When I asked Debbie Lynne Costello to write a post about her new Guideposts story, she graciously consented to write the post AND to give away one copy of her book. Please comment below to be considered for the giveaway. After reading about her story, my interest was stirred, and now not only this year’s book, but the others are on my wish list. I’m sure I’ll enjoy reading them. Now here’s Debbie.
Thank you, Mildred for inviting me on your blog! I’m excited to visit with your followers. I’ve really enjoyed visiting blogs and sharing about my short story, “The Letter”. I thought I’d touch on several different aspects of my story, starting with why I wrote it.
When Guideposts books put out a call for short stories, I couldn’t say no to the magazine company that I’d read since I was young. And when I got the phone call telling me they’d selected ‘The Letter’ I was not only ecstatic, but honored to be chosen.
‘The Letter’ came from my deep appreciation for all the men and women and their families who give so sacrificially of their lives to serve in our armed forces. My family has a long list of military service which dates back to my eighth great-grandfather who fought in the Revolutionary War right here in South Carolina miles from where I live.
As I thought through the history of my ancestors there was one that has always touched my heart, a great uncle who fought in the war and never made it home. Our family tree has been heavily researched and every time I read about him I wish I could have known him. So the story started there. What would a woman who had always been a homemaker do when she suddenly found herself a widow with two children?
After researching the war, I decided my story needed to be just as the war had come to an end. The celebrations that so many families experienced in the return of their soldiers only added to the pain of many who would never hug their loved one again.
So many letters were saved by sweethearts during the war and we love to pour over the letters that a lonely soldier penned to his girl as he fights for our freedom. I loved the idea of a letter, but I wanted mine to be more than romance, I wanted one that would bring reconciliation.
So many families have been torn apart because of misunderstandings or prejudices of different sorts. As I wrote ‘The Letter’ my hope was that it would touch people’s hearts and they’d see the importance of forgiveness and reconciliation.
My wonderful critique partner, Kathleen L. Maher, wrote a beautiful review of my story and I’d like to share it with you. She has a wonderful way of putting my story into a nutshell.
Some of the best gifts this season will be delivered via mail. Packages, boxes, gift certificates, and cards send our love, especially at Christmastime. And such is the case in Debbie Lynne Costello’s short story “The Letter” debuting in Guidepost’s A Cup of Christmas Cheer 2014.
This touching story depicts a family torn by pride and separated by war who receives a life changing message of God’s healing and redemption, wrapped in an unassuming white envelope and sent via the United States Postal Service.
Despite a little postal intervention, holiday goodwill doesn’t kindle easily, at least to a young war widow trying to raise her children without the help and support of her pampered mother-in-law. Only a Christmas miracle will melt the ice around the proud matron’s heart to embrace the best gift of all—family. But will nerves frazzle before the frost thaws between them? Set at the end of World War II, after most surviving soldiers have returned home and families are rebuilding lives with or without loved ones, this story captures the high emotion of our country celebrating its first peacetime Christmas since before Pearl Harbor.
Like all of Debbie Lynne Costello’s stories, it features a strong southern heroine whose courage is a pillar to her family, a touching tribute to the women who served at war-work while their men braved the battlefield. But will this struggling widow’s faithfulness prove enough to turn hard hearts and reconcile the past?
Patriotism, forgiveness, and personal character abound in this beautiful story that will surely enrich every reader’s appreciation of family, home and country. Read this heartwarming story where God’s grace is the overarching theme, making miracles—both big and small—possible at Christmastime.
You may purchase or find more information about A Cup of Christmas Cheer at http://www.shopguideposts.org/christmascheer34-3431.html