Cynthia Neale

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A native of the Finger Lakes in New York, I currently live in New Hampshire. I'm an author of historical fiction, but also write short stories, plays, essays and screenplays.
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I am also a baker of delicious and fanciful desserts and have written a book, 'Pavlova in a Hat Box, Sweet Memories & Desserts.' Oh, for more time! When there is, I enjoy oil and pastel painting, hiking, traveling, Irish set dancing, ballroom dancing, and free-spirited dancing.

I'm preparing for the June 2, 2017 release of my fourth novel in my Irish Dresser series. Here is a synopsis for my novel, 'The Irish Milliner:'

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. 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 creating hats for runaway slaves. 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. Can their love endure through class differences and war? And then Norah is thrust into the chaos of the Draft Riots and her childhood sweetheart, Sean O'Connolly, leaves New York to avoid conscription. Norah misses both men and eventually travels to Gettysburg as a journalist for the Irish-American newspaper. It is on the ghostly, but reverent, fields of Gettysburg Norah McCabe remembers the Famine fields of Ireland and is transformed. But now where will Norah find her home? 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. Mostly, 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.

I'm also working with a screenwriting consultant in NYC to create a screenplay based on my four novels. At present, I have the pilot and three episodes for a tv mini-series. I'm currently pitching to producers and studios.

Once a book is published, constant nurture is required, and I'm always seeking to find a rhythm for my days to do book events, keeping up with social media, and most of all, creating new stories and ideas. I care deeply for our world, our country, my community here and there, and so there is that desire to allow my work to be as a balm in anyway it can. Robert Frost said, "No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader." So I cry and write and hope my words can heal, enlighten, and inspire. And in between, I dance, perhaps stiffly and foolishly, but I dance and while I do, I dream.

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