A Christmas Picture Book: Season One

A Christmas Picture Book

Book 1
Antoinette Stockenberg
1

I began arranging Christmas villages on our mantel a few years ago, mostly because villages are harder to set up under a tree, and also to keep our Godzilla cats from stomping them. The fragile cardboard houses are from around 1930 pre-war Japan, and the tiny figures (tin Zinnfiguren) are mostly pre-war Germany. As satisfying as this ephemeral holiday art is to create, I found that it needed a story. I began my Christmas tale with this mantel tableau and have added characters and their stories to it every year for a decade since then. 

A Parade in the Village

Each Christmas when I begin to assemble my antique village, I run into the same old problem: the mantel can only fit a dozen or so houses, and over time I have collected more than that. So every year I have to leave well-loved houses and tin figures in their storage boxes, even though Christmas should be their season to come alive. For this mantel, I've assembled fourteen of my very favorite Japanese cardboard houses, along with the cast of tin characters that people them. No Hawthorne, Lemax, or Dept. 56 houses in this village -- just an assortment of sweet, dusty, slightly tattered cardboard structures that have somehow managed to survive three quarters of a century without getting crushed and tossed. Read and enjoy!


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.

Read more
Collapse

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

Read more
Collapse
3.0
1 total
Loading...

Additional Information

Publisher
Antoinette Stockenberg
Read more
Collapse
Published on
Dec 19, 2016
Read more
Collapse
Pages
25
Read more
Collapse
Read more
Collapse
Read more
Collapse
Language
English
Read more
Collapse
Genres
Crafts & Hobbies / Decorating
Crafts & Hobbies / Holiday & Seasonal
Crafts & Hobbies / Miniatures
Fiction / Holidays
Read more
Collapse
Content Protection
This content is DRM free.
Read more
Collapse
Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
Read more
Collapse
Eligible for Family Library

Reading information

Smartphones and Tablets

Install the Google Play Books app for Android and iPad/iPhone. It syncs automatically with your account and allows you to read online or offline wherever you are.

Laptops and Computers

You can read books purchased on Google Play using your computer's web browser.

eReaders and other devices

To read on e-ink devices like the Sony eReader or Barnes & Noble Nook, you'll need to download a file and transfer it to your device. Please follow the detailed Help center instructions to transfer the files to supported eReaders.
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: 

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.
For a few years now, I've been adding tin-figure characters with their tin-figure tales to my mantel village each Christmas. After the holiday -- sometimes way too long after it -- I carefully pack everything and everyone away. And the following year, my little village of antique cardboard houses reappears and the tales continue. Most of the stories are happy ones, because, after all, most people are happy. But as in life, sometimes a deep sadness occurs. Recently the village lost the original inspiration behind it: Ted Althof, a brilliant man who became a mentor not only to me in this hobby but to a host of people around the country and the world who are charmed by the little cardboard collectibles, mostly built in Japan before WWII. It was Ted who gathered what scarce information exists about them and created an irresistible website called "Papa Ted's Place."

Ted's website is filled with his thoughtful and wistful musings about childhood and Christmas, sprinkled among an astonishing array of vintage cardboard houses. You can spend whole days being enchanted in this online museum; I have a link in the introduction to this eBook that will take you there.. Papa Ted was Papa Christmas to many of us, and he is and will be dearly missed. My 2012 Christmas mantel is devoted to Ted, in fond memory. 

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.
Readers who enjoy Barbara Freethy, Nora Roberts and the classics of Mary Stewart will savor this intensely emotional story of family, betrayal and redemption, set in a quaint town in New England.

KEEPSAKE. It's not a hand-made quilt, or an ivory pin, or a pretty small box for treasures ....

It's the name of a postcard-perfect town in Connecticut. From its quaint gazebo to its white-steepled church and village green, Keepsake is the kind of place most would love to call home. It's home to Olivia Bennett, the town princess who has a charming shop there. It was home once to Quinn Leary, the son of her family's gardener: Quinn fled as a teenager with his father who was accused of a murder he didn't commit. And Keepsake is home, still, to someone with mayhem on his mind. When Quinn returns after an absence of seventeen years, he has one desire: to prove his father's innocence. It's not until he sees his childhood school rival, now a grown woman, that he realizes he harbors another but equally passionate desire--and that the two are tragically at odds.

Editorial Reviews

"Gloriously alive with fresh writing and an intriguing story, KEEPSAKE goes straight to the heart with its tale of love lost and found and a seventeen-year-old murder that screams to be solved. When you've got it, flaunt it, and KEEPSAKE has it all: passion, mystery, suspense, and characters that instantly endear. A standing ovation for Antoinette Stockenberg."
--Under the Covers

"I highly recommend KEEPSAKE; this book will keep you reading well into the night, with a story line that moves along at a very entertaining warp speed. Antoinette Stockenberg has written some of the smartest, sassiest, and sexiest contemporary romances around."
--The Romance Reader

One of the top ten romances of the year.
--Amazon.com

"Antoinette Stockenberg's writing is fresh and memorable, a voice to be reckoned with. She pulls out all the stops with hot, sizzling love scenes as well as some real heartbreakers that make you reach for the hankie box. First rate!"
--Belles and Beaux of Romance

"Antoinette Stockenberg is one hell of a writer. KEEPSAKE lives up to its name: it's a keeper. The story is fast-paced and reflects a small New England town as few books do. Olivia is a warm, intelligent heroine, and everyone will jump for joy after reading about Quinn."
--Harriet Klausner

"Ms. Stockenberg does a stellar job in this absorbing story that probes deep into the painful heart of a small community. KEEPSAKE is a keeper." 4 1/2 stars
--Romantic Times

"A briskly paced, exhilarating story that's impossible to put down. Don't miss this book; it's her best one yet."
--Old Book Barn Gazette

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

©2020 GoogleSite Terms of ServicePrivacyDevelopersArtistsAbout Google|Location: United StatesLanguage: English (United States)
By purchasing this item, you are transacting with Google Payments and agreeing to the Google Payments Terms of Service and Privacy Notice.