Wings of the Wind by Connilyn Cossette

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Wings of the Wind, book three in the Out of Egypt series by Connilyn Cossette is another amazing story by this author!  I have enjoyed everyone her books and each leaves me in a state of awe.

I am a true believer that if you read a story in which the author has you putting yourself in the place of the characters and thinking of their circumstances to gain a true sense of the author’s storyline, then you have found an author above the norm.  Each of the books in this series has accomplished that.

The writing style that Ms. Cossette uses is beautiful in how she develops her story’s and her characters.   For instance, the main female character in Wings of the Wind is Alanah, a Canaanite.  Alanah has lost everything…..her father, brothers, and her home to the war with the Hebrews.  When she makes the decision to fight as a man, she does so believing she will not see the next sunrise.  But Yahweh has plans for Alanah that she could not have expected.  Tobiah, a Hebrew warrior, finds Alanah on the battlefield and rescues her.  The Hebrew law is clear in the expectation that Tobiah will have to marry Alanah to protect her.  As Alanah learns the Hebrew ways she is confused by her own beliefs and those of Tobiah.  Ms. Cossette gives a wonderful look in to Alanah’s thoughts with this passage:

“If I submitted to this marriage, I was turning my back on everything I knew.”

Isn’t that what God asks us to do when we are reborn? To leave behind our lives of sin to live the life He has planned for us.  The character Alanah is shown to be under a great deal of stress and confusion as she begins the path Yehweh has set for her.  I think we can all relate to those feelings.

Beyond the use of characters and their circumstances, Ms. Cosstte had me really thinking on the issue of Manna.  The Bible tells the story in Exodus, of God providing Manna for his children who wandered the desert for 40 years.  I have read that story so many times, yet I don’t believe I gave it as much deliberation as I did when reading this story.  Ms. Cossette describes the character’s daily gathering of Manna, making meals, and strictly following Yehweh’s law regarding how much to gather.  For some of the characters eating the Manna became a hardship, a mundane habit that they couldn’t wait to be done with.  They had lost the heavenly quality of the Manna and looked upon it as if it was a chore or an expectation and not the awesome gift it was.  Alanah, with a fresh outlook and newly opened eyes looks upon the offering of Yehweh as it was meant to be… a gift that had no equal.  While reading of Alanah’s experiences, I couldn’t help but wonder what did Manna truly look and taste like.  I posted on Facebook and found my friend’s remarks interesting.  Some felt it was a substance similar to pita bread, others mentioned an earthy quality such as mushrooms and my Pastor’s wife being the funny woman she is said Chicken….after all everything taste like chicken! I have finally decided for me, I want to have Manna as one of my treasures stored away in Heaven waiting for me.  I want to try it so that I can answer my own question of what did Manna look and taste like.

Connilyn Cossette has given us a story that is full of interesting characters, some fictional from her own thoughts and then as with Rahab she weaves a larger picture to bring this Biblical woman into her storyline.  The story itself is spellbinding, encouraging, and thoughtful.  I have to admit that I am saddened to read that this will be the last in this series, but knowing Ms. Cossette has plans to bring a new story to life is heartening.  I cannot stress the how much I enjoy this writer’s evoking style.  As a reader, you can truly read how much Ms. Cossette has put into her story and the scope of dynamics brings so much to characters.  I hope you enjoy this as much as I did.  This is one series I believe is worth having on my shelf!

 

Amazon:   https://www.amazon.com/Wings-Wind-Out-Egypt-Book-ebook/dp/B01MUHIJOR/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1498347274&sr=8-1&keywords=wings+of+the+wind

Barnes & Nobel:   https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/wings-of-the-wind-connilyn-cossette/1124824750?ean=9780764218224

Christianbook.com:   https://www.christianbook.com/wings-of-the-wind-3/connilyn-cossette/9780764218224/pd/218224?event=ESRCG

 

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The Sapphire Bride by Cynthia Woolf

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The Sapphire Bride is an endearing western romance by Cynthia Woolf and is the second book in her newest series, The Central City Brides.  The brides, of course, are mail order requested by men out west.  In this series, Cynthia Woolf, has created the scenario that the brides are coming with “baggage” that means to kill them.  The grooms are friends and seem to be following the first in ordering brides and become very protective of their brides against their enemies.

In the Sapphire Bride Ava is an independent woman from New York who designs jewelry.  Because the social restrictions of the times, Ava can’t exactly get ahead with her own business there.  She is in her mid-twenties and doesn’t believe she will marry because, after all, how many men would let her continue with her own dream?  Her twin brother, Jeffrey who is an Archeologist, understands her and encourages her dream.

When Jeffrey arrives on her doorstep wounded and dying, he shares with her a secret and news that the men after him will also come after her.  In order to flee quickly, Ava signs on as a mail order bride leaving the next day.  Her destination is Central City where she will marry Seamus Madigan, better known as “Lucky”.

Lucky is a saloon owner and wants a wife and children.  What he has to offer is absolutely NO love, a saloon as their home and a painful past.  He doesn’t want a wife whom he must babysit when he has a business to run.  When his new wife, “Jane Ava Smith” arrives he is more than ready to begin on those children, doesn’t mind her jewelry designing, and continually hurts with his “I don’t love you” comments.

Lucky and Ava have some truths to face when they are confronted by the malicious revenge of a spurned woman and men bent on thievery and murder.  Can Lucky save Ava?  Will Ava trust and forgive Lucky?  What will happen when they must face a devastating loss?

Ms. Woolf writes a story that I call a clean, charming western that is a quick read.  There are interactions with the characters from the first book in the series, which I haven’t read yet but I must say I didn’t feel I needed to in order to understand this story.  Sapphire Bride is stand-alone even though it is part of a series.  From what I picked up there is the continued theme that the brides are coming to Central City with danger close behind them.  Both brides so far are also from New York which I don’t know if all in the series will be or just these two, but it was an opening for the “brides” to open up to each other and speak of home.  The reader was also given a glimpse of the other male friends in the group and now will have to wait to see who will be the next to order his mail order bride.  My assumption and it is strictly my personal guess as I haven’t read anything on what to expect, but I believe there are two more friends left which would mean two more books for the series.

Chemistry of Magic by Patricia Rice

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Another fantastic tale in the Malcolm-Ives family by Patricia Rice.  I have not found another author who can spin the tale that combines the romantic pairing of a man of science and a woman of magic like Patricia Rice.  Her Malcolm-Ives stories are now in the second generation from when she first started them several years ago.  The two families have a history that first began with a pairing of the families that would cause a rift that would find closure as they families find themselves bound by marriage time and again.  Each of these marriages unites a man and a woman so different in character, yet once their differences are accepted by the couple they are melded together through the strongest love.

In Chemistry of Magic, we learn of two people who decide to marry for the benefit of convenience.  A man dying and woman desperate decide that the only acceptable course to follow is to unite in marriage.  Sounds easy, right?  Maybe a little too easy in the world of science and magic and the Malcolm and Ives families.

Viscount “Devil” Dare, is dying of consumption and his only heir is his obnoxious cousin who threatens to throw Dare’s Mother and sisters out of their home.  As he struggles daily with his deteriorating health, his only worry is how to provide for his family when he is gone.  He uses his scientific mind, to run test after test with no answers to his cure.

Emilia McDowell is a distant relative to the Malcolm family and as all Malcolm’s she possesses her own magical gift.  Emilia can heal with her touch, but to do so she suffers through the same pain.  Along with this gift of healing, Emilia dreams of publishing her life work…. A pharmacopeia.  But to do this, Emilia must marry for her to receive her inheritance.

Emilia and Dare marry for their mutual benefit.  She will use her inheritance to not only secure housing for Dare’s family but also gain her laboratory to continue her studies and complete her pharmacopeia.  A marriage of convenience that would lack love and would only last as long as Dare lives.  But neither anticipated how powerful fate is and how love would come along.

As Emilia and Dare work toward fulfilling each of their plans, a few surprises come along that will alter what they believed to be true which may, in turn, alter those plans.  But never fear, a few of the earlier Malcolm-Ives characters we have grown to love will make appearances to help Emilia and Dare.

Patricia Rice never lets me down when I read her stories.  I love her characters immensely with my favorites being the Malcolm-Ives.  Each story can be read as a stand-alone, however, I really would encourage reading all the Malcolm-Ives (the first and then this second generation) in order to truly value the wonderful world of science and magic coming together.

Aura of Magic by Patricia Rice

aura of magic imageAura of Magic is the newest release by the marvelous magic spinner Patricia Rice and continues the Malcolm-Ives family tales.  It is finally Uncle Pascoe’s turn at Ms. Rice’s enchanting imagination into the world of melding magic and science that ends in a burst of applause!

Uncle Aaron Pascoe-Ives, the youngest illegitimate son of the late Marquess who was raised with his nephews due to their close ages, has worked for the king in hopes of achieving his own Knighthood.  He prefers to be recognized as Pascoe, often dropping the Ives to remain separated from the family. Pascoe is a covert spy who easily blends in to learn secrets that will aid his king.  It is on one of these missions that Pascoe must either fight to continue with his carefully planned future goals or decide if it is time to change them.

Lily, Pascoe’s wife has passed away leaving him with two adorable but precocious toddlers that has him frustrated.  Nannies come and go with no one able to control them.  Just as the king gives him his newest assignment investigating trouble brewing in the north, the latest nannie leaves in tears.  Pascoe now must take his toddlers with him and hope they can stay with his family.

Edward and Emma are Pascoe’s children.  They have not spoken to anyone but seem to communicate with each other and the spirit of Lily who hovers over them in protection and guidance.  Lily tells Edward and Emma they must go with their father to meet their new Momma.  When Pascoe learns of this I don’t know if he is more shocked that his children have spoken or that they are saying such far-fetched things such as getting a new Momma!

Bridey has lived as a Countess since marrying her husband at the age of 16.  She has given her heart to helping the women and children of her area to survive the harshness their lives face.  Betrayed by those she sought to help, Bridey has hardened herself to the point she has gained the nickname of “the Ice Queen”.  With her plans to start a school to teach women about their own care as well as that of their children, Bridey refuses to give into her own heart.  With her Malcolm family gifts and her own dreams, Bridey moves forward to make her plans a reality.  But Bridey never counted on meeting two beautiful toddlers, the most handsome man ever, a thief or a host of spirits waiting to make her change her mind.

I truly believe this is my favorite of the newest generation of Malcolm-Ives descendants.  I love the solid strength of reality that Pascoe possess along with the denial of his Malcolm gifts from Lady Ninian Malcolm.  What he considers ordinary and not worth a second thought are in fact gifts set in magic!  I also enjoyed how the story was written with two characters so strong in their convictions to obtain their personal goals that they lost track of using compromise to fit in more than just the narrow tunnel vision they possessed in making their goals a reality.  With a little help from magic, will Pascoe and Bridey finally see what is right in front of them?

One comment made in the story was of a library regarding the Ives men and their progeny as the women have for the special gifts associated with the Malcolm women.  I would really like to see this happen in a future book of Ms. Rice’s.  I think it would be an interesting storyline for someone to hunt down the past and record it for the future of the Ives men.

Next in line for release is the title, “Chemistry of Magic”.  Of course, the except included in “Aura of Magic” shows another wonderful story to read.

Shadow of the Storm by Connlyn Cossette

 

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Last year I read a new author of Christian Fiction and she totally amazed me.  Her story came alive from word to word on every page and more importantly her story made me stop and look inward to answer some hard questions about my personal relationship with God.  I can’t tell you how often pieces of that story came to me even months after I read it.  I couldn’t wait for the next book in her series to come out.  I knew what I expected from this author by this point and she didn’t disappoint.

Connilyn Cossette has published book two in the Out of Egypt Series, Shadow of the Storm.   This series is based upon the Exodus that God’s people experienced when they left Egypt and the slavery they were forced to endure at the hands of their Egyptian masters.  The characters that soon became loved and cherished in book one, Counted Among the Stars, are seen again as their lives continue to unravel from the old and become new with God’s help.  Counted Among the Stars was focused on the life of a young Egyptian girl, Kiya, who went from a pampered life to one of slavery alongside the Hebrews.  She was befriended by another slave, a Hebrew girl and through their friendship God was introduced to her. The story for book one, was central to her but we were introduced to Shira whose story is told in Shadow of the Storm.

Shira’s character is a young woman with a beautiful soul and heart for God.  She is kind, compassionate and giving to those she loves.  Connilyn Cossette brings us a young woman who is shown a life she wants as a midwife but Shira must consider her family and the livelihood that she is expected to follow.  Can she go against her Mother’s wishes? But her heart has been captured and with it a way to embrace even a part of the life she never thought she would have after an act of cruelty left her with little choice

Being a midwife isn’t the only dream Shira comes to hope for.  Shira comes to know her brother’s friend, Ayal.  A man, she believes to be honorable and caring.  She begins to trust him and hope for a future for the two of them only to have that come crashing down.   When events cause Shira to face some truths about Ayal it also forces her to face some decisions on what she wants.

Through the storms that invade her life, Shira must learn to trust in the Lord and understand that whatever may come, God will remain with her.  One of my favorite passages in the story that reflects the title and what life brings us:

“We have to endure the storms, dear one so we know how deep our roots go.  So we can appreciate the depths of our strength and the freshness of the gentle breezes afterward”

If you enjoy reading fictional stories that bring the Bible to life, this is an author you want to read.  Her characters are so real and their lives so completely dimensional that you are transfixed from beginning to end.  This is truly a wonderful and captivating story!

Missouri Bride by Eugenia Riley

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Amazon Link:    http://amzn.to/29cHy0K

I loved reading this story.  It has been awhile since I read a historical romance that was set near the 1800’s which held my attention so well.  Most of the books of this time period I have read lately I haven’t even reviewed because I just don’t know what to write because there isn’t enough “meat” to the story.  I didn’t find that with Eugenia Riley’s, Missouri Bride

Missouri Bride follows the Civil War by about 10 years so we are ensconced in a story that brings the heartache, emotional and mental traumas of the destruction that war brings.  Matt Kendall and Amy Harris both suffered tragedy during the war and each survived but not without lasting impressions that cause problems in forming relationships.  Matt, at 17, watched his uncle and father killed and then joined the Confederate Army seeing death and desolation, but in an added twist he joins with Quantrill’s Raiders where he is exposed to much more cruelty and brutality.  His life is spared through the influence of Abel Harris, Amy’s father.

Amy last seen her father while he was on leave from the war and what she witnessed between her father and her mother has left her with the wrong impression of marriage and the relationship between a husband and wife.  Her father leaves and never comes back but Amy is left wishing he did.  Amy’s mother is cruel and mentally unstable leaving Amy and her younger sister, Hannah, living in abuse and fear.  Their only hope lies in two men….their father and his return and Lacy Garrett, Amy’s fiancé.

Matt Kendall, believes his life is set for a particular course but takes a side trip back to St. Louis to see his friend Abel Harris.  He is surprised by the news he hasn’t been around in years and feels compelled to help Amy and Hannah.  Matt and Amy decide to marry but both are unsure how to trust and open themselves to each other to make their marriage work. Through several trials they begin to forge a bond, when Lacy Garrett comes to town.  This love triangle is filled with anger, revenge, love, loyalty and sacrifice. When the dust settles, the question is who is Amy going to choose?

This is definitely a story filled with layers of dynamics to keep the readers interest.  There is war and the changes that result in both people and places; there is young love; lawlessness; domestic abuse; child abuse; mental instability and finally there is the happy ending for the characters.

I highly recommend this historical romance and believe it will capture your interest.

Whisper of Magic by Patricia Rice

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Amazon Link:  http://amzn.to/25FBBRb

The newest book in the Malcolm-Ives family saga reached the shelves just this week, with the release of Whisper of Magic.  In the previous book, Magic in the Stars, we were introduced to Erran Ives, the barrister of the family.  It was during our introduction that Erran’s behavior was becoming a bit withdrawn but the reasons behind those actions were not explained until now.

Erran Ives, a barrister by trade, was trying to protect his client, a family that had been wrongfully evicted from their home.  During the impressive court room arguments, Erran is bewildered by everyone’s actions when he lets loose his own forceful emotions through his booming voice.  When all is returned to normal, the ruination of his career and his own defeated self-esteem is his shadow.  With his brother, the Marquis of Ashford, in need of the family’s townhouse, Erran must ask the tenants to relocate but is having difficulty in connecting with the Baron or his representative.

Celeste Malcolm Rochester has lost her father and now as the eldest child of Baron Rochester, a distant relative of the Ives-Malcolm’s through the lineage of Sir Trevelyan Rochester and Lady Lucinda Malcolm.  For those of you familiar with the previous Ives-Malcolm series, Lady Lucinda Malcolm had a gift of prophetic visions within her paintings and had at one time painted a questionable portrait of Sir Trevelyan.  Celeste, her siblings and a few loyal friends and servants are struggling to do what they can to combat their father’s cousin who is trying to illegally take over his estate.

Erran, Lady Azenor, and several other Ives family members join forces to aid their Rochester family in the race to prove Lord Lansdowne’s claim to the estate is fraudulent.  As Lord Erran and Lady Celeste band together, they find themselves facing magic, fertility ceremonies and a common magical gift they share.

It is wonderful to read these newest Ives-Malcolm relatives.  I also enjoy how the author, Patricia Rice does make references to the past Ives-Malcolm pairings as the ancestors of the current characters. Ms. Rice also employs her characters and interweaves them so that you are treated to reading of the characters from previous books, such as Lady Azenor.    I find this always enjoyable and believe it pulls the story together.  Lady Azenor played a large role in this story and having her stand out against the stoic Ives men is richly entertaining with her magical oddities and sense of style. There is always fun, strange magic, a budding romance and of course the bad guys to defeat.  Patricia Rice is an author that will intrigue, captivate and in the end keep you breathlessly anticipating the next story.  You just can’t get enough of her magical romances.