Thanks for stopping by! This is the official blog for the Rona Shively Stories Mystery Series. Check in for details on upcoming Rona Shively Stories and other events! Watch Rona's transformation as she tackles life head on, now armed with newly found faith and the knowledge that she is not actually in control of anything. Finally, it is all starting to make sense.

Upcoming Events

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Friday, January 9, 2009

Blog Tour: How Obama Won by Earl Ofari Hutchinson

Benston Blogs is pleased to be a stop on Author and Political Analyst, Earl Ofari Hutchinson's Blog Tour for his book, How Obama Won.

How Obama Won is a provocative, hard hitting critical assessment of the issues, events, forces, politics, pressures and controversy that shaped and ensnared Barack Obama in his historic 2008 presidential campaign.

Political analyst Earl Ofari Hutchinson examines the impact of race and gender, campaign strategy, the key political players, the nature of presidential politics, the changes in the Democratic and Republicans parties, the importance of the black, Hispanic, youth, women and blue collar white worker votes, the role of corporation and special interests in American politics.

Hutchinson tells what the first African-American to win the White House means to America and the world.

How Obama Won

Hutchinson tells why:

Race was not a factor in Obama’s win

The Iraq war and the terrorism were not compelling issues in the campaign

Sarah Palin hurt McCain

Many blue collar whites and rural voters supported Obama

Obama was able to top McCain in fundraising

Ultraconservatives did not unite behind McCain

The economy ultimately sunk McCain

Obama’s win will and won’t change politics in America

Earl Ofari Hutchinson is a nationally acclaimed author and political analyst.

He is a frequent guest analyst on:

The John Gibson Show

O'Reilly Show

Hannity & Colmes

Glenn Beck Show

PBS Lehrer Report,

NPR's Talk of the Nation

Various CNN News Shows.

He is the National Political Writer for New America Media and a regular contributor to: the Huffington Post, and BlackAmericaWeb.Com

Excerpts from How Obama Won by Earl Ofari Hutchinson

Table of Contents -

Introduction -

Chapter 3 - It Was Still the Economy Stupid -

Chapter 4 - Team Obama’s Money Game Changer -

Chapter 5 The Catch 22 Black Vote -

Chapter 10 - How Obama Snatched the Race Card off The Presidential Table -

Chapter 14 - The Clinton Factor

Chapter 19 - Not Black President Obama, Just President Obama

E-book of How Obama Won is NOW Available -

Print Copies of How Obama Won
If you would like to be notified when the print copies of How Obama Won will be available - please fill out the name and address block in the top right corner of the blog.

Affiliate Opportunity
We also have affiliate opportunities if you would like to offer How Obama Won on your site -

Until next time...

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Thursday, January 8, 2009

Do writers get sick days?

Since I basically work for myself in terms of my writing life, I guess the answer to that question is "yes." The bigger question is, "Will a writer actually take one?" I've been battling some kind of upper respiratory bug since before Christmas and the bug seems to be winning. Although I just spent the last two weeks working like crazy on promotional items, short stories and other efforts, I still feel the need to be working on something even when my head feels like it could literally, roll right off of my shoulders.

Taking a sick day gives you the time you need to recharge and as an added bonus, you can justify not spending every waking moment thinking about what you have to do on the very basis of the fact that you are taking a sick day. In spite of this, I have a real problem with being anywhere near my laptop and not working on something. Sure, I feel guilty any time I call in sick to my job as a librarian, but I can't seem to let myself call in completely sick to being a writer. It's like being a mom. Even when you're sick, you're still expected to be a mom and take care of every little thing that your child might need. It's a given.

To me, working on my writing and promoting my writing is what feels normal. It's what feels like home. When I can't do this, I feel disconnected; out of sorts. That feeling only adds to the crappiness of being sick. The problem is that by not allowing myself to rest from my writing, I only get worse. I go from being sick to being SICK. And then when I'm coughing my head off and feeling downright crummy as I have been for the past couple of weeks, I can't seem to remember what I was writing about from one moment to the next. This makes me feel like a big idiot and I really hate feeling like any size of an idiot.

That said, I have to admit that today, instead of getting up and heading for the computer, I stayed in bed until 10 a.m. for the first time in years. It felt good to rest for a change and I'm trying to lay low for the rest of today so that I can be better for tomorrow. I know that if I don't, I'll never be able to get back to what I love doing; the writing. So, as I hit the publish button on this post, I'm going to get ready for yet another nap. No e-mails, no tweets, just sleep.

How do you recharge when you've run yourself into the ground with writing, promotion, networking, etc.? Help your fellow writers out by commenting with your best tips here.

Until next time...

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Monday, January 5, 2009

Whatever happened to having a little class?

As much as I understand that celebrities are automatically subject to a certain amount of scrutiny, I have to say that I'm appalled at the way the media is scrambling to put out every little detail they can find regarding the tragic death of John Travolta's son, Jett. To me, it seems in poor taste to post things like, "Travolta's son may have died in his arms." I hesitated to even reference the quote here for that very reason. Why do we, fans and others who are not related to the family, need to know these kinds of intimate details? I absolutely love John Travolta, but I feel that details such as these are, in no imagineable way, any of my business. Dealing with the death of a loved one is horrible enough without seeing these things written everywhere. It's just rude and terribly self-serving on the part of these "journalists."

I have said before that I feel that some members of the media have lost touch with the fact that the people about whom they are reporting are human beings who feel and hurt just like anyone else. Just because we can find out all of these things about them doesn't mean that we should. If for no other reason than out of respect for the very process of grieving, we should allow for the utmost of privacy during these times of sorrow. Whatever happened to having a little class?

As a fan of both John and Kelly, I extend my sincerest condolences to the family and hope that they will be able to find peace in this time of sorrow.

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A Little Bit of Mystery: Short Mysteries to Confuse and Amuse

Where I've Been...

Listen to my interview on the Jeffery S. Miller show.

Listen to my interview on Calling All Authors.

Listen to my interview on the Let's Just Talk w/Kathryn Raaker.

Listen to my interview on Radio Free Baxter.

Where I'll Be...

After a short break in the summer, I'll be at the following locations:

8/11/09 Allen Park Public Library, Allen Park, MI 6:30 p.m.

Looking for something entertaining for your library or bookstore patrons? Looking for a fun way to spend a couple of hours? Do you love mysteries? Then you need to schedule a Tea & Mystery event for your library or bookstore! The fee is minimal and the presentation is fun and informative! Attendees will be given the chance to win great prizes and share their thoughts about the mystery genre and their favorite mystery writers!

E-mail me today at for details on how to set up your Tea & Mystery event!

Books by Rebecca Benston

Reviews for Rebecca Benston

“You'll find yourself looking forward to more stories from the files of Rona Shively.”

Michelle Shealy, Reviewer for


“Rebecca Benston has written a detective with plenty of suspense…I hope there will be a sequel…”

Annick, Reviewer for Euro-Reviews


“The story is good, the plotting great. Rebecca Benston draws you into the story from the first page. Read the book.”

Lucille P. Robinson, An Alternative Read


“Rebecca Benston’s twists, turns, and descriptions are utterly engaging.”

Tracy, Fallen Angel Reviews


“In The Wash is like a 1930’s film noir detective story that had a modern, edgy twist and a female lead.”

Janet Davies, Once Upon a Romance Reviews


“Under Lock and Key is an enjoyable, fun book! Rona Shively is a delightful character. I loved her off-beat, quirky personality and her outstanding sense of humor.”

Connie Harris,


“Talented author Rebecca Benston shows the reader just how complicated life can get suddenly and how people you thought you knew, aren't who you thought they were.”

Anne K. Edwards,