Love Letters and Gingerbread: FrontCover

Love Letters & Gingerbread, a holiday novella set in 1831 Annapolis.

A delightful romance! Tilghman skillfully captures the essence of young love and warm Christmas traditions in this holiday novella.

E. Elizabeth Watson
author of Westward Bound
The Ladies of Scotland series

Press release:

Christmas-themed novella launched at Greyhound

Mary K. Tilghman launched her new novella, LOVE LETTERS & GINGERBREAD, at The Greyhound, an indie bookstore in Berlin, on Wednesday, July 24. She will return to sign books Black Friday, Nov. 29.

Tilghman signed both the new Christmas-themed novella as well as the second edition of DIVIDED LOYALTIES, a Civil War story set after the Battle of Antietam.

LOVE LETTERS & GINGERBREAD recalls the romances of two sisters living in 1831 Annapolis. Patsy burns with love for Vincent, until he goes away for the Christmas season. Her still-unmarried older sister, Angela, is devoted to helping her family, Gordon knocks at her door and enters her heart. Changes in circumstances prompt the sisters to reconsider what love really is.

The story, which can be read on its own, was inspired by two minor characters in DIVIDED LOYALTIES. Set in 1862 Sharpsburg, DIVIDED LOYALTIES tells the story of 18-year-old Maureen who chooses to listen to her heart and volunteer as a nurse in a battlefield tent hospital—even though she knows disobeying her father may cost her a place in his heart. Published in 2017, the second edition was published July 1, 2019.

LOVE LETTERS & GINGERBREAD is Tilghman’s second book. She has spent 40 years writing for Eastern Shore and Baltimore newspapers and magazines. In addition, she wrote six editions of Frommer’s travel guide for Maryland and Delaware.

DIVIDED LOYALTIES was cited in CBSBaltimore’s “Five Baltimore Authors To Put On Your Summer Reading List” in 2017. It also received Four Roses in a Romance Novel Addicts Anonymous review.

She is a member of the Romance Writers of America, Maryland Romance Writers, the Historical Novel Society and the Maryland Writers Association. She is currently working on a novel set in 1895 Ocean City.

Mary and her husband Ray Truitt have three grown children. 


Maureen takes on the challenges of serving as a battlefield nurse in Antietam in Divided Loyalties.

What readers have said about Divided Loyalties–

A balanced approach to the complexity of the time. You gave reality to the abstract through the lens of your characters.

This is a charming story of compelling characters set against the backdrop of the Civil War. The author does a wonderful job capturing historic details and realities of life in Maryland at that time. A romance is woven amidst the war story, making for a delightful read.

Well researched and an engaging story. Recommended to all lovers of historical fiction.

This book brilliantly captures a young woman’s modern day resilience during a time when our nation was at the breaking point.

MKT picPress release–

Local journalist’s debut novel hits book stores July 27 

Inspired by the people and places of her home state, Mary K. Tilghman, a Catonsville resident, has written her first novel, DIVIDED LOYALTIES. Black Rose Writing, a Texas-based publisher, published the novel July 27, 2019. A new edition was released in July 2019

Tilghman has been a journalist for 40 years, working for the Baltimore Sun Media Group, the Catholic Review, several Eastern Shore newspapers and local magazines.

She is also the author of six Frommer’s guides for Maryland and Delaware, written between 2002 and 2012, and one edition of the Insider’s Guide to Baltimore.

DIVIDED LOYALTIES tells the story of Maureen, an 18-year-old Irish immigrant who listens to her heart after the Battle of Antietam, volunteering as a battlefield nurse. Her father forbids her and the young soldier who loves her fears for her safety. Working at makeshift hospitals at the Pry House barn and Smoketown, she faces dark days of disease and danger as she struggles to summon the strength she needs for the work she is called to do.

The ideas for Tilghman’s first novel came from her research for her Frommer’s guides, she said. A fan of Clara Barton since her elementary school days, she found inspiration during her visits to Barton’s home and Red Cross headquarters in Glen Echo, Md., as well as numerous trips to Sharpsburg and Antietam, site of the bloodiest one day of battle in American history. Her book offers readers a bit of local history and a touch of sweet romance. 

The book was originally drafted during National Novel Writing Month in November 2015.