Hope and the Knight of the Black Lion
An earl’s son tempts seventeen-year-old-Hope to rebel against an arranged marriage in medieval England. Colchester Manor is attacked and Hope’s family is missing. Only two men, one a memory-keeper for a thousand missing Crusaders, the other a nameless champion, know Hope isn’t mad when she names the attacker. But only one of them wants her alive to get justice.
“Sir Knight. I hear that thou wilt not say thy name nor thy true business to anyone. ”
“It is a vow I have made, that Baron Cloyes must be the first in England to know of these things. ”
“Man, thy story might turn my heart completely to thy cause,” Lord Godwin said.
“It matters little now, my lord. ” Sir Chris coughed several times. “The earl has said I am to be made to confess to the burning of the manor house. To that I cannot confess, and so … Lady Hope?”
“Yes, Sir Chris?”
“I am sorry I could not help you,” he said in a voice I could scarcely hear. “I am sorry, too, that you were not persuaded to know Christ.”
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Illuminated Hope and the Knight of the Black Lion (Illustrated in the style of an illuminated medieval manuscript. Please click on the “Images” link at the top of the blog page to view samples from this version.)
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Benny and the Bank Robber (free — Book one in the Benny and the Bank Robber series)
Be sure to go to our Issues Nonfiction and Homeschool Curriculum page to see the student and teacher edition study guides for this book.
Ten-year-old Benny found the drunken cart driver who caused his father’s death, but he’s got bigger mysteries to solve. A long, sharp knife, a bag of disguises and a savage black stallion don’t reassure Benny about his traveling companion to frontier Missouri. Still, Benny can’t shake the Scripture’s promise that God “will never leave thee nor forsake thee.”
“How come you stopped the barge if you already had a good horse? And why were you hiding that black bag under your saddle?” Benny kept talking, so fast that Mr. Clancy couldn’t have answered his questions if he had wanted to. And he certainly didn’t seem to want to.
“It looked just like the bag Mr. Carlisle put on the train — and the one that man in the black suit was carrying. What was in all those bags? Or — was that you pretending to be somebody else again? Were you the one that killed that man at the bank and stole the money?”
Mr. Clancy had been staring at him all this time without moving. Suddenly he jumped forward and grabbed Benny. He covered Benny’s mouth with one hand and with the other pulled out a big, long knife. Holding Benny so tight it hurt, he laid the knife up against his throat and whispered in his ear.
“I guess you do get to go along with me, after all, Benny my boy,” he hissed. “But somehow I don’t think we’ll make it to Uncle Tom’s. The chickens’ll be so disappointed.”
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Doctor Dad (Book 2 in the Benny and the Bank Robber series)
What could be easier than getting Benny’s mother remarried? Delay after delay of every one of Benny’s plans shows him he may have to wait for God to “Make all things new.” Identical twins Rose and Violet Mitchell make Benny’s head spin. A mysterious secret society at his boarding school might have deadly plans for Benny. Has Benny’s Doctor Dad prepared him for times as hard as these, even for the temptation of the privilege and comfort his grandfather’s wealth can give him?
That night Benny took one more look through his footlocker. Suddenly he noticed a slip of paper tucked into his winter boots. He pulled it out and opened it.
“The box is the key. Use it to unlock the door to the cat.” At the end was a symbol Benny recognized as the Greek letter Omega. Jason and Joseph were both in the room when Benny found the note. Joseph watched every move Benny made when he found the note, though he tried clumsily not to show it. Jason read the note over Benny’s shoulder. Like lightning, Jason leaped across the room and slammed Joseph down on the floor. He grabbed his throat and Joseph squawked. He was a much bigger boy than Jason, but he was not at all strong and could not get the furious boy off of him.
“You’re the one who stole it!” Jason snarled. “I knew it all the time. We want it back right now!”
“Make him get off of me, or you’ll be sorry!” Joseph squealed to Benny.
“Let him up, Jason,” Benny ordered. “Joseph, I guess you don’t want to be expelled, do you? I just want my cougar skin back. I don’t want any trouble.”
“You can’t prove I had anything to do with that note or your — cougar skin,” Joseph said with an oath. “You can tell me now what’s in the box. Then they’ll let you know what they want next.”
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The Oregon Sentinel (Book 3 in the Benny and the Bank Robber series)
Ben Carlisle’s longtime dream has been to travel west with his family. When he is offered a newspaper job in Detroit, he is forced to question whether moving west is really God’s will for him. Can he leave behind his grandfather, the girl he thought he loved, and an opportunity few writers could even dream about? Can he risk the life of one of his best friends, or face an old enemy head-on? What price will he have to pay just to make his writing live?
A giant man on a huge buckskin gelding suddenly clambered up out of the gully behind the bush. He pulled up sharply and scooped Sarah up with his long, powerfully-muscled arm. Ben’s mother gratefully took Sarah from the newcomer. Sarah giggled delightedly and reached up as if she wanted to ride up into the air again.
“Thanks, Mister,” Jeremy said as the man lifted his wide-brimmed tan hat. “I’m Jeremy Carlisle, and this is — ”
He broke off sharply and Ben came up beside him as Caleb Sutter looked slowly around at them.
“I guess I know who you are.” His blond hair trailed long as an Indian’s down his broad back. His shirt hung open and an intricate beaded choker clung to his corded neck. Caleb turned his head slightly and Ben saw a jagged scar running from where his left earlobe should have been halfway down his massive chest.
“I saw your names on the roster, so this wasn’t exactly a surprise for me,” Caleb went on as the family remained speechless. “Bet it was for you, though. Let me try to make this trip easier for all of us. I’ll do my job, and you’ll take care of your family, Doc. I don’t want to dig up any stuff that’s been buried. I sure don’t want any trouble. Boss Tibbs relies on me, and what was between Ben an’ me — well — Just do me the favor of keeping out of my way as much as is humanly possible so I can keep out of yours.”
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Benny and the Bank Robber 4: Lines in Pleasant Places by Mary C. Findley
Violet will arrive with the wagon train, and they can be married. But is she truly in love with Ben, or with the five or six trunks of things her letters say she can’t do without?
When trouble stalks the widowed young schoolteacher, will Ben go past protecting her and threaten both their futures? What will it take to stop a stalker determined to possess his dead brother’s wife?
How can Ben save Violet and himself from a ruthless outlaw gang? Will he ever stop paying for that headline, or even he live to tell it at all? An avenger of blood looking to settle scores is not the only thing Ben discovers when he helps a man with a past.
Everything Ben has worked and prayed and bled for could be washed away in a day. Can an unexpected visitor from the past change the course of a raging flood with Cascade right in its path?
From Chapter Eighteen – Drawing Fire
The door to Elijah’s room burst open suddenly. Ben heard a heavy tread enter the room. The door slammed shut. Ben groped for Obadiah and shoved him behind Elijah’s chair. Ben sat up carefully, holding his eye, which throbbed intensely now.
“Lookit th’ he’p y’ got naow,” Matt Dotter’s voice sneered. “A’ ol’ geezer, a brat, an’ a half a man. This gon’ be easy.”
“Will you let them go?” Ben stood up slowly and held onto the wall for support.
“Shore, aftah ah’m done an’ oan mah way. Ah hit y’, din’ Ah? Ah knows Ah hit y’.”
“No,” Ben laughed. “I fell down the hill and hit my head. You missed, Matt.”
“Y’ lie. Ah doan’ miss a’ thet range.”
“It’s too bad Caleb didn’t get a shot at you. He wouldn’t have missed. Maybe he’s figured out about your friend and he’s on his way back here right now.”
“He’ll b’ late. Y’ jes’ quit turnin’ them wheels insi’e yo’ haid, Carlisle, an’ doan’ b’ fig’rin’ haow y’ kin beat me outta killin’ y’. Ah will hurt these three if y’ gimme trouble.”
“ How do I know you won’t kill them after I’m dead?”
Matt Dotter laughed, a cruel, icy laugh. “Ah c’d kill ev’body in this taown ef Ah wanted t’. Y’ doan’ ha’ no say in what Ah do, ‘spesh’lly since you’ll b’ daid.”
“That’s what I thought,” Ben said, stalling for time and wishing his vision would clear.
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