The King’s Mercy: Giveaway & Interview with Lori Benton

Posted by on Oct 28, 2019 in Blog | 81 comments

The King’s Mercy: Giveaway & Interview with Lori Benton

A few years ago, Lori Benton’s Christy Award-winning debut novel, Burning Sky, blew me away and challenged my firmly drawn “favorite historical authors” circle. I’ve loved every novel I’ve read of hers since. Most recently, my book club read The King’s Mercy.

The King’s Mercy by Lori Benton

The King's Mercy by Lori Benton

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.


It was so good! With increasing tension and rich detail, The King’s Mercy had my friends and me asking each other, “Did you catch this?” “Did you catch that!?” and exploring the depths of the story and how we related to the characters and themes.



When I reached out to Lori for an interview, not only did she agree, but she offered to give away TWO copies of The Kings Mercy! Wow! Thank you, Lori! <3 <3 <3 I’ll add a $5.00 Starbucks eGift Card for each winner to join in the fall fun. : )Giveaway includes The King's Mercy by Lori Benton and a Starbucks eGift Card


Find instructions to enter the giveaway below the interview.


Without further ado…



Jenny: Lori, thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview! And for the two copies of The King’s Mercy! Wow! I’ve loved every fictional journey I’ve taken with you, and I’m excited for more readers to experience the same. <3

There is much courage required and displayed by certain characters in this novel. How have you been courageous in your life?

Lori: It took courage to write again after experiencing a mentally crippling bout of chemo fog after cancer treatment for lymphoma. The fog lasted nearly five years before finally a set of characters began nudging at me to tell their story—and I felt a passion for it I thought might just be strong enough to overcome the challenges cancer had left me facing. Still there were some edgy issues in this story that would demand a lot from me, maybe more than I had to give, and maybe they wouldn’t be accepted in the market I wanted to write for and maybe… but the characters wouldn’t be quiet and when all the insecurities were stripped away this truly felt like the story, the time. That the healing I’d prayed for had finally begun.

I wrote to a trusted friend who’s also a fiction editor and ran the story idea and my concerns by her. She didn’t hesitate to tell me to write it and not worry about all those maybes. That was all I needed to hear, a confirmation of what my heart, and I believe the Lord too, had been telling me.

The story took four years to complete as I retrained my chemo-damaged brain to write, but that was the story that finally landed me my agent, who believed in it but wasn’t able to sell it… for another ten years. Earlier this summer it was contracted by Tyndale House and it will be my next release, most likely in early 2021. I’m very excited and look forward to sharing more news about it in the coming months.


Jenny: Wow! What an inspiring story! I’m so glad God healed you and gifted you that encouraging friend. How neat to find out that Burning Sky, though your first published novel, was not your first completed novel. I can’t wait to find out what’s in that long-awaited story!

Jenny: On page 199 of The King’s Mercy, a character says, “Home’s elsewhere. I aim to find it.” Home is one of the themes of the book. Where is home to you? What makes it home? What advice or help do you have for someone looking for a sense of home?

Lori: Twenty-five years ago we moved three thousand miles to live in Oregon. We didn’t know anyone in the town we’d chosen. Neither of us had jobs waiting. We moved to be part of a church called Applegate Christian Fellowship after listening to the pastor teach on his radio program for years. Jon Courson teaches through the Bible, chapter by chapter, book by book, and we were hungry for the meat of God’s word. So before we ever felt at home in any other way in Oregon our spirits felt it. Very soon after that God provided in other ways—work, fellowship, our first house, and the discovery of this gorgeous region of the country we had come to.

My advice to someone looking for a sense of home would be to put the most important thing first—be sure your spirit is being fed through solid teaching of His word, and in godly fellowship, wherever you decide to call home.


Jenny: Great advice. <3 I love watching how God guides and provides for us. My parents moved our family to Texas when I was two years old to obey the Lord’s leading to help plant a church. What an adventure it is to follow the Lord.

Jenny: Some of the characters in The King’s Mercy go through tragic circumstances. One character mentions that God will even work things you didn’t want for your good. Do you have any examples of that in your life?

Lori: Again with the cancer stories, but that was a time God showed me many things I’d never have learned by any easier road. One of those things was deepening my understanding of how a person can come through a season of suffering and surrender with a stronger trust in His goodness and grace. This manifested itself clearly in one of my favorite characters, Neil MacGregor, the hero in my debut novel, Burning Sky.

Neil MacGregor was initially created to be the hero in a novel set on the Oregon coast during the 1990s (contemporary when I was writing it). He had a back story of physical injury and dyslexia similar to what he experienced in Burning Sky, but the character readers would have met in that other story was coping with it very badly. He was bitter and unpleasant and all but defeated. My cancer journey interrupted the writing of that book. I never finished it.

Years later, when I began Burning Sky, I realized the character of Neil MacGregor, translated into an 18th century setting, would be perfect for the role I needed to fill. Yet when I got him on the page and started re-telling his story, I discovered he had changed in some fundamental ways. Because I had changed in those ways. I now knew what a journey of trust through a difficult situation looked like. I knew what surrender of a large part of one’s identity (in my case as a writer) looked like as well. And so I wrote a Neil MacGregor who understood that weakness doesn’t necessarily equate to limitation, but can be a stage for God’s strength and grace to shine the brighter.

Jenny: That’s beautiful, Lori. I’ve reread those last four sentences several times. <3


Jenny: How about some “just for fun” questions. : ) Do you have a favorite dessert?

Lori: I love to bake. I’m told I make a pretty awesome chocolate cake!


Jenny: Yum! Do you have a favorite movie?

Lori: This changes all the time. For a while it was Dances With Wolves. Then it was Ever After. It’s also been A Knight’s Tale and Amazing Grace and Last of the Mohicans. These days I could watch The Lord of the Rings movies over and over, even the Appendices (behind the scenes). I’m fascinated by the process of movie-making, the collaboration of it all, especially the way Peter Jackson goes about it.

Jenny: Yes! I LOVE The Lord of the Rings!! And the commentaries are so fun and fascinating! I once had a dream that I was on the cast. LOL! I sure wanted to be. You know what else I love? Your Instagram page. I wish I could take a Narnian leap into your landscape pictures and join you there. Do you go to the woods often? Or just take lots of gorgeous pics when you get to go? Do you have to take precautions for wild animals and ticks?

Landscape photography by Lori Benton, author of The King's Mercy

Lori: Thank you, I appreciate that. Landscape photography has combined two of my hobby loves, hiking and visual arts (I was an art major in college). I don’t get out as often as I’d like to, because so much of what I want to photograph is farther away than a day trip and that can get expensive. Plus there are limits to where I’ll go and what I’ll do alone (my husband’s work schedule isn’t as flexible as mine), which addresses both questions. I do tend take a ton of photos whenever I go out so I can edit and post them for months (for instance, as I write this I’m uploading over 500 photos taken over the course of four days, not all of which will be good ones, of course!).

I’m careful about being in bear/panther/wolf country. I don’t venture too far into wilderness alone. I’ve had more than one bear encounter, in company with my husband, only one of which was scary. And once we saw Oregon’s first wolf, OR-7, step out onto a logging road and look at us briefly before melting back into the forest. That was one of the most surreal moments of my life. As for ticks, they don’t seem to be a presence at the elevations I usually hike and photograph, though in certain areas they are. I generally stay away from those.

Jenny: Wow! That is amazing. I live in the city, but I love wildlife. Any animal sighting is a treat. We saw a coyote yesterday, and it made our day.

What advice did someone give you once that has stuck with you?

Lori: Don’t ride the clutch, and the left lane is only for passing. Thanks, Dad!

Jenny: Aww. Love that Dad advice! : ) What advice would you give yourself if you could go back to when you were a teen?

Lori: I was a 17 year old church kid when I finally grasped what it meant to have a walk with the Lord that could (if I let it) impact and transform me every moment of every day, and that I didn’t have to navigate life by my own understanding. I would go back and explain that to my fence-sitting 13 year old self in the hope that lightbulb moment would happen a little bit sooner.


Jenny: I’m so thankful for the Lord’s presence, care, and instruction in my life! It makes all the difference. <3

And I’m thankful for you! Thank you, Lori, for letting us get to know you better in this interview and for all the hard work and time you put into crafting such breathtaking novels. We love you!!! Thanks for the two giveaways, too! <3 <3


Ways To Enter the Giveaway

  1. Leave a comment here on the blog.
  2. Like and leave a comment on my related Facebook or Instagram giveaway post.

I’ll put entries from all three places in the hat, so feel free to enter as many as you’d like! And if you know someone who’d love The King’s Mercy, tag them. I’ll count those as entries, too.

The contest begins now and ends Thursday, November 14, 2019 at 9:00 pm Central Time.

Not affiliated with Facebook or Instagram.

(***Restrictions/Giveaway Rules posted below.)



One Last Thing…

Want to stay connected with Lori? Here’s where you can find her:


Instagram (Her photography is just as breathtaking as her books!)





I’d love to keep in touch, too! Join my newsletter here, and I’ll send you a free PDF of my short story, Sweet Sentiments, as a welcome gift. <3

Sweet Sentiments by Jenny Snow


Happy reading!




***Giveaway Rules: Must be 18 to enter. Only two randomly selected winners will be chosen. Each winner will receive a paperback copy of The King’s Mercy and a $5.00 Starbucks eGift Card. Winners will be contacted and then given 48 hours to respond with a mailing address for the book and an e-mail address for the Starbucks eGift card. Any winner who doesn’t respond within 48 hours will be disqualified from winning and a new winner will be chosen. Photo props not included. Contest only open to residents who live in the contiguous United States of America.



Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


  1. Book sounds so interesting!! Beautiful picture!! Very neat interview.

    • Thank you, Kayla! It was a joy to interview her. You’d love her books!!

  2. Great interview! Makes me want to read the book!!!

    • You will love it! <3

  3. I loved hearing Lori’s heart and story.❤️ Great interview, and the book sounds phenomenal!

    • Me too. <3 Thank you for taking the time to say so!

  4. Love Lori Benton’s books!

    • They are SO good! <3 Thanks for chiming in, Candy!

  5. Great interview! I love Lori’s books! I even had the pleasure of meeting and spending time with her. She and another author we are friends were doing some traveling and came to area. We spent three great hours together at one of favorite places to spend time.

    • Wow! What a special treat! <3 <3 Thanks for sharing, Beverly! I'm glad you enjoyed the interview.

  6. Thank you for the chance ❤️🤗

    • You are so welcome, Mia!

  7. So thankful that Lori has come through her journey with cancer. She is such a gifted writer. I was mesmerized by her Path Finder series and thrilled to hear she has a new Tyndale contract. I plan to read all her books!

    • Me too, Joan. I know too many people who’ve had to fight cancer. I’m so glad Lori is doing well now. <3 Thanks for stopping by! Such a joy to "meet" a fellow Lori Benton fan!

  8. Wonderful interview! I’d love to read the book too!!❤

    • Thank you, Keziah! I’ve got your name in the hat!

  9. Awesome interview and the book sounds intriguing.

    • Thank you, Joni! I appreciate your kind words. I’ve got you entered into the drawing.

  10. Looking forward to reading The King’s Mercy. Thanks for this interview to help us get to know Lori Benton a little bit.

    • My pleasure, Bonnie! You will love the book! I’ve got your name in the hat.

  11. Jenny, thank you for the introduction! I look forward to reading Lori’s books!

    • Thanks, Eileen! I love being a matchmaker between fellow readers and amazing authors! <3 Lori is one of the best.

  12. Would love to read Lori’s latest. Thanks for the giveaway opportunity! 🙂

    • You’re welcome, Cheryl! Thanks for entering!

  13. I love Lori Bentons books! What a wonderful and moving interview! Thank you for sharing!

    • You are so welcome, Tobia! <3 Glad to hear we enjoy the same author! <3

  14. I would really like to read this book!

    • It’s so good! Thanks for entering, Heather! I hope you’ll get to read the book! 🙂

  15. I really enjoyed reading the interview above. I would like to read your books as they sound very interesting. Thank you

    • Patricia, so glad to hear you enjoyed the interview and are interested in Lori’s books. <3 She is such a talented author! I've got your name in the drawing. : )

  16. Your courageous story of cancer is inspiring. I have chronic neurologic lyme disease. I have been housebound and disabled for 10 years. And I would never want this for anyone but i have truly found God and seen him work in my life in ways i would never have seen otherwise. Reading is my joy now and i love to read your book.

    • Thank you for sharing, Mary. I’m so sorry you have to deal with that. 🙁 However, I am glad you’re close to the Lord and have seen Him work in your life. <3 Blessings to you, and I hope you'll get to enjoy this book!

    • Blessings to you Mary! God is so faithful, always, even to give us the eyes to see Him at work in our weakness.

  17. I really love her testimony of finding characters to write about again. Also, the testimony of waiting… 4 years to write the book, 10 years to publish.

    • Yes, I found that very encouraging, too. It’s great when we get to see God reward those who don’t give up on day-after-day faithfulness to what He’s called them too. <3

  18. i love the Christan authors and Lori Benton is right there. so inspiring.

    • Yes, she is! There are some great ones out there, and Lori is among the best, in my opinion. <3 Thanks for chiming in, Judy!

  19. Looks like I have a new book for my tbr list.

    • Yaaaay! You will love it!

  20. Sounds like an interesting book

    • It was, Tammy! I hope you’ll get a chance to enjoy it.

  21. I would love to read Lori’s book. Thank you both for this contest.

    • You’re welcome, Phyllis! I hope you get a chance to read her book. It really is a moving story.

  22. Great interview! I discovered Lori last year and have followed her beautiful Instagram pictures. I had no idea she was a cancer survivor. It makes me love her more for being courageous. Thank you for sharing your personal story Lori.
    Thank you both for this opportunity!

    • Yes, she is such a beautiful picture of what God can do in a person. Definitely an inspiration to do the hard work and see where God will take it. Thank you for stopping by, Jessica! (Do you prefer Jessy or Jessica?)

      • Ha, I respond to both and also get called Jess and Jesse James 😆.
        It was a pleasure stopping by. Great interview!

        • Lol! Good to know. : )

  23. Loved getting to know more about Lori!

    Can always connect to the themes in her books.

    Can’t believe I’m gonna say it, but… she’s my favorite author, hands down!

    • Awwww! <3 That is awesome! You have great taste, Elizabeth! She is a fave of mine, too. <3 <3

    • Congrats, Elizabeth! You won one of the copies! Woooohooo! Please check your email for a message from me so that you can send me your mailing address. : ) Thank you!!

      • So exciting, thanks so much!! Just replied. 🙂

        • Wonderful! We’ll send your book and coffee ASAP!

  24. Can’t wait to read your books

    • You can’t go wrong with a Lori Benton book! : )

  25. This book looks and sounds amazing! I love the river picture! It makes me want to go there and just listen to all the beautiful sounds of nature. 🙂

    • So glad you entered, Jessica! I think you’d love this and any of Lori Benton’s novels. Ditto on the river! Sigh… <3

  26. Loved this interview!!!

    • I’m so glad, Morgan! Thanks for taking the time to say so! <3

    • Congrats, Morgan! You won! Check your email inbox for an email from me asking you for your address. Woohoo!!! : )

  27. I have loved all of Lori’s books! Looking forward to reading her newest one. It sounds wonderful!

    • I’m so glad to hear it, Bonnie. : ) You will love it!

  28. I cannot believe how long the publishing process takes. Authors need a lot of stick-with-it!

    There’s nothing like expository preaching!!

    • Yes! I am awed and amazed at the time and dedication it takes just to complete a book, let alone a book that moves you in the deepest way. I have so much respect for authors like Lori. Thanks for chiming in, Amanda!

  29. She is a new to me author! I’d love to read this! 😀

    • Thanks for chiming in, Sabrina! Lori Benton is definitely an author worth reading. Her novels are special and moving.

  30. I read “The Woods Edge” a couple years ago; my only complaint was that it didn’t have enough of some characters in it—it could have been twice as long and I would still have read it! 🙂

    • You have great taste, Kristy! The Woods Edge is one of my favorites of Lori’s. So dramatic, fascinating, and romantic! I also loved The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn. <3

  31. Thank you for the chance to win the book.

    • You’re welcome, Margaret! I’ve got your name in the hat.

  32. Sounds interesting! Thank you for sharing 🙂

    • You’re welcome, Natalya! I hope you get a chance to read it!

  33. I’ve been wanting to read this one for awhile! I love Lori’s books!

    • Me too, Melissa! This one did not disappoint!

  34. The interview was so interesting!
    Thank you to you and Lori.

    • Awww. Thank you, Tami. I appreciate your taking the time to say so.

  35. Great interview! This book sounds intriguing. I love reading books set in early America.

    • Thank you, Amy! I’ve got your name in the hat! (I love those early America books, too. Have you read The Lacemaker by Laura Frantz? That is another good one!)

  36. Thank you for highlighting the effects of chemo brain. It is not an easy thing. I am looking forward to this book even more because of how God used you.

    • Yes, I appreciated that too, Sonnetta. I find it inspiring how long she waited and how hard she worked to finish that novel. Truly a work of heart and perseverance blessed by the Lord.

  37. Inspirational and courageous! Grateful for her to be on this side of a hard time. Grateful for the sharing that encourages others! Blessings!

    • I agree with you on all three points, Shirley! So much to be thankful for. Thank you for chiming in! <3

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