What book should you read next? What words should you write next? Whether you're a reader, a writer, or both, you need look no further for ideas and pointers to help you make up your mind. You might even get your next book for free!

Sometimes I even give away my own novels. My Inspirational romances and devotionals are pictured below and are detailed on my Books page. You can always count on a trace of humor in my novels and nonfiction. Whether you're a teen or a woman mature in years, I think these stories will ring true.

Read on, and discover some of today's most appealing Inspirational novelists, their latest books, and their words of wisdom and imagination. Enjoy!

Monday, September 28, 2020

Lori Benton and Free Books!

Ian Cameron came to Mountain Laurel to claim an inheritance he never wanted, and he’ll leave a legacy he never intended.

Before we meet today's author, I want to announce that the winner of the free copy of Veronica Heley's cozy crime novel, False Conclusion, is:


Congratulations! We'll get your book right out to you. I encourage readers to keep commenting and/or subscribe at right (above my list of books) in order to learn about new releases! U.S. subscribers are entered in the drawings a second time when they comment.

And now let's revisit with novelist Lori Benton, author of the historical novel, Mountain Laurel (Tyndale House Publishers, September 2020).

Lori Benton was raised in Maryland, with southern Virginia and Appalachian frontier roots generations deep. Her historical novels transport readers to the eighteenth century, where she expertly brings to life the colonial and early federal periods of American history. 

Her books have received the Christy Award and the Inspy Award, and have been honored as finalists for the ECPA Book of the Year. 

Lori is most at home surrounded by mountains, currently those of the Pacific Northwest where, when she isn’t writing, she’s likely to be found in wild places behind a camera.

Please tell us one random thing we might not know about you.

I spent the summer after high school graduation working in the graphic art department of the Smithsonian Natural History Museum (the one with the giant elephant in the rotunda). My bus into the city arrived an hour early, but they let me in and for that hour each day, the entire summer, I had the museum to wander all to myself (and the cleaning crews).

How wonderful! Until recently, I was a D.C. girl, and that was one of my favorite museums, especially after having kids. 

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of Mountain Laurel.

Ian Cameron, a Boston cabinetmaker turned frontier trapper, has come to Mountain Laurel hoping to remake himself again—into his planter uncle’s heir. No matter how uneasily the role of slave owner rests upon his shoulders. Then he meets Seona—beautiful, artistic, and enslaved to his kin. Seona has a secret: she’s been drawing for years, ever since that day she picked up a broken slate to sketch a portrait. When Ian catches her at it, he offers her opportunity to let her talent flourish, still secretly, in his cabinetmaking shop. Taking a frightening leap of faith, Seona puts her trust in Ian. A trust that leads to a deeper, more complicated bond.

As fascination with Seona turns to love, Ian can no longer be the man others have wished him to be. Though his own heart might prove just as untrustworthy a guide, he cannot simply walk away from those his kin enslaves. With more lives than his and Seona’s in the balance, the path Ian chooses now will set the course for generations of Camerons to come.

What is it about Ian and Seona that will make your readers care about them?

Ian Cameron is driven by conflicting desires—pleasing his family and obeying his own honed sense of independence, but it’s his innate kindness and compassion that keeps rising to the fore.

Despite the limitations of slavery, Seona’s is an indomitable spirit. Naturally she hungers for freedom, but within those confines she seeks, and finds, self-expression.

How much prep work do you typically do before you start writing a novel?

The honest answer is, as much as is needed. That might mean years of pondering and throwing the occasional note into a file, or months of research, or weeks of intense plotting and character development. Most often it’s all three.

It looks as though you've become quite an expert on 18th Century American history because of the research you've done for your books. I'm going to have to dig deeper into your work!

What is the last novel you read that you would recommend?

I always enjoy Charles Martin’s novels. He strikes a good balance between fast pacing and deep characterization. I just finished The Water Keeper, which takes a deep dive into the perils of human trafficking and the toll it takes not just on its victims, but those who rescue them.

What are you working on now?

I’m turning in book #2 in the Kindred duology, Shiloh (Mountain Laurel is the first), this summer and will be editing it over the autumn. I’m also thinking about what might be next.

Where else can readers find you online?

Frontier Faith & Fiction (my website)

The book can be purchased online via the following button:

Readers, you can access the first chapter of Mountain Laurel HERE

Finally, Lori, what question would you like to ask my readers?

What’s your favorite historical period to read about?

Thanks, Lori, for visiting and telling us about yourself and your book. Readers, Lori has offered to give away a free copy of her book. To enter, leave a comment and your email below in answer to her question, above. "Please enter me" won't get you entered. Remember that U.S. subscribers are entered an additional time in each drawing. The drawing is done by email, so leave your email address, like so: trish[at]trishperry[dot]com.

Only United States residents are eligible for the drawing, but anyone can subscribe to the blog posts via the GDPA-compliant Feedblitz box above my list of books, at right.

Also readers, I'd love it if you'd connect with me on Facebook. Just click on my name at the right of today's post title.

Annoying legal disclaimer: as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases; drawings void where prohibited; open only to U.S. residents; the odds of winning depend upon the number of participants. See full disclaimer, GDPA notice, and my Disclosure of Material Connection HERE


kim hansen said...

Sounds good, cool cover.

Caryl Kane said...

Hello Lori and Trish! I enjoy several eras such as Regency, Medieval and Civil War.

Lori is one of my favorite authors!


Katie Andersen said...

I enjoy reading about several time periods. As long as the author makes it come alive, all time periods are fun! Regency and WW11 are sometimes a favorite for me. katie07edgar(at)gmail(dot)com

Lori said...

i love western, civil war, world war 2 and now small town cozies with animals

Elizabeth Litton said...

I enjoy Regency, Civil War, WWII, and other historical periods. Anything after the 1700's after usually! :D

eclitton at gmail dot com

MJSH said...

I’ve always been drawn to WWII era but really enjoy any historical setting before 1950s.

Anonymous said...

I honestly like a variety and have read a bit of Civil War and WWII and I think I need to read more WWI. I like colonial America, wagon train and gold rush eras.
perrianne (DOT) askew (AT) me (DOT) com
Perrianne Askew

Melanie Backus said...

I love the Civil War period, Wild frontier, the depression era.
mauback55 at gmail dot com

Trish Perry said...

I don't think I've read many historical novels set in ancient times, but I've enjoyed novels set during the 15th century on, just about any point in time. As Katie says, if the author brings the times to life, I'm in!

Faith said...

I feel like I'm a mood period fiction reader, sometimes I read a lot of WW2 novels, and other times I can get really into regency, so it really varies. Right now I'm going through a regency kick I think :)

crazi.swans @ gmail dot com

Lori Benton said...

Thanks for hosting me, Trish! I wonder if you would enjoy the Brother Cadfael mysteries, set in Shrewsbury on the Welsh border during the 1100s. It's one of my favorite mystery series. By Ellis Peters. There are 20 of them. Best to read them in order since there are a few continuing threads apart from the murder mystery each book features. I adore her writing.

Joan A said...

I like the Revolutionary War or Civil War periods. jarning67(at)hotmail(dot)com

Vie said...

Hi, Trish and Lori. I enjoyed reading the interview and the books sounds awesome. I love reading any period of American history.

vie at yahoo dot com

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the giveaway! This sounds like
a good historical fiction. It would be interesting to read to see if he follows God's leading or not. Vivian Furbay jtandviv (at) q (dot) com Unfortunately i can only read print books.

Lori Benton said...

Great to read about everyone's favorite historical eras. While I am most passionate about the 1700s, obviously, I like to read about many times periods, from ancient Iron Age Celtic/British and Old Testament Era Biblical fiction, through the first century AD (including Biblical fiction again). Also the early Medieval period, Regency, Victorian Era, and on up until WWII, where my interest seems to peter out, though now and then I like to read a contemporary set story too.

Gail H. said...

I enjoy the fifties, and anything during WWII. Also books with travelers to the west on wagon trains. And early settlers and their bartering their trip across the ocean.

Trish Perry said...

Lori, thanks so much for the Brother Cadfael mysteries recommendation! I've put that on my TBR list.

Paula Shreckhise said...

I love almost any historical period. I agree with the Cadfael mysteries. Have you seen the adaptation on PBS Mystery? With Derek Jacobi? They are fascinating and well done.
Thanks for the chance. paulams49ATsbcglobalDOTnet



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