Posted in behind the scenes, Books to Travel By, reading

Fellow RV Mystery Writers: Karen Musser Nortman

Once again we’re gifted with the insight of another writer of mysteries who not only features RVers as main characters, but is an RVer herself! (Yep, you’d be surprised how often us RVers spot boo-boos in books about RVing, sure signs the writers aren’t RVers themselves.)

We’re pleased to welcome Karen Musser Nortman, author of at least six Frannie Shoemaker Campground Mysteries and two more novels in her Time Traveler Trailer series.

On your Website, you mention having started RVing when tent camping — especially sleeping on the ground — lost a measure of comfort. Tell us a little more about your RVing — how often do you take to the road? How do you choose where to go? Do you venture out to new places or re-visit familiar haunts? Continue reading “Fellow RV Mystery Writers: Karen Musser Nortman”

Posted in behind the scenes, Books to Travel By, writing life

Fellow RV Mystery Writers: Minnie Crockwell

It’s been awhile since the ellenbooks has done an interview — and what better way to bring them back than to feature fellow writers of mysteries featuring RVers!

When I started imagining the Rollin RV Mystery series, I knew only about Sue Henry’s Maxie and Stretch short series of four books. I worried that maybe readers weren’t interested in mystery-solving RVers, but (because we have to write what we want to read, right?) I wrote Pea Body anyway.

Now I’m happy to say I’ve found out about few more mystery series featuring RVers, and I’m even more pleased to introduce you to them, too!

Minnie Crockwell is both the narrator and author of the “Will Travel for Trouble” mystery series — ten to date, with an eleventh coming soon. The first in this series, Trouble at Happy Trails, finds heroine Minnie Crockwell, along with her spooky friend Peregrine Ebenezer Alvord (“Ben”), tossed into the midst of a Peyton Place-like campground where one RVer’s apparent suicide leads Minnie and Ben smack in the middle of things.

As I read, I couldn’t help but wonder about the matching names of the author and main character, so I had to find out. Here’s the e-mailed interview, with many thanks to Minnie for taking the time to answer all the nosey questions I sent!

Minnie Crockwell
Minnie Crockwell

First — because these are the most burning questions I have — should I call you by your pseudonym Minnie or your given name?
Minnie is fine. I answer to Minnie or Bess. Continue reading “Fellow RV Mystery Writers: Minnie Crockwell”

Posted in behind the scenes

RVing Novelists

When I started writing the Rollin RV Mysteries, I knew about only one other mystery series featuring a sleuth who RVed*: Sue Henry, with her Maxie and Stretch mysteries (sixty-plus year old heroine Maxie McNabb and her dachshund). After four of those, she turned her focus back to her other series. I’ve read them all and though I think End of the Road is my favorite, they’re all good.

Since then I’ve discovered a few more authors venturing down the same path, and will soon be providing an interview with one of them.

So if you’ve enjoyed the Rollin RV Mysteries and want to read more mysteries featuring RVers, watch this space!

* My apologies to language purists. RV, of course, being the abbreviation for “recreational vehicle,” makes no linguistic sense as a verb, and even less when used in the past tense. But after a decade of trying to figure out another way to describe those of us who live or vacation using RVs, I gave in to the common distortions of “RV” used commonly within the “RVing” community. If you can offer an alternative, please leave it in the comments or send me an e-mail — I’d love to have one!

Posted in Books to Travel By, publishing

Free RVing Book

This year my husband and I mark our ninth year as full-time RVers. It’s been an amazing ride! And, writer that I am, I’ve been making notes for years about the experience. While a more in-depth book is still percolating, I did settle down long enough this past winter to pull together some A-to-Z thoughts about what full-timing can involve.

It’s not really a how-to book (plenty of those for folks who want to ditch their sticks and bricks house for one on wheels), and not really a travelogue or essay collection. Instead it’s an oddball collection of insights, I guess you’d say.

RVing Alphabet covers some of the normal stuff (like — how full-timers get their mail on the road) to the more unusual (why not being a xenophobe is a good thing for RVing), to the kinds of things most RVers don’t discuss except among themselves (like dealing with the Lords and Ladies of the Laundry Room).

RVing Alphabet is free via Smashwords here: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/736824

 

Yep, I’m still working on the Rollin RV Mysteries, but I’ve been curious about Smashwords, eager to offer something free, and this seemed the perfect combination for that.

I hope you enjoy it!

 

Posted in behind the scenes, reviews, Yuma Baby

Fundinmental Reviews!

Many thanks to Sherry Fundin for her wonderful review of Yuma Baby! I did my little happy dance to see how much she relates to Betty and Walt Rollin, and to see a comment from a reader who remembers the characters — a goal of every writer 🙂

If you’d like to see what Sherry has to say, here’s the link to her Fundinmental blog.

Don’t forget to follow her blog or subscribe to e-mail alerts so you won’t miss her reviews on all kinds of terrific books!

[Curious about Yuma Baby? Click the “About Ellen’s Books” image on the right or the “Books” link at the top of the page for more info on this and all of Ellen’s books.]

Posted in behind the scenes, reviews, Yuma Baby

Escapees with a Good Book ;-)

“She’s done it again. Ellen Behrens has created a can’t- put-this-book-down mystery,” writes Marcella Gauthier in her review of Yuma Baby for the Escapees Magazine.

This review means more to me than most because it’s by a fellow RVer for fellow RVers. The Escapee RV club has (so I’ve heard) about 50,000 members all over the country, and I’m happy to be among them. But when Marcella called me “a favorite author of the RVing community,” in her column, I glowed.

Yuma Baby Cover

Writers are advised to imagine the ideal reader while we’re writing, and it’s helped me. Several readers have told me they feel as though I’m Betty (I’m not, though we’re pretty similar in some ways) and that I’m “talking” just to them (I am). RVers have sent notes and posted reviews saying they appreciate the details of their RVing lives finding a way onto the page, because so few other novels do this, so few other characters in fiction are RVers.

All of this is to say that I’m humbled every time someone sends an e-mail, stops me at an RV park, or writes a review saying they enjoyed reading about Walt and Betty and their Rollin adventures.

It’s easy to lose heart when you spend so much of your energy inside your own head, wondering if anyone will understand the words the come out, much less enjoy them.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Click here to read the first two chapters or click the “Books” option above, then “Yuma Baby” for more info on the book.

Posted in writing life

“Traveling in Mystery” Review

Many thanks to Sherry Fundin at Fundinmentals for her review of “Pea Body”:

If you are looking for an adventure, Pea Body by Ellen Behrens, is a fun and entertaining cozy mystery that shares the wonders of nature, the characters of a small, seasonal coastal town on the outerbanks of North Carolina, the danger of greed in the hands of those that will do anything to get what they want and the freedom and drawbacks of a home on wheels.

You can read her full review here.

And there’s a review of Yuma Baby in the current issue of Escapees magazine (for those of you who are Escapees members) — I’m bravely letting you know about it, not having seen Marcella Gauthier’s review yet….!

Would love to  know what you think of either book — and where you’d like to see Walt and Betty land next!