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Coming Soon & New Releases

Coming May 14! The Wedding Journey

April 2024
Dear Readers
Yep, I’m a disgrace when it comes to paying attention to my website. Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa. I’m busy. So are you.
All the same, please note that The Wedding Journey, a reprint from its 2002 Signet publication, will be available on Tuesday, May 14. It’s the same good story some of you might remember, but with a new cover and hopefully slightly larger print. It’s also available in ebook format, of course.
I’m often asked which is (so far) my favorite novel. I usually hem and haw and dither about, because every book is special to me. I am certain fellow novelists can relate to this.
But I gotta tellya, The Wedding Journey might be my favorite novel. Quiet and shy Surgeon Jesse Randall is my excellent hero. He discovers in the course of the journey on the retreat from Burgos to Torres Vedras just how resourceful, imaginative and brave he is.
Eleanor Mason (Nell) is a great heroine. She’s been in charge of her flighty, silly parents since she was a little girl (her father Captain Bertie Mason is no army’s good example). Nell doesn’t really know how tired she is of that until she truly needs saving from as vile a villain it has ever been my pleasure to write: Major Bones. That he comes to a fitting end is an understatement.
And there are two charming rascals who are the world’s worst soldiers, until they aren’t. They’re almost drawn from life. My dad, a Navy officer, used to joke about Pete Latzo and Harvey Keck, who made Dad’s US Navy miserable. Thanks, Dad.
The setting for The Wedding Journey is Spain during the Peninsular Wars, when Napoleon made the mistake of invading that proud country. The focus is on a “marching hospital,” which we would call a M*A*S*H unit. I think Surgeon Randall is the first time I delved into the surgical side of the Napoleonic Wars.
The research was long and painstaking, and I have mined it ever since. I have nothing but respect for those early 19th century doctors. Too many writers and readers denigrate those men (yes, they were all men) who practiced, to 21st century eys, seemingly idiotic and farfetched medicine. From all my research I learned this truth: These physician and surgeons Practiced to the Extent of Their Knowledge. I cannot and will not ever fault them for that.
So yes, The Wedding Journey is a book I’m proud I wrote, and which means a lot to me.
Coming in August, brand new for Harlequin Historical, is A Naval Surgeon to Fight For. It’s my second look at the Battle of Trafalgar. Later on in 2024 will come Regency Glad Tidings, three Christmas stories. I’m currently writing a novel set during the Depression, circa 1934.
Best to you,
Carla Kelly

Review Spotlight - Her Smile

The first lesson Elizabeth Ann Everett learns when she arrives in Yellowstone National Park with her family is that you can’t believe everything you read in a book. For example, the “wild Indians” dime-novels authors often cast as villains are nothing like the Nez Perce Elizabeth encounters when she is accidentally swept up by a scouting party fleeing from the U.S. cavalry. While not everyone in the tribal community is happy about Elizabeth’s presence, Kaya does his best to help her adapt to her new and, she hopes, temporary surroundings. In her latest impeccably researched book, RITA and Spur Award–winning Kelly brilliantly captures both the beauty and brutality of life in the American West in the late nineteenth century while also thoughtfully and skillfully illuminating the terrible dilemmas and tragedies confronting Native Americans who simply want the U.S. government to honor its promises. Effectively told from Elizabeth’s outsider's point of view and infused with a deliciously keen sense of humor, this is Kelly at her storytelling best.


— John Charles

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A Country Christmas - Book Cover