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Monarch butterflies in Kathleen's yard.
Over the years my husband and partner-in-crime "Mr. Ernst" and I have replaced much of our lawn with prairie and rain gardens. At this time of year we derive great joy from all the butterflies, birds, fireflies, and amphibians who live and dine in our suburban yard. 

Less joyful are all the critters who ate many of the heirloom-variety vegetable seedlings I nurtured. Fortunately we should still be able to get a decent harvest from what has survived. Here's hoping your gardens or local markets are brimming with lots of fresh food!
    A Settler's Year is Finally Here!

Speaking of fresh, the Wisconsin Historical Society Press has just released my first nonfiction history book in fifteen years, A Settler's Year: Pioneer Life Through the Seasons.

Front cover of A Settlers Year by bestselling author Kathleen Ernst
My thirty-second published book.

At its heart A Settler's Year is about people dreaming of, searching for, and creating a new home in a new land. It recounts the challenges and triumphs found in the seasonal rhythms of rural Midwestern life in the 1800s and early 1900s.

This beautiful book is richly illustrated with images taken at Old World Wisconsin by photographer Loyd Heath.

A Settler's Year was a labor of love to write. The finished book is the work of many talented hands, and has earned a special place in my heart. I'm thrilled that it has been selected to represent Wisconsin at the National Book Festival, and that celebrated Wisconsin author Jerry Apps said about it:

"This is a book with great meaning for those of us who grew up on farms, and a book to be shared with young people eager to know more about pioneer life."

A Settler's Year is available in hardcover and e-book formats from a wide variety of sources, including these booksellers
    Good News for Chloe Fans

The sixth book, Death on the Prairie, is at the printer, set for release in early October. Here's a quick synopsis of the story.
Book cover of Death on the Prairie, the sixth Chloe Ellefson Historic Sites mystery by bestselling author Kathleen Ernst, from Midnight Ink.
Available for pre-order.

Museum curator Chloe Ellefson and her sister Kari grew up reading the beloved "Little House" books written by Laura Ingalls Wilder, and have long dreamed of visiting all the places where Laura lived.

When Chloe gets custody of an old quilt, said to have been Laura's, the sisters set out on the Wilder road trip of a lifetime. They hope to prove that Laura owned it, and stitched it too. But someone covets the quilt, and people begin to die...
"A real treat for Little House fans, a fine mystery supplemented by fascinating information about the life and times of Laura Ingalls Wilder." --Kirkus Reviews 

For more on this book from publisher Midnight Ink, click HERE.
    Sad News for Caroline Fans
Cover of The Smugglers Secrets A Caroline Mystery written by Kathleen Ernst, published by American Girl
The final Caroline book

For six years I've spent a lot of time in the world of Caroline, American Girl.

While I'm sad that Mattel has decided to retire her, I come away from this time with lots of very special memories of the many amazing young readers and their families I've met because of Caroline. My thanks to each and every one of you!

The original six beautifully illustrated books are already out of print, and the remaining five books will be going soon. Check the American Girl website for the availability of the remaining Caroline books and the doll and accessories.

  Looking Ahead

Nothing is better than meeting readers in person! I'd love to see you at any of my launch parties, programs, or signings. Details about the fall events can be found on my Calendar.

When I was a little girl reading the Laura Ingalls Wilder books, I dreamed of becoming an author. When I began working at Old World Wisconsin in 1982, I dreamed of writing about the immigrant experience. My dreams came true, thanks to you.  
Warm regards,
Chloe Ellefson          Non-Fiction           Young Readers
KE PR Shot Blue Blouse 2011 150 pixels wide Bestselling author Kathleen Ernst writes award-winning mysteries, and historical fiction and non-fiction for adults and young readers.          
Over the years her work has earned numerous honors, including an Emmy for educational programming, a LOVEY, and Edgar and Agatha national mystery award nominations. To date, readers have purchased over 1.5 million printed, electronic, and audio copies of her soon-to-be thirty-three published books.
For more about Kathleen, click
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