This week’s Wednesday Wonders is part of a blog tour for
For This We Are Soldiers: Tales of the Frontier Army
By Carla Kelly
For This We Are Soldiers: Tales of the Frontier Army is an anthology of Indian Wars stories written over the course of my writing career. I began writing these short stories when I was a ranger in the National Park Service and working at Fort Laramie National Historic Site. Some have appeared in magazines, one in a 2014 Timeless Romance anthology, and two are original with this publication.
From master storyteller Carla Kelly comes this collection of frontier tales that take you behind typical army lines and into the hearts of ordinary men and women who perform extraordinary acts of bravery. From handsome hospital stewards and dashing soldiers to courageous children and wives who will pull at your heartstrings, there's something for everyone's fancy.
From “A Leader of His Troops”
The two men stared at each other. For the first time, Hiram saw the potential in his lieutenant, a spoiled man from a wealthy family, who might, just might become the officer I Company deserved. It could go either way. Certainly the escort would grouse, but they would chase after five of their number who thought to escape the army. They would also follow their lieutenant’s orders and go to Laramie first, if that was the decision.
Hiram knew the troops had heard the first exchange between him and the lieutenant. He also knew that if Shaw disobeyed his commanding officer’s order, the men would talk about it to other men. In a matter of days back at Fetterman, everyone would know they could not count on Lieutenant Shaw, not in small matters as this one probably was, and certainly not in larger matters of survival on a harsh frontier. Shaw would be finished, Hiram knew. Did Shaw know?
“Consider the men you lead, sir,” Hiram said. “That’s all I ask.”
Shaw turned his horse away. He stayed that way a long time. When he turned around, Hiram saw resignation, but also heretofore unseen resolution.
“Let’s go find those miserable sinners, Sergeant,” he said and they moved together toward the escort.
My Book Review:
This collection of short stories was long on historical
detail, depth of understanding the human experience and left me with a
feel for what it was like being connected to the U.S. Army during the years of
the Indian wars on the frontier. Some of the stories left me feeling empathy
for those soldiers from captains to enlisted men who found themselves cast
adrift after fighting in the Civil War then later found their niche, albeit sometimes a
lonely one, in the frontier Army. Soldiers of lower rank sometimes ended up leading their superior officers by exerting diplomacy worthy of ambassadors
to foreign nations.
Other stories focused on the women from the wives of officers
to lowly maids and laundresses who find themselves working hard to survive
in an isolated frontier fort environment. Several of these stories were
romances, often telling the stories of those willing to take a chance in spite
of military life’s challenges. Others told of undying love and admiration in the face of
The romance elements in these stories are sweet and clean.
The characters are well-developed, and the author pulls the reader in so we
can see what is in their minds and souls. I highly recommend this can’t-put-it-down-until-finished
collection of stories. At least read enough to find out who clandestinely milked
the three hospital cows, and why.
About the 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, My Loving Vigil Keeping, and Softly Falling.
Contact Carla Kelly at:www.carlakellyauthor.com