So honored today to welcome Lori Benton back to the blog to chat about her new book The King’s Mercy. If you haven’t yet had the pleasure of being thoroughly captivated by Lori’s characters, settings, and plots you must grab a copy of her newest novel now! Trust me – you’ll be thanking me for life 😀
Lori Benton’s novels transport readers to the 18th century, where she brings to life the Colonial and early Federal periods of American history, creating a melting pot of characters drawn from both sides of a turbulent and shifting frontier. Lori’s debut novel, Burning Sky, earned the 2014 Christy Award for First Novel, Historical, and Book of the Year.
GENRE: Inspirational Historical Fiction/Romance
RELEASE DATE: June 4, 2019
For readers of Sara Donati and Diana Gabaldon, this epic historical romance tells of fateful love between an indentured Scotsman and a daughter of the 18th century colonial south.
When captured rebel Scotsman Alex MacKinnon is granted the king’s mercy–exile to the Colony of North Carolina–he’s indentured to Englishman Edmund Carey as a blacksmith. Against his will Alex is drawn into the struggles of Carey’s slaves–and those of his stepdaughter, Joanna Carey. A mistress with a servant’s heart, Joanna is expected to wed her father’s overseer, Phineas Reeves, but finds herself drawn instead to the new blacksmith. As their unlikely relationship deepens, successive tragedies strike the Careys. When blame falls unfairly upon Alex he flees to the distant mountains where he encounters Reverend Pauling, itinerate preacher and friend of the Careys, now a prisoner of the Cherokees. Haunted by his abandoning of Joanna, Alex tries to settle into life with the Cherokees, until circumstances thwart yet another attempt to forge his freedom and he’s faced with the choice that’s long hounded him: continue down his rebellious path or embrace the faith of a man like Pauling, whose freedom in Christ no man can steal. But the price of such mercy is total surrender, and perhaps Alex’s very life.
Hi Lori! Welcome back to the blog!
Lori: Apples, but only if they’re baked (I’m allergic to raw apples!). I make hasselback apples without the oatmeal.
Carrie: Being allergic to raw apples is so sad – but at least you can make yummy baked apples!
Lori: Dogs, dogs, dogs. I don’t speak cat.
Carrie: me too (or either, as the case may be)
Lori: Coffee, but only one cup a day (then as much tea as I want, have you tried Stash’s Salted Caramel Mate?)
Carrie: Oooo no (because I don’t like coffee) but that sounds like it would be delish with hot chocolate (which i DO like)
Lori: In Oregon we get them together so I don’t have to choose! But if I had to choose? Mountains.
Carrie: This is why I’d love to live in Oregon one day – maybe in retirement lol. The mountains are my happy place but mountains with oceans would be even better!
Q: Around here I like to say that reading is my superpower. If YOU had a superpower, what would it be?
Lori: I’d like to be able to “dissapperate” (ala Harry Potter) so travel would no longer be an issue. I want to see so many places overseas but the inconveniences of travel are wearying. How lovely would it be to simply vanish from one spot and appear in another?
Carrie: That would be fabulous, especially since I don’t do airplanes.
Q: Who is your favorite book character from childhood?
Lori: Mowgli, from The Jungle Book (the Disney version came first, then the book). Why Mowgli’s story so resonated with me as a child is a mystery, but I’m still fascinated by characters caught between two worlds, and write about them every chance I get.
Carrie: oh i love that – how fun to see that theme you saw as a child in Mowgli come to life in your own stories!
Q: If I asked your characters to describe YOU as an author, what would they say?
Lori: I hope they would say I’m patient and a good listener! Some characters are talkative and spill everything about themselves before I can even ask. In real life that’s not always so charming but when I’m trying to fathom a character so I can write their story, it’s much appreciated. Other characters are more taciturn and I have to tease out their secrets. Or simply wait for them to “tell all” when they’re ready. That can be a little stressful when a deadline is attached!
Carrie: haha i bet!
Q: Which character in The King’s Mercy was the most difficult to write?
Lori: In The King’s Mercy, the most difficult character to write was Phineas Reeves, the overseer of Severn Plantation. It was never pleasant seeing the word through his eyes. No scenes in the novel are written from his point of view, but I had to understand that point of view in order to write him.
Carrie: that’s really interesting – that necessary part of the process so you could write him effectively.
Q: If Hollywood wanted to produce The King’s Mercy as a movie, who would you want to be cast as the lead roles?
Lori: I love casting my characters and am always on the lookout for actors or models who resemble them. The King’s Mercy threw me a curveball though, because Alex MacKinnon is a six-foot-five-inch Scotsman who looks like a raiding Viking (and is descended from one). The best I found for Alex was a model in an ad who resembles him from the neck up, but Joanna Carey looks a lot like actress Sarah Bolger.
Carrie: Excuse me while I drool over that description of Alex MacKinnon #SWOON
Q: What is one of your favorite quotes from The King’s Mercy & why do you love it?
Lori: From Chapter 14 of The King’s Mercy: “Whatever we pour our treasure into will ultimately captivate our hearts. What captivates our hearts we worship. What we worship remakes us—into its image.” This quote from the character Reverend Pauling is a hard-learned truth in my life and one I would shout from the rooftops as a caution for any lover of Jesus Christ serious about navigating this life successfully.
Carrie: oh that’s a great quote – and a much-needed reminder for all of us!
Thank you so much for taking time to talk with me! 🙂 Before we say goodbye for today, tell us what‘s coming up next for you.
Lori: The writing life after publication (as well as before) is peppered by periods of waiting. That’s where I happen to be right now. Waiting to see what’s next. I have more ideas for 18th century stories. My creative stove has many burners, so to speak, and there are always several projects simmering in various stages of doneness. I hope readers stay hungry for what’s cooking!
Carrie: This one is, for sure! 🙂
Lori Benton & WaterBrook Multnomah are offering a print copy of The King’s Mercy to one of my readers! (US only) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.
What about you? What interests you most about this book?