There’s no better time for romance than the holidays! Celebrate the season with A Knights Bridge Christmas by Carla Neggers, the story of a harried doctor and the woman who helps him slow down and enjoy life—and decorate his grandmother's home for Christmas. In a 7 Questions interview, we asked Neggers about libraries, small towns and her own holiday traditions.
Describe your book in one sentence.
In A Knights Bridge Christmas, a busy ER doctor enlists a young widow to help him decorate his grandmother’s house for Christmas in her small New England hometown, and the hope, love and memories they discover are more than either ever imagined.
How do you toggle between writing the charming romances of your Swift River Valley series and your romantic suspense novels?
I love writing these two series! I hear from readers who enjoy diving into both worlds, and I feel the same as a writer. The small town of Knights Bridge in the Swift River Valley series and the small FBI unit and community in the Sharpe and Donovan series feature characters tested in different ways, but the issues of trust, love, family and hope they face aren’t all that different. I often think of beloved author Mary Stewart, who reportedly eschewed labels for her writing and once said, “'Storyteller' is an old and honorable title, and I’d like to lay claim to it.”
How did you settle on the career of librarian for Clare Morgan, the heroine of A Knights Bridge Christmas?
Knights Bridge needed a new librarian after Phoebe O’Dunn, who grew up in town, resigned when she became engaged to Noah Kendrick, a Southern California billionaire. As much as she loved her job, she’s embracing a new life. Clare was perfect for the job! She wanted a fresh start for herself and her young son, and the people of Knights Bridge have welcomed her, giving her space but also keeping a protective eye on her.
What’s your favorite thing about the relationship between Clare and ER doctor Logan?
The chemistry between Clare and Logan! It’s unmistakable from the start, but the spirit of the Christmas season, the small-town traditions of Knights Bridge and the old house Clare and Logan are decorating—filled with reminders of his grandparents’ long marriage—all play into their relationship. Logan is the type to move fast and push hard, but his grandparents’ hometown and its new librarian force him to slow down and take care of what truly matters.
You grew up in rural Massachusetts. Do you draw from your own experiences when writing about the small New England town of Knights Bridge?
Oh, yes. Knights Bridge is fictional, but the area where it’s located is real. Our family homestead is on the edge of Quabbin Reservoir, a huge pre-World War II project that changed this part of New England forever. As a kid, I’d climb a tree with pad and pen and look out at the Quabbin “accidental wilderness,” as I wrote, imagining the lives of the people who’d lived in the small towns razed to create the reservoir. I also spent countless hours in my hometown library, which is the inspiration for the Knights Bridge library—including the rumors that it’s haunted.
What’s your favorite thing about the holiday season?
Christmas carols! I’m especially fond of the traditional carols like “Joy to the World,” “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” and “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing.” Every Christmas Eve, we listen to “Nine Lessons and Carols” from England on the radio. For me, the Christmas season connects the joys of the past and the hope of the future through our traditions and celebrations. Carols are one of those traditions. Not that I can sing, mind you.
Do you have any holiday traditions you’re looking forward to?
I’m looking forward to our annual Christmas Eve tea. It’s a tradition that started out of necessity given varying family schedules. This year, we’re adjusting the menu because our 6-year-old grandson has been diagnosed with celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder that means he can’t consume any gluten. I am learning how to make creme brule, which is naturally gluten-free. A new twist on our Christmas tea tradition!
Author photo by Julie Ireland