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Are you familiar with hygge? It's a Danish word that roughly translates to "cozy," though that's an inadequate definition. 

My friend Sally, who is of Danish descent, introduced me to it. Sally has a talent for warm hospitality. Friends love gathering at her home for evenings of food, knitting, and conversation.

Photo by Kathleen Ernst of a Norwegian style chip carved wooden candle plate.Hygge represents more than just warm blankets and burning candles. It includes the anticipation of quiet time with friends and loved ones.

Social scientists believe that having a hygge state of mind helps Danes stay emotionally and physically healthy during the long winter months in Scandinavia.

As we settle into these cold dark days, lets embrace the notion that quiet time can be restorative. Light some candles and spend time with people who make you happy. 

Or, just as good, curl up with a cozy blanket, a hot beverage, and the friends found in a favorite book.
  Reader Question
"Of all your books, which one is your favorite?"

This is a bit like asking a mother to name her favorite child! Each is special in its own way. But two stories on my backlist have long held warm places in my heart.

Hearts of Stone Cover Image
Hearts of Stone - Dutton Children's Books

It's 1861. F ifteen year-old Hannah Cameron's world is torn apart. Her father leaves to join the Yankee army, and her best friend sides with the Confederates. Then her mother dies. Now Hannah is r esponsible for keeping her brother and sisters together. To preserve her family she is forced to lead them on a dangerous trip in search of their only living relative.

Betrayal at Cross Creek book cover.
Betrayal at Cross Creek - American Girl

It's 1775. Elspeth Monro, newly come from Scotland, is just beginning to feel at home in North Carolina, with a new friend and a weaving apprenticeship she loves. The brewing Revolution feels very far away, until someone starts to threaten her family, trying to force them into joining the rebels. This story is based on actual events.


My final 2017 event is this Saturday, December 2nd, at Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum in Decorah, IA. 

I'll be signing my Chloe mysteries during Vesterheim's always delightful Norwegian Christmas  program, which is featured in the popular fourth Chloe mystery,  Heritage of Darkness .

A julenisse _Christmas elf_ hands out gifts at Vesterheim_s annual Norwegian Christmas event.

If you're in town, stop by the museum's store between 1 PM and 4 PM to say hello.  Can't make it? You can order a book via their  online store . Either way, it's the perfect place to find gorgeous gifts of Norwegian artwork, clothing, food, and more!

BTW, Vesterheim invites you to visit their newest exhibit to experience koselig [the Norwegian form of hygge] in a series of immersive living room environments. For details, click HERE.

And for a sneak peek at my initial list of early 2018 events, visit my Calendar.

  Sales Milestones

There's exciting news about my two 2017 books .

Mining For Justice  has been ranked in the Top 1% of All US Print Book Sales (of over 8 million books tracked) for a running total of 100 days pre- and post-release.

This is the fastest any Chloe mystery has reached the coveted century milestone.

NOTE: A large print version arrives soon.

American Girl Felicity Gunpowder And Tea Cakes book cover.
Gunpowder and Tea Cakes has ranked in the Top 1% of All US Print Book Sales (of 8 million books tracked) for a running total of 90 days pre-and post-release.

This book is also available as part of the Felicity 3-Book Boxed Set, which has been ranked in the same Top 1% for a running total of 200 days pre- and post-release!

US Print Book Sales data courtesy of  Nielsen BookScan


I honor of my wonderful young readers, I've decided to hold a Six Books for Six Readers Giveaway!

Six lucky winners will each receive a complete set of six signed, hardcover, first-release, Caroline American Girl books.

Graphic of 6 original Caroline American Girl books.

To enter, leave a comment on the Six For Six Giveaway posts on my Facebook Author page or  Sites And Stories blog.

Entries must be received before Midnight, US Central time, Thursday, November 30, 2017. Only one entry per person. Winners will be announced the following day. Enter now!


Scott and I have a New Year's Eve tradition of counting the blessing s we've experienced in the soon-to-be over year. 

'The laying on of paws' by Sophie the Feline Muse. Photo by Kathleen Ernst.

High on our list will be all the many wonderful readers that we've met online and in person this year at the museums, historic sites, bookstores, and libraries we've visited. 

We're grateful for your friendship and support. You make it possible for us to do what we love

Please accept our best w ishes  (and those of Sophie, my feline muse) for a holiday season that's peaceful and bright.

Happy Reading,
                                   Kathleen signature in script.   

P.S. -- Still looking for a holiday gift? Consider ordering online from my local independent bookstore, Mystery To Me . They sell signed trade paperback copies of my latest Chloe mystery,  Mining For Justice , as well as my nonfiction hardcover history,  Free shipping through December!

Chloe Ellefson          Non-Fiction           Young Readers
Bestselling author Kathleen Ernst at Old World Wisconsin. Photo by Kay Klubertanz.

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, a LOVEY, and Edgar and Agatha mystery award nominations.

To date over 1.7M audio, ebook and printed copies of her now 36 published books have been purchased. For more, click
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Kathleen photo by Kay Klubertanz.
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