AUTHOR'S NOTE

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


Below are excerpts and links to the 2020 posts on my Sites and Stories blog and my guest posts on other blogs. Enjoy!

The Utne Hotel

  Photo of Utne Hotel sign in Utne Norway taken by bestselling author Kathleen Ernst. "Not many businesses claim a lineage dating back almost 300 years. The Utne Hotel, which can, is known as Norway’s oldest continuously-operating hotel.

In 1722 Peder Larsson Børsem was given a license to run a guesthouse in the village of Utne. The village was home to the district court, which kept travelers coming and going. A post office was established in 1826, and steamship travel in 1861. Explorers were followed by tourists.

Women have provided much of the Utne Hotel’s hospitality over the years. From 1830 until 1900, Torbjørg Johannesdotter Utne was responsible for keeping the inn running. “Mother Utne,” as she was known, became legendary for making..." more>>

Posted March 31, 2020 on the Sites And Stories blog.



Save the Date!

  The Lacemakers Secret Chloe Ellefson mystery #9 front cover "I’ve been dithering about whether to announce the Chloe tour scheduled for this summer. In the spirit of optimism…here you go.

The 9th Chloe Ellefson Mystery, The Lacemaker’s Secret, takes place in northeast Wisconsin where early Belgian immigrants made their homes. When readers asked for a special book-themed tour of the area, I turned to my friends at the Belgian Heritage Center in Brussels, WI.

We’ve planned a very special excursion for readers on Saturday, July 11, 2020. I hope you’ll join Mr. Ernst and me as we explore featured locations and learn about the inspiring history of one of Wisconsin’s lesser-known ethnic groups. Activities will include..." more>>

Posted March 22, 2020 on the Sites And Stories blog.



Kroting

  Image of Norwegian Kroting in Tveismestova farmhouse at Hardanger Folk Museum at Utne Norway "For centuries, Norwegian farmhouses had open fireplaces. A raised hearth was built in the center of the floor, with a smoke hole in the roof above. These “smoke houses” with a central hearth and/or corner fireplace were common along the western coast.

Kroting was a simple way of decorating a house with smoke-stained logs and few or no windows. In Fiddling With Fate, the 10th Chloe Ellefson Mystery, Chloe senses why it was important:

Chloe imagined living through a dark, cold winter in this dark, sooty room. Firelight flickered against the walls. Wind whistled through cracks, and sleety snow beat against the lone window. The air smelled of smoke and unwashed bodies. Somehow she understood that the designs brought comfort.

Women mixed chalk with water or sour milk, and used their fingers to paint the geometric designs on the walls." more>>

Posted March 12, 2020 on the Sites And Stories blog.



What's Next For Chloe Ellefson

  Bestselling author Kathleen Ernst journal for her eleventh Chloe Ellefson mystery book. Launching the 10th Chloe Ellefson mystery, Fiddling With Fate, was a whirlwind of fun last fall! It was a joy to meet and hear from so many readers. One question came up frequently.

What’s next for Chloe and Roelke?

Over a year ago I learned that my publisher, Midnight Ink, was shutting down. Fiddling With Fate would be the last Chloe book that they printed. The news was a shock.

Still, the announcement did give me a chance, after ten very busy years, to take a deep breath, and take stock. There were two basic questions to answer." more>>

Posted February 6, 2020 on the Sites And Stories blog.



The Voss Folkemuseum

  Voss Folkemuseum near Voss Norway. "Although most of Fiddling With Fate centers on the Hardanger Folkemuseum, I also wanted to include the Voss Folkemuseum, a sister site. The museum, founded in 1917, preserves the old farmstead at Mølster (Mølstertunet). That museum has a special claim: all of the buildings at the site stand on their original locations. Historians believe the farm at Mølster was established over a thousand years ago..." more>>

Posted January 16, 2020 on the Sites And Stories blog.



Kransekake

  Photo of a mini Kransekake Norwegian wreath cake made by bestselling author Kathleen Ernst. "For the final scene in Fiddling With Fate, the 10th Chloe Ellefson mystery, I needed a special and festive Norwegian cake. The decision was easy: kransekake! The Norwegian kransekake, or wreath cake, is formed from a series of concentric rings, stacked to make a cone. I like to experiment in the kitchen, but to learn about making kransekakes, I turned to some experts at the Sons of Norway-Mandt Lodge in Stoughton, WI." more>>

Posted January 4, 2020 on the Sites And Stories blog.