Dear Scott,

It's been quite cold in southern Wisconsin. I've been thinking about how important stories were to our ancestors as they struggled through the winter months.


Hanneke Bauer (protagonist of Lies of Omission) left Europe in 1855. Twelve years earlier, the first groups of Pomeranians to settle in her area arrived as winter weather did. Can you imagine traveling by foot from Milwaukee to Lebanon (near Watertown) in December, 1843?

The immigrants slept in lean-tos or makeshift cabins until Ho-Chunk people helped them build warmer wigwams. I suspect that as the newcomers huddled under blankets in their shelters at night, many stories were told.

Winter is a special time for stories, and I'm always grateful to hear that one of mine has provided someone an armchair adventure. Still, after a quiet month, I'm looking forward to connecting with readers! Check out my calendar below.

For Readers

Lies of Omission: Behind the Scenes

Thursday, February 10, 7 PM CST - Zoom Program

Hear about the themes, ideas, and artifacts that inspired the first Hanneke Bauer mystery, and enjoy a virtual visit to Hanneke's Farm. For more information about this free program, and to register, click HERE.

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The Weaver's Revenge: Behind the Scenes

Tuesday, March 15, 7 PM CST - Zoom Program

Hear about the themes, ideas, and artifacts that inspired The Weaver's Revenge, the 11th Chloe Ellefson Mystery, and enjoy a virtual visit to the Hanka Homestead. For more information about this free program, and to register, click HERE.


The Importance of Being Ernst -- Podcast Interview

Listen to a recent interview with Allison Horrocks and Mary Mahoney, hosts of The American Girls podcast, about my experience writing the Caroline books for American Girl. Access the interview HERE.


For Writers

Fiction Techniques For Memoir Writers -- Virtual Workshop

Saturday, February 19, 1-3 PM CST

Basic tools in a novelist’s kit can be very helpful for authors writing their own or a family story. In this workshop, I will share specific strategies I use to develop my own fiction (and poetry) that are equally relevant for memoirists. Write On, Door County. is hosting this class. Click HERE for more information, and to register.


Creating Compelling Fiction -- Virtual Workshop

Wednesdays, February 23 & March 2, 7-8:30 PM CST

Perhaps you're ready to start that fiction project you've been dreaming of. Or, perhaps you have a draft and are ready to sharpen your story. This workshop will provide the inspiration you need! Click HERE for more information, and to register.

Exploring Your Heritage Through Writing -- In-Person Workshop

Saturday, March 26-Sunday, March 27

Cherished family stories can be preserved in many ways. This workshop will introduce you to several types of writing, including poetry, memoir, fiction, and creative nonfiction. You will enjoy a variety of short writing activities designed to help capture memories or explore what interests you most about your unique family, ethnic group, or community heritage. Vesterheim Folk Art School in Decorah, IA, is hosting this class. Click HERE for more information, and to register.

For Travelers

UPDATE: Trip to Norway now scheduled for May, 2023

After much discussion, both practical and emotional, the planning team for the Fiddling With Fate-themed tour to southern Norway has decided to postpone Folk Art, Fjords, and Fiddles until spring 2023. The same mid-May Syttende Mai timeframe will be in place.


We are so proud of the itinerary and protective of this carefully curated, once-in-a-lifetime experience that we don’t want COVID-19 concerns hampering the trip. Norway implements strict protocols, and we imagined time-wasting, forced quarantines, last minute destination reservation reversals—or even a trip cancellation.

Please join me and my friends at the Mount Horeb Area Historical Society, who are sponsoring the trip, in taking this extra year to dream about what’s to come!

With Gratitude

It can be dicey for an author with an established series to introduce a second one, so I am doubly grateful for your enthusiastic response to the Hanneke Bauer project. Your recommendations to friends and librarians, and online reviews, make it possible for me to continue writing stories about Hanneke...and Chloe and Roelke too.

This recent comment from a Chloe Ellefson reader and historical society leader made me smile: ...It occurred to me that Chloe has taught me much about interpretation, artifact preservation--and how not to get killed while working!

And after finishing Lies of Omission, a Hanneke Bauer reader and knitter shared this thought: What a wonderful read! As a knitter, I truly appreciate the versatility of knitting needles.

I'm thrilled to know that in addition to sometimes prompting interest in traditional crafts or family heritage, my books have provided a few self-preservation tips as well.

Happy reading,

Bestselling author Kathleen Ernst writes mysteries, historical fiction and non-fiction for adults and young readers, and poetry. 

To date nearly 1.8 million audio, ebook, and printed copies of her 41 published books have been purchased.

For details, click HERE.


Over the years Kathleen's work has earned many honors, including a National Park Service Residency, a Daughters of the American Revolution National Award for Literature, a Major Achievement Award from the Council for Wisconsin Writers, the Sterling North Award for Excellence in Children's Literature, an Emmy for Children's Educational TV, Edgar Allan Poe and Agatha Christie mystery award nominations . . . and more.

Photos by Pixabay, Kathleen Ernst, and Mr. Ernst

Email copyright 2022 by Kathleen Ernst, LLC