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Coming Home for Christmas: A Christmas in Paradise\O Christmas Tree\No Crib for a Bed

Cover of Coming Home for Christmas: A Christmas in Paradise\O Christmas Tree\No Crib for a Bed

Coming Home for Christmas: A Christmas in Paradise\O Christmas Tree\No Crib for a Bed

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Three soldiers, three generations, finding love at Christmas

1812: A Christmas in Paradise

To save nurse Laura Ortiz from destitution, British naval surgeon Thomas Wilkie has made her an offer this Christmas--a marriage of convenience....

1855: O Christmas Tree

A generation later, it's Thomas and Laura's daughter, widowed lone mother Lilian, who's working as a nurse in the Crimea. Christmas seems a long way away--until Major Trey Wharton helps her bring back the festive sparkle.

1877: No Crib for a Bed

Lilian's son Captain Wilkie Wharton is finally on his way home from Fort Laramie. It's a long, arduous, life-changing train journey...which sees him discover his soul mate and the true meaning of Christmas!


Three soldiers, three generations, finding love at Christmas

1812: A Christmas in Paradise

To save nurse Laura Ortiz from destitution, British naval surgeon Thomas Wilkie has made her an offer this Christmas--a marriage of convenience....

1855: O Christmas Tree

A generation later, it's Thomas and Laura's daughter, widowed lone mother Lilian, who's working as a nurse in the Crimea. Christmas seems a long way away--until Major Trey Wharton helps her bring back the festive sparkle.

1877: No Crib for a Bed

Lilian's son Captain Wilkie Wharton is finally on his way home from Fort Laramie. It's a long, arduous, life-changing train journey...which sees him discover his soul mate and the true meaning of Christmas!
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    Thomas Wilkie, ship's surgeon on the long-defunct Splendid, folded his father's three-year-old letter and slipped it underneath the velvet covering to his capital knives. He glanced out of the window and sighed. Although the view was splendid, he wished the fort of San Diego had been built closer to the magnificent harbor. The ocean never failed to soothe him and he could use a little soothing. How many Christmases had to pass before he saw his parents again?

    Years had come and gone since he had received his father's letter. Thomas wasn't surprised that Cora had decided to marry; he only wished it hadn't been to his older brother, who would probably take every opportunity to rub it in, provided Thomas ever found his way back to Dumfries.

    Odd that the matter should bother him more now than when he had received the letter. Or maybe it was not so odd, considering the chain of events that had happened in short order after his Majesty's frigate Amaryllis had handed off supplies and a mail sack to the frigate Splendid, which blundered into a typhoon a week later. Dismasted and in tatters, the Splendid had been easy pickings for a French man o' war, cruising off the coast of Alta California.

    They had been towed into the beautiful harbor of San Diego de Alcalÿ, then left there as a prize with the Spanish, who had been allies of France at the time. Dumped in the dungeons of the fort, the issue of staying alive had trumped any woolgathering about Cora McClean. Others had griped and complained, but Thomas had a lively mind. The food was poor, true, but the possibilities of the place had quickly made themselves obvious to him, who knew he had a skill in demand.

    The Splendid's captain and most of his officers--those who had survived the typhoon and the mauling by the French--preferred to maintain themselves as British to the core, making no effort to learn Spanish--it was beneath them--or engage in any way with their captors. This was war, after all, and war had rules dear to the heart of the English.

    It wasn't so with Thomas. When he announced, in very poor Spanish, his medical skills, he became a man in demand. The garrison's only physician had died two years earlier. In the village, native healers practiced a level of quackery that would have made him laugh out loud--if the results of their medical practices hadn't left so many dead.

    Although the medical well-being of Spaniards interested him not at all, Captain Walcott of the Splendid had been quick to understand his surgeon's value as a bargaining chip for better food, more bedding and such comfort as San Diego could afford his surviving crew.

    Thomas was needed and he was busy, tending first to his seamen, second to the Spaniards of both fort and town, and third to the Indians in the nearby mission. Learning Spanish took his mind off any mooning about Cora McClean. He quickly discovered a facility for Spanish. It gave him some satisfaction now to dream in Spanish, as the language became second nature.

    So it went. In 1810, when word came from distant Mexico City that Napoleon had invaded Spain in 1808 and they were no longer allies, the Spanish garrison had risen and killed the few French among them. This turn of events perked up the men of the Splendid for a brief moment, until it became obvious that nothing much had changed: they were still isolated on the far side of the world, with no rescue in sight.

    So the matter had rested for several years. Captain Walcott had been kind enough to die of a fever that had defeated all of Thomas's efforts to keep him alive. Though they mourned him, the...

About the Author-
  • I started writing Regencies because of interest in the Napoleonic Wars. I like writing about warfare at sea and ordinary people of the British Isles, rather than lords and ladies. In my spare time I like to read British crime fiction and history, particularly the U.S. Indian Wars. I currently live in Utah. I'm a former park ranger, and double Rita Award and Spur Award winner. I have five interesting children and four grands. Favorite authors include Robert Crais and Richard Woodman.

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Coming Home for Christmas: A Christmas in Paradise\O Christmas Tree\No Crib for a Bed
Coming Home for Christmas: A Christmas in Paradise\O Christmas Tree\No Crib for a Bed
Carla Kelly
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