Combining Women's Fiction with Romance, Cozy Noir Mystery and Suspense.

follow Chrysteen:


The Starlet in Cabin Number Seven

September 28, 2023

Chapter One 1981 It was my second year up in the mountains, and I couldn’t believe how quickly it’d become the end of February. I was hoping the new year and the rest of winter would bring us only a pocket full of challenges since the previous year had presented us with many. Just to tease me, a gust of ice cold wind blew my sweater open, and I pulled it tight around me. We’d just come off an unusually heavy snowfall, and all the roads were piled high with berms that would keep some people locked down until they could get a snowplow to dig them out.  This latest storm downed power lines in various communities, which left those of us without generators, with no power.  “I don’t remember this from last year,” I said to Sam.  I’d bought the cabins from him last year, and I was still learning about the B&B and mountain life. He’d lit the fireplace to warm up the office, and I set out food bowls for our camp cats, Jezebel and Socks, who gladly made their way inside.      “Well, it probably happened, but it didn’t last long. It happens regularly,” he said. “Sometimes we’re down for twenty minutes, and sometimes a day. The good news is you can always store your refrigerated foods outdoors when it’s so cold.” If we could make it through the rest of this winter without too many repairs, the next thing on my list was to get some pricing to install a generator large enough to run all the cabins if need be. Thankfully, we were between guests, so it spared us having to creatively heat and light the cabins. That night, Noah and I bundled up and sat in on the sofa in front of his fireplace; the glow […]

Read More

The Habits Code

April 11, 2023

Most people who know me tell me they’ve always thought of me as being a good businesswoman. What they always saw was the duck sitting in the middle of  the pond, basking in the sun and looking pretty; what they never saw, was that that duck was paddling like hell beneath the surface. Merriam Webster describes success as “a degree or measure of succeeding” or a “favorable or desired outcome” and “the attainment of wealth or favor.” There are many paths that can lead you down that road to success. And success means something different to each of us. It could mean wealth, happiness, recognition and/or financial freedom…. In my lifetime, I’ve taken turns down roads that didn’t lead me to any of these.  When the recession hit in 2008, we lost over half our home remodeling business income overnight. Then it seemed the next month we lost another half, and believe me, that didn’t leave us with much to work with. But I was younger then, and giving up was never an option. When I was asked to write this chapter for The Habits Code, the idea was to share one habit that helped make me successful. As I made copious notes, I realized there was never just one habit, but many that kept me going. The first one was perseverance. Even when I was at my lowest, I woke each morning and forced myself to put one foot in front of the other. I did my hair and make-up, just like every other day, and drove to our office, knowing I had my work cut out for me. I thought of myself as a movie star, ‘always on’ and I maintained a positive attitude, had a smile on my face, was cheerful when a prospective client called or […]

Read More

The Girls in Cabin Number Three

December 9, 2022

CHAPTER ONE It was 1981 and springtime in Lake Arrowhead, California, and there was still some snow on the ground in areas where the sun hadn’t melted it. Berms were now covered in dirt, and small grainy volcanic rock lined the roads up the mountain, looking dingy, needing a fresh layer of snow to be pretty again. Daffodils and tulips that had been planted over the years popped up along the roads into town. Every once in a while, it was obvious which ones had multiplied on their own, for they spread naturally in random clumps. Clusters of them emerged from the small gardens in front of each of the cabins too, and soon I’d finish filling in with spots of other annual color. I’d purchased the B & B, actually a series of seven cabins, the summer before, when I’d come to the mountains eager to clear my head. I hadn’t come with the plan of moving up, but I’d also not dreamed I’d find out that my husband David had been seeing someone else. I knew it would not solve all life’s problems, but the entire lifestyle here made me realize how easily I could start over. I didn’t have to run away; I could simply live where no one knew me. Once I made up my mind, it hadn’t taken me long to come up with the serendipitous idea to buy the cabins I stayed in and get a new perspective on life. We had a guest coming in the afternoon, and the only vacancy we had was Number Five, now called Cedar Cove Cabin. As a rule, I always checked the cabins out before guests arrived, just to make sure everything was in order. The moment I opened the door to Five, I took in the […]

Read More

The Man in Cabin Number Five

October 16, 2020

 You know how when people hear your life stories, they sometimes say, “You should write a book.” I suppose that means over the years, some of my stories must have been interesting to others, and lately, I’ve been thinking about writing that book. While I can’t always remember what I had for dinner last night, I can remember things that happened to me over my lifetime…and I’ve also been known to embellish a little here and there, so I’d be able to come up with stories to fill in any gaps. It’s 1980 and I’ve just had my eightieth birthday, thank God, for I’m getting close. As much as I swore I hated the idea of a party, my family and friends had one for me anyway…and I ended up having the best time ever. People I hadn’t seen for years surprised me by coming, and of course, talking with them brought back a lot of old memories. Some reminded me of unpleasantness, but I recalled most with fondness. My husband’s daughter, Sissy, had gone through my drawers of old photos, much to my dismay, for some of them could have been considered damning. She made up some poster boards showing my life at various ages. She meant well, but I couldn’t help but feel that I was a spectator at my own funeral. Plus, I absolutely hated seeing photos of myself in private, much less on public display. “Remember the old Helm’s Bakery truck?” my husband asked us all. “The moment we saw it stop down the street, we’d rush to our mother to ask for enough money to buy a doughnut or cookie,” someone said. We’d wait, almost jumping in anticipation, until that long wooden drawer rolled out, revealing all the goodies we had to choose from. I […]

Read More
typewriter chapter one

March has been a busy month!

March 20, 2019

I’ve started editing the first book of my 3 book series about a woman who moved up to the mountains and restores cabins that have secrets. (One about  a man who has committed suicide, one about a starlet from the late 20’s and one about a brothel, also set in the late 20’s) In each book, Annie meets the heirs who never know about the truth about past lives, and only the reader ends up hearing their true stories. But I also took a couple of weeks off to listen to a wonderful series of webinars for aspiring authors put on by Women in Publishing, and I’m slightly overwhelmed to learn about what I need to be doing to promote my work! And lastly, I was lucky to attend the 36th Annual Literary Women, Long Beach Festival of Authors held at the Long Beach Convention Center. Over 800 women (and 2 men) attended to listen to 7 authors and it was incredible. I’ve read one book by Tayari Jones called An American Marriage about an upscale black couple whose lives are changed forever when the husband is wrongly accused of rape, and it was excellent. I’ve just ordered Amy Bloom’s book White Houses about Eleanor Roosevelt and journalist Lorena Hickok. I’d love to have you sign up to be notified when I’m closer to publishing. Email me at My website, is just getting up and running.

Read More

about chrysteen

Chrysteen Braun is a native Californian, born and raised in Long Beach. She wrote her first novel when she was twelve, and while she can’t recall what it was about, she always thought she could become a writer.

Read More