Summer Places: A Boxed Set: Three Complete Novels

Antoinette Stockenberg
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 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

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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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Pages
1200
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Language
English
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Genres
Family & Relationships / Love & Romance
Fiction / Romance / Contemporary
Fiction / Romance / Paranormal / General
Fiction / Romance / Suspense
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Content Protection
This content is DRM free.
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Available on Android devices
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Author's Note:

I have three sisters, all of whom I love dearly. The amazing thing about us is that despite the differences in our personalities, we all get along well together. I'm the oldest and, yes, the bossiest. When I was six, I told my twin sisters that I could fly, and if they did what I said, I would teach them to fly too. (I really did think I could fly if I could just figure out how to get up on the roof, so I wasn't actually lying.) They let me be the ringleader for a while, until they developed independent streaks of their own. By that time my youngest sister was born, so I got to be boss again, but in a more maternal way. Then, wouldn't you know, she too became independent.

What to do.

I didn't realize it at the time, but it turns out that writing about sisters lets you be the boss again -- until the characters, like my real-life sisters, develop independent streaks of their own. So it is that in DREAM A LITTLE DREAM, ten-year-old Isabelle shows a fearlessness that surprises her older sister Elinor -- who is pretty fearless herself, fending off an English Baron who is determined to buy back his ancestral home from Elinor's family and move it from the banks of the Hudson River in New York (where it has no business being) back to England (where it stood for centuries and where it belongs). A temperamental artist crossing swords with a cool-headed software engineer over a stone castle: there's a battle that will take no prisoners.

In EMBERS, Meg Hazard is the responsible oldest sibling, trying hard to keep her family afloat in a rambling Victorian that she's more or less forced them into converting to a Bed and Breakfast in the tourist town of Bar Harbor, Maine. The extended family all live in the back rooms and serve as host and staff. For the most part, they get along well. But when money's tight and space is tighter, there's bound to be some friction. And when one member of the family -- let's say, the youngest, spoiled, and very beautiful Allie -- doesn't always pull her share of the load, the friction can ramp up. When the two sisters both fall for a guest at their B&B who happens to be a recovering cop, loyalties will be tested and choices will have to be made.

And, finally, A MONTH AT THE SHORE. This novel was inspired by a family nursery I once visited that had a sad and woebegone look. Plants were unwatered, the greenhouse a shambles, the rose arbor rotted and falling down. I wondered what circumstances could have contributed to such decay. I wanted whatever family owned the nursery to pull together and make it work. And so the book was born. Sweet Corinne Shore has stayed home to keep Shore Gardens afloat. Ambitious Laura and black-sheep brother Snack have both fled the failing business -- and their failed family -- for different reasons, but Corinne persuades them to give her a month of their lives to turn the nursery around. Can Corinne convince them that there's no place like home? It may be where the heart is, but for Laura, it's where the heartbreak happened, and the cause of that heartbreak still lives there.

Family, romance, suspense, mystery, and a touch of the other-worldly: you will find it all in these three novels. Enjoy.

Warm wishes,

Antoinette

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