Ghosts. Some people believe in them, some people don't. Some people just aren't sure. Put me in the last camp. I never believed in them until one midnight, I bolted awake to see a figure dressed like a court jester in olive-green velvet appear at the foot of our bed. More than a heart-thumping experience, it was a baffling one. What did I know about ghosts -- or court jesters, for that matter? My close encounter was many years ago, but it's stayed with me. And so has the vintage film "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir." I'm a fan of vintage films, and that one was one of my mother's favorites. The movie inspired me to write EMILY'S GHOST, a lighthearted tale with moments of fear and peril. TIME AFTER TIME is another ghost story with a light touch. BEYOND MIDNIGHT, on the other hand, treats the idea of otherworldiness more seriously. If you believe, if you don't, if you're not sure -- there will be something in this collection for you. Enjoy.
TIME AFTER TIME: In Gilded Age Newport, an upstairs-downstairs romance between a well-born son and a humble maid is cut short of marriage. A hundred years later, the descendants of that ill-fated union seem destined to repeat history.
Or not. Liz Coppersmith, a party planner, 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, a party pooper who's struggling to keep the family empire afloat and would be just fine with Chuck E. Cheese.
Jack is also juggling an untrained puppy, two illegitimate toddlers, a runaway mother and an aging Casanova father. But it's not all sweetness and light for Liz, either: she finds herself in the middle of an historic mystery, with an amnesiac friend, a thief on the loose and a recurring apparition that may or may not be her imagination.
"A rollicking great read ... 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
EMILY'S GHOST: Emily Bowditch is a skeptical, tightfisted Boston reporter who's determined to expose aristocratic Senator Lee Alden's fascination with psychic events and his willingness to waste taxpayer dollars to fund research in it. Plan A is to gain his confidence by convincing him that she has psychic powers. That flops. Plan B is to accompany the sexy, widowed young senator to a séance and write an exposé about it. As séances 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.
"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."
BEYOND MIDNIGHT: Three centuries after the infamous witch trials in Salem, Massachusetts, Helen Evett, owner of a prestigious preschool there, finds her family and life's work threatened because of her sudden desire to protect the three-year-old daughter of a man who knows a lot about finance but little about fathering. Helen's feelings toward Katie's dad are decidedly mixed, and it will take more than knocks in the night, perfumed air, and bone-chilling cold to convince her otherwise.
Nathaniel Byrne is just as ambivalent about Helen. Recently widowed, tormented by the circumstances, and at sea about being a single parent, Nat is not inclined to hand over his daughter to this singularly pushy woman. The London-trained nanny who cares for his daughter agrees.
And the nanny herself? Peaches Bartholemew is as clever as she is beautiful, as efficient as she is soothing. Peaches can do anything. The trick, for Nat's dead wife, will be to keep her from doing it.
"A gripping and chilling page-turner outlining two families' courageous battle against an insidious evil with a charming face. Outstanding reading!"
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