Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Spotlight-Excerpt & Giveaway: THE STAR IN THE MEADOW by Carla Kelly

"A romance in the middle of a really good Western novel."
- Roundup Magazine
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Carla Kelly
Series: The Spanish Brand, Book 4
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Camel Press
Publication Date: February 14, 2017
Will Marco choose love or duty?
Marco Mondragón and his wife Paloma are living hectic but happy lives at the Double Cross, on the edge of Comanchería. Five years after the death of Comanche leader Cuerno Verde, cautious diplomacy between the tribe and the colonists is underway to end Comanche raids into New Mexico. Paloma's time has been fully consumed by her two toddlers and newborn son and Marco's by spring planting.

The Seven Year Audit of 1784 arrives and with it comes auditor Fernando Ygnacio. After years of incarceration for a crime he did not commit, Señor Ygnacio is a broken man. Although his daughter Catalina is bitter about his mistreatment by his superiors, her storytelling abilities captivate the household, including a frequent visitor from the nearby presidio, El Teniente Joaquim Gasca, who has been undergoing his own reformation from rascal to leader.

Unknown to him, Marco has peculiar enemies plotting his downfall. When Paloma and Catalina set out on a visit to Marco's sister, meant to give Paloma relief from her busy life, the women are kidnapped. Devastated, Marco is torn between love and duty. He yearns to search for his wife, but feels bound by colonial duties to accompany his friend Toshua to Río Napestle, where Comanches have gathered to debate the region's fragile peace. In his absence from the Double Cross, will Joaquim Gasca and Toshua's wife Eckapeta be able to find the missing women?
Carla Kelly's writing is masterful, and I can wholeheartedly recommend this whole series, and I believe you would enjoy each book more if you read them all. STAR IN THE MEADOW is a stellar conclusion which will reside on my keeper shelf.
- Roses Are Blue Blog
I love this series... Carla Kelly is my favorite modern author... She writes from accurate historical research and factsÖplus the lady knows how to weave romance into her stories for my girly-side!"
- Patti, Goodreads Reviewer

Purchase Links


“Goodness, Marco, come to bed,” Paloma said.
“I will,” he told her. “That story haunts me, too, and do you know what else haunts me?”
“Better tell me, but I think I know,” she said in a small voice. “It’s what happens now and then, isn’t it? Maybe La Llorona reminded you. Or me.”
He watched her, wondering if he was intruding on some female ritual he had never noticed when Soledad was an infant. Maybe it just happened with sons. How did she know what he was thinking?
“Paloma, sometimes you wake me up at night, patting around at the end of our bed. Why do you do that?”
“I wish I didn’t, but I can’t help myself.” She lay back against her pillow. “The dream is so real, Marco. I dream I have lost my baby and cannot find him. I pat around the bed, certain he is there somewhere. I start to panic.” 
“I know. You pat and then you stop and draw yourself into a little ball and go back to sleep. I wondered if I was dreaming, the first time you did that.”
“No. It’s my nightmare,” she said. “Why didn’t you say anything when Claudio was born and I did that?”
“Because I am a lump-headed husband who just goes back to sleep, happy to let his wife do the nursing and changing and everything else that smacks of midnight work,” he said frankly. “I heard a joke once about a first-time father who woke up with a black eye. When he asked what happened, his wife said it was because she hit him with a candlestick, since he was lying there so peacefully with a smile on his face while she nursed their baby.”
Fulano! I would never beat you. Haven’t even been tempted.” She laughed softly. “Well, it did cross my mind once.”
He took off his other stocking and threw it at her. She threw it back.
“You’re looking for a missing child? Why didn’t that happen with Soledad?” he asked, curious.
“I wondered about that at first, but remember, she had a wet nurse and did not sleep in here, as our sons do, because I nurse them,” Paloma said. “It’s as though I have fed them, but they have vanished from our bed.” She managed another laugh, but he heard no humor this time. “It stops after a few months.” A sigh. “I suppose that is why La Llorona is so frightening to me—that poor ghost, crying and looking everywhere for her children. I feel sorry for her.”

Other Books by the Author

Don't miss the other books in The Spanish Brand series by Carla Kelly.
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Series: The Spanish Brand, Book 1
In the royal colony of New Mexico, 1780, Marco Mondragón is a brand inspector living next to the fierce Comanche. On a trip to Santa Fe, he meets Paloma Vega and rescues her from cruel relatives. He vows to find out if they stole the brand belonging to her parents.
"Carla Kelly's vivid storytelling plunges the reader into a tense, hypnotic tale of love and courage in The Double Cross."
- Diane Farr, bestselling author, Regency Romance and Young Adult fiction
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Series: The Spanish Brand, Book 2
Marco and his wife Paloma fight the scourge of smallpox by bravely venturing onto the Staked Plains, stronghold of the Comanche. As part of a devilís bargain, they must put themselves at the mercy of these dangerous enemies and try to inoculate them.
"Though I didn't read The Double Cross first, I still managed to fall head over heels for Marco and Paloma. That is a good testament to Ms. Kelly's amazing writing."
- Alexandra Anderson, All About Romance
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Series: The Spanish Brand, Book 3
At the end of the 18th century in the Spanish Colony of New Mexico, Marco and Paloma face a new threat to their ranch. To defeat Great Owl, a renegade Comanche, they form a ragtag army that includes a ghost from Paloma's past.
"This book will take one's breath away with the deep, emotional romance and highly likable characters."
- RT Reviews


Giveaway Graphic
Be one of three lucky winners:
$15 Gift Card (Amazon or Barnes & Noble)
2 x print copy of The Star in the Meadow
Contest runs from May 16 - June 5, 2017.

About Carla Kelly

A well-known veteran of the romance writing field, Carla Kelly is the author of thirty-seven novels and three non-fiction works, as well as numerous short stories and articles for various publications. Carla's interest in historical fiction is a byproduct of her lifelong study of history. She has a BA in Latin American History from Brigham Young University and an MA in Indian Wars History from University of Louisiana-Monroe.
Social media links (Camel Press Books): 

Tour Schedule

Follow the book tour from May 16 - June 5, 2017.
Get sneak peaks, excerpts, fun facts and other never-before-published info on The Star in the Meadow.
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