Excerpt: The Star in the Meadow by Carla Kelly

Excerpt: The Star in the Meadow by Carla Kelly

Title: The Star in the Meadow
Author: Carla Kelly
Series: The Spanish Brand, Book 4
Book Type: Fiction
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Camel Press
Publication Date: February 14, 2017

Excerpt: The Star in the Meadow by Carla Kelly
About the Book:

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?


Excerpt from Chapter Thirty-five – “In which a husband redeems himself”

            She woke to a darkened room and a quiet house, as though everyone had deserted her. She took several deep breaths to remind her she was breathing the sweet sage and rosemary of her pillow. It was late; everyone must be asleep.
            She breathed deeper and smell another familiar odor of wood smoke and leather. She sat up in surprise and woke up completely when she realized her husband knelt by the bed.
            With a cry of relight, Paloma touched in familiar face, wondering how a man could sleep on his knees like that, especially with his bed right there, with clean sheets and blankets and her.
            “Marco?” she asked, her voice hesitant. “Marco?”
            He opened his eyes and she saw the tears in them. She came closer until she had wrapped herself around him as he knelt there. She smelled the dust of the trail on this clothes, his unwashed state, not unlike her own mere days ago, and held him close.
            “Please forgive me,” he whispered.
            Forgive him? What was he talking about? “Marco, let me help you into bed,” she said, tugging on him, wanting him next to her.
            “I failed you so badly,” he said, the words tumbling out. “I didn’t know if you would even want me in the same room, let alone in our bed, but I had to find out. Please tell me you understand. I did it for the colony.” 


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About the Author:

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.

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