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review 2018-11-29 15:38
Shelter of the Most High Review and GIVEAWAY!

About the Book



Book: Shelter of the Most High  
Author: Connilyn Cossette  
Genre: Christian Biblical Fiction  
Release Date: October, 2018

The daughter of a pagan high priest, Sofea finds solace from her troubles in the freedom of the ocean. But when marauders attack her village on the island of Sicily, she and her cousin are taken across the sea to the shores of Canaan.
 
Eitan has lived in Kedesh, a city of refuge, for the last eleven years, haunted by a tragedy in his childhood, yet chafing at the boundaries placed on him. He is immediately captivated by Sofea, but revealing his most guarded secret could mean drawing her into the danger of his past.
 
As threats from outside the walls loom and traitors are uncovered within, Sofea and Eitan are plunged into the midst of a murder plot. Can they uncover the betrayal in time to save their lives and the lives of those they love?

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author

 


Connilyn Cossette is the CBA bestselling author of the Out From Egypt series. Her debut novel, Counted with the Stars, was a finalist for the Christy Award, the INSPY Award, and the Christian Retailing’s Best Award. She lives in North Carolina with her husband of twenty years and a son and a daughter who fill her days with joy, inspiration, and laughter. Connect with her at www.ConnilynCossette.com.

Guest Post from Connilyn

 

Shelter of the Most High, the second book in my Cities of Refuge Series, will be the first I’ve written to have been influenced by my trip to Israel last year. When I started writing Biblical fiction almost nine years ago, I was limited to exploring the Land of Promise via Google Earth, books, and through a plethora of photos on the good ol’ world wide web, but of course nothing can compare to actually experiencing the atmosphere and scenery for yourself.
 
So although I’d already written Shelter of the Most High by the time I hopped on a plane to join fellow author Cliff Graham’s GoodBattle Tour, once I returned my editing was filtered through the sights and sounds I’d witnessed for myself. It had been a life-long dream to go to Israel and it did not disappoint, in fact it just went way too fast!
 
One of my greatest fears was that I would see the places I’d written about in my books and realize I totally messed up my descriptions, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that for the most part I’d been fairly accurate (although I did tweak a few things here and there).
 
Standing on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee I was able to envision Eitan, our hero in Shelter of the Most High, sitting on one of the black boulders there, defeated and weary as he searched for his love. I was able to look toward the snowy peaks of Mount Hermon in the north and over the fertile Hula Valley just below the ancient ruins of Kedesh, the city of refuge, and consider how Sofea must have felt as she experienced the landscape of her new home for the first time, both the fear and the awe.
 
One of my favorite sites was Tel Dan and although it does not feature in Shelter of the Most High it’s lush greenness and dense forest gave me a better sense of what Israel must have been in the past before deforestation, war, and shifts in climate have done to the fertile land God himself called a land of milk and honey. Since I was so affected by Tel Dan (or Laish in ancient times) that city will be one of the settings in my upcoming third installment of the Cities of Refuge Series, Until the Mountains Fall.
 
Being a super visual person who is highly sensitive to sensory input, I took great pleasure in absorbing with all my senses as we walked paths, climbed mountains (yes, mountains), slogged through a long, cold, and wet tunnel deep beneath Jerusalem, hiked up to the secret oasis of Ein Gedi where David hid from Saul, and rocked along on a boat over the glassy surface of the Galilee. I felt like a sponge just soaking up every little detail and every grand vista.
 
Smelling the salty breeze off the Mediterranean and hearing the waves crash against the sandy beach in Tel Aviv and Caesarea Phillipi made me imagine our heroine Sofea looking over that enormous, blue expanse and wondering what sort of god had control of such a powerful thing.
 
Feeling the timeworn cobblestones beneath my feet gave me a sense of what it must have been like for Eitan and Sofea to walk through the streets of Kedesh, their own sandals scuffing against the rough-hewn stone as they went about their daily activities.
 
Running my fingers along the pitted surfaces of ancient buildings and tracing the chisel marks from craftsmen of the Bronze Age wrapped me in a whirl of imagination about who the people were that hefted those same rocks into place and the ingenuity it took to create structures that have lasted so long.
 
Tasting the unique spices and flavors of the Middle East gave me a sense of the passion Moryiah (our hero’s mother) has for creating delicious new dishes to feed her growing family and the guests at her inn.
 
Although I write fiction, my stories are woven into Biblical accounts so going to Israel was a perfect reminder for me that the people that lived between the pages of Genesis to Revelations were real. They breathed, they cried, they loved, they mourned, they suffered, and they celebrated with their families. I am so grateful to have gleaned some great new insight into the Land and its resilient, vibrant people and hope that through Shelter of the Most High readers get a small sense of the beauty and wonder I experienced there. I cannot wait to go back!
 

My Review

 

 My expectations were high going into “Shelter of the Most High”, and I have to say that I was not disappointed. Connilyn Cossette is now on my list of favorite authors, and you can bet that I will be bumping all of her books to the top of my pleasure reading list. I am eager to explore Moriyah’s story in “A Light on the Hill”, and although it is not necessary to read it first, I am sure that it offers background information that would enhance the reading experience of the second book. “Shelter of the Most High” holds its own as a standalone, however, and takes off with a flying leap right from the very beginning. There are no lulls in this story! With a diverse cast of characters and a vulnerable but determined heroine, the plot resembles a wheel hub with spokes fanning out from it, each intriguing and skillfully connected to the whole.  

Sanctuary cities are a hot-button topic in today’s political climate, and the concept of a city of refuge, while clearly different in implementation, connects the reader to the narrative and makes the story more contemporaneous. The other issues that unfold augment this connection. Some of the characters suffer from PTSD, and the reality of transitioning from one culture to another, overcoming language barriers as well as foreign customs, is very convincingly portrayed. Romance plays a role also, and one of the most poignant elements in the novel is the faith journey that the characters embark upon. Sofea and Eitan were the main protagonists, and the story is told from their alternating points of view in the first person, but this tale belongs just as much to the secondary characters. Cossette truly achieves a well-rounded narrative in which all of the characters’ lives echo throughout the pages and enrich those of the hero and heroine. This is Biblical fiction done well, on par with the works of such authors as Tessa Afshar. Highly recommended!

I received a complimentary copy of this book through CelebrateLit and NetGalley and was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.


Blog Stops

 

A Baker’s Perspective, November 20

The Power of Words, November 20

Among the Reads, November 21

Gensis 5020, November 21

God’s Little Bookworm, November 22

Book by Book, November 22

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 22

Remembrancy, November 23

Real World Bible Study, November 23

Inklings and notionsNovember 23

The Becca Files, November 24

Christian Centered book ReviewsNovember 24

Baker Kella, November 24

Bibliophile Reviews, November 25

The Meanderings of a BookwormNovember 25

By The Book, November 26

Reading Is My SuperPower, November 26

Aryn The LibraryanNovember 27

All-of-a-kind Mom, November 27

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 27

Abbas Prayer Warrior Princess, November 28

Christian Author, J.E. Grace, November 28

Simple Harvest Reads, November 29 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)

For the Love of Literature, November 29

Janices book reviews, November 29

The Lit Addict, November 30

Texas Book-aholic, November 30

Just the Write Escape, December 1

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, December 1

Connect in Fiction, December 2

The Christian Fiction Girl, December 2

Bigreadersite, December 2

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, December 3

Purposeful Learning, December 3

Carpe Diem, December 3

 

Giveaway

 
 
To celebrate her tour, Connilyn is giving away
 
Grand Prize: All five of Conni’s novels, including Shelter of the Most High, plus AHAVA Dead Sea Bath Salts
 
Three other winners will receive a copy of Shelter of the Most High!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d66d/shelter-of-the-most-high-celebration-tour-giveaway

 

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review 2018-11-07 05:23
Shelter of the Most High - Connilyn Cossette

I received this book for free from the publisher (Bethany House) in exchange for an honest review. 

 

This book is the second in a series and I did not read the first book. Like a lot of Christian fiction series, the first book centers on one of the characters in this book. The fact that I did not read it did not hinder my comprehension of the story. Anything that happened in the previous book was explained fully in this one, so it it totally possible to read this as a stand-alone. 

 

This was also my first time reading biblical fiction so I had no idea what to expect or if I would even like it. Luckily, I ended up really enjoying it. 

 

 

The book captured my interest from the very first page. We are immediately thrown into the action of when Sofea and her cousin are kidnapped by pirates. Sometimes books can take too long to get the actual storyline, so I was happy to see this book get right to it. As a whole, this book had quite a bit of action and excitement which I wasn’t expecting (but loved). 

 

There was a really good balance of the religious elements. I never felt like it was too much or too preachy. It was woven into the story beautifully. 

 

The only thing that prevented me from giving this 5 stars was that I didn’t connect much with Sofea. I wanted a little bit more from her. I connected with Eitan no problem, but Sofea not so much. 

 

All in all, this was an exciting tale and if you are looking to get into biblical fiction, consider picking up this book/series. 

 

 

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review 2018-11-06 18:26
Jonah, Grace Given
An Amish Romance: JONAH: Sweet Biblical Amish Romance (Amish Bible Heroes Book 2) - Grace Given

I enjoyed this Amish Bible Heroes story. I voluntarily chose to review this and I gave it a 4.5* rating. Although It was a good story, I just felt it ended too soon. A bit of action in this and and some very thought provoking questions. This is also book 5 in the Amish Christmas Books.

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review 2018-04-08 17:27
Excellent storytelling!
The Keeper's Crown - Nathan D. Maki

The story of the biblical, Paul of Tarsus, particularly his final years as a prisoner of Rome waiting to be seen by Nero and the fictional account of the soldier who guarded him, in this case a Roman called Quintus whose family has fallen from favor due to a childhood incident involving a younger Nero and Quintus.

 

 

I totally loved this book! It was very well written and engaging. The author certainly did his homework. It's funny too, because I just watched the movie, "Paul, the Apostle of Christ", so it was easy to picture what was going on.

 


Wonderful story of redemption, courage, and faith in a time when being a Christian was a death sentence. Highly recommended! Keeping this author in my "must read" list.

 

5 stars and a favorite

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review 2018-04-05 13:25
Ancient: Rise of Noah by Celdon Daniel
Ancient: Rise of Noah - Celdon Daniel

This seemed to be more of the story of the people caught outside of the ark during the flood, but it was strangely written and at times hard to follow. I could not get into it. DNF'd at 42%. (I thought the cover of the book was kinda cool though)

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