by Cynthia G. Neale
Publication Date: June 2nd 2017
eBook; 276 Pages
It is New York City and the Civil War is brewing. Norah McCabe, an Irish immigrant who escaped the Famine as a child, is now a young widow with a daughter. She is a milliner, struggling to survive in tumultuous times. Norah meets Abraham Lincoln, befriends the extraordinary African-American woman Elizabeth Jennings, and assists the Underground Railroad. She falls headlong in love with Edward M. Knox, son of the famous hat-maker Charles Knox, but he is lace curtain Irish and she is shanty Irish. Edward joins the 69th regiment and leaves for battle. Can their love endure through class differences and war? This is a story of survival, intrigue, romance, as well as, exploring the conflict of Irish immigrants thrust into a war that threatened to destroy a nation. It is about an Irish-American woman who could be any immigrant today, any woman today, seeking to create beauty and make sense of her life.
“Suddenly the Civil War seems very relevant and Cynthia Neale does a great job of focusing on the role of the Irish in the conflict. And it's great fun to be in touch with her wonderful character, Norah McCabe, again!” ~Mary Pat Kelly, author of Galway Bay and Of Irish Blood
“This timely novel spans centuries to bring to our attention to a topic as old as yesterday, as expedient as tomorrow?emigration. Neale's work, written with love and insight, reminds us that our neighbor is all mankind.” ~Tim Pat Coogan, Irish broadcaster, journalist, writer and author of 1916 The Easter Rising, Michael Collins and The Famine Plot
To win an eBook of The Irish Milliner by Cynthia G. Neale, please enter the Gleam form The Irish Milliner. Two eBooks are up for grabs! Rules – Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on June 9th. You must be 18 or older to enter. – Giveaway is open internationally. – Only one entry per household. – All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion. – Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.
Cynthia G. Neale is a native of the Finger Lakes region of New York and now resides in New Hampshire. She has long possessed a deep interest in the tragedies and triumphs of the Irish during the Great Hunger. This is Ms. Neale’s fourth novel. She also writes plays, short stories, and essays, and holds a B.A. in Writing and Literature from Vermont College.
MY INTERVIEW WITH CYNTHIA NEAL
How would you describe your style of writing to someone that has never read your work?
I often tell people that if they like a good story woven with interesting historical detail, they will enjoy my novels. When I am able to resurrect beauty from the rubble of history’s tragedies and feel the heartbeats of my characters, there is often passionate flow in my syntax. I would hope this is lyricism because it’s this music of words and stories of other writers I have adored forever. But I’ve been too close to my work and too critical of myself to know if it is really there. And I’ve deliberately stayed away from contriving it! But when an author I respect reviewed my work and said ‘the language is oftentimes breathtakingly lyrical,” I glowed. Is it? I’m still critical. But perhaps now I believe that at times, yes, there is also a lyrical style I possess.
What are some of your writing/publishing goals for this year?
I’ve been working on a screenplay, The Irish Dresser Series, based on my four novels: The Irish Dresser, Hope in New York City, Norah, and The Irish Milliner. If I thought it was difficult finding publishers for my novels, well, I just had no idea what was coming my way getting involved in this genre. However, it also has been thrilling because there’s been interest and I have an excellent screenwriting consultant to work with. A producer recently asked to read my script and this in itself is a boon to my spirit, even if it might not go anywhere. I understand this can take a lifetime and maybe not happen at all. But…dreams are full of stardust that just keeps falling like fairy dust and this magic keeps you climbing that creative mountain, even with the aches and pains.
I spent seven years researching for another novel and then began writing it before I knew there was another Norah novel (The Irish Milliner). It is about a Native American/French woman who lived in New York during the American Revolution. She came to me in profound ways when I visited my childhood home in upstate New York. I was reluctant at first, but she and I are on this journey together now. I do hope to get back to writing this novel. The working title is Catharine, Queen of the Tumbling Waters.
My dessert cookbook with essays and art work, Pavlova in a Hat Box, Sweet Memories & Desserts was published two years ago and I’ve been dreaming of doing another dessert cookbook with stories. It’s when I’m baking that certain scenes in my stories come together. And the ingredients in a story and a recipe can create a tantalizing conclusion. And so there is the possibility of collaborating with two other bakers (Scottish) to create a cookbook with the working title, Transatlantic Tarts, Sweet and Savory Recipes & Stories by Three Celtic Cake Queens.
Blog Tour Schedule
Saturday, June 3 Spotlight at What Is That Book About
Sunday, June 4 Excerpt at Passages to the Past
Monday, June 5 Interview at Books & Benches