Sand Castles

Antoinette Stockenberg
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WINNING A LOTTERY ... who hasn't dreamed of it?

Wendy Hodene, for one. She has always been one of those people for whom just enough is plenty. She's married to a charmer, has a young son she loves, and lives close to family in a small New England house that her great-grandfather built. True, she'd love to have room for a three-cushion couch (and of course more closet space), but all in all, she's happy with her life.

Happy, until her husband Jim goes and wins a lottery, upending every reassuring aspect of Wendy's existence. The man she thought she was married to for a decade turns out to be someone else entirely; the house she thought she wanted renovated turns into a stress-inducing pile of dust and demolition; the son who once desired nothing more than a new video game now wants a big new house on the beach; and the mysterious contractor who shows up among the crew on a fine June morning turns out to be a man who's both able and willing to destroy all that Wendy holds dear.

Zack Tompkins has better things to do than to knock down walls and put in floor joists, but his fragile and heartbroken sister Zina is convinced that the lottery winner whose photo she's seen in a newspaper is the man who once married and then abandoned her. It doesn't take long after he's signed on as crew in the Hodene renovation for Zack to see that Zina was right. His choice then becomes all too clear: wound his sister, or tear apart a family.

As dreams and schemes are washed away like sand castles from an incoming tide, one truth remains: some hearts, not fully broken, can mend and still be whole again.

Editorial Reviews

"Well-drawn, sympathetic characters, exceptional writing, and an intriguing premise that puts a new spin on a classic plot combine to produce a riveting story of selfishness, betrayal, and love that readers will find hard to put down. Stockenberg is a RITA Award-winning author and is noted for her compelling, emotionally involving stories."
--Library Journal

"A powerful suspense thriller ... the characters are a superb group, especially the key foursome. The plot is filled with twists and turns ... fans of taut thrillers with a romance will want to read this strong intrigue."
--Harriet Klausner, Bookbrowser

"Moral dilemmas abound in this intriguing and compelling tale."
--Booklist

"A beautiful story filled with imagination, complexity, and sweet love, SAND CASTLES had plot twists that had me tearing through the pages to find out what happened next. A keeper and a must-have for all lovers of romance."
--The Word on Romance

"Antoinette Stockenberg is a consummate storyteller, and SAND CASTLES is another example of how well she has mastered her craft. The author is in top-notch form. The characterizations are wonderfully drawn and believable in their actions and reactions. There are enough plot twists and turns to keep a reader highly interested. A sure-fire winner and highly recommended reading!"
--NewAndUsedBooks.com

"Antoinette Stockenberg continues to display an immense talent for creating powerful and gripping dramas that give readers the full range of human emotions."
--Romantic Times

"This book was wonderful! In fact, I was so caught up in the story, I forgot to analyze anything. Twists, good dialogue and a question to answer at the end .... Kudos ... an excellent read.
--Old Book Barn Gazette
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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
Oct 1, 2014
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Pages
380
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ISBN
9780985780609
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Contemporary Women
Fiction / Family Life
Fiction / Mystery & Detective / Cozy
Fiction / Romance / Contemporary
Fiction / Romance / Suspense
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Content Protection
This content is DRM free.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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He was her childhood knight in shining armor ... but she wasn't a fairytale princess.

Kendall Barclay III was a skinny, nerdy kid when he single-handedly took on a gang of bullies assaulting Laura Shore, a thirteen-year-old girl from the town's most notorious family. The childhood trauma became one more reason for Laura to flee the small Cape Cod town for the opposite coast and make a name for herself there. But now her tyrannical father is dead, her murderous uncle as well, and her beloved sister Corinne wants Laura and their black-sheep brother to come home and restore Shore Gardens, the family nursery fallen to rack and ruin, back to its former charm.

Reluctantly, they promise Corinne one month. One month, for Laura to face down past memories which are anything but fond and to come to terms with the wild range of feelings she has for the man who is no longer either skinny or nerdy. It's a daunting assignment -- made more so when a shocking discovery is made on the nursery grounds. Have knights in shining armor gone out of fashion? Laura will soon find out.

Editorial Reviews

"A MONTH AT THE SHORE is a most enjoyable contemporary romance. The book illuminates the power of childhood experiences in shaping lives. Rooted as it is in their past, the attraction that sparks to life between Laura and Ken makes eminent sense ... Ken is the perfect hero, clearly a gem. Stockenberg has created an interesting cast of characters, provides a most satisfactory romance, and integrates the suspense element seamlessly into her story. This is a perfect book for a summer day -- or any other day, for that matter."
--The Romance Reader

"The writing and emotional pull [is] finely drawn out .... The plot has just the right amount of intrigue, suspense, and a wonderfully sensual romance as the inspired hero does his best to become [the heroine's] knight in shining armor. The villain is a surprise twist to the mystery of the murder. Set in a wonderful local ... you will truly enjoy A MONTH AT THE SHORE."
--Contemporary Romance Writers Reviews

"An addictive novel that draws the reader in from the very first page. The characters are extremely sympathetic and believable .... An all-around excellent read, A MONTH AT THE SHORE is enthralling. To be placed on your must-read pile immediately. Don't miss out on this captivating story of love, family, and trust."
--Romance Reviews Today

"Antoinette Stockenberg has a reputation for creating stories of small-town romance tinged with suspense, and this is the case with this superb book as well. A rich tapestry of complex emotions, the story is guaranteed to hold the reader immersed and interested. Fulfilling.
--The Road to Romance

"A very intriguing book that does a wonderful job of capturing the very essence of small town life -- the good and the bad. An intriguing mystery and a beautiful romance makes this a perfect book to curl up with."
--Romance Junkies

"This is a must read. It will keep you guessing throughout and you will be shocked to find out just who is the murderer. Don't pass this one up!"
--About Romance Fiction

"A savvy, sexy novel with twists and turns. The dialogue is natural and witty, and the characters jump off the page. If you like a good mystery, with murder, revenge, and tantalizing sexual play, you'll enjoy this book."
--The Best Reviews

"Dark secrets never seem to remain buried, and that's certainly the case in this complex tale. As always, talented Antoinette Stockenberg delivers interesting characters whose lives are never simple."
--RT Reviews

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

First the much-loved novel by New York Times bestselling author Claire Cook. Then the romantic comedy movie adaptation starring Diane Lane and John Cusack. Now MUST LOVE DOGS is a series! 

"Voluptuous, sensuous, alluring and fun. Barely 40 DWF seeks special man to share starlit nights. Must love dogs."

Divorced preschool teacher Sarah Hurlihy's first mistake is letting her bossy big sister write her personal ad. Her second mistake is showing up to meet her first date in more than a decade. Now she's juggling her teaching job, her big, rollicking, interfering south-of-Boston Irish family, and more men than she knows what to do with. And what's up with all these dogs that are suddenly galloping into her life? 

"A hilariously original tale about dating and its place in a modern woman's life." -BookPage

"Funny and pitch perfect." -Chicago Tribune

"Wildly witty" -USA Today

"Cook dishes up plenty of charm." -San Francisco Chronicle

"A hoot" -The Boston Globe 

"If Must Love Dogs is any indication of her talents, readers will hope that Claire Cook will be telling breezy summer stories from the South Shore of Massachusetts for seasons to come." -The Washington Post 

"A laugh-out-loud novel . . . a light and lively read for anyone who has ever tried to re-enter the dating scene or tried to 'fix up' anyone else." -Boston Herald 

"This utterly charming novel by Cook is a fun read, perfect for whiling away an afternoon on the beach." -Library Journal

"Claire Cook's Must Love Dogs, a book that's got more giggles than soda bread has raisins." -Hartford Courant

"Claire Cook (Must Love Dogs) has built a brand writing light-hearted women's fiction blending kernels of the absurd and comedic in compulsively readable combinations." -Shelf Awareness 

"The exuberant and charming Claire Cook is one of the sassiest and funniest creators of contemporary women's fiction." -The Times-Picayune

The Must Love Dogs series:
Must Love Dogs (#1)
Must Love Dogs: New Leash on Life (#2)
Must Love Dogs: Fetch You Later (#3)
Must Love Dogs: Bark & Roll Forever (#4)
Must Love Dogs: Who Let the Cats In? (#5)

Be the first to hear about Claire's new releases:
http://clairecook.com/newsletter/
http://facebook.com/ClaireCookauthorpage/
http://twitter.com/ClaireCookwrite/


 

 

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

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."

 A Note From the Author:

Nantucket. Martha's Vineyard. Newport. Magical names, all three of them, because they call forth images of ocean-swept beaches, rose-covered cottages, seafaring Captains' stately homes, and all of the laid-back charm that islands can bring. Is there anyone who hasn't wanted, if only for the length of a vacation, to live on one?

But here's the thing about islands: for all of the obvious pleasures that they offer, they have some aspects that would make any mainlander a little crazy. Take transportation. Having to take a ferry makes a quick lunch with a friend on the mainland a fantasy, and a trip to Target a major project. (Nantucket is a long ferry ride from the mainland, and Martha's Vineyard isn't much closer. Even Newport, despite its bridge to the mainland, can have cars so backed up that a ferry could easily beat them.)

Food. True islanders do not expect miles of aisles and fourteen different kinds of peanut butters; they know how to do without. Movie theaters: one seems plenty. A living wage? Only during tourist season. Housing? You can tell a local's home from a summer house because the local's house will probably need paint. That is, if the local can actually afford to keep a house on the island, the one where he was born and raised, to begin with.

The gap between the Haves and the Have Nots in such places is especially glaring. It's a running theme in the three novels featured in the boxed set, SUMMER PLACES. Three New England locales are explored in three novels -- each of them capturing the the highs and the lows of a way of living that most of us can only dream about.

In BELOVED, set on Nantucket, unemployed Boston graphic designer Jane Drew inherits a ramshackle cottage, which may or may not be haunted, from her aunt, who may or may not have been a witch. Before long, Jane is butting heads with one of the locals, Mac McKenzie. Mac 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. Oh, 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.

"BELOVED is pure Magic! The love story between the hero and heroine was complex and moving; what appealing characters!"

-- Susan Elizabeth Phillips

In SAFE HARBOR, eternal optimist Holly Anderson has managed to carve a nice little niche for herself as a folk artist on Martha's Vineyard. She's not quite a local, but she's lived on the island year-round and loves everything about it. Her artistry brings her deep satisfaction. Her family summers there. She has made friends there. If she could just afford to buy the house and barn she's renting, fall in love, marry the guy and then have children as sweet as her nieces, life would be pretty much perfect -- but when is life ever perfect? Havoc arrives on the island in the guise of beautiful Eden Walker, a con-woman who's stolen the nest egg of an elderly couple and who promptly seduces Holly's sixty-something father while she's in hiding. Sam Steadman--son of the now impoverished couple -- is furious and determined to find her. After a bumpy start, Sam and Holly join forces to track down the elusive Eden and reclaim both treasure and father. But hearts and minds collide, and shipwrecked emotions are strewn along the way. Will Holly and Sam ever be able to trust one another after the not-so-merry chase?

"Great characters, a satisfying love story ... suspense to keep the story moving ... a delightfully drawn setting as the author brings Martha's Vineyard to life ... this woman can write."

-- The Romance Reader

In SAND CASTLES, Wendy Hodene is one of those people for whom just enough is plenty. She's married to a charmer, has a young son she loves, and lives close to family in a small New England house that her great-grandfather built. True, she'd love to have room for a three-cushion couch (and of course more closet space), but all in all, she's happy with her life.

Happy, until her husband Jim goes and wins a lottery, upending every reassuring aspect of Wendy's existence. The man she thought she was married to for a decade turns out to be someone else entirely; the house she thought she wanted renovated turns into a stress-inducing pile of dust and demolition; the son who once desired nothing more than a new video game now wants a big new house on the beach; and the mysterious contractor who shows up among the renovation crew on a fine June morning turns out to be a man who's both able and willing to destroy all that Wendy holds dear.

"Well-drawn, sympathetic characters, exceptional writing, and an intriguing premise ... a riveting story of selfishness, betrayal, and love that readers will find hard to put down."

-- Library 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
 

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