Today is pub day for my latest book, Two Wars and a Wedding!

You can read an excerpt here!

There really are two wars in this book, but they’re not the two wars anyone expects.  (No one expects the Spanish-American War?)  They’re the Greco-Turkish War of 1897 and the Spanish-American War of 1898.  While I’d like to claim I set out to write about the most obscure wars I could find, this really all happened because I fell down a historical rabbit hole, which led to another historical rabbit hole– and next thing I knew, I was elbow deep in late 19th century Athens and Cuba!

It was really all the fault of the Christmas cake….

Back in 2019, I was trying to figure out whether a particular sort of Christmas cake would have been available in Picardy under the German occupation in World War I.

Beware of what you Google….  My hunt for the Christmas cake led me to these gals: the women of the Smith College Relief Unit, a group of Smith College grads who went over to France at the height of World War I to bring aid to civilians right behind the front lines.

Of course, while I was writing about the Smith College Relief Unit, I couldn’t help but be fascinated by their founder, the woman who had come up with the idea of sending American college women into a war zone– on the theory that if you want anything done, an American college woman can fix anything.

When I found out that she, in her own youth, had studied at the American School at Athens, gone off to nurse in the Greco-Turkish War (in a fit of pique), and then wound up volunteering with the Red Cross in the Spanish American War…  what novelist/history buff can resist a story like that?

So, one Christmas cake, four years, and two books later, here we are!  (And do you know, I never DID find out about that cake!)

So what do you think?  Should I have a piece of buche de Noel to celebrate today?

I’ll be popping open the bubbly tonight with Sarah Penner and Heather Webb at Pequot Library in Fairfield, CT; with Lynda Loigman at Shakespeare & Co UWS on Wednesday; with Piper Huguely at FoxTale in Georgia on Thursday; at one of Litchfield Books’ marvelous literary lunches in Pawleys Island SC on Friday; and at the Poisoned Pen in Scottsdale AZ on Saturday!

You can find the details and more events on the events page of my website!

Want to know more about the background behind this book?  You can find posts– with lots of pictures!– on Betsy at Smith, Athens in the 1890s, Tampa at the outbreak of the Spanish American War, and Clara Barton and the Red Cross!

Are there any other bits of this book’s background you’d like me to cover?  Let me know and I’ll pull some more posts together when I’m back from book tour!

Please do share pictures of Two Wars in the wild and I’ll post them here!

(Also, I probably shouldn’t say, since the Pinkorama entries won’t be posted for another month, but there may just be a Teddy Roosepeep entry!  I am so delighted.)

I can’t wait to hear what you think of Betsy and her adventures!



  1. Helen Matthews on March 26, 2023 at 4:55 pm

    I enjoyed the book and the articles on the history background. Some time ago I read the novel “Ever After” by Elswyth Thane (book 3 of the Williamsburg series) which is set 1896-1899 and includes scenes of Tampa, Cuba and the landing very similar to your book. Has anyone read any of these novels? They are very dated and should be read with caution (this one was published in 1945). I pulled it out to re-read! I am getting ready to read your articles on Athens in 1896 and I hope it has some detail on the why and how of the war between the Ottoman Empire and Turkey.

    • Helen Matthews on March 26, 2023 at 4:57 pm

      Oh dear, from above I meant Greece not Turkey.

    • Lauren Willig on April 2, 2023 at 2:59 pm

      No! I haven’t read those! Although Elswyth Thane sounds familiar…. I am definitely going to have to look those up!

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