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THAT NIGHT ON THISTLE LANE
February 2013 – A Swift River Valley Novel
Two strangers who meet at a costume ball work out the other’s identity only to be faced with an even greater mystery, in THAT NIGHT ON THISTLE LANE (Harlequin MIRA, February 2013, $7.99 U.S./$9.99 CAN.), the second book in New York Times bestselling author Carla Neggers’ Swift River Valley contemporary romance series.
When Knights Bridge, Massachusetts, librarian Phoebe O’Dunn uncovers a tiny room hidden in the attic of the town’s library, it is as if she is stepping into a time capsule. Not only is the mysterious space filled with perfect reproductions of dresses from famous films up through the 1960s, but it’s also overflowing with elaborate gowns from myriads of different historical eras.
So even though sensible, uneventful Phoebe had initially declined to attend a gala masquerade in Boston with her sister and friends, she thinks better of it at the last moment and decides to secretly attend dressed as a princess. Surely no one—not even her sister—will recognize Phoebe in an intricate Edwardian gown with a wig and mask? It’ll be Phoebe’s secret.
As soon as she enters the ball, Phoebe attracts the attention of a charming masked swashbuckler. The two strangers make an instant connection and all eyes are on the striking couple as they glide across the dance floor. However, while her gallant swashbuckler is distracted, Phoebe is forced to flee the ball before she is recognized. Once home, she scolds herself for being so reckless, hides the gowns and vows to keep her escapade a secret.
However, that proves difficult when Phoebe’s charismatic dance partner follows her back to Knights Bridge. It turns out the masked swashbuckler is Noah Kendrick, billionaire founder of high tech company NAK, Inc. Noah’s wealth has made him wary, especially of women. But the spark he felt with his princess was genuine and—even better—she has no ulterior motives. The only problem is now he has to find her.
After Phoebe meets Noah, she begins to suspect that he is her swashbuckler. However, she is too afraid to reveal herself to him. What will the reaction of this billionaire jet-setter be when he realizes that his feisty, exciting princess is actually a boring small-town librarian?
But events may force the dance partners to drop their masks and reveal their true identities. Noah is being followed by a mysterious stranger. This elusive man has been on Noah’s tail since San Diego, and when he appears in Knights Bridge, Phoebe is suddenly drawn into a situation that has her worrying for her family’s safety.
THAT NIGHT ON THISTLE LANE is available wherever books are sold and at Harlequin.com.
New York Times bestselling author Carla Neggers is always plotting her next adventure, whether in life or for one of her books. Her fertile imagination and curious nature make her ready for anything. These qualities sparked her love of reading as a child and continue to drive her passion for storytelling today.
With her trademark blend of action, adventure and down-to-earth, realistic characters caught up in extraordinary circumstances, her novels never fail to take her readers on an exciting journey.
Growing up in rural western Massachusetts, the third of seven children, Carla would grab a pad and pen and climb a tree to spin her stories. Just before she was born, her Dutch immigrant father and Southern-born mother had packed up the car with two kids and all their belongings and headed north to start a new life. They’d settled in an eighteenth-century carriage house on 90 acres and begun a long process of renovation.
After graduating as valedictorian of her high school class, Carla studied music at Boston University and graduated magna cum laude with a degree in journalism. She enjoyed a brief stint as a freelance journalist, then turned to writing fiction full-time and now has more than 60 novels of romantic suspense and contemporary romance to her credit. Her books have been translated into 24 languages and sold in more than 30 countries.
Travel and research play a large part in Carla’s writing. “It’s part of the fun of being a writer— you never know what will spark an idea. For example, I wasn’t thinking about writing on my first trip to Ireland. Then I stepped into the ruin of the cottage where my son-in-law’s
great-grandfather was born…and I knew a story had started percolating. I just didn’t know
what it was!”
Once a plot is hatched, the real research begins. Carla’s novels have taken her atop New England’s highest peaks, onto a shooting range with a police academy instructor and across the world as she scouts out locations and seeks the authenticity that imbues her novels.
The author’s greatest pleasure comes in those moments when she feels she’s gotten the story just right—when it all comes together on the pages of her book, exactly the way she’s envisioned the tale in her mind. Then, when readers connect with the story, her satisfaction is complete. “I love to hear from readers,” says the author. “When they tell me that a story resonated and they had a great time with it, I know I’ve done my job and done it well.”
A distinguished member of the writing community, Carla is a founder of the New England chapter of Romance Writers of America and has served on the boards of Novelists, Inc., and International Thriller Writers.
When she’s not working on her next book, Carla enjoys traveling, hiking and kayaking. She’s always planning the next trip and the next adventure—either of which just might inspire a new story.
Carla and her husband, Joe, are the parents of two grown children. They live in Vermont, not far from picturesque Quechee Gorge.
I am so glad you could join us here at RomanceJunkies. To start, will you please tell us a little bit about your current projects?
Thanks! Can fairy tales come true? Phoebe O’Dunn in That Night on Thistle Lane loves a happy ending but doubts she’ll have one herself, at least romantically. Then she discovers a secret room in the small New England library where she works. The room’s filled with vintage gowns, and she impulsively wears one to a charity masquerade in Boston, only to dance with a swashbuckler…who he is and how the secret room came to be intrigue Phoebe and change her life! This is the second book in my Swift River Valley series. It launched last year with Secrets of the Lost Summer.
1. When was the moment that you knew you had to be a writer?
I don’t think it was a matter of knowing so much as doing. Writers write, and I’ve been writing since I was a kid climbing a tree with a pad and pen!
2. Every writer dreams of getting “the call”. What were you doing when yours came? Who got to hear the good news first?
One of the “good news” calls I most remember is when an agent offered to represent me and was so positive and encouraging about my writing. I was a young mother living in a tiny town (22 miles from the nearest dry cleaners!), cooking Cornish hens…which I ended up burning, I was so excited!
3. Who gave you the one piece of writing advice that sticks with you to this day?
When I was in college, a journalism professor taught me to note what I liked about a rough draft and in that to find my strengths as a writer and the strengths of the piece. I fall back on that advice to this day.
4. Describe the “perfect” hero. What about the “perfect” hero for you?
The “perfect” hero for me is one who isn’t so perfect, and in that lies endless possibilities!
5. Tell us About your Library Contest, what a great idea!
Thanks! The “My Favorite Library Contest” gives people a chance to win $1000 for their favorite library as well as a collection of my books. All the details are on my website: http://www.carlaneggers.com/. If we select your entry (100 words or less telling me about your favorite library), you also receive books and a gift basket of some of my favorite New England goodies. Libraries have meant so much to me and I’ve heard from countless readers over the years who feel the same. The contest runs until April 1 but please enter today!
6. What are some of your favorite pastimes? Do you have any hobbies or collections?
I love to travel. My father was Dutch, so I have first cousins in Holland I enjoy visiting. I also have first cousins in Australia I want to visit! We go to Ireland as often as we can. In fact, we’ll be there again soon. Hiking, and I hope kayaking. Also have to continue my research into whiskey! It’s a passion of Finian Bracken, the Irish priest in my Sharpe & Donovan suspense series.
7. What has been your biggest adventure to date?
Marriage! Joe and I met at Boston University and we’ve been on an adventure ever since. This has included many moves, two children (now grown) and two (so far) grandchildren, Leo, three, and Oona, born in September.
8. If your fairy godmother waved her wand and whisked you away to the location of your choice, which place would you choose, and why?
I’d be off to Ireland again! We love it there. Of course, we also love Maine…and Holland…and California…and the Pacific Northwest…and…wait! I’d pick Australia. It’s a long, long flight and I think I’d like to be whisked there. Yes. Definitely.
9. When it comes to food, are you the adventurous type who will try anything once, or do you prefer to stick to tried and true foods and recipes?
I’ll try almost anything once. I really don’t like raw fish and meat. Rare is bad enough, but raw? Otherwise I’ll try anything, especially fruits and vegetables.
10. What is your favorite season? What do you love about it?
New England’s a great place to live because it has four distinct seasons, and I love them all…although I admit I get tired of winter if it bleeds into June!
11. What is the one modern convenience that you cannot do without?
It depends on the day. Right now I don’t see how I could manage without my MacBook Air, but tomorrow it could be the television. I love Netflix!
12. What is this romance writer’s idea of the “ideal romantic evening”?
Dinner out with Joe at our favorite hotel in Ireland with a long walk by the bay afterward. Perfection.
13. How do you describe Carla Neggers? How do Carla Naggers’ family and friends describe her?
Hm…I’m not sure how to answer this one! Rain check?
14. And lastly, no interview of a writer would be complete without this question: what is your favorite comfort food?
I always have a chicken pot pie in the freezer, and I’ve even made them from scratch. Great comfort food. But I can also be comforted by Irish rhubarb crumble, shepherd’s pie, onion rings…my doctor’s not reading this, right? Ha. All things in moderation!