Today we sit down for a chat with Crystal Hagan from author Christine Desmet’s Mischief in Moonstone Series.
What was your life like before your author started pulling your strings?
I was teaching first grade in a village called Moonstone that hugs Lake Superior in northern Wisconsin. I also live on a small acreage and enjoyed my animals, particularly my reindeer, Rudolph, that was going to be featured in our live-animal holiday display until he was stolen.
What’s the one trait you like most about yourself?
Patience. If you teach first graders you have to be patient and kind, and of course a peacemaker because of the occasional scuffles among the kids.
What do you like least about yourself?
My inability to give up some old habits—even an old boyfriend. I’m a bit too much of a traditionalist, too. When I apologize to people for anything small or otherwise, I always have to bring them a pie or cake I’ve baked, or Christmas cookies at this time of year.
What is the strangest thing your author has had you do or had happen to you?
She hid my reindeer Rudolph on me in a mansion we call the North Pole here in Moonstone. An older gentleman who used to play Santa Claus lives there, but he’s become a curmudgeon. And now, his rather handsome son is back from Arizona visiting for the holidays, and he says they’re not returning Rudolph to me. I believe his father is in cahoots with our mayor who wants my live-animal display discontinued. So, my author has me fighting for Rudolph on two fronts. And my first-graders are very upset because they think Santa Claus can’t find our town without Rudolph leading the sleigh.
Do you argue with your author? If so, what do you argue about?
I don’t argue with her so much as the local townspeople and the two men living in the North Pole mansion. Some of my first-graders don’t have much. Some won’t be able to see a parent for Christmas for any number of reasons. My author likes romance, and she’d like me to settle into a romantic story, but I tell her that Peter LeBarron may be handsome, but he stole Rudolph and I want him back! For me, the mystery has to be solved soon so the kids aren’t feeling sad.
What is your greatest fear?
That I won’t be able to bring a good holiday to my first-graders and to the people in my quaint, little village. This is a poor area, and some of the children need me to come through for them with happy things like being able to pet Rudolph.
What makes you happy?
I enjoy seeing my students smile. And baking and making candies. I make homemade popcorn balls for the students and teach them games in the snow, such as “Duck, Duck, Goose.” I’m hoping that the father of one of my students will be able to come home for Christmas. Jobs are scarce here in northern Wisconsin, and some of the guys travel to other states for construction or other jobs.
If you could rewrite a part of your story, what would it be? Why?
Sticking with my old boyfriend too long. I’m the loyal type, and somehow I keep excusing his slights or so-called forgetfulness. This new guy Peter LeBarron keeps pointing out I need to consider that we all outgrow people just as we outgrow other things.
Of the other characters in your book, which one bugs you the most? Why?
Peter LeBarron certainly bugs me. Those feelings have to do with him growing up here until high school when he left for private school and college. He essentially abandoned his father, I believe. He says there’s more to the story. But do I have the patience to listen to the man who stole my reindeer and won’t give back Rudolph? Of course, I don’t get along with Mayor Bob Winters either because he dislikes my ideas for drawing tourists to Moonstone for the holidays. Two men who don’t believe in Rudolph leading a sleigh “slay” me!
Of the other characters in your book, which one would you love to trade places with? Why?
My best friend Rita Johnson. Rita is the postmistress in Moonstone. Her daughter Gretchen is in my class. Rita is so together, smart, and very quick with her wit and actions. She put up a flier on the “FBI Most Wanted” board for my missing Rudolph, and of course it said something to the effect “last seen with Peter LeBarron.” Peter wanted to rip that down, but of course defacing federal property might land him in jail. That action of Rita’s on my behalf began to change the dynamic in my relationship with Peter LeBarron. I learned he had a lot more secrets besides kidnapping Rudolph.
Tell us a little something about your author. Where can readers find her website/blog?
My author is at her website, where you'll find links to her other social media, and at Blackbird Writers, where you'll find a link to theBlackbird Writers Discussion Forum and the group's newsletter.
What's next for you?
My author has me continuing to get involved with new people coming to Moonstone. Murder and other types of mysteries appear in the remainder of the Mischief-in-Moonstone Series novellas. All have sweet romances included. In Misbehavin’ in Moonstone, No. 2 in the series, I meet the new chef Kirsten Peplinski, who discovers there’s an illegal gambling boat off-shore in Lake Superior featuring scantily clad servers. The men in town suddenly say they’re going fishing. Kirsten discovers evidence the party boat’s captain might actually be a pirate scouting Moonstone to steal jewels and other valuables.
When Rudolph was Kidnapped
Mischief in Moonstone Series, Book 1
When her pet reindeer, Rudolph, is stolen from the live animal holiday display, first-grade teacher Crystal Hagan has a big problem on her hands. Her students fear that Christmas will be canceled. Ironically, the prime suspect is a man who lives in a mansion known as the “North Pole.” And to her shock, Peter LeBarron admits to kidnapping Rudolph and he won’t give him back without some romantic “negotiations.”
I loved this book. Here's the review I posted on Goodreads and Amazon:
"WHEN RUDOLPH WAS KIDNAPPED is better than a hot cup of cocoa topped with whipped cream and a peppermint stick! Author Christine DeSmet dishes up the best of both worlds as her characters—Crystal Hagan and Peter LeBarron—make you laugh one minute, then your toes wiggle in your snow boots the next. Book 1 in the Mischief in Moonstone Series, I'm looking forward to the next!"
Thank you, Laurie! I'm so glad you enjoyed this holiday mystery. And thank you for sharing your review.
Clever "interview." Interesting to learn about the author through the character's eyes. Love it!
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