CWW Contest Winner Publishes New Book

Kathleen Ernst, whose books have won Council for Wisconsin Writers contest awards in the past, has a new book out, published by the Wisconsin Historical Society. Here is the Society’s news release.

Wisconsin Historical Society Press Logo
For Immediate Release


Kristin Gilpatrick, Marketing Manager
Wisconsin Historical Society Press

 New Book Captures Seasonal Life of “Old World” Pioneers

A Settler's Year: Pioneer Life through the Seasons by Kathleen ErnstDiscover the landscape and homesteads of early Wisconsin settlers in A Settler’s Year: Pioneer Life through the Seasons(Hardcover: $29.95, ISBN: 978-0-87020-714-3), written by popular mystery writer Kathleen Ernst and published by The Wisconsin Historical Society Press.


Ernst’s newest nonfiction book weaves a seasonal tapestry of Midwestern pioneer life — tying Ernst’s poignant essays together with evocative color photographs taken by award-winning photographer Loyd Heath at Old World Wisconsin, the country’s largest outdoor museum of rural life. This page-turning journey traverses the seasons from sprawling farms to cramped smoky cabins and from a tidy crossroads village to gracious, well-furnished home.
Readers experience the back-straining chores, cherished folk traditions, annual celebrations, and indomitable spirit that comprised pioneer life in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. From spring blossoms to winter’s tranquility and everything in between, the changing seasons provide a beautiful backdrop to display the diverse work of settlers.


At its heart, “A Settler’s Year” is about people dreaming of, searching for, and creating new homes in a new land. This moving book transports us back to the pioneer era and inspires us to explore the stories found on our own family trees through the blending of photographs and history.
To explore Midwestern pioneer life in person and learn more about Old World Wisconsin visit the museum’s web site here.

Media: For a review copy of “A Settler’s Year,” to interview Kathleen Ernst or Loyd Heath, or for more information, please contact Kristin Gilpatrick, Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 816 State St., Madison, WI 53706; 608-264-6465; email:


The Wisconsin Historical Society Press, publishing the best of

Wisconsin history and culture since 1855 as a division of the Wisconsin Historical Society


About the Author
Kathleen Ernst is the award-winning author of more than thirty mystery, historical fiction, and nonfiction books for adults and young readers. Her latest include Death on the Prairie, the sixth Chloe Ellefson Historic Sites mystery for adults from Midnight Ink, and The Smuggler’s Secrets, a Caroline Abbott mystery from American Girl. Kathleen has a master’s degree in history education and writing from Antioch University. She spent over a decade as curator of interpretation and collections at the Wisconsin Historical Society’s Old World Wisconsin site, an experience from which she often draws for her Chloe Ellefson mystery series. Learn more about her work
About the Photographer
Loyd Heath‘s interest in photography began in 1945 when he was a high school student in Milwaukee. Since then he has taken many photo courses and workshops, participated in many photo shows, and been widely published. After retiring in 1998 from the University of Washington, where he is currently Professor Emeritus of Accounting, Loyd has devoted his time to photography. He is best known for his photos of the University of Washington campus, Pacific Northwest totem poles, Genesee Country Village in Mumford, New York, and Old World Wisconsin. He judged the annual Old World Wisconsin photo contest for many years.
Praise for “A Settler’s Year


In “A Settler’s Year,” we come to understand what these early arrivals endured as they struggled to make a living in a new land. This is a book with great meaning for those of us who grew up on farms, and a book to be shared with young people eager to know more about pioneer life.”

 Jerry Apps, Celebrated Rural Storyteller and Author

Upcoming Events
Thursday, Sept. 17, 2015 – Book Talk & Signing

Time:  7 pm

Location: Mystery to Me Bookstore, 1863 Monroe Street, Madison, Wis.


Friday, Sept. 18, 2015 – Wisconsin History Tour Book Launch

Time: Noon

Location: Waukesha Public Library, 321 W. Wisconsin Avenue, Waukesha, Wis.
Sunday, Sept. 20, 2015 – Old World Wisconsin Book Celebration Event

Time: 3 p.m.

Location: Clausing Barn, upper level, outside entrance to Old World Wisconsin, Eagle, Wis. The special book talk event will also feature “A Settler’s Year” award-winning photographer, Loyd Heath and Old World Wisconsin Director Dan Freas. Light refreshments will be served. The event is free and open to the public and located in the barn outside of the site admission office. (Those who also tour the Old World Wisconsin site Sept. 20 can show their ticket stub for a book discount.)


Saturday, Sept. 26, 2015 – Door County Book Festival Signing

Time: 10 am – 5 pm

Location: The Peninsula Bookman Bookstore, Fish Creek, Wis.
Monday, Oct. 19, 2015 – National Archives Noontime Talk Series

Time: Noon

Location: National Archives, 700 Pennsylvania Ave., NW-Rm G-29, Washington, DC.
Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015 – Sterling North Book Festival Talk & Signing

Time: TBA

Location: Edgerton, Wis.


To Order

For retail and wholesale orders: Contact the Chicago Distribution Center at 800-621-2736 Fax: 800-621-8476 Email:
For individual orders: Order by phone toll free at 888-999-1669, shop online, or shop in person at the Wisconsin Historical Museum Shop, 30 N. Carroll St., Madison WI 53703


A Settler’s Year: Pioneer Life through the Seasons

By Kathleen Ernst with Photograhs by Loyd Heath

Hardcover: $25.95

200 pages, 179 color and b&w photos, 8 x 9

ISBN: 978-0-87020-714-3


1 Comment

Filed under authors, children's books, poets, writers

One response to “CWW Contest Winner Publishes New Book

  1. Thanks for the shout-out! I’m excited about the new book.

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