The Journey of Runs-Far
a Kindred novella
A final journey uncovers the hidden wounds of an old man’s soul, as he clings to hope that the God who redeemed him long ago has saved the greatest miracle for last.
Tennessee Country, 1798
Runs-Far, beloved elder of the Cherokee, lays dying. While family and friends gather to mourn, Runs-Far dreams of Sedi, the wife who bore him two children and was carrying a third when she was captured by white soldiers, and never seen again. For the next forty years, Runs-Far taught his people the ways of Jesus, yet Sedi’s loss distanced him from the God he served. In his dream, his long-vanished wife accuses him of abandoning his search too soon. Even Creator is telling him it is not his day to die—he has unfinished business. But Runs-Far is old. Learning what happened to Sedi will lead him through lands settled by white men. He cannot go alone. Blue-Jay, his son, must go with him.
Blue-Jay fears to lose a father as once he lost a mother—a loss over which he still carries guilt. Dare he believe forgiveness lies in making a journey seemingly born more of folly than faith? If he and his father find what they seek, will they wish they hadn’t? Knowing only that the journey begins at MacKinnon’s Cove, where Runs-Far abandoned his search long ago, the two set out from the mountains of their home with little more than hope to guide them.
#2 in Kindred series
A year has passed since Ian Cameron reluctantly sent his uncle’s former slave Seona and their son, Gabriel, north to his kin in Boston. Determined to fully release them, Ian strives to make a life at Mountain Laurel, his inherited plantation, along with Judith, the wife he’s vowed to love and cherish. But when tragedy leaves him alone with his daughter, Mandy, and his three remaining slaves, he decides to return north. An act of kindness on the journey provides Ian the chance to obtain land near the frontier settlement of Shiloh, New York. Perhaps even the hope for a new life with those he still holds dear.
In Boston, Seona has taken her first tentative steps as a free woman, while trying to banish Ian from her heart. The Cameron family thinks she and Gabriel should remain under their protection. Seona’s mother, Lily, thinks it’s time they strike out on their own. Then Ian arrives, offering a second chance Seona hadn’t dared imagine. But the wide-open frontier of Shiloh feels as boundless and terrifying as her newfound freedom—a place of new friends and new enemies, where deep bonds are renewed but old hurts stand ready to rear their heads. It will take every ounce of faith and courage Ian and Seona can muster to fight for their family and their future . . . together.
Award-winning author Lori Benton delivers a rich historical novel of faith, hope, and second chances.
#1 in Kindred series
North Carolina, 1793
Ian Cameron, a Boston cabinetmaker turned frontier trapper, has come to Mountain Laurel hoping to remake himself yet 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.
A story of choice and consequence, of bondage and freedom, of faith and family.
The King's Mercy
When captured rebel Scotsman Alex MacKinnon is granted the king’s mercy–transport across the Atlantic Ocean and exile to the colony of North Carolina–he’s indentured as a blacksmith to Edmund Carey, prosperous owner of Severn Plantation. The arrangement devastates the Scot who mourns the life he lost and finds life on a slave plantation intolerable. Unwittlingly, Alex is drawn into the plight of Carey’s slaves, particularly those connected to Carey’s stepdaughter, Joanna.
A mistress longing for a different life, Joanna Carey is expected to wed the plantation’s overseer, Phineas Reeves, who has no patience for her kinder vision for Severn’s future. For guidance, Joanna relies on itinerant minister Reverend Pauling, who travels to the plantation seasonally, bringing the gospel to all with ears to listen.
Despite his growing bond with Joanna, Alex longs to break the chains of servitude and forge his freedom, until he’s face with the choice that hounds him: continue down his destructive, rebellious path or embrace the faith of a man like Pauling, whose freedom in Christ no earthly power can steal. But the price of such mercy is total surrender and perhaps Alex’s very life.
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?
A Flight of Arrows
The Wood's Edge
The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn
Frontier dangers cannot hold a candle to the risks one woman takes by falling in love
In an act of brave defiance, Tamsen Littlejohn escapes the life her harsh stepfather has forced upon her. Forsaking security and an arranged marriage, she enlists frontiersman Jesse Bird to guide her to the Watauga settlement in western North Carolina. But shedding her old life doesn’t come without cost. As the two cross a vast mountain wilderness, Tamsen faces hardships that test the limits of her faith and endurance.
Convinced that Tamsen has been kidnapped, wealthy suitor Ambrose Kincaid follows after her, in company with her equally determined stepfather. With trouble in pursuit, Tamsen and Jesse find themselves thrust into the conflict of a divided community of Overmountain settlers. The State of Franklin has been declared, but many remain loyal to North Carolina. With one life left behind and chaos on the horizon, Tamsen struggles to adapt to a life for which she was never prepared. But could this challenging frontier life be what her soul has longed for, what God has been leading her toward? As pursuit draws ever nearer, will her faith see her through the greatest danger of all—loving a man who has risked everything for her?
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?