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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 chrysteenbraun@gmail.com. My website, chrysteenbraun.com is just getting up and running.

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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.

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