Tuesday, June 9, 2015

E.E. Burke's BEST OF THE WEST with the amazing CINDY NORD

Today, my BEST OF THE WEST guest is best-selling author Cindy Nord. Her debut romance No Greater Glory was the #1 Civil War Romance on Amazon for over a year! Her second book in The Cutteridge Series, With Open Arms, is also #1 Historical Romance on Amazon. Here's a sneak peek:

A war-weary ex-soldier.  An untamable hellion.  Love doesn’t stand a chance in hell…

Available Amazon | B&N
Hardened in childhood by the death of her parents, then left to run the family’s southwestern territory ranch when her brother rode off to fight for the Union years before, Callie Cutteridge hides her heartbreak behind a mask of self-sufficiency. Breaking horses for the army proves she’s neither delicate nor helpless. When a former cavalry officer shows up claiming to own her brother’s half of the Arizona ranch, she steels herself to resist the handsome stranger’s intention to govern even one single aspect of her life. After all, loving means losing…to her it always has.

For months, Jackson Neale has looked forward to putting the bloodstained battlefields back east behind him. Callie isn’t the agreeable angel her brother led him to believe, but he’s damned well not the useless rake this foul-mouthed hellion thinks he is, either. His quest for calm stability contradicts sharply with her need for control, yet still their heartstrings tangle. But how can these mistrusting partners transform their fiery passion into a happily-ever-after when all Callie knows how to do is fight…and all Jackson wants is peace?

Meet Cindy

Say hello to Bestselling Historical Romance writer, Cindy Nord, author of NO GREATER GLORY, a #1 Civil War Romance at Amazon for over one full year, and book one in her four-book The Cutteridge Series. Book two, WITH OPEN ARMS, debuted in August, 2014, as a #1 Bestselling Historical Western Romance. 

Cindy is also pleased to be a contributor alongside many New York Times writers in the delightful non-fiction anthology SCRIBBLING WOMEN & THE REAL-LIFE ROMANCE HEROES WHO LOVE THEM (all proceeds from the sale of this book go to the ‘Women In Need’ shelter in NYC)

Available Amazon | B&N
Cindy’s work has finaled or won countless times in competitions -- including the prestigious Romance Writers of America National Golden Heart Contest.  A luscious blend of history and romance, her love stories meld both genres around fast-paced action and emotionally driven characters.  She is honored by the recent invitation to join 35 other fabulous historical romance authors in hosting the upcoming Historical Romance Retreat in Spokane, Washington next September. With a limited attendance of only 300, she suggests readers get their registrations in early…this’n will fill up fast! For more details go here: www.historicalromanceretreat.com 

E.E. and Cindy 
I started "stalking" Cindy via Facebook, and I recently had the opportunity to meet her at the RT Readers and Writers Event in Dallas. She's just as delightful in person as she is online, and boy does she know how to dress! 

Cindy is a social butterfly. You can find her "virtually" everywhere...
Her website: www.cindynord.com
Facebook Coffee Klatch
Twitter: @cnord2
Goodreads Author Page
Amazon Author Page

Now, on to the Q&A...

E.E.:  What inspired your love of books, or the desire to be a story-teller/writer?

Cindy:  Ooooh, Elisabeth….great question. Does a glutton for punishment work? LOL.  No, I’m just teasing. In reality, as a child coming from a family of educators, I’d always been encouraged to read. I soon found that novels opened whole new vistas for me. I devoured books by the dozens.  From exciting Nancy Drew mysteries to Zane Grey westerns to everything else in-between, these glorious books expanded my world. As I grew older, I also fell in love with history, more specifically, the enchanting Victorian era. For my twenty-first birthday, I bought my first historical romance. Needless to say, I never looked back. I relish factual details that are liberally sprinkled throughout a storyline, and coupled with an unrestrained romantic entanglement. Well, this combination just couldn’t be beat! Eventually, I felt moved to put pen to paper and craft my own love story. And the rest, as they say, is….history.

 E.E.:  Do you have a very organized day, or do you write around ‘life’, but to set targets?

Cindy:  Organized? Oh my darlin’, I’m lucky if I can find my writing desk on any given day. LOL…But, okay, let’s see…even if the stars are aligned and my feng shui is in a groove, balancing my time and attention between writing, social media, my family and my friends is always a difficult task. Nonetheless, I try to set up a schedule with mornings spent on the internet and my social media sites, and my afternoons devoted to writing. In the evening, the hubster usually listens as I read what I’ve written for the day, and offers suggestions where he sees fit. This is a routine that works well for me. See, I’m what they call a ‘pantser’ (writing without an outline), and must completely finish each chapter before moving on to the next. I wouldn’t advise anyone else to follow this writing style, so say all those ‘plot-first’ experts, but it does seem to work for me. Now, if only I could find my desk!! HA…

E.E.:  What’s your favorite movie of all time?

Cindy:  LOL….now THIS one is easy:  GONE WITH THE WIND.

E.E.: Along with other writers, I understand you’ve contributed to an anthology for ‘Women in Need’. Could you tell us something about this work and the charity?

Cindy:  Absolutely!  I was invited by romance writer-extraordinaire, Hope Tarr, to be part of her project entitled, Scribbling Women and the Real-Life Romance Heroes Who Love Them," a non-fiction anthology where I joined several New York Times & USA Today romance fiction writers.  I am so honored to have been asked to participate.  Each real-life story in this body of work details how we writers met, wed and love—and are loved and supported by—our spouses and life partners. And all proceeds from this literary compilation go directly to Women In Need, a New York City women’s shelter for abused females & their children.  Indeed, “Happily Ever After” isn’t only the stuff of romance novels and fairy tales. 

E.E.:  In your career to date, what memorable moments stand out?

Cindy:  Oh my, another great question. Let’s see…I’ll begin with being a Romance Writers of America National Golden heart finalist with No Greater Glory (which started this whole incredible journey) -- The day I signed with my fabulous literary agent, Louise Fury of the Jenny Bent Agency in NYC. The day my first box of books arrived from my publisher. Being a USA Today Lifeblog ‘Recommended Read’ author. My first invitation to be a keynote speaker at an RWA affiliated chapter. AND having my very first book signing at Barnes & Noble…These (and so many more) have truly brought me joy.

E.E.: What characteristics do you think are essential in a hero or heroine?

Cindy:  Mmmm, let’s do the hero first! I want mine to be strong, involved and engaged. A man who transforms compassion into heroic action with a unique leadership ability that separates him from the rest of the pack. Of course, he’s not perfect, he does have his weaknesses, AND, ultimately, it will be the heroine who helps him overcome those internal conflicts and imperfections. And, then my heroine…likewise, I want her to have a resourceful and internal focus that becomes challenged when she meets her hero. She must have a resilient sense of purpose with an unfulfilled need that even she doesn’t know she has. And, in turn, the hero, at first overwhelming and unwanted, eventually fills this void inside her heart. Of course, the romance wrapped around these two individuals is the catalyst that spurs them onward to completing their tumultuous journey to happily-ever-after.

E.E.: Reliable research is essential to historical authors, but when did you first become involved in Civil War re-enactments?

Cindy:  As a Victorian lecturer and historian, I truly appreciate those finer details that breathe a character to life upon the pages. You know, those wonderful tidbits that immerse my readers fully into the time period.  And my experience in re-enacting only helped solidify this love and knowledge. Many years ago as I was writing my first novel I read in the newspaper that they were having a Civil War ‘living history weekend’ at our local university. Holy Toledo! I couldn’t believe they actually did this sort of thing.  Here was American history brought to life. The acrid aroma of campfires. The thundering gallop of cavalry horses. Women clad in Victorian gowns sashaying across a lawn. Every single thing I was writing about at the time. I was swept straight back into the nineteenth century, and fell head-over-heels in love with this whole new experience. Immediately, I threw myself into the hobby, and even met my future husband on the battlefield.  Although we no longer re-enact now, I’ll forevermore cherish those years we spent living in the time period I love so well.

E.E.:  Tea or Coffee? And how do you take it?

Cindy:  Funny you should ask! I host a popular FB page that I fondly call my COFFEE KLATCH! So, yep, my morning drink of choice is ORGANIC COFFEE…and on occasion, I’ll add two creams…You know, so it’s blonde, like I like my men, or, I should say, my handsome hubster. LOL. 

E.E.:  What is your hope for the future of romance publishing?

Cindy:  I can answer this one in four simple words:  LONG LIVE HISTORICAL ROMANCE. 

E.E.: What can your readers expect from a Cindy Nord novel?

Cindy:  First and foremost, my readers ROCK MY WORLD.  And I can’t thank them enough for giving me the gift of my career.  In return, I promise them historical romance books filled with passion. And emotion. And hard-driving conflict. As well as a spot-on and historically accurate immersion. All those things plus an ardent love story filled with sensations that tug at a readers’ heartstrings, THESE are my driving focus and I bleed over every single word for them. Getting my characters to ‘The End’ is a hard won journey, for sure. And the greatest test of success for any writer is when their cherished readers make the trip through their novels and never want the story to end.

Today, Cindy is generously giving away FIVE eB00k copies of her latest book, WITH OPEN ARMS. All you have to do is comment and enter the drawing.

What is your favorite historical time period (for romances) and why?

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Mary Preston said...

I love to read right across history, but I have to say that Regency England does beckon.


C_Patterson said...

I do love western historical romance but have also been enjoying some regency as well.

C_Patterson said...

Cissie150@sbcglobal (dot) net

BookObsessedChicks said...

I love Cindy sooooooo much! Thanks for the awesome post E.E. I <3 you too!

Cindy Nord said...

I'm squeeing & waving back at you from way over here in southwestern Indiana! Hugs & kisses by the bucketfuls, my darlin'...YOU always make me smile. And thxs so much for stopping in to brighten my morning. ~ Cindy / & p.s., I love E.E., tooooooooooo. ☺

Cindy Nord said...

I love to read so many different genres, too. And I'm truly hoping my lil' western love story will tickle your fancy. Thxs a zillion for dropping by this morning to visit with us. Long live historical romance, FOR SURE. ~ Cindy

Cindy Nord said...

Ooooh yes, Mary....who doesn't love those dukes, marquesses, earls, viscounts, & barons with their gorgeous & swarthy good looks. Delighted you swept in to visit with us this morning. Kindest regards, ~ Cindy ♥

Linda said...

I used to read & mostly Regency but I recently discovered Medieval & they are being a firm favourite. I like how they are less frivolous yet wonderfully romantic.

Linda Broday said...

Hi Cindy! Congrats on your newest! Such a romantic cover. I can feel the woman's yearning for his kiss. And wow, what a handsome hunk! Loved the interview and getting to learn more about you. We were definitely cut from the same cloth. Of course, my favorite time period is the 1800's in the American West. But back in the day before authors began writing western romance, I loved pirates and gypsies.

Write on, dear friend!! Wishing you much success.

Angi Morgan said...

Wonderful feature on a wonderful lady and writer !
She looks pretty good in period costume too !
Love Ya Girl !

Stephen Batman said...

Hi, Cindy: and welcome to GLIAS! Your writing life sounds so exciting. So glad EE stalked you. Congratulations on your work.

Cindy Nord said...

LInda...isn't it wonderful how we can learn a bit about the historical times in the books we read, whatever the era, while at the same time falling in love with the hero & heroine. That's why I truly enjoy reading historical romance. And thxs a zillion for sharing your thoughts with us...Warmest regards, ~ Cindy / ♥

Cindy Nord said...

LINDA!! Such a warm & lovely welcome. Thxs, sweetie - **Rocking faster on E.E. front porch, a huge smile across my face**...And, oh yes, I completely agree about the pirates & love stories on the 'high seas'. I mean, 'member The Flame & the Flower & Cap'n Birmingham. **huge sigh**... Biggest hugs, ~ Cindy ♥

Cindy Nord said...

ANGI!! My RT pal...what a fun visit we had THAT Thursday afternoon, aching feet aside...lol. Thxs for your sweetest words, but I'm **fangirl crushing** over here 'bout YOU & your oh-so-lovely love stories, too. Kindest regards, ~ Cindy ♥

Cindy Nord said...

Hey Stephen, thxs for the warm welcome, pal. I love all things historical romance & sharing 'tidbits' of this 'n that really does ROCK MY WORLD...lol. Thxs for stopping in today....Warmest, ~ Cindy ☺

Colleen C. said...

Hmmm, choosing a fav is hard... I love stepping back in time to different times and experience them through the journey the characters take... something for whatever mood I am in at the time! Thanks for sharing! :)
greenshamrock at cox dot net

Cindy Nord said...

Colleen! You bet...I love all parts of history & weaving romance around a timeperiod is such fun. And, like you, I, too, read according to my mood! So, we also have THAT in common. LOL. So delighted you stopped in to visit & share your thoughts. Thank you. Warmest regards, ~ Cindy ♥

E.E.Burke said...

Thanks for stopping by, Kim! Sending hugs your way. xoxo

bn100 said...

Regency- more interesting

bn100 said...

bn100candg at hotmail dot com

Cindy Nord said...

The clothing, the lifestyle, the regal royalty in those wonderful Regencies, bn100! Yes, they are wonderful, too. And isn't it great that the romance field offers so many incredible choices & time periods? That's the best part of all, for sure. Long Live Historical Romance. Thxs so much for stopping by... ~ Cindy ☺

Angi Morgan said...

>>>>giggly with laughter<<<<<

Cindy Nord said...

Meeeeeee, too!...**having fun is such FUN**...biggest hugs. ☺