The Visitor Meets Old Hairy

Fay Lamb is a longtime friend and one of my favorite authors. Her “hallmark” is humor, so I was excited to see her name included on the list of contributors for The Visitor novellas. I have read this story and will soon be writing a review. It is a delightful suspense story. Delightful, because it’s funny with plenty of mystery and suspense.

–Betty Thomason Owens
Betty with Fay Lamb

When I was asked by my publisher if I wanted to take part in the writing of a contemporary mystery, light suspense series, of course, I said yes.

However, I must make a confession. The authors of the series gathered online in Zoom meetings, each one with a separate book. We began to plot out the secondary but title character of The Visitor who is the link to all of our stories. The Visitor shaped out to be a put-together professional, who wears her signature color red as a sign of her put-togetherness, with neatly trimmed nails and put-together hair. The job of the authors was to bring out her personality through the point of view of our main characters for each story.

The rebel in me saw Connie—the Visitor—only as the baby sister to my character, and my character is a lawyer turned stay-at-home-mom for eighteen years, whose baby and only child is about to go off to college and leave a hole in her heart. She’d already racked her brains on how to make his last summer before college memorable for her family, and she isn’t letting a put-together, red-wearing little sister take that away from her. Pollyanna Reagan will get her sister out in the woods hunting Bigfoot with her family or she’ll die trying—even if Connie’s signature color might attack other dangerous wildlife.

Never fear. Neither Pollyanna nor Connie meets their demise. But someone else does, and guess who becomes a chief suspect. I’ll give you a hint: his name is in the title.

So why was I so adamant about not letting Connie stay in her routine?

Because as an author, a lot of me goes into my characters, and while I was never the mother of Pollyanna’s caliber, I have two sons that are as different as day and night. My youngest son, Ethan, though, did reach his full potential of being a royal pain, and I loved every moment of it. This story allowed me to relive the playful nature of mother and child. My son’s name is Ethan as well.

Not only was The Visitor Meets Old Hairy a chance for me to live the old give-and-take with my boy, but it gave me a chance to visit one of my favorite places on earth. Shh… I can’t mention that place here or my publisher might hunt me down much the way Bigfoot is hunted, and I might not get away with just a shaky camera aimed in my direction. We’re having a contest, and you’ll have to stay tune for details. We want you to guess the location.

Added to the people and the place of my story, one of my favorite subjects is Bigfoot. I know just about everything there is to know about him. I love the big fella, and if you read the story, you’ll see how much I know through the knowledge of my characters. Did I research? Well, yes, I did, but that research has spanned a lifetime. Do I believe in the likes of a big hairy man-like creature?

I ain’t gonna tell you, but you might find some insight into my way of thinking when you meet Pollyanna, Connie, Ethan, and Marc and traipse through the woods with them in search of Old Hairy.

The Visitor goes camping? Pollyanna Reagan can’t wait to take her always-put-together, ultra-professional sister out into the boonies. But when they encounter what they thought was a mythical creature, they might both become sticks in the mud.

Of course, when they find a body, a stiff in the mud, Connie shifts into deduction mode. Was the deceased somehow scared to death or possibly attacked by what should be imaginary, or are there other, more human and certainly more vicious, intentions at play?

Match wits with The Visitor as she unravels this twisted puzzle and the family drama that surrounds it.


Fay Lamb is the only daughter of a rebel genius father and a hard-working, tow-the-line mom. She is not only a fifth-generation Floridian, she has lived her life in Titusville, where her grandmother was born in 1899.

Since an early age, storytelling has been Fay’s greatest desire. She seeks to create memorable characters that touch her readers’ hearts. She says of her writing, “If I can’t laugh or cry at the words written on the pages of my manuscript, the story is not ready for the reader.” Fay writes in various genres, including romance, romantic suspense, and contemporary fiction.

If you’d like to catch up with Fay, visit her at her website, on Amazon, Goodreads, Facebook, and Twitter. Also, Fay has become a “novel” gardener, and she shares her adventure in her newsletter, Tales from the Azalea Garden. You can sign up for her newsletter, Tales from the Azalea Garden, here.


You can preorder The Visitor Meets Old Hairy on Amazon: https://amzn.to/3iLN5Uk

Get a free gift with your purchase!

Simply email your Amazon receipt to

TheVisitorBooks2023@gmail.com.

Put the book title or author’s name in as the subject,

and be sure to give your mailing address in the email!

Write Integrity Press LLC

Read all about it & Join the Expedition: Enter the contest by guessing at the clues given to you as to the location of each book in The Visitor series: https://www.writeintegrity.com/thevisitor

When Last I Posted

Where has the time gone? As 2022 winds down, I’m catching my breath. But what a year it’s been. I am working on book two of the Home Found series – title to be announced at a later date. I have enjoyed discovering Lisa’s story. Jake has become one of my favorite characters. In book two, his “On the Road” columns are growing in popularity. Which is a good thing, unless you’re trying to blend in.

I know I left my readers hanging at the end of Still Water. It was unfair of me to do that so, I’ve thought of a way to fill the void between the books. Jake sends Lisa post cards. If you’ve read Still Water, you’ll remember who “R” and “LJ” are. If you haven’t read it, or have forgotten who they are, Lisa is “R” and Jake is “LJ.” Can’t tell you more than that without it being a major spoiler for those who haven’t read it yet. 🙂

Here’s a sample of what you can expect in the interim:

Lisa will write journal entries or send letters (via FBI Special Agent Zach Farrow). Here’s a sample of one of Lisa’s journal entries:

By the way, what do you think Jake means by the “AML” in his note? It was 1972–pre-cell phone and pre-text days. I will continue to post these updates at least through Lisa’s Christmas break, because something really special happens (no, it’s not a proposal). I hope you’ll watch for more of these coming soon.

A bit of business news. I have moved my website to a new host. It seems happy here, but some of my followers are telling me they no longer receive email when I post. (To be honest, those posts have been few and far between lately). If you have previously followed this blog and no longer receive email notification of a new post, you may want to refollow.

If you are my friend on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, I’ll share the post there. You can find links to all of my media on my “About” page – Author Media.

Newsletter News! If you’d like to sign up for my newsletter–I love to do surprise giveaways. Click here to sign up.

Coming Soon! I was invited to write a cozy mystery novella, along with six or seven other authors. Those will begin releasing in early 2023. There will be games and clues and giveaways involved with all of the releases. Sounds like fun, huh?

It’s fall, y’all, and we are headed into the last couple of months of the year. Winter is upon us. The holidays are coming. Sometimes we feel weary and overwhelmed. In those times, I love to reread one of my favorite scriptures. I hope it blesses you, too. Thanks for stopping by!

…but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

Isaiah 40:31 ESV

Two Reviews and an Update

I love positive reviews. Writers thrive on those. When a new book releases, we hold our breath until someone sends through a message or posts a review. Will they like it OR Will it flop?

Thank you, Joyce and Diana!

An update on my writing journey: I recently completed a cozy mystery novella to be released as part of a series of novellas, beginning in early 2023. There are seven stories in the series. One of them will be released every month from February until August. This is my first cozy mystery. I enjoyed creating the characters and developing the story.

Watch my newsletter and/or social media posts for more information and updates on this exciting series.

I am writing furiously to complete book 2 of the Home Found Suspense series. I can’t wait to share more with you about this project.

Receive advance notice and free stuff by joining my newsletter list.

Click here to subscribe.

Until next time–

The Lord is near to all who call upon him, to all who call upon him in truth.

Psalm 145:18 ESV

The Wordplay Mysteries

By Julie B Cosgrove

Julie B. Cosgrove

I have always loved word puzzles and word games. Scrabble is more often set up on my dining room table than placemats and napkins.  I play Words with Friends and Wordle daily. Even as a preteen, I would grab the newspaper section from my Dad so I could be the first to solve the Jumble, then try and find as many words as I could made out of the letters in the posted word of the day.

Back then I was a suspense and mystery buff, too. Still am. I binge out on British mysteries like Death in Paradise, Shakespeare & Hathaway, Father Brown, Vera … just to name a few (they do them so very well), and watch reruns of Diagnosis Murder, Columbo, Murder She Wrote, Psych, Quincy, etc. Since middle school―let’s not discuss how long ago that was―I’ve love reading cozy mysteries, my genre of choice.

So, is it any surprise my wise, older sister asked why I didn’t combine the two and write a cozy mystery series about Wordplay? Gauntlet thrown, how could I say no? Blessings abound, my publisher agreed. Thanks, sis.

I designed Scrub Oak, Texas, complete with the shops and shopkeepers, the police, the churches, and the town folk. It is a great place to visit, so I hope you will. I can honestly say this has been the most fun I have experienced in my writing career journey yet! 

Here are brief synopses of the first three Word Play Mysteries…

Word Has It  –  Not prone to gossip, Wanda  keeps herself to herself. But when she hears from her nephew Todd, now a local policeman, that a ring of thieves may be hiding out in the area, she begins to wonder if the old Ferguson place is still abandoned. When words like jewels, woodshed, landing, and evil appear on their weekly word game days after a deadly shooting on the property, she determines it is a sign she and her friends should investigate.

Word Gets Around – Each of the three ladies receive a nonsensical note slipped between the wiper blades of their cars. When the ladies combine the words on a word game board, it spells trouble for one of Betty’s former students, who is now a freelance reporter for the Oakmont County Gazette. Could it be she reported way too much?

In Other Words – Many English words contain the same letters but in different order, like stressed and desserts. After the local store owner is found dead in the alley, the ladies will need their word playing skills to unravel the dual meanings of the graffiti that appears around town before two more people’s games end.

On August 26th, number four releases.

Hang On Every Word – Wanda lands a gig as the word puzzle designer for the local newspaper. Then the answers to her clues end up as crimes. Some merchants wonder if she is feeding the crooks so she can get credit for solving more mysteries.  Will her nephew Todd be pressured into arresting his own aunt?

And this is the exciting part – everyone who preorders the book on Amazon by July 1st will get a FREE chapter every Friday emailed to them until it releases. They get a sneak peek before anyone else!  Plus, they are put in a drawing to receive a $10 Amazon gift certificate, too.

Details can be found on my website, juliebcosgrove.com .

Here is a sample of what you’ll read…

“No fingerprints were left behind, so he or she wore gloves. He or she knew the tills would be full. These robberies appear to be planned out, as most are. Not spontaneous as if the word puzzles you designed in the newspaper helped them decide who to hit.”

“How long does it take to grab gloves?” She waggled a finger at her nephew. “Pardon me for saying so, but these three all seem like hit and runs, no pun intended. My guess is the burglar lives elsewhere.”

“I hope you’re right. Vicki is an old friend. And Mason seems like a great guy.” He leaned in and brushed her cheek with his lips. “And I’m rather fond of my aunt as well. I don’t want to see any of you handcuffed.” Todd rose, put on his police Stetson, and left her kitchen.

Wanda stared as he closed the door behind him. Did he seriously think she might be involved? Surely not.

Images zipped across her imagination― red flashing lights, squawking highway patrol radios, and herself in handcuffs slammed face down against the hood of her car.

Oh, get a grip.


About Julie B Cosgrove

Freelance writer, award-winning traditionally published author and speaker Julie B Cosgrove leads retreats, workshops, and Bible studies. She writes regularly for several Christian websites and publications.

Julie has won “One of the 50 Writers You should be Reading” in 2015 & 2016 by the nationally syndicated radio The Author Show and is a Grace Award finalist, INSPY semifinalist, and winner of the Best Religious Fiction 2016 winner and Best Cozy Mystery 2017 by the Texas Association of Authors.

But her passion is story-telling and she loves to read mysteries and suspense as well as write them. She currently has three mystery series: The Bunco Biddies Mysteries, The Relatively Seeking Mysteries, and the Wordplay Mysteries.


Hi, Betty Thomason Owens here. I thoroughly enjoyed the first two books of Wordplay Mysteries–Word Has It and Word Gets Around. In Other Words is on my TBR list and I have already preordered Hang On Every Word.

I’m a fan of Julie B Cosgrove. 🙂

I had not previously read many cozy mysteries, but her first book hooked me. The characters are delightful, warm, and charming. Small town candor and innocence abounds. If you’re a mystery reader, I encourage you to give Julie’s books a read. Just good, clean fun!

Into His Marvelous Light

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

1 Peter 2:9 ESV
Image by jplenio from Pixabay

Light. It is the most powerful force in the universe.

Looking back, the last couple of years brought a lot of heartache and loss, not just for me, but for many. Turmoil, struggles, sickness, and death, became our everyday. And it’s not over yet. We stand in the predawn darkness, knowing that the sun will rise again. Waiting. And then it happens.

Light bursts upon the scene and changes everything. Sometimes the light of day brings clarity. Renewed vision. Hope.

A few months ago, I stood on a balcony overlooking the Atlantic. It was early morning. The sun had not yet risen. In that predawn blackness, I could hear the waves crashing against the shore. And then the sun’s golden rays tinted the horizon.

Dawn can be sudden and even startling at times. Its beauty is undeniable. The watcher stands in awe.

Back home, watching from my kitchen window . . . well, the scene is not quite so dramatic. If I turn on my ambient noise and set it to ocean, I can pretend. Still, there is no denying the power of light. Even breaking over the rooftops in my subdivision, it can be breathtakingly beautiful.

There is a beauty in every season of life that must be experienced to be appreciated fully.

Coffee helps. 🙂

We are called out of darkness into God’s marvelous light. Each day is a gift to use wisely. To work at the task given. To be a blessing. It’s one more chance to say, “I love you.” Maybe one more chance to say, “I forgive you.” Or, “please forgive me.”


Do you have a favorite sunrise memory?