Monday, August 25, 2014

HUSH IN THE STORM - Julie B Cosgrove - One Free Ebook

Dear Readers, Julie B Cosgrove is in the same local ACFW chapter as I am. I’m so glad to introduce you to her and her debut novel.

Please note: Some people who leave comments aren't in the drawing, because they don't follow all the instructions. Please read all of them at the bottom, so you won't be left out.

Welcome, Julie. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
I write a bit of myself in my characters, because we all draw from our experiences. But mostly I develop strong, yet vulnerable women characters with real obstacles to overcome who discover, in the process, a deeper relationship with our forgiving and merciful Lord.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
That’s a hard question because my father was a political figure, so I was raised to believe we lived in a glass house. Probably the quirkiest was cramming eight girls in my 1963 VW bug to go to the mall. I was a day student at a private girls’ school so I had my own wheels. The boarding students weren’t allowed cars, so getting off campus for a couple of hours was a rarity. Out of empathy, I tried to squeeze as many as I could into mine on Friday afternoon. As a thank you, one girl featured my car pool in her movie for film class. Big mistake. It won first place and was featured in a school program. My parents shut down my taxi service as a result.

When did you first discover that you were a writer?
When I wrote a poem to the deer my brother had just shot, and then dragged home to be gutted in our garage. I think I was six.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
Romantic suspense and cozy mysteries are my favorites. Even the shows I have on my Netflix list lean in that direction. I began, as a girl, reading Nancy Drew (who didn’t?) and moved on to Mary Stewart. If any of you are old enough to remember Hayley Mills in the movie, The Moon Spinners that was one of her books. From there I dove into a few more British authors, and then became hooked on Lillian Jackson Braun’s Cat Who books and Mary Daheim, especially her bed and breakfast mysteries. I like Brandilyn Collins and Teri Blackstock, and more recently Kim McMahill, a fellow Prism Book Group author. I do read other Christian works, though. I am just not really into sweet romances unless they also have a suspenseful or historic plot.

I will not read a book with sex scenes or foul language, nor do I watch any entertainment with that in it—which greatly narrows my choices in this day and age, but you have to stand firm in some things.

I so agree with your last statement. I’m the same way. How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I trod, trod, trod with my lists in hand or in my head. I am a planner, thus I try to stay in control of my world. God, in His marvelous sense of humor, is teaching me more and more to drop the list and hold onto His hand instead. There are more serendipities that way.

I say I’m a recovering perfectionist and list maker. Now the only list I make is the grocery list, so I don’t miss anything or buy too much at the store. How do you choose your characters’ names?
The same way people choose their children’s names. I consider the ethnicity, and then research the meaning of the ones I like when it rolls off my tongue, or I think matches the personality of my character. A rough and tough, burly man should probably not be named anything ending in a y or ie. I did learn the hard way not to have two main characters of the same sex have a name that starts sounds similar like Joe and John. It muddles the reader.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Finally landing a contract with an ACFW approved, traditional publisher. It really does make a difference, even in this age of indy-pubs. It is similar to someone else liking your painting so much they want to buy it and hang it in their gallery for sale. Prism Book Group has staked their reputation on two of my novels, and I am forever grateful. God has blessed me with this dream coming true.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
A cat. Often times when I have to dash to work and mine are taking their third nap of the morning on my bed, a touch of green sears through my veins. I also admire their agility and sense of wonderment. However, fur balls? That may be a deterrent.

What is your favorite food?
Born and raised in San Antonio, that would be Tex-Mex. What else? Slap an avocado, cilantro, melting cheese or refried beans on it and you have me under your spell.

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
The only time I got writer’s block was with my upcoming novel, Legitimate Lies, which launches in January, 2015. I knew I wanted to continue where Hush in the Storm left off, yet have the two novels stand alone. However, I couldn’t get past the second chapter. So I backed off and prayed about it. Within a month, God showed me the answer. It had no underlying redemption theme. All my other works, fiction and nonfiction alike, are about a human struggle/social issue, and how prayer and forgiveness can overcome it. God led me to the issue He wanted me to cover, and once I got that message, my fingers zipped over the keyboard for the next eighty-nine thousand or so words.

I’d love to feature the next book on the blog, too, Julie. Tell us about the featured book.
Hush in the Storm started off as an exercise in futility. While recovering from major surgery, I thought to myself, “What if I started out a story with ‘It was a dark and stormy night’?” I wanted it to be a suspense, and have the main character a young, grieving widow, who though lost and despondent, retains a streak of Irish spunk and temper. Don’t ask me why. Maybe something I ate or residual anesthesia side effects. (Just kidding.)

Anyway, as the story developed, God kept connecting me with missionaries who combat human trafficking. After that occurring three times in several months, I got the message. Thus, imbedded in the romantic suspense is how a typical, middle class American woman can become an advocate for two Hispanic illegal teenagers caught up in this awful snare. But I didn’t want this theme to scream over the plot. So in a mimic of their snare, Jen, my main character, becomes caught up in one of her own, which intertwines their lives. I hope I have accomplished that effort. Those who have read and reviewed it so far believe I did.

The main plot is that Jen, a thirty-one-year-old widow, is kidnapped from her job by a coworker named Tom who claims it is at the request of her late husband, his Navy buddy, to protect her from the group who caused his accident. They soon are swirling in a tempest of deceit, trying to keep their heads above water while dodging the Feds, traffickers, and the press. The list of who Jen can trust keeps diminishing as she begins to suspect that her husband may not be dead after all.

Please give us the first page of the book.
An eerie thought pressed a clammy hand upon my shoulder. What if all you thought was true never actually was?

Widowed unexpectedly at thirty-one, I naturally longed for what could never be again. Regrets and what-if mantras swirled daily through my mind. I’d learned to push them aside. But this sudden, unsolicited notion surged an icy-hot chill through my body.

My logical side chided me. Don’t be silly, Jen. Of course it was true. The diamond band on my left hand glimmered with proof. Robert had cherished me, married me, spent five loving years with me … that one night didn’t mean a thing.

I shuddered off the question and leaned in to review the balance sheets my boss had emailed.

But the bizarre suggestion whispered once more in the back of my thoughts just loud enough to keep me from concentrating. The numbers on the page became muddled gibberish. I closed my eyes, sucked in a breath, and tried to focus.

People passed my desk and said the same things they always did—

“Hi, Jen. Doing okay?”

“Sure, I’m fine.”

“Hey, Jen. Keeping busy? Best thing, ya know.”

“Yeah.” Always with a forced grin. “Thanks.”

I fiddled with the little gold cross I always wore around my neck, more out of habit than any indication of piety. I hadn’t perched in a pew in years, except for our wedding day and at Robert’s funeral. But after the latest in the series of sympathizers walked away, I seethed a semi-prayer under my breath. “Dear Lord. Please. Why can’t everyone just leave me alone?”

I had a job to do. The report was due first thing in the morning. I had to concentrate on the now. Besides, I never wanted to hear the eggshells crack as well-meaning colleagues tiptoed around my mourning. I was stronger than that, at least in public.

One by one, the other workspaces emptied. The buzz of office machines and human chatter diminished until the only sound was the soft hum from the fluorescent lights and the tick of the office clock, like a steady heartbeat.

At last, a welcomed solitude settled around me in a thick hush. In fact, it was too quiet. I tapped my pencil, then my foot, to dispel it.

How can readers find you on the Internet?
Through my website, or my blog

My books, including my devotionals and Bible studies as well as my novels, are listed on Amazon and Goodreads.

I also write regularly for Faith-filled Family Magazine, a quarterly online publication, and Truth Media’s Power to Change, a daily devotional you can receive free in your email box without ads or spamming.

Thank you, Julie, for sharing a bit of your life and your new book with us.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Hush in the Storm - paperback
Hush in the Storm - Kindle

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

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Lee Carver said...

Julie, I read your book and found it exciting from the first page to the last. You can take me out of the running for a free copy, since I've already given it a Five Star Review! Just waiting for the next one. Keep 'em coming!

Julie b Cosgrove said...

thanks Lee- two more days for you, right? Will leave review this weekend.

Robin Willson said...

OK. I normally only read Christian historical fiction. After reading this I want to read this book! Oh, you're good Julie :-)

Julie b Cosgrove said...

Thank you Robin- your comment warmed my heart. I know what you mean, though. It is so easy to stay in one genre...( as you can tell from the interview I am a mystery buff.)
Anyway, thanks for be willing to branch out! I hope you enjoy it.

Anonymous said...

Your book sounds so interesting Julie! Love to win it! Shelia from Mississippi

Deanna Stevens said...

A poem to a deer? You had to be the cutest 6 year old... I do enjoy a good suspense & this sounds like a great one.. great interview! Deanna S from SW Nebraska
d_stevens310 @

Julie b Cosgrove said...

thanks brother wasn't impressed about my poem. At 6 it was scribbled on that primer paper that is lined and dotted for lower and upper case printing. Not exactly Keats.

Mary Preston said...

A wonderful interview & first page thank you.

Mary P


Carlene Havel said...

I just started reading "Hush in the Storm". Enjoying it!

Diana Gardner said...

Portsmouth, Va

Julie b Cosgrove said...

thanks Carlene!! I appreciate your comments. Thanks for purchasing it - really!
Please spread the word. A review on Amazon, B&N or Goodreads would really help.

Julie b Cosgrove said...

Mary Preston-
thank you so much for taking the time to comment. One of my bucket list wishes is to visit Queensland someday.

Rebecca said...

This book sounds interesting, I'll have to add it to my Goodreads list.


JackieW said...

I can imagine the poem you wrote about the deer your brother shot. That must have bee traumatic for a youngster to see.

Julie said...

Thanks, Rebecca. I appreciate you adding it to your list!

Yes, Jackie. I still see it flayed and hanging in my mind. But it makes me realize how precious a gift life is, and even more, that we can receive the gift of eternal life in Him who hung on the cross for us.

Anonymous said...

Love to win! Shelia from Mississippi