Tag Archives: Connilyn Cossette

Top 10 Tuesday — Biblical Fiction

5 Apr

Happy Tuesday! Today I am featuring Biblical Fiction — books set during the Old or New Testament — that are on my TBR shelf. These are physical copies that I own. I have lots more on my Kindle. Why do I read Biblical Fiction? I like how an author brings to life the culture of the time and also makes me aware of things I don’t always see when reading Scripture. Instead of keeping me from opening my Bible, these novels draw me more into God’s word. I use many of the books for a Bible Study/Book Club I periodically lead at my church. We study scripture for 4-6 weeks, then have an evening discussion of a story inspired by what we have studied. It combines my love of fiction with the truths found in the Bible. Win-win.

The books on my list today are those I have not read yet, but need to. If you have read any of these, let me know what you thought. 🙂

For more great book lists, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top 10 Biblical Fiction on My TBR Shelf

The Prince And The Prodigal by Jill Eileen Smith

Joseph is the pampered favorite son of the patriarch Jacob. His older brothers, deeply resentful of his status in the family, take advantage of the chance to get rid of him, selling him to slave traders and deceiving their father about his fate. It seems like their troubles are over. But for Joseph and older brother Judah, they are just beginning.

While Joseph is accused of rape and imprisoned, Judah attempts to flee the memory of his complicity in the betrayal of his younger brother. After decades apart, the brothers will come face-to-face in a stunning role reversal that sees Joseph in a position of great power while Judah begs for mercy. Will forgiveness or vengeance win the day?

Bestselling and award-winning author Jill Eileen Smith brings her considerable research and imaginative skills to bear in this vivid retelling of one of the most popular stories found in Scripture–a story of jealousy, betrayal, and a reconciliation that only God could bring about.

Counted Among The Stars by Connilyn Cossette

Sold into slavery by her father and forsaken by the man she was supposed to marry, young Egyptian Kiya must serve a mistress who takes pleasure in her humiliation. When terrifying plagues strike Egypt, Kiya is in the middle of it all.

To save her older brother and escape the bonds of slavery, Kiya flees with the Hebrews during the Great Exodus. She finds herself utterly dependent on a fearsome God she’s only just beginning to learn about, and in love with a man who despises her people. With everything she’s ever known swept away, will Kiya turn back toward Egypt or surrender her life and her future to Yahweh?

The Priest by Francine Rivers

His courage covered his brother’s fear.
His sacrifices atoned for the people’s sin.
His voice carried the words of God.


Moses parted the Red Sea. But in his shadow stood Aaron, a man who symbolizes forever our great High Priest. Be challenged by this faithful man whose story we must never forget.

The Priest is the story of Aaron and book one in the popular Sons of Encouragement series about five men who quietly changed eternity.

Unashamed by Francine Rivers

She was a woman with a past to whom God gave a future.

Meet Rahab, one of the five women in the lineage of Christ. Exploited by men who saw only her beauty, she held fast to her faith in an all-powerful God and was rewarded by being grafted into the family tree of the Messiah. In Rahab’s compelling story, discover the overwhelming truth that God seeks and finds those whose hearts are tender toward Him, no matter how far away they are.

Unashamed is book two in the popular Lineage of Grace series about five unlikely women who changed eternity.

Isaiah’s Daughter by Mesu Andrews

In this epic Biblical narrative, ideal for fans of The Bible miniseries, a young woman taken into the prophet Isaiah’s household rises to capture the heart of the future king. 
 
Isaiah adopts Ishma, giving her a new name–Zibah, delight of the Lord–thereby ensuring her royal pedigree. Ishma came to the prophet’s home, devastated after watching her family destroyed and living as a captive. But as the years pass, Zibah’s lively spirit wins Prince Hezekiah’s favor, a boy determined to rebuild the kingdom his father has nearly destroyed. But loving this man will awake in her all the fears and pain of her past and she must turn to the only One who can give life, calm her fears, and deliver a nation. 

Love in A Broken Vessel by Mesu Andrews

Hosea has been charged by God with a difficult task–marry a prostitute in order to show God’s people the nature and depth of his love for Israel. When Hosea goes to Israel to proclaim God’s message, the prostitute God tells him to marry turns out to be his childhood friend Gomer. He finds her broken and abused, unwilling to trust Hosea or his God. But when marrying Hosea becomes her only choice, Gomer does what she’s good at–she survives. Can Hosea’s love for God and God’s love for Israel heal Gomer’s broken spirit?

With her potent combination of in-depth research and masterful storytelling, Mesu Andrews brings to life a complex and fascinating biblical story of the power of love and forgiveness in the face of utter betrayal.

Of Fire and Lions by Mesu Andrews

Survival. A Hebrew girl first tasted it when she escaped death nearly seventy years ago as the Babylonians ransacked Jerusalem and took their finest as captives. She thought she’d perfected in the many years amongst the Magoi and the idol worshippers, pretending with all the others in King Nebuchadnezzar’s court. Now, as Daniel’s wife and a septuagenarian matriarch, Belili thinks she’s safe and she can live out her days in Babylon without fear–until the night Daniel is escorted to Belshazzar’s palace to interpret mysterious handwriting on a wall. The Persian Army invades, and Bellili’s tightly-wound secrets unfurl with the arrival of the conquering army. What will the reign of Darius mean for Daniel, a man who prays to Yahweh alone?

Ultimately, Yahweh’s sovereign hand guides Jerusalem’s captives, and the frightened Hebrew girl is transformed into a confident woman, who realizes her need of the God who conquers both fire and lions.

Magdalene by Angela Hunt

Mary Magdalene
The controversial woman with a past only one Man could forgive. A true love story that changed the face of history.

“I was Miryam of Magdala, seller of fine fabrics and wife of Yaakov the fisherman. With my husband and son, I held a place of honor among my countrymen until a company of rogue soldiers took everything from me. I might not be Roman, but I knew injustice when I saw it. And I had been most grievously wronged.”

In an era when women are sequestered and silenced, Miryam of Magdala lives a contended life until her son’s careless gesture evokes a hostile action that shatters her serenity. With no hope of justice, Miryam commits an unthinkable act…and descends into depths of darkness that threaten her life and her sanity.

Even after Yeshua the Messiah dramatically restores her life, Miryam can neither forget nor forgive unresolved injustices. Prodded by a hunger for vengeance she will not deny, this woman of uncommon courage risks her life and her heart by drawing destiny into her own hands.

Bread of Angels by Tessa Afshar

Purple. The foundation of an influential trade in a Roman world dominated by men. One woman rises up to take the reins of success in an incredible journey of courage, grit, and friendship. And along the way, she changes the world.

But before she was Lydia, the seller of purple, she was simply a merchant’s daughter who loved three things: her father, her ancestral home, and making dye. Then unbearable betrayal robs her of nearly everything.

With only her father’s secret formulas left, Lydia flees to Philippi and struggles to establish her business on her own. Determination and serendipitous acquaintances—along with her father’s precious dye—help her become one of the city’s preeminent merchants. But fear lingers in every shadow, until Lydia meets the apostle Paul and hears his message of hope, becoming his first European convert. Still, Lydia can’t outrun her secrets forever, and when past and present collide, she must either stand firm and trust in her fledgling faith or succumb to the fear that has ruled her life.

The Scribe by Francine Rivers

His wealth allowed him a position a power.
His obedience led him to give up his worldly possessions.
His humility helped him dedicate his life to recording the words of others.


After the death and resurrection of Jesus, Peter and Paul preached to the nations, carrying Christ’s message to all who would listen. But when they were silenced, it was their scribe Silas who brought their words to future generations. Be challenged by this faithful man whose story we must never forget.

The Scribe is the story of Silas and book five in the popular Sons of Encouragement series about five men who quietly changed eternity.

Book Review: A Light on The Hill

10 Jan

I lead a Bible study/book club at my church. We discuss a scripture topic for 2-3 weeks and then we have a book club night in which we discuss a novel inspired by the particular Bible story/scripture/or character that we have studied. It’s a great way to combine a love of reading with the truths that form its foundation. This month we are looking at the Cities of Refuge as described in Numbers, Deuteronomy, and Joshua and discussing A Light on The Hill by Connilyn Cossette. Cossette’s book/series is what inspired me to explore this topic. Another reason to read Biblical fiction — an impetus to go deeper into God’s word. 🙂 All the details on the book and my thoughts are below.

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.

Connilyn Cossette is a Christy Award and Carol Award winning author whose books have been found on both ECPA and CBA bestseller lists. When she is not engulfed in the happy chaos of homeschooling two teenagers, devouring books whole, or avoiding housework, she can be found digging into the rich ancient world of the Bible to discover gems of grace that point to Jesus and weaving them into an immersive fiction experience. Although she and her husband have lived all over the country in their twenty-plus years of marriage, they currently call a little town south of Dallas, Texas their home.

My Impressions:

A Light on The Hill is the first book in the Cities of Refuge series. While some of the characters were part of Cossette’s Out from Egypt series, it is not necessary to have read those books. Inspired by scripture found in Numbers, Deuteronomy, and Joshua, the novel centers on Moriyah, a young unmarried Jewish woman who hides behind a veil and in the safety of her home after being branded by a Canaanite priest. Moriyah believes she has sheltered herself and her family from judgment and shame. This novel takes Moriyah on a journey of discovery as she seeks to flee danger. While some of her adventures seemed a bit far-fetched, they showed the culture, geography, and customs of Israel and Canaan following Israel’s conquest. I really liked the historical details that Cossette introduced, including the foods! Moriyah grows considerably during her trials and discovers that the only real refuge that can be trusted is within God’s care.

The Biblical message is strong, this is a Biblical novel after all. The law of Moses discussed in this book is interesting and pertaining to Moriyah’s circumstances, a bit foreign for a modern reader. But the Old Testament always points to Jesus, and this book’s depiction of the Cities of Refuge — their purpose and meaning — opened up a new understanding of Jesus as our spiritual refuge and his role as High Priest. There’s also romance and suspense that will appeal to the modern reader.

I very much enjoyed A Light on The Hill and look forward to discussing it with my book club. By the way, there are excellent discussion questions included.

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

(I purchased this book from Amazon. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Top 10 Tuesday — Winter TBR

14 Dec

I have scaled back my reading a bit in the past 2 years, due both to design and circumstances. My 2021 reading goal is 100 books. With 18 days left, my list stands at 90. I don’t think I am going to make it. 😉 Oh, well — life! Even with reduced time to read, I still plan to read some really great books. Today’s TTT list includes a variety of genres, which I like. I enjoy mixing it up a bit. I hope you find a book to love too!

To find out what other bloggers are reading this winter, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top 10 Books on The Winter TBR

After She Falls by Carmen Schober

As Dawn Breaks by Kate Breslin

The Edge of Belonging by Amanda Cox

Every Word Unsaid by Kimberly Duffy

A Heart Adrift by Laura Frantz

A Light on The Hill by Connilyn Cossette

Saving Mrs. Roosevelt by Candice Sue Patterson

Shadows of Swanford Abbey by Julie Klassen

The Siren of Sussex by Mimi Matthews

Sunrise by Susan May Warren

Top 10 Tuesday — First Character Lines

9 Nov

The last 2+ weeks have been a whirlwind around here with both expected and unexpected travel. I have been out of town many more days than at home — lots of catching up to do! All that to say I have chosen the easy way out with my TTT list. Memorable character quotes is being twisted to a variation on first lines — the first sentence uttered by a character. All the books featured today are on my near future TBR list. I hope you find a book that piques your interest.

For more memorable character quotes, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top Character First Lines

“And King David, a warrior poet, cried out to God, ‘Out of my distress I called upon the Lord; the Lord answered me and set me free.'”

“You’ll never believe it, but I discovered two more diaries!” Miss Cora’s voice wavered, but even at ninety-two it had not lost its cultured tone.

“Thanks for coming with me today. I needed this.”

“What are you doing, Miss Travers?”

“We shouldn’t be doing this.” Lindsey Waters whispered as she stood in the dark hallway next to her sometimes friend, sometimes enemy, and all-the-time troublemaker.

“I’m green with envy! Paris is the most beautiful city in Europe!”

“It will be over soon, little Hebrew,” said the man with painted lips, blood-red and curving with false tenderness.

“Seif, you will send your child to this school?”

The last child, a girl with wide brown eyes and a riot of red curls trailed her hand over the robe. “It’s softer than I thought it’d be.”

“You’ve got manure in your hair, Gerrit,” Luisa whispered, her Italian accent still strong even after thirty years in the States.

2021 Christy Award Finalists

5 Oct

Congratulations to the 2021 Christy Award Finalists! So many books to add to your TBR list! 😉

Contemporary Romance

Just Like Home by Courtney Walsh

Some Bright Someday by Melissa Tagg

Stay with Me by Becky Wade

First Novel

A Noble Calling by Rhona Weaver

The Edge of Belonging by Amanda Cox

Rain by Dana McNeely

Roots of Wood And Stone by Amanda Wen

General Fiction

Set The Stars Alight by Amanda Dykes

The Water Keeper by Charles Martin

The Way It Should Be by Christina Suzann Nelson

Historical

Like Flames in The Night by Connilyn Cossette

Under The Tulip Tree by Michelle Shocklee

The White Rose Resists by Amanda Barratt

Historical Romance

A Portrait of Loyalty by Roseanna M. White

Prince of Spies by Elizabeth Camden

When Twilight Breaks by Sarah Sundin

Mystery/Suspense/Thriller

Point of Origin by Lisa Harris and Lynne Gentry

Relative Silence by Carrie Stuart Parks

Unknown Threat by Lynn H. Blackburn

Short Form

A Match Made at Christmas by Courtney Walsh

Joy to The World: Far As The Curse Is Found by Amanda Barratt

Joy to The World: Wonders of His Love by Erica Vetsch

Speculative

Extinction Island by Janice Boekhoff

Forsaken Island by Sharon Hinck

The Story Hunter by Lindsay A. Franklin

Young Adult

Dust by Kara Swanson

Moral Sight by Sandra Fernandez Rhoads

Rebel Daughter by Lori Banov Kaufmann

2021 Carol Award Winners!

11 Sep

Congratulations to the talented authors who are this year’s winners of the ACFW Carol Award. I hope your TBR wishlist just got longer! 😉

2021 Carol Award Winners

Contemporary

The Promised Land by Elizabeth Musser; Bethany House (Baker) Publishing; Editor: L. B. Norton

Historical

Things We Didn’t Say by Amy Lynn Green; Bethany House (Baker) Publishing; Editors: Dave Horton and Rochelle Gloege

Historical Romance

Like Flames in the Night by Connilyn Cossette; Bethany House (Baker) Publishing; Editors: Raela Schoenherr and Jennifer Veilleux

Mystery/Suspense/Thriller

Dead End by Nancy Mehl; Bethany House (Baker) Publishing; Editors: Raela Schoenherr and Jean Bloom

Novella

Far as the Curse is Found (from The Joy to the World Collection) by Amanda Barratt; Kregel Publications; Editors: Janyre Tromp and Dori De Vries Harrell

Romance

Love and A Little White Lie by Tammy L. Gray; Bethany House (Baker) Publishing; Editor: Raela Schoenherr

Romantic Suspense

Lost Down Deep by Sara Davison; ACFW QIP (Qualified Independently Published); Editors: Ines Jimenez and Deb Elkink

Short Novel

The Christmas Bargain by Lisa Carter; Love Inspired (Harlequin); Editor: Melissa Endlich

Speculative

Stealing Embers by Julie Hall; ACFW QIP (Qualified Independently Published); Editors: Rebecca Heyman and Janelle Leonard

Young Adult

Mortal Sight by Sandra Fernandez Rhoads; Enclave Publishing; Editors: Steve Laube and Lisa Laube

Debut Author

Things We Didn’t Say by Amy Lynn Green; Bethany House (Baker) Publishing; Editors: Dave Horton and Rochelle Gloege

2021 Carol Award Finalists

29 Jun

Congratulations to all the wonderful authors who are finalists in the 2021 Carol Awards presented by the ACFW. Now you know what to read this summer! 😉

Contemporary

The Promised Land by Elizabeth Musser

If For Any Reason by Courtney Walsh

On a Coastal Breeze by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Historical

Things We Didn’t Say by Amy Lynn Green

In High Cotton by Ane Mulligan

The Right Kind of Fool by Sarah Loudin Thomas


Historical Romance

Daughter of Rome by Tessa Afshar

Like Flames in the Night by Connilyn Cossette

The Runaway Bride by Jody Hedlund


Mystery/Suspense/Thriller

Dead End by Nancy Mehl

Relative Silence by Carrie Stuart Parks

A Baby’s Right to Choose by David L. Winters


Novella

Far as the Curse is Found, from the collection Joy to the World: A Regency Christmas Collection
by Amanda Barratt

Christmas in Galway, in the collection Christmas Lights and Romance by Elizabeth Ludwig

A New Hope for Christmas by Erin Stevenson


Romance

Love and a Little White Lie by Tammy L. Gray

Starfish Pier by Irene Hannon

Carolina Breeze by Denise Hunter


Romantic Suspense

Lost Down Deep by Sara Davison

Point of Danger by Irene Hannon

Airborne by DiAnn Mills


Short Novel

The Christmas Bargain by Lisa Carter

Killer Insight by Virginia Vaughan

Texas Holiday Hideout by Virginia Vaughan


Speculative

Cry of the Raven (Book 3, The Ravenwood Saga) by Morgan L. Busse

Stealing Embers by Julie Hall

The Vault Between Spaces by Chawna Schroeder

Young Adult

Victoria Grace the Jerkface by S.E. Clancy

The Story Hunter by Lindsay A. Franklin

Mortal Sight by Sandra Fernandez Rhoads


Debut

Things We Didn’t Say by Amy Lynn Green

The Edge of Everywhen by A.S. Mackey

Mortal Sight by Sandra Fernandez Rhoads


2020 Inspy Award Nominees

13 May

Congratulations to the 2020 Inspy Award Nominees! What a great bunch of authors and books. So if you are wondering what to read next, here’s your list!

Recognizing the need for a new kind of book award, the INSPYs were created by bloggers to discover and highlight the very best in literature that grapples with expressions of the Christian faith. (Inspy.com)

 

Contemporary Romance/Romantic Suspense

Brunch at Bittersweet Cafe by Carla Laureano 

Sweet on You by Becky Wade

Just One Kiss by Courtney Walsh

 

Debut Fiction

Heart of a Royal by Hannah Currie 

Whose Waves These Are by Amanda Dykes

Shadow Among Sheaves by Naomi Stephens 

 

General Fiction

All Manner of Things by Susie Finkbeiner 

How the Light Gets In by Jolina Petersheim 

The Printed Letter Bookshop by Katherine Reay 

 

Historical Fiction

The King’s Mercy by Lori Benton

Until the Mountains Fall by Connilyn Cossette

A Bound Heart by Laura Frantz

 

Literature for Young Adults

Evermore by Jody Hedlund

Within These Lines by Stephanie Morrill

Tiger Queen by Annie Sullivan

 

Mystery/Thriller

The Wind Will Howl by Sibella Giorello

Storm Rising by Ronie Kendig

The Curse of Misty Wayfair by Jaime Jo Wright

 

Speculative Fiction

Flight of the Raven by Morgan L. Busse

Brand of Light by Ronie Kendig

Light from Distant Stars by Shawn Smucker

 

Top 10 Tuesday — Biblical Fiction Covers

28 Jan

I love book covers. The diversity today in cover art is amazing with publishers scoring big time with representing on the front of the book what a reader will find inside. When I saw this week’s Top 10 Tuesday theme — Cover Freebie — I thought it would be fun to showcase a few of my recent Biblical fiction reads. The covers vary with faces of the main character, images of the events described, and covers with the character and the her world. Perhaps the most striking is Tracy Groot’s book Madman with a illustration of the interior mind of the main character.

What do you want in a Biblical fiction cover?

 

For more fun covers, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

 

Top 10 Biblical Fiction Covers

 

Faces

The Heart of The King by Jill Eileen Smith

A Passionate Hope by Jill Eileen Smith

Rebekah by Jill Eileen Smith

Reign by Ginger Garrett

Events

Miriam by Mesu Andrews

Of Fire And Lions by Mesu Andrews

Character And Her World

Daughter of Rome by Tessa Afshar

Land of Silence by Tessa Afshar

Shelter of The Most High by Connilyn Cossette

Inner Life of Character

Madman by Tracy Groot

 

Top 10 Tuesday — 10 Years of Reading Changes

19 Nov

I am celebrating 10 years of book blogging this month. Woo hoo! (You can find my 10 Year Blogiversary Giveaway HERE.) Over the last 10 years a lot has changed — 3 children out of the house and well into successful adulthood (through with college/grad school/law school), a new daughter-in-law, and a first grand baby on the way — some very great changes! With the increased time on my hands, my reading life took off at a greater pace and back to the pre-kid levels I once enjoyed. And book blogging has influenced my reading choices even more so.

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday theme — Changes in My Reading Life — fits in well with my month long blogiversary celebration as I reflect on all the benefits blogging has brought to my life. So here are some of the changes that have occurred in the past 10 years.

 

10 Years of Reading Changes

Reading on a schedule. Book blogging requires a good bit of organization, and reading according to a schedule keeps me from being too behind in my reading commitments.  Where once I picked up any old book that caught my fancy, I now have a list I follow pretty faithfully.

Reading new-to-me authors. I have been introduced to some great new favorite authors because I was introduced to them through blogging opportunities. Of course, this just makes the TBR pile bigger and bigger.

Reading small press and indie-published authors. One big benefit to blogging is coming into contact with authors who are independently published or from smaller houses. Again, I have new favorites I may have missed because of limited exposure. I hope my blog has introduced you to some great authors you may have missed otherwise.

No more binge-reading. In the past when I found an author I liked, I read ALL the books! I can remember reading Mindy Starns Clark’s Million Dollar Mysteries straight through. Now due to that pesky schedule, I have to wait to fit in books to read.

Less and less just because books. Again the reading schedule keeps me from reading on a whim. I am trying to allow for more gaps in the schedule to accomodate books that catch my eye and my fancy.

Reading the book first. This is one great perk to book blogging. I often receive books before release dates, making me very smug around my reading friends.  😉

Being in the know 😉 . Being in contact with authors, publicists, and publishers has increased my awareness of new books coming up in the future. It has also increased my book-bullying tendencies and my street cred with my book club. (Insert eye-rolls and raucous laughter here.)

Expanding genres. While I have always been very eclectic in my reading, I have added more books from less favored genres. Contemporary romance and Amish fiction were low on my preferred list, but because of blogging I have must-read authors from those genres now.

All the books — all the time. My reading time has increased with every book that makes its way into my house. It is not unusual for me to be reading 3 books at a time — one hard copy, one on Kindle, and one audiobook.

So there you have it — 10 years of book blogging has filled my shelves and my life with wonderful stories, authors, and experiences. I highly recommend it!