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The Starlet in Cabin Number Seven is an Indie Reads pick #historicalmystery #indiereads #giveaway



Title: The Starlet in Cabin Number Seven (The Guest Book Trilogy 3)

 

Author: Chrysteen Braun

 

Genre: Historical Fiction, Historical Mystery

 

Book Blurb:

 

Return to picturesque 1980s Lake Arrowhead, California where another cozy cabin sheltered amongst the sweeping pine-lined vistas holds a long-buried secret, waiting to be divulged.

 

In this third installment of The Guest Book Trilogy, a young Annie Parker is struggling to overcome her grief over the recent loss of her sister, when a childhood friend unexpectedly turns up seeking refuge from an ill-fated marriage. It would have been easy for Annie to sink deeper into sadness, but when she learns her newest design client, Hudson Fisher, is the son of the late film actress Celeste Williams, her curiosity is peaked. As it turns out, the Roaring 20s starlet was no stranger to the Lake Arrowhead cabins—and this revelation sparks the unraveling of a scandalous story from Hollywood’s bygone era. Did an illicit romance between this leading lady and her dashing costar take place in Cabin No. 7? What really went on behind-the-scenes during the filming of that silent picture? Will discovering a piece of the past bring closure to Annie’s present?

 

A heartwarming tale of friendships, forgiveness, and a touch of old Hollywood glamour, The Starlet in Cabin Number Seven will have readers captivated from beginning to end.

 

Excerpt:

 

Mother would take us to the movies where we saw Marlene Dietrich, Mary Pickford, and Gloria Swanson. For days after, I would daydream about having the exciting life I imagined they did. I could picture myself in either a scarf tied around my head to avoid messing up my hair, or wearing one of the latest new hats as my driver drove me about. Of course, I was always glamorous. I saw it now; Celeste Williamson, the glamorous film star...

 

I knew I’d never become an actress if I stayed in Chicago. I didn’t want to work at the Majestic Theater and get into vaudeville, so I set my sights on Los Angeles and Hollywood.

 

By 1928, I’d already planned my escape, although I wasn’t sure if I was going to tell my parents ahead of time, or wait until the day I actually left. My father’s mother died the year before, leaving me a thousand dollars, a gold necklace with a locket and a diamond watch, so I knew I had the money to support myself for a while.

 

I chose springtime to leave. Although there was still snow on the ground, you could go outside without wearing heavy clothing, and I knew the weather would get warmer as I headed west. I was leaving all my winter clothes behind.

 

I’d decided not to tell my parents ahead of time, so I waited until the day before I left to break the news to them. My father wasn’t home, so I told my mother first. I thought she was going to faint the way she put her hand up to her forehead; she could have become an actress herself as she dramatically plunked herself down onto the drawing room settee.

 

“You can’t go!” she cried out, appalled. “A young woman would never go out on her own and do such a thing!”

 

Her hands were shaking, and I truly felt awful breaking the news to her that way, but I knew if I tried to talk her into it, she and my father would never agree.

 

“I knew something was up when I saw all those magazines in your room,” she said, gathering her composure. “I should have figured something was going on.”

 

My eyes narrowed, for I never suspected she’d go into my room and find them.

 

 She blurted out, “The maid showed them to me when she was cleaning your room.”

 

“Mother, they were under my mattress. What was she doing looking there?”

 

 I shot her an awful look that I would remember and regret much later in my life. That saying, “If looks could kill,” was what I felt, and I know she saw it in my eyes.

 

“Oh Celeste, this is the most awful thing you could do. You have a future here. You can go to college, and then you can find a husband. You could have a career...and you’re willing to throw all that away? To be what? A wanna be actress?”

 

She took a deep breath and I could see she was trying to calm down. “Oh dear, what will I tell your father?” She put both hands to her temples and rubbed. “Why could you never be like Ruth? You’ve always been so strong willed.”

 

I hated it when my parents compared me to my sister. We were so opposite in what we liked and what we wanted out of life. Ruth was going to be content being married and having children...and fitting into society. I never wanted that. I wanted adventure and challenges. Even if it turned out I ended up failing.

 

I knew I needed to at least say I was sorry, for I wasn’t made of stone and I could see how distressed she was.

 

So I said, “I’ll be fine, Mother. You and Father have taught me the difference between right and wrong, and I know I’ll be successful. This is something I’ve always wanted to do, and I would regret it if I didn’t try.” I thought I should tell her I already had my train ticket, so I said, “I leave on the noon train for California tomorrow.”

 

Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


What makes your featured book a must-read?

 

If you want to snuggle up to a good book this winter, then the Guest Book Trilogy is for you! It's Women's Fiction with intrigue, starting over and relationships, a little mystery all set up in the picturesque setting of Lake Arrowhead. Start with Book One, The Man in Cabin Number Five, and follow Annie Parker as she moves up to the mountains to start over and buys a series of cabins that all have their own stories to tell.

 

"Braun’s writing is captivating, personal and accessible. Her use of descriptive imagery makes you feel as though you are living each moment described, embarking on the same adventures, sharing in the same memories." Book Excellence Awards Review

 

Giveaway –

 

Enter to win a $25 Amazon gift card:

 

 

Open Internationally.

 

Runs December 5 – December 14, 2023.

 

Winner will be drawn on December 15, 2023.

 

Author Biography:

 

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

 

The Lake Arrowhead mountains, where she and her husband had a second home, were the inspiration for her first three books, The Guestbook Trilogy. These fictional restored cabins from the late 1920s all had their own stories to tell. Through their children, readers get their first glimpse of who stayed in the cabins, but not why.

 

Perfect for fans of Liane Moriarty's The Husband's Secret and Linda Holmes's Evvie Drake Starts Over.

 

"A touching novel charting two women’s parallel lives, tied together by mysteries, transformation, and a cabin." —Booklife

 

"Braun delivers a moving portrayal of a young woman searching for herself amid personal upheaval." —Booklife

 

"Masterfully written, intriguing, mystifying, and spooky are how I would classify The Man in Cabin Number Five by Chrysteen Braun. As a great background, Braun uses the mountainous area and cabins to her advantage in telling the stories of Annie and Alyce. This is an exceptional plot, never leading the reader too far from the original storyline. Her character development is outstanding. I was able to feel everything Annie felt." Teresa Syms for Readers' Favorite Book Reviews and Awards.

 

"In The Man in Cabin Number Five, Chrysteen Braun narrates a deeply compelling, inspiring, and adorable narrative about the mountainside cabins of Lake Arrowhead, shocking secrets, and two women that are linked to the cabins in different ways—one by a buried past and the other by optimistic plans for the future.

 

"Chrysteen Braun does a mind-blowing job of building the characters and making them lifelike and easy to relate to. The first-person narrative is done to perfection as it reads like the narrators are speaking to friends—natural, lively, and jovial. I laughed out loud when I read the part where Anne claims that a bag of chips and a soda are "just what the doctor ordered.

 

"The Man in Cabin Number Five inspires anyone recovering from betrayal and infidelity to keep living and working towards a better future. The picturesque descriptions of the scenes and characters will appeal to readers who wish to get completely immersed in and escape into a fictional world. Chrysteen Braun creates a masterpiece with smooth storytelling that juxtaposes the serenity of the mountains with the eruptive chaos of dangerous secrets and ends with a bang. What a terrific story! What a talented writer!" Foluso Falaye, for the San Francisco Book Review.

 

Her writing crosses genres with 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 and has just received a Book Excellence Award for The Man in Cabin Number Five.

 

Braun lives in Coto de Caza, California (southern Orange County) with her husband Larry and two Siamese cats.

 

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