Connilyn Cossette: The Inside Scoop! with a giveaway

Connilyn Cossette



The Inside Scoop!


Connilyn Cossette

and her Biblical novel

Counted with the Stars

Bethany House


I grew up in… Spokane, Washington. And no, that’s not the rainy side of the state, but it is certainly very different from Texas! I miss the mountains and the soft green (fire-ant-free) grass, but I love the people in my adopted home-state.

I was inspired to write my first published novel by… my own personal Bible study in Exodus. I noticed that in Exodus 12:38 it said “a mixed multitude also went up with them” and I was intrigued about who these people were and why they chose to leave Egypt, and all their gods, behind to follow Moses.

The books that have most influenced my life are… Gone with the Wind, for inspiring a love of historical fiction, Jane Eyre, for inspiring a appreciation for masterful prose, the Narnia Series, particularly The Magician’s Nephew, for inspiring my imagination and giving me a deeper understanding of my Creator, and Anne of Green Gables for inspiring me to be a writer when I grew up.

My biggest challenge when writing is… procrastination (because, well, I am a writer) and perfectionism (because it’s hard to let art go without tweaking it to death).

One of my favourite authors is… Liz Curtis Higgs. I love all of Liz’s books, but her Scottish Series, which retells Bible stories set in historical Scotland, is so masterfully written and researched that I am in awe of her. They also gave me inspiration to look at familiar Bible stories with a different set of eyes.

If I wasn’t a writer, I would be… I have no answer to that. I can’t imagine not being a writer, I’ve come to realize that it’s been in my blood since I was a little girl. If I wasn’t a writer I would be a stay-at-home-mama, which is what I am anyhow, and I am so grateful to have that privilege.

The superhero talent I would love to have is… flying. I am optimistically holding the verse “they shall mount up with wings as eagles” Isaiah 40:31 as a literal promise in the kingdom to come, because I would like nothing more than to soar above the earth unfettered.

Counted with the StarsCounted with the Stars

A Story of Love, Desperation, and Hope During a Great Biblical Epoch

Sold into slavery by her father and forsaken by the man she was supposed to marry, young Egyptian Kiya must serve a mistress who takes pleasure in her humiliation. When terrifying plagues strike Egypt, Kiya is in the middle of it all.

To save her older brother and escape the bonds of slavery, Kiya flees with the Hebrews during the Great Exodus. She finds herself utterly dependent on a fearsome God she’s only just beginning to learn about, and in love with a man who despises her people. With everything she’s ever known swept away, will Kiya turn back toward Egypt or surrender her life and her future to Yahweh?

My latest novel can be described by these 5 adjectives… thought-provoking, compelling, faith-building, unique, fresh point of view. (I’ll admit, I cheated and asked my launch team to give me ideas!)

My main character is… a wealthy Egyptian girl who is sold into slavery by her father to satisfy his debts. She has sleek black hair and honey-gold eyes like the mother she adores. She holds fast to her worship of Egypt’s many gods until she meets a Hebrew girl named Shira who challenges everything she’s ever known. Kiya wants nothing more than to be free and to protect her mother and disabled brother from the terrifying plagues striking her country.

My main characters resemble… I have a hard time tying my characters to actors or actresses because it tends to affect their personalities in my imagination but Kiya resembles Tara Emad, a striking Egyptian model and Eben, my hero, is fashioned after an Israeli model named Nir Lavi.

A previously unknown fact about this novel is… that I wrote it mostly during naptimes when my kids were tiny and in the middle of the night, since I am a night owl.

My story’s spiritual theme is… two-fold. Kiya learns to embrace surrender to the God who loves her and freed her from slavery, and also learns to embrace her new identity as one of the “stars” of Abraham’s promise in Genesis 15:5. Both of these lessons are important for anyone who follows the Messiah.

While writing this novel I was challenged… to dig deeper into my own identity as a daughter of the One True King. Researching and writing the Out from Egypt series has taught me more about the Bible, my God, and myself than I ever expected.

The title was chosen by… me! I spent long hours arranging and re-arranging words on a piece of scratch paper. The book started out being called The Way in the Desert but one day Counted with the Stars came together on my scratch-page and I felt it encapsulated Kiya’s journey to becoming a part of the new nation of Israel so well. Besides, I just love the imagery!

As an author, the hardest scenes for me to write are… when someone dies. Because many times I become very attached to characters and when I have to kill one of them I stall for a very long time before writing the scene. There is a particular one in Counted with the Stars that was literally painful to put on the page and I surprised myself by crying as I did so.

The story I’m currently working on… is not yet a real story! I am brainstorming/plotting what comes next since I have just finished Wings of the Wind, the third book in the Out from Egypt Series—which is the story of a Canaanite woman who dresses as a man to head into battle against the Hebrews in vengeance for the deaths of her family as they begin their entrance into the Promised Land, after forty years of wandering in the wilderness. Alanah was a fun character to write and as different as night-and-day from Kiya and Shira. She’s fierce, and a great match for Tobiah, the Hebrew warrior who finds her on the battlefield!

You may not know this about me, but I… write in my closet. The only office in our house has no doors, and I was desperate for a door to close so I could write in silence, so I dragged a desk, a comfy chair, and all my books in and shut the door! Now if only my closet had a lock…because inevitably the kids, the husband, and the cats find me there.

If I could be a character in any novel, I would want to be… Anne Shirley (Anne of Green Gables) because her wonder at even the most mundane of things inspired me to look at the world with fresh eyes, even as a young girl. And who wouldn’t want a grander “scope for the imagination”?

Thanks Connilyn!

Relz Reviewz Extras
Visit Connilyn’s website
Buy at Amazon: Counted with the Stars or Koorong

Counted with the Starsrr

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23 Responses to Connilyn Cossette: The Inside Scoop! with a giveaway

  1. Morning. Leastwise, in comparison to my husband and former roommates. But I’m not one of those crazy get-up-at-5AM-for-the-fun-of-it kind of people.

  2. Well since I am an empty nester now, I find myself staying up later reading. I’m really enjoying this new me. I’m reading and loving it so much. I am sleeping in later in the mornings.

  3. I’m a mid-day kinda person…lol! I don’t like early mornings nor late nights. Usually am in bed by 9:30pm but read until about 10:30-11pm. I used to be a night owl when I was younger….lol! I think it changes as a person gets older. Like Dana mentioned about an empty nest, my son will be graduating this year so I won’t need to get up to get him off to school next year, I have no other kids at home anymore so sleeping in is nice!

    Thanks for the inside scoop & book giveaway!

  4. Hands down…morning person. I love the early morning.

    Thanks for the chance to win!

  5. Joyce * Heartwings

    Conni, I truly enjoyed this wonderful “getting to know you” blog. You are a very interesting and talented person. I am looking forward to reading “Counted with the Stars.” Thank you for answering God’s call and using your talents to the glory of God.

    I am sending you a FB friend request so that I can get to know you better. After considerable prayer, I founded a FB ministry called: Heart”wings” – a women’s fellowship a little over a year ago. I am going to invite you to join the group and will be sending you more about if you do friend me. Thanks, j

  6. I used to be a night owl. But due to my kids school, I have had to become a morning person so I am too tired to stay up so late.

  7. Always have been a morning person.

  8. I don’t really fit into either category. I do need more sleep than most people, but if I’m not tired I can stay up quite late. I love being up early, but often miss that pleasure, since I am too tired to get up. This sounds like a wonderful book and series.

  9. I’m not really one extreme or the other, but more of a night owl I guess.

  10. Great interview, Conni and Rel! Conni, I can definitely relate to a writer’s “procrastination” and I laughed when you mentioned writing in the closet–I used to read in the closet growing up, as my three little brothers thrived on pestering their older sister. :-) Your book cover is so gorgeous and your novel sounds wonderful. What a fresh new perspective on a timeless story! I look forward to reading your series.

  11. Kathryn DiDomizio

    What a great interview! I am more a night owl these days because with five kids I crave some time to myself, and that’s the only time I can seem to get it. I also tend to accomplish a lot in the mornings, so I guess I am really more of a little-sleep person!

  12. Having worked 7p to 7a for a 20+ years, I am pretty much a night owl. Even though I am pretty much retired, I still do not like to get up at the crack of dawn!

  13. I am a night owl. Mostly when I am in the middle of a great book. That happens a lot lately.

  14. I’m such a night owl! Mornings are hard.
    Thank you, ladies, for the lovely interview and opportunity to win this book!

  15. I am definitely a night owl. I come from a long line of night owls on my maternal side. I think that is why when we looked for jobs it was in the medical profession so we could work the swing shift. However in my case I worked as a switchboard operator and as a proofreader at a local paper.

  16. So good to learn more about you. I lived in Spokane for some three years … near Edwall, WA … among all the wheat fields. It was a wonderful time in my life. I’m a Texan and am back in Texas. But I’ll always cherish Spokane. :)

  17. I am most definitely a night owl! Thanks for hosting this great giveaway!

  18. More of a morning person but I have been known to stay up all night to finish a book I couldn’t put down until I’d finished.

  19. Wonderful interview Connie and Rel. I am a morning person. Thanks for the giveaway! :)

  20. Definitely, without a doubt, I am a night owl all the way! Mornings are hard! I usually experience my clearest thinking late at night (often as I am trying to fall asleep which can be a problem). I can stay up really late no problem, but try getting me up early and you will have a major struggle on your hands. It always takes me a while to really wake up. My kiddos have learned to give me some time in the morning before they start trying to engage me in conversation.

  21. NIGHT OWL… LOL I am the worst morning person ever!!! :)

  22. I’d love to read your book. I’m thankful for the giveaway.

  23. I am actually more productive from 10 am on. Even if I don’t sleep in, it takes me awhile to get motivated! Thanks for this giveaway.

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