Tag Archive | Julie Cosgrove

Spatzle Speaks: Baby Bunco (Book Review)

babybunco-300-w200-oJulie Cosgrove has emerged with book two of her Bunco Biddie’s cozy mystery series: Baby Bunco and it does not disappoint.

Living in a retirement community known as Sunset Acres, what could be more surprising than finding an abandoned baby in the bathtub of an empty condo?  But that’s exactly the kind of thing that sends Janie and her friends back into their mischievous sleuthing, much to the dismay of her son-in-law, a local detective.

When a woman is also found sliced apart behind a local convenience store the plot thickens and the Bunco Biddies are fresh on the scent to discover just who the baby belongs to, why it was abandoned and what a local maid service might have to do with it all. Of course, you’d think these women were more tenacious than bloodhounds when they get an idea in their heads. Personally I’m not fond of blood hounds but as a dog myself, I am aware that our sense of smell is strong…and in that way I can relate to these sweet ladies (even though Janie has a cat. I think I’d like to get to know her better because I think cats are fascinating).

If you want a lighthearted mystery filled with twists and turns as well as loaded with sweet relationships, then you’ll enjoy this book. I’m not much for hunting myself but any book that makes my mom slow down to read and snuggle with me is aces and that’s why I give this book five bones. Because I’m a dog and I don’t do stars and don’t have thumbs either.

5 bones for blog

Spatzle Baganz, book reviewer for the silygoos blog because that's how we roll.

Spatzle Baganz, book reviewer for the silygoos blog because that’s how we roll.

 

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Spatzle Speaks: Cowboy Christmas Novellas (Book Reviews)

Prism Book Group is releasing several Christmas novellas about cowboys–just in time for the holidays! Since they all release today, I had no choice but to give them to you all in one post.

A Love Valley Christmas

Mary Ball has written a sweet story of love and faith with A Love Valley Christmas. Susie Aleman is a widow running a mercantile in Love Valley called Spurs. When she’s not working she’s raising her sixteen-year-old son, Zam. Life is comfortable with her work, friends, and faith. When newcomer Ty Porter strolls into her store Susie’s heart beats faster.

Ty’s not looking for a love connection. He’s made his mistakes in his past and faith isn’t something he understands. But it’s just possible that Christmas, a sweet woman, and her son might just hold the life he’s been searching for.

When Susie Aleman isn’t running Spurs, a mercantile in Love Valley, she’s raising her sixteen-year-old son, Zam. She’s content with life and relies on no one but God. Then Ty Porter moves to Love Valley and stampedes into her heart.

This isn’t your young love story – but is a sweet tale of reluctant love over the holiday season.

Crazy Woman Christmas

In Crazy Woman Christmas, author Renee Blare brings us a unique Christmas tale. Bianca Kolceski has made her share of mistakes and after running away from her parents in shame. Having turned her life around, she’s finally decided to return home to Texas for Christmas. A blizzard in Wyoming forces her off the road.

Devon Dawson doesn’t do Christmas as he grieves the loss of his parents. The cowboy is on his way home to hunker down during the storm when he spies a little car buried in the snow. Helping out Bianca he has no other option than to take her to his ranch.

Life is hard in the blizzard and two strangers with painful pasts learn about faith and love during the Christmas season.

 

 

Hats Off!

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Nancy Bolton has given us a wonderful story in Hats Off. This cover is different from the others because it is historical taking place in Oregon in the 1920’s. Kay, a widow, has moved there to be with her brother and his wife. She works making shirts and the lining for custom hats. She’d known love once but could there be a second chance for her?

Aaron is a quiet man who does his job but one night gets drunk and is discovered by Kay who gets her brother Philip to care for the man. He intrigues her in their fiew shy interactions. She steps out and tries new things including challenging the quiet man with his own dark past. Their brief interactions ignite sparks quickly.

Love bloom in the cold of winter as both learn that sometimes, hope at Christmas, is a powerful thing if one is willing to reach for it.

 

Hill Country Homecoming 

61-yqchy2zlJulie Cosgrove’s latest release is a Texas story that takes place in Hill Country Homecoming. Sarah Mansfield is used to living large on her daddy’s dime. The only reason she’s returning home to the ranch is for the annual holiday party and announce her engagement to a rich man, Trey Simpson. The down side is having to see her father’s ranch manager, Travis Wallace, a guy who she sees as a loser. As her dreams are about to come true a harsh reality snatches it all away as responsibility for the ranch falls to her.

Travis sees the beautiful Sarah as beautiful but impossible. But when push comes to shove her perseverance in learning the ranch business begins to earn his respect. As he answers questions about the true meaning of Christmas, he begins to wonder if Sarah might not be the girl for him after all. But only a miracle will convince him of that.

A Christmas love triangle filled with suspense, faith and love.

Mixed-Up Christmas

61fixigogxlDixie Jo Jarchow gives us a sweet tale in Mixed-Up Christmas. Mix Malone is done riding bulls. He’s broken too many bones, suffered too many head injuries to ride anymore in spite of the fame and fortune it has provided for him and his family. He pulls into town in the middle of a snow storm and stops at the Outlaw Cafe.

Blossom Deavers isn’t quite sure what to do with the beaten up cowboy who passes out in her empty cafe. When his family begins to threaten him as she simply befriends the cowboy and listens to his own dreams as hers are falling apart, she decides maybe it is time to move on. Christmas isn’t about dreams anyway, is it?

This is a story about broken dreams, broken families and the hope of Christmas and courage.

 

The Cowboy’s Miracle

61mwix1nxqlPenelope Marzec brings us The Cowboy’s Miracle. Rodeo star and veterinarian, Seth Holmes is running from men who are hunting him down, due to his father’s crimes. He searches for a home that might belong to grandparents he didn’t know he had but instead finds Gariella Cavallo.

Gabriella has been living on the farm of a woman who had been like a grandmother other and Seth threatens to upset the security of her future in raising alpacas, managing a greenhouse and carriage house that she rents out.

When someone targets the alpacas, Seth’s veterinarian skills come in handy. But can Seth penetrate the wall of fear around Gabriella’s heart while protecting her from those who are pursuing him?

Love, suspense, and alpacas. A great Christmas read.

If you like novellas with cowboys during the holidays, any and all of these novellas will fit the bill. I give each one five bones because I’m a dog, and that’s how I roll. 5 bones for blog

Spatzle Baganz, book reviewer for the silygoos blog because that's how we roll.

Spatzle Baganz, book reviewer for the silygoos blog because that’s how we roll.

 

Spatzle Speaks: Dumpster Dicing

Julie Cosgrove has written some compelling romantic suspense novels about human trafficking (Hush in the Storm, Legitimate Lies, Freed to Forgive) as well as some delightful novellas (Greener Grass, Navy Blues), but she breaks new ground in her writing with a new series called Bunco Biddies Mysteries.

bunco biddies

 

The core of the group consists of Betsy Ann who used to be a news reporter. Janie is the widow of a police detective and her daughter is married to the current detective of their fair town. Ethyl adores cozy mysteries and catalogues all the who-dunnits she has read and how the murders were committed.

dumpster dicingThe first in this series is Dumpster Dicing and it is a delightful cozy mystery. SO much so my mom snuggled up to me while she read it.

While on their morning walk they spy a dead body parts dropping out of a dumpster being picked up by the garbage truck. Apparently it was a new grouchy neighbor to their community, Edwin Newman. Now they are determined to uncover the truth about just who murdered the poor man and why.  Although he was mean to a dog so that’s reason enough for me to have done it, but I’m a dog and am not capable of that kind of harm. Along the way they get into all kinds of trouble with someone trying to stop them, along with Janie’s son-in-law who, while appreciative of the help, really does care for his mother-in-law and wants her safe.

Dumpster Dicing is filled with colorful characters, sweet moments and a dash of humor as a group of older women in a retirement community seek to help out Janie’s son-in-law who is overworked and she beleives needs to spend more time with his family. I give this five bones. I don’t do stars. I’m a dog.

Spatzle Baganz, book reviewer for the silygoos blog because that's how we roll.

Spatzle Baganz, book reviewer for the silygoos blog because that’s how we roll.

 

5 bones for blog

Spatzle Speaks: Navy Blues (Book Review)

loveis_navyblues-copy-2Navy Blues by Julie Cosgrove is book #7 in the “Love is . . .” series by Prism Book Group and explores “love is not self-seeking.”

As a Maltese, I’m really not that fond of the Navy. Gotta tell you water is not my favorite unless it’s to drink or in the form of snow for me to shove my nose into. My mom likes to watch JAG which is about some military lawyers . . . she’s just weird that way. But that has little to do with this story.

Emma West had traveled a long way to see her fiancée, Trey, only to find him in bed with another woman. Running away she ends up seated on an airplane next to Dr. Ryan MacKenzie. a lieutenant in the Navy who is returning soon to civilian life. Through a series of misadventures she begins to find her heart falling for the handsome doctor and his ability to help her out in any crisis.

Discovering their final destination is in the same town knits their journey together further as they seek to return there in good time. Trials and heartache are shared as they navigate the journey. Upon returning home though Ryan gives Emma wide berth because he believes she needs time to be without a man, to recover, before starting a relationship with him. His return into her life though comes in a timely manner as Trey arrives to try to convince Emma he needs her.

Emma realizes all he really needed as her father’s wealth and connections. But cutting ties isn’t always easy and Ryan steps in to help.

This story is filled with adventure and romance. Ryan is as faithful and protective as a dog (although mom says probably better looking than one although she think’s I’m pretty cute), so I’ll give it five bones. I’m a dog. I don’t do stars.

5 bones for blog

Spatzle Baganz, book reviewer for the silygoos blog because that's how we roll.

Spatzle Baganz, book reviewer for the silygoos blog because that’s how we roll.

Spatzle Speaks: Greener Grass (Book Review)

GreenerGrassesThis is book #3 in the “Love is . . .” series by Prism Book Group. Julie Cosgrove has written thrillers about human trafficking but Greener Grasses is a departure for her. It’s not even a romance but it is a love story.

This book portrays the them of “love does not envy.” And Julie digs deep into sibling rivalry and exposes the prejudice and jealousy that can keep us from rich relationships.

Erin and Ellen are twins that couldn’t be more different from each other. Each one harbors secret resentment for the supposedly wonderful life the other sister has with her spouse. For years this has placed an insurmountable barrier between them even to the point of endangering their marriages.

And their poor husbands!

When their mother dies she finds a way to try to bring the two sisters together from beyond the grave. No ghosts here haunting them but their owns sin. Ordered to spend time with each other sorting through the house they grew up in they begin to see the truth. The person they envy doesn’t have a perfectly wonderful like as they imagined. In reality, they desperately need each other for support. With the spouses fighting for their marriages and to bring some peace things get a bit messy.

They start to understand the grass isn’t always greener on the other side of the fence – a good reminder for us all. I give this novella five bones, because I’m a dog and I don’t do stars.

Spatzle Baganz, book reviewer for the silygoos blog because that's how we roll.

Spatzle Baganz, book reviewer for the silygoos blog because that’s how we roll.

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Freed to Forgive (Book Review)

freed to forgiveJulie B. Cosgrove has written two fabulous romantic suspense novels with a plot involving human sex-trafficking. Freed to Forgive is the culmination of those two previous stories. The first was Hush in the Storm followed by Legitimate Lies. Marisol’s story is woven in small nuggets into the two previous books but due to the demands of her readers, Marisol’s journey is finally in print.

Marisol is a young woman being abused by her father and brothers in a small village in Mexico. Anger burns within her so when the opportunity to go to America is presented she believes the lies she’s told and leaves. The journey there is harrowing and she finds herself using the skills she learned in her village to try to save another young slave who is still a virgin. Eventually, however, she finds herself pregnant. She gives up her child hoping it can live a better life. In the process she escapes her captors and strives to live a life free of her shameful past.

Ten years pass and she learns over and over that men are not to be trusted. When Jesse shows interest she struggles to accept that he could truly want to know her and not just use her for her body. She struggles to keep her past hidden but her bitterness and resentment over all that has happened bubbles up to torment her  and keep her stuck. Can God really help her forgive those who abused and trafficked her? And can she really move forward in freedom and the love of a godly man?

This story is an emotionally fraught one filled with some disturbing scenes. Julie does nothing to hide the horrors of all that Marisol and so many others in our own country endure at the hands of modern-day slave-traders. In spite of that she is not gratuitous or unnecessarily explicit in those descriptions but it is good for the reader to be aware. All the instances are necessary for the plot of the book.

The reality of human trafficking in America deserves fiction like this to help us understand the horrors. We all need to step up to stop this tragedy as well as help those either caught in it or recovering from it. Either through prayer, or awareness or engaging further in the fight. I’m glad Julie Cosgrove has had the guts to tell Marisol’s gritty tale. The reality is we are all at times trapped and wounded by the sins of others and the lessons Marisol learns are for us all. God forgives and there is freedom in Christ.

Writer Wednesday with Julie Cosgrove

2nd_prof_portrait_crop_267x405I’d like to welcome author and speaker, Julie Cosgrove to Writer Wednesday.
When did you decided that you would be an author? Was it something you fell into, felt called to… ? 
I fell into it, I guess. It brewed in the back of my brain ever since I excelled in creative writing in high school,  but God’s timing played a big part. I began writing devotionals and Bible studies, as well as freelance writing for websites. But slowly, the desire to be a novelist bubbled up and became an itch that needed scratching… a lot.
What’s your pet peeve? 
Rude, self-orientated people. But then, they would never know that because they are too self absorbed.

What was your most embarrassing moment as a writer? 
The time I didn’t have enough books for a vendor booth at a conference because I’d almost sold out the week before at another one, and didn’t have enough time to order any more. Now I always maintain 5 of each in inventory.
What has been your most difficult challenge as an author? 
The initial editing process, but in a good way. It stretches my brain and teaches me to be a better writer.
How do you process rejections and/or negative reviews? 
I am getting thicker skinned about it. SO far, none of my works have rated below a 3 star. I know someday the 1 star will happen, it is almost a right of passage. But ever since I let God be my P.R. manager, since I write for Him, it has been easier. I write to the best of my ability, and He decides whose lives it should touch.
What do you feel is the best success so far in your writing career? 
Being contracted multiple times with a traditional, ACFW recognized publisher. I am excited to see where God leads beyond that because He’s already given me my heart’s desire.
What would be your top three pieces of advice to newer, up and coming authors? 
1. Write! Get it out of your head. You can always go back and edit later.
2. Seek out a supportive critique group which has published authors in it. It can be on line or one that meets in person.
3. Take their advice seriously and pray about it. It may hurt at first to see your writing critiqued, but we only grow through our mistakes, not our successes and every writer has room for improvement.
As a Christian author, what would you like your legacy to be?
That I brought people closer to seeing God work in their everyday lives.
What is your current work in process?
Well…I have several.  A novel which will launch in October called Free to Forgive, which is the story of a preteen’s rescue and redemption from trafficking, two novellas which are based on 1 Corinthians 13 called Navy Blues and Greener Grasses which will be out late 2015- early 2016, and a cozy mystery series.
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