Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Review & Giveaway: Wings of the Wind by Connilyn Cossette

~Don't forget to enter the GIVEAWAY below!~

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

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?

What an intense story!  I could hardly take my eyes off the pages as I followed the story of Alanah, a Canaanite woman who disguises herself as a man in order to sneak onto the battlefield and avenge her family against the Hebrews.   Alanah is so wounded by the abandonment of her mother and the fact that she is the daughter of a prostitute.  She's had a hard life growing up in a houseful of brothers and a society that is inundated with prostitution and sacrifice to false gods.   When Tobiah, a Hebrew warrior, finds her wounded on the battlefield and takes her back to his camp to find a healer, he sets in motion a series of events that will lead to a lot of tears, pain, forgiveness, love, hope, healing, and the end of the Hebrews journey through the wilderness.  

I loved Alanah!  She is so fierce and wary, but at the same time she's tender-hearted and loyal enough to put herself in danger time and time again.  I love her journey to faith and healing.   And Tobiah!!  Oh my!  This Hebrew warrior is a worthy hero.  He falls quickly for this fierce Canaanite woman and does his best to keep her safe, guide her to faith, and show her a love that she's never experienced before.

I loved the inclusion of Shira from Shadow of the Storm.  Along with Shira, Nita (another great woman of faith) and Moriyah, Tobiah's best friend's sister, God works in Alanah's life to bring about healing and redemption to this wounded soul.  And I loved how the twist in the middle of the book leads to the inclusion of the story of Jericho in this book!

This is a stunningly beautiful book that will carry you along with the Hebrews through the wilderness.  You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll cringe at the danger, and you'll thrill with the hope of a beautiful love story and and the healing and miracles that only God can bring.

I don't feel like I have the adequate words to describe how good this series has been!  I don't read a lot of Biblical fiction, but this author does an awesome job of bringing to life the stories of the Bible and sharing great life lessons along the way!   You don't want to miss out on these books!  I can't wait for the next series!

*Thanks to the author and publisher for a complimentary copy of this book.  I was not paid or required to write a positive review and all opinions stated are my own.*

View all my reviews on Goodreads.

Connilyn Cossette is a homeschooling mother of two with a passion for writing stories of timeless grace. She hopes to draw readers into a personal encounter with the rich ancient world of the Bible and spark curiosity that will lead to digging deeper into the truth of the Word. Her novel Counted With the Stars won the 2013 Frasier Contest and was a semi-finalist in the 2013 ACFW Genesis Contest. She lives near Dallas, Texas. Connect with her at www.connilyncossette.com and on

What inspired the "Out of Egypt" series?
My own personal bible study into Exodus did! I was fascinated by the line in Exodus 12:38 about the mixed multitude going with the Hebrews and began imagining who these people were and why they would turn their backs on Egypt and voila! Kiya was born. I wasn't even planning to write a book when I envisioned her and I certainly did not foresee that I'd be working on my fifth book for Bethany House 8 years later! I'm still pretty shocked honestly.

Have you ever been to the locations of the books?
Not yet! I'm going in November with fellow author Cliff Graham's tour group and cannot wait!!

Which of your characters do you relate the most to? And why?
Shira for sure. Being a mother by adoption I experienced a lot of the emotions Shira did while struggling with infertility. Grief, pain, jealousy etc. There were times when her scenes were painful to write and I did so with many tears. Music is also my heartbeat, especially in worship, so I identify with her in that way. The one main difference is her backstory which I have never experienced so that was difficult to work through. It was very hard to hurt poor Shira!

Who was the easiest character to write and why?
I would say that Alanah the heroine in Wings of the Wind might have been the easiest, mainly because she was really fun to write. She is VERY different from Kiya and Shira, she's a tough chick with a hard shell so she was a fun character to explore and her personality was very clear in my mind from the very first chapter.

The most difficult?
Honestly Tobiah, the hero in WOTW, has probably been the most difficult so far. Its the first time that I wrote in a male POV so there was a learning curve, since we all know that men definitely think differently than women! I am really grateful to have Tammy L. Gray as one of my writing partners because she's great at writing guys and was excellent at catching when Tobiah started sounding a little too girlish for a big burly warrior;) But I ended up falling in love with Tobiah the more I got to know him. I hope you do too!

Did you, in any of this series, have moments when you thought the book wouldn't work or you hit an obstacle so strong you almost gave up? If so, what helped you get past that and go on to finish and publish these books?
Yes, like I said before Shira's book was super tough. I did not have any idea where I was going with it and by the time I got to 50% I realized it bored me. It was so broken. I had scrap most of it and start over. But I am so glad that I did, it ended up being so much deeper than I had planned. I pushed my own boundaries and challenged myself in new ways, spilled more of myself onto the page, and it ended up being a really enjoyable and positive emotional experience. Having fantastic writing partners that encouraged me and helped with sparking ideas was essential in reworking that story and getting past the discouragement and the question of whether I even had the ability to write a second story after CWTS.

What are your hobbies?
Well other than reading.... I love to sing and play keyboard/ sing backup on our worship team when I can and I do love to draw and paint but I haven't had time to do much of that at all in the past couple of years.

Favorite decadent dessert?
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory. It seriously tastes like my grandma's cookies (and the recipe got lost after she passed away) so I love indulging in that whenever I make to the CCF.

2 Prizes!
I am giving away my review copies of the Out From Egypt series by Connilyn Cossette.  I am also giving away a Kindle copy of Book 2 - Shadow of the Storm.  That means one winner will receive all THREE books (paperback) in this awesomely epic Biblical fiction series and one winner will receive a digital copy of Book 2!!
Please keep in mind that these are review copies that I have read so they are in excellent condition but gently used - not brand new.   Also, due to the fact that these are complementary review copies, if you enter and win this contest, you are agreeing to not sell these books!  For all other giveaway rules, please see my Disclosures & Policies page.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Open only to those who can legally enter. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 72 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Rachel from Smiling Book Reviews. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.