Antoinette's Christmas Mantel

A River Runs Through It

Issue #2
Antoinette Stockenberg
1
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Note: This pictorial eBook contains large images and is designed to be viewed on an actual tablet, such as an Android or iPad with the Google App installed. Viewing it on a tablet will allow the images to be enlarged and explored.  I recommend that you download Season One first, which is free, to make sure that this type of eBook works well on your eReader.


As I called forth my antique village from its place of sleep to appear again this Christmas, I thought of the legend of Brigadoon. True, my village appears once a year, not once every hundred years; and, yes, the houses seem to change and move around a bit (not that they can move that far on a mantel). But the essence of the Brigadoon legend is the same: a whole little world, filled with characters with their own stories to tell, materializes as if by magic, casts its spell, and then -- poof! -- is gone. Every one of us, grownup and child alike, who has practiced this act of magic waits all year to do it again.
Almost everything you see in my mantel villages is from before World War II. The cardboard houses were all made in Japan, most in the early 1930's. The little flat figures, called "zinnfiguren," are from Germany. The street lamps are -- what else? -- Lionel. The bottlebrush trees are faded and rusty but carry their age, like everything else in this miniature world, with grace and panache. It's deeply satisfying to know that through most of the last century, other dreamers arranged these very same toys to tell their own stories. May it ever be so.

A River Runs Through it

For this season's Christmas village of vintage Japanese cardboard houses, I had but one desire: to capture the sparkling magic of ice and snow. For that, I think I blame Fred Astaire in Holiday Inn ... or maybe my east European heritage ... but definitely the taunting of my friends in Florida. To me, nothing sings Christmas more than falling snow and skaters on ice. I can't make snow actually fall from the ceiling onto my mantel's cardboard village (not for very long, anyway, without having to drag out the vacuum), so I've created the next best thing: a cold, cold Christmas with drifts of snow piled high against the banks of the river that flows through this year's vintage village. 


The river is frozen solid and the skating is the best it's ever been; almost everyone in town is either on the ice or watching from the sidelines. I've included some new characters in this Christmas chapter, and their stories will develop in the coming years. I should add that nearly all of the tiny tin Zinnfiguren in this year's village have been painted by me. (And I now have the crossed eyes to prove it; it's not easy painting expressions on faces that are an eighth of an inch small.) And so for all the other children besides me out there, here is this year's chapter: 

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About the author

USA Today bestselling novelist Antoinette Stockenberg grew up wanting to be a cowgirl and have her own horse (her great-grandfather bred horses for the carriage trade back in the old country), but the geography just didn't work out: there weren't many ranches in Chicago. Her other, more doable dream was to write books, and after stints as secretary, programmer, teacher, grad student, boatyard hand, office manager and magazine writer (in that order), she achieved that goal, writing over a dozen novels, several of them with paranormal elements. One of them is the RITA award-winning EMILY'S GHOST.

Stockenberg's books have been published in a dozen languages and are often set in quaint New England harbor towns, always with a dose of humor. She writes about complex family relationships and the fallout that old, unearthed secrets can have on them. Sometimes there's an old murder. Sometimes there's an old ghost. Sometimes once-lovers find one another after half a lifetime apart.

Her work has been compared to writers as diverse as Barbara Freethy, Nora Roberts, LaVyrle Spencer and Mary Stewart by critics and authors alike, and her novels have appeared on bestseller lists in USA Today as well as the national bookstore chains. Her website features sample chapters, numerous reviews, many photos, and an enchanting Christmas section. www.antoinettestockenberg.com

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Additional Information

Publisher
Antoinette Stockenberg
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Published on
Jan 23, 2017
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Pages
41
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Language
English
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Genres
Comics & Graphic Novels / Fantasy
Crafts & Hobbies / Decorating
Crafts & Hobbies / Seasonal
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Content Protection
This content is DRM free.
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Available on Android devices
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If you've been to my Home Page, then you know I've begun to convert my out-of-print novels into eBook format. It's no coincidence that in November I released KEEPSAKE, a novel of romantic suspense, for all the e-reader formats out there. Much of the novel takes place during the Christmas season, so I decided to recreate its opening scene in my mantel village this year.

Almost everything you see in my mantel villages is from before World War II. The cardboard houses were all made in Japan, most in the early 1930's. The little flat figures, called "zinnfiguren," are from Germany. The street lamps are -- what else? -- Lionel. The bottlebrush trees are faded and rusty but carry their age, like everything else in this miniature world, with grace and panache. It's deeply satisfying to know that through most of the last century, other dreamers arranged these very same toys to tell their own stories. May it ever be so.

NOTE: This pictorial eBook contains large images and is designed to be viewed on an actual tablet, such as an Android based tablet or an iPad with the Google Play App installed. Viewing it on a tablet will allow the images to be enlarged and explored.

The best way to view this pictorial eBook is in landscape mode with two columns displayed. In a two column display the images are quite small initially, but can be expanded to full screen size by tapping on them. I recommend that you download Season One first, which is free, to make sure that this type of eBook works well on your eReader.
You’ve read the books. You’ve watched the hit series on HBO. Now acclaimed novelist Daniel Abraham and illustrator Tommy Patterson bring George R. R. Martin’s epic fantasy masterwork A Game of Thrones to majestic new life in the pages of this graphic novel. Comprised of the initial six issues of the comic book series, this is the first volume in what is sure to be one of the most coveted collaborations of the year.
 
Winter is coming. Such is the stern motto of House Stark, the northernmost of the fiefdoms that owe allegiance to King Robert Baratheon in far-off King’s Landing. There Eddard Stark of Winterfell rules in Robert’s name. There his family dwells in peace and comfort: his proud wife, Catelyn, his sons Robb, Brandon, and Rickon, his daughters Sansa and Arya, and his bastard son, Jon Snow. Far to the north, behind the towering Wall, lie savage Wildings and worse—unnatural things relegated to myth during the centuries-long summer . . . but proving all too real and all too deadly in the turning of the season.
 
Yet a more immediate threat lurks to the south, where Jon Arryn, the Hand of the King, has died under mysterious circumstances. Now Robert is riding north to Winterfell, bringing his queen, the lovely but cold Cersei, his son, Prince Joffrey, a cruel, vainglorious youth, and the queen’s brothers Jaime and Tyrion of the powerful and wealthy House Lannister—the first a swordsman without equal, the second a dwarf whose stunted stature belies a brilliant mind. All heading for Winterfell and a fateful encounter that will change the course of kingdoms.
 
While across the Narrow Sea, Prince Viserys, heir of the fallen House Targaryen, which once ruled all of Westeros, schemes to reclaim the throne with an army of barbarian Dothraki—whose loyalty he will purchase in the only coin left to him: his beautiful yet innocent sister, Daenerys.

In the tradition of Upstairs, Downstairs and Downton Abbey, BY THE SEA is a four-book series that sweeps from the Gilded Age through the Gatsby Era's Roaring Twenties and then on to the Great Depression, culminating nearly a century later in Newport, Rhode Island, wealthy and alluring "City by the Sea." Set against a backdrop of mansions, the glorious America's Cup Yacht Races, and new money, the series traces the passions and adventures of three families from three different classes.

Book One: TESS. From the wild decadence of late nineteenth-century Newport comes the tale of Tess Moran, a beautiful Irish housemaid in one of the grand summer "cottages," who makes a dark bargain with a man of commanding wealth -- and falls in love in the bargain.

Also available:
Book Two: AMANDA
Book Three: LAURA
Book Four: THE HEIRS

Reviews

"A quality, original book. Antoinette Stockenberg has done her homework. The saga ... contains many of those little epiphanies, those moments of recognition. It is what makes, for example, Book One: TESS stand out from the rash of novels on class conflicts between Irish servants and their Yankee masters."
--Providence Journal

"A riveting saga/mystery. Ms. Stockenberg is a master of intrigue and romance ... she expertly leads readers through nearly a century of drama in the elegant, fascinating, and thrilling world of yacht racing [culminating in] a compelling mystery. This novel will provide smooth sailing for summer reading."
--Rave Reviews

"The action moves along at a speed that makes it virtually impossible to put the book down. If I had had the time I could have read it non-stop, and I nearly did .... Here is a book to satisfy every sort of reader--those who crave fast action, Newport aficionados, and the romantics among us who love happy endings."
--Newport This Week Magazine

"Sizzling [and] entertaining reading. The well-researched novel uses real people and places--such as the Vanderbilts and Dennis Conner--as a backdrop to the unfolding drama.
--Soundings Magazine

In the tradition of Upstairs, Downstairs and Downton Abbey, BY THE SEA is a four-book series that sweeps from the Gilded Age through the Gatsby Era's Roaring Twenties and then on to the Great Depression, culminating nearly a century later in Newport, Rhode Island, wealthy and alluring "City by the Sea." Set against a backdrop of mansions, the glorious America's Cup Yacht Races, and new money, the series traces the passions and adventures of three families from three different classes.
 

Book One: TESS. From the wild decadence of late nineteenth-century Newport comes the tale of Tess Moran, a beautiful Irish housemaid in one of the grand summer "cottages," who makes a dark bargain with a man of commanding wealth -- and falls in love in the bargain.

Book Two: AMANDA. Marrying American money to an English title is a tradition of its own; but Amanda Fain, a brash heiress with money to burn, has a fondness for Bolsheviks and bootleg liquor that makes her an unlikely match for the reluctant, ironic, and impoverished English aristocrat Geoffrey Seton, who has been ordered to America to find someone who can pay the bills for the family estate back home.

Book Three: LAURA. While the Great Depression grinds relentlessly on, Laura Andersson, a Midwestern farm girl with an improbable love of the sea, embarks on a bold adventure that promises riches but delivers passion, one that threatens all she holds dear.

Book Four: THE HEIRS is the dramatic conclusion to the four-book series BY THE SEA. Economic hard times are a distant memory in high-flying, recent-day Newport, home of the oldest and most prestigious trophy in the world, the Holy Grail of sport--the America's Cup. Here, the descendants of Tess, Amanda and Laura play out their destinies, their paths crossing in unforeseen ways: Mavis Moran, Neil Powers, his daughter Quinta, and America's Cup skipper Alan Seton all find themselves caught in a web of mystery, sabotage, and conflicting desires.

Reviews

"A quality novel [that] contains many of those little epiphanies, those moments of recognition. [Part 1, TESS,] is what makes Stockenberg's book stand out from the rash of novels on class conflicts between Irish servants and their Yankee masters."
--Providence Journal

"A riveting saga/mystery. Ms. Stockenberg is a master of intrigue and romance ... she expertly leads readers through nearly a century of drama in the elegant, fascinating, and thrilling world of yacht racing [culminating in] a compelling mystery. This novel will provide smooth sailing for summer reading."
—Rave Reviews

USA TODAY bestselling author Antoinette Stockenberg spins love, family, and a touch of magic into a lighthearted, richly drawn tale that tugs at the heart and leaves the reader laughing and wanting more. TIME AFTER TIME will appeal to fans of authors as diverse as Nora Roberts, Barbara Michaels, Jennifer Crusie and Barbara Freethy.

WHEN A PARTY PLANNER MEETS A PARTY POOPER ...

things will probably not turn out the way either would like. Liz Coppersmith hopes to move beyond kids' parties at Chuck E. Cheese to planning premier events among the upper crust in Newport, Rhode Island. Her first upscale client is confirmed bachelor Jack Eastman, who's struggling to keep the family empire afloat and would be just fine with Chuck E. Cheese. More problematic for Jack are an untrained puppy, two illegitimate toddlers, a runaway mother and an aging Casanova father. Liz's problems are simpler: an historic mystery, an amnesiac friend, a thief on the loose and a recurring apparition that may or may not be her imagination.

REVIEWS

"Master storyteller Antoinette Stockenberg surpasses herself with her newest tale, TIME AFTER TIME ... a richly rewarding novel filled with wrenching loss, timeless passion and eerie suspense. A novel to be savored."
--Romantic Times

"All of the elements of a rollicking great read have been expertly blended into this story, from precocious children to an old skirt-chasing lech. TIME AFTER TIME, as hilarious as it is poignant and heart-tugging, will command center stage on your keeper shelf. Once again, Antoinette Stockenberg has done a magnificent job."
--I'll Take Romance

"Antoinette Stockenberg is a superb contemporary writer, an author who creates an ambience that is as important as the character development. She also adds an invaluable sense of humor which appears at unexpected times, leaving readers loudly laughing. TIME AFTER TIME is that rarest of works -- a satisfying treasure for a vast variety of palates."
--Affaire de Coeur

"This book [is] a rewarding and gratifying reading experience. This exceptionally talented author has penned a unique story that spins a touching and sensitive story of love and trust. Throw in a cast of magnificent characters, and you'll be ready to hold on to this one for another read."
--Rendezvous

"A light and engaging tale of righting past wrongs in class-conscious Newport society."
--Gothic Journal

 

Leave it to bestselling author Antoinette Stockenberg to deliver a modern tale that moves effortlessly between this world and the next as a man, a woman, and a hundred-year-old ghost cross paths on the way to their destinies. EMILY'S GHOST is a RITA award-winning novel filled with humor, passion, and profound emotion; a classic of the genre.

A SHOWDOWN between a U.S. Senator who believes in ghosts and a reporter who doesn't. What could possibly go wrong?

Emily Bowditch, investigative journalist, is a typical New Englander: proud, stubborn, tightfisted and skeptical. So she's determined to expose aristocratic Senator Lee Alden's fascination with psychic phenomena and his willingness to waste good taxpayer dollars to fund research in it.

Her plan is first to gain his confidence by convincing him that she has psychic powers. That plan flops. The tables are turned and somehow Emily finds herself at a seance as guest of the sexy, recently widowed young senator.

As seances go, not much happens, despite the disturbing, electrifying tension in the room. It's not until Emily is back in her tiny Boston condo that she realizes ... she hasn't come home alone. Fergus O'Malley, a handsome 19th century scoundrel hanged for a murder he swears he didn't commit, needs someone to clear him of the crime. Emily, apparently, is it.

And so begins a hair-raising odyssey full of twists and turns and danger on both sides of the veil as Emily tries to navigate between senator and ghost and her growing feelings for both.

Editorial Reviews


"Booksellers' recommended read."
--Publishers Weekly

"It's one of the best books I've read in a long time."
--Denise Little, B. Dalton

"Readers looking for highly original and emotionally rich reading will find this outstanding contemporary novel a veritable feast for the senses ... pure and unadulterated reading pleasure."
--Romantic Times Magazine, 4 1/2 stars

"EMILY'S GHOST is great fun. A witty, entertaining romantic read that has everything -- a lively ghost, an old murder mystery and a charming romance. A fresh, engaging voice in romantic fiction."
--Jayne Ann Krentz (Jayne Castle)

"I loved EMILY'S GHOST. It's an exciting story with a surprise plot twist."
--Jude Deveraux

"An engaging heroine, a sexy senator, and a rapscallion ghost make EMILY'S GHOST an irresistible read."
--Susan Elizabeth Phillips
 

Fans of Nora Roberts, Barbara Freethy and Barbara Michaels will enjoy this humorous and suspenseful story by bestselling author Antoinette Stockenberg ....

A COTTAGE BY THE SEA: it's a dream come true for Jane Drew. Too bad it comes with a ghost -- and a seductive neighbor who'd like to boot Jane off the island.

The inheritance of a cottage on Nantucket Island might seem like a really Good Thing for an unemployed graphic designer. The fact that the house is ramshackle and possibly haunted? Mere details. But a series of eerie events soon has Jane convinced that the spirit of a beautiful Quaker is roaming the place, and it's clear that it will take more than a smiling wave goodbye to make the spirit leave.

Mac McKenzie is descended from generations of hard-working islanders and has very clear opinions of uppity off-islanders. He has little patience for New Age types, moneyed types, and those for whom "antiquing" is a verb. He regards spaghetti as noodles, not pasta, and he drinks water from a tap, not a bottle. And he doesn't believe in ghosts. Period. When he finds himself up against the insistent, persistent, infinitely irritating Jane Drew with her knack for complicating his life, he does what any self-respecting islander would and shrugs her off -- for a while, anyway. But Mac understands, as Jane does not, that not every force is benign ... and not every force is otherworldly.

REVIEWS:


NYT bestselling author - Susan Elizabeth Phillips

 "Antoinette Stockenberg is pure magic! She does a wonderful job of evoking mood out of setting. The love story between the hero and heroine was complex and moving; what appealing characters!"


Romantic Times

"Antoinette Stockenberg continues to demonstrate her talent for delivering unique tales of romance and danger with tantalizing supernatural overtones."


Gothic Journal

"Will transport readers to a remote island filled with humor, vivid experiences, glimpses of the supernatural, and characters that sparkle."
 

NYT bestselling author - Joanna Lindsey

 "BELOVED is a delightfully different romance with a ghost story -- a great combination that was impossible to put down."


NYT bestselling author - Jayne Ann Krentz

 "BELOVED is great ... a lively, engaging, thoroughly enchanting tale. Ms. Stockenberg is an exciting voice in the romance genre. Her writing is delicious; I savored every morsel of BELOVED."

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