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BLOGWORDS – Tuesday 20 February 2018 – TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – NEW RELEASE FEATURE – A LIGHT ON THE HILL by CONNILYN COSSETTE

TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – RELEASE DAY FEATURE – A LIGHT ON THE HILL by CONNILYN COSSETTE

                                                               

Seven years ago, Moriyah was taken captive in Jericho and branded with the mark of the Canaanite gods. Now the Israelites are experiencing peace in their new land, but Moriyah has yet to find her own peace. Because of the shameful mark on her face, she hides behind her veil at all times and the disdain of the townspeople keeps her from socializing. And marriage prospects were out of the question . . . until now.

Her father has found someone to marry her, and she hopes to use her love of cooking to impress the man and his motherless sons. But when things go horribly wrong, Moriyah is forced to flee. Seeking safety at one of the newly-established Levitical cities of refuge, she is wildly unprepared for the dangers she will face, and the enemies—and unexpected allies—she will encounter on her way.

 

Series:  #1 Cities of Refuge
Genre:  Biblical Fiction
Release date:  6 February 2018
Pages:  313
Publisher:  Bethany House

 

Grief caught in my throat. “Is there no hope at all?”

She shrugged one humped shoulder. “I am a healer and have gathered many medicines and spells from many lands, but what this man needs is a skilled physician.”

Hope flickered. “Where can we find someone like this?”

She scratched her chin and wrinkled her frown again. “Aside from Egypt, where men are trained in such arts, the only hope would be Megiddo. But I doubt he will last until we arrive.”

“You are going to Megiddo?”

She nodded. “We’d be there already if it hadn’t been for that storm last night.” She turned to peer at the carving of Ba’al. “You let all your fury loose did you not, my friend?” Again she muttered unintelligible words as if speaking to the wooden idol like one spoke to another person. She turned a cloudy eye on me and froze, her attention honed in on me like a serpent sighting a mouse. “You must leave.”

“But—”

“My friends do not want you here.” She jabbed a long-nailed finger at me. “You bear the mark of my Lord and Lady but you do not serve them. Go. Leave.”

 

rem:   Hullo Conni, and CONGRATULATIONS on your new book!! If you could live anywhere in any time period, where would you go?

CONNILYNOh goodness, I think I am too spoiled to want to actually live in another time period. I need my wifi and my Kindle just too much. But I really would really love to visit the 20’s if I could meet my grandma Ruth when she was young. She was a beautiful singer when she was young but by the time I knew her that operatic voice had deteriorated so much. I would so love to experience what life was like for her then, it was such an interesting time in our country with cool architecture and art and fashion but stay there for good? No thanks. I’ll be here in my air conditioning, writing books on my laptop and drinking a latte!

rem:   I know right!! Gimme a time machine and I’ll visit all kinds of times and places!! But there’s no place like home! Where did you find this story idea?

CONNILYN:   I wanted to follow the natural progression of the story after the Exodus because I wanted to write Moryiah’s story (from Wings of the Wind) and once I read Joshua 20 about the Cities of Refuge my imagination was stirred.

rem:   Conni, I gotta say I love the progression of your stories! Who was the easiest character to write and why? The most difficult?

CONNILYNMoriyah was very easy because I know her so well and so I was able to slip into her skin. Because of her appearance she deals with a lot of the insecurities that all modern women face, so that also contributed to the ease with which she flowed onto the page. The most difficult was probably Yuval because it took me a while to determine his motives for his actions, but once I did he became one of my favorites and actually his original fate changed drastically.

rem:   Oh! I loved Yuval! What do you munch on while you’re writing / researching / editing?

CONNILYN: I try to avoid munching when I am writing because otherwise I end up at the bottom of bags without realizing how much I’ve stuffed in my mouth, but I do drink lots of coffee and tea at night.

  rem:   Oh yeah, I’m a 24/7 tea-drinking kinda gal! What do you do to recover once you’ve typed “THE END?”

CONNILYNOnce I turn in a manuscript I take an entire month off of writing so I can recharge my brain and so I can have completely fresh inspiration when I dig into the next story.

rem:   So.Smart. I think most readers don’t know what it takes of how much work it is to write our stories. Especially yours, with such cultural detail. Congratulations again on your latest lovely story!

 

 

Connilyn Cossette is the Christy Award Nominated and CBA-Bestselling author of the Out from Egypt Series from Bethany House Publishers. There’s not much she enjoys more than digging into the rich, ancient world of the Bible, discovering new gems of grace that point to Jesus, and weaving them into an immersive fiction experience. Connect with her at www.ConnilynCossette.com

 

1 – “Perhaps it is the vineyard he desires now, my beautiful daughter. But no one could resist loving you, if they give it a chance. I believe that Yahweh is providing a man who will see beyond the veil, past the mark, and into your heart.”

 

2 – Throughout the long, restless night on my bed, I conjured up all manner of doubts, trying to imagine what sort of man my father had chosen for me, what he might look like, and what he would think of me. Had he heard rumors like the ones that market girl had flung at me? And when he did, would he change his mind or ignore them? I was not sure which outcome I feared more.

 

3 – All the years between Jericho and now seemed to be charred beyond redemption, as though the brand had sunk deep into my soul, burning away even the roots of hope I’d once clung to, and leaving behind only a patch of ashy dust.

 

4 – Could I dare hope that Darek could look past such shame? Unbidden hope curled around my heart, squeezing it in ways I’d not entertained for a very long time.

 

5 – “You have experienced something that no one should ever have to, and yet you handled it with dignity. Instead of railing against your lot, you endure it with quiet grace.”

 

6 – His attention lost among the glowing embers, Darek tapped a steady rhythm against his knee. The minute gesture caused my thoughts to revisit the festival, when a relentless drumbeat and the flicker of brazier flames had encircled that brief moment when he’d smiled at me and taken a step in my direction.

 

7 – The longer the rain pelted down, the slicker the trail became. Rivulets of water began to wash down the side of the slope as we climbed, dragging mud and pebbles with them in their mad rush into the valley… The drop-off next to the trail made my stomach wobble—one wrong move and I’d tumble to the rocks below. Perhaps a fitting end for a murderer.

 

8­ – Fear was a living, breathing thing stretched along my shoulders, weighing me down…

 

9 – How had I allowed myself to be so thoroughly chained inside a prison of my own making? I’d not only hidden behind the veil, I’d hidden inside my house, and eventually curled up on the inside, too, letting the barrier grow thicker and thicker as the years went on… And perhaps it was not Yahweh who had stopped whispering to my heart… but me who had built a wall between us.

 

10 – None of this was mine to control. My life had always been in the hands of Yahweh; even before I was born and my grandparents had chosen to walk away from Egypt, my path had always been His to determine.

 

Connilyn Cossette immediately became one of my favorite authors when I read her first book, Counted With the Stars two years ago. Her research and knowledge of the culture, and her skill at weaving that into her story is now much anticipated with each new story; she does not disappoint in A Light on the Hill.

 

There is such depth and so many layers to this story, I’m not even sure where to begin… Moriyah has hidden behind a secret from her past—and I think that’s true for so many of us. Her journey to freedom is not easy, and I felt her struggle every step of the way. I felt, nay, I know, her resistance to letting others in, letting others love her.

I must confess that any time I’ve ever read the Old Testament, I never picked up on the Levitical cities of refuge. Ms. Cossette brings to life an invaluable analogy of God’s care and provision for us. Moriyah’s very flight to safety was fraught with danger; so, too, sometimes is our way to the arms of God.

That God used the very thing that scarred her to bring her to the city of refuge is also very true of His touch on our lives. As the song says, nothing is wasted.

 

Ms. Cossette tells Moriyah’s story so beautifully, her fears real and tangible, her will to survive curious to her. The love story mingled in with the history and the terror of their journey brought tears to my eyes more than once. And always, always, God’s heart and His redemptive power.

 

 

I received a free copy of this book, but was under no obligation to read the book or to post a review. I offer my review of my own free will. The opinions expressed in my review are my honest thoughts and reaction to this book.

 

 

#Blogwords, Tuesday Reviews-Day, #TRD, New Release Event, A Light on the Hill, Connilyn Cossette, Cities of Refuge

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BLOGWORDS – Tuesday 9 May 2017 – TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – RELEASE DAY EVENT – WINGS OF THE WIND

TUESDAY REVIEWS-DAY – RELEASE DAY EVENT – WINGS OF THE WIND

Alanah, a Canaanite, is no stranger to fighting and survival. When her family is killed in battle with the Hebrews, she disguises herself and sneaks onto the battlefield to avenge her family. The one thing she never counted on was surviving.

Tobiah, a Hebrew warrior, is shocked to find an unconscious, wounded woman among the Canaanite casualties. Compelled to bring her to a Hebrew healer back at their camp, he is soon confronted with a truth he can’t ignore: the only way to protect this enemy is to marry her.

Unused to being weak and vulnerable, Alanah submits to the marriage–for now. As she comes to know and respect Tobiah and his people, however, she begins to second-guess her plans of escape. But when her past has painfully unanticipated consequences, the tentative peace she’s found with Tobiah, the Hebrews, and Yahweh is shaken to the core. Can Alanah’s fierce heart and strength withstand the ensuing threats to her life and all she’s come to love?

“This one’s alive.” The declaration seemed to come from far away, as if floating high above me,

the familiar language weighted with a foreign accent.

“Finish it,” yelled another disembodied voice. “We are to leave no man breathing.”

My eyes closed and I drew a deep breath, a shuddering inhale that would be my last. The enemy

sword would cleave the last of the life from my body, and I could sleep, fly to the gods, if they

deigned to receive one who had shunned them.

Nothing came. No sword. No end. I opened my eyes and a blood-spattered, bearded face

hovered over me with a confused expression. Soundless words formed on his lips. A woman?

My helmet was gone and my braid free. There was no escaping the fate that would now meet me

on this battlefield. My brothers, unrestrained even around their sister, had drunkenly regaled

me with stories of women in battle camps. Victors plundered women along with weapons and

supplies. Perhaps I would again lose consciousness from the pain of my wound and he would

kill me quickly after he sated his—

“Can you move?” His surprising question scattered my disturbing thoughts. The man thrust his

sword into his scabbard, pushed the dead men off my legs and body, and knelt beside me.

Cinnamon-brown eyes, full of conflict, met mine. A thick ragged beard covered his face and met

long, brown hair streaked with gold from the sun.

In my confusion and haze, I could not answer. Why was he waiting? Was he drawing out the

terror? Even if I could reach the dagger at my belt with my useless arm, there was no strength

left in me to fight.

He looked around, as if searching out someone to aid him. But instead of calling out for another

enemy to help slaughter me, he checked me for weapons and, finding my dagger, relieved me of

my last defense. “Rather not have that jammed between my ribs,” he muttered.

Then, in a baffling move, he slipped a small skin-bag from his shoulder and held it to my

parched lips. An explosion of cool, clean water poured into my mouth. I choked and coughed.

He placed a hand behind my good shoulder and lifted me, guiding me into a sitting position.

“Here, drink.”

With only a brief pause to consider his intentions, I lifted my mouth to the spout and guzzled.

The sweetest mountain-fresh water I had ever tasted doused the burn in my throat, stirring a

spark of life, of unwelcome hope, into my desiccated body.

“That arrow is in deep.” He examined my back but did not touch the wound. “I’ll find a healer.”

Why would this enemy, one whose face was streaked and speckled with the blood of my

countrymen, take me to a healer? He checked my other limbs and, satisfied that I was able,

helped me stand. A spasm of searing pain spiked down my arm and across my chest. The world

swayed and tilted. My knees collapsed. I was locked in his arms for a moment before blackness

engulfed me again.”

rem: Hullo, Conni, and congratulations on your new book! If you could live anywhere in any time period, where would you go?

CONNILYN: I’d probably be most interested in experiencing the early days of America, to see

the world of our founding fathers and see this beautiful country in its more original, pristine

state. Although I’m perfectly content with my coffee maker, my laptop and my wifi, so I’ll stay

here in 2017.

rem: I hear ya, I’d love to visit all kinds of different times and places—but give me my hear and now for home! Where did you find this story idea?

CONNILYN: I’d been discussing Rahab with my mom, since her bible study was reading

through Joshua and we were tossing around the question of why Rahab would have hidden the

Hebrew spies in spite of the extreme danger. So without giving any spoilers… Wings of the

Wind was born.

rem: And I love your twist on it! Well done! Who was the easiest character to write and why? The most difficult?

CONNILYN: Alanah was quite easy and very fun since I saw her quite clearly in my mind.

Tobiah was more difficult and I did not fully understand his character until the end of the book

and therefore had to go back to the beginning and tweak/re-write until he came to life more

fully. But I certainly came to love him along the way!

rem: I love them both and identify with Alanah a bit too well… What do you munch on while you’re writing / researching / editing?

CONNILYN: I don’t really have anything that I habitually munch on during writing, but there

are times when an emergency chocolate run to the store is necessary.

rem: Yes, emergency chocolate is a must have! What do you do to recover once you’ve typed “THE END?”

CONNILYN: Sleep. Lots of sleep. And I read all the books that I possibly can and binge on

Netflix to recharge my brain.

rem:  All the sleep, and all the Netflix! Good options. Congrats again and thanks for popping by! (and keep writing!)

 

Connilyn Cossette is the author of the Out from Egypt Series with Bethany House Publishers. When she is not homeschooling her two sweet kiddos (with a full pot of coffee at hand), Connilyn is scribbling notes on scraps of paper, mumbling about her imaginary friends, and reading obscure out-of-print history books. Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, she now lives in Texas where she loves the people but misses mountains, tall trees and barefoot-soft green grass. There is not much she likes better than digging into the rich, ancient world of the Bible, discovering new gems of grace that point to Jesus, and weaving them into fiction. Connect with her at http://www.ConnilynCossette.com

  • “Days of trudging through the desert to meet the army in this valley had wreaked havoc on my body. Wounded skin flamed and throbbed where my sandals had stripped my heels and ankles raw during the long walk across blazing sand and stone. I closed my eyes and breathed steady, imagining the pain lessened with every slow exhale.”
  • “Something raw—an edge I’d never examined—began to throb. The dull ache in my chest dredged up whispers of questions I had never thought to ask, questions born from the sweet breath of mornings as I’d hiked through the fertile valley I loved, from the intricate structure of a purple-fringed passion flower, and from the vibrancy of a varicolored sunrise over the eastern horizon.”
  • “But Tobiah did not look at me the way they had. The way he’d touched me did not make me wish I were invisible, or cause me to curl up inside, wishing for death. Instead, I’d had to close my eyes to restrain the swell of hope that surged upward and clean my fists against the force of desire to make the too-small gap between us vanish.”
  • “Turning my back to the myths of my past, I set a quick pace. I kept the river to the east of us, as far away as possible while still keeping it in sight. Although I had no idea how we would find them, the river was my only guide toward the Hebrews.”
  • “It was our time to walk forward, to break the hold the wilderness had on us. It was time to claim Avraham’s promise.”

 

How many times have we gone against God and He rescued us anyway? How many times have we set our minds on the destruction—or defilement—of what He says is holy, and He saved us anyway?

 

Alanah is a Canaanite and she loathes the Hebrews. When she is rescued on the battleground instead of dying, by a Hebrew no less, her life course is changed.

As Yahweh speaks to her heart through the standard of His law—love—can Alanah shed a lifetime of teachings of Ba’al, shed her every notion of what a man is like and what women are worth? Can Yahweh truly use her for His purpose as He whispered to her that He would? Will Alanah ever accept the word of a man who has vowed to love and protect her and not abuse her?

 

Once again, Ms. Cossette has brought to life the culture of the Hebrews in the wilderness. Through Alanah, the reader is given a glimpse into the ugly and vile standards of pagan gods, and the destruction wreaked on the lives of their followers.

And yet Yahweh’s gentle hand gave wholeness to once-broken Alanah. This reviewer knows the struggle to accept love without condition, and through every page I both chastised Alanah for fleeing and felt her need to escape—felt the fear it would not last. I felt her sense of undeserving and worthlessness, so eloquently portrayed on every page and with every word.

Remarkable Tobiah, who stood by his oath to this enemy of his people, whose heart swelled with love and who refused to deny that love. I applaud Tobiah’s honor, and yearn for a man of such character. I felt the pain as his heart shattered and I walked with him through the emotions of torment, and commitment in spite of it.

Thank you, Ms. Cossette, for another story to cherish, a new depth of understanding of Yahweh’s sovereignty and the force that His Word is.

 

 

This book was given to me as a gift. I offer my review of my own volition, The opinions expressed in my review are my own honest thoughts and reaction to this book.

 

 

 

#Blogwords, Tuesday Reviews-Day, #TRD, Release Day Event, Wings of the Wind, Connilyn Cossette, Out of Egypt, Counted with the Stars, Shadow of the Storm

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BOOK REVIEW – SHADOW OF THE STORM by CONNILYN COSSETTE

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BOOK REVIEW – SHADOW OF THE STORM

ShadowoftheStorm_mck.indd

 

 In the darkness of the storm’s shadow, only truth can light her way.

 

In a time when sexual purity was paramount for new brides, even rape was considered a reason to be rejected by a prospective groom.

 

The stain on Shira’s soul became a stain on her family, and condescension was all she knew. Her confidence non-existent, Shira obeyed her mother’s expectations—and derision—without question.

 

And yet, as her skill with midwifery becomes evident, Shira strikes out to learn what she can, and to practice her trade.  Until disaster strikes, and her new confidence is smashed to the ground. No amount of pep talk or coercion can dissuade her.

 

 

Ayal, too, has a stain on his past. And yet their mutual attraction grows. Can they overcome the obstacles that come against their affection? Will his confession drive her away?  Will the cruel scheming of another drive them apart?

 

Or will the Truth have victory in Shira’s heart? Will she come to know and accept her own strengths and the love of a good man? Will she rise from the ruin of her past to become the woman Yahweh has created her to be?

 

 

Another favorite story by a favorite author! Ms. Cossette has created a sparkling sequel to her first novel. As with the first story, I was riveted from the first page. With each spark between Shira and Ayal, my heart leapt. And with each turn that came against them, my heart plummeted                    along with Shira’s. This reviewer knows all too well the sense of worthlessness and failure, and I identified deeply with Shira’s struggle to do what is right and best. And with the notion that her dreams are lost.

And I triumphed with Shira as she overcame each obstacle.

Another skillfully woven tapestry, Shadow of the Storm, is a story that adds depth and dimension to the Biblical truth of the plagues of Egypt.

 

 

 

I received a free copy of this book, but was under no obligation to read the book or to post a review. I offer my review of my own volition, The opinions expressed in my review are my own honest thoughts and reaction to this book.

 

 

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slide-4Connilyn Cossette is the author of the Out from Egypt Series with Bethany House Publishers. When she is not homeschooling her two sweet kiddos (with a full pot of coffee at hand), Connilyn is scribbling notes on scraps of paper, mumbling about her imaginary friends, and reading obscure out-of-print history books. Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, she now lives in Texas where she loves the people but misses mountains, tall trees and barefoot-soft green grass. There is not much she likes better than digging into the rich, ancient world of the Bible, discovering new gems of grace that point to Jesus, and weaving them into fiction. Connect with her at www.ConnilynCossette.com

 

https://www.facebook.com/ConnilynCossette/?fref=ts

https://twitter.com/connicossette

https://www.pinterest.com/connicossette/

 

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Shadow of the Storm, Connilyn Cossette, Out of Egypt, Counted With the Stars, Biblical Fiction

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