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Reader friends, you will NOT want to miss today’s featured author. I’m completely thrilled to introduce y’all to her and her books. Her biblical fiction is special and absolutely fabulous! Plus, she is giving away a copy of her newest release!
About the Author
Connilyn Cossette is the CBA-Bestselling author of the Out from Egypt Series from Bethany House Publishers. 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 an immersive fiction experience.
Favorite Secondary Character
Connilyn: I adore secondary characters. In fact, sometimes I get so lost in creating their backstories and delving into their personalities I get carried away, write too much, and have to edit out things that do not pertain to the protagonists’ journey.
Deciding which one I like the most is tough, I loved writing Dvorah, the villainess in Shadow of the Storm, because it was fun (insert evil laugh here) to get into her head but I would have to say my favorite secondary character is Jumo from Counted with the Stars. Jumo’s story began as a reason for Kiya to take refuge with the Hebrews as the Angel of Death passed through Egypt, but I came to just love him for who he was.
As readers may have guessed Jumo has cerebral palsy and as I studied this condition I discovered some mind-blowing art created by people with cerebral palsy. One video on YouTube highlighted a man who made incredible pictures using only a typewriter. After viewing this video I decided Jumo was an artist who saw the world in a unique way—not in spite of his challenges, but because of them. His weaknesses became his strengths.
This to me became a great analogy for all of us. Those things we might regard as weaknesses or struggles can be used to glorify God in ways far beyond our comprehension. And what greater encouragement is there than that? I’ve had people ask me if Jumo’s story might continue, and it’s possible, given time and opportunity. It’d sure be interesting to delve into what Jumo’s life would look like post-Mount Sinai.
Beth: Y’all, I have no words except… you. must. read. this. series!!! I love it! Here are my reviews!
Favorite Childhood Book
Connilyn: Without a doubt, Anne of Green Gables was my favorite and I voraciously read the entire series in one summer. I wanted to BE Anne—from her wide open imagination, to her brilliant vocabulary, to her red hair (and yes I dyed my hair red for awhile), to her love of the written word.
I’ve been enjoying the pleasure of reading Anne to my own daughter lately and thereby rediscovering not only the beauty of the prose but also looking at Anne with the benefit of adult perspective and with the ability to read between the lines in ways I never could as a girl.
Beth: Be still my nerd girl heart! I love Anne!!! Connilyn, you are a kindred spirit!
I read the entire thing in less than twenty-four hours when I was home sick from school and decided that I should be the one to write the sequel that Margaret Mitchell never got the chance to write.
I sat down and wrote a chapter the next day and in doing so decided that I would be a novelist someday.
Beth: I’m impressed! I haven’t had a chance to read it.
Connilyn: I have so many series that I have enjoyed over the years but one of my very favorites is Liz Curtis Higgs Scottish Highland series beginning with A Thorn in My Heart which is a brilliant re-imagining of the story of Jacob, Rachel, and Leah from Genesis. I’ve read all of her Scottish stories multiple times and desperately wish she would write more!
Beth: Oh, yes! Liz Curtis Higgs always writes a nice long story. I like big books!!!
Favorite Time and Place for Reading and Writing
Connilyn: I love to write late at night after my kids are asleep in a dark, silent room where I can let my imagination run wild without seeing anything around me. I have even been known to write with my eyes closed to get deeper into my scenes.
There’s usually pretty bad spelling involved with such a practice but it’s a great immersive experience. I have to write in complete silence or I get distracted. If I cannot have silence I use white noise to block out background distractions.
My reading habits are much the same. I adore paper books but I also love reading my Kindle at night in complete darkness so I can feel one with whatever story I am consuming. So yeah, I don’t sleep much.
Beth: I’ll have to look into that white noise business. In the meantime, I found an appropriately adorable shirt for us! BOOKS > SLEEP
Tell us about your latest release
Connilyn: Wings of the Wind, the third in the Out from Egypt Series just released into the world. When I was contemplating what to write after Counted with the Stars, I had a conversation with my mom about a discussion that her bible study group had about Rahab. The question they posed was, “What might make a Canaanite prostitute be so willing to put her life, and the lives of her family, in danger to protect enemy spies?”
The Bible makes it very clear that Rahab did what she did because of faith in Yahweh, not simply out of fear of the God who brought Egypt to its knees. As we tossed ideas around that day, the spark of a story came to my mind: What if someone else was a witness to Rahab, not only about the power and might of God, but of his goodness, his grace and mercy, and the beauty of his protective laws for his people?
And so, with those questions in mind (and without revealing any spoilers…) Alanah’s story began to unroll itself in my imagination. And interestingly enough, I wrote the majority of Wings of the Wind before the idea for Shadow of the Storm came to me. So I had to put Alanah’s story aside in order to work on the second book in the Out from Egypt series when I signed a contract with Bethany House Publishers.
Beth: Alanah has been bold from the very beginning then!
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?
review | goodreads | amazon | bookdepository | christianbook
Beth: Again, love, love, love this story!!!
Tell us about your next release
Connilyn: I have a new series coming through Bethany House! These books will be a spin-off of the Out from Egypt series and take place during the period between the Conquest and the Judges. It’s called the Cities of Refuge Series and will be based upon the provision that the Law of Moses made for those accused of accidental killing.
These Levitical cities were a place of safety from the vengeance of the victim’s next of kin, but also came with unique conditions and consequences. As I researched these laws, I found the cities of refuge to be a beautiful picture of grace and mercy in the Old Testament that point forward to our Messiah and his work at the Cross.
It’s been exciting to meet some new characters in these new adventures during the time the tribes were settling Canaan, and to visit a few that we’ve gotten to know during the journey Out from Egypt. A Light on the Hill the first book in the series releases February 6, 2018. I released the cover to newsletter subscribers first so head over to my website and sign up right away!
Beth: I can’t wait! The cover is GORGEOUS!!! Thank you for visiting with us today and sharing your favorites and bookish news, Connilyn!
Connilyn Cossette is graciously providing a paperback copy of Wings of the Wind for one fortunate Faithfully Bookish reader!
US residents only
Say hi to Connilyn then let’s chat! What is your favorite part (or who is your favorite individual) of the Hebrews’ journey from Egypt to the Promised Land?