Guest Post: Stepping "Into" My Books by Connilyn Cossette, author of A Light on the Hill

Today, I'm so excited to have Connilyn Cossette on the blog today to share about her recent trip to Israel. If you're not familiar with Conni or her books, be prepared to be wowed! She brings biblical settings to life in her debut series, Out of Egypt. Her new series, Cities of Refuge begins with A Light on the Hill and will be released tomorrow!

Connilyn Cossette is the CBA Best-Selling author of the Out from Egypt Series. When she is not homeschooling her two sweet kids (with a full pot of coffee at hand), she is scribbling notes on spare paper, mumbling about her imaginary friends, and reading obscure out-of-print history books. There’s not much she likes better than digging into the rich ancient world of the Bible, uncovering buried gems of grace that point toward Jesus, and weaving them into fiction. Although a Pacific Northwest native, she now lives in a little town near Dallas, Texas. Connect with her at

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by Connilyn Cossette

I have often said that I am astounded that authors ever succeeded in writing books about long-ago and far-flung places before the internet. When I wrote the Out from Egypt series I utilized every possible website that would give me a flavor of the landscape, terrain, flora, fauna, and weather patterns of Egypt and Israel. I’ve become an expert Googler. Fortunately, with technology like Google Earth an author can pinpoint a scene’s setting, “virtually” plop themselves down right in place, and scan the area with surprising ease. 

But sifting through all the photos on the internet and using every virtual resource still does not equate to actually walking in the land in which my books take place. And it had been my prayer for years to go to Israel. Not only to see the Land of Promise, where my Messiah lived and breathed, but to taste, to smell, to hear, to touch, and to see the places that my fictional characters live out their stories. Thankfully, my prayer was answered this past December! I had the pleasure of traveling with Author Cliff Graham’s GoodBattle Tours for an intensive seven day tour of Israel with a fun group of people and finally got the chance to experience it all in person. 

Looking out over the Jezreel Valley, where a number of events in ALOTH take place, was a surreal experience. Across the valley I could see Mt. Gilboa (where a certain cave would be located) and down below stood Tel Megiddo (in which certain other things take place that I cannot talk about because: *spoilers*) and it was as if my fictional world had melded with reality. 

Although Moriyah and her friends never truly lived and breathed, I could see them there: walking across those ancient cobble stones, gazing up at the migdol towers that guarded the entrance to Megiddo, and looking over the fertile valley that has been fought over for thousands of years because of its perfect strategic location. 

It was a truly amazing experience to walk down a million stairs and through a long tunnel deep into the heart of Megiddo, where the Canaanites dug all the way down to the still-running spring below and from which women of the ancient past endured the never-ending and grueling task of hauling water to keep their families alive in times of siege. 

I also had the pleasure of standing atop Tel Beit She’an, an ancient Egyptian stronghold (after climbing another billion stairs), and looking towards Gan HaShlosha National Park where hot springs burst from the ground (a place where Moriyah soaked her aching feet and other spoiler-y type things happened…) and imagining our heroine’s flight toward the beautiful Jordan River Valley to the east.

One of my favorite moments however, was one that none of my fellow tourists were aware of and of which I have only a couple of blurry pictures because it was sunset and we were zipping along on the bus. After a day of touring fascinating places like Tel Dan (where Jeroboam’s golden calf once stood) and Caesarea Philippi (where I walked through the amazingly preserved remains of Herod Agrippa’s palace) we drove right along the edge of the Hula Valley and I looked across the landscape, over where a small lake once shimmered beneath the guard of the twin peaks of Mt. Hermon, to where Kedesh, a City of Refuge once stood. I almost felt that if I peered hard enough into the gathering dusk I could see one lone oil lamp flickering there on a stone window sill, guiding a manslayer to safety. 

Going to Israel was a dream come true for me and I came home with thousands of pictures, a renewed love and respect for the Land and its people, tons of precious sensory detail catalogued in my brain, and my inspiration-cup filled to overflowing. And you, my lovely readers, will reap the benefits, hopefully for years and years to come! 


Title:  A Light on the Hill
Series: Cities of Refuge, Book 1
Author: Connilyn Cossette
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Release Date:  February 6, 2018
Genre: Biblical Fiction
Links*: Amazon l Goodreads l Book Depository l CBD l Itunes

Though Israel has found relative peace, Moriyah has yet to find her own. Attempting to avoid the scorn of her community, she's spent the last seven years hiding behind the veil she wears. Underneath her covering, her face is branded with the mark of the Canaanite gods, a shameful reminder of her past captivity in Jericho and an assurance that no man will ever want to marry her. 

When her father finds a widower who needs a mother for his two sons, her hopes rise. But when their introduction goes horribly wrong, Moriyah is forced to flee for her life. Seeking safety at one of the newly established Levitical cities of refuge, she is wildly unprepared for the dangers she will face and the enemies--and unexpected allies--she will encounter on her way.

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.



  1. I enjoyed reading about Conni's experience in Israel, her books are so amazing! I am convinced they can only get better (not an easy thing, seeing as how they see already so good!!), especially now that she's been able to "walk in the land".

    1. Rosalyn, I totally agree! I'm so looking forward to her stories!!

  2. Wow! What a fantastic experience in Israel. I'm sure this trip will only enhance your writing. I would love to read this one. Thank you for the giveaway opportunity.

    1. Thanks Perrianne for stopping by. I also think this will just make her stories come to life even more!

  3. Am in the middle of my dream come true right now—visiting Israel. So interesting to think about your book in relation to some of the places i’m seeing. Just got to Jerusalem and have a few days there now. Thank you for sharing your talents and love of Israel with your readers.

    1. Wow Anne! Thank you for stopping in during your trip! Enjoy and have FUN!

  4. I'm going to Israel to attend the March of the Nations. We fly out on my birthday, May 4. I enjoyed reading about Connilyn's trip to Israel. The photos are amazing!

    1. How awesome for such an experience, and a memory on your birthday too! You must be so excited!


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