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?
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I have a confession to make. This is my first time reading a book by Cossette. Don’t judge! I’ve had her books in my TBR stack for a long time now, but darn the blogging schedule that gets in the way. I have heard so many great things, and have just been waiting for the moment I could open the pages to one of her beautifully crafted stories. The moment arrived, and I was kind of nervous. I mean, when there is so much hype about an author or a book, I get a little skiddish before I begin. What if the people who have recommended her books to me for a while are just wrong and I don’t like the book at all? Let me just say this – to my friends who have been telling me to read Cossette’s book for months. I’m sorry. I am sorry it has taken so long for me to finally open one up. My opinion on this book? Well, it was pretty much amazing.
Although it’s book two in a series, I didn’t feel lost as much as I felt sometimes there were inside jokes I didn’t know about. Okay, there is not literal jokes in this book but I think you know what I’m getting at. That aside, I enjoyed this book much more then I thought I would. I’ve just started to become interested in Biblical Fiction, and this book makes me want to read them even more. Cossette manages to bring you back in time, to stand right beside the characters and feel exactly what they are feeling.
Sofea’s journey is something many of us can relate to. Yes, she is slowly learning more about the God we all know and love, and yes it is during different times so she doesn’t have the same tools that we do to learn from. But she has similar feelings to all of us before we knew God, His love, and His ability to care for us. And Eiten? Well, I know he is not from our time period obviously, but I wouldn’t mind a visit from him 😉
Cossette is an author that has easily made it to my list of favorites. I promise there will not be a big gap before reading her next book! I encourage you to read the first book in the series before this one. In fact, just get them both at the same time and set aside a day to read. I promise you won’t be sorry! I received a complimentary copy of this book. I was not required to write a favorable review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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!
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The Power of Words, November 20
Among the Reads, November 21
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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 notions, November 23
The Becca Files, November 24
Baker Kella, November 24
Bibliophile Reviews, November 25
The Meanderings of a Bookworm, November 25
By The Book, November 26
Reading Is My SuperPower, November 26
Aryn The Libraryan, November 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
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