I started my blog, Sites and Stories, to celebrate historic sites - the stories they tell, the stories they inspire. My posts often provide behind-the-scenes glimpses of the people, places and the past featured in my books. I also write on Killer Characters blog and as a guest on others, usually about facets of my Chloe Ellefson adult mysteries from Midnight Ink. There’s a lot here - have fun exploring!

My Blog Posts

kathleen ernst, sophie the cat, writing, undisclosed location

Below are excerpts and links to the 2018 posts on my Sites and Stories blog and my guest posts on other blogs. Enjoy!

The Heirloom Murders - A Retrospective

  Kathleen & 'Mr. Ernst 'doing research' for The Heirloom Murders at The New Glarus Hotel in New Glarus, WI. "Welcome back to the behind-the-scenes look at the Chloe Ellefson mysteries! Up today: The Heirloom Murders, second in the series. I knew where I wanted to go after wrapping up the first book, Old World Murder—Green County, Wisconsin, famous for its Swiss heritage. My father’s parents were born and raised in Switzerland, so that was a natural draw. Fondue dinners in New Glarus became “research trips.”" more>>

Posted February 13, 2018 on the Sites And Stories blog.

Chloe Mystery #9 - Revealed

  Chloe Ellefson mystery #9 partial front cover image. "Last week I zipped the manuscript for the 9th Chloe Ellefson mystery off to my publisher. This week, it’s available for pre-order. I’m excited to provide a peek at Chloe and Roelke’s next adventure!" more>>

Posted February 6, 2018 on the Sites And Stories blog.

Old World Murder Giveaway - Winners!

  Chloe Ellefson Mysteries Giveaway Winners graphic by Scott Meeker. The lucky winners of Kathleen's first monthly Chloe Ellefson Mysteries Giveaway are Sharon Butera, Sandra Redford Griswold, and Maryjean Samer. Each will receive a free, author signed and personalized, trade paperback of Old World Murder, the first book in this award-winning series. Stay tuned for a giveaway of the second book in late February!

Posted February 1, 2018 on the Sites And Stories blog.

Chloe Mysteries Giveaway:  Old World Murder

  8 Chloe Ellefson Mysteries in 8 Monthly Giveaways logo for Old World Murder. For the next 8 months I’m giving away trade paperback copies of my 8 Chloe Ellefson mysteries, starting now with Old World Murder, the first book in the series. To enter this month’s giveaway, just leave a comment on the giveaway posts on my Facebook Author page or my Sites And Stories blog before 11:59 PM (Central US time), Wednesday, January 31, 2018. Only one entry per person, please. Three winners will be chosen at random and announced this Thursday. Good luck everybody!

Posted January 30, 2018.

Researching Old World Murder

  St. Peters Church at Old World Wisconsin. "Mr. Ernst here. Extensive research is an important element in crafting the ‘people, places, and the past’ that appear in every Chloe Ellefson mystery, starting with the first, Old World Murder (OWM). As the author, Kathleen does the vast majority of research. But as her spouse (and “partner in crime”)..." more>>

Posted January 27, 2018 on the Sites And Stories blog.

Cabin Fever

  Photo of a pioneer's Badger Hole, displayed in the Badger Mine and Museum, Shullsburg, Wisconsin. Mary Pascoe writes: "I heard a miner talking about "cabin fever" the other day. Now that winter's pressed down, do you have it too? If so, I must admit to some envy. It took every cent my brothers and I had to travel from Cornwall to what soon became the Wisconsin Territory in America. We settled near the spot where the very first lead was discovered in Mineral Point. Our first "home" was a little dug-out shelter with brush for a roof. This winter we got lucky, and moved into a tiny cave..." more>>

Posted January 17, 2018 on the Killer Characters blog.

Old World Murder - A Retrospective

  Author Kathleen Ernst working as an interpreter in 1983 at Old World Wisconsin. "Thanks for joining me as we take a behind-the-scenes look back at the Chloe Ellefson mysteries! First up: Book 1, Old World Murder. A little backstory: I worked at Old World Wisconsin, a large outdoor museum near Eagle, from 1982 through 1994. The first two years I worked as an interpreter..." more>>

Posted January 16, 2018 on the Sites And Stories blog.

The Early 1980s - A Pop Quiz

  Photo of the final cast of M*A*S*H the popular, long-running TV comedy program. Mr. Ernst writes:  "Do you remember the early 1980s? The Chloe Ellefson mysteries written by Kathleen Ernst (my wife and better half) are set back then. When she first began working on the series I volunteered to do some general background research about the time period. This short, purely-for-fun quiz is based on some of what I turned up. Enjoy!" more>>

Posted January 13, 2018 on the Sites And Stories blog.

Eight Books In Eight Months

  Chloe Ellefson mystery book covers 1-8. "My 9th Chloe Ellefson mystery will soon zip off to my publisher, and I’m already planning the 10th! That’s a milestone, and it seems like a good time to take a look back. My husband (AKA Mr. Ernst) and I have decided to do just that this year, with some treats along the way for readers. Here’s how “Eight Books in Eight Months” will work." more>>

Posted January 10, 2018 on the Sites And Stories blog.