Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Author Interview and Giveaway - A Memory of Muskets by Kathleen Ernst

Book Synopsis
Curator Chloe Ellefson is happily planning to spotlight home-front challenges and German immigrants at Old World Wisconsin’s first Civil War reenactment―but her overbearing boss scorns her ideas and proposes staging a mock battle. And when a reenactor is found dead at one of the historic site’s German farms, Chloe’s boyfriend, cop Roelke McKenna, suspects murder.

The more Roelke learns about reenacting, the more he fears that a killer will join the ranks at Chloe’s special event. Then Chloe discovers a disturbing secret about Roelke’s Civil War-era ancestors. Together they struggle to solve crimes past and present . . . before Chloe loses her job and another reenactor loses his life.

Author Interview
View from the Birdhouse:  When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

Kathleen Ernst:  I was a voracious reader as a child.  When I was about ten I realized that if reading was so much fun, writing my own stories would be even more satisfying.

View from the Birdhouse:  What was your favorite book as a child?

Kathleen Ernst:  The Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder had a huge influence on me, and helped inspire my lifelong interest in history.  They are beautifully written.  My 6th Chloe Ellefson mystery, Death on the Prairie, featured all of Laura’s homesites, which was great fun!

View from the Birdhouse:  What is your writing day like?  Do you have any interesting writing quirks?

Kathleen Ernst:  I balance the actual writing with the business aspects of being a writer—answering email, writing blog posts, etc.  I often write in coffee shops.  They are noisy, but none of that noise has anything to do with me!  I also go on several writing retreats every year. 

View from the Birdhouse:  What was the most surprising thing you learned while creating this book?

Kathleen Ernst:  A subplot features German immigrants who arrive in Wisconsin just before the American Civil War, and I thought a lot about what a difficult situation they faced.  Some felt duty-bound to fight for the country that had welcomed them.  Others felt compelled to avoid the conflict, and focus on developing their new farm or home.

View from the Birdhouse:  What is your next writing project?

Kathleen Ernst:  I’m working on the 8th Chloe Ellefson Mystery, which will feature a new historic site and an ethnic group I haven’t written about before.  Coming fall 2017! 

About the Author
Kathleen Ernst is a former museum curator who remains passionate about history!  In addition to the Chloe Ellefson Historic Sites series, she has written many books for American Girl, including nine about the historical character she created, Caroline Abbott. Over 1.5 million copies of Kathleen’s 33 titles have been sold. The Chloe series has earned a LOVEY Award for Best Traditional Mystery, and several of her mysteries for young readers have been finalists for Edgar or Agatha awards. 

Author Links:

Purchase Links:
Amazon – B&N Indie Bound

One lucky reader will win a print copy of Memory of Muskets (U.S. only).  This giveaway ends at midnight on October 18.  The winner will be notified by email, and will need to respond within 48 hours.  The book will be mailed to the winner from the author or her publicist.
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