Carla Neggers: Carey spotlights the New York Times best-selling author

Carla Neggers, Photo by Julie Ireland

Hang on! There’s an interview with the New York Times best-selling author of more than 60 novels, Carla Neggers, and a chance to win autographed print books, e-books, and a t-shirt!

But first I want to talk about those books.

SAINT’S GATE is a complex suspense involving a murdered nun and a missing painting that holds the key not only to a series of current day thefts and homicides but to past mysteries as well.  In this book, Carla lives up to her reputation for delivering atmospheric romance by transporting the reader to small-town Maine, as well as Dublin, Ireland. If you are a lover of rich, lush detail and multi-level storylines, I think you will truly enjoy this.

The romance between the main characters, Colin Donovan and Emma Sharpe, is strong enough to bear up in the midst of a big plot. I feel not only the sexual sparks, but the deep emotional connection resonating between Colin and Emma.

A cast of fascinating secondary characters, in particular, an Irish priest with quite a story of his own, rounds out the book.

The story is complex and satisfying, and all the threads are tied tightly into a satisfying knot. But I was left wondering- Carla, what the heck is a bean-hole dinner?

SECRETS OF THE LOST SUMMER.  I can only reiterate that Carla Neggers is a master of atmospheric romance. This contemporary love story will transport you to Knight’s Bridge Mass.  where Oliva Frost is renovating a historic home. Enter the owner of the dilapidated neighboring home, Dylan McCaffrey, and the journey to discovering secrets of the past begins. Another strong cast, a satisfying mystery, and of course a love story, spells another win for Carla Neggers.

An interview with Carla Neggers,

Carey: If you were stranded on a desert island with one other author, yes the real author, not a book, who would it be and why?

Carla: I have so many writer friends! I’d pick one of them. Preferably all of them. I have lots of authors from the past that I’d like to meet, but too risky on a desert island if they turn out to be…well, not someone you’d want to be stranded on a desert island with.

Carey: LOL. Sounds like there’s going to be a full-out party on your island. What is your favorite book?

Carla: I don’t have one favorite book but I often turn to Mary Stewart and Rex Stout for a “comfort” read. I remember discovering a musty copy of The Moonspinners in our town library. Loved it. And Nero Wolfe…I especially love his early cases and the depictions of New York in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s.

Carey: Nero Wolfe is one of my favorite detectives too, but I haven’t read any of the books in a long while. I’ll have to revisit one soon. Do you have a favorite song?

Carla: No one favorite song, either. It depends on my mood. Right now I’m into Irish music. I love the traditional musicians like the Chieftains, but I also enjoy the Young Dubliners, especially their album All Due Respect, and Dropkick Murphys—nothing like The Meanest of Times for a jolt of energy!

Carey: How did you come to write your first manuscript?

Carla: In a tree! I was a kid. I grew up in the country with six brothers and sisters, and I’d go off on my own and climb a tree with a pad and pen and write. I had several manuscripts by the time I graduated high school…all still safely out of public view! I continued to write fiction through college and finally submitted a manuscript to an agent shortly after my first child was born. The agent took me on, and I eventually sold that book.

Carey: I love that story, and I am amazed that you had several manuscripts completed before finishing high school. A sign of a born writer. Do you have a personal hero?

Carla: My husband is one of the finest men I’ve ever known.

Carey tries to refrain, but then gives in to saying, “Awww!”

Carey: Which of your series or which of your books is your favorite?

Carla: I’m afraid I’m not any good at these “favorite” questions! To me, each book and each series stands on its own, and I’m always excited about the book I’m writing.

Carey: Which of your books would you suggest for a reader if they could only read one?

Carla: Whichever one appealed to him or her! I’d read the first few pages and go from there.

Carey, sheepishly:  Do you have a favorite among your female protagonists and why?

Carla: Again, I don’t think in terms of “favorites.” I’m enjoying writing about Emma Sharpe, an art crimes expert with the FBI who happens to be a former novice from an isolated Maine convent. Emma’s full of surprises! We meet her in SAINT’S GATE, out now, and then again in HERON’S COVE, due out in late August. Order SAINT’S GATE here.

Carey: You write so convincingly about the art world in Saint’s Gate. Do you have a background in art?

Carla:I don’t have a formal background in art but it’s long been an area of interest and study for me. I studied music at Boston University’s College of Fine Arts and roomed with artists who became lifelong friends. And my son’s a graphic designer!

Carey asks, and then ducks for cover: Do you have a favorite among your male protagonists and why?

Carla: That “favorite” word again! Colin Donovan, a deep-cover FBI agent, is every bit Emma’s match in SAINT’S GATE and now HERON’S COVE…and he has three hard-headed brothers.

Carey: I noticed all those brothers! I hope that means a long series of Donovan books. I know Saint’s Gate is the first in a new series for you, can you tell us some secrets about what’s in store for Colin Donovan?

Carla: Colin Donovan and Emma Sharpe return in HERON’S COVE (September 2012), when his world as an undercover agent and her world as a Sharpe—a family of art crime experts—collide.

Carey: Please tell us about your upcoming release, Secrets of the Lost Summer.

Carla: SECRETS OF THE LOST SUMMER marks my return to contemporary romance…but, of course, there’s a puzzle to be solved. Olivia Frost gives up a career in Boston to return to her little hometown to turn a historic house into a getaway. Just up the road is an abandoned house with junk in the yard. A real eyesore. She tracks down the absentee owner to clean up the place…but Dylan McCaffrey has never heard of Olivia or the town, or even knows he owns a house there. Turns out his treasure-hunter father left it to him. But why? Dylan heads to New England, and the fun goes on from there. Lots going on in this story!

Carey: What motivated you to go back to your roots in contemporary romance for your latest release, Secrets of the Lost Summer?

Carla: Simply put, the idea. I was gripped by it. I often write about small towns, secrets, adventures…SECRETS OF THE LOST SUMMER has all that…and a jewel thief! I’ve appreciated how readers have embraced the story. Order SECRETS here.

Carey: Is there a story you are itching to write, but haven’t done so? Do you foresee yourself ever writing that story and under what circumstance?

Carla: SECRETS OF THE LOST SUMMER was a story like that. It was a bit different, and I was itching to write it…and I did! Now it’s turned into a series, and I’m writing the next book, THAT NIGHT ON THISTLE LANE.

Carey: Your novels are noted for their strong atmospheric elements. What draws you to a particular setting, and how do you make that setting come alive for readers?

Carla: For me, the setting is almost like another character, and I enjoy bringing it to life for the reader. SECRETS OF THE LOST SUMMER is set in a fictional town near where I grew up on the western edge of the vast, beautiful Quabbin Reservoir (which plays a key role in the ‘secrets’!). SAINT’S GATE and HERON’S COVE take place in Maine, Boston and Ireland…three of my favorite places. I’m going back to Ireland soon to research DECLAN’S CROSS, the third in my Sharpe & Donovan series.

Carey: I love this You Tube where you talk more about SECRETS and the setting that inspired you. Readers will be interested to know that you took most of the photos used in this video.

Carey: And finally, Carla, I’d like to ask if you have a special cause that is close to your heart?

Carla: I’ve been doing what I can to help people here in Vermont to rebuild after the catastrophic flash floods that struck our mountainous state in late August. Two of the little covered bridges at the bottom of our hill were casualties, but the detours are minor inconveniences compared to the jobs and homes lost. There’s progress every day, and Vermont is definitely open for business. Come visit!

Carey: Carla, thank you so much for being with us today and for putting up with all those favorites questions! Now let’s open things up for questions and comments.

Commenters: Don’t forget to stop by Thursday and find out if you are a winner! One lucky commenter wins an autographed copy of  SECRETS OF THE LOST SUMMER, SAINT’S GATE and a t-shirt from the lovely Carla Neggers! A second commenter wins an e-copy of SECRETS OF THE LOST SUMMER and SAINT’S GATE! 

About Carey Baldwin

Carey Baldwin is a mild-mannered doctor by day and an award winning author of edgy suspense by night.

Posted on February 21, 2012, in Author Interview, Author Spotlight, book recommendations, Carey Baldwin, Guest blog and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 27 Comments.

  1. (Great interview Carey!) Carla, thank you so much for stopping by our blog – and geesh, putting up with all of Carey’s questions about favorites! LOL! I haven’t had the pleasure yet of reading one of your novels, but all this talk about atmospheric settings really intrigues me. I love novels where the weather or the landscape or even the building someone is in reinforces the current mood and tone of the scene. Like you said, as if setting is an actual character. Those kinds of books draw readers in and make them really feel like they are a part of the story. I know you don’t want to pick favorites, but as a newbie who is all about suspense and atmosphere, who is about to go buy her first Carla Neggers book, can you make any recommendations? Again, thanks so much for being here. Good luck with your latest release! And major hugs to those in Vermont who suffered devastating losses from the flash floods. Take care.

  2. What a wonderful interview to start the day! I’ve always loved your books, Carla, and can’t wait to read your newest release. I’ve always loved your use of setting. When I think about the books of yours I’ve read in the past, the settings always come to mind first. Thanks for spending the day with us and I wish you best of luck on your new release.

  3. Thanks, Lena! It’s great to be here, and I’m enjoying getting to know all of you better. A great place to start is SAINT’S GATE, since it’s very atmospheric (coastal Maine, a touch of Ireland!) as well as suspenseful…and it’s the first in my Sharpe & Donovan series. And thanks for the good wishes to Vermonters. So many people lost so much to natural disasters in 2011.

  4. Thanks, Sharon. I always portray setting through the point-of-view character. We get to know them better by what they see, how they react to their environment. In SAINT’S GATE, Colin, a former Maine marine patrol officer and now an undercover FBI agent, sees the seacoast differently than Emma, a former nun and art crimes expert. 🙂

  5. Thanks for sharing. Been following the stories of the flooding from the hurricane that just wouldn’t die.
    Book is on my list of to be read and looks like a New England keepsake with the tire swing. Great book trailers also.


  6. Hey…great interview…can’t wait to read the new books… I loved the Marshal series…. Have a great day….greetings from germany 🙂 bianca

  7. Thank you…. what a great blog. I think I would love to read your book. It sounds so interesting..

  8. Very nice interview. Can’t wait for Heron’s Cove!!!!!!!!

  9. Thank you so much for the interview. New author to me, but these look great. Will be adding to my TBR pile.

  10. Kelli Jo Calvert

    I cannot wait to read Secrets of the Lost Summer and Heron’s Cove!!! I love ALL your books! Secrets in on my TBR stack as we “speak”…

  11. Thanks for joining us today, Carla!

    I love atmospheric stories and mysteries with an art angle. SAINT’S GATE sounds like my kind of read!

    Do you foresee several books in this series with different Donovan brother heroes? Or will the series continue the story of Colin and Emma?

  12. Hi Carla, I’m a big fan and really enjoyed Saint’s Gate! One of my favorite characters is Grit Taylor in your Black Falls series. Will we see anymore of him now that you’re working on new series?

  13. Thanks for visiting today, Carla. I just finished your novella SHELTER ISLAND, and even in that one I can see how important setting is to you and how you define it through your characters’ eyes.

    I was a huge Mary Stewart fan when I was growing up. She’s a master at using setting to enhance the mood and suspense of a story.

    Glad to hear Vermont is recovering. It’s on our list for near-term travel (maybe early fall). Any must-see spots?

  14. Welcome Carla!
    Count yourself lucky Carey didn’t ask you the favorite ingredients in your salad, LOL! Harlan Coban was stumped.

    Wonderful interview and it turns out we have so much in common (I love these interviews!) I grew up in CT, MA, ME and got my MS at BU (Communication Disorders.) I’m fascinated by all aspects of art and have written a ST about art restoration/forgery/theft in Chicago.

    AND, I know what a BEAN HOLE DINNER IS! Must be seen to be believed, but the dish is extra delicious coming from the ground.

    Carla, what’s your take on this rapidly changing industry? Exciting? Frightening?

    Hope Vermont is recovering, that was a tragedy to see on the Weather Channel!

  15. Great comments! Ah, Grit Taylor…he’s the main character in “Cold Moonlight,” a short story I wrote for the upcoming LOVE IS MURDER romantic suspense anthology, edited by Sandra Brown and a fundraiser for ITW (International Thriller Writers).

    As for publishing: every time I think I have it figured out, it changes! I focus on my writing and do the best I can.

    Bean-hole suppers are great and Finian Bracken’s first one does play a role in HERON’S COVE. 🙂

    Thanks, all!

  16. Carla, you are one of my favorite mystery authors and I’m really looking forward to your latest. Secrets of the Lost Summer sounds like it has a bit more romance in the storyline than some of your other suspense-driven ones, which I don’t mind. I read all genres and it’s the story that counts most for me. I like how your stories have such strong atmospheric qualities to them. Speaking of which, I can see that in the video trailer. Please keep writing and have a great day!

    I would love to be entered for the ebook prize 🙂

  17. Can’t wait to read it!!!! I am a children’s book author and just turned in my new book to my publisher so now I have a couple of weeks to catch up on my reading.

    Jeri Holmes

  18. Great interview! I look forward to more books in the future!

  19. So glad you’re here with us, Carla! I have to say–and this is a compliment–when I saw the footage last summer of the flooding in Vermont, my first thought was worry for the Camerons and their friends and family in Black Falls. Took me a moment to remember that they were fictional characters. I think the tourist board in Vermont needs to send those books to prospective visitors!

    Can’t wait to check out SAINT’S GATE and SECRETS OF THE LOST SUMMER. 🙂

  20. Great interview Carey and Carla. Lots of information. Thank you so much for stopping by Carla. I cannot wait to get your book Saint’s Gate! I’m with Carey and want more information on the bean hole dinner.


  21. Thanks, all, and LOL on the Vermont tourist board — except for the assassins running around my fictional Black Falls, it’s a really nice town! 🙂

  22. I am awaiting the purchase of the Saint’s Gate received a gift card just have to wait to get to the book store I have read almost all of your very great books keep them coming, I also enjoy the traveling you get to do so many places. Carol

  1. Pingback: “Kiss and Tell” and a chance to win a T-shirt and books! | Carla Neggers

  2. Pingback: “Kiss and Thrill” and a chance to win a T-shirt and books! | Carla Neggers

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