Some end-of-year fun…

Well, another year has passed and circumstances have prevented me from finishing the next book in the Rona Shively Stories series. Fear not, it’s on the way. I just had a few minor personal catastrophes to deal with first. In the meantimes, I wanted to share something fun here. I know many people say that you shouldn’t do these things because hackers will get your personal information, but I assure you that there is no classified information contained in my answers. So, take a look at this comparison between my 47 year-old self and my 50 year-old self. Feel free to do your own A-Z assessment. 🙂


My answers at 47My answers at 50
Age – 47
Bed size – Full
Cat’s name – No cat
Dog’s name – No dog
Essential start of your day – some sort of coffee…
Favorite color – PurpleHeight – 5′ 1”
Instruments you played – None
Job title – Publisher
Kids – One wonderful daughter
Last ate – Grilled cheese
Mom’s name – Brenda
Nickname – Beaker
Overnight hospital stays – Maybe four or five…
Pet peeves – People who don’t take time to think about what someone else may be going through.
Quote from a movie – “I wouldn’t say I’ve been missing it, Bob,” Office Space or “Looks like I picked the wrong day to quit smoking,” Airplane or anything similar to these.
Right or Left handed – Right
Siblings – Two sisters
TV – The Good Doctor, Grey’s, The Masked Singer, New Amsterdam
Underwear – Absolutely!
Vacation favorite – Grand Canyon/Las Vegas
Ways to relax – Writing
X-rays – A whole bunch of them…
Yummy food – Pizza, lasagna, eggplant parmesan
Zoo favorites – Lions, tigers, and…I don’t know…bears.

Age – 50
Bed size – Same bed
Cat’s name – Still no cat
Dog’s name – Still no dog
Essential start of your day – Coffee, just coffee
Favorite color – Purple
Height – 5′ 1”, but possibly shrinking.
Instruments you played – Still haven’t picked that up.
Job title – Publisher/Salary Administrator by day
Kids – One wonderful daughter
Last ate – Oatmeal
Mom’s name – Brenda
Nickname – Beaker
Overnight hospital stays – Maybe four or five…thankfully no more since then.
Pet peeves – I still don’t care for people who don’t take time to think about what someone else may be going through. However, I’m more annoyed by people who choose not to pay attention to the truth. People who bury their head in the sand and just let bad things happen rather than taking action to stop it.
Quote from a movie – “I wouldn’t say I’ve been missing it, Bob,” Office Space or “Looks like I picked the wrong day to quit smoking,” Airplane, “You know I don’t speak Spanish,” Ron Burgundy,  or anything similar to these.
Right or Left handed – Right
Siblings – Two sisters
TV – Various anime series and the occasional K-drama.  Fruits Basket, To Your Eternity, Death Note, All of Us Are Dead, Little Women, The Sound of Magic, etc. 
Underwear – Again, absolutely!
Vacation favorite – I do love the Grand Canyon/Las Vegas, but any vacation would be great at this point.
Ways to relax – What is that? Relaxing?
X-rays – None for a while now.
Yummy food – Pizza, lasagna, eggplant parmesan – though nothing is really tasting all that great these days.
Zoo favorites – Lions, tigers, and…I don’t know…bears. Why would I change this answer? It’s my favorite.

While you wait for the next Rona Shively Story, check out this new short fiction on Kindle Vella! I release it chapter by chapter, so there’s always something new to read! Remember to like and follow each story for regular updates!

End of Eternity –

Redemption –

A Great Work of Fiction –

Do you love music?

Long time, no see! Yes, I’m back. Like a bad penny. You just can’t get rid of me. I stole this meme from a Facebook group I’m in. I thought it would be fun to share with you and see if you had any insights. For me it would be When I Need You by Leo Sayer, Only Sixteen by Dr. Hook, Too Much Heaven by the Bee Gees…but there are many more. This doesn’t even begin to include the many songs I love by Prince, Merle Haggard, some bluegrass, lots of Hip-Hop, a few hair bands, several Christian artists, and lately, Japanese bands like The Oral Cigarettes, Omoinotake, and Vickeblanka. I’m kind of all over the place, but there’s no doubt that I do love music. 🙂 What song or songs made you love music? Or worse, what song or songs made you hate music?

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:




Guess what?

Photo by Olya Kobruseva on

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

Tell everybody: Rona’s back!


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.


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!