Tuesday 9 April 2024

The French and Indian Wars come to life in this magnificent retelling set in a wild yet beautiful landscape.


Searching for your next favourite series? Are you a fan of American historical fiction? If you answered yes, don’t miss out on Paul Bennett’s unforgettable series.

A word from Mary Anne

The French and Indian Wars come to life in this magnificent retelling set in a wild yet beautiful landscape.  

The Mallory Saga
By Paul Bennett

Follow the Mallory family as they attempt to live a peaceful life on the PA frontier in 1756. They face tragedy and loss as they become embroiled in The French and Indian War - Clash of Empires. In Paths to Freedom, the colonies are heading to open revolt against King George III, and the Mallory's are once again facing the specter of war. Crucible of Rebellion continues the Mallory story through the early years of The Revolutionary War. Book 4, A Nation is Born completes the Revolution and The Mallory's have played their part in the victory. In book 5, A Turbulent Beginning, the nascent nation finds it hard going to establish a peaceful existence. The Natives of this land resist the westward expansion of white settlers. Book 6, The Jagged Mountains is a tale about Jack Mallory and his quest to find his father. Book 7, Weathering the Storm, currently being written, has the War of 1812 and the fate of Tecumseh as the central focus. Hoping to publish early May 2023.


Clash of Empires

For the first week, Otetiani was content to ride along with Orenda.  Often, they lagged behind the others, lost in each other’s company.  Orenda noticed a change, though, in Otetiani, as they neared the trading post.  Otetiani seemed distant, far away in thought; at times, he rode off alone.  During one of those times when he rode ahead of the group, Orenda sought out her father and asked him if he knew what was troubling her husband?
Donehogawa looked at his daughter, saw the concern in her eyes and said, “Orenda, my daughter, Otetiani is troubled by the buffalo spirit and he is confused as he comes closer to his white family.  The buffalo is a powerful guide but it is one that makes one yearn to be free to wander our earth mother as the buffalo does.  It is also a hard thing for Otetiani now that he has embraced the Mohawk life to face his former life.  My daughter, it is for you to ease his troubled spirit.  I think it is time to tell him of the child you carry.  Do not look at me like I’m a seer who can look in the heart of a woman to see what is there.  I learned of the child from your mother.”
Orenda smiled at her father and replied, “I should have known that mother would tell you.  I am glad I spoke to you. I feel that you have opened my eyes.  Yes, it is time to tell Otetiani about his coming child.”
Otetiani was riding ahead of the group needing the time alone to sort through his mind’s confusion. The thought that puzzled him the most was whether he was Otetiani or Liam but the buffalo dream also played upon his mind giving a rise to his normal restlessness of spirit.  Glancing back to find Orenda brought some measure of comfort but still he struggled.  He noticed that she was riding with her father and thought he saw sadness on her face.
They made camp by a small stream.  Otetiani sat with his back to a willow tree that overlooked a small waterfall and dozed, the buffalo dream having invaded his sleep.  The moon was nearly full and was all the light Orenda needed as she walked over to where Otetiani sat.  He awoke at the touch of her hand upon his shoulder and the sound of her voice.
“Wake up my love,” Orenda whispered in his ear, “I have something to tell you.”
Otetiani opened his eyes, cupped his hand over the curve of her cheek and said, “My beautiful one, I have not been myself lately.  My spirit is restless, my mind confused.  I have seen sadness in your eyes and I am sorry that I am the cause for this but I am torn about my future.”
“Oh my husband,” Orenda replied as she took his hand in hers, “I know that you are troubled and that the buffalo dream is strong, but know this.  I will be by your side through whatever path you choose and so will the child I bear.”
Tears flowed down Otetiani’s face and as he stood up he noticed the swell of Orenda’s belly.  “We have a child coming?” he asked.  He took her in his arms and replied, “We will raise this child as a Mohawk.”  They walked back to the campfire and settled down for the night and soon Orenda was asleep with her head on Otetiani’s shoulder.  Otetiani, his mind playing back what he had learned, felt more peaceful than he had in a long time and instead of the buffalo dream, he fell asleep to a vision of a Mohawk village and children playing.


Paths to Freedom

Jimmy Two Birds had not visited Mallory Town for a couple of years, due both to his business and to a short illness. Once rotund, he was now much thinner, but not in a haggard way. Indeed, he looked and felt better than he had for years. Halting his horse at the top of the ridge, he looked down to see the children, and thought with surprise how much they had grown. A huge smile played across his face as he watched Thomas squatting on the ground pointing to an animal track while apparently explaining it to Caleb and Bowie. Glancing away to Mallory Town, he was stunned by the growth of this once-small trading post. The original walls he’d helped build were gone, having been removed to make room for the many new settlers finding their way west. The new walls, necessary according to Daniel and Henry, were almost at the limit of their expansion possibilities, due to the terrain and to the rivers at the town’s north and east edges. Farms stretched as far as he could see on the opposite sides of both rivers. Outside the walls stood a mill and blacksmith shop; the interior contained the new church, general store, and many newly-built living quarters (two more under construction). After one last glance at Thomas and his two recruits, now undertaking their perimeter inspection, he urged his mount down the hill and toward the gate.
Liza hugged Two Birds. “This is a most wonderful surprise. It has been too long since you came to call. We heard that you were ill. You look like you’ve recovered.”
“I have,” replied Two Birds while taking a few small packages from his knapsack to hand to Liza. “Some small tokens for the children. Are Daniel and Henry about? I bear news they will be interested in.”
“They are across the Allegheny, helping the Lapley’s clear boulders from a field to build a new barn,” she said, “but I expect them back before dusk. Can you stay for supper?”
“Yes, indeed. I may be skinnier now, but that hasn’t put a damper on my appetite,” he chuckled. “Perhaps I will take a stroll about the town; so much is new. I see that Timothy has expanded his brewery to include a tavern. I think I may visit there first.”
Liza laughed, “Oh yes, you must do that, though be prepared for a possible tongue lashing if any of the faithful see you coming out of that den of iniquity.”
“So, the good Reverend Grantham continues to mold his followers in his own image. More’s the pity. Doesn’t that loud-mouthed distorter of the truth realize that ale is one of the more precious gifts the Good Lord bequeathed to mankind?” 
Liza’s smile faded as she answered, “That man is a curse on this town. I will let the menfolk know you are about when they return.”


Crucible of Rebellion

It was shortly after the official surrender of General Burgoyne to General Gates, Colonel Morgan being the only member of The Curs attending, that the Colonel received new orders from General Washington. He was pinned down in New Jersey and ordered Morgan’s regiment to join him as quickly as possible. However, the General needed The Curs somewhere else. They spent Christmas in Philadelphia, taking a couple of weeks to recuperate from their various wounds, and from the plain fatigue from travel and battle. Colonel Morgan only stayed two days before leading his regiment to Washington’s winter camp. He provided a veritable feast for The Curs his last night there including plenty of ale, cider and wine. Many toasts were raised for their fallen, and for the victories they helped secure. At the end Colonel Morgan offered one final toast, “Gentlemen, I’m not usually given to sentimentality, but in this case it is warranted for two reasons. In all my years of leading men in battle, this group is the best I’ve ever had the honor to serve with. So, parting ways leaves a large hole in my command. But, and this is not to be spoken of outside this room, there will be some changes in command soon, and changes in strategy. However, I have been passed over again for promotion to General by those imbeciles in The Continental Congress, and I will be resigning from the army.”


A Nation is Born

Early February 1779 When Daniel, Matt, and Bert set out from Buffalo Meadow, they knew that traveling in February was fraught with difficulties. They beached their canoe and walked into the village of Vincennes. Word had come to them, from their Piankashaw friend and neighbor Waban, that George Rogers Clark, and an army of volunteers was making a forced march to retake Fort Sackville from the British, but they were uncertain of the route Clark was taking. For the most part, the residents of the village sided with the rebels even though it was the British who now held Fort Sackville after Governor Henry Hamilton marched from Fort Detroit to take the fort from the rebel garrison there. As the majority of the villagers were French, the anti-British feeling ran high. Vincennes was founded in 1732 by French fur traders who once held sway all the way to St. Louis on the Mississippi. The descendants were in the mood for a little payback. Waban, who spoke French as well as English, negotiated with a French stable owner for the use of four horses. They were now slogging their way through knee high snow melted water that covered the vast grassy plain, a process that had Daniel grousing, “I keep telling myself, and others, that I’m too old for this.”


A Turbulent Beginning

Winter dragged on, the bone-chilling cold, and frequent snowfall kept most everyone inside for days on end. The exceptions on this particular day were Bert, and the visitor he was bringing from Vincennes. Major Hamtramck was wrapped head to toe in a buffalo robe, a woolen scarf covering his face with only his eyes visible. He shrugged off the heavy coat, handing it to Deborah, “Pardon madam,” he said, “for this surprise visit. When I heard that Bert was heading here, I had to jump at the chance to see all of you again.”
“Not at all major,” said Deborah, “It is a wonderful surprise. We did not know you were back in this neck of the woods. Are you taking command at the fort?”
He took a mug of hot mulled cider from Hannah, “Merci,” he said, “No Deborah, I am here on a special mission for the War Secretary, Henry Knox. I’m also here on a more unofficial mission. I have a friend, William Wells, he’s also known as Apekonit, the adopted son of Little Turtle, who wants help locating, and retrieving the women and children taken in that raid on the Wea village. I’m afraid I may need the use of your son Bo and the others once again.”
“Might be good for them to have something to do,” Daniel said as he came in, “those boys have cabin fever bad. This stretch of weather is the worst I can remember. It’s even worse than 77.”
“Hah, no argument from me,” replied Hamtramck, “Valley Forge was not pleasant that winter. I was a lowly Lieutenant then, not high enough in the pecking order for a cabin without holes in the walls.”
“Well,” said Deborah, “make your-self at home. We’ll find a volunteer to make the rounds and gather everyone for supper tonight.”
Bert came in, though, like the major, it was hard to tell who it was underneath the coat and scarf. “I don’t like assumptions, but I assumed anyway, that we are having supper with the major, so I let The Curs know. I also assumed that since I have a letter from Two Birds, you would want to read it after supper while we’re settled around a roaring fire with some of the major’s cognac”


The Jagged Mountains

I hear the howling of the wind coming through the divide, rattling the shutters on our longhouse windows. I’ve always had a good feel for what month it is, so I know it is sometime in April, but it may as well be January up this high. My friends down on the flat have been pestering me for years to come down from our lofty perch in the glacier covered mountains overlooking the vast prairie-grassland to the east, but as long as I can still look after myself, what’s the point? I’ve lived on the flat, and I’ve lived in the mountains. I prefer the mountains. It has been near to 25 years since I left civilization behind. I grew up in a frontier town on the Allegheny in Pennsylvania. I have been to the big cities on the Atlantic coast; New York, Philadelphia, Boston. I’ve helped slaves escape from a small village on the Congaree River in South Carolina. I have friended and have been befriended in return by Shawnee, Mandan, Kiowa, Lakota, Mohawk, Crow, Shoshone, and Nez Perce to name a few of the many tribes I have encountered in my travels. 
As I look back on what I just wrote, I fear I may have given the impression that 1. I am an old man, and 2. I am a grumpy old man to boot. While the first is certainly true, having reached the age of 45, the grumpiness is only an occasional trait.


Weathering the Storm

The side of beef was roasting on a spit over one fire; a haunch of venison on another. Warriors, being led by Tenskwatawa, were dancing around a third fire where Glen and Ethan sat with Tecumseh. When the dancers neared the dramatic finish, Tenskwatawa gestured for Glen to join them. While the women ululated, Shabbona painted Glen’s face matching the pattern given to a new member of the tribe. Not knowing what he was doing, he just mimicked the other dancers soon getting the hang of it; letting loose an occasional howl.
Ethan laughed, “Does this mean Glen has been adopted by the Shawnee?”
“Yes,” Tecumseh replied with a loud guffaw, “Seems we have lowered our standards.” Turning serious he continued, “I have had a lot of time to think and pray. I know my destiny lies with the British despite their wavering support.” Sighing he continued, “I had a dream. I was lying in a field near a river watching the scudding clouds. They were formed like battalions of soldiers and were being blown toward a lesser bank of clouds. It was evident that the small clouds would be overcome. When that happened I heard thunder; saw lightning powering over their foes. When the scene cleared I saw many Indians lying next to me on that field. I saw my death.”
Ethan thought for a moment before speaking, “I know you too well to scoff at your dream, but not all dreams tell the future. I also know you well enough to know that you will not let that dream rule your actions or your plans. I would suggest that you stay here for the winter; get yourself back in fighting shape before heading to the British.” He shook his head, “Hannah is going to have a fit, but when you leave to join them, I will go with you.

The Mallory Saga Is available in Kindle, paperback and audio. To start your reading adventure, click HERE!

Paul Bennett

Paul was born in Detroit when the Big Three ruled the automobile industry, and The Korean Conflict was in full swing. A lifelong interest in history and a love of reading eventually led him to Wayne State University where he majored in Ancient History, with a minor in Physical Anthropology. However, to make ends meet, those studies were left to the realm of dreams, and Paul found himself accidentally embarking on a 50 year career in computers. A career that he has recently retired from in order to spend more time with those dreams….7 grandchildren will help fill the time as well.

He now resides in the quaint New England town of Salem, Massachusetts with his wife Daryl, just a few minutes’ walk from the North River, and the site where the Revolution almost began.

The Mallory Saga is the culmination of Paul’s love of history, and his creative drive to write stories. With Nightwish and Bruce Cockburn coming through his headphones, and many cups of excellent coffee, Paul hopes to carry the Saga into the late 19th century, bringing American History to life through the eyes and actions of the Mallory family.

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  1. The Mallory Saga sounds amazing. I have been looking for a new series to read. Thank you.

    1. You are more than welcome. And it is a fabulous series. I really enjoyed it.

  2. I am glad to see the series is on kindle unlimited. I have added it to my to-read list.

  3. Your series sounds really amazing, Paul. Why did you choose to write about this era of history?

    1. Thanks for the comment and the question. I've always been interested in history...was my major in college. As for choosing that era, I now live near Boston, and with all of the history literally surrounding me (my house abuts an old cemetery where the remains of some Revolutionary War heroes are buried), so, it seemed a natural conduit for the series. I started with The French & Indian War for a couple of reasons; that conflict involved three empires - French, British, & The Iroquois Confederation, and was the stepping stone to 1776 and beyond. Thanks again for the question, and I hope you enjoy the books. :-)

  4. My knowledge of American history is shamefully lacking. I shall look forward to reading this series.

    1. Pauls' books are fabulous. I am sure you will enjoy them.

  5. I do enjoy long series. I shall look forward to reading this one.

    1. It is really good. I am sure you will enjoy every minute of it.


See you on your next coffee break!
Take Care,
Mary Anne xxx