|Posted by christinehusom on December 21, 2016 at 5:45 PM||comments (0)|
Things are a bit frosty in town and not just the weather. Mayor Frost is not seeing eye to eye with the city council. Several approached him right in the Brew Ha Ha Coffee Shop to voice their displeasure. At least he wasn’t too upset to walk into Curio Finds to purchase an unusual snow globe and tell Cami to stop by his office later. When she gets there she is horrified to find him dead with his new snow globe the apparent murder weapon.
I love so many things about this series, the setting is so unique and every time I read one I want to buy everyone on my Christmas list a snow globe, but can never find ones as special at those in Curio Finds.
The characters continue to evolve in each story and I truly enjoyed this time as the circle of the 3 girlfriends is growing to be a circle of 6 friends. They are all fun and very engaging and realistically written. The author also keeps the series fresh by introducing new people that expand the suspect pool. A diverse group of tourists, local townspeople and one that is surrounded in mystery.
This time I figured out early why the mayor was killed but there were so many twists and turns I was completed stumped as to who the actual killer could be. I felt a little smart that I was ahead of Cami in one aspect and felt a cozy rush as I tried to sleuth out the guilty party before she did, but I ended up being right there with her at the end. It was a complete surprise but still made absolute sense.
Frosty The Dead Man is definitely by favorite book in the series. It is a wonderful winter read, set right before Christmas. Cozy lovers are sure to pleased!
|Posted by christinehusom on December 16, 2016 at 4:10 PM||comments (0)|
A Day in the Life of Camryn Brooks by Christine Husom
Posted on December 15, 2016 | 40 Comments
One thing I can say about my life since moving back to Brooks Landing, Minnesota: it has not been dull. After spending years working in Washington D.C., I figured the most excitement I’d have would either be dinners with my family or sharing a latte with friends on Friday nights.
I’m currently managing my parents’ business, Curio Finds, a shop that specializes in snow globes from around the world. And I’m glad to help them out, especially since my childhood friend, Alice “Pinky” Nelson runs Brew Ha-Ha, a coffee shop in the building adjoining ours. She’s a stitch. Our other best friend is teacher, Erin Vickerman. She helps both of us stay grounded. Another forever friend is Brooks Landing Police Officer, Mark Weston, who is there in good times and in bad. And then there’s the assistant chief of police, Clinton Lonsbury. Clint and I agree on two things—we each find the other both attractive and irritating.
Frosty the Dead Man starts off with a bang when I overhear Mayor Frost being confronted by several people in Brew Ha Ha. They all have bones to pick with him. One is a councilman who is angry and tells the mayor he’s giving up his seat on the city council, of all things.
Mayor Frost pays me a visit a few hours later and catches me completely off-guard. Here’s a little recap:
Mayor Frost came rushing into the shop like he was being chased. And with all the controversy swirling around him, maybe he was. He looked around like he was checking to see if we were still alone, then he moved close to me and lowered his voice. “I want you to submit your name to be considered for appointment to the city council.”
“What?” My ears must have been plugged because what I heard couldn’t have been what he said.
His bright blue eyes shone. “Throw your name in the hat for the council seat that’ll be opening up. You have as much political experience as anyone in town.”
“I worked for a senator researching legislative issues and policies.”
“Perfect! That’s what we need, someone who does her homework.” He clapped his hands together.
Pinky came into my shop and caught what must have been a doozy of a look on my face. And I knew my color was a deeper tone than usual, given how hot I felt. “Cami, are you all right?” She looked from me to Frost. “What’s going on?”
“I just gave her something to consider. To strongly consider. Stop by the office when you get a break, and we’ll hash it over some more.”
And when I went to see Mayor Frost later that afternoon, I discovered something that scared me half to death:
The near silence in the deserted office space was disquieting. It’ll be comforting to talk to a live person, I thought as I walked down the corridor that led to the individual offices. I stopped at the one with the nameplate Mayor Lewis Frost on it. He’d always talked about his open door policy, but it was closed shut at the moment.
I knocked and waited. No answer. I knocked again, a little louder, but still no answer. “Mayor Frost?” I called out and gave the door a final knock. I was about to leave when I noticed the light from his office was showing out from under the bottom of the door. Maybe he had earphones in and was listening to music, or the news, and couldn’t hear me. I’d seen him wearing a pair when he was taking walks.
After I’d convinced myself Frosty was working at his desk, connected to earphones and oblivious to the outside world, I turned the knob and pushed the door open. But he wasn’t at his desk, or anywhere else in sight. His chair was pushed aside, like he’d gotten up and left in a hurry. I was about to turn tail and leave when I saw what looked like the base of the snow globe the mayor had purchased mere hours before. It was lying on the floor near the desk, but the globe wasn’t next to it. What had happened?
I hoped Mayor Frost wouldn’t think I was snooping, but I crept over to see where the rest of it was. And when I found out the answer, there was no turning back. There were broken pieces of glass and wet snow flakes lying next to Mayor Frost who was sprawled out on the floor behind his desk.
|Posted by christinehusom on December 12, 2016 at 7:55 PM||comments (0)|
Another snow globe mystery with a great ending seems impossible, but is true. This is a wonderful series and Ms. Husom does an excellent job from the get-go! The writing is fresh, the style is neat but complex, and the mysteries keep this story humming along to the end. While the ending is typical: mysteries solved; Christine does make time for new adventures, new employees, and romance abounds throughout this novel.
The mayor is dead! Mayor Lewis Frost, a man whom many are ticked off with for his new agenda, is discovered in his office by Camryn Brooks (store manager of a curio shop). A snow globe that he recently purchased there lies in pieces near him. Between all the employees of city hall, none knows who last saw him that night. Camryn merely went to see him regarding his proposal of being on the council.
Then she hires a young person who seems in need of money, but isn't from around here. Suddenly a bunch of people are interested in her weird snow globes that are truly off-putting for most customers. Next thing she knows one of them turns up missing. But during this mad-rush of Christmas, Camryn is too tired and busy to do more than follow her new employee to her home. She and Pinky (her friend who works next door in a coffee shop) end up solving more mysteries than just the murder of Mayor Lewis Frost.
I love this series; each book is different from the next in terms of mysteries and snow globes. And at the back of the book is how to make snow globes using Styrofoam flakes. Such inspiration is wonderful to see after the novel is finished as it completes the encapsulation of snow globes all around!
|Posted by christinehusom on December 12, 2016 at 5:10 PM||comments (0)|
This week we have another fun Christmas mystery, Frosty the Dead Man by Christine Husom, and an interesting interview with Christine. Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of Frosty the Dead Man. We also have a link to order it from Amazon, and from an indie bookstore where a portion goes to help support KRL.
Frosty the Dead Man: A Snow Globe Shop Mystery by Christine Husom
Review by Cynthia Chow
Camryn Brooks’ experience as the former legal affairs director for a senator in Washington, D.C., has accustomed her to the precarious and convoluted world of politics. Even she was caught off guard, when the hostilities stirred up by a small-town Minnesota City Council meeting continue to the point of her nearly calling the police the following day. Mayor Lewis “Frosty” Frost’s proposal to bring in both a microbrewery and a clothing manufacturing business to Brooks Landing has more than one resident up in arms, and they all seem to express their opposition in the Brew-Ha coffee shop. Connected through a walkway to the snow globe and specialty items boutique, Curio Finds, owner Camryn can’t help but overhear and be concerned. So when Mayor Frosty suggests that Camryn apply for a vacant city council seat when a disgusted council member resigns, she would have had second thoughts even if it wasn’t just three weeks before Christmas. book
Specializing in unique snow globes from around the world, Camryn was hard pressed to see the appeal in a recent shipment of globes featuring rather ominous scenes. Despite the sinister depictions of an armed hunter facing off three bears, Camryn is unexpectedly visited by several customers interested in purchasing the globe. They are too late, as it is Mayor Frosty who purchases the first globe, and he whom Camryn finds bludgeoned to death with it in his office. An unaccountable diamond found at the scene adds yet another layer of confusion, and Camryn’s need to fix things and make things right compel her to discover how Curio Finds may have played a role in the death. A needy waif fortuitously—perhaps too fortuitously—arrives to provide some clerical and decorating assistance, allowing Camryn and her two best friends to investigate; all the while, Assistant Chief Clint Lionsbury warns her to stay safe and out of the investigation.
Just in time for the holidays, this Snow Globe Shop Mystery series, that highlights the nostalgic and iconic snow globes, entertains with the warm friendships and relationships of Brooks Landing. Camryn’s parents continue to be a beacon of loving support, her best friend and Brew-Ha owner Pinky Nelson is in the giggly bliss of a new relationship, and Camryn lends a sympathetic ear to Mayor Frosty’s son. What truly warms Camryn’s heart is seeing the joy in her customers’ eyes as they pick out the perfect snow globe, ones that remind them of their fondest memories. Experienced mystery readers may spot glimpses of the scheme being veiled by a nefarious leader, but the fun comes in watching Camryn attempt to maneuver her way through local politicians without offending or jeopardizing her business. Pennies that may actually be from heaven, as well as a possible beneficent ghost gifted with timely electrical talents, add on to the charm. A heartwarming conclusion delivers everything one could ask for in Christmas cozy mystery, gifting readers with the ideal book for the holidays.
Cynthia Chow is the branch manager of Kaneohe Public Library on the island of Oahu. She balances a librarian lifestyle of cardigans and hair buns with a passion for motorcycle riding and regrettable tattoos (sorry, Mom).
Interview with Christine Husom:
KRL: How long have you been writing?
Christine: I was creating stories before I could read, and was very excited when I learned to read and write because then I was able to put my stories on paper. As a young girl into my teens I enjoyed writing plays and poetry. I didn’t think I had the patience to write a whole book, so I was tickled to find out I did.
KRL: When did your first novel come out and what was it called? Can you tell us a little about it?
Christine: Murder in Winnebago County, first in the Winnebago County Mystery Series, launched in 2008. It was loosely based on my father’s strange death that had been ruled an accident. The circumstances of his death were so bizarre, nineteen years later we still wonder what really happened. I was haunted by that, and one day I asked myself, “What if it wasn’t an accident, what if someone did that to him? Who would that person be, what would be his/her motivation?” The tragedy gave birth, first to the antagonist and her quest for vengeance, and then to the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department characters. My experiences working for Wright County, thinly disguised as Winnebago County, rewarded me with lots of ideas for books.
KRL: Have you always written mysteries/suspense and if not, what else have you written?
Christine: I wrote two romance novels years ago that were never published, and I’ve started a number of more mainstream fiction novels, that I may finish someday. I love mysteries, and writing about them is one of my passions.
KRL: What brought you to choose the setting and characters in your latest book/series? Please tell us a little about the setting and main character for your most recent book.
Christine: A New York agent was looking for a Minnesota author to write a cozy mystery series. It was his idea to set it in a snow globe shop and it was easy for me to imagine a shop called Curio Finds, housed in a sturdy 1924 brick building on Central Avenue in my hometown. The shop specializes in snow globes from around the world, but also carries a variety of unique items. Plus, it has an adjoining coffee shop.
I love creating characters, and protagonist Camryn Brooks was the first one I developed for the series. She had reluctantly returned to Brooks Landing after serving as a legislative director in Washington D.C. and is helping her parents manage Curio Finds. It’s not where she planned to be at that point in her career, but she’s accepted it’s where she needs to be. The bonus is she’s back with her family and friends. Cami’s biological parents died when she was five, and she was adopted by her aunt and uncle, and brought into their large family. Cami finds pennies at odd times and believes her mother is sending from heaven. She has a natural curiosity and strong sense of justice, so when she stumbles over bodies, she needs to find out what happened and why.
KRL: Do you write to entertain or is there something more you want the readers to take away from your work?
Christine: My hope is that readers will be captured by the stories, and feel like they are walking alongside the characters, and sharing their experiences. I also hope they can learn, or think about, something new.
KRL: Do you have a schedule for your writing or just write whenever you can?
Christine: I write when I can. When I’m on deadline, or really caught up in my story, I carve out as much time as possible for writing, and sometimes feel a little crabby about the other things in life I need to take care of.
KRL: Do you outline? If not, do you have some other interesting way that you keep track of what’s going on, or what needs to happen in your book when you are writing it?
Christine: I have tried to both outline and storyboard, but I haven’t been able to pull either one off. For my Snow Globe Shop Mysteries, I needed a synopsis for the first three books, so that was handy when I sat down to write them. My process is I come up with a storyline, some sort of criminal activity and the characters involved, both good guys and bad guys. I mentally work out the basic plot, some key points, and the ending. When I start writing the books, I don’t yet know all of the characters that might show up along the line, or all the details of what will move the story along. It keeps me on my toes. As I get deeper into the story, I take notes of what’s happened, and often re-read what I’ve written, checking for any inconsistencies.
KRL: If you had your ideal, what time of day would you prefer to write?
Christine: I’d start in the morning, after my routine, and write as long as possible.
KRL: Did you find it difficult to get published in the beginning?
Christine: Yes. I finished Murder in Winnebago County in 2003, and searched for willing agents and publishers. It was my part-time job for a few years. Then I entered an online “Search for the next best crime writer” contest in 2007, and met the man who became the publisher of my Winnebagos.
KRL: Do you have a great rejection/critique or acceptance story you’d like to share?
Christine: I’d turned in a proposal for the Snow Globe Shop Mysteries to my agent in December, 2012. I’d been newly elected as a Wright County Commissioner the month before. As I was walking into the courthouse for my first board meeting in January, I got a call from my agent saying he’d sold the series to Penguin. I went in to the board room thinking, “This is a really big day!”
KRL: Most interesting book signing story-in a bookstore or other venue?
Christine: One of my books got delayed with the printer, and my publisher sent the books directly to the bookstore. They arrived the afternoon of the signing and the first time I saw the finished product was when the bookstore owner opened the box. I was a bit on edge!
KRL: Future writing goals?
Christine: I’ll continue writing the Winnebago County Mysteries, and hope to keep going with the Snow Globe Shop Mysteries. I’d love to write a mainstream novel someday. And maybe some fun or inspirational children’s books for my grandchildren.
KRL: Writing heroes?
Christine: Shakespeare and Charles Dickens are my top two, but there’s a long list.
KRL: What kind of research do you do?
Christine: I scour the internet or a variety of books for details on anything from diving apparatus, to the difference between and psychopath and a sociopath, to adipocere (grave wax), to Arabian Horse disorders, to Dissociative Identity Disorder. I also interview people who have expertise in different areas. Another thing I find helpful is when I imagine a place in my county where a fictional crime has taken place, I’ll go there and sit for a while, for added inspiration.
KRL: What do you read?
Christine: Mostly mysteries, especially by authors I’ve met through Sisters in Crime, or at conventions. But I appreciate a wide variety of works; basically what I feel is a good story, or something I want to learn about.
KRL: Favorite TV or movies?
Christine: I’m a sucker for Hallmark movies and pretty much all musicals. Feel good stuff. But one of my favorite movies was the frightening thriller, In the Line of Fire with Clint Eastwood, John Malkovich, and Rene Russo.
KRL: Any advice for aspiring or beginning writers?
Christine: Write about things you’re interested in, or want to learn about. Do your homework, interview people in the know, and get to know who your characters are. Hear their voices. Be patient and appreciate that it takes diligence to finish a work, but it’s worth all the sweat and tears.
KRL: Anything you would like to add?
Christine: I’m very grateful to readers, fellow writers, friends, and especially my family for supporting me in this wonderful world of writing and marketing and publishing.
KRL: What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
Christine: I already gave that away that I’m a county commissioner, now in my second term. There are three cities and five townships in my district, and I sit on twenty different committees from Emergency
Medical Services to Clearwater River Watershed District: a wide variety of organizations, committees, and issues to deal with. I learn something new every day, and hopefully help people in the process.
KRL: Wow you are a busy person! Website? Twitter? Facebook?
Christine: www.christinehusom.webs.com, twitter.com/christinehusom, www.facebook.com/christine.husom.
To enter to win a copy of Frosty the Dead Man, simply email KRL at [email protected][dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “frosty,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen December 17, 2016. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address.
Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & short stories in our mystery section.
|Posted by christinehusom on December 8, 2016 at 4:50 PM||comments (0)|
Thanks for the blog post, Lisa! http://lisaksbookthoughts.blogspot.com/2016/12/lisa-ks-book-reviews-blog-is-proud-to.html
Brooks Landing Mayor Found Dead in His Office
By Christine Husom, Staff Reporter
The small Brooks Landing, Minnesota community was stunned and saddened to learn Mayor Lewis Frost had been found dead in his office at city hall. It appears an unknown assailant delivered a snow globe blow to his head. His death is being investigated as a homicide.
Controversy had been swirling around the mayor as of late, and he was under scrutiny by citizens and councilors alike for decisions he’d made, and projects he’d brought before the council. Mayor Frost reportedly had confrontations over separate issues with an area farmer and two council members on the day he died. One of the councilmen told the mayor he was giving up his seat on the council.
According to a witness, a few hours before his death, Mayor Frost paid a visit to Curio Finds shop manager, Camryn Brooks. He first purchased a snow globe, and then asked Brooks to consider running for the seat that would be opening on the city council. Brooks had previously served as the Director of Legislative affairs for a U.S. Senator in Washington D.C. It is unknown what answer Brooks gave to Mayor Frost.
The police have not made an arrest in this case, but they reported they have no reason to believe members of the general public are in danger.
Christmas is here, and so is the cold weather. It's the perfect time for cup full of hot, rich coffee! It's a good thing we here in Brooks Landing have the best little coffee shop in town, Brew Ha-Ha! And they are sharing two great recipes with us today!
Coffee Recipes from Brew Ha-Ha, the Brooks Landing Coffee Shop adjoining Curio Finds
Kona Mocha Latte (Curio Find's owner Camryn Brooks’ favorite)
Combine the following in a 12 ounce mug:
1 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon half and half
¼ cup brewed espresso (double shot)
Drizzle 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup over the mixture, and top with whipped cream, if desired.
Almond Joy Coffee
Combine the following in a 12 ounce mug:
2 Tablespoons brewed espresso coffee
2 teaspoons almond syrup
2 teaspoons chocolate syrup
2 teaspoons coconut syrup
10 ounces steamed milk
Stir well and enjoy!
|Posted by christinehusom on December 8, 2016 at 4:45 PM||comments (0)|
Thanks, Terry for the great blog! http://terryambrose.com/2016/12/snow-globe-shop/
Christine Husom has been writing and creating stories since the age of six. She currently writes two different series. Her latest release is a Snow Globe Shop Mystery, “Frosty the Dead Man.”
“My stories address things that are happening in our communities and the impact they have on people’s lives, Husom said. “I deal with a variety of crimes, the victims of those crimes, the psyches of criminals and what motivates them to do what they do, such as greed, power and control, and selfishness.”
Husom describes “Frosty the Dead Man” as a multi-layered mystery. She said, “The characters have personal lives and relationships. There is some humor, a little romance, and conflicts; the crime may or may not be as it first appears; the bad guy has done something the good guy has got to resolve, and hopefully put the bad guy in jail for a long time to come.”
How the Snow Globe Shop Mysteries began
The Snow Globe Shop Mysteries came about after Husom pitched the idea to her agent. Husom, who lives in Minnesota, said “Frosty the Dead Man” originated during a cold and dark December afternoon. “I had given my daughter a ride to a doctor appointment. I sat in my car, under a street light in the parking lot, scribbling out ideas and thought about book titles with snow globe/winter themes for books. The big question for book three was, just who was the man with the nickname of Frosty?”
The character of Mayor Frost came about because Husom had just been elected to a public office. She said, “Differences of opinion among elected officials, constituents, and outside interests get heated at times, and provided good conflict in the subplot. When Frosty dies from a snow globe blow to the head, there are a number of suspects.”
Of course, since this is a mystery, many of the people who appear in the story know more about the mayor’s death, and a large criminal operation, than they’re revealing.
Husom said, “My heart breaks for people who are victimized, especially children and those who are vulnerable, for any number of reasons. I feel compelled to give victims a voice, to tell their stories. And in a perfect world, to see that they are awarded the justice they deserve, but don’t always get. I’m committed to my faith, my family and my friends, and much of that works its way intrinsically into my writings.”
Double Trouble Bonus Code: #JumpingPig
For the most part, Husom considers herself a pantser, one of those writers who doesn’t outline or plot extensively. She said, I’ve tried to do an outline, or storyboard, for my books, but have never succeeded at it. When I mentally formulate the main story of my books, I figure out the beginning, the end, and usually a few key plot points.”
At one point, Husom served with the Wright County Sheriff’s Department, where she saw many unusual happenings. “There are so many ‘you can’t make this stuff up’ things I wish I had written more down.” Many of those incidents were heartbreaking, but not all, especially when the call involved an animal.
“I also had some unique animal calls, like when a skunk got his head caught in a plastic drink container that had a dome lid, and couldn’t shake it off. There was one with a llama on the loose, and another with a trespassing pig that could jump over fences. I kid you not—you had to see it to believe it—my partner and I witnessed that 250-pound pig jump over a four-foot fence. That account found its way into one of my stories.”
|Posted by christinehusom on December 4, 2016 at 2:35 PM||comments (0)|
Check out Lisa K's wonderful blog, http://lisaksbookthoughts.blogspot.com/
Let it snow globe, let it snow globe, let it snow globe!
FROSTY THE DEAD MAN, the third installment in the Snow Globe Mysteries, once again has us in the world of Camryn Brooks, and her friend Pinky Nelson who own the connecting stores of Curio Finds and Brew-Ha-Ha. I am and have been in love with these shops since the first book. They are exactly the types of small businesses I love to visit. (Sadly, in our real word, these shops are having a hard time of it because of the big box stores, but at least I get to enjoy them in the fantastic world of cozy mysteries!) I also really enjoy that so much time is spent in the stores. In some stories, the protagonist is away from her business more than she is there.
This is by far the best book in the series to date. I know I say that with a lot of the books I review, but having started many series from the very first book I can see where the author has grown and enriched their series. And that is very true here. Author Christine Husom has really taken this series and raised it up. In FROSTY THE DEAD MAN, there are more suspects than in the other books in the series, as well as more plot twists to keep readers guessing.
Altogether an enjoyable tale, with an ending that took me by surprise, FROSTY THE DEAD MAN was a great addition to the Snow Globe Mystery series.
Make sure to check out the back of the book for a fun and simple snow globe craft!
|Posted by christinehusom on January 25, 2016 at 1:00 PM||comments (0)|
Many thanks, Kitty and Night Owl Reviews for such a complimentary review!
|Posted by christinehusom on December 23, 2015 at 1:25 PM||comments (0)|
|Posted by christinehusom on December 18, 2015 at 6:30 PM||comments (0)|
Dru is giving away a copy of The Iced Princess. Check it out! http://drusbookmusing.com/2015/12/18/cami-brooks/