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!

Posted in writing advice

Old Ladies and Murderers

Holidays were the highlights of the year back in my little hometown, and summer days were long and lazy. As a kid, it never seemed as though much happened.

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But some remarkable things did happen.

I can’t claim The Mystery of the Little Old Lady was what propelled me into writing mysteries of my own, but this real-life event stayed with me for years, and I still wonder about who the woman with the white hair might have been. You can read my personal mystery over at the GottaWriteNetwork blog come February 16. Here’s the link to Denise Fletcher’s terrific blog.
Don’t forget to follow it for the latest updates!

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As if that weren’t enough excitement for the little Ohio town, it’s had its share of murders. They’re pretty few and far between, but back in 1999 a woman was killed by her son — and I knew them both. If you haven’t read about The Murderer I Knew at the Motive Means Opportunity blog, you can find it here.

Your turn! What odd mysteries have you experienced in your life?

Posted in writing life

What’s Going On?

A lot. That’s what’s going on. But it’s not showing up on either blog (although the Bob and Ellen’s Great RV Adventure Blog sees many more posts than this one…

In the meantime, I’m guest blogging at Motive Means Opportunity, where you can see my latest post, “The Murderer I Knew,” as well as previous guest posts, “Small Glimpses,” and “Conventions Exist for Good Reason.” It’s great fun writing for MMO, where excellent mystery writers converge to share “behind the scenes” details and how-to advice.

And I’m reading a lot. If you’re at all curious about what a writer reads to fill the writing soul, follow any of the authors you enjoy reading via Goodreads.

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I’ve just finished some different novels and posted my reviews on Goodreads.

First, I can’t get enough of Mac McClellan, reluctant PI, brainchild (literally) of author E. Michael Helms. “Deadly Spirits” is the fourth in the series, and I’ve read every one. They’re each unique yet familiar and though you could start with any of of them, the over-arching story of Mac’s plunge into PI work, his relationship with Kate, and other bits and pieces will make more sense if you start with “Deadly Catch.” They’re all terrific!

One of the most unique storytelling I’ve read lately is coming from an author from my home state of Ohio. Cher Bibler is a former bookstore owner, band member (with her son), writes music, poetry, and fiction. On the surface, you might think you know where her stories are going. But you’d be wrong. Start with either stand-alone book. “About Irene” isn’t just one of those fantasy concepts about what dolls might be like if they came to life — it’s much more than that. And if you think you’ve read every take on a certain classic Christmas story, think again and read “Five Christmases.” It will change how you see some of our routine holiday traditions, I promise.

If you love a good yarn featuring a sassy female main character, you should pick up Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series. I started with her first (“One for the Money”) and despite other readers who find Stephanie a “marshmallow” and Evanovich’s writing icky, I’ve loved every one of the books in the series. I’m reading them in order which is the best way to get the full impact of Stephanie’s transition into and growth in bounty hunting. Here’s my review of “Seven Up.”

The other book I just read and reviewed was one I discovered via the Motive Means Opportunity blog. “A River to Die For” is the fifth in Radine Trees Nehring’s “To Die For” series, and I jumped into the middle of this series because camping was involved. Here’s my review for it on Goodreads.

What have you read lately?

Posted in writing life

Guest Blogging!

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I am honored to have been invited to post guest blogs at MotiveMeansOpportunity — a fantastic, info-filled, insight-laden blog that E. Michael Helms, Kait Carson, and Max Everhart formed awhile back. It’s a thrill to be in their company, as well as many other fabulous mystery writers!

Yep… could explain why I haven’t posted here as much, eh?

My latest post for MMO is now online! Click to read about how the small glimpses we get on the road feed my writing.

And if you missed my debut at MMO, you can read it here.

Continue reading “Guest Blogging!”