By the time I came along, the activities had grown to include barbecues and shared vacations at the beach with the husbands and kids. Yet, the ladies still played Bridge weekly…for decades! No one could pull any punches with the others. They knew each other way too well. It was a hoot to eavesdrop on some of their conversations. “Now, Mary, you always react that way…” “When did you ever like her, dear?” “Honey, you and I both know….” They were so different in social backgrounds, lifestyles and financial security, yet loved each other intensely, bound by years of companionship.
Although all are now deceased save one, growing up around these amazing women became the inspiration for my Bunco Biddies Mysteries, twelve active senior citizens living in a retirement community. They play Bunco every Thursday while sharing recipes and mild gossip. When crime begins to encroach their small town of Alamoville, Janie, the widow of a renown Austin detective, decides they can help the struggling police department solve crimes—much to the chagrin of her son-in-law, Blake, who has recently become Chief Detective.
Threes, Sixes, & Thieves is the third one in the series. It released last December and is actually based on an experience I had as a church secretary. We were on lockdown for six hours as swarms of police conducted a manhunt for a person who’d shot a patrol officer. Our church became their command center. Of course I had to write about it!
When thieves begin to burgle residences with only three and sixes in the address, Janie detects a pattern and enlists the Bunco Biddies to stake out the one she thinks may be next. They call it in, and after a scuffle of gunshots, one escapes. The manhunt begins. When no one can locate the arresting officer later, she suspects something dicey.
The first, Dumpster Dicing, won Best Cozy 2017 by the Texas Association of Authors, and is about the newest resident, a grouchy old man who didn’t get along with anyone, ending up dead in the community dumpster. Did he unpack too much of his dicey past?
The second, Baby Bunco, involves an abandoned newborn in a vacant condo’s bathtub. Since no one has heard from the Lord that they will have children in their old age like Sarai, the Biddies suspect this could be the birth of a new crime wave.
I am also under contract with Write Integrity Press for a new mystery series called The Relatively Seeking Mysteries. Don’t you love that title? The Editor in Chief’s teenage daughter came up with it. The three books will revolve around three thirty year old friends who begin to delve into genealogies and discover a few skeletons others want kept in the ancestral closets. The first, One Leaf Too Many, is scheduled to launch in November, 2018.
Besides writing mysteries, I am also a digital missionary. That means I write, and mostly edit, devotional and inspirational articles for the internet branch of Campus Crusades. The two websites, TheLife.com (faith-based) and IssuesIFace.com, (more secularized because we believe Jesus meets us in the middle of our messes), generated over 14 million clicks in 2017 alone. Over 550,000 worldwide internet viewers were exposed to the Gospel. Many persecuted Christians use the sites as their main contact with other believers. IIF is now being translated into Spanish, French, Hindi and Arabic, and our prayer is to add seven more languages in the next five years. Working with translators, we are also seeking mentors in those languages, as well as English, to communicate online with people who read our articles and want to find out more about the Christian life. My own blog, Where Did You Find God Today, has readership in over fifty countries.
When I am not editing or writing, I cozy up on my sofa with my two housecats and read, watch clean mysteries on TV, or play word games with friends. I also conduct women’s and writers’ workshops.
For more information on my books and my ministry, go to www.juliebcosgrove.com.
My books, including my romance novellas, suspense, and contemporary women’s novels are available on Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/Julie-B-Cosgrove/e/B0078N9F80/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1523491464&sr=1-2-ent