Say hello to Bestselling Historical Romance writer, CINDY NORD…the USA Today Lifeblog ‘Recommended Read’ author of NO GREATER GLORY, a #1 Civil War Romance at Amazon for nearly a year, and book one in her four-book ‘The Cutteridge Series’. WITH OPEN ARMS, book two, debuts in August, 2014. Also, Cindy is pleased to be a contributing author in the delightful SCRIBBLING WOMEN & THE REAL-LIFE ROMANCE HEROES WHO LOVE THEM. She is a member of numerous writers groups, and her 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 stories meld both genres around fast-paced action and emotionally driven characters.
 
Please join Cindy at her Facebook page for her Monday-thru-Friday morning “Coffee Klatch” as well as on Twitter.
 
Indeed, true love awaits you in the writings of Cindy Nord.

With Open Arms

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A war-weary ex-soldier. An untamable woman. Love doesn’t stand a chance in hell…
 
How can two mistrusting partners transform their fiery passion into happily-ever-after when all she knows how to do is fight? And all he wants is peace.
 
WITH OPEN ARMS (book two of my four-book, THE CUTTERIDGE SERIES). A #1 Bestselling Western Historical Romance at Samhain Publishing.

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No Greater Glory

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Amid the carnage of war, he commandeers far more than just her home…
 
When a Union Army officer drenched in obligation collides with an unyielding southern widow locked inside her daily routines, not even the war raging around them is as explosive as the unexpected passion that erupts.
 
NO GREATER GLORY (book one of The Cutteridge Series). An RWA National Golden Heart finalist, a USA Today Lifeblog ‘Recommended Read’, & for nearly one full year, the #1 Civil War Romance at Amazon.

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Dressing ‘Victorian Lady’ Style

Posted Oct 22 2014, 1:12 pm

1861 Afternoon visiting dress with green silk fringeAhh, those wily Victorians! By the mid-19th century these were ever fashion-conscious ladies, indeed.  And there were many ‘layers’ to don to achieve the picture of complete perfection. So, let’s get a lovely lady dressed and ready to head out the door for an afternoon visit, shall we? Lovely lady in an 1860 print day dress

*** Let’s begin with the first layer…also called a lady’s “basic unmentionables”:

Against her naked flesh she would don a knee-length CHEMISE, chemiseusually made of fine lawn or linen. This simple sleeveless ‘shift’ will act as a buffer to help absorb body perspiration and prevent chaffing against sensitive skin.  Then, our lovely lady will take a seat, and she will draw on a pair of cotton STOCKINGS. Stockings And since she’s dressing for day, she will select no-nonsense and durable black. But, she is also wealthy, so she’ll choose ‘hosiery’ made from elegant knit silk.  Of course, she also owns many other stocking colors and types ranging from cotton all the way to wool, and worn depending upon the season.  The stockings are then tied into a fast knot just below the knees [where the leg is most slender] to keep from slipping, or she might use a ‘garter’ which was made from rubber and appeared on the fashion scene in the early 1800s [however, ‘elastic’ girdle straps weren’t attached to corsets until the end of that century - and garter belts weren’t invented until the 1920s].  Once the stockings are in place, our fine lady will pull on her DRAWERS Drawers[also called ‘crotchless pantalets’] which merely consist of two simple leg-tubes attached to a back-buttoned waistband.  And, remember, there is no ‘center seam’, for a lady’s ‘bits’ need proper ventilation! Plus, the absence of that seam allows said ladies an easier visit to the ‘necessary’. Then she’ll slip her stockinged feet into leather walking boots.

 ***A lady’s second layer is one of “form and shaping”:

Next, our high-fashion lady will don her CORSET. corsetcorset - back showing tiesOh yes…this is an essential item! No well-bred woman would dare dress without one. The corset’s job is to re-shape the female figure via boning [later metals] sheathed inside silk, satin or fine linen. The busque closure, a rigid metal hooking element also spelled busk, is placed in the center front. Long ties in the eyeleted back section allows for easy adjustment and tightening to achieve an even smaller waist measurement.  Next, our lady will don a simple straight UNDERSLIPUnderslip [or even two or three] made of everything from white cotton to quilted wool.  Remember, a lady’s limbs must never show.  Then, over her corset she will wear a CORSET COVER [or corset protector] corset coverwhich helps to prevent the corset’s boning from showing through to the outer dress bodice. Then, comes the CAGE CRINOLINE, cage crinolinecrinoline 2which is nothing more than rings of watch spring steel [some encased in cotton] attached together with cloth strips which help to distribute the immense weight of the gown around our lady’s waist. For ease of sitting, transport or storing, these bands of steel collapsed into itself [much like a telescoping drinking glass does], but, beautifully held out the skirt material into a perfect bell shape when our lady stands.  Following the crinoline, she drapes an overslip [some lady’s wear up to six] into place. The purpose of this garment is much the same as the corset cover…to prevent the impression of crinoline bands from showing through to her skirt. 

*** The third layer is a lady’s pure fashion statement:

Over the top of all these ‘underpinnings’, our lovely lady selects the most appropriate ‘AFTERNOON VISITING DRESS’ 1868 visiting dress - front view1868 visiting dress - side viewand settles the garment into place. The bodice of this garment can have either sweeping pagoda sleeves or end in a more form-fitting bishop sleeve. And since it’s October, a green silk MANTLEGreen silk mantle or gorgeous paletot will help to cut the nip of a fall wind.  And, of course, no lady will dare go out without her BONNETbonnet2 spoon bonnet style and PARASOL.  We must select 

Bonnet1parasol1a RETICULE and GLOVES and a FAN.fan Oh and JEWELRY, we musn’t forget that important cameo brooch and earrings. earrings
green visiting gloves cameos - ring and broochOkay, she’s all ready to go.  Let’s head to the carriage. Time’s a’wasting. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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