Thursday, March 10, 2011

What about the Civil War is Remotely Romantic?

When you hear the words, U.S. Civil War, what comes to mind? Abraham Lincoln? Gettysburg? Canons? Old grainy black and white photos? If you think in terms of those stiffly posed people in the tin types, I would like to help you bring that time period into living Technicolor. Just like the colorful scene in “Gone With the Wind” where Scarlett danced and danced with Rhett Butler, the disconnected past will become something better than ancient history.

I guarantee that when you read my Civil War stories, filled with unforgettable characters, you’ll never think of that time in our nation’s history the same way again. Human emotions were the same then as they are now. And it is in our nature to try to find something, anything to help us hold onto hope and faith in each other. Romance can be found in the most stressful of times, if we let it into our hearts.

Join Charlotte “Charlie” Garrett in SECRETS AND SACRIFICES as she tried to fit in with the men in Confederate regiment. You will go with Charlie, who has cut her hair and dressed as a soldier, while she learns to spit, burp, and shoot like a man.

The more feminine figure of Jenny Winston, in JENNY’S PASSION, is sure to bring to mind a Southern belle of grit, determination, and passion. To me Jenny is a gentler, kinder Scarlett O’Hara. Jenny loves her forbidden Yankee and will move heaven and earth to be with him, as you will read.

That brings me to my award-winning book, LILA’S VOW. As the third book in my Civil War series with Vinspire Publishing, LILA’S VOW is my favorite. The main characters, Jack and Lila, are introduced in JENNY’S PASSION. Captain Jack Montgomery, of the 17th Pennsylvania cavalry, is a happy-go-lucky kind of guy who signs up for the Union army with his best friend, David (from JENNY’S PASSION). It doesn’t turn out to be the adventure he expected, but Jack gets to meet his beloved Lila. This is a story that illustrates the struggles a married couple may have gone through during the war. Just as today’s soldiers can suffer post-traumatic stress disorder, Jack goes through his own type of trauma. Having lived a pampered life before the war, his eyes are opened to new experiences and feelings he never had before. His journey and his fervent desire to be with Lila (who has to fight a few battles of her own) are not to be missed.

I will leave you with an excerpt from LILA’S VOW.

Happy reading,
Diane Wylie, Author of Romance and Adventure.
Website for more info: http://www.dianewylie.com


Excerpt from Lila’s Vow

Lila had never been quite so overwhelmed before, even on the first day she had faced a classroom full of restless children. All around her were men in need. Men of all shapes and sizes—Federals mostly, but a few terrified Confederates—sat and lay on her lawn. They all had suffered varying degrees of injuries. She had to take a deep breath to steady her nerves. It was so tempting to turn around and run up to her bedroom, slam the door, and put the pillow over her head to block it all out until it went away.

She looked around for her mother. Beatrice had moved on to another injured soldier with blood all over his belly. Mama and Mr. Markley, their widowed neighbor, were working together on him. If Mama could handle this, she could, too.

She sensed Jack’s eyes on her and met his gaze. The smile he gave her was dazzling in its beauty. Sitting there, on the grass with his legs crossed and his bare toes wiggling in the sun, he was, without a doubt, the most captivating soldier of them all. Captain Montgomery, a few hours after being carried into her house barely holding on to consciousness, had staggered across her lawn, bare-chested and bandaged to comfort a fellow soldier. She drew comfort and resolve from his strength.

“Mr. Baker, I am going to just bandage your hand for now. If I get time or if you can find a surgeon, you will need to get it sewn up.”

“Y-yes, Ma’am.”

The boy’s outstretched hand began to drift downward as she attempted to wrap the strip of linen around it.

“Lawrence—“ The boy’s eyes were shut, and he nearly fell backward, but Jack reached out and caught his head, lowering it slowly to the ground with one hand.

“Out like a light, Miss Sutton. That is some powerful potion you’re passing out.”

“I do hope it was not too much for a lad his size,” Lila worried aloud without looking up. “We had quite a lot left after Papa died, so there is plenty to go around.”

As she worked on the injured hand, she had to really concentrate to keep her eyes from roaming to the larger hand supporting the boy’s arm. It was a nice hand, a man’s hand with its square shape and sturdy fingers. Even harder to ignore was Jack’s muscular forearm with its light blonde hair. The corded bulge of his upper arm leading to his shoulder, which was, of course, attached to a broad chest, drew her eyes like a moth to a flame. Muscles that she found herself wanting badly to touch showed around the constricting bandages.

“I am so sorry to hear about your father, Miss Sutton. Was it very long ago?”

“Ummm…it has been about six months since we lost him.”

“You have my sincere sympathies.”

Swallowing hard, Lila tied off the last knot and looked up to meet his warm, brown eyes.

“This one is finished.” She wiped a hand across her perspiring brow. “Thank you for your help, Captain. Perhaps you should go back inside and lie down. The sun is harsh.”

But he didn’t go back in the house. For hours he stayed with Lila to help the injured. They flowed in from the fields, carried on litters, helped by friends, or carted by the wagonload. It was soon obvious that the entire town was overrun with the casualties of war.

Word came that the Rebels had, indeed, retreated, leaving thousands of wounded behind. Both sides had suffered tremendous losses. Rumors began to fly that over seven thousand had perished, and the number of injured had not even begun to be counted.

Links to buy Lila’s Vow by Diane Wylie



Barnes and Noble.com



Tina Donahue said...

When I think of the Civil War, I think of "Gone with the Wind" :)

Lila's Vow sounds awesome, Diane.

Sarah J. McNeal said...

I think Lila's Vow is also my favorite of all your wonderful books, Diane. I know we sometimes glamorize life during the Civil War because we don't often have characters visiting the outhouse and reflecting on the smell. We do recall the loss of life during that war and the terrible fact that they were neighbors and sometimes family. I enjoyed your blog today, Diane and look forward to reading more of your work in the future.

Delaney Diamond said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and excerpt. Lila's Vow sounds like an interesting read.

Rawiya said...

Sounds great. I wish you much success. :)

Fiona McGier said...

Those who do not learn from the past are doomed to repeat it. Why is it we never seem to learn that the horrors of war seldom are justified by the result?
Thanks for sharing.

Diane M. Wylie said...

Thanks for commenting, everyone.