Author Lori Benton’s debut novel Burning Sky: A Novel of the American Frontier (WaterBrook Press, August 6, 2013), has been announced as a Finalist for The Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA) 2014 Christian Book Awards®, honoring Christian publishing’s best book and Bible releases of the year. Winners will be announced at the ECPA Awards & Anniversary Banquet, April 28, 2014, at Focus on the Family’s campus in Colorado Springs, Color.
Benton’s writing transports readers to the 18th century, where she brings to life the Colonial and early Federal periods of American history. Masterfully creating a melting pot of characters drawn from both sides of a turbulent and shifting frontier, Benton skillfully brings them together in the bonds of God’s transforming grace.
“Before WaterBrook Press acquired Burning Sky, historical novelist Lori Benton had been on a nearly 20-year journey to publication, during which she spent countless hours researching the history, developing unforgettable characters, and honing her craft,” stated Senior Fiction Editor Shannon Marchese. “The ECPA nomination is a tribute to Lori’s dedication and to the theme of the novel, God at work in all things for the good of His people.”
Burning Sky is set in the 1780s in the aftermath of the Revolutionary War and is the only historical fiction included as an ECPA finalist. The novel follows Willa Obenchain, a young woman who was abducted by Mohawk Indians at 14 and renamed Burning Sky. She is driven to return to her family’s New York frontier homestead after many years building a life with the “People.” Willa finds herself caught between two worlds as tensions rise against the “savages,” along with questioning her own place in the white world.
At receiving the nomination news, Benton stated, “I’m honored that Burning Sky is included among the novels of such shining lights as Tosca Lee, Lisa Wingate, Brandilyn Collins and Gina Holmes, whose stories accomplish what I long for mine to accomplish—moving hearts through the power of story.”
Benton’s forthcoming historical novel, The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn (WaterBrook Press, April 15, 2014), takes place in 1787 Western North Carolina and the State of Franklin during the historical conflict of the times. The story follows Tamsen Littlejohn’s escape from a harsh stepfather in search of freedom and repair of her own tattered identity.
For more on the ECPA 2014 Chritian Book Awards, click here.