January 2002

Dear Readers,

I hope that every one of you had a wonderful Christmas. Ours was absolutely delightful, for the simple reason that--ta-dah--we got a new kitten.

For those of you who are bored by kittens (is it possible?), I'll only include a single mug shot on this page. For everyone else, there's a special link below to a page that has more photos. Lots and lots more photos. (Santa finally got around to getting us a digital camera this Christmas. Kitten. Camera. You do the math.)

So herewith, let me introduce Chula--Chewy for short. He was born on September 17, 2001, and we brought him home the day before Christmas, when this photo was taken. He's currently in that wonderful, goofy, big-eared pinhead phase and looks exactly like Yoda. I could go on and on, and I will, on the cat page.

Chewy, in a rare moment of repose.

Click here for more photos of Chula

Chewy in donut(14K)

Oh, yes: I finally finished a roll of film that included these shots I forgot I had, of the Gang of Five at our last Authors' Breakfast at my house in October. We call them "breakfasts," but they're really all-day marathons of talk, gossip, laughter, show-and-tells, and antique forays. Our number one favorite subject is still eBay.


Dee Holmes, dressed in a blaze of autumn color, brought examples of exquisitely intricate gift tags that she'd created just for fun, and Pat Coughlin brought a bag load of to-die-for chintz and drapery fabric that she'd scored in various places.

This is a shot of Peggy Nicholson, left, and Kristine Rolofson, standing in my still-unrehabbed kitchen. (Sigh. Next year: new cabinets, and a real window.)

Peg and Kristine(16K)

Kristine liked the drapes I brought to the show-and-tell at the last authors' breakfast so well that she arranged a trade with me. In a wonderfully lopsided exchange, she brought to this breakfast some fabulous stationery featuring a French-quarter restaurant called "Antoinette" (if anyone knows where to get more of these note cards, e-mail me, I beg you); a batch of vintage pottery plates in the green-and-yellow color scheme I love (note the green-and-yellow garden toile wallpaper in my otherwise blah kitchen); three fabulous and rare vintage tablecloths featuring charming garden motifs; a large antique linen monogrammed "AS" (what are the odds?) and more. Needless to say, everything was beautifully wrapped and delightful to open. Christmas in October, that's what I had. What a rush!

I guess you can see where I'm going here. This wonderful woman is smart, fun, generous, and artistic. Guess what that makes her novels? Yep. Fabulous.

And speaking of novels, I'm beginning to get excited about my coming book, SAND CASTLES, due on the shelves May 1. I think what put me in a receptive frame of mind was the cold snap we had this past week (the one that finally put an end to my exhausted geraniums.) It finally is winter and brown out there, and the SAND CASTLES cover of ocean-kissed beach is looking very inviting right about now. Pretty soon I'll be posting Chapter One of the book. Stay tuned.

Until then, keep warm, stay safe, and watch: pretty soon, the crocuses will be up and blooming.

All best wishes,

Antoinette Stockenberg

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