Prude-Approved Reads: Greener Grasses

The Seven Deadly Sins draw boos and hisses from prudes. We hold them in greater derision than shoddy sentence construction and low-hanging pants and line-jumping. (This, of course, is wise, because God quite explicitly orders us not to engage in these evils, while uttering not a word against lazy syntax, baggy jeans or taking cuts.) Right on the cover, Greener Grasses states, ‘Love Does Not Envy,’ so of course I am hooked before I open it. And sure enough, the author proves, in the course of the story, that she also heartily disapproves of envy.

Greener Grasses is the third book in a series of novellas based on the I Corinthians 13 ‘Love is…’ descriptions. In this story about jealousy eating the heart out of the relationship between twins Erin and Ellen, author Julie Cosgrove hops from one sister’s resentful head to the other. This point-of-view switching is a no-no for novice writers and prudes pride themselves at following rules. But rules are loosened when a skillful and experienced writer like Ms. Cosgrove tackles alternating perspectives, which she does with panache.

There’s plenty to approve of in this smooth, moving story as Julie addresses the misconceptions envy creates. Does wealth relieve the stress of marriage and parenthood? Not necessarily. Well then, poor-but-happy must be the ticket to wedded bliss. Not a guarantee. If only my life was like hers, everything would be better, right? Negative.
Are mothers of grown children very, very wise? ABSOLUTELY.

As you read further—and please read further–you’ll get to know Julie, learn that she likes my favorite author and adverbs (she is a woman of taste and discernment) and find links to learn more about this admirable book. All in one post. And I’m guessing by the time you get through all that you’ll find that you want to read Greener Grasses. You won’t be disappointed!

Here is Julie:

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Her book:

LoveIs_GreenerGrasses copy

And a bit about her:

I was born in San Antonio but spent my summers at my family’s cabin (yes it really was a cabin with a screened in porch and outhouse) in the Texas Hill Country overlooking the Guadalupe River. So I was both a city mouse and a country mouse. Built in 1923, my siblings and I are in the process of “modernizing” it, complete with new kitchen and new bathroom, without it looking modern. Quite an undertaking.

I graduated from college and was awarded the Religion Major of the Year Award by the American Bible Society, which landed me in seminary. Then life happened.
But even being a working mom and volunteering in my church, the desire to tell others of Christ’s love through speaking and writing never left me. Now widowed at a fairly early age with only two cats to serve and having a grown child off on his own, God has led me back to that – I lead women’s retreats and workshops and write.

Her website
and her blog and—goodness, she is everywhere, isn’t she?
blog: Where Did You Find God Today?
Twitter@JulieBCosgrove, LinkedIn, Facebook

And video-blurb

And the all-important link to Greener Grasses on Amazon

Julie tells why she wants to write:

Is it over simplistic to say because God has called me to do so? I began as a thank you to Him for finding me freelance writing contracts to support me in my widowhood. I tithed my writing day to Him first each morning. I believe He has honored that. Now I write not only fiction but devotionals for seven publications and websites, many of them since 2009. I feel in my element and the happiest when I am writing. It is addictive!

And now answers some pressing and some piddling questions:

What book made the biggest impact on your life?
Probably Hush in the Storm (one of Julie’s earlier books) because it opened the door to writing for Prism Book Group. I just signed my ninth contract with them. I still recall blubbering on my sofa holding my cell phone and reading the acceptance letter again and again to make sure it was real. My son came in and thought someone had died!

Why were you given your particular name?
I was supposed to be born in July, thus Julie. However, I came the end of May. I am glad my parents didn’t change their mind and name me for that month. I just don’t look like a “May” or “Mae.”

If you had to change your first name, what would you change it to?

Christina Ann. She was the heroine in one of the first suspense romance novels I read – The Ivy Tree by late Mary Stewart. She got me hooked on that genre. I read all of her novels, including the Merlin trilogy.
You’ve been writing all day. You don’t want to cook. You do want to get out of the house. Do you get pizza, burgers or Chinese?
None of the above- Tex-Mex!

What is your favorite sport?
I am not a sporty person…does floating in the river count? Seriously, I have always been a swimmer and also performed synchronized swimming, a.k.a. water ballet, in high school and college.

What is your favorite kind of music?
Contemporary Christian and Chamber Music.

What is your favorite song? Do I honestly have to choose?
I guess In Christ Alone or Stay Strong by the Newsboys. Toss up.

Would you rather be an Irish line dancer, a hula dancer, a clogger or a cabaret dancer?
Oh, definitely Irish jigs! It is part of my heritage, me lassie.

What three items would you take if you knew you were going to stranded on a tropical island for a year? (FYI: It has fresh water and plenty for you to eat and a flush toilet)
Then toilet paper, definitely. My tablet with an external battery because it has at least twenty books downloaded I have yet to read as well as my favorite Bible version on it, and sunscreen…lots of sunscreen.

You get to be any household item you want in Disney’s ‘Beauty and the Beast.’ What do you choose?
I liked the clock character, don’t know why.

Cooking, baking, or for pete’s sake can we please eat out?
Eat out.

Which would you prefer as a second home: Mountain cabin, beach house or big city condo?
Um, the cabin. That is a given. It still is my second home and where I always “feel” closer to God.

If you could witness any event past, present or future, what would it be?
The moment Jesus entered the Upper Room after His resurrection.
If you could learn any new skill, what would it be?
Paint- walls, canvases, whatever. I’m the only one in my family who can’t draw a straight line. Missed out on the artistic gene. So to compensate, I paint with words.

You are offered a huge contract to write a ‘How To’ book on your area of expertise. What would it be about?
Squeeze More God-time Into Your Day. Oh, wait I wrote that! Now I just need a big contract for the second edition.

What is one of your favorite quotes?
Age is mind over matter: if you don’t mind, what does it matter? People who live that out seem happier.

You can choose any author you want, living or dead (well, they wouldn’t be dead when you met them), to be your writing coach, who would it be?
What chore do you absolutely hate doing?
Laundry. My machines are so needy. They are always beep at me right when I am in the middle of something else.

What is your favorite form of exercise?

How do you manage stress?
Prayer- tears – prayer.

How do you feel about adverbs?
They are legit English words. Let’s have an “ly” revolution!!! Seriously? (NOTE: BLESS HER. ADVERB-LOVERS OF THE WORLD UNITE! IMMEDIATELY!)

Do you personally find yawning contagious?
Thought that was proven.

Where do you write?
At my desk which is in a niche next to my fireplace in my living room. I live in a one bedroom apartment and hated having my computer in my bedroom. All those little lights kept me awake, and especially when my cats would jump up and awaken my keyboard, which awakens my two monitors- arrgg.

Music or silence while you write?
Classical music when I edit.

Skittles or M&M’s or…carrot sticks while you write?
Popcorn, actually, maybe with a few M&M’s mixed in…hmmm.


Thanks to Julie for spending precious time answering these questions, thanks to you readers for getting to know her better. I know you’ll enjoy Greener Grasses.

5 thoughts on “Prude-Approved Reads: Greener Grasses

  1. Love the interview. I like the name Julie, also the choice Christina Ann. I named our second daughter Christina LeAnn, but we call her Christy. I would never, never, I repeat, never, perform water ballet. I can’t swim and have no plans to learn. I do like to watch it.

  2. I was happy to meet Julie Cosgrove here. I just clicked the link and went over to buy her book. I’ll read it as soon as I’m finished with the marvelous Hounded by The Tuesday Prude.

    Envy is a fascinating subject and I look forward to Julie’s book.

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