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!

Home Found Suspense

We are days away from the release of the first book in a new series called Home Found Suspense. The book is Still Water. Here’s a brief glimpse at the story:

Crime reporter, Jake Bradley, has stumbled onto a suspicious accident. The clues lead him to Lisa Oliver, the daughter of the victims. Something about her draws Jake Bradley, and he vows to help her at all costs. When the FBI warns him off the case, Jake is more determined than ever to find the truth and keep Lisa safe.

After the sudden death of her parents, Lisa Oliver yearns for a place to call home. When she meets Jake, she wants to trust him, but her father’s mantras of self-sufficiency and independence create a stumbling block. As the wall between them crumbles, the past encroaches, and Lisa fears she will never be free. Is she forever doomed to her parents’ nomadic lifestyle, fleeing unseen enemies?

Now available for preorder at Amazon.com


Want an autographed copy? I’ll be happy to mail you one as soon as it’s available. You can order and pay* here: Order the Print Version

*Please use Option 1 to include shipping.

Special Edition – Hello Tuesday Morning!

Bonus Offering!

Carlotta’s Legacy, Book 2, is also 99¢ all week. Today, you can download all THREE books for less than two dollars! Buy Link for Rebecca’s Legacy

[Click to Tweet] Happy Launch Day Rebecca’s Legacy! August 7, 2018 #NewRelease #Kindle #99¢ One day only! A 1940s historical romance – Amy Juliana Emerson might be a cultured debutante, but she’s doing her best to follow her mom’s rebellious footsteps.

I hope you’ll take advantage of this GREAT sale offered by my publishing company. Here are all the details about the new release:

What will it take to teach a spoiled heiress about the greatest legacy?

Amy Juliana Emerson might be a cultured debutante, but she’s doing her best to follow her mom’s rebellious footsteps. Her desperate attempt to escape her father’s control, however, comes at the worst possible time.

Robert Emerson has received a threat against his family in an attempt to take over his company, Sanderson Industries. To guarantee his willful daughter’s safety, he sends her to work on a produce farm run by her Aunt Rebecca. Maybe her quiet strength and unconditional love can work on Amy, keep her from becoming the prodigal daughter she seems insistent on being.

Matt Wordsworth is the man Robert calls upon to make sure his daughter stays in line. His only interest in the beautiful girl is purely part of his job. Purely. Amy considers him a fuddy-duddy which suits the situation perfectly, allowing him to stay close to her without concern for her losing her heart to him. And his own heart … well, his feelings didn’t matter. This was business.

Humiliated and angry, Amy contemplates a path that will lead her even farther from home and away from Dad’s protection. Rebecca’s influence begins to change her feelings about everything, even about Matt, but Amy might find she’s playing into the hands of the enemy.

Click this photo to buy Amelia’s Legacy and Carlotta’s Legacy!

NOTE: All my Write Integrity Press books are available in Kindle Unlimited.

Surrender to Peace, by Rose Allen McCauley

website-photos-002-640x427I am honored to welcome to my blog, Rose Allen McCauley, a fellow Kentuckian and Christian writer, who has just released her novel, Surrender to Peace.

Rose McCauley has been writing for over ten years and was first published in several non-fiction anthologies and devotionals which are listed on her website/blog at www.rosemccauley.com . A retired schoolteacher who has been happily married to her college sweetheart for over four decades, she is also mother to three grown children and their spouses and grandmother to five lovely, lively kids! Although Rose grew up in the largest city in Kentucky, she has lived on a farm of almost four hundred acres for the past forty-two years, and last month moved to a small town in Kentucky. She loves to read and write small town stories. If you have a small town story you’d like to share, please stop by her website and leave a comment. She would love to hear from you. You can also reach her on twitter @RoseAMcCauley and Facebook at http://on.fb.me/1LrXNoS

In the Spotlight

Betty: Rose, you’ve written a beautiful, inspiring story. Where did you get the idea?

Rose: After brainstorming with some friends, one of them mentioned she was born in Puerto Rico, another said she grew up there as a child while her dad was stationed there in the service, and the third one said she’d enjoyed her stop there on a cruise. I said if I wrote a book set there I would have to visit! So, we decided to each write a story set in Puerto Rico. Although they didn’t work out as a series, that discussion is what gave me the original idea. And I did visit the Island after I had written most of the book, to make sure I got the details correct. I had to make a few changes when I saw certain places in person! One restaurant advertised as being on the waterfront had a small view of the water a block away!

Betty: Please tell us about your main character.

Rose: Joy Worth is a travel agent who had often set up lodging etc. for her clients, but had never visited Puerto Rico herself. When she gets engaged she decides to go there, but her fiancé breaks the engagement, and she ends up going on a honeymoon-for-one!

Betty: What is her most intriguing or interesting characteristic?

Rose: Her mom died when Joy was 10, and her dad is a loner, so she is very independent.

Betty: Can you give us a sort of “snapshot” (brief description) of the young man she meets in Puerto Rico?

Rose: Benigno Cook considers himself 100% Puerto Rican although his father was an American who left Ben and his mom when Ben was only two. He is a strong Christian and very kind and dependable, just the kind of man Joy always wanted! But now, she is afraid to trust him and to trust her own discernment, after the mess she made with her first engagement.

Betty: Okay, I have to ask, did you do all the things your character did in the book? Are you the adventurer, or do you live these adventures through your characters?

Rose: I do some of both. My husband and I were only in Puerto Rico for 4 days, but we did go to both forts, and took the hike to La Mina Falls in El Yunque National Rainforest, We also ate at several places on the Flavors of San Juan tour. We did not have time to do the zip lining in Puerto Rico, but we had done that in Costa Rica a few years ago, so I used that experience to write that scene which one of my critique partners told me was very realistic. Hope you thought so too. My husband and I also walked the Promenade de la Princessa and saw the Raices fountain and other sites and took pictures, of course. A beautiful country, with very friendly people.

Betty: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers about this story?

Rose: The spiritual message. Like most books I write, Joy learned a lesson God has been impressing on me—to be still in His Presence and learn to hear and discern His voice. Hope my readers take that away, too, and that if we are following Him, He can work things out much better than we could have asked or imagined! To Him be the glory! (Ephesians 3:20-21)

Betty: I love that. As a Christian, I am very aware God often uses the circumstances, the results of our personal choices to teach us and draw us back into His perfect will for our lives. Now, what’s up next for you?

Rose: I recently was asked to join a Christmas boxed set with six other authors set to come out in November—working title Joy to the World, but that may change. Then the day after I returned from Puerto Rico, my agent, Tamela Hancock Murray, called with the great news that my novella idea I had submitted many months ago had been contracted by Barbour Publishing to be part of their Courageous Brides collection. That is the story I am working on right now, as it is due by December 1st, and will be out next July, 2016! I’m very excited about the story as the heroine is named for my granddaughter who lives in a pre-Civil War home in Cynthiana, just like in the story! I hope I can tell your readers about it next year! Thanks so much for having me, Betty. I always enjoy our visits, whether they are in person or cyber-visits! God’s blessings on you and your readers!

And you and your readers are the first to know that I am starting a new weekly blog day today—Tuesday’s Travelogues. For the next few weeks I will be blogging about photos I took in Puerto Rico to help my readers enjoy the reading experience even more! Please stop by and let me know if you enjoy them. And I have many more countries I have visited that I will be featuring if the interest is great enough! www.rosemccauley.com

Betty: Thanks so much, Rose. It’s always a pleasure to talk with you. I’m excited about your newest release and wish you continued success!

Surrender to Peace - minus logo (2)Surrender to Peace – Now Available!

Joy Worth arrives in Puerto Rico on her honeymoon trip–without her ex-fiancé. On a tour, she meets Park Ranger Benigno Arroyo.

On several more outings, he shows her the joy of living through the beauty of his beloved island. She begins to hear God’s voice again.

Joy so loves the island she decides to stay. Benigno falls in love with Joy but realizes her pain is still fresh. Joy loves him but doubts her judgment.

On a hike, Joy falls and is knocked unconscious. At her bedside, thinking she is still unconscious, Benigno proposes. Opening her eyes, she accepts. They make plans to marry on an island cruise a month later.


Buy Link at Amazon: http://amzn.to/1fsTxcG

More books by Rose Allen McCauley: Christmas Belles of Georgia and Christmas Grace (both available in print and in e-book).