Friday, July 10, 2015

FOCUSED - Julie B Cosgrove - One Free Book

Welcome back, Julie. God has really been moving in your writing life. What do you see on the horizon?
Only a haze. God made me near-sighted for a reason. If He shows me what His plans are too far out, I have a tendency to either get antsy or try to find a quicker route. I will keep writing fiction as long as God deems and publishers contract with me. I will also continue to offer devotionals for the eight websites and publications for which I regularly write, until God shuts those doors. Hopefully neither will end anytime soon.

Tell us a little about your family.
I am a widow and lives with two spoiled house cats whim I dub my “beastie boys,” since they are both males. I have a grown son who is still single. I am the fifth and youngest in my original family, but two of my siblings passed away before I was born. My brother lives in Austin and my sister in our hometown of San Antonio. They each have a daughter. My sister’s daughter lives about an hour away in Dallas, and she had three girls.

Has your writing changed your reading habits? If so, how?
Has it ever, in two ways. First I am reading five times as much as I ever did, but then again widowhood may play a factor in that. But mostly it is due to the fact I have come to know so many wonderful Christian writers, and I read to endorse or review their works. Which segues into the second reason … I confess with a sigh. I have succumbed to the digital age. These works are all downloaded on my e-reader. I love it because my library now travels with me wherever I go and when I am on the road lecturing and leading retreats, it is handy to have.

What are you working on right now?
I am working on a cozy mystery trilogy and also have had requests to combine my blog entries into a book format. I have completed the second book about Christina, Jeff, and their son, Josh, the main characters in Focused. It’s called Grounded and I plan to write a third entitled Rooted, but am still seeking a publisher to pick them up.

My third novel in the anti-human trafficking series, Freed to Forgive, releases in October, and I have two novellas in the editing process. Navy Blues and Greener Grasses.

What outside interests do you have?
Hi, my name is Julie and I am a word-a-holic. I play Scrabble with the computer, have at least sixteen Words with Friends games going at any one time and love word searches and find-the words puzzles. I also dabble in graphic design, am a very amateur birdwatcher, and a weather bug. Most of all I enjoy lecturing and leading faith-based women’s weekends. These are fun, teary, enlightening, tender, and I always eat way too much and sleep way too little.

How do you choose your settings for each book?
I am a Texan so my books are set in Texas. Fortunately I have lived all over the state, so there is lots of fodder as far as scene settings. Focused is set in the Texas Hill Country where I am blessed to co-own about five acres along the Guadalupe River with my extended family on my mother’s side. The second in the anti-human trafficking series, Legitimate Lies, is partially set in Southern England where I spent two weeks with a church sponsored group embedded in a small village called Tefont.

If you could spend an evening with one historical person, who would it be and why?
That is a tough one. Of course the historical Jesus tops the list. I’d have loved to have heard the Sermon on the Mount first hand and then watch the sun set over the plains beyond Capernaum. Katherine Hepburn was such an elegant lady and marvelous actress. High tea with her would be memorable, don’t you agree?

Oh, yes. What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing novels?
Auto Crit. The world’s best editing aid. It is worth the money to me, and even though editing by it is tedious, you can learn so much about wordsmithing, what your pet and overused phrases tend to be, and how to truly enhance your style. Your manuscripts end up so polished they sparkle. What publisher would not want that?

What new lessons is the Lord teaching you right now?
Patience truly is a virtue. I am in such a better place relying on His perfect timing. He is also teaching me to listen more in my prayer time.

What are the three best things you can tell other authors to do to be successful?
1. Write a hook at the end of each chapter that makes your readers want to keep reading.
2. There is always room for humor and a short “catch your breath” moment here and there in the plot, even in thrillers and suspense.
3. Do your best, and help others to do the same. Leave the rest to God.

Tell us about the featured book.
Focused came about because there didn’t seem to be a lot of middle-age, empty-nest stories out there in the fiction world. I read a statistic which said 80% of marriages that end after the seven year itch do so because of the inability of one or both spouses to adjust to empty nest syndrome or the death of a parent. So I decided to write about a couple who go through both scenarios, and with the help of a few well-meaning church friends, begin to realize why they married in the first place. It is a heart-felt, but also humorous in places, romance. I have had several husbands read it and thank me because they now “get” their wives.

Please give us the first page of the book.
Prologue - The Litmus Test
 Prelude, 1985
Oh, why did I insist on coming here?

Christina’s hands dripped with anxiety. The heirloom serving dish slipped out of her grasp and clunked onto the cedar log table. The take-out fried chicken wobbled as the sound ricocheted against the wooden walls of the summer cabin where her ancestors once ate, slept, and loved. She raised her shoulders to her ears and grimaced.
Her mother scowled. “Must you be so clumsy? I don’t want your grandmother’s china platter chipped.”

Must you always criticize me? She clamped her lips into a taut line and swallowed her true response, just as she did every time. “Yes, Ma’am.”

Christina watched her mother scoop the carton of coleslaw into a lead crystal bowl. It seemed appropriate. She felt as if she’d been born for a plastic tub life but shoved into crystal from the get-go. She never did quite fit into her mother’s idea of what a daughter should be. As a child, she’d often wondered if she’d been adopted.

Ticks from the old mantle clock perched on the rock fireplace vibrated into the kitchen and pounded in her ears. Finally, her mother’s voice broke the stifled hush that hung between them.

“So, Christina, how long have you known this Jeff of yours?” One eyebrow arched as she clumsily dried a dinner plate. A two-carat diamond ring bulged under her yellow Playtex glove. She always insisted on the dishes from the cabin’s kitchen being washed before using them. Pity her latest maid-cook didn’t accompany them this trip. Christina sighed and dunked her bare, ring-less hands into the hot suds. They were used to it. Her apartment had no dishwasher.

How can readers find you on the Internet?
My website is
My fiction and nonfiction books can be found on Amazon, Goodreads, or Barnes and Noble.

I am also on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, and dabbling with Pintrest. Just search for Julie B Cosgrove.

Thank you, Julie, for sharing this book with us.

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

If you’re reading this on Goodreads, Google+, Feedblitz, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link:


Anonymous said...

Angela in Ky would love to win.

Carlene said...

Interesting interview. Julie is so industrious!

Linda Kish said...

I would love to read this book.


lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Julie B Cosgrove said...

Hope you do, but if not it is only 99cents on Kindle all this month.

Julie B Cosgrove said...

I'd love that, Linda. But if you don't win, it's 99 cents this month on Amazon.

Julie B Cosgrove said...

Lol..and you aren't, dear friend?

Anonymous said...

sounds like a interesting book! Shelia from Mississippi

Julie B Cosgrove said...

Thanks, Sheila. You can download it from Amazon this month for 99 cents.

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed this interview Lena. Another new author to me and I would love to win her book.
Maxie > mac262(at)me(dot)com <

Mary Preston said...

I always enjoy a touch of humor in the books I read.

A great prologue thank you. Very telling.

Mary P


GrandaddyA said...

This sounds like an interesting story with a great lesson.
Edward A (VA)

Jan H said...

Sounds like a book I need to read. I love Christian fiction because I learn so much. I haven't read any novels that deal with the situations in this book. Thank you for thinking of writing about them.
Jan in West Texas.

Julie B Cosgrove said...

Mary, Edward and Jan= thank you for your comments. I hope you win he copy, but if you don't and have an e reader, it is 99 cents on all this month.

Sharon Richmond Bryant said...

Enter me in your awesome giveaway!!
Conway, SC.

Brenda Arrington said...

Interesting interview. I would love to be entered in your giveaway. I live in VA.
Brenda Arrington

Melanie Backus said...

Thank you for a great interview!

Melanie Backus, TX