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

***All Rona Shively books are now available on Kindle! See below for details!***Buy your copy of any Rona Shively Story and help someone today. All proceeds go to Higher Ground Ministries to empower women! Get your copy today at!***Help women reach Higher Ground!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Idol Tainted?

Yes, by greedy singers who won't take no for an answer. I was reading an article on Yahoo! about how some people feel that American Idol should not let contestant, Joanna Pacitti be in the competition because she has already attempted a career as a pop star and failed. My opinion: I agree! Ms. Pacitti, you had your chance. You don't need a way into the business if you've pretty much already been shut out. I thought American Idol was supposed to be looking for undiscovered talent. If she's already been out there, then, much like a piece of damaged luggage left at the baggage claim in the airport, she's been discovered and left unclaimed due to poor condition.

This sounds cruel, but really, the point of this show is not to bolster anyone's failing career (you know, there's a joke in there somewhere, but I won't go there), it's to help an unknown create a career in music. There have been others who shouldn't have been given the chance to compete. The most recent was Carly Smithson from season 7. She had previously been signed by MCA and her record flopped miserably. This doesn't mean she was not a good singer or that she has no worth as a person, it just means that the general public was not into her style and did not want to buy the product she had put out there. She tried, and she failed. There have been others who were previously signed by record companies, but somehow the stories about these contestants were kept very quiet. I won't go into detail, but I do remember wondering why they were being included when they had already had their big chance. I'm a firm believer in the old adage, "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again..." however; once the goal (getting the record deal) has actually been met, you must allow others the same opportunity that you have already had.

I can't understand why competitions such as this one get so far away from their original premise. Someone over there believes that the same formula can't possibly work for more than one season and that we constantly have to "improve" or otherwise distort the original purpose of the contest to keep viewers engaged. I get the sense from the people I talk to that most people don't even really like American Idol, but they can't not watch the show. We are stuck in this endless loop of watching to see how off course the show can possibly go. We aren't necessarily being entertained; we're being sucked into a black hole where the talentless go to steal their fifteen minutes of fame. Whether we want to have heard these people or not, they are being forced upon us. I say that if you've had a record deal that didn't go well then you need to go back to the drawing board and work a little harder at your craft before trying to win a spot in the world of entertainment. If you are talented enough, you'll get another deal and maybe this time, it will go somewhere. If not, well...the person needs to take some time to think about whether or not they really have what it takes to be a singer.

Allowing contestants who've already "won" a record deal to compete in Idol is like letting James Patterson (if he ever wrote a book that flopped, which isn't likely) enter a Writer's Digest novel contest to break back into the writing business. But, you see, we don't do this in writing as far as I know. If you flop, well, you keep on working until you get it right or you disappear. You don't get to keep entering contests once you've gotten the initial go ahead. With the exception of the self-published, published authors are usually not permitted to enter novel writing contests because they do not need to win what is being offered. They've already won it on their own. So, I might buy that an amateur singer who has their own record label would be allowed into the Idol competition, but that's really as far as I would go.

I don't want to give the impression that contest winners are not as deserving of a career as those who have been able to get their own music or writing deals. That's not what I mean at all. Hell, I'd love to win a publishing contract. What I'm saying is that it's called a "Big Break" for a reason. If you continue to have "Big Breaks" and you do nothing with them, well or they just fizzle out, then those "Big Breaks" aren't quite so big anymore. All you are doing is preventing someone who might be more talented than yourself from getting out there and taking their shot. Don't be greedy. There's obviously room for more than one celebrity out there. If you didn't make it with your "Big Break", acknowledge it and move on.

Until next time...

Subscribe to Benston Blogs by Email

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Making sense...

I recently had an article published in Alive Magazine called "Empty." The article is about my struggles with multiple miscarriage and how I have coped with my losses. You can read the article here. I'm hoping that this article will be helpful to women who have had the same experience.

Until next time...

Subscribe to Benston Blogs by Email

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Ready for a change...

I don't know about the rest of you, but I have been ready to see some big changes in our country's government since the last election. I'm happy that today, we will see a new leader step up and take his place in history. No doubt, the election of Barack Obama is of major historical importance. As our first African-American president, he is a symbol for just how far this country has come in terms of civil rights and just plain valuing people for who they are instead of judging them on the basis of things like skin color, religion, sexual preference, etc.

I, for one, am glad that we have finally gotten to this point and I hope that some of the groups that are still out there promoting the "wrong" kind of behavior will not impede President Obama's progress as he attempts to lead us to the change we so desperately need in this country. I've never been a fan of this kind of hate. I don't understand it and I don't accept it. It has never made sense to me that people would judge one another so harshly on the basis of characteristics that are basically just part of one's appearance. We all know how flawed this type of thinking is and that it has gone on as long as it has is unbelievable to me.

I won't stay on that soapbox too long. People get a little touchy and what I'm really aiming for with this post is to say that in spite of my initial reluctance to vote for Obama, I am happy that he's now preparing to be sworn in as our next president. I feel hopeful and I have confidence that he will work to make this country better. I'd like to take this opportunity to wish President-elect soon to be President Obama the best of luck as he embarks on this journey. I can't wait to see what happens!

Until next time...

Subscribe to Benston Blogs by Email

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,