Antoinette Stockenberg, Author(24K)
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December, 2023

I type that date but I don't believe it. There is no possible way that 2023 has landed in December. What is going on here? When did a twelve-month year get compressed into what feels like a three-month year? Well, I never!

Okay, that ends my 2023 rant about time flying. Let's move on. What has happened this past year? Anything good? Well, yes. For starters, we live in a country where it's possible to strive to make our lives better. That's no small thing. For another, things are getting better. You can see it in the moods of many. Despite the dire state of our politics, a lot of people seem pretty content with how their own lives are going. (Don't take it from me; listen to the economists and your parents!) It's impossible to look around the world and not see how very lucky we are to be living in the part of it that we do. Which is why, in this of all seasons, we should hug close to us whoever needs hugs, whether it's an ailing child or an aging parent, a rescued animal or a friend in need. Hugs are good. So are donations and volunteering.

I recently read an article that suggested the way to de-stress and be more content with one's lot in life is to keep a journal, writing down five things every day for which you're grateful. That's not gonna happen -- I don't have a journal and don't want to keep one -- but I'm finding it's easy to mentally tick off five things to be grateful for each day as I'm falling asleep. (One of those things was having read that article.)

Have a safe and blessed holiday season, and a happy new year.

Warm wishes,
signature, Author(1K)

P.S. As I have for many years now, I invite you to come visit my Christmas mantel display. Just click on the mantel village below to immerse yourself in a world that is more gentle and kind than the one we're looking at now.


I've made my novels available in boxed sets, each with a theme. If you find something here that appeals, I will feel good about that. If you don't -- there are millions of books out there. Find one that sounds good, and be safe.


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.

Buy the Summer Places Boxed Set


Sisters: their relationships can be deeply intimate, beautiful, tense, even hostile -- but they are always complex. In this boxed set, the relationship is explored in three different novels. In EMBERS the sisters both fall in love with the same man. In A MONTH AT THE SHORE, one sister flees home and the family business while the other stays behind. In DREAM A LITTLE DREAM, a young girl joins her older sister in her struggle to keep the family together in the sisters' home, which happens to be a castle.

Buy the Sisters Boxed Set


A Second Chance at Love. It's the theme of three different novels by USA TODAY bestselling author Antoinette Stockenberg. In KEEPSAKE, the daughter of the richest man in town shares something in common with the son of the tycoon's gardener: their childhood, spent at opposite ends of an elegant estate. After seventeen years, a still unresolved murder brings Olivia and Quinn together again -- and threatens to keep them apart forever.

In TIDEWATER, a brief but torrid relationship between Sara Bonniface and Ben McElwyn results in a child who develops into an all too precocious twelve-year-old determined to track down her biological father -- and who isn't afraid to break every dish in the kitchen in her pursuit of the truth. A murder mystery complicates an already fraught situation.

In A CHARMED PLACE, Maddie Regan is stunned to find that Dan Hawke, her college sweetheart and now a war correspondent, has moved into the lighthouse next to her family's summer home on Cape Cod. Dan knows all too well that Maddie's family, and Maddie herself, are unwilling to let him back into their lives, but that doesn't stop him from trying. Dark secrets, including an unsolved murder, are challenges he's more than willing to face -- even though the village sometimes feels to him like a war zone.

Buy A Second Chance At Love Boxed Set

GHOSTS: Some people believe in them, some people don't. Some people just aren't sure. EMILY'S GHOST is a lighthearted tale of a 19th century scalawag, hanged for a crime that he didn't commit, who wants his conviction overturned by a modern investigative journalist (who doesn't believe in ghosts). TIME AFTER TIME is another ghost story with a light touch: a single-mother aspiring party planner takes on a confirmed-bachelor upscale party pooper and 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. BEYOND MIDNIGHT treats the idea of otherworldiness more seriously, as the owner of a prestigious preschool in Salem, Massachusetts finds herself mysteriously motivated to discover the truth behind the death of a preschooler's mother and in the process finds herself reliving the nightmare of the Salem witch hunt of three centuries earlier. If you believe, if you don't, if you're not sure -- there will be something in this collection for you. Enjoy.

Buy the GHOSTS boxed set.

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 feisty 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. Set in the Gatsby era of the Roaring Twenties, AMANDA reflects the brash, reckless nature of a young country on the move.

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. 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.

Buy the By The Sea boxed set.