Monday, October 20, 2014

Welcome, Debbie Lynne Costello!

Thank you for having me on your blog, Louise. I’m excited to be here and be able to give a copy away of my first published work. I’ll be giving away A Cup of Christmas Cheer: A Tale of Christmas Past with my short story, “The Letter” so be sure to read through and find out how to enter!





 




I’d never tried my hand or my mind at a short story. Well, not since I was in high school and it was part of my creative writing class. I believe the title of my last paper for High School was A Day in the Life of Randy’s Zoo. Randy was our teacher and at times the class could get rather, well, let’s just say unstudious. So to attempt to write one now, after all these years, was a bit daunting.


Short stories should be easy to write because, after all, they are short! I find I want to put way too much detail and too many twists and turns into a story, so it makes it hard to keep it short. So when Guideposts Books put out the call for short stories, I was hesitant. I really had my doubts that I could come up with something. But then I thought GUIDEPOSTS! Wouldn’t that be cool to get published by a company whose books and devotionals I’d read as a kid? And I do love Christmas. So I put my mind to work and submitted a few stories. I received “The Call” and here I am with Louise Gouge talking about “The Letter” in A Cup of Christmas Cheer: A Tale of Christmas Past.
 

Like so many other people, I love Christmas. I mean I REALLY love Christmas. For years I would go up into the attic (which my husband still swears is going to cave in someday because I have way too many Christmas things up there) and pull down 20 to 25 boxes of Christmas decorations. I’d then put on the Christmas music and go to work, taking down pictures and putting up Christmas pictures. I’d change out my regular dishes with Christmas tree plates, bowls, glasses, and mugs. Garland was hung over every window and banister. Every door had a wreath (inside and out). I put out villages, snowman scenes, several nativities, and every kind of Christmas decoration you can imagine. It usually took me two days to put up decorations.

Last was the tree. That was a family affair…sort of. Hubby would put the tree up and string the lights on it and then sit down and watch as our four children and I hung ornaments on the tree. One by one the kids would get tired until I was left alone. Once the tinsel came out, so did the kids again. Then after they went to bed, I’d redo all the tinsel they threw on. (picture from:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas_tree)
 

My kids are no longer little, but when they talk about their childhood, so often Christmas is brought up with fondness.  Memories are some of the greatest gifts God has given us. They can bring us such joy and tender feelings. Memories are something that no one can take from us once we have them. In “The Letter,” family strife and bitterness steal those memories before they’re made. But I think every Christmas story should have a happy ending and “The Letter” is no exception. And hopefully you’ll find a few surprises.
 
Thanks for coming by and visiting with me today. Tell me one of your favorite things about Christmas or a favorite tradition to be entered to win A Cup of Christmas Cheer: A Tale of Christmas Past. I’ll be stopping in and chatting with you today. I’m excited and looking forward to it! Leave a comment to be entered into our drawing for a copy of the book. Only residents of the United States are eligible.

If you are interested in buying A Cup of Christmas Cheer two-book set you can find them at https://www.shopguideposts.org/catalog/product/view/id/2084


Debbie Lynne Costello has enjoyed writing stories since she was about eight years old. She raised her family and then embarked on her own career of writing the stories that had been begging to be told. She and her husband have four children and live in upstate South Carolina. She has worked in many capacities in her church and is currently the Children’s director. Debbie Lynne has shown and raised Shetland sheepdogs for eighteen years and still enjoys litters now and then. In their spare time, She and her husband enjoy camping and riding their Arabian and Tennessee Walking horses. Visit Debbie Lynne at www.debbielynnecostello.com and www.theswordandspirit.blogspot.com

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Rejected by man, accepted by God!

Wow! It's been over a year since I posted news of my books. But, finally, I have a new indie release. Daughter of Destiny is a romance novella that tells the story of two young Christians, both sure of their love for God, but not so sure of their love for each other. Here's the story:

Second choice. These words haunt Leah Smith as she agrees to marry Reverend Jonah Adams, the man she has loved since childhood, the man who first proposed to another woman. Placing God’s will above her own heart’s longing to be loved by Jonah, she accepts his businesslike proposal and sails with him to the distant South Pacific Island of her birth.
 
Rejected. The word laps at Jonah Adams’s mind like the violent wave that surround him. Why has God rejected his well-designed plan of missionary service?
 
Daughter of Destiny is available on Kindle (just click the title), NOOK, and Smashwords.
 
Keywords: South Pacific, missionary, romance, Hawaii, rejection, 1820, sailing, adventure, Pele, red-haired.
 
Please take a look!

Monday, June 10, 2013

MY BRAND NEW E-BOOK!

I'm excited to announce the release of my first self-published e-book, Escape from Kikwit. This truly is a story of my heart because it was written in tribute to my daughter Jane, who served as a missionary in Zaire in 1991. When a rebellion erupted against the despotic president of the country, all foreigners were in danger. Jane was in the Heart of Darkness, a town deep in the jungle with no easy way out. In fact, everyone arrived by MAF planes because the president did not permit improvements of roads, lest rebels be able to travel easily to the capital, Kinshasa.

The French Foreign Legion sent two large transport planes with many soldiers, and all of the foreigners were rescued, including businessmen, Peace Corps volunteers, and missionaries of various denominations.

Once Jane was safely home, I just had to write a romance novel about it. You know, gorgeous blond missionary girl and handsome Legionnaire. My book didn't quite fit the guidelines of the publishers who have published my other novels, so it didn't find a home. Now that we are able to put our own books on Kindle, Nook, and other programs, I decided to get this story out there as a way to honor those who serve the Lord in foreign countries. Here's the story:

Abandoned in the Heart of Darkness!
During a deadly rebellion in the African nation of Zaire, missionary school teacher Jenna Grant misses the only plane to safety and finds herself left behind in the company of a French Foreign Legionnaire. The only thing more dangerous to Jenna than the rampaging rebels out to take her life is the handsome young soldier who attempts to steal her heart.

Smitten! At last Legionnaire Jean-Richard Chanson has found the fulfillment of his quest for happiness: a beautiful missionary teacher he must rescue from violent rebels. But how can he win her heart when she has already given it to an invisible rival, a God whom Jean-Richard has long ago rejected?
 


This beautiful cover was designed by the talented Melinda Cote (11elevenepublishing.com), and the Farrah Fawcett lookalike is my lovely daughter Jane as she looked in 1991. Yes, that's a monkey on her lap. She was and is fearless!
 
Escape from Kikwit is available for Kindle, Nook, and Smashwords. I am giving away a copy of your choice of my other books (print only) to a person to finds a typo in this book. Yes, there is one. If you click on the title at the first of this paragraph, it will take you to the book, and you can read some sample pages. (No need to buy the book, but I'd love it if you did. :-)) Just leave a comment describing the error that ten proofreaders managed to miss. (Groan! This is the bane of every author.) The winner will be drawn on July 1, and must reside in the United States or Canada. Entrants are responsible for following the laws and rules regarding giveaways in your city, state, or province.


Monday, May 20, 2013

WE HAVE WINNERS!!


Congratulation to Jenny T and Maria P for winning copies of A Lady of Quality! Thank you all for visiting my blog and participating in our Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt. Your comments were a such a blessing to me. This whole event was a blast, and I expect to participate in something similar again in the future. Please stay tuned, or, I should say, please keep stopping by. I expect to give away more copies when the release date arrives in July, both on my website and others.

Friday, May 17, 2013

10 Things to Do in Venice, Italy

THE CHRISTIAN FICTION SCAVENGER HUNT STOP #31


Welcome to the 2013 Summer Scavenger Hunt! This hunt has 32 stops and runs 5/17-5/19/13. You can make the loop, reading unique content from 31 different authors, and if you complete the loop, and fill out the Rafflecopter form at Stop #32, you'll be in the running for an iPad Mini (loaded with all our books), or one of two runner-up prizes---all 31 of our new releases in paperback. In addition, some authors are offering additional prizes, so be sure to read each post thoroughly to be in the running for all that are available. The contest is open internationally.

If you've JUST discovered the hunt, I recommend you begin at the beginning, Stop #1, found at LisaBergren.com. But you can also begin here, and keep on rolling. Just be aware that you have to have the COMPLETED phrase in order, which you construct gathering the clue at each stop, within 24 hours of email notification from Lisa Bergren that you won. If Lisa doesn't hear back from you with the correct phrase within the time limit, she will move on to the next winner Rafflecopter draws. Ready? Here we go...

LISA BERGREN
I am pleased to host Lisa Bergren. This prolific, best-selling, award-winning author simply dazzles me with the variety of books she writes: fiction, nonfiction; contemporary/historical; suspense/romance; adult/children. Her reviews at amazon.com are top heavy with fives, because readers of every stripe love her stories. She has received a dozen or so Top Pick awards and countless 4.5 star ratings at Romantic Times Book Club.

Take a look at this list of awards: An RT Lifetime Achievement Award, an RT Reviewer's Choice finalist (Glamorous Illusions), a Rita nomination (Firestorm), a Christy nomination (The Begotten), and a Christy Award (Waterfall). :-) Over 40 books, over 2 million sold.

If you haven’t heard of Lisa Bergren, you’ll be intrigued by her official bio:

Lisa T. Bergren is an award-winning, best-selling writer of over forty books in many genres, from children's picture books to adult nonfiction. But her happy place is writing novels. You can find her on the web at LisaBergren.com, Facebook.com/LisaTawnBergren, and @LisaTBergren.

Today, Lisa gives us a fascinating look at one of the world’s most famous cities.

10 Things to Do in Venice, Italy

By Lisa Bergren

I’ve had several books set in (or with scenes in) Venice—the latest being Grave Consequences. And yes, one of the rough parts about being an author is The Research Trips (cue the sad music…umm…When can I set a book there again?). I’ve adored my time in Venice, and each trip has been radically different.

Don’t trust what the cruise day-trippers tell you. The only way to absorb Venice’s beauty and essence is to really have 3+ days. A good trip would be 3-5 days, and if you have the luxury of more time, 10 days will leave you feeling like you really know the place. (You can save money by staying outside the center of the Rialto and in an apartment; trust me, you can easily walk or take the water bus to anywhere you want to see!) If at all possible, go in Spring or Fall; Summer can be hot, humid and buggy. And tour in the early morning and evening, when the day-trippers vacate!

Now, sit back and watch this brief clip that Lisa filmed while floating on the Grand Canal in Venice, which her husband set to music!





When you go to Venezia (and you must go), please do these things:

1)     Go to the top of the campanile (bell tower) at sunset. The colors and views are marvelous, and you get a solid understanding of the “fish shape” of the island.

2)     Attend a Vivaldi concert in an old church. They’re available every night, somewhere in the city, and this was his home town. *sigh*

3)     When the crowds are getting to you, take the vaparetto (water bus) over to Torcello. Torcello was the birthplace of Venice, where mainlanders fleeing marauding soldiers escaped to, and then gradually stayed. There’s an amazing 1000-year-old church there and it’s all lush grass and peace and quiet.

4)     Buy Murano glass earrings in every color. They’re inexpensive here, and wildly expensive at home. I think the Dorsoduro district has some of the best shops. Better yet, day trip over to the island of glass itself to see how they’re made (but I do think prices are higher there than on the Rialto).

5)     Tour the Doge’s Palace and really contemplate what it was like to be the Duke (Doge, pronounced doa-sh) of the Lagoon—the power, the money. It gives you a solid sense of why Venezia had the most powerful naval fleet for centuries. From there, you can cross the Bridge of Sighs and also go through the prison where Casanova spent a few nights…and escaped.

6)     One morning, tour the Rialto fish market; there’s been a market in this location since 1057 and you’ll see what all those fishermen have to show for their morning’s toils.

7)     Hire a water taxi to give you a long, slow tour of the Grand Canal, and then take you around the circumference of Venice, about 1.5 hours. If funds don’t allow that, take the #1 Vaparetto from one end to the next of the Canal, and then do some hops around. It’s noisier, but seeing Venice from the water is special.

8)     Tour the basilica of Santa Marco, but be sure to leave time to go upstairs, and yes, pay a few more Euros for entrance. It’s worth it for the great view of the piazza, lagoon, and get a close-up of the millions of mosaic tiles, as well as the giant, bronze Graeco-Roman horses that were claimed as booty during the Fourth Crusade.

9)     Get inside one of the palazzos on the Grand Canal. We rented an apartment for three days on the third floor of one once, which was fabulous. But if your budget doesn’t allow that, Ca’Rezzonico houses a great museum…and is in a beautiful old palazzo.

10)  Get lost. Don’t get so wound up in finding the most direct route to your next stop. Pay attention to the sun and get your bearings, east-west-north-south, then walk generally in the direction you need to go. That way, you can enjoy it as you go rather than getting all wound up! And remember, it’s an island. You just can’t get too lost. Getting a little lost allows you to see treasures you would’ve never seen otherwise, and you settle into the relaxing, tidal rhythms of this wondrous place.

Lisa’s new release, Grave Consequences, a historical romantic suspense, takes the reader on a Grand Tour of Europe such as the journeys taken by every wellborn European in centuries past. It is available at bookstores or online at:
Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Christian Book Distributors, and elsewhere!

 
AND NOW, YOUR NEXT STEPS:

Write down this clue: triumphs.

NOW TO ENTER FOR THE GRAND PRIZE, HEAD BACK TO LISA BERGREN'S SITE, FIND STOP #32, AND FILL OUT THE RAFFLECOPTER FORM!

AND NOW FOR A BONUS PRIZE!

I’m having a drawing for a print copy of my upcoming July release, A Lady of Quality, a Regency romance from Love Inspired Historicals. To be entered in the drawing, scroll down from here to my April 1 post and leave a comment, guessing who my next hero and heroine will be. You can find the answers at amazon.com: http://is.gd/aIo3HU . As always on my site, winners are limited to residents of the U. S. and Canada. Entrants are responsible for laws regarding prizes in your state.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

SCAVENGER HUNT!

I’m excited to announce that I’ll be participating in a Scavenger Hunt with other writers (31 in all) on May 17 – 19. All you have to do is jump on board and enjoy the fun.

THERE WILL BE PRIZES!!!
You can’t have a scavenger hunt without prizes, and we’re offering some great ones. The Grand Prize winner will receive an iPad Mini with 31 novels in e-books format loaded on it, one from each of the 31 authors. Two runners-up will receive all 31 books in paperback. For more information, visit our fearless leader’s website at: http://lisatawnbergren.com/2013/04/christian-fiction-scavenger-hunt/

Here are the participating authors, along with their new releases that will be offered as prizes. I hope you find your favorite among us, and I hope you'll be discovering new favorites.

Lisa T. Bergren, Grave Consequences
Robin Lee Hatcher, A Bride for All Seasons
Ronie Kendig, Talon
Ruth Axtell, Moonlight Masquerade
Stephanie Grace Whitson, The Message on the Quilt
Tracy Higley, So Shines the Night
Marta Perry, Lydia's Hope
Jill Williamson, Captives
Margaret Daley, Scorned Justice
MaryLu Tyndall, Forsaken Dreams
R.J. Larson, King
Susan Sleeman, No Way Out
Deborah Raney, The Face of the Earth
Winnie Griggs, The Bride Next Door
Sandra Robbins, Mountain Homecoming
Julie Lessman, Love at Any Cost
Leslie Gould, Adoring Addie
Vickie McDonough, Whispers on the Prairie
Carol Cox, Trouble in Store
Rachel Hauck, Once Upon a Prince
Terri Blackstock, Truth Stained Lies
Louise M. Gouge, A Lady of Quality
Missy Tippens, Georgia Sweethearts
Richard Mabry, Stress Test
Lynette Eason, When a Secret Kills
Patricia Hickman, Tiny Dancer
Lorna Seilstad, When Love Calls
Colleen Coble, Rosemary Cottage
Maureen Lang, All in Good Time
John Otte, Failstate: Legends
Anne Elisabeth Stengl, Dragonwitch

COME ALONG AND ENJOY THE FUN!!! See you on May 17 - 19!

Monday, April 1, 2013

My upcoming release!

I have a new release coming up in July. It's the third book in my Ladies in Waiting series. If you have read the first two books and can guess who my hero and heroine will be in A Lady of Quality, leave your answer in my comments section below, and I will enter you in a drawing for a copy of the new book.

I won't respond to your answers until I receive my author copies. Then I'll draw a winner. Be sure to leave your email with your comments so I can contact you.

As always, winners must reside in the U. S. or Canada. Entrants are also responsible for any laws or regulations in your home state or province.