Monday, January 28, 2013


Congratulations to "Mae C.", the winner of Carla's giveaway. Thank you to all who participated!

More than just make-believe.

Librarian Phoebe O’Dunn deals in stories, but her passion for history has taught her that happy endings are rare. Her life in Knights Bridge, Massachusetts, is safe and uneventful…until she discovers the hidden room.

Among its secrets is a cache of vintage clothing, including a spectacular gown—perfect for a gala masquerade in Boston. In the guise of a princess, Phoebe is captivated by a handsome swashbuckler who’s also adopted a more daring persona. Noah Kendrick’s wealth has made him wary, especially of women: everybody wants something.

When Noah and Phoebe meet again in Knights Bridge, at first neither recognizes the other. And neither one is sure they can trust the magic of the night they shared—until an unexpected threat prompts them to unmask their truest selves.

After all, it takes more than just the right costume to live out your personal fairy tale. It takes heart…and the courage to be more than you ever dreamed.


Bumblebees hummed in the frothy catmint on the edge of the stone terrace, the only sound to disturb the hot New England summer afternoon. Phoebe O’Dunn watched a solo bee hover above a purple blossom, as if debating what to do, then dart past the green-painted bench where she was seated and disappear across the herb and flower gardens. None of its fellow bumblebees followed.

Phoebe had met on the terrace with her sister Maggie and her friend Olivia Frost to discuss the upcoming vintage fashion show at their small-town library, but inevitably talk had turned to the charity masquerade ball tomorrow night in Boston, two hours away. Maggie and Olivia were going. Phoebe wasn’t, but she just might be able to help with costumes.
The dresses would be perfect.

If she’d had any doubts, they’d been dispelled when Maggie and Olivia sank into their chairs at the round, natural-wood table across the terrace and said they were stumped. With just twenty-four hours before they had to leave Knights Bridge for Boston, they had no idea what to wear.
Phoebe did. She’d already had the dresses cleaned and now they were hanging in the back room at her little house on Thistle Lane, just off the Knights Bridge common. She hadn’t mentioned them yet because—well, she didn’t know why, except that she couldn’t help feeling as if she were handling someone else’s secrets. She’d discovered the dresses two weeks ago in a mysterious hidden room in the library attic. So far she hadn’t told anyone about them or the room.

“We should have figured this out sooner,” Maggie said from the shaded table. Like Phoebe, Maggie had wild strawberry-blond hair, hers a tone darker and four inches shorter. And they had freckles. Lots of freckles, Maggie especially.

“Dylan didn’t give us much notice,” Olivia said without a hint of criticism. Her fiance, Dylan McCaffrey, had purchased tickets to the masquerade ball to support the cause, a neonatal intensive care unit at a Boston hospital. He’d handed them to Olivia just before he and several friends took off to the White Mountains for a few days of hiking. She added with a sigh, “I’ve never been to a masquerade.”

“Neither have I,” Maggie said. “We must know someone in Boston who can help with costumes.”

Phoebe listened to the bumblebees hard at work in the catmint. She and Maggie had been friends with Olivia since preschool. They were gathered in Olivia’s backyard. Fair-haired and pretty, she’d returned to Knights Bridge in the spring to convert her classic 1803 center-chimney house into The Farm at Carriage Hill. In the process, she’d met and fallen in love with Dylan, a former hockey player, now a wealthy San Diego businessman. His arrival in Knights Bridge had turned the out-of-the-way rural Massachusetts town on its head.

Pushing back stray curls, Phoebe got to her feet. She and Maggie both wore sundresses and sandals, but Olivia had on shorts and an old T-shirt after spending the morning in her gardens. When she’d left Boston, she’d put her graphic design skills and boundless energy to work in transforming her historic house into an idyllic spot for showers, meetings, girlfriend weekends and the occasional wedding—including her sister’s upcoming wedding in September and her own in December.

“You’ve been awfully quiet, Phoebe,” Olivia said. “Any ideas what we could wear?”
“I was just thinking…” Phoebe tried to sound casual. “What if you two dressed up as Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly?”

Olivia pushed back her chair and eyed Phoebe with obvious interest. “How would we pull off Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly? Do you have something in mind?”

Maggie, a caterer with two young sons, stood with her iced tea, the sprig of peppermint and wedge of lemon that she’d artfully hooked onto the glass now floating among the ice cubes. She cast Phoebe an amused look. “Do you see me as Audrey Hepburn or Grace Kelly? Either one?”

Phoebe smiled at her sister. “Sure, why not?”

“You really do have an imagination,” Maggie said.

“What are they, dresses that came in for the vintage fashion show?”

Phoebe hesitated, framing her explanation. As director of the Knights Bridge Free Public Library, the vintage fashion show was her brainchild, an end-of-the-summer event that would involve the entire community. It would showcase clothing from 1900 to 1975. The various library reading groups were focusing on twentieth-century books, the historical society was helping out, local businesses were donating food and staging materials—it was an all-consuming project that now, finally, was well in hand.

Phoebe had discovered the tiny hidden room while looking through the library attic for anything she could use for the show. It was as if she’d stepped into a time capsule, a secret hideaway. The room was filled with reproductions of dresses from movies up through the 1960s and from different historical periods—Medieval, Regency, Victorian, Edwardian, Roaring Twenties.

Who could have predicted such a thing?

She wanted to know more before she told anyone. Who had set up the room? Who had worked there, left everything behind? Why?

Did anyone else know about it?
Join Carla's MY FAVORITE LIBRARY Contest and support your local library! The winning library will receive $1,000.

And for something fun, vote for your favorite Vintage Hollywood Gown!

And lastly, for a reader leaving a comment here about their favorite library or thoughts on libraries, Carla will be offering away a copy of THAT NIGHT ON THISTLE LANE.

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST Jan. 29th. Please supply your email in the post. You may use spaces or full text for security. (ex. jsmith at gmail dot com) If you do not wish to supply your email, or have trouble posting, please email with a subject title of JRS GIVEAWAY to be entered in the current giveaway. US and CANADA mailing addresses only.


  1. I am sad to say that since I got my NOOK I don't go the the Library as much. I used to live there when my son was small. Our town Library has so many nice programs for kids. We also have an area that different groups can display things. I am a volunteer on the local Fire Dept and Amb and we have done displays on public safety and the history of our volunteer group. Thanks for the chance to win... have loved all your books.

  2. Libraries have always been a source of possibilities and wonderful discoveries to me; stories and information to be enjoyed in print, seen on DVDs and heard on audiobooks. I'm fortunate to work in a small town library where I have easy access to all of that. A hidden room and a librarian? That Night on Thistle Lane is definitely a book I'd enjoy reading! 2sonreader AT gmail DOT com

  3. I have always loved going to the library. In fact I got my first library card at age 4. The librarian told my mom that if I could print my name I could get a library card. And I did it. It gave me entry in the world of fantasy and hope and dreams.

  4. I found my love of books in the library. I grew up in a very there was nothing to keep us busy during the summer. It was so hot so I wandered into the cool library. i can remember not only how cool it was in there, but the smell of all books, and the reverent silence, I opened the first book (Nancy Drew) and a reader was born. All my grandchildren have library cards. My 11 year granddaughter volunteers at her local library and wants to be a librarian when she grows up.

  5. I love to going to the library, a place my mom brought us from the time we were little. Nowadays libraries have so much to choose from, CDs, DVDs, video games but my favorite is just to walk through the rows of books. Hurricane Sandy caused widespread power outages in our area and we were lucky to get our power back after only two days. I go to the library to return some things and see it is packed with people, many of them just sitting in chairs and reading. I think libraries are so important to have available to all people.
    mce1011 AT aol DOT com

  6. Great to be here. Love JustRomanticSuspense! I hope lots of you will enter the My Favorite Library contest. All the details are on my website. And you can vote in my Hollywood gown poll at the same time. :-) Fun stuff for a winter day.

    Thanks for having me here,

  7. Libraries were not a part of my life growing up as I usually lived in too small a community to have one. As a result, visiting a library wasn't something I got into as an adult. That doesn't mean that I don't understand the importance of libraries, especially to young people! Carla Neggers is one of my favorite authors and I'm really looking forward to reading That Night on Thistle Lane!

  8. Unfortunately, I do not go to the library anywhere as often as I used to. I feel very sorry for kids today who research papers online rather than gathering with their friends and doing it together, socializing with research. I am old enough to have been able to do so. There were, of course, the times when the librarian asked us to keep it down which was all part of the enjoyment.

    I find great places to decompress bookstores,church,museums and libraries. I miss the bookstores and I fear libraries will close for economic reasons. Where will students go who cannot afford a laptop or buy their books on Kindle.

    Technology has many benefits but there are serious downsides. With the advent of massive HD TV's, how many young people use them for watching movies or gaming rather than reading. Fecebook is great but what about real interaction in person?

    Anyway, enough of my pontificating! I look forward to reading a book about a librarian. Thanks for writing one!

    Marijane Diodati

  9. I think libraries are great.


  10. I grew up in my local library. Now as an adult I have created a small library in my home. Its my favorite place to relax!

    Thank you for the giveaway!

    jo1963jo at gmail dot com

  11. Thanks for the fun post! I also grew up in my local library which, luckily, I lived very close to. I remember my parents dropping me off and me spending hours there :) I don't visit the library any more, don't live close by one and ever since I got my Kindle, I haven't really had the need to.


  12. When I was in grammar school and junior high school, I spent most of my time in the library reading or with friends. Even in college, I spent more time in the library than in the computer lab. (I didn't have a computer for my term papers. I wondered how I even type them up in the first place.) Libraries are still my favorite place to hang out.


  13. I have a kindle but I still use my Milton Library. We have self service now though and I think that is sad.

    lag110 at mchsi dot com

  14. I rarely go to the library any longer but I have lovely memories of going weekly as a child. Ecah week my parents took me there so I could choose a new book to read. It's definitely how I developed my love of reading (and writing).

    As an adult, I participated with a writing group that met weekly at our local library for several years.

    These days I curl up with my Kindle or a paperback, but libraries still hold a special place in my heart and always will.

    maeclair (at) maeclair (dot) com

  15. I grew up very involved with libraries. With 5 kids, my parents didn't have much money for extra activities so mom would take us to the library any time it rained and we couldn't go out. Gradually it turned to wanting to go to the library whenever I finished classwork early and yeah, the nerd in me actualy volunteered to read the classics and do book reports for extra credit. LOL.

    My love for libraries and books has continued into my adult life as well creating a stockpile of my own books at home that I just can't imagine parting with and trips to the library practically every day at lunch (its only a block from where I work). I'm really lucky to have an understanding husband (and boss for when I'm late back from lunch).

  16. Sounds like another fabulous story!

  17. Great post. I am a lover of libraries. I can't afford to buy every book that I want to read or have a place for every book, so I have to count on libraries for that. I live in a small town in the country and have 3 local libraries that I visit. They all have quite a selection. I find a lot of new authors that way. I also read some authors that put out hardbacks of their books and hardbacks are expensive, so I go to the library for those. I have even won some books for the local libraries for some authors that I love.
    Great post. Carla is a new author for me, but have heard great things about her stories.
    Thanks for the giveaway.
    christinebails at yahoo dot com


Sign up to receive our newsletter