Creating Two New Novels. Writing One Chapter Weekly. Podcasting As I Go. Welcome to The Experiment.
I don’t know why, but ever since I was young anything with the word, “historical”, attached to it receives my complete attention. Cindy Nord put, “historical” in front of “romance” which had me waiting on pins and needles to read her debut novel, No Greater Glory. That, and it’s obvious by her social media pages that she is a great person. I hope her all the success in her writing endeavors!
Amid the carnage of war, he commandeers far more than just her home.
Widowed plantation owner Emaline McDaniels has struggled to hold on to her late husband’s dreams. Despite the responsibilities resting on her shoulders, she’ll not let anyone wrest away what’s left of her way of life—particularly a Federal officer who wants to set up his regiment’s winter encampment on her land. With a defiance born of desperation, she defends her home as though it were the child she never had…and no mother gives up her child without a fight.
Despite the brazen wisp of a woman pointing a gun at his head, Colonel Reece Cutteridge has his orders. Requisition Shapinsay—and its valuable livestock—for his regiment’s use, and pay her with Union vouchers. He never expected her fierce determination, then her concern for his wounded, to upend his heart—and possibly his career.
As the Army of the Potomac goes dormant for the winter, battle lines are drawn inside the mansion. Yet just as their clash of wills shifts to forbidden passion, the tides of war sweep Reece away. And now their most desperate battle is to survive the bloody conflict in Virginia with their lives—and their love—intact.
My First Thoughts By Page 10:
Despite the heat in Chicago and inside of the book, the first ten pages made me grab my blanket and snuggle in for a good long read. Cindy does a remarkable job placing us in the middle of each character’s emotions which allows us to feel their responses to the world around them. From the word, “go”, it is clear that we’re dealing with an author who knows how to stir our emotions with words and she keeps stirring until the very last page.
Cindy Nord delivers a determined heroine and a strong, principled hero. What I love most about her writing is her ability to string together words to accurately represent the emotions of love, misunderstanding, frustration, and, yes, sexual arousal!
To use phrases fitting for this Olympic season, No Greater Glory is flawless in its execution, but I believe the storyline could benefit from adding a greater degree of difficulty between the characters. In No Greater Glory we are transported into the middle of the Civil War. Cindy proves time and time again that she has mastered the art of setting the stage and describing the players’ emotions. This wonderful skill didn’t get put to much use towards the emotionally charged subject of slavery and the division it often caused between family, friends, and lovers. The avoidance of the topic caused me to struggle to suspend disbelief a few times. There is no doubt in my mind that Cindy could vividly describe the anger, pain, hurt and possibly hatred that stained the relationships of those on difference sides of the issues at this time in our history.
With that said, the emotions and storyline that made the pages of No Greater Glory are well written, captivating and worth the read. There wasn’t a moment I wasn’t completely aware of the world she painted around me. The ease in which she described the dress, land, and war of the times was a pleasure to read. It was as vivid as if I were watching it in 3D! The moments between the main characters were as intense or as loving as she intended them to be. Their struggles both between each other and within each person were beautifully relayed.
Talking with the author, Cindy Nord:
Cindy: The American Civil War was such a tumultuous time in our country’s history, and romance is all about the heated struggles to find a happily ever after; both country and couple striving for the same results. This concept intrigued me and I wanted to blend both my love of Civil War history with my romantic idealisms. Having been a Civil War Reenactor for many years and a lover of all things Victorian, I set out to combine the best of these two elements into a single love story reflective of that turbulent time.
Cindy: Oh, the favorite part is easy: Their clothing. Luscious materials and styles. Elegant and graceful. Rich in detailing. The Victorian silhouette of an 1860s woman encased in her six-tiered, steel-banded crinoline defines the lady of that era. The way they looked, the way they carried themselves. My least favorite. The lack of plumbing. I love my showers & my Whirlpool washer & dryer.
Jane: Was there a lot of research involved with writing for the time period?
Cindy: My knowledge of the Civil War years and the woman’s role in it comes from a long-standing interest in living history involvement and the research required to obtain the correct portrayal…so I already possessed a good understanding of what I wanted for my character Emaline. My husband also has a love of history & a vast library of Civil War research material which allowed me to produce a solid military framework for my hero.
Jane: Emaline is my favorite character. (Naturally) Is there a little bit of you in her?
Cindy: Maybe a little bit…she’s spunky when she needs to be, but she also represents (to me) what a Lady of that time-period might be like under extreme pressure. In truth, I’m more like the heroine in my second novel, Callie Cutteridge, who just happens to be the sister to Colonel Reece Cutteridge, the hero in NO GREATER GLORY.
Cindy: Absolutely. Never ever ever give up on your dream. A rejection is merely an invitation to submit elsewhere….DO SO immediately. And while you’re waiting, write another novel.
Cindy: On New Year’s Eve 1979 I sat down at my father’s old Tower typewriter and wrote the first line of my first novel NO GREATER GLORY. It sat in a box under my bed for several years while I wrote other stories. But in 2007, I blew off the dust, entered the story into the Romance Writers of America National Golden Heart contest, and it finaled. From that point on I worked diligently on learning the trade. It finally paid off when I signed with my agent, the incredible Louise Fury with the Lori Perkins Literary Agency. And Louise finally sold my story to Samhain.
Cindy: I’m the mother of two sons and am happily married to my best friend, Tom…who just happens to be on the cover of my upcoming world-wide English AUDIO release of my story. Other than Reece Cutteridge, Tom is the best Civil War Federal Officer I know, so he surely fits the bill.
Cindy: My e-book version of NO GREATER GLORY debuted on July 31st. Within two days it became the #1 Civil War romance at Amazon as well as appearing on their TOP 100 historical romances NEW RELEASE list. I was ecstatic, to say the least. My audio debuts in two-weeks and the trade-paperback is set for release on June 3rd. I’ve just finished my second novel, SAVING CALLIE and have begun my third love story, AN UNLIKELY HERO. So between my morning Coffee Klatch on Facebook (please come join me), my visits to Tweetville and my writing, I stay very very busy.
Thank you, Cindy! Make sure to keep us up-to-date on your future releases!
If you’re an up & coming author and would like me to consider your completed novel or screenplay for review, please contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org . Please do not send your work with the first email. Please send only the “back of the book” summary and page count. Thank you! I look forward to reading!