05 February 2013

Diana Flowers Reviews Camellia by Diane T. Ashley and Aaron McCarver

Camellia

  

Reviewed by Diana Flowers
~4.5 stars
 
 
A Riveting Read!

In Camellia, Book Two in The Song of the River series, Diane Ashley sweeps us away to beautiful Mississippi, with its majestic, tropical fruit plantations and azalea covered grounds, to the tumult and darkness of the Civil War, secrets -- and betrayal.
 
Camellia Anderson has always lived a self-centered life, wishing only to go to finishing school that she might attract a rich, handsome husband and live in a mansion with the most fashionable attire, jewelry, and possessions. Against her elder sister's better judgement she goes to New Orleans, confident that the Confederate troops will be able to hold off the Yankees and she will abide in safety there.
 
Camellia becomes fast friends with Jane Watkins and together they attend the finest balls and events, and under the tutelage of the school's headmistress, Mrs. Dabbs, they learn the skills to become a lady in every sense of the word. Just when life seemingly can't get any better for Camellia, she meets the man of her dreams -- Captain Thad Watkins of the Confederate army and brother of her friend, Jane.
 
Thad is the most handsome man Camellia has ever beheld and seems to be her perfect match, and she quickly begins thinking about marriage. Then Jonah Thornton enters her life again, a man with a deep, dark secret, and soon Camellia finds herself and her friends in the utmost danger. Both men vie for her heart, but which will Camellia choose? As she becomes immersed in unselfishly tending to the wounded, does Camellia find out what her true calling really is and what is really important in life?
 
This was an awesome and realistic book with a strong storyline -- depicting the horrors of war, but also throwing in episodes of enjoyment and humor so as not to depress the reader. I loved the main and secondary characters!...and although this is the second book in The Song of the River series it may be read as a stand alone. I also loved the fact that there is a strong spiritual thread of forgiveness, redemption, and salvation throughout this book. Very nicely done, Diane T. Ashley and Aaron McCarver!
 
I received a copy of this book from Net Galley in exchange for my honest opinion.
 
This book may be purchased at CBD, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.


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.

Question: Have you ever wanted something so badly that you thought it was God's will for your life, only to have Him totally change your plans?


67 comments:

  1. Very nice review, Diana! Sounds like a lovely read.

    I was offered a job once and really wanted to work there. I had no job at that moment, so it seemed like this was from God...but it wasn't.

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    1. Thank you, MARIAN! It's amazing how we as human beings think just that b/c we want something that it's from God many times. I have been there -- done that!

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    2. I'm wondering if you took the job Marian? If not, how did you realize it was not from God? I usually can only see His hand in hindsight.

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    3. I already said 'yes' to work there, but I had a lot of inner unrest. My husband also felt there was something not right in our lives, but we didn't know what it was. We went to our pastor to talk about our unrest and he explained things about understanding the will of God. At that moment I started to realize it was the job that was causing the unrest. But I wanted the job so bad that I kept it to myself at first. Shortly later my husband said: “I don't think you should take that job.” I said I thought he was right and then I suddenly wanted to get rid of it right away. So I sent an email explaining it was not the will of God for me to work there. Of course it was not understood, but I just had to tell the employer that God didn’t want me there. Later I saw how the Lord has protected me from getting hurt.

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    4. What a wonderful story Marian. Thanks for sharing it. The very fact that your prospective employer didn't understand may be an indication of why God wanted you to travel a different path.

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  2. Sounds like a very intriguing book DIANE and AARON! And a really great review DIANA! Now I want to find out who she chooses, lol!! I love the spiritual themes in this book too.

    I had a similar experience to Marian but probably the thing I wanted the most bad was to be pregnant, and at the same time as my good friend who was pregnant. But I didn't find out I was expecting my first child until 10 mths later, and found out on Christmas Eve! My daughter was a wonderful gift from God, but I can see now looking back on her life and mine, the timing also was PERFECT for everything to have come together as it has. If only we didn't stress so much, but left these things in God's capable and wise hands.. :)

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    1. NOELA, I love the spiritual themes as well and just EVERYTHING about their novels!

      God's timing is always perfect, but I want it yesterday many times. Especially my healing! Trying to leave it in God's hands, but need to LEAVE it there!

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    2. Aaron and I loved Camellia and wanted to show her growth from a spoiled Southern belle to a Christian young lady of deep and abiding faith. We hope our readers will enjoy her journey. You are so right about God's timing and not trying to get Him to meet our expectations. Thanks, Diana. It's such a thrill when someone enjoys our books.

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  3. Great Review Diana!!! Book sounds great. I have had something happen in my life. I though for sure God wanted me in certain ministries and I was elected into all the offices at church. Then like a week after my accepting (If it was even that) My mom got bad and had to come live with me. Now all that free time i had to devote to the Lord in these ministries I had to turn around and decline. Hmm I thought God wanted me to be there and the church needed me in these roles, but it wasn't in His plan.
    Thanks for the chance to win this book.
    Blessings,
    joeym11@frontier.com.
    OWG

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    1. I have seen that happen so many times in different churches I have been to, DIANA! So many people take on all kinds of ministries in the church and it may not be God's call on their lives at all! Right now apparently God wants you to minister to your mom, and I know God appreciates your willingness to do in church! And I have not been able to minister in my church either b/c of an ongoing illness, but God has me here.

      Thank you for sharing, DIANA!

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    2. Hi Diana, I can't tell you how many times I thought God was leading me in a certain direction only to discover that I was completely wrong...He has something much better in mind!

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  4. Diana another terrific review of an amazing book. :)

    Yes I have wanted things in life that I found out was not God's will. When I was nineteen I was engaged to a man eight years older than me. I thought he hung the moon...but when another girl came along and "lured" him away I wanted to send him to the moon!! :) So glad God had better plans for my life, I waited four years and met the one God had for me and this April we will be married 26 years.

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    1. LOL, TERESA, about the moon remark! I'm so glad she lured him away...I just can't imagine you w/out Carlton! You fit together like a hand in a glove -- perfect.

      Early congrats! Our anniversary is in Apr, too!!! The 3rd--what day is yours?

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    2. Hi Teresa, What a blessing for you that he was lured away. David's psalm comes to mind about how God turns mourning into joy.

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  5. When I graduated Univ. at the age of 48 I thought that I'd love to work as a Social Worker in a hospice only to find that they had a shake-up as it was and hired someone even before I got to the place for my interview. I was so disappointed but later the Lord led me to a job that wasn't even in the social work field which I loved. God's plans are wonderful but sometimes we need to just "Be still!" I'd love to win this book. The review was great as yours always are and the cover is stupendous!! Blessings! Darlene
    spangldlady[at]gmail[dot]com

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    1. Thank you for your kind words, DARLENE! You will love this book and I hope you get a chance to read it asap!

      Aren't you glad we have an awesome God who in His infinite wisdom watches over us? No telling the dumb things I may have got myself into if He didn't! ;)

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    2. Thanks Darlene. We wanted the reds and oranges to indicate the war and to contrast with Lily, the first book in the series. The third cover will be completely different too. Like you, I am not working in the field I imagined during college. My day job is at the Mississippi Capitol, a place I would never have dreamed of, and better than I could have imagined.

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  6. forgot to put the OWG on the previous comment. Darlene

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    1. Gotcha for an extra entry, DARLENE! Thank you!

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  7. Hi, I am new to this site, came via Christian Historical Fiction on facebook.

    I enjoyed the review Diana and would like to read this book and the first one too.

    After my husband and I were married for a few years-@19975-his parents decided to sell the "home place". I wanted to buy it and live there but God had other plans for us. I was disappointed but later in 1998 God placed a house in our laps that was/is much better for us. I thank Him everyday for His provision for us.

    OWG

    Blessings, Tina
    tfrice@comcast.net





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    1. MRS. TINA, isn't God just too good to us! I'm so glad you are enjoying your new home and KNOW you will enjoy LILY and CAMELLIA, too! Diane is a superb author! Thank you so much for stopping by.

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    2. Hi Mrs. Tina, What a wonderful story about the "home place." I'm glad you waited on God's timing. It's a lesson I am still learning.

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  8. Thanks Diana for your wonderful review. I am so glad you enjoyed Camellia. I grew up not far from Vicksburg, where a lot of the book takes place, but I was amazed at what I learned as Aaron and I did the research for this book. We hope to bring that past to life for all who read our historical novels but our main goal in writing is to tell His story through our characters.

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    1. You are so welcome, DIANE! It thrills me to be able to tell others about exceptional books and LILY and CAMELLIA certainly fit that category!

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  9. Diana our anniversary is the 11th for the first one and the 15th for the second time we got married! LOL No everyone we didn't divorce, we just repeated our vows at our 20th anniversary. It was my hubby's idea....sweet huh?

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    1. Real sweet, T! That's why I'm glad the older man took a hike! lol

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  10. Yes that has happened a few times in my life, but I embrace it knowing it's what God wants!

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    1. And that's a wonderful attitude to have, MEGAN! Hoping for a win for you here!

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    2. God bless you, Megan. Diana is right about your attitude. It is inspiring.

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  11. yes Wanted to move to different area once and was so totally upset with hubby and just knew he wasn't doing what God wanted by staying put.

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    1. Hubbies can do that to us sometimes, APPLEBLOSSOM! LOL But thank God they listen to Him...most of the time anyway. Thanks for coming by!

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    2. Hi AppleBlossom, I'm the curious type. Do you want to share the outcome of your move? Do you feel now it was God's will? As I posted earlier, I often have a hard time seeing His will in the present. It's when I look back that I can see His hand guiding me.

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  12. Would love to win a book. I am also a follower.
    susanlulu@yahoo.com

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    1. SUSANLULU, thank you so much for coming by! Do you have an answer to my question above? :)

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  13. I am trying to think of a time when this has happened to me but I can't think of one tonight, sorry. I know there are things I have wanted very badly but it did not come to me or happen but I know everything happens for a reason and he must have had a reason he did not give me what I wanted. Thank you for giveaway.

    OWG - follower - griperang

    griperang at embarqmail dot com

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    1. ANGELA, that was a very good answer. He does know what is best for us even if we don't. Good luck in the drawing!

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    2. Hi Angela, I know what you mean. Sometimes I think God must shake His head at me when I'm acting out because I think I want something. I'm thankful He is so patient and forgiving.

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  14. I really can't think of a time like that! Do want to put my name in tho for this book. Thanks ! I've always wanted to go down the Mississippi River and see the old plantation homes. I think that would be so neat. Please do drop my name in the bucket. Maxie

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  15. Oh my, this memory of mine. :( I forgot to put my OWG at the end. Gotta have that second chance, LOL Hope you girls are staying well. Maxie
    OWG OWG OWG LOL

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    1. MAXIE, thank you for being a follower! I see it now that I have my glasses on. lol We appreciate you very much over here at OWG! And extra entries for you, dear lady!

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    2. Thanks for stopping by, Maxie. Good luck in the drawing.

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  16. I wanted my brother's relationship with a young woman to work out and prayed desperately for it, but I'm really glad God had the woman he later married in mind for him. She's a wonderful sister-in-law! OWG

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    1. SHEILA, I'm so glad His eyes are ever beholding our lives. Sometimes the answers to our prayers are "no", but only b/c God sees the whole picture. So glad you love your SIL even though she isn't the one you prayed for! ;)

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    2. Hi Sheila, I share that experience with you. But the woman my brother married is so much better for him and our families than the one I would have chosen.

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  17. I guess mine will be the most boring comment since I have never really had anything like that happen. I am not perfect but I usually try to pray about things beforehand and if it happens than I assume that God allowed it and if it doesn't happen it doesn't.
    Jasmine A.
    montanamade(at)gmail(dot)com
    OWG

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    1. JASMINE, your comment is not boring at all! Would that everyone would pray beforehand...it would save people alot of trouble in their lives in the long run. Thank you for being a follower!

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    2. Hi Jasmine, I love your answer.

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  18. to answer your question...yes...however, when the plan did not go 'my' way, i realized that god's way was the best way.

    thanks for the chance to read this wonderful story.

    OWG

    karenk
    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

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    1. KAREN, you are so welcome! Yes, God's way is definitely the best way. Good luck in the drawing!

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  19. To answer your question, Yes, Yes, Yes. God knew what I needed before I did.
    Since that time, He has given me more Blessings than I can count.
    Janet E.
    von1janet(at)gmail(dot)com
    OWG

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    1. JANET, He just continually pours them on, doesn't He? Thank you for coming by and for following OWG!

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    2. Hi Janet, With an attitude like yours, I am certain you bless the others around you. Thanks for stopping by to say hello.

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  20. Great review, Diana! I want to read this book!!!

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    1. It was on N G, CARRIE. May still be. :) Thanks so much!

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    2. Hi Carrie, I hope you get a change to read it, too.

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  21. Have you ever wanted something so badly that you thought it was God's will for your life, only to have Him totally change your plans?
    Yes, this has happened to me several times. The one that comes to mind is when I purchased my last horse. I was sure this was the horse for me. I bought the horse and soon realized this was not what God had in mind. I was not meant to have this horse but instead, I was able to witness to a couple of gals when I resold him.

    Please enter me in the contest to win a copy of your book.
    Thanks so much.

    cindialtman(at)gmail(dot)com

    OWG

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    1. CINDI, thank you for sharing that interesting little story with us. God's ways are so above our ways and I love how He orders our steps. I appreciate the fact that you were willing to obey and witness to these two gals, too. You are entered in the giveaway -- good luck!

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  22. Yes, God has had to straighten me out a few times and he still has to. Lol, I don't think we ever learn. It is always an uphill battle.
    samanthaakuiper(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Hi Samantha, You are absolutely right about uphill climbs. About the time I think I have it "all figured out" God shows me that I'm wrong again. The good news is He is a God of patience and love.

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    2. SAMANTHA and DIANE, I'm right there with you.

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  23. 52 years ago i was sure at age 18 i was too marry the one i loved so dearly, but God had other plans at age 24 i married my husband and God gave me 3 wonderful children and im very happy

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    1. ANONYMOUS, I so love your fairy tale ending. God is good, isn't He? But to enter you in the contest I need a name and an email, b/c without them you really are anonymous. :(

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  24. I had my heart set on a particular house, but it was not to be. We purchased out little cottage instead & have found so many wonderful, caring neighbors.

    OWG

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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    1. Hi, MARY! That actually happened to my hubby. He had his heart set on a house that I absolutely cried about. He could get it at a great price and fix it up. It was so small and old. I prayed and asked God to please let something happen IF it wasn't His will for us to get that house. Long story short, something happened and we didn't get the house. Thank you, Lord! We bought a house that we both love and like you, have the best Christian neighbors all about us!

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  25. This book sounds great...I am very interested in reading it...and Diana you did a wonderful job on the review!
    Many times I have wanted something so badly and in my
    thougt process have made it sound like it was God's will for me..but of course it wasn't. I have learned from my mistakes...choices in friends, schools to go to, men to date, a job...all of this is hard in life. I have learned that I love the Lord with all of my heart and want to live for Him. If I had everything I thought I wanted out of life...but didn't have the Lord...or follow His will..I would be miserable. I am so glad He is so forgiving and patient. Thank you for a chance to win! My e-mail is sunydey26@aol.com

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  26. I thought I was going to be a manager of a Christian bookstore as my career, but the store ended up closing. OWG shopgirl152nykiki(at)yahoo(dot)com

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