Thursday, October 11, 2018

When Credits Roll...

I like to play music on long road trips when I'm off somewhere to do some landscape photography (or running to WalMart, whatever). I like to sing (if not particularly well). It helps keep me awake on those long drives. I've always wished I had some musical talent. I've tried. I really have. There's a cello sitting over in the corner, which I keep in hopes that one day I'll have the time to really dig in and learn it, music theory and all. But that is not this day.

Today I thought I'd throw out a fun post with some of my favorite songs, ones I could imagine rolling at the end of a movie, if my books were ever made into movies. There's only one book of mine thus far that I haven't found a song for.

Many Sparrows doesn't yet have a song, but one day it'll pop up on my radar. For now though, here's some that I think are fitting for my other books.

For my debut novel, Burning Sky, I'd choose the song Going Home by Mary Fahl (used in the film Gods & Generals) a song that always makes me think of Willa Obenchain, and her quest to find a home, both emotionally and physically. Check it out:

For The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn, I can well imagine credits rolling and the song I Won't Give Up by Jason Mraz (though I really love this cover by Peter Hollens) playing. I've never found a song that is more perfect for one of my story characters to sing to another. This one would be from Jesse Bird to Tamsen Littlejohn. It mirrors their journey through the story. Have a listen!

For The Pathfinders (The Wood's Edge, A Flight of Arrows) I'd choose Josh Groban's new release, Run. The first time I heard it I imagined Reginald singing parts of it to his daughter, Anna. And I imagined Anna and Two Hawks singing parts of it to each other. Other characters in the story seem to have a voice swirling through these lyrics too. This one makes me cry. Thanks, Josh.

I'm on the look out for that perfect Many Sparrows credit roll tune.... and one for my upcoming release, The King's Mercy, while I'm at it. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

5 For 5 Burning Sky winners!

Hey everyone! Thanks so much for sharing with me how you found my books, I enjoyed reading every one of your posts, even if I haven't had time to respond. I'm in the "final frenzy" stage of the content edits (first round, big story elements) of next year's release, The King's Mercy. I'm hoping to finish it in a matter of days, and at this stage I'm up at 4am and working for as long as the gray matter will keep firing, with no days off until it's done. has chosen my five winners for a signed copy of Burning Sky, out of my personal stash.

1. Elsie Upton

2. thatssewtori

3. Desdemona

4. Kathleen Newberry

5. Alexia Bryant

Congratulations winners! I'll be emailing you shortly for a snail mail addy and can have your copies of Burning Sky in the mail by Friday (when I need to come up for air from this edit to do a thing or two outside the house) :)

Monday, August 06, 2018

Burning Sky turns FIVE: let's party!

Happy Anniversary Burning Sky!

How can it be five years already that you've been on bookstore shelves? 

I'm thankful for those five years and for readers whose support has made it possible to go on telling the stories that have stirred my imagination and my heart. Shall we celebrate? 

Thanks for entering! Comments and drawing are closed now. I'll post the 5 winner's names in a new post tomorrow (Tuesday 8/14/18)

5 For 5 Book Giveaway!!!

~ 5 signed copies of Burning Sky
~ 5 winners (USA addresses only please)

~ Leave a comment below telling me how you discovered my books, include an email address (masked is fine!), and you're entered!

~ Drawing ends a week from today, August 13 (let's say around 9pm Pacific time AKA my bedtime). I'll close comments, then let do the drawing and post the five winners on August 14 (I'll contact each winner privately as well, unless you haven't given me your email, then I'll have to choose another winner so please don't make me do that!).

If you've already read my debut novel, enter for a friend who hasn't. Check out the Burning Sky: Extras page for a link to the first two chapters, which you can still read for free.

Thank you, dear readers!

*See below for the gorgeous new cover of Burning Sky's latest translation, in Romanian!

Burning Sky
WaterBrook Press (Penguin Random House)
August 6, 2013 
New York frontier, 1784 

Abducted by Mohawk Indians at fourteen and renamed Burning Sky, Willa Obenchain is driven to return to her family’s New York frontier homestead after many years building a life with the People. At the boundary of her father’s property, Willa discovers a wounded Scotsman lying in her path and she feels obliged to nurse his injuries. The two quickly find much has changed during Willa’s twelve-year absence—her childhood home is in disrepair, her missing parents are rumored to be Tories, and the young Richard Waring she once admired is now grown into a man twisted by the horrors of war and claiming ownership of the Obenchain land.
When her Mohawk brother arrives and questions her place in the white world, the cultural divide blurs Willa’s vision. Can she follow Tames-His-Horse back to the People now that she is no longer Burning Sky? And what about Neil MacGregor, the kind and loyal botanist who does not fit into her plan for a solitary life, yet is now helping her revive her farm? In the aftermath of the Revolutionary War, strong feelings against “savages” abound in the nearby village of Shiloh, leaving Willa’s safety unsure. 

Willa is a woman caught between two worlds. As tensions rise, challenging her shielded heart, the woman once called Burning Sky must find a new courage—the courage to again risk embracing the blessings the Almighty wants to bestow. Is she brave enough to love again?

* Oh, look! I love this new Burning Sky cover from the Romanian publisher.

Friday, July 27, 2018


This song goes out to Tamsen Littlejohn

from her Wildcat, Jesse Bird.

She knows why.

Tuesday, May 01, 2018

April Showers Giveaway Winners & News

A phone capture from my travels yesterday.
Wildflowers and an abandoned car at
Columbia Hills State Park, WA
Hi Everyone! I'm running a little behind today. As you'll know if you follow me on Instagram, I have another creative passion outside of writing and that's art. Right now it's taking the form of landscape photography and since I have such a marvelous playground in which to work, called The Pacific Northwest, I like to travel around to as many locations as possible during those times the writing schedule allows. What I'd intended to be a long day's road trip yesterday turned into 24 hours in my car, so I've been recovering from that all morning in the form of catching up on sleep.

But let's get to the winners of my April Shower Giveaway. Thank you everyone for entering and enjoying my books. Please keep spreading the word about them to your historical fiction loving friends! Very soon now I'll be diving into the first round of edits on my next release (still titled The King's Mercy, as far as I know, and slated for a spring 2019 release).

The six names drawn for the second prize of one signed print copy of Many Sparrows (and bookmarks):

Family K
Lucy Reynolds
Jessy Alvarado
Beth Bulow
Michelle Davis

The two names drawn for the first prize of a signed print copy of Many Sparrows and the audio CD version (and bookmarks):

Mary Hake

And for the grand prize of signed print copies and audio CDs of both Many Sparrows and The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn (and bookmarks):


Congratulations winners!!! I've contacted you each by email so hopefully you received those. If you don't receive the email today, drop me a note here please in the comments.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Many Sparrows Audio Version: An April Shower Giveaway

Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival, Woodburn Oregon. Photo by Lori Benton. April 2018
Thanks for the comments and entries. I wound up being away from my computer April 30 and am just getting back to close comments and the drawing now, early morning May 1. I'm going to get some sleep (been driving all night) and come back later today to do the drawing. See ya soon! Happy Spring, everyone! April has arrived and so have the showers and flowers (at least in my neck of the woods). It's also raining books around here.

I'm happy to have in my possession FOUR copies of the audio version of my latest release, Many Sparrows (WaterBrook Press 2017), published by Recorded Books, Inc. and read by Kate Forbes (who read The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn, my earlier novel which has a strong connection to Many Sparrows and quite possibly should be read right after it, even if you've read it before... just saying).

One of those copies of Many Sparrows is MINE. I've been a Recorded Books fan since long before I was a published author, and it's still surreal to hear my name announced as the author at the start of one of my audio books. Another fun fact: when I receive these author copies it's the first time I read my published books. This time was a longer than usual wait. But they're here at last and while I do keep one for my personal library that leaves three copies for me to give away. So that's what I'm doing. Right here. Right now.

Here's what to do.

If you have a USA mailing address, leave a comment on this post to enter and give me some way of contacting you (a masked email address would be great) in case you are the winner. If I don't have a way to contact you and your name is drawn, I'll have to draw another name (so sad, please don't make me do that).

If you want to enter more than once:

~ Follow me on my Facebook author page for an extra entry.
~ Follow me on Instagram for another extra entry.

Be sure and tell me you did so (and I'll check too) in your comment on this post, else I might miss it.

rizes to win

Grand prize: one randomly drawn winner will receive one audio CD copy each of the Recorded Books audio versions of Many Sparrows AND The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn, and a signed paperback copy each of Many Sparrows and The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn. Plus bookmarks!

First prizes: two randomly drawn winners will receive an audio CD copy of the Recorded Books version of Many Sparrows, plus a signed paperback copy of Many Sparrows. And

Second prizes: six randomly drawn winners will receive a signed copy of Many Sparrows (paperback) and yes, bookmarks!

The drawing will remain open until April 30th, at the end of which I'll close comments (the end of my day here on the west coast USA usually happens around 9pm). I'll draw names on May 1 and notify the winners via the handy email address you'll leave me in your comment. 

Thanks for all your encouragement and support, reader friends. I hope you are (or will be soon) enjoying my fifth novel. If you're just hearing about it now, here's what it's about:

Many Sparrows

Either she and her children would emerge from that wilderness together, or none of them would…

In 1774, the Ohio-Kentucky frontier pulses with rising tension and brutal conflicts as Colonists push westward and encroach upon Native American territories. The young Inglesby family is making the perilous journey west when an accident sends Philip back to Redstone Fort for help, forcing him to leave his pregnant wife Clare and their four-year old son Jacob on a remote mountain trail.

When Philip does not return and Jacob disappears from the wagon under the cover of darkness, Clare awakens the next morning to find herself utterly alone, in labor and wondering how she can recover her son...especially when her second child is moments away from being born.

Clare will face the greatest fight of her life, as she struggles to reclaim her son from the Shawnee Indians now holding him captive. But with the battle lines sharply drawn, Jacob’s life might not be the only one at stake. When frontiersman Jeremiah Ring comes to her aid, can the stranger convince Clare that recovering her son will require the very thing her anguished heart is unwilling to do—be still, wait and let God fight this battle for them?