Hey, who turned out the lights?

It has been such a crazy year that I hadn’t realized how long it had been since I last posted here. I’ve been hard at work on a special treat! Rona 11 will be ready by the end of September and I can’t wait to share this one with you! Rona is once again tangled up in a pretty nasty case…much to her chagrin. She can’t even get away from the crazy when she’s semi-retired! Out of nowhere, a desperate employee contacts her for help in exposing her crooked employer and before she knows it, she’s neck-deep in fraud and mischief! A few new characters and some interesting twists make this Rona Shively Story one of the best yet! I can’t wait to share it with you, but in the meantime, be sure you’ve checked out the other ten stories so that you’re all caught up. All ten are now available on Audible and iTunes as well as in paperback and for Kindle!

You can pick them up here:

Amazon

HGBM Shop

Audible

Guess what?

Photo by Olya Kobruseva on Pexels.com

I’ve added a few things for you! It had been a little while since I last updated my blog here, so I took some time this week to add some new information about the books I’ve been writing. For a long time, I wrote only fiction. Over the last few years, however, I’ve been working on several different things. I’ve written a few children’s books, a few devotionals, and some empowerment resources. And there’s more on the way! I hope you will check out all of these cool books as well as those that are now available on audio.

Thanks for stopping by! Happy Reading!

Rona is now on Audio!

For those who need to hear it, Rona Shively is now on audio-book! That’s right, books 1-7 are available now on Audible and iTunes! I’ll be sharing what I can here, so stay tuned! Also, we have a private group on FB for those who are signed up for our mailing list here, so once you sign up we’ll send you an invitation to join that group so that you can be in on the special information we share there about the series! Thanks for being here!

In the Wash: The Rona Shively Stories by Rebecca Benston, Narrated by Prinna Boudreau

We’re sharing a brief portion of In the Wash: The Rona Shively Stories here! You can purchase your copy at Audible.com.

Tell everybody: Rona’s back!

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No, not that Rona. Rona Shively.  Your favorite P.I.  It’s okay to get excited.  It’s been a bit since I’ve written a Rona Shively Story.  In fact, the last story in the series was titled, “I Was Here,” and it was, admittedly, meant to be Rona’s last ride.  I was certain that I was ready to let her go and that she had served her purpose for my life.  That was just a few years ago; 2016 to be exact.  And although I was sure she had done everything I needed her to do, I was wrong.  As it turns out, she’s not quite ready to hang up her trench coat.

With all the craziness that’s going on in the world, Rona Shively has no choice but to jump back into the ring.  Her last battle left her so depleted that she checked out in the middle of a case and locked herself in her house until people left her alone.  It was a much-needed break and now that she’s feeling better about things, she is ready to get out and do something.  She’s ready to mix it up.  She’s ready to pick a fight.  Little does she know that her latest opponent is connected a bit more deeply than she could have anticipated.  Can she be David to this Goliath?  Will this be the case that sidelines her for good?

The Harder They Fall: The Rona Shively Stories will be out in Fall, 2020.  Keep watching the blog for details.  In the meantime, the first two Rona Shively stories are available on audio!  And two more are on the way.  Get caught up while you wait for the new book.  And if you haven’t read all ten books in the series, they’re available in the Higher Ground Books & Media Shop or on Amazon.

So why don’t you cry about it?

Rona Shively isn’t known for her relationship prowess.  She’s often been plagued by ridiculousness and until she met Garrett, she’d been involved with a number of unnecessarily difficult entanglements.  Her sister, Jane is worse.  She tends to pick the wrong guy even when ten of the right guys are lined up in front of her.  I mostly get my inspiration for these two and their romantic shenanigans from my own misfortunes in the dating arena.  Inevitably, there’s some guy out there who claims to want to date me and then decides, after disrupting my life with his overtures, that maybe, it just isn’t worth the hassle.  And then comes the lying, the backpedaling, the scheming, and ultimately…the ghosting.  The funniest part of it all is that they always think I don’t know what they are doing, but I ALWAYS know.  I only go along with it because it’s easier than starting a big argument.  I let it fizzle out and move on.  So, as I’m writing the next book in the Rona series, I’m enjoying giving these ladies the necessary backbone to head off the drama that comes with taking too long to call a spade a spade.  Instead of sitting and wringing her hands and wondering why her boyfriend hasn’t called, Jane goes out and picks a fight.  It’s hilarious and empowering…even for me.

Another thing that has given me motivation for writing these stories is watching TV shows like Grey’s Anatomy.   After this last week’s episode, I had more than enough fuel for the raging fire of disappointment, anger, and frustration that Jane is trying to fight.  Let’s see what she does with it.  I mean, really.  Who is the genius that decided it would be great to see one of our most beloved characters (Alex Karev) completely de-evolve and hop back into a shiny, happy relationship with the very woman (Izzie) that none of us could stand for the sake of two children whom he had no idea she’d made without him.   Come on, Shonda!  Alex isn’t that stupid or shallow anymore.  And we had all just gotten comfortable with the fact that we never had to hear about Izzie again…or at least I had.   All of the news articles that said we should expect tears as we watched the final “Alex” episode were just plain wrong.  I didn’t want to cry, I wanted to slap him.  And let’s not even start on how upset I was for Jo!  I see what you’re up to, Ms. Rhimes…and I just don’t like it.

It pains me to admit that I’m so invested in the characters on Grey’s, but it’s been a decent show for the most part.  So why not?  Why shouldn’t I be a fan? Or rather, why shouldn’t I have been a fan before this unfortunate showing last week?

The point is, when we love our characters we sometimes do some really stupid things to them.  Whether the motivation comes from having made our own mistakes or having studied the mistakes made by others, we get motivation from all sorts of places.  I can only hope that what I write will motivate someone else to take action in their life or at the very least, they will be so irritated with watching someone make a stupid mistake that they will try that much harder not to do the same.  So, I’m hoping that what I just witnessed on Grey’s will keep me from letting my characters do things that are completely against the character I’ve built up in them over the years.  Grey’s may be able to recover from pulling stunts like this, but I’m not sure Rona could.

Keep your eyes open for news about the next big Rona Shively Story.  I think you’re going to like it!

Upcoming Events & New Beginnings!

It’s been awhile since I posted here and I wanted to make you aware of a couple of events that I have coming up.  The first is the Springfield Writes Local Author Fair at the Clark County Public Library on April 28th from 11-2 p.m.  I’ll be there with the Rona Shively Stories!  I’d love for you to stop by!  Then in August, I’ll be at the Springfield, OH Book Fair at Mother Stewart’s Brewing Co. in Springfield, OH.  The addresses for both events are listed in the events section on this page…I think. 🙂 I’ve been extremely busy writing and helping publish some other great authors through Higher Ground Books & Media, but you’ll be seeing a bit more from me here this year.  Hope you’ll stop by one or both of the events.  I’d love to see you.

Visit Higher Ground Books & Media to purchase your copies of The Rona Shively Stories.  All ten books are available through HGBM!

 

What do you know about Rona?

You might know more than I do.

Over ten years ago, I started writing a mystery series called The Rona Shively Stories.  Ten books later, I am still trying to figure out this character.  In the most recent book, we see Rona trying to figure out why she still bothers.  Often, we ask ourselves this same question.  Why do I still bother when it seems like I’m making absolutely no progress?  My answer is always, because I am curious as to what will happen next?  Could tomorrow bring the next big victory?  Or the next big defeat?  I’ll never know if I give up now.

Sometimes, however, we just need to step away from it all and take inventory.  Sometimes, we cannot continue traveling down the same road that we’ve been on for most of our journey.  Sometimes, we absolutely must stop doing what we’ve been doing so we can figure out whether or not we are getting the desired results.  Rona does this.  And though we may not understand why at the time, it makes sense to her.  That’s all that matters.  When and if she’s ready, she’ll come back around.  When and if she’s ready, she’ll explain it all.  That’s real life.  That’s the real story.

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Until next time…God bless.

Have we seen the last of Rona Shively?

Last year, books 9 & 10 in the Rona Shively series were released.  Send Me An Angel & I Was Here could be the last two books in the series, however, you never know with Rona.  Sometimes, she comes up with something new out of nowhere.

Life is like that.  Just when we think we’re all done with something, we get a brilliant idea that makes us pick it up again.  Rona is resting for now, but she may be back sooner than you think.  So, read the books and send us your reviews.  We’d love to hear which of the Rona books you enjoyed the most and what you’d like to see happen in future stories.

Thanks for following Rona all these years!  Have a blessed day!

 

Ten Years of Rona

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This year, I had the pleasure of writing books nine and ten in the Rona Shively Stories series.  I’ve been writing this series since 2006 and as I reflect on what this character has meant to me, I’m almost overwhelmed.  When it all started, I was struggling with grief.  My now ex-husband and I had gone through a rough time.  I’d had one miscarriage and then I’d given birth to our daughter.  From there, I’d been plagued by post partum depression and although I’d wanted more children, it soon became obvious that I would not be able to have more.  I suffered another miscarriage and then another, and another.  By the fifth loss, I decided that I couldn’t try anymore.  Throughout all of this, I wrote Rona.  The pain and suffering that I felt during those years was so intense that I channeled it into this character and through sarcasm and a jacked up sense of humor, I managed to cope with all the loss.

Ultimately, my husband and I divorced.  Throughout the years that followed, I poured my grief over the loss of my marriage into the books.  I threw in a few other losses as well as I watched several dear members of my family pass away.  As I wrote, I also tried to show the struggle that I was having with my own relationship with God.  The last ten years has been difficult, to say the least.  But I’m thankful that God has allowed me to use my writing to process what were the hardest years of my life.  I’m also thankful that this character has made a few people laugh or at least feel a little better about their own challenges.  I hope that she illustrates what it’s like to live in this world and want to be so much better than we are capable of being at a given time in our lives.  Sometimes, we just can’t.  Sometimes, we have to go through the things that devastate us in order to learn what we need to learn to be better.  And we always come out stronger on the other side.

The struggle is real and it is a necessary evil.  No matter how hard things are, there is always meaning and there is always a way out that will not entail total self-destruction.  Rona is a strong character, but she hurts like everyone else.  She has felt pain and sorrow.  She has been broken.  But she has also allowed herself to be put back together.  And she lives to fight another day.  If you get nothing else out of these books, I hope you will see that even when life is at its dumbest, you can turn and head in a completely new direction.  That’s what she’s done and who knows where it will take her.  I’m positive that wherever that may be, she’ll be all the better for it.

Happiest of New Year’s to all of you!  I pray that you’ll be everything you dreamed you could be and that you’ll let God give you beauty for your ashes this year.  Many blessings!

 

A Wise Woman Once Said…

If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck…well, it’s probably a duck.  So why is it that sometimes, even when we are looking that duck right in its bill, we refuse to believe that we’re dealing with a real quack?  My character, Rona Shively, often second-guesses herself and has been known to mentally smack herself in the head from time to time in true, “I should have had a V-8” fashion.  She, like myself, gets a feeling about someone or something and even though she is pretty sure the feeling is right on target, she ignores it and often finds herself in a world of hurt.  With that said, I’ve decided to make only one, big resolution for this new year.  I WILL NOT IGNORE that little voice inside that tells me something is going on.  All too often, I err on the side of forgiveness and try to give people the benefit of the doubt.  Instead of putting my foot down and demanding to be treated with some respect, I have been content to simply say, “I knew it,” later on.  But those days are gone.  There won’t be any more fifth or tenth chances.  Sure, I’ll stick to forgiving and not holding a grudge because I refuse to be overtaken by hate, but I’ll also be guarding my heart more closely than ever from now on.  I think it will save me a lot of time and energy.  And with the book I’m currently writing, it seems I’m going to need every ounce of strength I have to get my character through the things she’s about to face.

If I’ve learned nothing else this year, I’ve finally figured out that there really are some people out there who must certainly be on the devil’s payroll.  They have no desire to treat people fairly or even with a sliver of respect.  So when it becomes obvious that your only role in their life is to serve their purposes at the expense of your values, beliefs and wishes, well, then it’s time to do as they say in the Bible and shake the dust off your feet and move on.  Maybe if enough people refuse to give them the attention they are seeking with this behavior, they might eventually learn how to treat people.  But this gal right here is done being an emotional crash test dummy.

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This year, all of my projects will be working together to help empower women.  In addition to writing, I am also a publisher and a women’s advocate.  Higher Ground Ministries and Books from Higher Ground are working together to create some exciting new resources for women of all ages.  Proceeds from the sale of any of The Rona Shively Stories go to support the ministry and all donations are greatly appreciated as well as tax deductible.  If you haven’t read Rona yet…you can start with In the Wash: The Rona Shively Stories for the Happy New Year price of just $5 per copy!!!  This special is good until January 15, 2015.  To get your copy at this very special price, just go to our bookstore.

I’m through playing around.  Get ready to make some progress in 2015, ladies.  Onward and forward…to Higher Ground!!!