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Preorder Blitz! The Maidservant in Cabin Number One: The Beginning (The Guest Book Trilogy 4) by Chrysteen Braun #preorder #historicalfiction #fiction

Title The Maidservant in Cabin Number One: The Beginning (The Guest Book Trilogy 4)


Author Chrysteen Braun


Genre Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction


Book Blurb


"Braun uses the mountainous area and cabins to her advantage in telling the stories of her characters. An exceptional plot. Her character development is outstanding."—Readers' Favorite


After her father’s death in 1923, when Ruth Ann Landry is just ten, she joins her mother as a maidservant for a wealthy Seattle family. The hours are long, the rules are strict, but she and her mother desperately need her wages to survive.


By the time she’s seventeen, they’ve moved into the house, and she’s become a mistress to her employer. While accompanying the family on vacation, she sees an opportunity to start a new life, and leaves. Ruth eventually finds solace in the mountain town of Lake Arrowhead, California, where she stays in one of the cabins owned by a man who becomes part of her future.


The Maidservant in Cabin Number One is the beginning of the story of The Guest Book Trilogy, and of Annie Parker who eventually comes to own the cabins where Ruth Landry stayed.




One Sunday evening in 1922, a man from the railroad came to tell us my father was killed when a rail yard worker accidentally released eighty feet of coal onto him and another man. He hemmed and hawed while he stood at the door, and I could tell he was uncomfortable by the way he shifted from foot to foot. Even though it was a cool evening, he wiped sweat from his forehead with his shirtsleeve and I saw a drop escape his sideburns and run down his face.


      My mother instinctively reached for me, as though I could console her. Even though I’d mentally detached myself from my father, I went to her when she held her arms out to me. I couldn’t understand how she could still care about him, but she cried, and said, “Now what are we going to do?” I didn’t truly understand what she meant until I realized we’d now have less money for food and rent. As if answering her question, the man said, “There’s a twenty-five dollar death policy that’ll be comin’ soon.”


      Eventually 1922 rolled into 1923, and my mother was still one of the many servants at the mansion. There was the head housekeeper, who reported directly to the mistress and ran the household, the senior housemaid, who reported to the head housekeeper, and the housemaid, (or maidservant), who was an “in between” maid. My mother’s position was that of the parlor maid, and she was responsible for keeping the reception and living rooms tidy, answering the door, announcing the arrival of guests, serving refreshments and then dinner. 


     There were two cooks who prepared all the food for the household, and a scullery maid who scrubbed the stoves, pots and pans and kitchen floors. A live-in nanny took care of their three children. I was ten then, when my mother told me the maidservant, or the “in between” maid, was let go. It wasn’t that she hadn’t performed her duties well, she said confidentially; it was that she became unfit for employment. Seeing an opportunity for me to help support our household, my mother mentioned me for the position and she told me to prepare for my interview. She rummaged through our clothes cupboard and pulled a dress from a hanger. 


      “This is the best I can do,” she said, making me try it on. “Stop squirming.” 


     “Ow,” I cried out. 


      She’d pinned the back of the dress to make it tighter, and when I moved, one of the pins pricked my skin. 


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Author Biography


Chrysteen Braun is a California native, born and raised in Long Beach.


The mountains, where she and her husband had a second home, were the inspiration for her first three books, The Guest Book Trilogy. These fictional restored cabins from the late 1920s all had their own stories to tell.


Her writing crosses genres of Women’s Fiction with relationships, and a little mystery and intrigue. She’s published articles about her field of interior design and remodeling, both for trade publications and her local newspaper.


She lives in Coto de Caza, with her husband Larry and two Siamese cats.



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