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

sapphire bride

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

Chemistry of Magic

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.

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!

Someone Like You Victoria Bylin

someone likeyou

Amazon Link:  http://amzn.to/2b6otlo

 

I received this book from the publisher to review and I chose it because I had never read this author before.  I found this to be a light Christian romance that was easy to read and enjoy. 

The premise of the story is of two characters who first met while doing internships in college.  There was actually a triangle of relationships during this internship involving the two main characters and one important side character.  A few years later, our characters come full circle.

During college, Zeke Monroe worked at a refuge house because being a strong Christian he wanted to help others.  It was there that he met Julia Dare and Hunter Adams.  Neither Julia nor Hunter were Christians but Zeke had hoped to teach them of God’s love through their interactions.  Zeke fell in love with Julia and soon their relationship took on a level that didn’t mesh with his beliefs.  Not long after they parted and their lives changed.

Now as a general manager of a resort, Zeke is at odds with his Christian life.  He has lost his parents and no longer knows what to do.  He exists.  When the opportunity arises for him to come face to face with the one woman he gave his heart to and who hurt him, he finds himself realizing he still loves her even after all they had been through.  When he hears that Julia is now a Christian his emotions are turned around so he doesn’t know how to handle that news when his own spiritual life is bitterly in pieces.

With the resort’s future on the line, Zeke and Julia worked together to create the best wedding in 30 days to impress one of the owners to keep the resort open.  As they work alongside of each other, Zeke is tested with his lack Christianity and Julia’s newly discovered acceptance in God.  Julia is a Christian but she hasn’t always been and because of that she has made mistakes which has led to her carrying around a secret that she knows will hurt Zeke so she is scared to tell him.

Secrets will always come out whether by our own admittance or by another source.  Julia shares her secret with Zeke because that secret will be walking in the door of the resort and possibly ruin all the work they have done.  Zeke must face the past and decide if his love of Julia is enough to forgive and move forward.

This is a beautiful story of losing your way and finding it again through redemption, forgiveness and love.  Sometimes those who are the teachers will need to be the student in order to remember; which is where Zeke finds himself.

A wonderful developed story involving strong main characters struggling to find themselves with the help of some amazing secondary characters. 

The Billionaire’s Beautiful Mistake by Elizabeth Lennox

bold alaskan men

I have been waiting to write this review since the release date, but unfortunately I had some computer issues.  I never knew how dependent I was on my computer until I lost the use of the letter “r”.  It was funny to watch me try different ways of getting around that one letter such as reworking an entire sentence to not use a single “r” or as one friend suggested…cutting and pasting.  I was willing to try everything until I could get my laptop fixed!  Finally, as I still wait for that to happen, I broke down and bought myself a notebook.  I feel so much better having my ability to write back in my hands.  My checking account may be a little less in numbers but I am less anxious. 

Elizabeth Lennox has released the first of her new series for the Bold Alaskan Men….The Billionaire’s Beautiful Mistake.  I enjoyed reading this book and am looking forward to more.  One of the reasons I liked it is that although I really enjoy reading Ms. Lennox’s sheik romances, it is nice to see the stories take on a new location and the wilds of Alaska I believe is an amazing choice for relocation.  She still has her focus of several characters that create her bonded group and each will have his own story in the series.  The men are childhood friends that came from very humble beginnings and clawed their way to success.  Each of the characters are definitely strong, intelligent alphas that lead the industry of their choosing and leave their competitors quaking.  But when they are no longer in the board room or office, they have each other to lean on, to trust and to protect as brothers. 

In the first book, The Billionaire’s Beautiful Mistake, Ms. Lennox brings us Creek and Violet who are a wonderful match!  Creek is very much wrapped up in his business and never looks at women as a possible permanent situation, but one of need and convenience.  Until he meets Violet and finds that no matter what he can’t stay away.  Everything about Violet holds his attention.  Violet is no different than Creek with this attraction that sizzles between them.  She thinks he is the most delicious thing she has seen, but unfortunately Violet has self-esteem issues and doesn’t believe Creek would be interested in her. 

Violet and Creek begin their relationship but they unknowingly fall victim to another’s manipulations and greed.  Violet’s step-father is a shallow, untrustworthy jerk that she feels sorry for so she lets him stick around.  But when opportunity knocks with Creek’s arrival, dear step-daddy makes his move.  He tells Creek that Violet is a prostitute with special skills which will cost him $5000 a night.  Creek is easily fooled because his past has left him jaded and believes the worst and he makes his mistake…he pays it.  Violet has fallen in love with Creek which makes finding out that he paid for her devastating.  Her hurt and the betrayal leads her to walk away from Creek.

When Creek spirals into depression, we get our taste of the bond the men share as they step forward to help him.  But it is surprising who they stand up for and who they are willing to defend.  Can they make Creek and Violet understand they love each other enough to forgive the duplicity that tore them apart?

I love the alpha males that believe they can conquer all and keep emotions and relationships out of the equation.  Better yet, is the one woman who is the key to unlocking those barriers and polishing those buried hearts of gold.

 

Book 2, The Billionaire’s Challenging Beauty is releasing August 12 and will be the story of Saeger and Tyla and from what I have read of the previews this is going to be a great book with Tyla’s spunkiness.  You can pre-order a copy today and enjoy it right away on the 12th like I am doing.  I usually can’t wait to get up and find my book already there and begin reading.

 

You asked Elizabeth Lennox and she answers!

EL Logo   ELIZABETH LENNOX image

When I first approached Elizabeth Lennox  and asked if she would be willing to answers questions submitted for her she didn’t hesitate to say yes.  She said it sounded like fun and was an open book.  Her enthusiasm and gung-ho attitude told me she had an adventurous soul just as many of her female characters are written.  I also found Ms. Lennox has a wicked sense of humor!  I had so much fun getting to know Ms. Lennox through our emails and can truly say she is a wonderful, funny, helpful and very kind person.

Thank you Elizabeth Lennox for taking the time to answers the great questions that were submitted.

These are the questions submitted and Elizabeth’s answers.  I hope you enjoy them!

Wynde

Let me start off by saying I love your books! Especially your sheik books. Thank you for the opportunity to ask a question. I have two. 1. When will your next sheik book be out? 2. What is the most important lesson you’ve learned to date about writing?

  • My next sheik book will be part of the Montana Men series.  I know – where’s the connection with Montana and tall, dark, arrogant sheiks, right?  Well, Droon had to run away from his homeland – his aunts were trying to kill him so that their children could take over the country.  Droon ran away and discovered Samantha and Charlie DeBron’s ranch (Samantha and Charlie’s romance will be a free novella coming out in October).  Eventually, he must leave Montana and go back to reclaim his throne.  His story will be told in the series along with Vince, Joe, Halley and Fleur.
  • The most important lesson? Goodness, I don’t know about THE most important lesson.  There are so many things I’ve learned and some of the lessons have been hard to take.  I think the most important lesson was to avoid reading any reviews until I’ve finished (or at least started) writing another story.  I’ve received many good reviews (thank you!) but the negative reviews really get to me.  Sometimes they are pretty harsh and I could have become discouraged by some of them.   So I tell all new writers to avoid reading reviews until they are at least halfway through their next story.  Always keep writing – no matter what people say.

 

Carrie Marie 

What is the hardest part of writing for you? What’s the easiest?

The hardest part of writing would definitely be the editing process.  Most people don’t realize that writing the story is only about twenty-five percent of the effort.  The next several weeks or months will be editing, polishing, re-editing, tweaking your story.  You’re never really “done” with a book.  There’s always another edit that can be done.

What is the easiest?  The beginnings!  Goodness, those beginnings are fun to write and just fly out of my fingers.  I love writing the beginnings – all the sexual tension, the intense awareness, the instant lust…it is so much fun!!

Shellie

How do you come up with all of your ideas for stories?

I get asked this question a lot.  In fact, it is always the second question people ask me.  And the answer is – I don’t know.  I always have a story in my mind.  It might not be a viable plot.  I might start it and realize it is stupid or unworkable.  But yes, I always have a story ready to go.  I can sit in a coffee shop, stare at the other customers and come up with a story about them.  Driving down the street?  Music on?  Story pops into my mind.  Love it!!

 

Ruth

Have you ever written a story that we haven’t read? Are there any that you have written that you don’t like?

Goodness yes!!  LOL – I have dozens, maybe even hundreds of stories that didn’t work out.  Or stories that I started and abandoned because a better idea came along and I just forgot about the previous one.  It is crazy – but yeah.  Lots and lots of stories.

And then there are the stories which I know are horrible.  The Montana Men was going to be a six book series – six siblings, six stories (plus the parents).  But Rico’s story just didn’t flow properly.  I’ve started writing his story about seven times, one of which is about thirty thousand words.  It isn’t good enough.  I will come back to it in a few months or years and work on it again – because I like the premise for the story – I just couldn’t make it work correctly.

My sister is an English professor and she said that’s one of the hardest lessons a writer has to learn – just let go of something that isn’t working.  Sometimes that means deleting thousands of words.  Yes, that is heartbreaking, but it has to happen.

I won’t release a story that isn’t good.  If I don’t like it, you ladies won’t see it.

Liz 

Have you ever written any other genre besides Contemporary Romance? If not, would you want to? What genre would it be?

I have written some erotica and I have plans to write a romantic series with magical elements to it.  I don’t know when that will work itself out in my brain, but yes.  More is coming.  I also have some ideas about a series for young adults, telling the stories of pre-teens or teenagers, dealing with some of the issues they are facing.  Again, I don’t know how that will work itself out, but that is another possibility.

I’d also like to challenge myself to write romantic mysteries but contemporary romance is still my favorite.

Wynde B

Do you have a favorite time of the year to write? If so, why?

Interesting question – I’ve never thought about that.  But now that you’ve brought it up, the fall.  If you have ever been to Washington, D.C. in the summer, you know that the heat and humidity here is oppressive!  It bogs one down like a thick, wet blanket (filled with mosquitoes!).  So summers are hard for me – I struggle to write, to meet my deadlines.

But when September rolls around this area, the humidity lessons, the heat seems to cool down and the world is a different place.  I seem to com back to life in the fall.  My mind is freed up, my body feels better and the stories just fly through my mind.  I can sit outside (as long as the spiders stay away) and enjoy the sunshine while I write and life is good!

Sally

I love the way you always create your heroines with a strong sense of self. Even if they have…issues. What is your motivation behind this? IF there is one

LOL – I think that we all have “…issues”.  I definitely do!  Just ask my husband or family!

But all the women in my stories – and the men – have issues that they need to resolve in order to make way for love.  The women are all strong, all have good careers and challenge the world.  Or at least, that’s my intent.  Why?  Because women are strong.  Women all have issues, but we step up and get done what needs to get done.  Period.  We don’t mess around, we don’t wait for someone else to fix our problems.  We just…get it done – whatever “it” is.

My books reflect the power that all of us have inside of us.  Yeah, we might not like the issues we have to deal with.  And there are many times my characters just want to grab a bag of chips and sit on the couch to avoid the world.  Don’t we all?

But in the end, they face up to their issues and get them resolved.  So do you, right?

Miranda

I can’t wait for your Bold Alaskan Men Series. Have you ever been to Alaska? Is this what motivated this series?

Yes!  I went to Alaska twice – in 2015 and 2014.  I loved that state!  It was incredible!  So the whole series is based off of both those visits.  The oceans, the whales, the crazy things that Alaskans do – like bore tide surfing, skiing down impossible mountain sides, living in a world that goes dark for all but a couple of hours during the winter…!  (Apparently, it is harder to get used to the endless light in the summer months – who knew?!)

Loved Alaska!  And in addition – my family and I flew into Seattle in order to get to Alaska – so there’s a series based in that city as well!  Oh – I love the northwest area!  So completely different from Washington, D.C.!  And cooler!  (except when I’m there – I tend to bring heat wherever I go!)

Katelyn

What books are YOU reading right now?

I just finished Aziz Ansari’s Modern Romance (and got a great idea for a plot out of that book!) and Malcom Gladwell’s “Outliers” – there will be a funny story about this one in a book too!  Over 4th of July weekend, I read Janet Evanovich’s “The Job” (great series, by the way) and I was honored to read (ahead of the release) Liz Scott’s “You Promised Me Forever” – awesome story!

Skye

Which writers inspire you? How?

This is going to sound crazy, but good and bad writers inspire me.

When I write a good story, I want to do it better.  I want to twist the plot around so it is more interesting or write better dialogue, better emotional connections.  I love good stories from fabulous authors because they challenge me, inspire me to write better, to set my standards higher.

But I also love bad stories because the writer might have an awesome plot, but she or he might completely fail to live up to the idea.  I want to do the idea better, to make the plot more complicated or more emotionally compelling.  I want to make the characters more real.

So good or bad, I’ll use that to emphasize my strengths or challenge my weaknesses.  I love a writer with good words or with a twist that really grabs me.

And readers – believe it or not – readers inspire me!  When I read the reviews from you ladies, that creates a lot of pressure to do it again, to write better, to replicate a good story.  I never take my readers for granted.  I know how easy it is for romance readers to find a new favorite.  I currently have 4.5 star ratings on almost all of my books and that’s a huge amount of pressure to maintain!  I won’t release any book I don’t think is good enough because I don’t want to lose that average rating.  It is incredibly important to me that my readers like the stories I put out there.

Barbara

Who does your sexy covers!

I do!  I search around for photos on the various photography sites until I find just the right picture.  Sometimes I’m sitting on my bed with my husband reading next to me, flipping through all of the buff guys and my husband just grunts occasionally.  He’s a sweet guy – and endures all of it!

 

Thank you all for taking part in this blog spot with Elizabeth Lennox.  Remember, her newest book of charming alphas and amazing women has just released today.  The Billionaire’s Beautiful Mistake, book 1 in the Bold Alaskan Men Series.

bold alaskan men

Amazon Link: http://amzn.to/29NNWPG