SISTERS: A Boxed Set: Three Complete Novels
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.
"A deft blend of mystery and romance ... Stockenberg, who won a RITA [for Emily's Ghost], is sure to win more kudos for her latest."
A MONTH AT THE SHORE
"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.
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