Nan Reinhardt, Author

Grown-up love stories, because we're never too old for a little sexy romance…
Browsing The Women of Willow Book

Lent Check-In . . . I’m Still Here

March18

breatheWow, I’d sure like to say that I’ve been hugely successful at unknotting the knot, which was my Lenten goal, but sadly, I’m not quite there yet. But, I can say that I’m trying, I’m releasing stuff, just not everything. But in an attempt to let go of the body issue worries, I’ve scheduled the CT scan and Can’t wait for it to be done, so that the doc can tell me, “Kid, you have diverticulitis, welcome to aging, and pay attention to your diet.”

One thing I have learned about the diverticulitis thing is that everyone is different. Some folks can eat whatever they want, some can’t. I’m being pretty cautious right now because I’ve had two exacerbations in less than six months. That’s too many because, a. it’s painful as hell and b. you have to take a wicked combination of antibiotics when it kicks up and I’m just not interested in doing that again. I’m learning what I can and can’t eat and I see that as progress. The knee is holding on right now. Yeah, it hurts frequently, but if I get to the pool at least three times a week, it does better and if I get to the chiropractor regularly, that helps it, too. I’ve been telling it that it needs to hang on a couple more years. We’ll see if it listens.

I’m writing! That might be the biggest news from the home front. It’s been a long time since I’ve actually moved forward on a book. At the moment, I’m focused on Libby and Nick–the fourth Women of Willow Bay story, but there are a couple of other books banging around in my brain. I’m making notes and thinking . . . a huge step in the right direction. Mostly, I’m trying not to concentrate so much on the selling/promotion side of the writing. That only brings me down. Instead, I’m just going to write and see where I am in the fall.

Reinhardt_Poster_resizedThat being said, I am doing a book signing at Spring Fling in Chicago in May, which has forced me to think about some promotional stuff. Spring Fling is a great big fun event. Pal, Liz Flaherty, and I went in 2014 and we had a ball! Lots of hobnobbing with other writers, fun learning times at workshops, and an amazing time just being with my dear friend. We travel so well together–we’re kind of on the same wavelength about traveling and that’s terrific! I’m looking forward to it. It’s the biggest book signing I’ve ever participated in, so I confess I’m a little bit nervous. But it’s going to be good. That’s my table poster over there on the left–isn’t it great? Thanks to the amazing Lani Diane Rich for the design! I’m crazy about it!

So gratitude for today: The gym pool–I’m free when I’m in the water. A great St. Patrick’s Day supper with PJ and her husband, Larry. Good food, good wine, good fellowship. Our Lenten Bible Study class on Wednesdays through Lent. We’re both enjoying talking about faith and also getting to know some of the folks in our church. It’s a good thing. We got a start on the spring yard work—I actually enjoyed three hours of digging in the dirt, which amazes me because I would almost rather have my gums scraped than do yard work. Each time I’ve talked to Son lately, he’s been good—not always jumping for joy, but reasonably content, happy with life, feeling productive, and breathing. So grateful to God for answered prayer!

I’m Going International!

January26

WOWB setToday ONCE MORE FROM THE TOP is up on BookBub in the UK, Canada, and India. I’m hoping that I get some Women of Willow Bay readers out of this promotion. I’m so bad at promotion, mostly because it hurts my heart to spend money on ads and then not even sell enough books to make back what I’ve spent. That’s happened. Fortunately, not a lot of money, but still . . .  So hold a good thought, mes amies. In the meantime, I’m working on book 4 and having a great time with the newest Women of Willow Bay book.

Here’s a quick excerpt from Libby and Nick’s story:

The last thing Nick Collins expected when he knocked on the door of Nolan Farm Winery was an armful of warm, beautiful woman. He was only trying to find the owner of the lakefront property just south of Willow Bay lighthouse. When he peered in the door of the renovated old barn, all he could see was a huge Christmas tree and racks and racks of shining bottles. But the lights were on and when he tried the door, it was unlocked, although according to the sign, the place didn’t open for another hour and half.

Fact was, he hadn’t even intended to turn down Willow Point Road. But he’d been driving from Muskegon to Traverse City for a residents’ meeting when he noticed the sign for the lighthouse. He loved lighthouses and he’d never been to Willow Point before even though he’d passed the sign at least twenty times. He was always too busy, in a rush to meet with architects or builders or clients. But something made him turn down the road, drive past acres of fir trees and then rows of grapevines, and park in the small lot by the lighthouse.

The lighthouse was closed, but he got out anyway, just for a second, to take a look around. The white-painted brick structure sat on a hill above the rocky shoreline, its red roof contrasting against the blue of the sky, the glass tower gleaming in the morning sun. Shoulders hunched against the stiff breeze off the water, he walked around the building, read the sign in the front that shared some history, and then crossed the yard to peer down to the rocky coastline below.

According to the posted hours, he wouldn’t have time to tour the place today, so he made a mental note to return on the drive back to Muskegon. The sign also said something about being able to rent the old lightkeeper’s quarters for a vacation. Spending a week in a lighthouse? How cool would that be? He memorized the website URL and sauntered back to his car, stopping to survey the landscape just south of the lighthouse property.

A wide beach led back to an even wider expanse of dune and beach grass. Beyond that, farther east, was a huge old barn with decking on three sides, which he figured was probably the winery he’d seen a sign for on the way in. When he looked to the north and south of the barn, he again saw the neat rows of vines. Yes, that was . . . what was it again? Nolan’s Farm Winery. And wasn’t the Christmas tree stand at the corner also sporting the Nolan’s Farm name? Apparently the Nolans were an enterprising family.

He leaned against the hood of the car and peered past the vineyard. He could see rows of pines and remembered from his drive in that those took up at least twenty acres. He’d bet a bottle of good scotch there was at least one old farmhouse up there somewhere, possibly more than that.

His expert eye measured the vineyard and judged it to be roughly another ten acres or so. The dunes and beach grass that sat between the winery and the lake were maybe . . . what? Ten acres or twelve, tops. Beach frontage was maybe twelve hundred feet and change . . . so if the Nolan family owned all the way to the waterfront, then Nolan Farms was mostly likely a perfect quarter section of land—forty acres. Made sense. Before subdividing came along, land was purchased in quarter sections and he wouldn’t be a bit surprised to learn that the Nolan family had owned that quarter section for generations.

He pushed off the car and jogged down the parking area to where the asphalt road met the beach. A rock jetty thrust into the lake, making a breakwater in front of the lighthouse. Waves crashed against the huge stones, throwing mists up as high as the lighthouse grounds. At some point in time, someone had installed a steel seawall along the rocky shore fronting the property, probably to circumvent erosion. The jetty hid the steel seawall and the stones behind it made it appear that the jetty just curved around the lighthouse property. Pretty neat, really, although a concrete wall might have been sturdier.

Turning, he debated for less than five seconds before taking off down the beach adjacent to the lighthouse. The breeze was a bit chillier than it was in Muskegon and it fluffed his too-long grey hair into his eyes. He slicked it away from his forehead with one hand and continued down the beach, mentally assessing the land as he walked past it. Dammit, it was too freaking cold to see how deep the water was, but he could see a sandbar about fifty feet out. Definitely marina potential.

Nick shoved his hands into the pockets of his suit pants and turned around three hundred and sixty degrees, taking in the water, the beach, the grass-covered dunes . . . What a fantastic location—lighthouse, beach, trendy little winery, plus the area was a four-season playground, offering summer water sports and winter skiing—this was a developer’s dream. How had he never been here before?

Well, he was here now and unintentionally rescuing a very embarrassed lady. Nick leapt back from the ladder, but managed to use one foot to stop it from crashing into the tasting bar. The woman cringed and hid her face against his shoulder as the ladder rocked back and forth for a moment before settling back onto four legs. He shook the hair out of his eyes and took a good look at the lady in his arms.

She was truly lovely—medium-length brown hair streaked with snow white that was clearly the handiwork of God or genetics rather than a hairdresser, a soft peachy complexion that was enhanced, not marred, by laugh lines around her blue, blue eyes, and her curves fit against him as if she’d spent her whole life in his embrace. She didn’t struggle against his hold, but simply stared at him, eyes wide, arms around his neck, her breath coming fast.

“You okay?” he asked, his own breath hitching on the question. He really ought to put her down, but holding her felt so right he wasn’t inclined to set her on her feet just yet. Besides, he needed to make sure she wasn’t hurt and to find out why she smelled faintly of cake and cinnamon and, as she let out a sigh, coffee…

 

 

Starting Again…

December27

WOWB setI’ve been avoiding posting to my blog–well, maybe not avoiding, mostly just not doing it. I’ve allowed other stuff has taken precedence–life stuff, work stuff, writing stuff…you know, just stuff. But I thought this morning that maybe my blog might be a good place to brainstorm the new book. What do you think? Will I be giving away too much if you listen to me figure out characters, story, descriptions?

It’s a new WOWB title and I’m really excited about the two main characters because for the first time I’m going to attempt to write an alpha male. Okay, so I know this isn’t my usual style, but Nick Collins is definitely not my typical hero except for the fact that he’s wealthy. But he’s also sophisticated and suave and used to getting his own way. He wants something from Libby Nolan, our intrepid heroine, and he’s not going to take no for an answer.

Libby is a widow who owns Nolan Farms–a Christmas tree farm and winery in Willow Bay, Michigan. Her son Eli and her daughter Tessa are helping her keep the family business going and although she mourns her husband, her life is doing fine…until Nick Collins comes along.

So there’s a little taste. And not every post will be about the new novel because this blog may also be my place to just talk if I need to talk. I’m also going to attempt to journal this year. We’ll see how that goes and I haven’t decided whether it’ll be on paper or on my computer. I may not announce every post. This one I will because I haven’t been here in a while and I want to remind you that I’m here, I’m writing, I’m trying… but I promise I won’t annoy you with shouts of “Pay attention to me!!” and I’ll try to be faithful about posting regularly, which I’m not going to define because, frankly, I don’t know what “regularly” is going to look like in 2016.

I do know this: writing is my focus in 2016. I do have to work and I plan on accepting the gigs that interest me (read fiction gigs here and my one wonderful nonfiction client that I could never stop working for!) , but I’m not going to let work overwhelm me. I want to spend time with Husband this year–we haven’t had a lot of just plain together time since he retired because other life stuff has gotten in the way. I want to got to the pool and keep working on getting my arthritis pain under control. I want to take a few trips. I think Liz and I will probably take a trip somewhere this summer. She and I are planning the IRWA Retreat for 2016 and hoping we can build some excitement about that.

So…we’ll see. I’m not making promises to myself or anyone else in 2016–I’m going to try to be less scattered, more thoughtful, more focused…hold a good thought, okay? Happy New Year, everyone!

Sunday Gratitude

September13

This will be a quick post, but today has been so lovely, I truly need to acknowledge all the things that I’m grateful for, so here goes.

  1. My dear Husband, who got my car all ready to travel, made sure I understood how to get out the tire changing gear and how to jump the battery and most especially how to get a hold of OnStar if I need help on the road. Then he filled my tank and washed the car. What a great guy!
  2. cam at disneyTonight, we got to Skype with our little guy, who is full of energy and so excited to be talking to Nanny and Poppy.  He showed us all his Cars cars, each with a “Hey guys, look at this!” He got a giant kick out of he and Poppy both looking through their “noculars” at each other on Skype. He loves his binoculars and uses them to look at everything he wants to see up close. He also loved hearing about the big fish that I saw jump in the lake yesterday. Gosh, I can’t wait for Christmas!!!
  3. Talking to Son on Skype was also a treat and it seems as though their house reno is coming along at last! So happy for them!
  4. My dear friend, Moe, brought me an early birthday gift–a gorgeous leather bag/satchel for my computer or whatever I might want to carry. It is beautiful!
  5. I’m finally packed for my trip to MI–decided to try to dress for the weather, so I packed layers.
  6. An extra one–I made my goal for the MidList promotion! I sold some books!

Liz and I will be blogging over at Word Wranglers every day–we actually already started: http://wordwranglers.blogspot.com/2015/09/postcards-from.html, so head on over and join us on the trip. Come back here for some gratitude each day though, okay? Oh, and don’t forget to go by The Romance Review to nominate THE SUMMER OF SECOND CHANCES for the TRR Readers’ Choice award. I need at least 50 nominations to go on to the next round in the contest! Thank you always!

posted under Musings, The Women of Willow Book, This Life..., Writer's moments | Comments Off on Sunday Gratitude

The Romance Review’s Readers’ Choice Awards

September11

The romance reviewToday begins nominations for The Romance Review’s Readers’ Choice Awards and my book, The Summer of Second Chances, has qualified to be nominated in the Romantic Suspense category. I’m so excited to be chosen by TRR, but now the rest is up to my readers. I hope all of you will go to http://www.theromancereviews.com/viewbooks.php?bookid=17238 to nominate The Summer of Second Chances. If I get at least 50 reader nominations, I move on to the final round and could be chosen as TRR’s Readers’ Choice romantic suspense book for Winter 2015. Nominations need to be made between September 11 and September 30, so please buzz on over, register, and nominate The Summer of Second Chances as your choice for the TRR award, won’t you? I sure would appreciate it!

Nancy's MI trip 053I’ve been a crummy blogger, but next week, I’m going to get a lot of practice in as Liz Flaherty and I take to the road and blog our writing trip to Michigan. I’ll continue to post my gratitude list here and maybe some other thoughts, but starting September 14, head on over to Word Wranglers for all the details about our trip. I’m sure we’ll include lots of pictures and it should be fun!

Gratitude list for today:

  1. It’s coming on autumn, days are getting shorter and cooler.
  2. Spent an easy morning with Husband doing errands.
  3. Saw three huge monarch butterflies in the Costco parking lot–gorgeous!
  4. Got to be #1 on an Amazon Bestseller list for almost a whole day–nice!
  5. We have a new Word Wrangler coming on board and she’s one of my favorite clients and a super writer!
posted under Musings, The Women of Willow Book, Writer's moments | Comments Off on The Romance Review’s Readers’ Choice Awards

News!!

September4

print booksThey’re here! My Women of Willow Bay series is now available in . . . dut da da da . . . print! YAY!! This is a photo of the proofs I received earlier this week (we had some issues we had to work out and we did), and very shortly I should receive a box full of the real thing (things?). Anyway, they’re available at Amazon, so if your fondest Labor Day wish is to have Once More From the Top or Sex and the Widow Miles or The Summer of Second Chances, or (gasp!) all three in print, hurry over there and order them. And thanks always, from the bottom of my heart, for your support!

Today I’m thankful for:

  1. A long chat with Son last night—he’s okay—he’s good, in spite of being overwhelmed with school and finishing up his PhD. He has no idea how much time I spend in prayer over him . . . or maybe he does.
  2. My books are in print!!
  3. The big editing gig is through the hard part, all that’s left is author review–I love this client!!
  4. Swimming in the lake.
  5. Lunch with Liz today!

Monday Thankfulness

August31

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00060]I’m still deep into the technical copyedit, but taking time to be grateful tonight–oh, and here’s what the print cover for Sex and the Widow Miles will look like. Pretty, huh?

My gratitude list:

  1. Dee did well with her chemo today and is settling into her new house. Left her feeling all was well.
  2. The laundry is done. Fresh, clean sheets!
  3. I did some troubleshooting on Husband’s laptop when I got home from being with Dee–took no time at all, just a quick call to Norton, who by the way, has fabulous customer service!
  4. Lunch with my pal, Mae. We hadn’t seen each other in two months, so it was treat to catch up as I was on my way to Dee.
  5. French Silk Pie.

That’s it–life is busy, but good and I’m about two-thirds of the way though this editing gig, so lunch with pal and fellow author, Liz Flaherty, will be entirely doable on Friday. Can’t wait!

Don’t Be Skeered…It’s Just Me

August21

Not long ago, I had Son update my website and put my blog back on the Home page, so it’s the first thing anyone who visits sees. I did this on purpose because I need writing motivation and I’m hope that knowing how tacky an out-of-date blog is will make me write at least something each day. My thirty days of blogging in April was good for me, but as soon as that challenge ended, I slid back into letting life take precedence over writing—any kind of writing.

Here’s the thing. I want to write. I want to finish novels 4 and 5 of the Women of Willow Bay and start Annabelle’s story because it’s a wonderful kind of time-travel thing that’s been in the back of my head and for which I have tons of little notes here and there.

I have a new laptop, I have a good amount of editing work to do, but I can still write. I can still be creative and let the people in my head tell their stories through me. To that end, hello–I’m here. I’m back. I make no promises about how much I’ll be here, I’m going to make an effort to be here as regularly as I can, even if all I do is post a lake life picture or one of my darling Grandboy. But, I’m here . . .

So, I’m not really a writer who finds character inspiration in actors. I don’t go looking for pictures of actors to play the roles in my novels. However, I was watching a movie the other night (absorbing narrative–it’s a good thing!), and one of the actors was my Tony McAdams–the hero of Book 4 of the Women of Willow Bay series. Book 4 is currently under construction . . . it’s Sarah Everett’s story. Remember Sarah from Sex and the Widow Miles? She ran the consignment shop La Belle Femme at the Chicago women’s shelter where Julie volunteered. Well, for reasons you’ll soon learn, Sarah’s moving to Willow Bay. And Tony–the captain of Liam’s yacht, who moved to Willow Bay after Liam and Carrie got married–well, he’s a deputy sheriff now and he’s painting houses . . . and  he and Sarah are about to meet . . . Yeah, it’s Jeffery Dean Morgan . . . stay tuned!

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