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 posts as a guest on other blogs, usually about facets of my Chloe Ellefson adult mysteries from Midnight Ink. There’s a lot here - have fun exploring!

My Blog Posts

Kirkus review of The Lacemakers Secret

Below are excerpts and links to the 2019 posts on my Sites and Stories blog and my guest posts on other blogs. Enjoy!

Why Norway?

  Photo of local folk costumes at the Hardanger Museum in Utne Norway taken by bestselling author Kathleen Ernst. "Cultural identity, and the many ways people explore and express their own, is one of the recurring themes in the Chloe Ellefson Mystery series. When readers meet Chloe in Book 1, Old World Murder, she takes her own Norwegian heritage largely for granted. Her feelings evolve over time, and by Book 10, she is eager to learn more about her ancestors.  Mr. Ernst and I were lucky enough to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary with a trip to...." more>>

Posted July 10, 2019 on the Sites And Stories blog.

The Badger Mine and Museum

  Photo of the Badger Mine & Museum sign in Shullsburg, Wisconsin. "If you’re exploring southwest Wisconsin’s lead mining history, be sure to include a stop at Schullsburg’s Badger Mine and Museum. Mr. Ernst and I visited while I was working on Mining For Justice, the 8th Chloe Ellefson mystery, and we’re glad we did. (I recommend both Platteville’s Mining and Rollo Jamison Museums and Schullsburg’s Badger Mine and Museum.) They’re quite different. White and some African-American miners were digging lead in the Schullsburg area as early as 1818." more>>

Posted June 12, 2019 on the Sites And Stories blog.


  Belgian carved wooden shoes, called Sabots. "When I went to work at Old World Wisconsin many years ago, one of my first assignments was working at the 1860 German farm. The curator who’d furnished the building left a couple of pairs of reproduction wooden shoes near the back door. “Aren’t those Dutch?” visitors often asked. I explained that many rural people wore such clogs." more>>

Posted April 22, 2019 on the Sites And Stories blog.

Large Print Giveaway Winners

  Chloe Ellefson Mystery Large Print Giveaway Winners graphic. "Congratulations to Dianne Martingano, Miriam R. Nelson, and Kathleen Newberg!

Each won a signed, hardcover copy of the large print edition of the 9th Chloe Ellefson Mystery, The Lacemaker’s Secret. Winners were chosen at random from all entries here and on my Facebook Author Page."

Posted March 28, 2019 on the Sites And Stories blog.

Large Print Giveaway!

  Chloe Ellefson Mystery Large Print Giveaway graphic. "This week a large print, hardcover edition of my latest Chloe Ellefson mystery, The Lacemaker’s Secret, is being released. Would you like to win a signed copy? For yourself, a loved one, or local library? Enter to win by..." more>> 

Posted March 26, 2019 on the Sites And Stories blog.

Fiddling With Fate - Revealed!

  Partial front cover of Fiddling With Fate, Chloe Ellefson Mystery #10 "Is there anything more exciting for an author than turning in a manuscript for a new book? Yes! Anticipating publication day. The 10th Chloe Ellefson mystery..." more>>

Posted March 3, 2019 on the Sites And Stories blog.

Our Lady of Good Help

  Sepia photo of Adele Brise. "Adele Brise was born in Belgium in 1831, and immigrated to Wisconsin with her family in 1855. The Brise family settled about 16 miles northeast of the city of Green Bay in Robinsonville, now Champion, Wisconsin. Little is known of Adele’s early years, but she was remembered as a devout young woman. In October, 1859, apparitions of the Virgin Mary occurred to Adele as she..." more>>

Posted February 22, 2019 on the Sites And Stories blog.

Kathleen Ernst Interview

  Map Your Mystery Blog logo. "What is the title of your newest book? How many books have you published?"

"My newest is The Lacemaker's Secret: A Chloe Ellefson Mystery (Midnight Ink, 2018). It's the 9th book in the series, and my 37th published book! It took me a long time to hone my craft well enough to break in, so I find that number a bit astounding." more>>

Posted February 20, 2019 on the Map Your Mystery blog.

9 Book Lacemaker's Giveaway - Winners

  9 Lacemaker Mysteries Giveaway Winners graphic. The winners of Kathleen's 9 Book Lacemakers Giveaway are JACKI BEDWORTH, SUE GALLAGHER, KAY JOHNSON, KAREN MAYERS, HOPE MCLEOD, CINDY PATTERSON, LINDA ROEHRIG, BETH ROGERS, and MARGARET WURTH. Congratulations!

Each gets an author signed, personalized, trade paperback of The Lacemaker's Secret, the ninth and newest mystery in the award-winning Chloe Ellefson series.

Each winner should immediately contact Kathleen with their signing, personalization, and postal mailing information by clicking HERE.

Posted January 31, 2019.

9 Book Lacemaker's Giveaway - Starts Now

  9 Lacemaker Mysteries Giveaway graphic. Kathleen is giving away nine trade paperback copies of her ninth Chloe Ellefson mystery:  The Lacemaker's Secret. To enter, leave a comment on the giveaway post on her Facebook Author page or her Sites And Stories Blog before 11:59 PM (Central US time), Wednesday, January 30, 2019. Only one entry per person, please. The winners will be chosen at random and announced the next day, here and on her Facebook and blog!

Posted January 29, 2019 on the Sites And Stories blog.

Chloe Ellefson Mysteries Update

  Photo of bestselling author Kathleen Ernst in Norway taken by Mr Ernst. "The 10th Chloe Ellefson Mystery, scheduled for release in September, 2019, will be the last one released by publisher Midnight Ink—which is shutting down. While that isn’t good news, since the announcement I’ve been overwhelmed by the support from wonderful Chloe and Roelke fans. Thank you all! I do want to continue the series. My upbeat and savvy literary agent has already sent a proposal to a press which has..." more>>

Posted January 25, 2019 on the Sites And Stories blog.

Libby's Legendary Banana Bread Pudding

  Photo of Libby's famous Banana Bread Pudding by Kathleen Ernst. "Sometimes you just need some comfort food—something steaming and fragrant and utterly delicious. The 9th Chloe Ellefson Mystery, The Lacemaker’s Secret, begins at just such a moment. ". . . Libby turned and cracked the oven door. A rich wave of banana, vanilla, and cinnamon swirled into the room. “Please tell me that’s Libby’s Legendary Banana Bread Pudding.” Roelke’s favorite Sunday-morning treat at his cousin’s house." more>>

Posted January 22, 2019 on the Sites And Stories blog.

Belgian Spice Cookies

  Wikipedia photo of Lotus brand Speculoos cookies. "The latest Chloe Ellefson Mystery, The Lacemaker’s Secret, celebrates Belgian heritage, so of course my research included foodways. I quickly came across references to Belgian Spice Cookies, also called Speculoos. These crisp spiced shortbread cookies...more>>

Posted January 8, 2019 on the Sites And Stories blog.

The Belgian Heritage Center

  Belgian Heritage Center in Namur Wisconsin. "When I first started considering a setting for a Chloe Ellefson mystery about Wisconsin’s Belgian immigrants, I knew it would primarily feature the Belgian Farm restored at Heritage Hill State Park. Then I discovered..." more>>

Posted January 2, 2019 on the Sites And Stories blog.