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Saturday, December 26, 2020

Book Review and Giveaway - Bride by Blackmail Author: Debbie Lynne Costello On Tour with Celebrate Lit


About the Book

Book: Bride by Blackmail

Author: Debbie Lynne Costello

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release Date: September 15, 2020

A broken heart, a controlling father, and an intrusive Scot leave Charlotte Jackson reeling. Accused of stealing an heirloom pin, she must choose between an unwanted marriage and the ruin of her family name. With the futures of her three younger sisters at stake, as well as her own reputation, Charlotte must navigate through injustice to find forgiveness and true happiness.

Eager to find the traitor that caused the death of his brother, Duncan Mackenzie comes to America and attempts to fit in with Charleston society. But when the headstrong Charlotte catches his eye, Duncan takes on a second mission—acquiring the lass’s hand. After being spurned several times, he uses unconventional ways of winning her heart.


Click here to get your copy!


About the Author

Debbie Lynne Costello has been writing since the young age of eight. She went to college for journalism. She enjoys medieval settings and settings set in nineteenth century Charleston, South Carolina. She loves the Lord and hopes to touch people’s lives through her stories. Debbie Lynne lives in the beautiful state of South Carolina with her husband of 40 years, their 4 children, 2 Tennessee Walking horses, 2 Arabians, miniature donkey, 6 ducks, and 3 dogs.


More from Debbie

It is fun to build characters in books and one of the best ways is to show some sort of a hobby or skill that the particular character enjoys. In Bride by Blackmail, Charlotte and her sister, Nellie, are doing needlework on a tablecloth that they hope to have done by the holiday season. My grandmother who would be over a hundred today loved to do needlework. I have pieces from when she was young up until her later years when she did needlework on pillowcases to decorate them up as a Christmas present. But I also have pieces done by my great-great grandmother and her sisters. They are cherished pieces I hope to hand down for generations. As part of my giveaway I’ve purchased antique needlework and embroidered pieces to giveaway with the prizes.

Another fun way to build characters is show something they love to eat. Nellie, who is a minor character, is visiting the hero’s home with her family. Duncan being from Scotland has scones on the breakfast menu. Nellie can’t get enough of the yummy biscuits and finds the servant enjoys helping her continue her indulgence even after she leaves.




Preheat oven to 400


2 cups of flour

1/3 cup sugar

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp baking soda

½ tsp baking powder

½ cup sour cream

½ cup butter (hard)

½ cup cranberries

1 large egg

2 tsp. sugar (do not put this in with the dry ingredients. This is for topping.)


Mix together dry ingredients in large bowl. Once mixed well, cut hard butter into pats and drop into the bowl. Now cut the butter into the floured mixture until it is more like a crumble. Set aside.


In a small bowl, whisk together your egg and your sour cream until well mixed.


With a fork (no mixer!) blend the liquid mixture into the flour mixture, keep stirring until the mixture becomes one large ball. If you need to you can use your hands toward the end to make sure all the flour is in the ball.


On a lightly floured surface pat the dough out to about 3/4” thick. I try to make mine a rectangle for the next step. Once you have the thickness right, sprinkle with the remaining 2 tsps. sugar. Cut the dough into triangles and place on cookie sheet (you can use parchment paper on the cookie sheet). Be sure to place adequately apart on the sheet to prevent them touching when rising.

Bake approximately 15 minutes or until they are a beautiful golden color.

Allow to cool slightly. These are wonderful warm or cold!

My Thoughts

I am a huge fan of this author - and everything she writes always is beautiful and entertaining. We are transported to 1880.  In this book we meet Charlotte Jackson. Charlotte wants to be able to think for herself in a time period where women are to be seen and not heard. Her father who  is a banker is more concerned with money and status then his daughters. Charlotte has her eye on a gentleman - but when she is accused of stealing an heirloom pin - her whole life is turned upside down. Her father does not seem to care that she is innocent - just that he needs to save their family status and reputation. 
We also meet Duncan Mackenzie . He comes to America to find out who betrayed his brother and caused his death. While integrating in the South Carolina society - he is determined to win Charlotte's hand. 
I was not a fan of Duncan at first - but throughout the story he will grow on you. Nellie is Charlotte's friend and she is a great support character. I would love to see the author write Nellie's story at some time. There are a lot of twists and turns and I enjoyed the ride that this book took me on. 
I received a copy of this book through the Celebrate Lit blogging program - all thoughts are my own, 

Blog Stops

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, December 14

Hallie Reads, December 14

Sara Jane Jacobs, December 15

Novels Corner, December 15

Ashley’s Bookshelf, December 16

Connect in Fiction, December 16

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, December 17

Artistic Nobody, December 18 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Britt Reads Fiction, December 18

Locks, Hooks and Books, December 19

Simple Harvest Reads, December 19 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Rebecca Tews, December 20

deb’s Book Review, December 20

Inklings and notions, December 21

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, December 21

Texas Book-aholic, December 22

Splashes of Joy, December 22

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 23

Vicky Sluiter, December 23

Labor Not in Vain, December 24

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, December 25

Connie’s History Classroom, December 26

Bizwings Blog, December 26

For Him and My Family, December 27

Maureen’s Musings, December 27


To celebrate her tour, Debbie is giving away the grand prize of a smart watch!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.


  1. I enjoy historical fiction and this sounds like a great read.

    1. Hey Debbie P! So glad to see you here! Thanks for coming by. I love reading and writing historical fiction. Nothing like walking in the past!

  2. Ohh la la! Can't wait to read this!!

    1. Hey Megana! I hope you get a chance to read Bride by Blackmail. I really enjoyed writing it.

  3. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this story and the book and author details, it sounds like a wonderful read

    1. Thank you, Bea! And thanks for coming by the blog. I love connecting with readers. Hope you get a chance to read Bride by Blackmail.

  4. I've been following the tour and it seems that everyone has similar feelings about Duncan!

  5. Duncan was a lot of fun to write. He had a lot of sides and was not only misunderstood but at times Duncan didn't understand why things weren't going the way he thought they should. I hope you get a chance to read it.

  6. Hey Connie,

    Thank you for the lovely review! I love to hear my book is being enjoyed! And thank you for having me on your blog!