Welcome to the Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt! If you’ve just discovered the hunt, be sure to start at Stop #1, and collect the clues through all the stops, in order, so you can enter to win one of our top 5 grand prizes!
The hunt BEGINS on 10/15 at noon MST with Stop #1 at LisaTawnBergren.com.
Hunt through our loop using Chrome or Firefox as your browser (not Explorer).
There is NO RUSH to complete the hunt—you have all weekend (until Sunday, 10/18 at midnight MST)! So take your time, reading the unique posts along the way; our hope is that you discover new authors/new books and learn new things about them.
Submit your entry for the grand prizes by collecting the CLUE on each author’s scavenger hunt post and submitting your answer back on Lisa's site. Many authors are offering additional prizes along the way!
Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt
Welcome! I am Connilyn Cossette, the author of eleven Biblical Fiction novels and counting... There's nothing I love more than traipsing down historical rabbit trails into biblical eras, digging up all sorts of fascinating tidbits that help give context and fresh insight to the Word, and then weaving it all into an immersive experience for readers that merges fictional characters with the unchangeable truth of the Bible. You can learn more about me and my books on my website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. My latest release, To Dwell among Cedars, is the first in a two-book series called the Covenant House which centers on two young Philistines whose lives are turned upside down by an encounter with the Ark of the Covenant.
Here's what it's about...
Eight years ago, when the Philistines stole and then surrendered the ark of the covenant back to the Israelites, Eliora left her Philistine homeland to follow the ark to the community of Kiryat Yearim. There, the family she was adopted into has guarded the ark at the top of a mountain in seclusion.
Ronen is a Levite musician determined to return the ark to Shiloh, where his tribe believes it belongs. He never expected that the Philistine girl he rescued years ago would now be part of the very family he's tasked to deceive.
As Ronen's attempts to charm Eliora lead them in unexpected directions, betrayal leaves Eliora with strained family ties and Ronen questioning his own loyalties. Ultimately, Eliora and Ronen are caught up in the battle for the soul of Israel and its future under the leadership of Samuel, the last judge before the era of the kings begins.
When Science Meets History: DNA and the Philistines
What do you know about the Philistines? I’m venturing to guess not all that much, since a couple years ago, before I began research on my new series, I didn't either. Some of us may remember that the giant Goliath was among them on the battlefield, or maybe that Delilah, Samson’s temptress, was of that heritage, or perhaps we remember when King David teamed up with them for a while and then turned around later to vanquish them.
When I came up with the idea to write a series centered on two young Philistines, there were no definitive answers to the origins of their people but just after I began researching to prepare for writing the series, a huge and exciting announcement was made by scientists that made me squeal with delight!
Why is this important to those of us who believe the Bible to be truth? Because the Bible names Caphtor as their point of origin and Caphtor is widely accepted by Biblical scholars as none other than Crete, just as the DNA evidence now confirms. And since we know that they were a seafaring people, all the clues which led to Aegean origins make perfect sense and back up the historical details in the Word. The ancient bones are testifying to the veracity of God's Word!
But who were the Philistines, really? They show up early in the Bible (Abraham’s time) along the coast of Israel but the archeological record is conflicting about the timing of their arrival and although some scholars have made educated guesses to their origins over the last hundred years, due to distinctive pottery trends and other clues among their material culture, no one really knew for sure—until now.
A DNA test had been performed on tissue found in 10 skeletons from an ancient Philistine cemetery in Ashkelon which proved that not only were these people of European origin (not Turkey or Africa as some believed them to be) but that they likely migrated down from the Iberian peninsula into the Aegean, so there are traces of them in Spain, Sardinia and most notably on the island of Crete.
Wasn’t it nice of scientists to come out with a major discovery about the subjects of my new series just as I was beginning my research? I feel certain they did it just for me ;) I was able to use this new information to flesh out my settings and characters in ways I might not have before, including ties to the Minoan and Mycenaean civilizations (Ancient Greeks) which left their unique and distinctive marks on the island of Crete and therefore also on the Philistines’ religion, behaviors, physical attributes, art, culture and architecture (see photo to left).
Having taken my own DNA test to discover my heritage (which was especially exciting as an adoptee), I am awed by knowing where my ancestors came from. As the technology grows those answers to where my family foundations were constructed and how they migrated across the world will become even more clear. Oh, to know ALL the forgotten stories my ancestors would have to share! I was even really surprised to find out that I have 11% Jewish heritage,—no wonder I've always been fascinated with Israel and it's people!
Isn’t it thrilling to live in an age when a people whose origins have been lost to history for thousands of years can tell their own unique stories through their bones? In fact, the science is so advanced now that Jewish men of the priestly line of Aaron can actually prove their lineage with their DNA and therefore some of them are being prepared for priestly duties in a future temple in Jerusalem. What amazing times we live in! I can’t wait to see what is uncovered next!
To read more about the Philistine DNA connections (which are way cooler and more complicated than I could ever explain in this short blog), head over to Patterns of Evidence. And while you are there, check out the documentaries they’ve done about the Exodus and new discoveries in that arena as well.
Thanks for stopping by! In the comments below I’d love to hear about any discoveries you’ve made about your own heritage. Have you taken a DNA test? Were there any surprises?
Here’s the Stop #19 Basics:
Clue to Write Down: Hoping
Link to Stop #20, the Next Stop on the Loop: Michelle Shocklee's site!
But Wait! Before you go!!
I am also giving away three chances to win your choice of one of my books from the Out from Egypt or Cities of Refuge series! Sign up on the Rafflecopter, its super easy and requires nothing more than being on my email list (if you aren't already!) and there's a few ways to earn bonus points toward the drawing as well!
*US Only for print books due to prohibitive shipping costs but international winners will receive an eBook of their choice!