wanted to write Lily.

    Diane Ashley here. I am having trouble answering with my name, so I am signing as Anonymous.

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  8. Thanks CARRIE for this interview! DIANE, so great to have you on OWG and I'm so sorry to hear about your great loss and pain but thankful you were able to share it on here. I pray it will encourage many!!

    That was one powerful dream God gave you... and it's always great to hear about how He meets us in our great hour of need. I've only had one dream from God that answered an important question I had, but one of the visions He gave me met me in my darkest moment. His strength and love are always there for us all.
    Lily sounds like a great story!!

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    1. Yes, Noela, it was a very powerful dream, and it was during one of the most painful times of my life. And it still resounds with me now even though it occurred some 18 years ago. I also hope it will help someone else during their recovery from the death of a loved one.

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    2. God still speaks to us through dreams and it seems like it is during those profound moments in life--just when we need reassurance from Him that He is there.

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  9. Great interview, Diane! Thank you for sharing with us. As Rhonda said, you truly are an inspiration to us.

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    1. Thanks Janet. I appreciate your sweet support.

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  10. Diane, That message from God was profound--not easy but profound. It sounds like a good subject or theme for one of your books in the future, and I know there will be many. By the way, I loved Lily.
    Jacqueline

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    1. Thanks Jacqueline, I hope to one day write a story that can include that message. I'm so glad you enjoyed Lily.

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  11. Di...great interview for a great lady. I think about you a lot, pray for you, and admire the way you are overcoming a very difficult time in your life. I miss you.

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    1. Wow...Don, How great to hear from you. For those of you who don't know, Don was my boss at the Mississippi Legislature for eight years. Things are not the same without you here.

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    2. That is SO cool. Thank you DON for coming by to show your support for DIANE. She is a classy lady and I admire her, too.

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  12. Great interview Diane. I'll give you a hug next time we meet. Lily and book #2 Camellia are wonderful uplifting stories. You and Aaron are a great team. A PS - Carrie and I share the same agent, the wonderful Joyce Hart. Hey Carrie!

    Loir

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    1. Thanks Lori. I'm so glad you enjoyed Lily and Camellia. I can't imagine trying to write a book without Aaron. Joyce has quite a group of great writers.

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    2. LORI!!! Hey! Great to see you here!

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  13. Carrie, I really enjoyed this interview today. Diane your answers gave me plenty to reflect upon. Blessings, Susan Fryman owg

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    1. Thanks Susan, Blessings on you. Thanks for stopping by.

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  14. Wonderful interview, Diane! Thanks for sharing your story.

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    1. Thanks Ginger, I can't wait to read your Christmas story.

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  15. Another great giveaway for another awesome book! makeighleekyleigh at yahoo.com OWG

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    1. Hi Megan, Thanks for stopping by and your kind words.

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  16. I have not been put in Diane's position. That would be hard to deal with even at an older age. So sorry you had to deal with something like this, Diane. But, in the long run GOD probably helped you turn into a stronger person. I think we all have times when we get in places where we can't haandle with something and have to turn lose and trust GOD. I love my Savior, but it is not always easy to turn lose. I read somewhere once where someone was upset bacause it seemed their prayer wasn't being answered. When she ask about it, GOD said you ask me to help, but you wouldn't turn lose to give it to me! I think that is another thing we are guilty of. Saying we are going to turn a problem over to GOD, then hang on to it. I would love to win this book. OWG Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

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    1. Hi Maxie, You are right that I am stronger because of the experience. Your story of your friend is one we can all learn from. It is indeed hard sometimes to let go of our problems but we can rest in the knowledge that God is sovereign.

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  17. I would love to win one of Diane's & Aaron's books.
    It would be a wonderful addition to the Church Library.
    Thanks for entering me in the giveaway.
    Janet E.
    von1janet(at)gmail(dot)com
    OWG

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    1. JANET, I will enter you in the drawing. Have a blessed day!

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    2. Hi Janet, I love the idea of Lily being put in your library. May God bless you in your ministry.

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  18. Hi, Diane!!! I met you at the Southern Christian Writers Conference in Tuscaloosa last June! You and your wonderful co-author, Aaron McCarver. :-) I want you to know that I was so sad to hear about your husband's passing. I can't imagine, but if I could see you I'd give you a big hug. May God bless you, and may He bless your writing career as you write uplifting stories that touch others' hearts. I pray you are feeling God's comfort and compassion and love for you.

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    1. Thanks so much Melanie. I love your books and your sweet personality. Thanks so much for your prayers. I treasure them.

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  19. Wonderful interview, Diane. Thanks so much for sharing this with us. I think that perhaps we can see Lily in each of us if we just look deeply enough.OWG Joy Ross Davis

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    1. Thanks Joy, You are so right. That is the message God put on mine and Aaron's hearts. We hope it will resound with those who read Lily.

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  20. ***Just a friendly reminder! If you want to enter for one of DIANE's great books, please remember to leave your email addy! :)***

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  21. Hey Co-author and True Friend,
    I am so thankful God has allowed us to work together. It is truly a privilege and an honor. It is wonderful hearing how God uses you to minister to others, even in the midst of very difficult days. Even now, God is sending people to pray and minister to you. Thanks for taking this writing journey with me.

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    1. Hi Aaron, I am thankful too for your insight and the wonderful ideas. It's one of God's many blessings that we get to write together. Thanks for all you do.

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  22. Great interview of the author of what sounds like a GREAT book, & it would be great to win this book! I think that many times, actually letting go is the most difficult of things that God asks us to do, but when we do, it can also be one of the most rewarding things we can do.
    vmarney(at)hotmail(dot)com
    Vicki OWG

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    1. Yes, Vicki, you are so right on both points. When we turn God down we are turning down the blessings He wants to shower on us.

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  23. Thank you so much for the interview! The reminder of forgiving family really sticks with me.
    Thanks
    Amy C
    OWG
    campbellamyd at gmail dot com

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    1. Thanks, Amy. Sometimes the ones we love the most also have the power to hurt us the most. Learning to forgive them can be difficult. Aaron and I hope that Lily's journey to forgiveness may help others.

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  24. Thanks for the interview ladies, I always enjoy learning more about the great authors out there.

    Patty
    pattymh2000(at)yahoo(dot)com
    OWG

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    1. Thanks for coming by, Patty. It's a pleasure to be on this wonderful blog.

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  25. My story is about the same. I had my Dad and brother in two different hospitals with two different kinds of cancer. Not knowing they would make it. My brother died at 42 my Dad lived a couple more years.I lost my main focus which was God! That God was in control. My own selfishness put me into a deep depression where I almost died. A doctor gave me a book about finding my JOY. I thought i was a strong Christian. God showed me i was not. This book really helped me to see Gods plan and He is in total control and I need but give it all to him. I also read Phillipians chapter 4 over and over. A year later I was ok! I lost that whole year in my memory. My life verse is Phil. 4:13. Now I have my mother living with me and has Dementia. I know the Lord is with me and all in his plan. don't think I mentioned during that same time of all the loss I loss all my friends due to a church split.Also my son went 2000 miles away from home to go to school. Life is much better even through the trials I have had since. I grew through it and I know that is what God wanted. I wasn't the person I thought I was and God showed me.
    OwG
    joeym11@frontier.com

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    1. Diana, I am so sorry for all of your losses and I pray God's blessings on you as you continue to love and care for others.

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  26. Hi Diane and thanks so much for sharing your story with us, I really enjoyed your interview answers :) So sorry for your loss and the struggle you dealt with afterwards, but I also liked how you stated you would deal with all of it instead of forgetting the joy and love you and your parents shared. I'm very close to my parents and I praise God for the relationship I enjoy with them, they are both my best friends and my inspiration when dealing with anything in life and in my walk with Christ.

    Loved your scripture verse and what you hope your readers will get from your book, I was deeply encouraged by both of your answers and I pray that message will be carried out for each of your readers by God's grace. Thanks again for being here on one of my favorite blogs, it was such a pleasure to "meet" you and learn about your book! Will keep you and your book in my prayers :)

    Please don't enter me, simply wanted to say hi and join the wonderful conversation here :) Hugs and blessings to my OWG sisters!

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    1. Hi Kara, Thanks for your sweet remarks and for stopping by. I am enjoying getting to meet the people at OWG. What a wonderful, supportive group you are. God bless you.

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  27. Diane (Town Girl) What a great interview. Sometimes you leave me speechless with your knowledge and wisdom. During some of my most difficult days you give me the comfort to move forward. Today, I feel like I am not helping you move forward but when I read this interview, it's just God telling me that you will be ok. You have such a good relationship with God that someone could easily be jealous. Thank you for sharing your knowledge of the Lord and your friendship with me. It is truly an honor to be in your life. With your talent, you will reach so many lives helping them to make the decision to come to God. That is all our purposes and that's what God wants us to do. May God Bless you on this journey.

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    1. Thanks so much, Lisa. You've been there for me so much. Even that night when Gene died. You jealous of me? How many ministers do you have in your family? If anyone has daily exposure to the Word, it's you. Thanks for everything, sis.

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  28. This sounds like a wonderful book thanks for chance to win a copy

    OWG

    ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

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  29. OH OH OH OH !!!! I would LOVE to win Lily or any book by either author! LOL!

    Thank you!

    OWG

    amada_chavez{AT}yahoo{DOT}com

    ~Amada (pronounced: a.m.a.th.a)

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