Guest Blog: Cindy Nord & Contest for No Greater Glory

HISTORY OF LACE

Records of Lace date back as far as 2500 BC, when it was found to adorn tombs in the ancient City of Thebes, Egypt. References to Lace are found as far back as the Bible’s book of Isaiah. Throughout history, Lace became a favorite amongst the European royalty. Belgium is often described as “the cradle of modern lace” and today’s lace techniques can still be traced back to the traditional lace-making techniques from the Flemish provinces of Belgium.

Photo courtesy of uiuc.com

Needle Lace (also called Renaissance or Brussels lace) from the region of Aalst, is made using a needle and thread & is the most flexible of the lace-making arts; some purists regard Needle Lace as the height of lace-making.



Photo courtesy of Wikimedia commons

Bobbin Lace (also known as Bone-lace or Tulle lace from an exquisite specialty of Bruges) is made with bobbins and a pillow. The bobbins hold threads which are woven together and held in place with pins stuck in the pattern on the pillow. Bobbinet or Genuine Tulle is a specific type of Bobbin lace netting which has been made in the United Kingdom since the invention of the bobbinet machine in 1806 by John Heathcoat.

Tape Lace is made using hand-made (and later a machine) textile strips formed into a design, then joined and embellished with needle or bobbin lace.

Photo courtesy of The Linen Lavior

Knotted Lace (also called tatting) is made with a shuttle or a tatting needle.






Photo courtesy of Images of Time

Crocheted Lace, which includes Irish Crochet Lace, Pineapple Crochet Lace, Filet Crochet and Koniakow Lace, uses finer threads and more decorative styles of stitching – often with flowing lines or scalloped edges to give interest. Variation of the size of the holes also gives a piece a “lacy’ look. Originally, crocheted lace was not regarded as true lace. Crocheting was considered easy and less time consuming, but otherwise clearly inferior surrogate for “true” lace such as bobbin lace or needle lace. Main styles of crocheted lace include filet crochet, Irish crochet and its modern derivatives, pineapple crochet.

Photo courtesy of Occasional Crafter

Reticella Lace (also Reticello or in French point coupé or point couppe) is a needle lace dating from the 15th century and remaining popular into the first quarter of the 17th century. Originally, a form of cutwork in which threads were pulled from linen fabric to make a “grid” on which the pattern was stitched, Reticella primarily used buttonhole stitch, and then later a grid made of thread rather than a fabric ground. Both methods resulted in its characteristic geometric design of squares and circles with various arched or scalloped borders.

Knitted Lace (also known as the “wedding ring shawl Lace” or Shetland Lace), is a lace so fine that it can be pulled through a wedding ring. The most intense lace-making period came as a result of the demands of fashion, in particular by nobility wear. The magnificence of the jewel and lace trimmed garments worn by the nobles, sparked the public’s imagination. Many immortalized oil painting portraits in the 16th and 17th centuries show exquisite black needle lace.

Photo courtesy of Roth International

Chantilly Lace is the best known of the black Laces. It takes its name from the French town of Chantilly, which became an important lace-making center circa the 18th century–and though called Chantilly lace, most of the lace bearing this name was actually made in Bayeux in France and Geraardsbergen, now in Belgium. Known for its fine ground, outlined pattern and abundant detailing, the pattern is outlined in cordonnet, a flat untwisted strand. The best Chantilly laces were made of black silk, which made them suitable for mourning wear. And there was a large market for it in England, the Americas, and in Spain. Chantilly and the Spanish laces (such as Blonde silk lace) were the most popular laces used. And the most popular period of Lace came throughout the mid to late 19th century, during the time period called the Victorian Era. This period marked by the reign of Queen Victoria developed a design style called “Victoriana”, which embraced the use of Lace for fashion as well as home accessories.Though some types of Tape Laces may be traced to the 16th century, Battenberg lace was first created when Queen Victoria named her son-in-law as the first Duke of Battenburg in the late 1800s. Every English Duke had his own lace pattern. Thus, a new style of tape lace called Battenberg was invented and became quite popular. (Compiled Source: History of Lace & Encyclopedia Britannica)


Title: No Greater Glory by Cindy Nord
Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd
Genre: Historical Romance
Length: Novel

Summary:

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 slender shoulders, she’ll not let anyone wrest away what’s left of her way of life—particularly a Yankee officer who wants to set up winter camp 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 armies go 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 war with their lives—and their love—intact.

Product Warnings: This novel contains complex emotions and battlefield gallantry wrapped around the inherent risks of falling in love with one’s enemy.

Excerpt:

October 1862

Seven miles west of Falmouth, Virginia

A bitter wind slammed through the tattered countryside, sucking warmth from the morning. Emaline McDaniels rocked back in the saddle when she heard the shout. She glanced over her shoulder and her eyes widened. Across the fields of ragged tobacco, her farrier rode toward her at breakneck speed. Lines of alarm carved their way across the old man’s ebony face.

Emaline spurred her horse around to meet him. “What’s wrong?”

Tacker pointed a gnarled finger eastward. “Yankees, Miz Emaline! Coming up da road from Falmouth!”

“Yankees?” Her heart lurched against her ribs. She’d heard of their thievery, the fires and destruction left in their wake. Teeth-gritting determination to save her home flashed through her. She leaned sideways, gripping his work-worn sleeve. “Are you sure they’re not the home guard?”

“No, ma’am. I seen ’em, dey’s blue riders, for sure. Hundreds of ’em.”

Two workers moved closer to listen to the exchange, and the farrier acknowledged them with a quick nod.

“Everyone back to the cabins,” Emaline snapped, sinking into the saddle. “And use the wagon road along the river. It’ll be safer.”

“Ain’t you comin’ with us?”

“No. Now move along quickly, all of you. And keep out of sight.” She flicked the reins and her horse headed straight across the fields toward the red-brick mansion that hugged the far edge of the horizon.

The spongy ground beneath the animal’s hooves churned into clods of flying mud. Aside from a few skirmishes nearby, the war had politely stayed east along the Old Plank Road around Fredericksburg. Her mare crested the small hillock near the main house, and Emaline jerked back on the leather reins. Off to her far right, a column of cavalrymen numbering into the hundreds approached. The dust cloud stirred up by their horses draped in a heavy haze across the late-morning air. In numbed fascination, she stared at the pulsing line of blue-coated soldiers, a slithering serpent of destruction a quarter of a mile long.

Waves of nausea welled up from her belly.

“Oh my God…” she whispered. She dug her boot heels into the mare’s sides and the nimble sorrel sprang into another strong gallop. Praying she’d go unnoticed, Emaline leaned low, her thoughts racing faster than the horse. What do they want? Why are they here?

Her fingers curled into the coarse mane as seconds flew past. At last, she reached the back entrance of the mansion. Quickly dismounting, she smacked the beast’s sweaty flank to send it toward the stable then spun to meet the grim expression fixed upon the face of the old woman who waited for her at the bottom of the steps. “I need Benjamin’s rifle!”

“Everythin’s right dere, Miz Emaline. Right where you’d want it.” She shifted sideways and pointed to the .54 caliber Hawkins, leather cartridge box and powder flask lying across the riser like sentinels ready for battle. “Tacker told me ’bout the Yankees afore he rode out to find you.”

“Bless you, Euley.” Emaline swept up the expensive, custom-made hunting rifle her late husband treasured. The flask followed and she tumbled black crystals down the rifle’s long muzzle. A moment later, the metal rod clanked down inside the barrel to force a lead ball home.

She’d heard so many stories of the bluecoats’ cruelty. What if they came to kill us? The ramrod fell to the ground. With a display of courage she did not feel, Emaline heaved the weapon into her arms, swept past the old servant, and took the wooden steps two at a time.

There was no time left for what ifs.

“You stay out of sight now, Euley. I mean it.” The door banged shut behind Emaline as she disappeared into the house.

Each determined footfall through the mansion brought her closer and closer to the possibility of yet another change in her life. She eased open the front door and peered out across Shapinsay’s sweeping lawns. Dust clogged the air and sent another shiver skittering up her spine. She moved out onto the wide veranda, and with each step taken, her heart hammered in her chest. Five strides later, Emaline stopped at the main steps and centered herself between two massive Corinthian columns.

She squared her shoulders. She lifted her chin. She’d fought against heartbreak every day for three years since her husband’s death. She’d fought the constant fear of losing her beloved brother in battle. She fought against the effects of this foolhardy war that sent all but two of her field hands fleeing. If she could endure all that plus operate this plantation all alone to keep Benjamin’s dreams alive, then surely, this too, she could fight.

And the loaded weapon? Well, it was for her fortitude only.

She knew she couldn’t shoot them all.

“Please, don’t turn in,” she mumbled, but the supplication withered on her lips when the front of the long column halted near the fieldstone gateposts at the far end of the lane. Three cavalrymen turned toward her then approached in a steadfast, orderly fashion.

Her gaze skimmed over the first soldier holding a wooden staff, a swallow-tailed scrap of flag near its top whipping in the breeze. The diminutive silk bore an embroidered gold star surrounded by a laurel wreath, the words, US Cavalry-6th Ohio, stitched beneath. Emaline disregarded the second cavalryman and centered her attention directly upon the officer.

The man sat his horse as if he’d been born in the saddle, his weight distributed evenly across the leather. A dark slouch hat covered sable hair that fell well beyond the collar of his coat. Epaulets graced both broad shoulders, emphasizing his commanding look. A lifetime spent in the sun and saddle added a rugged cast to his sharp, even features.

An overwhelming ache throbbed behind her eyes. What if she had to shoot him?

Or worse—what if she couldn’t?

He reined his horse to a stop beside the front steps. His eyes, long-lashed and as brown as a bay stallion’s, caught and held hers. Though he appeared relaxed, Emaline sensed a latent fury roiling just beneath the surface of his calm.

Her hands weakened on the rifle and she leaned forward, a hair’s breadth, unwillingly sucked into his masculinity as night sucked into day. Inhaling deeply, she hoisted the Hawkins to her shoulder, aiming it at his chest. Obviously, in command, he would receive her lone bullet should he not heed her words. “Get off my land!”


About Cindy Nord

A member of numerous writing groups, Cindy’s work has finaled or won countless times, including the prestigious Romance Writers of America National Golden Heart Contest. A luscious blend of history and romance, her stories meld both genres around fast-paced action and emotionally driven characters.

Indeed….true love awaits you in the writings of Cindy Nord

Find Ms. Nord on the web: Website * Blog * Facebook * Twitter


To celebrate the release of No Greater Glory and her visit here today, Ms. Nord is giving away a pdf copy of No Greater Glory to one lucky commenter.

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Make sure you have filled out the contest entry form:

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And don’t forget to:

6. Leave a comment this post by 5 PM Mountain Time Friday August 3.

It’s that easy! The winner will be announced Saturday August 4.

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24 Comments

Filed under Cindy Nord, Contest, Guest Blog, No Greater Glory

24 Responses to Guest Blog: Cindy Nord & Contest for No Greater Glory

  1. Yadira A.

    Wow… very interesting post! I had no idea there were so many different kinds of lace and how far it goes back. Thanks for sharing!

    yadkny@hotmail.com

    • Thank you Yadira…and you’re so very welcome. I love all things Victorian. Delighted you popped in and shared your thoughts.

      Warmest regards,

      Cindy Nord

  2. Kirsten Lynn

    This is such an interesting post! I enjoyed learning about the various types of lace, and the history of each.

    I’m definitely hooked by the excerpt of NO GREATER GLORY! Should be a great read!

    –Kirsten

    • As you well know, Kirsten…I love all things historical. And especially Victorian. Even though lace is such a tiny piece of history…every ladies garment tells a story and now you know part of theirs.

      Thank you so much for the warm comments about my story. I hope you fall in love with Reece ‘n Emaline.


      Warmest regards,
      Cindy

  3. Hi, Cindy,

    Congratulations on your new book release. I love the Victorian Era and lace, so this was an informative blog post. Thank you for sharing. Your book looks wonderful. Good luck!

    • Mary, so glad you enjoyed the post. I love all things Victorian…and lace played such a big part in their world. I also hope you love Reece ‘n Emaline’s love story…it was a pleasure to write their saga.

      Warmest,

      Cindy

  4. Fascinating!! Although now I can’t get that song out of my head … “Chantilly lace, and a pretty face ….”

    • Pj…my husband is having the same issue now with the Big Bopper’s tune. LOL. Nonetheless, I thank you for poppin’ in and glad you enjoyed the article.

      biggest hugs,

      Cindy

  5. Fascinating post! Loved it. I’ve already ordered your book and look forward to reading it. Congrats!

    • PIXIE!!! Thank you so much for poppin’ in & I’m so glad you liked my post. I truly admire your stories, so you reading NO GREATER GLORY is such a thrill for me. I’d truly love you thoughts when you’ve finished.

      Warmest,

      Cindy

  6. I purchased this one today. I have a long list of books to get through, but I’m looking forward to this one. I really enjoy stories set during and around the Civil War. Congratulations on living your dream!

    • MK, sweetie…I’ve waited 33 years for NO GREATER GLORY’s ‘birthday’…you take all the time you need to get to mine. But when you do, please do share your thoughts. Also, I’m delighted you enjoyed my Victorian lace posting. I love researching historical tidbits…and I adore sharing them even more.

      Biggest hugs,

      Cindy

  7. Suzanne

    Wht an interesting post. When I learned to tat my lace pieces didn’t look like that. Congrats on the new release, I enjoy Civil War historical romances.

    • Suzanne…as an former historical Civil War reenactor, I too dabbled in tatting and made my lace pieces. It is so hard to replicate the experts…you know those original Victorian ladies that did it almost every day. LOL. Hope you enjoy my lil’ Civil War love story. Reece ‘n Emaline are definitely ‘works of heart’.

      Best regards,

      Cindy

  8. I already have your book and read a third of it this morning in the MD’s office. It’s wonderful! Congrats on your debut novel.

    • Fancy….this means more to me than you’ll ever know. Please share your thoughts when you’ve finished. Reece ‘n Emaline would love to know.

      Biggest hugs,

      Cindy

  9. Eileen

    Never knew the background of some of thse lace patterns. Now I need to get that Chantilly Lace song out of my head! LOL I have never read a story like this one. Looks good!

    • Eileen….thank you so much for stopping by & pleased you found Lace enticing. LOL. And I felt the same way about the song when I was compiling the article. ;-P I hope you enjoy venturing into Historical reading & will find Reece ‘n Emaline’s love story rewarding. Try NO GREATER GLORY and then share you thoughts.

      Warmest regards,

      Cindy

  10. Sherry

    I had no idea about all the different laces. Very interesting. Some things we just take for granted and don’t really think about. Thanks for the article. And the book looks very good. Its been awhile since I’ve read a historical.

    • Sherry…when I was researching for the article…I too was amazed. Thank you for droppping in and I’m glad you enjoy the piece. I hope you enjoy NO GREATER GLORY as you savor the rich, rewarding lushness of the historical era once again.

      Warmest regards,

      Cindy Nord

  11. Landry

    My mother and grandmother crocheted lace doilies that they made into bedspreads. Memories. I love historical romance and this is one of my favorite periods. Looks so good!!

    • Landry,

      Cherished momentos, that’s what I call my Mimi’s lace doilies, tableclothes & hankies. How wonderful that you still have your keepsakes held close to heart. And you remember what they say about memories…they definitely light the corners of our hearts. So enjoy Reece & Emaline’s love story…here’s hoping NO GREATER GLORY will light the corner of your heart as well. And thank you for stopping by to share your thoughts with me today.

      Warmest regards,

      Cindy Nord

  12. Timitra

    Cindy thank you for the history lesson on lace, I found it quite fascinating!

    • Timitra,

      You are so very welcome. I love to research and compile tidbits of historical facts…so thrilled you enjoyed reading it. And thank you for visiting. Hope you have a lovely day.

      Warmest regards,

      Cindy Nord