Excerpt - Lila's Vow by Diane Wylie

Setting: Gettysburg, PA during the Civil War

Captain Jack Montgomery is home on leave, recovering from malaria contracted in Andersonville Prison.

In the kitchen he found Lila and Beatrice making bread. Both ladies were up to their elbows in flour.

Dressed comfortably in loose trousers and a soft flannel shirt that was not even tucked into his waistband, Jack was at home in the tiny kitchen. This was his house, his and Lila’s, but it was still hard not to think of it as Mrs. Sutton’s house. But she wasn’t even Mrs. Sutton any longer, she was now Mrs. Quinn Markley, and she lived next door.

Rubbing his bristly chin, he considered shaving the beard later. He plopped into a chair. “Hello, Ladies.”

Two bright smiles, looking very much alike in two different faces, beamed back at him.

“Feeling better, son?” Beatrice spoke first.

Jack nodded. “Hungry.”

“I’ll take care of that!” His mother-in-law turned away, wiping her hands on her apron.

Lila continued to knead the bread, just smiling at him, a little moisture shimmering in her eyes. She had flour on her forehead and nose, and a big white swath of it across the front of her. A little bit of the white stuff was sticking in her dark hair as well. She was breathtaking!

He watched her hands working the dough, pressing it in, picking it up, and patting it down again. Then she rolled a lump of dough between her palms. It grew long and longer. With a deft touch, she took one end and gently pulled it. Jack swallowed. Fascinated, he watched her pour a little oil in her hands. When she worked the oil all over the dough, his senses went on overload and he got as hard as a rock.

“W-what are you making, sweetheart?” he croaked.

“The oil makes the crust a little bit crisper when it bakes. The longer shape lets it bake quicker too. You said you were hungry.”

“Yes. I am.”

Beatrice placed a cup of coffee and bowl of lumpy stew in front of him. The aroma from both made his mouth water even more. Picking up the cup, he immediately scalded his tongue with the hot brew.

In front of him, Lila’s hands continued their work, molding and teasing the bread dough so that it took the form and shape she wanted. “When it rises, you need to work it until it goes down again,” she told him. He almost choked on a bite of carrot.


I hope you enjoyed this tidbit. Here are the links to purchase LILA'S VOW, if you liked it.




Barnes and Noble.com



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