Thursday, October 10, 2013

Carla Kelly's Christmas Collection with a Few Words from the Author

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Come explore Regency London with Carla Kelly! This collection features four stories that will warm your heart with Christmas cheer:

The Christmas Ornament: When the father of his now-deceased best friend hints that he should consider his daughter as a potential wife, Lord James Crandall isn’t sure he can get past the fact that he used to tease her mercilessly when she was just a girl. But once he finds out how brilliant her mind is, he’s not sure he can get past the fact that she’s a woman. Add in the fact that her charms have garnered the attentions of other gentlemen, Lord Crandall is in for quite the roller coaster Christmas.

Make a Joyful Noise: Widower Marquis Peter Chard is grateful for his two children, but not so grateful when his mother gives him the chore of recruiting people for the parish Christmas choir competition. When recently widowed and pregnant Rosie Wheatherby turns up with the voice of an angel and the looks to match, Lord Chard isn’t about to let her get away from the choir . . . or his family.

An Object of Charity: Stuck on land while his ship is being repaired, Captain Michael Lynch is approached by his late first mate’s niece and nephew. Learning they are destitute, he decides to take them home with him for the holidays, returning for the first time in 22 years ago. As he spends more time with them and unburdens his heart to the young woman, she replaces his hurt with love in time for a very special Christmas.

The Three Kings: After her brother is shot by the French in Spain, Lady Sarah Comstock is forced to travel across the war-torn countryside with a Spanish Colonel. As Christmas quickly approaches, Sarah learns about the Three Kings giving gifts to the Christ child and finds a gift of her own that she can share—her heart.

Filled with romance and a touch of humor, these stories are sure to find a place in your heart and remind you that Christmas is a time for love.

Carla Kelly’s Christmas Collection 
a few words from Carla Kelly

            Now there’s a title with a ring to it, eh? Hopefully Christmas bells will chime when readers find this holiday present in their hands.

            I wrote these Christmas stories – among others – when I wrote for Signet. When Cedar Fort wanted to do a collection as a reprint, I picked these personal favorites. I have others, and maybe they’ll show up in another collection.

            I enjoy short stories, because I consider them an exercise in writing. No, writers don’t have it all figured out; proficient ones keep learning from every project. Even though I am not a decorate-to-the-hilt person, I enjoy the Christmas season. The trick to writing Christmas stories is to have the spirit all year around, since typically, these are written in the spring or summer in order to meet production demands. Short stories with the Christmas touch are a total win for me.

            “The Christmas Ornament” came from my interest in the coming Industrial Revolution, and what it might do to the English upper class. In this tale, two fathers scheme for their children, one of whom is an intelligent little beauty, and the other is an Oxford don dabbling in motion studies, a pioneering field in the nineteenth century. As in most of life, everyone has to give a little to get a lot.

            “Make a Joyful Noise” was my first look at the Welsh and their special gift of singing. I’ve since used this in a recent novel, which is among my personal favorites, My Loving Vigil Keeping. The conflict here comes in a landowner’s attempt to create a silk purse out of a sow’s ear by “importing” Welsh singers to augment his parish’s generally awful choir. In the effort he finds an entirely unsuitable wife  - so the neighbors might think – who is absolutely perfect for him. Sometimes life is like that.

            “An Object of Charity” takes me to sea, where I feel at home, because of my background as a Navy brat who lived here and there on one coast or another. It’s the perfect Christmas theme: redemption. Here is our captain, discovering after years of exile from his own family, that maybe he got the best deal of all.

            “The Three Kings” takes readers to another favorite place of mine, Peninsular Spain during the Napoleonic Wars. In college at BYU, I had a history professor who spent a year doing research in the University of Salamanca. I never forgot his descriptions of rooms and rooms of documents tied with red tape. Even as I was taking notes, I was beguiled by the idea that somewhere in that dusty collection might be “stuff” – yes, historians use that word – that could open up new worlds of scholarship. Or not.

            So here you are. If these stories make your Christmas a little merrier, then I’ve done my job.
-Carla Kelly 

A Reader's Opinion
The blurbs give you an excellent idea of what each story is about, so you only get my opinion. I was a Carla Kelly fan once I finished reading 'Mrs. Drew Plays Her Hand', followed shortly by 'Marian's Christmas Wish.' This collection of short Christmas stories is genuine Carla Kelly material. I don't normally read short stories or novellas because they generally fail to deliver any real depth or character development, and yet the author has managed to write a collection of heartwarming stories that readers will certainly enjoy. The characters are sweet and enjoyable, and each story contains a lesson in overcoming obstacles and seeing past stereotypes. Kelly captures the era beautifully--as always. Even though I wish the stories had more to them (as in length), I recommend this collection to anyone interested in a sweet and easy holiday read. If you want a great Carla Kelly Christmas story, I highly recommend 'Marian's Christmas Wish.'  
Meet the Author
Award-winning author Carla Kelly is a veteran of the New York and international publishing world. The author of more than thirty novels and novellas for Donald I. Fine Co., Signet, and Harlequin, Carla is the recipient of two Rita Awards (think Oscars for romance writing) from Romance Writers of America and two Spur Awards (think Oscars for western fiction) from Western Writers of America. She is also a recipient of a Whitney Award for Borrowed Light and My Loving Vigil Keeping.


  1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on these short stories. I like short stories for when I need something 'quick and easy' to read. I especially love Christmas stories - they are always so comforting.

  2. Thanks for this post. This is just the type of book I'm looking for, for my Christmas reading pleasure and relaxation. Christmas seasons have come and gone...and I've let the stressful part of the holidays go by the wayside too. Now, as I'm older, I like to do what pleases me...and reading is one of the things I indulge in during the holidays. Plus eating, and drinking, and visiting. :-)