Hello everyone! Today, I’ve got a real treat for you. I recently read The Sword of Forgiveness, and let me tell you it is a wonderful book! But not only am I reviewing it today, but I have a special guest on my blog, the author herself: Debbie Lynne Costello! And not only that, by she is graciously giving away a copy of her tale, either kindle of paperback in the Continental U.S. or a kindle edition outside the continental U.S. Details on how to enter are below, but first I wanted to introduce the author herself!
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 take pleasure in camping and riding their
Arabian and Tennessee Walking horses.
Thank you so much for taking the time to join us today!
For starters, tell us a little bit about Sword of Forgiveness; what makes it special to you? Sword of Forgiveness is about Forgiveness. 3 aspects of it actually. First is the forgiving others who have hurt you or harmed the ones you love. Second is being able to forgive yourself for your past. And third is believing that God has forgiven you. Sword of Forgiveness is a story of my heart. This was a story I knew God wanted me to write.
I’m always fascinated by authors’ journeys to getting their stories published. So, what’s the story behind yours? Sword of Forgiveness was the first story I wrote. It’s been through 2 editors, my critique partner has toiled over this so many times she can probably quote half of it, and I’ve gone over more times than I can count. Almost 20,000 words were cut from the original document by the end of it all. But 8 years ago you couldn’t find anyone who’d pick up medievals. Matter of Fact, I had many rejections from agents telling me to write something else and they’d like to see it. medievals were taboo in the Christian market place. Melanie Dickerson sold her fairy tale retelling to Zondervon for YA and then many years later, the publishing industry seemed to realize that it wasn’t just YA buying Melanie’s books. But I truly believe that it was Melanie’s books that broke down that barrier and so this year we are seeing medieval time period in the CBA.
I love your characters, Royce and Brithwin. Each is an interesting mix of the medieval, feudal thinking and a bit more modern ideas. Was it difficult to find that blend of the medieval thought and a relationship that echoes with modern readers? Not really. Because I love the time period, I just wrote what I love. The truth is there are somethings that in our world today we’d be appalled at if it was put in a book. We wouldn’t be able to connect with the characters at all if we followed history. Girls married at VERY young ages, as young as 12. That isn’t to say that every 12 year old girl was married but it wasn’t uncommon. The medieval times, especially in the late 14th century wasn’t as barbaric as one might think. It is the beginning of the Renaissance period which I’ve heard it described as a bridge between the middle ages and more modern times.
Speaking as one myself, do you have any words of wisdom for the aspiring authors out there? Probably nothing you haven’t heard before. :o) This is a tough industry to break into, so don’t give up. 1st find yourself a good critique partner that you really connect with. Just having a critique partner that is good at critiquing is nice but having one that understands you and your writing and can help you through the times when you want to quit is worth their weight in Gold! 2nd grow a tough skin. I’m not sure my skin is tough enough but I’m trying! This is an industry that is so subjective. What one person likes another may hate. You will never be able to please everyone. Keep that in mind. 3rd the industry is changing almost daily. It’s harder than ever to get an agent and a publisher. But for the first time self-publishing is acceptable by most and many writers are becoming hybrids. So pray, pray, pray for God’s direction and timing and then be patient. Being a writer certainly takes lots of patience! And lastly, make sure your book is top notch before you do anything with it. Don’t be in a hurry (see I told you it takes a lot of patience). There is lots of competition out there, make sure they see your best!
And lastly, you threw quite a curveball at the end of the book; does that mean we’re in for more trips into the wonderful medieval world you’ve created? Yes! I hope to have the first sequel to Sword of Forgiveness out by the end of the year! In the meantime I will have Bride by Blackmail, a 19th century Charleston SC novel coming out this summer with Royce and Brithwin’s descendant. :o)
I am definitely looking forward to the next book in the series! Why? Well, here’s what I thought of The Sword of Forgiveness:
This story is amazing! A great combination of sweet and suspense-filled, it is certainly one to read if you’re interested in Medieval tales. The setting itself is incredible, rich with detail, and obviously based on extensive research. There’s a wonderful glossary at the front with definitions of many medieval terms used throughout the book, which personally I love that it’s at the front, rather than hidden at the back and hard to find. And then there’s the story itself. The book practically opens with murder, and just continues the intrigue from there! There’s several wonderful surprises along the way, many of them truly shocking. The villain is great, a wonderful antithesis to the hero. Then you have Brithwin and Royce, a couple who have sparks even before they meet! Brithwin is exceedingly strong, and completely independent. She is capable, able of running her own lands without help. And she hates being put under a man. Royce certainly has an interesting reaction when he meets his wife, a woman who isn’t meek and submissive. He is a good man, strong man, though he has a past that haunts him. It’s interesting watching these two react, as neither is willing to bend. I’m not gonna lie, there were times when I wanted to jump into the story and shake some sense into them, but that’s usually when the author did so for me. And then there’s the message of forgiveness, practically permeated into the pages. There’s a great mix of romance, suspenseful intrigue, adventurous detours, and a remarkable cast of characters, both good and bad. This story made me sigh with happiness, weep with sadness, and kept me on edge with suspense until the very last page. It is a mature tale, and very deep, but well worth the read. Definitely a book that I recommend.
Intrigued? You can find this book on Amazon for Kindle and paperback, or you can enter to win a copy from the awesome author! I asked my own questions from this wonderful author, but now it’s your turn. To enter for the free book, comment below with a question of your own for Debbie Lynne. Enter before next Thursday at midnight for a chance at this awesome book!
Also, please feel free to check out the author’s websites, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter: