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THE SECRET OF THE BELLES

Lanie Sullivan and Isabelle Blakely never meet, but the two girls share a fascination for all things Gone With the Wind—especially Belle Watling, a character in the book, and Ona Munson, the actress who portrays Belle in the movie. Lanie meets Ona in 1939, during the three-day movie premiere in Atlanta, Ga. When Lanie comes between Ona Munson and disaster, Ona rewards her with a gift—a little treasure originally given to the actress by the author of Gone With the Wind herself, Margaret Mitchell.

More than sixty years later, as she helps prepare a museum dedicated to Gone With the Wind for its Grand Opening, Belle comes upon letters written to Ona Munson and feels an instant connection to their naive, star-struck author, Lanie Sullivan. As Belle digs deeper into the past through Lanie’s letters, her connection grows even stronger— not to mention her curiosity at Lanie’s references to a special gift. Margaret Mitchell died in 1949; Ona Munson in 1955. What about Lanie? Belle begins a quest to discover what the gift was, where it is—and what became of Lanie Sullivan.