Feb/Mar 1999
Dear Readers,

It's early February, the dead of winter. I've just come in from a slow tour of my garden in Newport, which we've been away from for three long years. The day is foggy and damp and dreary. From my office I can hear the siren on the Newport bridge wailing through the fog, warning low-flying planes and groping freighters to keep clear, keep clear.
It's the dead of winter--and I couldn't be more happy. Because I have just discovered,peeping through the carpet of ivy that has overrun our garden in the past three years, the first tender sprouts of crocus. Snowdrops. Daffodils. Hyacinths. Sedum. Even tulips.

I know it's too warm, I know it's La Nina. I worry that winter, capricious brute, will change its mind and blast and wither these tiny green fledglings. But I smile anyway, and think how powerful the life force is, and marvel that such a thing can be. It's winter. But under the ivy, happiness grows. Soon it will look like this:

Newport Garden(21K)
The New Book: It's hard to believe, but KEEPSAKE will be in the stores soon (on sale March 26). I have an odd reluctance to talk about the story (which, by the way, I love), and I've been wondering why. I suppose part of the reason is that it has a pretty darn good mystery, and I don't want to give it away.

The other reason is harder to put into words, but I'll try. The hero, Quinn Leary, and the heroine, Livvy Bennett, are very private, very proud people. Their passion for one another runs deep, as deep as in any characters I've ever created, but they're not the kind who go spouting off their feelings for all the world to hear. They wouldn't be caught dead on a talk show, for example. They're the kind of couple who believe in working out their problems between themselves. They don't whine; they don't bitch. They save their passion for the bedroom. You know what? They're grownups.

I guess the best thing is to read KEEPSAKE and see for yourself. I'll tell you this: I cried more than once during the writing of this book, and that's a first for me.
The Work in Progress: It's a change of pace from KEEPSAKE. The story I'm writing now is set on an island in New England, and it's more lightly paced. The hero takes off on a merry chase of his ex-wife (did I say ex?) and runs smack into a sweet and innocent thing who, before the story is over, will learn a thing or two about love, betrayal and human nature. Best part: summer sun. Worst part: no beautiful winter scenes as in KEEPSAKE.

If you liked the seaside setting of A CHARMED PLACE, you're going to love the new book. Wish I was sure what the title will be. You'll be the first to know after we decide. Here's a photo of the marvelous setting, just to get you in the mood:

Marthas Vineyard(12K)
A Personal Note: Our teeny-tiny cottage in Newport is about to get larger. After owning it for a dozen years, we're finally putting on an addition (mostly to hold all the new bookcases and books we acquired during our three years in a bigger house), and we expect to be moved in permanently by the end of summer. I think that the town where we currently reside in Massachusetts is one of the prettiest in the area, but ... no ocean. What can I say? My husband and I are water rats. Chalk it up to living aboard a boat for twelve years. The salt got into our blood, and that's where it's apparently going to stay.

Anyway, you'll be able to write me from now on at P. O. Box 735, Newport, Rhode Island 02840. Please let me know what you think of KEEPSAKE (or any of my other books, for that matter). I'd love to hear. My website and e-mail addresses will remain the same.
Another Personal Note: I've been getting very polite complaints from my readers for a while now that all they really know about me is that I have two cats and two houses. My life is incredibly mundane at the moment, but it used to be reasonably interesting before I decided to end it prematurely by sitting in front of a computer every day. I'm working on the bio now, so check my Home Page every now and then to see if my husband/webmaster has posted it yet.

To get things started, here's a picture of the big guy himself. Isn't he the cutest teddy bear you've ever seen? Too bad I have to hit him on the head with a frying pan every now and then to get him to update this site.


Happy Spring,

Antoinette Stockenberg

P.S. The cats say hi. They're in a snit because there's no photo of them in this newsletter. Egoists.

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