Wings of the Wind ~ Connilyn Cossette

Wings of the Wind is the story of Alanah, a Canaanite woman bent on revenge after her father and brothers are killed by the invading Hebrew army in the battle with Arvad. Not a stranger to the weapons of warfare her arrow soon finds its mark. But Alanah hasn’t the time to rejoice before she is wounded. Buried beneath her fallen comrades, she is discovered by Tobiah, a Hebrew warrior.

When Tobiah realizes the wounded enemy he’s found is a woman, he rescues her from the battlefield and enlists the help of Shira, a midwife, to tend Alanah’s wound. Shira reminds Tobiah of the Law and tells him the only way to keep Alanah safe is to marry her. Tobiah agrees. However, Alanah’s secret soon separates them and puts her and a friend on the path of destruction.

Will Yahweh save her or will she die among those marked for destruction?

4.9 stars out 5 stars

My thoughts:

I like a feisty heroine, and Alanah didn’t disappoint. She was confident, vibrant, and self-sacrificing without being obnoxious or weak. I commiserated with her need for revenge, her pain of betrayal, and her ache to be loved. Her relationship with Yahweh caused me to reflect upon my own. There is nothing I would change about this character except…

Tobiah was a breath of fresh air. He was a warrior, strong and adept. His love for Yahweh was evident but in no way did it emasculate him. His love for his family made him stronger still. And his need to protect Alanah from the brutality forced upon women during that time endeared him to me even more.

Without giving away anything, I would like to share what didn’t work for me.

While being raised on a farm and skilled in warfare by three brothers and a father, I wondered where Alanah obtained her vocabulary. Her choice of words didn’t sound like a girl raised on a remote farm with crude men. But for the most part, the descriptions the characters used were perfect. I loved the way Cossette weaved their way of life into their thoughts and words.

Although I thought the familial tie in the final chapters unique, I couldn’t wrap my mind around the way the historical character was portrayed. For instance, she often seemed clueless about the whole situation unless she was told the facts by Alanah. I understand this is a plot thread to give Alanah a reason for being there at that particular time.

Yet, when reading the account from the Bible, this particular woman understands the rumors flying around concerning the invading army and is very much aware of the fear and dread that has taken hold of her city. Her decision to leave seemed to be at the last minute. Something I find hard to comprehend when you know what’s about to happen.

All in all, I wouldn’t change Alanah’s and Tobiah’s story. It is a story I will remember and probably read over and over again in the coming years. In fact, I loved it so much I bought the first and second installments of this series. I highly recommend this series to anyone who reads biblical fiction.

I received a copy of this book from Bethany House. The above comments are my own.

Share the Love ~ May

Good morning!

Do you find it hard to have peace when the wind blows?

The Lord promised we would have storms in this life, but He also promised we could have peace. I pray as you turn your heart and mind toward the Lord Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, you will experience His peace that passes all understanding.

Meanwhile, I hope you enjoy this edition of Share the Love.

Sunset Owl Grace and Peace

This little one loves to have his picture taken.

Reading

Trying to figure out how to get through your TBR list? Looking for your next read?

The Five Stages of Dealing With Your TBR Pile – Bethany House Fiction
All of You by Sarah Monzon – Faithfully Bookish
ACFW New Releases: May 2017 – Angela Arndt

Writing

Writer’s block? What are you researching? What about a video for your next book?

Writer’s Block? Consider a Template –Karen Jordan, Wordserve Water Cooler
Historical Flavor: Battle of King’s Mountain – Sandra Ardoin
A Fun Approach to Book Videos – Patricia Beal, SeriouslyWrite

Inspirational

Do you ever compare yourself? Can hacking be a good thing? Can a criminal become a pillar of the community?

The Comparison Corner-Gail Johnson, SeriouslyWrite
Move over, Jesus Freaks. Here come the Jesus Geeks. – MustardSeed Budget
The Amazing Luck of the Irish – Good Time Stories

Foodie

Not exactly food. But who doesn’t like coffee?

Vanilla Almond Latte- America on Coffee
Cookery Rhymes: Boats Cocoa-Spiced Beef Tenderloin with Pineapple Salsa – The Folklore Food Blog
History of Coffee and How it Came to be Linked to Writers – Amanda, the Writer

Photography/Posters

Got to love quotes and drawings!

Kindness – Dora Hiers/Tori Kayson
Making a Difference in People’s Lives – Dawn Kinzer
Chaotic Shapes – Brandon Knoll

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Women of Faith and Fiction ~ Angela Arndt

Good morning! Today, we have another exceptional woman of faith and fiction visiting with us. Although Angie and I have never met face to face, I feel as if I know her. She is a wonderful friend, a beautiful soul, and a terrific writer.

The Beekeeper’s Daughter has won recognition in the following:

  •  2016 Unpublished Maggie Award for Excellence (Georgia RWA) in the Inspirational Romance category, 3rd place
  •  2016 Orange County Chapter Romance Writers of America’s Orange Rose Contest, Inspirational Romance category, 3rd place
  •  2016 Beacon Contest finalist, First Coast Romance Writers (Jacksonville, FL), Inspirational Romance category, 2nd place
  • 2017 Fab Five Finalist, Wisconsin Romance Writers of America, Inspirational Category, Finalist.

And now, please welcome writer, Angela Arndt. Angie, please tell us a little about yourself.

Framed-Headshot-101416 Angela ArndtI’m married, with two step-children and five grandchildren. Hubby is a beekeeper and we love living back in the woods with our three dogs. I have a Bachelor’s in Graphic Design and a Master’s in Education. Before leaving the corporate world, I was a trainer and curriculum writer.

When I retired because of my health problems, God placed the desire to write in my heart and now that is my job. I love it!

Sounds like a beautiful and blessed life! This month’s theme is Peace. Please share your thoughts with our readers.

Oh, wow. Peace is such a nebulous thing unless you’re squared away with God. The only way to have true peace is to be in the center of His wheel (to borrow your phrase). It’s true: if you’re not doing His will – what He created you to do – you’ll never be happy and at peace. It always amazes me how God gives us that “peace that passes all understanding” even when we should be wringing our hands in sorrow or worry. If we give all our worries to Him, even if it means do it over-and-over again on a minute-by-minute basis, He will keep our hearts at peace.

I agree, my friend. Now, life is a continual journey of learning, applying, and transforming. Have you ever experienced a season when you found it difficult to have peace? If so, how did you overcome?

Oh yes. Without going into a lot of detail, I’m estranged from a member of my family that I love very much. After it happened, I literally cried for two weeks. (Now I know what “being a basket case means.”) While going through all the stages of grief (denial, anger, etc.), I prayed for God to “fix it,” but He didn’t.

Fiction writers thrive on “what if,” but in this case it was getting me into trouble. I kept second-guessing the situation, asking what if I’d done things differently, who else was involved, should I do this or that. I finally realized the best scenario was to put the situation out of my hands and into God’s.

That’s where it is now. I still love her, but nothing’s changed. I have to believe that someday she’ll know the truth. While I don’t have peace about the situation, I do have total peace that God is in control.

Thank you for sharing that, Angie. I’m sure there is someone who needed to hear your testimony today. For my next question, please tell us in what genre do you write and how does your faith influence your writing?

In Christian fiction, we call it women’s fiction, but I really write Southern literary fiction. That genre explores the depths of complex, sometimes eccentric, characters set in the heat, humidity, and paradise that I call home.

The crux of literary fiction is showing how a character changes when placed in heart-rending situations. And I believe that in order for someone to change – a real heart-change –God has to do that work.

When I was an art major, I designed and cast a silver ring in jewelry-making class. First I designed it on paper, then make a mold from wax. Next was the casting process where I melted the silver down on an asbestos pad. It was beautiful and actually glowed! But all the impurities floated to the top, so I had to pull a graphite rod through its heart to gather up all those faults. Finally, I poured the liquid metal into a centrifuge with the mold and spun it so that the hot metal melted through the old wax, replacing it with a purified, gleaming silver ring.

That’s the work God does in our lives. He purifies our hearts, but in order to do it, He turns up the heat and uses the rod on us!

And that’s what I do to my characters, too. 🙂

Angie, thank you so much for visiting and sharing your heart with us!

To connect with Angie visit:

Twitter

Facebook

Website

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So What Changed?

Good morning, fellow traveler! During a recent storm, the title of this post echoed in my mind and reminded me of a favorite passage in the Bible. I would like to share it with you this morning.

And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away. And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone. But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. Matthew 14:22-24 KJV

The word contrary means opposite or antagonistic. Have you ever felt like you were rowing against contrary winds? Maybe it was a situation or a person. And no matter what you tried nothing seemed to work.

And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. Matthew 14:25-26 KJV

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But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. Matthew 14:27-30

So what changed between stepping out of the boat and sinking beneath the waves? Notice Peter walked on water. Walking on water wasn’t an impossibility. It only became impossible when Peter focused on his circumstances. Our faith isn’t found in our circumstance but in the Master of the Wind.

Stormy Sea Coast Pixabay

And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. Matthew 14:31-32

Something else that caught my eye was the wind was blowing from the time Peter left the boat until he reentered the ship. The Lord didn’t calm the winds to deliver Peter. Likewise, He may not calm the wind in our lives. But He will answer the cries of our heart and immediately takes us in His arms.

These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. John 16:33

In this world, we will have troubles and trials. No doubt about that, my friend. But, our hardships are what the Potter uses to strengthen and grow us. I think the following song fits nicely with this post. It is a prayer about sleeping in the storm. Hope you enjoy it.

 

Finding Peace

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Isaiah 26:3

Good morning! For this month’s theme, I chose the word peace. Who doesn’t appreciate a little peace? I know I do! But what about those times when peace seems to allude us even when we’re doing all the right things? You know, those times when we’re showing symptoms of Martha syndrome.

For example, as vessels, we are in need of filling. If we’re filled to the brim with everything around us, we have no room for the things of God. Empty, we have nothing to offer those we meet along the way. That is why we must take the time to rest, rejuvenate, and connect with the Prince of Peace.  Such was a time for me this past week!

As I pondered on this month’s posts, colorful visitors kept dropping by to say hello. Less than ten feet outside my office window, their bright colors kept catching my eyes and diverting my attention from the monitor. It was as if the Creator was inviting me to come away for a moment and enjoy His gifts.

My beloved spake, and said unto me, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away. For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land; The fig tree putteth forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grape give a good smell. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away. Song of Songs 2:10-13

Mama Flycatcher CHW-1

O my dove, that art in the clefts of the rock, in the secret places of the stairs, let me see thy countenance, let me hear thy voice; for sweet is thy voice, and thy countenance is comely. Song of Songs 2:14

At times, finding peace is as easy as changing our focus.

Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows. Matthew 10:31

Perfect Tree Canopy CHW-1

Sometimes, it’s as close as lying beneath the shade of an oak contemplating our blessings.

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights… James 1:17

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Peace can be as close as our backyard!

The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Psalm 19:1

 Sunset 3-1

Such wondrous beauty we often forfeit when we fail to take the time to appreciate God’s gifts. Creation is a testimony of His greatness. Take a look around and drink your fill. I promise you won’t leave thirsty!

What are some things you do, other than reading your Bible and praying, to connect with the Prince of Peace? Let me know in the comments!