One of my favorite parts of writing fiction is creating new characters. They take on a life of their own, and I am often surprised by what they say and do, even though I know I’m the one writing what they say and do. That’s the biggest mystery for me in each mystery I’ve written.
The first book in the Snow Globe Shop Mystery Series, Snow Way Out, was just released. I’d like to introduce you to the protagonist, Camryn Brooks. She is a woman who has been thrown into traumatic circumstances a few times in her life. When she was only five years old, her parents tragically died and she went to live with her aunt’s family. It was a shock to her only child’s system to move from a quiet household to a boisterous one with a passionate, expressive uncle and four older siblings.
Her aunt and uncle, Beth and Eddie Vanelli adopted her, but kept her birth surname of Brooks since her great-great grandfather, Arthur Brooks, had founded their hometown of Brooks Landing. Cami was the only Brooks descendant still there. Even though she was very young when her birth parents died, Cami has retained a special, lifetime closeness to her mother. And to her father as well, but to a lesser extent. When she is troubled, or contemplating something, Cami often finds a penny, and believes it from her mother. A penny from heaven.
After Cami graduated from high school, she attended the University of Chicago and studied public policy. The art and culture in Chicago was nothing like she had experienced in sleepy Brooks Landing. She also loved the independence of making decisions without having the whole family weighing in every step of the way. When she earned her degree, she took a job with a state senator who was eventually elected a United States. senator. Cami was hired as the senator’s legislative affairs director. She also had her name legally changed from Cami to Camryn because she thought it sounded more professional.
But, as luck would have it, the senator’s husband took a personal interest in Cami, and the senator thought they were having an affair. Cami fled Washington, and the media scandal, and returned to Brooks Landing. It was good timing for her parents who needed help running Curio Finds. Although it was not the work she had ever planned to do, she was glad to be helping out, and happy to be back among family and friends again.
One of her best friends, Alice “Pinky” Nelson runs a coffee shop, Brew Ha-Ha, in the building adjoining Curio Finds. Their other childhood friends, teacher Erin Vickerman and Brooks Landing Police Officer, Mark Weston are often around. As is the eccentric but lovable Archie Newberry, an older friend who works for the City of Brooks Landing. Not to mention the assistant chief of police, Clinton Lonsbury who Pinky refers to as “Eye Candy Clint.” Much to Cami’s chagrin.
Cami has her quirks, like looking for messages in the pennies she finds, and fighting against her suspicious nature when it appears her friends might be involved with something they shouldn’t be. But she is smart and loyal and drawn to causes. She also can successfully pull off a believable-looking Marilyn Monroe with the right costume, hair style, and make-up.
There you have it; a few insights into who Cami Brooks is, and why. She recently turned thirty-seven, and believes she is in the prime of her life. I have to agree with her and can’t wait to find out what she’ll get involved with next.
You can read more about Cami in Snow Way Out, the first book in the new “Snow Globe Shop” mystery series, published by Berkley Prime Crime.
GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 6 p.m. eastern on January 14 for the chance to win a copy of SNOW WAY OUT. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.
Meet the author
Christine Husom is also the author of the Winnebago County Mysteries, also set in central Minnesota. She served with the Wright County Sheriff’s Department and trained with the St. Paul Police Department, where she gained firsthand knowledge of law enforcement procedures. She was nominated for the Minnesota Book Award in 2010 and 2012, and the Independent Publisher Book Award in 2009 and 2012, and is a member of the Mystery Writers of America, the National Sisters in Crime, and active with the Twin Cities Sisters in Crime.