Message From The Author

Carla Neggers

Genre: General Contemporary Romance, Contemporary Romance

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Author's Message

Have you ever imagined discovering a secret room? It could contain anything. Gold, silver, treasure, skeletons. It could be fun, creepy, frightening…or romantic. In That Night On Thistle Lane, Phoebe O'Dunn discovers a secret room in the rambling attic of her small-town library. It's filled not with ordinary treasure but with Hollywood-esque gowns.

Ah, Hollywood. Beverly Hills. Los Angeles. Malibu…

They seem far from my hilltop in Vermont, but a couple years ago, I happened to be in Beverly Hills on the weekend of the Academy Awards. I was with my husband, Joe, and my mother and youngest sister. (Like Phoebe, I have three sisters.) Thinking it was just another weekend in Southern California, we made reservations for Sunday brunch at the famous Polo Lounge at the Beverly Hills Hotel.

What. An. Experience.

Our first clue that it wasn't an ordinary day was the private security presence. I swear it rivaled the times we've happened upon presidential security. The hotel staff made us feel as welcome as if we'd been stars. My sister and I ventured to the ladies' room and caught a glimpse of beautiful women in the salon. I don't remember what we had for brunch but I do remember that seated across from us was Tommy Lee Jones, wearing a leather jacket.

We behaved. Promise.

We had such a great time. Everyone was so nice and seemed to be having such a fabulous time on "their" weekend. That afternoon, we drove around Beverly Hills, and I recall my mother gasping in the backseat. "Isn't this the street from The Beverly Hillbillies?"

It was indeed. What fun!

That May, I found myself back on the west coast for the Turner Classic Movie Festival in Hollywood. We ran into stars like Debbie Reynolds, Mickey Rooney and Drew Barrymore, and we watched old movies in grand Hollywood theaters we'd heard about since childhood. But what captured my imagination were the behind-the-scenes people we heard from.

Without giving anything away, I can tell you that those two trips to Southern California helped inspire Phoebe's adventures in That Night On Thistle Lane, and the secrets of the hidden room in her small-town New England library. Phoebe loves a happy ending but doesn't believe one is in store for her, at least not a romantic one. Then she wears one of her mysterious vintage gowns to a masquerade ball in Boston and dances with a swashbuckler…and her life is changed forever.

I hope you enjoy the story!


- Carla Neggers

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