Friday, December 6, 2013

Book Report: Burning Sky by Lori Benton

We invite you to comment, ask questions, chat, join our Facebook pages or follow our blog. A free copy of Lori's book will be announced in one week. Last week's winner is Martha Sturm!

I've never been to the hills of New York's Adirondack Mountains except for in the pages of Lori's debut novel, Burning Sky--what an enjoyable journey.

~~Poignant & Heartfelt, romantic frontier fiction birthed from a time of torn loyalties and shifting allegiance. 

Two allegiances. Three men. All of them tearing at Willa Obenchain's heart.

Torn from her home at age fourteen, Willa is abducted by Mohawk Indians and renamed Burning Sky. While her family is caught between the settlers and the British Crown after the Revolutionary War, Willa's heart is branded by her Mohawk family. When the ravages of war and disease strip away her future with the Mohawk, she returns home to reclaim her parent's land.

But much has changed.

She discovers Neil MacGregor, a wounded Scotsman, collapsed on her abandoned land and feels compelled to nurse his wounds. Her parents have long been missing, and Richard Waring seeks to usurp her land, claiming her parents traitorous allegiance to the Crown. Willa feels hopeless to disprove Richard in order to keep her land and must find proof of her parents loyalties in a town where strong feelings against "savages" still abound. Her Mohawk brother, Tames-His-Horse, arrives to call her back to the People, pulling her heart to the man who first opened her spiritual eyes.

And much has been lost.  

Can Willa reconcile her two worlds? Can she shed the shield around her heart that threatens to keep her alone and isolated from all she seeks to recover? Will her resolve to live a solitary life remain strong when the gentle Scottish botanist helps to revive her farm and her future?

Lori Benton spent her late teens and early twenties pursuing a career as a wildlife artist, attending the Maryland College of Art & Design before she began painting professionally. When not writing or researching, Lori can be found exploring the mountains of southern Oregon with her husband, Brian.

Tell us what parts of New York you've visited and what you loved about it.

Do the terms Tories or Loyalists ever confuse anyone when reading about 18th century history? If so, I encourage you to read the Author's Note blurb at the end of Lori's book before you begin the story.

What's your favorite thing about reading a story set on the frontier?

Blog post by Anne Love-
Writer of Historical Romance inspired by her family roots. 
Nurse Practitioner by day. 
Wife, mother, writer by night. 
Coffee drinker--any time.
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  1. I LOVED this book! I have never been to New York... I loved how this book was written and showed her struggle to fit in two very different worlds! One of my favourite reads for this year! I would love to own a copy!

    1. Thank you, Lisa! I'm thrilled to know how deeply Willa's story connected with you.

  2. I can't WAIT to read this book. :)

  3. I've never been to New York, state or city. In reading about the frontier I like descriptions of their everyday life and things they have to do that we take for granted.

    1. I agree Gail. We take SO much for granted.

  4. This book sounds so good! Yes, those terms have always been confusing to me. I love reading about the frontier because it always reminds me that I have it so much "easier" now than they did and they survived.

    1. Susan, Tories and Loyalists mean the same thing. It's a bit like saying "American" and "Yank." I call myself one of those. Folk living in other countries might refer to me by that other term. :) As Wikipedia puts it: Loyalists were American colonists who remained loyal to the Kingdom of Great Britain (and the British monarchy) during the American Revolutionary War. At the time they were often called Tories, Royalists, or King's Men.

    2. PS: just like those who did not remain loyal to the Crown during that war were called Patriots, or Rebels, depending on your point of view. :)

    3. And then you have the "settlers"...

  5. Ooh, I want to read this book so bad. :-D I love the revolutionary period, and I've heard so many good things about it!

  6. I would love to win this for a dear friend who doesn't have a copy and would love to get it to her as a present and see it reviewed on her site !
    Linda Finn

  7. I have been to New York City to see The Rockettes as a child and went to Niagra Falls . I just remember the lights and skyscrapers.
    As adult I have driven through Harlem and The Bronx.Loved the lights and opportunity to see new places.
    I love to read about how life was lived on the frontier and how people made it through .

  8. I went to college in Rochester, NY so I visited Niagara Falls several times, I grew up in Phila so I visited NYC several times and my husband is from waaaaaay upstate NY so I'm always up there. I didn't know Tories and Loyalists were the same thing. I always got Tories and Whigs confused, though. I've heard great things about this book!
    garfsgirl [at] hotmail [dot] com

  9. I love the storyline of this book, & have heard so many wonderful reviews of it! I have read numerous reviews by Lori, in which she related her illness, the problems it caused in her writing - the fact that she wasn't able to write for a period of time - & her determination to write again. I found it SO inspiring, & just want to thank you for persevering, Lori, & writing such a wonderful book!

    I have an added interest in the book, in that, I am a descendant of Marmaduke Van Swearingen - a white man, who, reportedly, was abducted by the Shawnee, renamed Blue Jacket, & made a war chief, because of his bravery. An outdoor drama, based on the story, ran for 26 years in Lima, Oh.. It has been rumored since, that DNA has confirmed that Marmaduke was NOT Blue Jacket. Guess I will never know?

    I have visited New York City - twice. I enjoyed viewing the tourist sites, but would not enjoy living there - too crowded, & expensive, for me!


    1. Bonnie--you are the winner of the free copy of Burning Sky, please contact me! :)


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