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 6/15 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, 6/18 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, author of over a dozen Biblical Era novels and counting! There's nothing I love more than traipsing down historical rabbit trails into the ancient world, 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, and Instagram. For extra behind-the-scenes-fun and exclusive info direct from me, make sure to join my Bibliophiles group on Facebook.
My upcoming release, Voice of the Ancient, is the first in a four-book series called the King's Men which will follow the journeys of four cousins who run off to fight for the newly-crowned Saul ben Kish, the first (human) king of Israel. When one of the cousins goes missing during a battle, their strong bonds of brotherhood will be tested and each young man will take a different path toward learning to bow their knee to the One True King above all others.
Here's what it's about...
As the eldest son of a Levite and a Philistine, Avidan is torn between his duty to his family legacy and the desire for something more. After an enemy attack strikes close to home, he takes the opportunity to fight with his cousins for the newly crowned King Saul. But when one of the cousins goes missing during the battle, Avidan refuses to leave him behind.
Keziah is the daughter of one of the most powerful clan chiefs in the territory of Manasseh. On the brink of a forced marriage to a loathsome man decades older than her, she has no choice but to run, hoping to find sanctuary with her mother's family.
United during their journeys and battling to survive the dangers that surround them, Avidan and Keziah make a pact to travel together. As challenges pile up, they must not only rely on each other to stay alive but also learn to trust the true and eternal King of Israel to guide their every step.
For those of you who are just meeting me, you may not know that in June of 2021 I was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer. It was a time of enormous upheaval in my life and although I am now cancer free (Praise God!) I am still going through the reconstruction process (one more surgery to go!) and adapting to life as a cancer survivor but I learned so much about myself and my Savior through this process so I thought I would share some of what the Lord taught me while writing Voice of the Ancient at the same time I was enduring months of difficult cancer treatments. I hope it is an encouragement to you.
Writing in the Chemo Chair
Honestly, I never dreamed I’d get cancer, even though there is some history on my birthfather’s side. But I was in denial...until I rolled over in the middle of the night (while up reading past my bedtime because I was restless) and my hand providentially ended up pressed between the mattress and a large lump on my breast.
Thankfully, one of my close friends happens to be a surgeon who specializes in breast cancer. By noon the next day I was in her office where she gently informed me that the size, shape, and location of the lump almost certainly indicated cancer.
Within a couple of weeks the biopsy confirmed it was Stage Three Triple Negative and therefore, a large and fast-growing tumor. And within a month I was beginning aggressive chemotherapy, with major radiation, months of immunotherapy, and multiple surgeries ahead of me.
It all was terrifying.
And among all the confusion and fear that overwhelmed me in those early days of my diagnosis, was the question of how I was going to write not just one, but the two books that were due within the next few months.
But here is the thing. God knew.
He knew that my publishers would be so wonderfully flexible that I could set aside one project to focus on the other that had a non-negotiable due date.
He knew that I needed that special project to keep my mind focused on something other than what was going on in real life because dwelling on fear and doubt and all the scary things that were ahead of me was not good for my mental health.
He knew that having a storyline which was already completely outlined for me, due to its special nature, would be an enormous blessing to me on days when my mind was so foggy it felt like searching for ideas through pea soup.
He knew that I would need something to keep my mind occupied during some of those long, boring hours in the chemo chair.
He knew that I would need faithful girlfriends to cheer me on, fight beside me in prayer, and keep me going when I wanted to just curl in on myself and weep so he provided years in advance by bringing me writing partners that have become sisters-of-the-heart and flew from all across the country to support and care for me.
He knew that he would sustain me each and every day and that the victory of finishing that manuscript, even during my most difficult days was such an enormous boost for me that it gave me a lift mentally as I faced down the next few months of treatment, radiation, immunotherapy, and multiple surgeries.
He knew that I would need that second book to focus on while I was stuck in a recliner for three painfully boring weeks after breast reconstruction and during the ensuing months of slow recovery where my movement and range of motion was extremely limited.
And he knew that when those content edits came back from my editors—along with tough/honest beta-reader feedback because my poor chemo-fogged brain had had difficulty with plot connections and character development—that it all would happen just about the time that the fog finally lifted and I would be able to clear-mindedly rework the plot, cut through the mess, untangle the character issues, rewrite the last 1/3 of the book, and transform it into a story I am proud to have in readers hands.
I never thought I would walk the valley of cancer but its easy to see, looking back, at how the Good Shepherd was by my side every step of the way and how gracious He was to work out every single detail in advance, to prepare the way before me, and to lend me the strength to persevere in both my fight against cancer and in my writing during a time of upheaval. And I pray that Voice of the Ancient is just as much a blessing to you as it was to me while sitting in the chemo chair.
Thanks for stopping by! In the comments below I'd love to hear how the Lord provided for you in a time of trial. What fruit did you see come out of that experience?
But Wait! Before you go!!
I am also giving away a fun prize package that includes an Illuminated Scripture Journal of Psalms (because Psalms encouraged me most during treatment), a daily "Be Still" Bible Journal, Once Upon a Time earrings, and a C.S. Lewis quote sticker.
Sign up on the Rafflecopter, it's super easy and requires nothing more than being on my email list (if you aren't already!) and there are a few ways to earn bonus points toward the drawing as well!
*US Only for gift package due to prohibitive shipping costs (I wish it weren't so!) but international winners will receive a $20 gift card to their online book retailer of choice!)