Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

Yes, I love playing Bunco with friends. We share great recipes, chat, pray, and encourage each other. In case you are not familiar with this parlor game,  groups of four each take turns rolling three dice. In the first round, you can keep rolling as long as there is a “one dot” on one of the dice. Each “one” is one point. If not, you pass them to the person on your left so they can try to roll as many ones as they can.  If you roll three ones, it is a Bunco. If you roll three of anything else but ones, it is a Baby Bunco. Then it is on to round two, in which each person tries to roll as many twos as they can. Then threes, fours, fives and sixes. Whoever rolls three sixes ends the game. Everyone tallies up their scores. The pot (if there is one) is split between the one with the most Buncos and Baby Buncos, and the one with the most points.

Some may consider this gambling. Yes, it is a game of chance, but isn’t life that way? There is a chance I’ll get cancer. There is a chance I’ll be killed by a drunk driver. There is a chance of rain, according to the weatherman. (Though I wouldn’t bet on it!)

In Bunco, you can get discouraged when you can’t seem to roll any of the number for that round, and have to pass the dice again and again without scoring any points. Or you can cheer on those who are having good rolls, and then get excited if you finally do, too. It is all a matter of perspective. There are only so many calculable rolls. The truth is, no one is going to sneak seven or eight dots onto one of the die, or erase the side with one dot on it.

Life is the same as well. You can pout because someone is more fortunate than you, or you can choose to not let “the devil steal your joy.” You can turn inward, or outward.

For me, it is God’s grace that He only gives us so many variables. Our free will dictates the choices we make, but He isn’t going to sneak in an unfair advantage at the last second, or load the dice to trick us. He knows our hearts, our minds, and our tendencies. He knew us before we were born, according to the psalms.

He knows when we will roll three sixes and end the game of life. We don’t. But that doesn’t change the fact that eventually we will. He also knows we will have other Buncos and Baby Buncos (successes) along the way, and a few dry spells when we can’t seem to make the roll no matter how hard we try. He will be there to cheer us on when we bunco and encourage us when we don’t.

When I play Bunco with my friends, I go for the fun of being with them (and eating good food.) I rejoice when someone is having a great night. And I enjoy catching up on what is happening in their lives. I try not to set my heart on winning so I can genuinely cheer on those who are rolling all the right numbers. It makes the evening, and the game, much more enjoyable.

In life, it is a bit different, however. All who believe that Christ assured victory on the cross are winners in God’s eyes. At the end of the game we all get the prize. So why not relax and enjoy it? It’s your roll, by the way.

Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. I Corinthians 9:25


By the way, if you haven’t read my clean cozy mysteries, The Bunco Biddies Mysteries, I’d love for you to give them a try. Dumpster Dicing won Best Cozy Mystery 2017 by a Texas Author, and the fourth one, Til Dice Do Us Part is now on pre-order! It releases June 15th.


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“Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth” (John 17:17).

I have this in a frame over my desk…

But recently, I read a devotional that reminded me we have a gentleman God who knocks and asks to enter into our lives, our souls, and our thoughts. The writer asked if our daily Bible time had become bone dry? Were we praying for the Holy Spirit to join us and reveal the meaning to us?

I thought about how many times I yawn as I sip my coffee, crack open my Bible, find the passage of the day, read it, and then check it off my to-do list. My feelings would be crushed if I knew readers treated a book I wrote in this manner.

When did I lose the idea that this is a love story?

I truly believe “All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness…” (2 Timothy 3:16)  I have known times in my life a passage has pierced my heart with the truth of it’s message as if God reached down and typed it onto the page.

Perhaps you have as well.

We are blessed in the western world to have the Bible in so many places and in so many translations. It is on my coffee table, on my bookshelf, in an app on my phone, and bookmarked on my computer. Framed verses scatter the walls of my apartment. Some are taped to my desktop monitor and secured with a magnet on my fridge.

I am surrounded by the Word, hemmed in, armored. Do I take that for granted sometimes? I confess. Yes, I do.

Forgive me, Lord. Speak to me anew. Enter in…the door is open.

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Four and five star reviews bolster a Christian author. We see it as confirmation we are doing God’s will, because He is the one we truly write for.  I am often amazed God uses my books to His glory, and one of the ways I find Him moving in my life is  through the feedback of readers. So, if you have left a review in the past on one of my books, thank you!

Now for the blatant advertising part:



This is book Two. The first Bunco Biddies Mystery released last summer- Dumpster Dicing.  Both are clean, faith-based reads in the cozy style with a touch of humor and romance.

Both are available on Amazon.com. You can read about them and find the links in the MY WRITINGS tab.


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The following is written by Penelope Marquez, an author I know. It is taken from her novella, Hoping for Joy, part of the Love Is series based on 1 Corinthians 13, releasing today.  http://www.prismbookgroup.com/love-is-series.

Soon after Logan’s sister dies, her preschool aged daughter, Joy, who is now his responsibility, disappears.  His father has had a debilitating stroke and his fiance is severely injured in a car accident, possibly intentionally caused by the drug lord who killed his sister.

Now he is stuck in a mega traffic jam and can’t get to her. His anger at God increases. Prayer seems futile. He ponders if God really cares, or is even real.


ladybug-169943_1280When he opened the bag, a ladybug flew out. It landed on his hand.

His sister had loved ladybugs. He glared at it. “Fine. I give up. This is a message. Give it to me straight.”

The ladybug crawled along, struggling over each hair in its path. Every hair was an obstacle to its goal. Logan pondered over his own plight. His life was littered with obstacles, too, but unlike the ladybug, his problems involved people. He could not protect them, or fix them, or find  them when they were lost.

The ladybug stopped when it reached the cuff of his sweater, which undoubtedly looked like  a mountain to the little insect. It turned around briefly and stared at where it had been before it swung back to attempt to conquer the woolen peak. He frowned at the insect, but held still so he wouldn’t disturb it. The ladybug believed itself capable of scaling a vertical wall of yarn. It fell backward and landed upside down. All six of its tiny legs swirled in the air. He gently touched it with the fingernail on his pinky and set it upright. It held still for a moment and then flew out the window.

He was sad he had lost his small friend, but hoped it would find a safe place to rest. He wondered if he was like a god to the ladybug. How many of those small insects fell over with no one to help them?  How many people simply crushed ladybugs?

A chill slid up his back. Though Logan had struggled to do what he could, he had no control over life’s circumstances. He was powerless. He was alone. His burdens would crush him if he didn’t share the load with someone. Who could help him?

For a long time, he had denied God’s existence. What if he was wrong? What if there was something bigger than everyone? He was a giant to the ladybug. Could the tiny bug see him, or only his hand and sleeve? Maybe he couldn’t see God because God was too big for him to see all at once.

But perhaps he could see parts of Him if he tried.


God finally got to the microbiologist  Logan, mourning for his deceased sister, by sending a ladybug. He touches each of us in unique ways. Where will you find God in your life today? What message does He have just for you?

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This video by Merrill Bagwell was made Sept 30,2014. I recently saw it on Facebook.

It beautifully explains how often we miss God trying to get our attention during the day.

The whole purpose of my blog in a nutshell, so I had to share!

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Perhaps you will enjoy the book…

The Present. of God s presence Cover pdf-page-001

Available now in paperback only.  $10.00                      Just click on the book  to order.

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God can be found in fiction novels, too. I have a tab above which lists the ones I recommend, and many more can be found on www.efictionfinds.com ( at least one posted a day is a free download onto your electronic device. The rest are under $4,00.)

Now, here is the blatant advertisement my newest faith-based, romantic suspense novel, Legitimate Lies, which launches today. Please check it out at http://amzn.to/1AbN1PN . (Also in paperback on Amazon and Amazon.uk)


(PS- even though it is definitely not offensive, You Tube has decided it may require you to turn off your safety mode before you can view it. Sorry. Who knows why?) You can also view it on my Facebook page: juliebcosgrove.tx

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blog bannerThanks to fellow author, Victoria Pitts Caine for nominating me into the Sisterhood of World Bloggers.  If you haven’t read her books, they are on my list on the lab- Find God through Great Fiction. Alvarado Gold, Cairo and the Tempering Agent– all wonderful suspense romances set in Egypt and other places.

The Rules:
1. Thank the blogger who nominated you.
2. Put the award logo on your blog.
3. Answer the 10 questions they’ve sent you.
4. Ask 10 questions for your nominees to answer

My nominees are fellow Christian authors and bloggers:  DiAne Gates, Brooke Williams ,Keisha Bass, Lena Nelson Dooley, Linda Bill McCutcheon, Linda Austin, Susan Baganz, Lynn Hobbs, Lisa J Lickel, Shelly Staus Sorem. What will be your answers to the following questions?

So, here are the ten questions and my answers:

  1. What’s your happiest holiday memory? My happiest memory is waking up Christmas morning to search for the baby Jesus, and then lay him in the manger of our Creche set. Now as an adult, the meaning of that takes my breath away. We really have to search for Jesus at Christmas time nowadays, don;t we?
  1. Who was your favorite grade school teacher?  I honestly do not remember most of my teachers or their names, just one horrid one in 5th grade whose mental cruelty swirled me into a deep depression. But my mentor was my priest, who later became my bishop. A retired Naval chaplain, he ran a “tight ship” but also loved his congregation, particularly us kids, and encouraged us to be all god meant us to become.
  1. If life had taken you down a different path, what would you be doing now? I honestly do not know.  I was headed for ordination, but God slammed that door shut ages ago. But God works His purpose out – now I lead women’s workshops and am a Christian devotional writer and author. So, with His gudiance. I’d probably be right where I am.
  1. What place in the world would you like to visit? I have been to Israel and southern England, and would love to return to them both. Perhaps Scotland and Ireland.
  1. What’s your favorite dessert? Angel food cake square sandwiched with chocolate icing.
  1. If you were told you only had one day to live, how would you spend it? Calling and emailing everyone I know to tell them I love them but God loves them more, so please offer themselves daily to Him and receive His gift of mercy and grace each day because  I want to be with them in paradise.
  2. Which do you like to do best: a movie rental and a bowl of popcorn, a good book and a cup of hot chocolate, or a day at the beach ending with watching the sunset? Either one or two. I love a good, clean story with strong action, character and ending. Some nights I want to curl up with a book, others with a British mystery on Netflix.
  1. What’s your favorite electronic gadget? My e tablet I got free with my cell phone. How did I ever live without it??
  1. How will you (or how did you) spend New Year’s Eve? See question 7. I curled up with a great novel and hot cocoa, and then vegged out on an episode of Midsomer Murders I had not seen. Alas, I had no popcorn, though. I celebrate New Years on the first Sunday in Advent, and I don’t drink alcohol by choice, so ringing in Jan 1 is lackluster, other than having the day off from work. I stay home and off the roads. I have on occasion indulged in black-eyed peas- a Southern tradition – and enjoyed a quiet day in my pjs.
  1. Pets – cats, dogs, fish? What do you have? Cats. My two beastie boys are my heart thumps. I have always had cats and love them. Few things are more calming that stroking a softly purring cat on your lap as it nuzzles into your arm.
  2. BONUS:Tells us about your current work in progress or new release. Mine is Legitimate Lies, a contemporary suspense romance set in southern England. It launches in 14 days!!!    http://amzn.to/1xhdwAT
  3. Legit Lies

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There is was – the key in my mail slot. I had a package waiting in one of the six large lockers. It took every effort not to whoop with joy in the middle of the maIMAG0085il station at my apartments.

Recently I discovered the favorite author of my childhood, who passed from this life over 20 years ago, had written two more books while I was busy raising a family, working, and living my life. So, I ordered them from a used thrifty book store, excited, yet a little saddened,  that they had been reduced to $3.99, the price of a modern eBook novel. To me, her writing was much more valuable than that.

When I opened the package, there was no smell of fresh ink. The cover was dog-eared and a bit tattered on the edges from sliding in and out of bookshelves. The binding had been cracked numerous times, and a slight yellowing border of age eked around the pages..

None of that mattered, because the words were there. The personality of her writing, the way she described scenes, her unique dialog techniques had not faded with time. As my eyes scanned the pages, memorizes swirled between the words. It was as if I’d begun a conversation with an old friend I had not seen in decades. I cuddled down into the story.

Do I react the same with with God’s living Word? They say a person who has a tattered Bible does not have a tattered life.  And while my favorite Bible is getting on in years, I have more and more relied on my phone app instead. Not tot say I don’t enjoy having easy access to the Bible in my purse, but I have begun to miss my old friend with the dogeared pages, highlighted verses, and scribbles in the margins. So, I went to the shelf and cracked open the binding. As I cocked my head to read, a warmth cascaded over my shoulders into my heart. Prayers answered, revelations revealed, sorrows comforted. My life reflected there. My faith restored.

A plaque in my room reads – The Bible is the only book whose author is present each time it is read.

My favorite author left this earth two decades ago. She will never write again, But my Lord, who left earth two millennia ago, is still present in my everyday world, and writes on my heart.  I see evidence of Him each day in creation, in words of a song, a smile of a friend, even on Facebook.  Yet nothing beats cuddling into His Word. His Word still breathes life into me.

It took an old paperback in my mail locker to remind me of that fact.

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In 2008 God gave me a dream – write a novel. I did, and self-published in 2012- Focused. But the desire to be recognized by a traditional publisher was the popcorn kernel wedged in my gum. Now, that is a reality – doubled! Both novels I had written, Hush in the Storm and Legitimate Lies are contracted with Prism Book Group.  Hush in the Storm debuts today. Legitimate Lies will debut in January, 2015. God is good.

Where did I find Him today? Right next to me, smiling as any daddy would when he sees his daughter receive a gift she’s wanted for so long. Thanks Abba.

hush in the storm promo.

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