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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


Blogger Debbie Lynne Costello said...

Louise, Thanks for having me here today! I'm excited to meet your followers and chat!

October 20, 2014 at 8:10 AM  
Blogger Louise M. Gouge said...

Welcome, Debbie Lynne! I'm getting in the mood for Christmas just from reading your post. Congratulations on your first publishing credit. Guideposts is a great place to start! I pray you'll have many, many more of your wonderful stories coming out soon.

October 20, 2014 at 9:01 AM  
Blogger Susan Snodgrass said...

I would love to read your work. We actually live in the same town, too!
Susan Snodgrass

October 20, 2014 at 9:19 AM  
Blogger chris granville said...

Debbie Lynne Great that you got published Way to go God bless you
Chris Granville

October 20, 2014 at 10:50 AM  
Blogger Nancy J Farrier said...

Debbie, I can't imagine 20 to 25 boxes of Christmas decorations. I don't do a lot of decorating, but try to make Christmas a bit different each year. Last year, my daughters made our "tree" out of books and decorated it with origami decorations that they made. They even made a star decoration for the top out of origami. Thanks for sharing and congrats on the book.

October 20, 2014 at 11:32 AM  
Blogger Debbie Lynne Costello said...

Thank you, Louise! I appreciate all the support you have given me!

Susan, you live in Clover? Wow! I didn't realize that. We need to meet and have a glass of tea together! Thanks for coming by.

Hey Chris! Thank you so much! This has been so exciting for me. Thank you for all the encouragement you've sent my way. It has been a huge blessing!

Oh my goodness, Nancy! That sounds beautiful. Origami ornaments can be just stunning. I'd love to see some pictures of the trees and decorations. I love that you change Christmas a little each year. A very fun tradition I bet.

October 20, 2014 at 4:39 PM  
Blogger Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

I just love Debbie Lynne and am so excited about this release! I can't wait to read this set. Big hugs!!!

October 20, 2014 at 5:20 PM  
Blogger Lane Hill House said...

Family! Getting together, watching the younger children open gifts ~ hot chocolate and stollen with drizzles of frosting and cherries on top! Thank you ~ hope I win A Cup of Christmas Cheer! Kathleen ~ Lane Hill House lanehillhouse[at]centurylink[dot]net

October 20, 2014 at 7:28 PM  
Blogger Debbie Lynne Costello said...

Awe. Thank you, Carrie! Love you too!

Hey Kathleen, you hit so many of the wonderful things about the holidays! Just reading your words makes me look forward to Christmas!

October 20, 2014 at 8:48 PM  
Blogger Keli Gwyn said...

Congratulations on receiving The Call, Debbie Lynne! That's a thrill unlike any other. I'm so happy for you.

One of my favorite Christmas traditions was putting on the Christmas tree lights with my dad. This was back in the days when the glass bulbs we used were much larger than their plastic counterparts of today. Each bulb had a metal clip that had to be carefully attached to a branch. Dad liked having me help because I could get my small hands between the branches more easily than he could.

When Gwynly and I married, I carried on the tradition of being in charge of the lights. This year I'll be thinking about my dad as I string them. He passed away three days after Christmas last year, so remembering those special times stringing the lights with him will help me find joy in the midst of the loneliness.

October 21, 2014 at 10:41 AM  
Blogger Connie R. said...

One of my favorite Christmas traditions was to buy each child a special ornament every year and then give it to them when they own their first home. I'd love to read your book.

October 21, 2014 at 1:41 PM  
Blogger Debbie Lynne Costello said...

Kelly that is bitter-sweet. I'm so sorry you are facing your first Christmas without your father, but I'm glad you have such a precious memory with him. And I remember those lights! I suppose they were much more of a fire hazard than the bulbs we put on our trees today. But they were beautiful! So happy to have your story in Cup of Christmas Cheer right next to mine!

Connie, I think that is such a fun tradition. My oldest son just married 3 days ago, so this year I'll be pulling all his ornaments and giving them to him for his tree.

October 21, 2014 at 2:12 PM  
Blogger Jacqueline Wheelock said...

A very good post, Debbie! So colorful and informative. Thank you. Jacqueline

October 22, 2014 at 10:31 AM  
Blogger Debbie Lynne Costello said...

Thank you, Jacqueline! That's sweet of you to say. Thank you for coming by and good luck!

October 22, 2014 at 12:25 PM  

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