Tuesday, May 03, 2016

The 2016 Christy Awards....

Yesterday morning I drove up into the mountains early to go to the morning worship hour at my church. It was a lovely morning, a chance to talk with friends, watch a ministry door opening for a young woman I care about (one of the "bright arrows" A Flight of Arrows is dedicated to), then to talk with another of those bright arrows, and to hear one of them praise the other with words of affirmation and encouragement, which I got to pass along. 

A delightful morning already right? 

I headed home a little before 8am ready to get down to some writing on the New Book. I fixed some tea, settled in, then decided to check Facebook one last time before I started.

What a surprise to find a string of congratulation posts in my feed, and to realize last year's release, The Wood's Edge, is a finalist for the Christy Award in the Historical category! The press release had already gone live and I was happy to see many author friends on the finalist list as well. 


There will be an online event to announce the Christy Award winners here at the end of June. 

  The Wood's Edge (The Pathfinders #1)
WaterBrook Press (Penguin Random House)
April 21 2015 
ISBN-10: 1601427328
ISBN-13: 978-1601427328

At the wood's edge cultures collide. Can two families survive the impact?

The 1757 New York frontier is home to the Oneida tribe and to British colonists, yet their feet rarely walk the same paths.

On the day Fort William Henry falls, Major Reginald Aubrey is beside himself with grief. His son, born that day, has died in the arms of his sleeping wife. When Reginald comes across an Oneida mother with newborn twins, one white, one brown, he makes a choice that will haunt the lives of all involved. He steals the white baby and leaves his own child behind. Reginald's wife and foundling daughter, Anna, never suspect the truth about the boy they call William, but Reginald is wracked by regret that only intensifies with time, as his secret spreads its devastating ripples.

When the long buried truth comes to light, can an unlikely friendship forged at the wood's edge provide a way forward? For a father tormented by fear of judgment, another by lust for vengeance. For a mother still grieving her lost child. For a brother who feels his twin's absence, another unaware of his twin's existence. And for Anna, who loves them both--Two Hawks, the mysterious Oneida boy she meets in secret, and William, her brother. As paths long divided collide, how will God direct the feet of those who follow Him?

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Scavenger Hunt Winners at Stop #12

I hope you all enjoyed the Scavenger Hunt this past weekend, and discovered some great new books and authors. Thank you all who commented here on my blog for my drawing of three signed copies of The Pathfinders duology, The Wood's Edge and A Flight of Arrows. I read all your comments (even though here on the blog the latter half of them would not load to be viewed, they all reached me via email alerts and I kept track of them there) and enjoyed reading all you shared.

So without further ado, here are the three winners drawn by random.org.

1. Deena Peterson
2. Anonymous (jtholliday)
3. Crystal Balzer

An email has been sent to each of you. Congratulations!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt Stop #12

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 33 stops, in order, so you can enter to win one of our top 3 grand prizes!





  • The hunt is BEST VIEWED using Chrome or Firefox as your browser (not Explorer).
  • It is open to INTERNATIONAL entrants.
  • PRIZES include 3 sets of all 32 books, $500 in Amazon gift cards and many authors are offering additional prizes!
  • There is NO RUSH to complete this hunt--you have ALL WEEKEND. So take your time, reading the unique posts along the way; our hope is that you discover new authors/new books you might want to learn more about!
  • Submit your ENTRY for the GRAND PRIZE at Stop #33 (back on Lisa's site) by Monday night (4/25) at midnight mountain. 

Hello and welcome to my corner of the web. For this weekend's Scavenger Hunt it's my honor to host author Ruth Logan Herne! Ruth writes about cowboys and prodigals, God-interrupted plans and family legacies. And did I mention cowboys?! Read on to learn more about Ruth, her new series, and the men of the Double S Ranch....

East Coast Gal Writes Amazing Cowboy Romance!

Ruthy laughs when folks ask about her love of cowboys, because anyone who grew up watching old westerns, climbing trees, and pretending to gallop across the swells and valleys of Old Maplewood Park, would understand that love of cowboy lore is intrinsic… and the setting is simple geography.

Think “Bonanza” meets “Dynasty”. Envision a dysfunctional family, where early tragedy set in motion years of distance and discord, where lack of mothers meant a vital missing link for three boys who grow up to be wildly successful men… but each is missing something, an intangible they might not see or name, but an aching hole in their hearts… and their souls.

Meet the Staffords, the men of the Double S Ranch, three men and their father, men who need to reconcile the past before they can embrace the present… and the amazing women God brings into their future! Oh, how Ruthy loves, loves, loves a great romance!

Book one “Back in the Saddle” brings the prodigal back to Central Washington, and like so many modern-day families, the Staffords must learn to humble themselves enough to meet on common ground. And for dyed-in-the-wool stubborn men, humility doesn’t come easy, but mending family ties is the first step toward the romantic and loving future each brother needs… and deserves.

Multi-published, bestselling author Ruth Logan Herne is having the time of her life! With more than 3/4 million books in print, Ruthy loves the chance to touch hearts... and souls... with her warmth, humor and unforgettable characters. And because she's from a big family and has a big family, she's up close and familiar with "characters" of all kinds! Married for a long, long time, she lives on a small farm in upstate New York, loves God, family, America, dogs, chocolate and coffee... and she loves chatting with readers on Facebook! And because the groundhog was wrong, wrong, wrong, you can find her tucked in a heated room, writing her heart out, until spring really comes! And by the way? Tulips hate snow.

Here's the Skinny on Stop #12:

You can order Ruth's book on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, CBD or at your local bookstore!

Clue to Write Down: can be made

Link to Stop #13, the Next Stop on the Loop: Ruth Logan Herne's own site! 

Before you head off to Stop #13, I'm offering three sets of The Pathfinders series--The Wood's Edge and the brand new, just released A Flight of Arrows--to three entrants. All you have to do is leave a comment on this post. Include your name and an email address ("name[at]email[dot]com" is fine) so I can contact you if you're a winner. Winners will be drawn using random.org and announced on April 27th.*

Thanks for stopping by! Enjoy the rest of the hunt!

*While the Scavenger Hunt is open to international entrants, the drawing here on my site is limited to those with USA mailing addresses.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

A Flight of Arrows: Happy Release Day! And a Deleted Scene

It's release day for A Flight of Arrows, Book 2 in the Pathfinders series. Hope you've got your copy in hand.

Once you've read the book, check back here for the following scene that didn't make the final editing cut. It's actually more of an extended or alternate version of a scene that still exists in the finished book, but be warned, if you haven't already read A Flight of Arrows....


Lots of them!

You are warned....

Seriously, if you don't like spoilers stop reading this post now.

All righty then. If you're still with me I'm going to assume you've read the book, or spoilers don't flummox you none.

One of my favorite things to do while plotting and writing my novels is to be on the lookout for any and every chance to allow a character or two or three from a previous book to wander into the pages of the new story. Readers of The Pathfinders and my debut novel, Burning Sky, already know I've done this with two characters, Joseph Tames-His-Horse and Daniel Clear-Day, both of which I introduced in Burning Sky.

In the Pathfinders, Joseph has a smaller role, but Daniel Clear-Day has a much larger role to play. But originally I had intended to include a few other characters readers first met in Burning Sky.

In that book I mentioned the tragic history of the Waring family as it pertains to the Battle of Oriskany, and because that battle figures large in A Flight of Arrows, I thought it would be a gift to readers and fans of Burning Sky to let you see those characters on the eve of that battle. But the placement of the scene slowed the pace of the novel, and in the end it turned out the Warings did not play a significant enough role in the story to let them stay.

So without (much) further ado... this scene is an extension of the one you will have read that begins on page 261 of Chapter 32. It's told from Two Hawks's point of view, the evening before the battle when he crosses the ravine to check out Herkimer's gathering troops, camped near Oriska for the night....

Deleted/extended scene, A Flight of Arrows
Copyright 2016 Lori Benton, all rights reserved

For a camp full of white men, their noise was subdued. The clank of a pot, the chop of an axe, the hiss of water on embers, low voices conversing about food or gear. The whinny of a tethered horse. No music, no singing. Already some slept, rolled in blankets or laid out in trampled ferns.
Not one dressed exactly like another. Some wore tailed coats and waistcoats, their heads topped with fine cocked hats. Just as many were clad in fringed shirts of rough cloth or deerskin, floppy hats stuck through with feathers, moccasins on their feet. Most were armed with muskets, a few with rifles, their belts thrust through with bayonets, hatchets, knives, and pistols besides.
Many were hardly more than boys. Aside from a few who probably fought in the old war—their hard faces creased and watchful—he doubted whether most of them had seen battle. Then he grinned at such thinking. Neither had he seen battle so who was he to judge?
He was still grinning when a figure seated at a fire, his back to Two Hawks, caught his eye. Maybe it had been the unusual splash of color that drew his attention—the figure wore a red-checked shirt—but something else held it. The back was that of a young man, well-muscled, the hair pulled back and tied below a cocked hat shining blond in the firelight.
“Sam,” he said before considering that a spy might not wish to be named so freely, even among friends. Who could say?
But the young man turned at the name, gazing into the shadows with narrowed eyes searching, night-blinded by the flames into which he’d been staring. “Aye? Who’s there? That you, Keppler?”
It wasn’t Sam Reagan, but one who looked much like him, at least to Two Hawks’s eyes. He thought briefly of melting back into the shadows and moving on. But two others at the fire—one enough like the Red Checks who’d spoken to be his brother, and a man most likely their father—had spotted him.
He came forward into the firelight. “I took you for one I know. Another called Sam with the pale hair like yours.”
“An Indian,” said the other young one, then shot his brother a grin. “And he fancies your pretty blond scalp, Sam.”
“Hush, Nick,” said the older man. He had the same hair as the one he’d just admonished, darker than Sam’s pale shade but still blond. These three were among the more finely clothed Two Hawks had seen. No woodsman’s frocks or hunting shirts among them, but a coat with pewter buttons on the older man, the others in shirts and good plain breeches and boots.
The man beckoned Two Hawks. “Join us if you will. There’s coffee, not long since brewed. Elias Waring,” he added by way of introduction, as Two Hawks approached. “These rapscallions are my middle sons, Nicholas and Samuel. We’re from up along West Canada Creek—settlement called Shiloh—part of a new company attached to the Kingsland battalion.”
“The only part not fallen out back down the road,” Nicholas said.
“On account we brought our horses,” Samuel added.
“You are an officer?” This Elias Waring had the air of one, but looking the man over again for sign of rank, Two Hawks found none.
“I held the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel in the old French war,” Waring explained, taking up a tin cup off the ground and with a rag grasping the handle of a kettle at the fire’s edge. “At present I function as company captain.” He poured the cup half-full of steaming liquid and handed it to Two Hawks, who took it and sat down on a log drawn up to the flames.
“What are you called?” Waring asked.
The cup was too hot to hold. Two Hawks set it down. “Jonathan.” He glanced sidelong as the one called Nicholas dug an elbow into his brother’s ribs. The term praying Indian was muttered in a snigger.
Ignoring his sons, Waring said, “You’ve been ahead to the fort, scouting?”
“I have seen the fort, yes.”
“Have you news of the siege?”
Two Hawks related what he’d seen, from the coming of St. Leger’s advance patrol to the arrival of the main forces, and that many of the British troops were away west cutting a road to bring in the big rolling guns. “I have been as far west as Oswego, before St. Leger began his march.”
He felt some satisfaction as he spoke of all he’d seen in that place—including those ravens that had darkened the sky—seeing the gazes of these Waring men go from surprise at his good English, to keen interest in his words. For a moment it felt they’d forgotten he was an Indian talking to them. He took up the coffee and sipped it. Strong, but good. He’d developed a taste for the stuff in Schenectady, but didn’t swallow much, knowing it would keep him wakeful.
“Gansevoort blocked the water passage.” Waring chuckled. “That should make our work somewhat easier.”
“Not too easy,” Nicholas interjected, as if he resented the notion of an effortless victory.
“That’s right,” Samuel said. “We aim to kick some British tail before all’s said and done.”
“You’ll have your chance,” Elias Waring said.
Two Hawks exchanged a look with the man, one that made him feel much older than these lads probably just a year or two younger than he. He thought about Thayendanegea’s Indians, hundreds of them not working on that road. They would fancy these blond Waring scalps.
“St. Leger is not the only one with soldiers separated from him,” he said. “What of yours back down that road? Will they come along in time for kicking British tail?”
“’Course they will,” Samuel was quick to assert. “They’ll catch us up by daybreak.”
“That they will,” said a voice from beyond the firelight, deeper than the Waring brothers’, rough with fatigue and dry with thirst.
Two Hawks turned with the Warings as a blond, sun-browned giant stepped from the trees into the fire’s glow. Wearing a shirt of fringed deerskin over rough breeches, he was older than the lads at the fire, and one of the biggest white men Two Hawks had ever seen—tall as that Canadian Mohawk who’d come to Kanowalohale years ago, and been his friend.
Unlike his memories of Joseph Tames-His-Horse, this man was thick-muscled through the chest and shoulders. Probably he was handsome for a white man. Just now it was hard to tell with him glaring at Two Hawks with eyes like midwinter lakes. A breeze whipped the flames of the fire sideways to sputter and crackle. Two Hawks felt his muscles tense.
Elias Waring spoke. “I’d hoped you would return before we slept. Sit you down.” Waring turned to Two Hawks. “My eldest son, Richard. He’s captain of a ranger patrol for the Kingsland battalion. Richard, this is Jonathan, an Oneida scout.”
Richard Waring ignored the introduction. “I’ve news, Father. General Herkimer means to send runners tonight ahead to Gansevoort. He’s to send a sortie out to us if he hears our gunfire on the morrow—and give three cannon blasts once he’s received the message.” All the while he spoke, Richard Waring was eyeing Two Hawks. “Why is that Indian at our fire?”
“He’s here at my invitation,” Waring said, giving his son a cautioning eye. “He’s one of the scouts attached to the militia. They’re camped across the gully yonder.”
“I’ve had a look at them.” His father’s words didn’t ease the tension coming off that big man looming over them, refusing to sit at the fire—so long as Two Hawks shared it.
Two Hawks set down the coffee and stood. He didn’t look at Richard Waring again as he made his farewells to his kin, but felt that frozen stare drilling his back until the darkness hid him.