Nan Reinhardt, Author

Grown-up love stories, because we're never too old for a little sexy romance…
Browsing This Life…

Still Rollin’ Along

November16

Liz and Nan’s big Madison adventure continued today, but our adventurousness sorta stayed in the fiction realm. We went to breakfast, then came back to the hotel and set up in the lobby to write. We stayed put there, each of us writing and occasionally stopping to share a paragraph or ask one anothers’ opinion or discuss a word choice. Or even, ask for a word! We ended up skipping lunch and writing from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. It was amazing–I got a fabulous start on novel 1 for Tule and Liz–ta da!! Liz finished her book that is due to Harlequin Heartwarming on December 1!! YAY!

At 4, we closed up shop and headed to town to wander a bit–we needed to walk and breathe fresh cold Indiana air. Then we headed to the Key West Shrimp House for an early fish supper. It’s been a great writing day. Liz is delighted to have put The End to the first draft of Cass’s story and I’m pleased as I can be about the great start I have on Colin’s story. Now, we’re just hanging out in our cozy hotel room–a fire in the fireplace and the gray, gloomy day out of sight and out of mind.

It was good for me to be down here with Liz, writing and keeping my mind occupied. Today would have been my dear Dee’s 62nd birthday. All day, I’ve been thinking of her and remembering when I was down here with her when she turned 55. We had a great time at the Clifty Inn. Man, do I miss her.

But all in all, with the lovely hotel, delightful folks we’ve met, and the successful writing we’ve gotten done, we’re declaring this Writer’s Retreat a complete success! Now, we’ve got to decide where we’ll go next . . . stay tuned!

 

Rollin’ . . . Um, Writin’ on the River

November15

Hey, it’s Liz and I just took over Nan’s computer! It’s Wednesday, and I gotta say, we have written a ton of words here on the river. This afternoon, we came down to the dining area of the hotel lobby and have been here for a couple of hours. Nan’s talking about thousands of words and I’m saying “yeah, yeah, yeah….”

Liz at Lanthier WInery among the 100s of Christmas trees!

It’s been a rainy day–good day to write.

We’ve been winerying, coffeeing, and writing. It is fun. There is homesickness around the edges of the fun, always, and it’s kind of like the best of two worlds. It’s a good time traveling with a good friend and eating at all different kinds of restaurants that wouldn’t thrill our husbands, but the other side is going home to where our hearts are.

For now, though, we have more wineries and more words to roam through and discover. Hope you’re enjoying our trip! 🙂

 

On the Road

November14

We had a great day in Madison! Spent the day wandering around–fun late lunch at a coffee shop in town and then two wineries for tasting. Loved, loved The Ridge–a little winery tasting room right on the Ohio River. Delish wine, lovely hostess, and beautiful view of the river. The Ridge is actually the winery I was thinking of as I imagined the Flaherty brothers’ tasting room on the river. It lived up to all my expectations. I’m excited to use this little river town as the basis for my stories.

Liz says it’s been a fine day and she is so right. Somehow, we are the best of traveling companions. She’s crazy about our hotel, which has turned out to be such a delightful place. And she loved the Ridge Winery! We met a lovely couple of folks who were so jacked to meet “real romance authors.” We took full advantage, of course, and showered them with swag and a complimentary book each. Fun!

Right now, we’re sitting on the second-floor sun porch of the Riverboat Inn, watching the Ohio and eating our impromptu supper of cheese, crackers, bread and summer sausage and apples. We’ve had our complimentary glass of wine from the little bar downstairs and it may be time to write for a while. Here are some pics from our day–more tomorrow! Here are some pics of the day…enjoy!

 

A Teenager Trapped in an Old Body

October20

So, I’m back with more body stuff, which just irritates the heck outta me. Although I’m truly okay with getting older, I really hate the physical stuff associated with aging. Flagging energy, a genetic proclivity for arthritic joints, occasional memory lapses, saggy underarms, the damn diverticulitis flares, and scary heart stuff. For some reason, even though fall is my favorite time of year, it also seems to be the time of year when body issues rear their ugly little heads. I wonder if it has anything to do with being a fall baby–maybe it’s my body’s way of acknowledging that I’m a year older. Who knows?

Stereotactic Breast Biopsy

Anyway, this fall, it’s my boobs that are showing their age, just like the rest of me. I had a bad mammogram, so I went back for a recheck, which showed microcalcifications in my left breast that the radiologist feels he needs to do a biopsy on. Apparently, they’re “indeterminate.” So on Monday, I’ll be having a stereotactic breast biopsy done and I can’t resist putting up the drawing that goes with the explanation of the procedure because seriously, one look at this and what else could you possibly want to know? Yikes!! I guarantee you that whatever you have planned for next Monday, you will be having a better time than me.

Believe it or not, that drawing does not show the worst part of this as far as I’m concerned. Worse even than having my boob hanging down through a hole in cold metal table and squeezed between two plates, is the fact that I’ve had to go off the anti-inflammatory med that keeps my arthritis pain at bay. I am discovering, much to my pained non-amusement, that these drugs really do work! They are what keep me moving so that my joints don’t just decide to turn in their notice. When I move, I’m good. So, I’m dealing with the pain in the best ways I know how without the meds–lots of water, keep moving, no sweets or alcohol, and prayer. I probably should’ve put prayer first on the list because it is the one thing I’m doing most of.  The good news is that only about 30 percent of these procedures show any malignancy, so I’m counting on being among the vast 70 percent whose tests come out negative for cancer. So if you have a few good-news vibes to toss my way, I’d sure appreciate them. Oh, and since I’ve brought this all up, I promise to report back when I know anything about the results.

In the meantime, here’s my gratitude for today:

  1. Husband, who is so sympathetic and helpful and loving. He’s the best.
  2. Friends who keep reassuring me with their stories about the 70%–they give me endless hope.
  3. Son, who would take on my pain if he could–God, I love my kid.
  4. Beautiful fall days, with blue, blue October skies and cool breezes.
  5. Medical innovations that make early detection possible.

 

ManyBooks . . . and I’m One of Them!

September24

Hey gang, check out ManyBooks today to find lots of great deals on books, including Once More From the Top, which is still at the discounted price of just 99 cents! It’s been a wild ride these past couple of weeks as I’ve prepared for the release of  Saving Sarah Book 4 in the Women of Willow Bay series on Tuesday, September 26. I picked that day because it’s my birthday and releasing a new book seemed like the perfect way to celebrate. If you haven’t met the Women of Willow Bay yet, now’s the time to get started. I hope you’ll love Carrie and Julie and Sophie and Sarah as much as I do!

Today’s gratitude:

  • Fall is here and it’s going to cool down next week.
  • Sales are going well for OMFTT and Saving Sarah pre-orders are not bad at all.
  • Trip to CA in November is planned and I get to see my kids.
  • Kids sent an amazing early birthday gift–Weather Tech car mats! I’m way overwhelmed and grateful!
  • Husband is as thrilled as I am that I’m starting a new series–more on that as news comes in.

Make it a great day!

posted under Gratitude, The Women of Willow Book, This Life... | Comments Off on ManyBooks . . . and I’m One of Them!

Life Is . . . Settling Down . . .

July13

. . . a little bit. Summer is nearly half over. Can you believe it? I really thought that after Dee’s memorial service, life would settle back into normal, but you know, I think that I’ve lost “normal.” Or maybe I never had it in the first place. I’m not sure anymore. Is there normal?

If anyone figures that one out, let me know.

In the meantime, here’s a scene from Saving Sarah–Book 4 in the Women of Willow Bay series. It’s currently with my editor and hopefully, very soon, we’ll have a cover to show you and a release date. This scene takes place about a week and half after she’s moved to Willow Bay. Her friends Carrie and Julie have come to her apartment because they haven’t been able to get a hold of her and they’re worried. Rightfully so. Sarah’s been holed up, but her friends have come to rescue her. Hold tight and let me know what you think, okay?

“Okay, let me look at you.” Julie closed the gap between them with three long strides. “Jesus, Sarah Jane, you look like hell. When’s the last time you ate a decent meal? Or had a shower?”

“I showered a couple of days ago, I think,” Sarah muttered, heat rising in her cheeks. Dammit, what did it matter to Julie how often she showered? Resentment flashed through her. She sure as hell didn’t need Julie and Carrie poking in, dragging strangers into her house. How often she showered was none of their affair. Neither was how much she’d been eating for that matter. “And I’ve been eating. I finished that casserole and ate the pie and salad you left me.” She gave them a nod, shoving down the anger her reasonable mind told her was silly. “Thanks, all of you, by the way.”

Julie put a finger under Sarah’s chin, gently insisting she meet her gaze. “Baby, you’ve been holed up for over a week. You’ve answered our texts, but put us off and put us off, claiming you were exhausted or had a headache or some other nonsense. I’m fairly sure you haven’t opened the door once because Noah and Margie said the place has been shut up tight since you arrived.” She didn’t even have the grace to look sheepish for having checked up on her with the Dixons. “The shutters were all closed when we got here, all the blinds are drawn—”

“And what’s the deal with the chair wedged under the back door?” Carrie called from the mudroom. She appeared in the doorway, a new bottle of laundry detergent still dangling from her fingers.

“So what’s going on? Did something else happen?” Julie led Sarah to a bar stool and practically shoved her onto it. “It’s obvious you’re frightened out of your wits, and now, you’re scaring us, too. Jesus, Sarah! Tony said you pulled a gun on him last week when he came to finish up the closet.” She peered into Sarah’s face and enunciated firmly, “Paul’s not here. He doesn’t know where you are. You’re safe.”

Sarah folded her hands on the bar, opened her mouth to speak, and shut it again. She was a mess, Julie was absolutely right, but the terror was real and she had no idea how to express it without sounding like she’d completely slipped a cog. Perhaps she had. Maybe Paul had finally sent her ’round the bend. Wouldn’t that be the ultimate in irony? She finally fought back, but lost her mind in the aftermath. She glanced around at the four women, who were all staring at her with various levels of sympathy and curiosity. “I-I . . .” The words clogged up in her throat.

How could she confess she’d spent the past few days curled up in the armchair in the bedroom because it was in the corner that faced the door so she would see anyone coming up the stairs? How did she admit that hourly she’d made the rounds of the windows and doors, assuring herself each one was securely locked? That she’d finally turned off the ringer on her cell phone because every time it rang, she nearly jumped out of her skin? That the sound of gravel crunching under car tires in the parking lot at the top of the hill sent her flying to the window to peer out between the slats of the shutters to make certain it wasn’t a black Town Car with dark-tinted windows?

Libby held up a bottle she’d pulled from a six-bottle cloth carrier. “I think we need wine. I mean it’s almost two. The sun is definitely over the yardarm somewhere.” She yanked open a drawer and took out a corkscrew. “Soph, grab some glasses.” She stopped for a moment to give Sarah a concerned smile. “Unless . . . I mean, unless you need Sophie and me to leave . . .”

Sarah gazed around for a moment before closing her eyes and pressing her fist to her mouth—the only way she could hold back a wail of anguish. These women had no idea. Just looking at them, she knew. They were clueless. They’d never known the cold brick of fear that she’d carried in her belly for so many years. Not a single one of them had ever hidden in a closet from a ranting maniac or been kicked in the ribs as she cleaned up an entire pot of hot spaghetti sauce that had been swept from the stove because it didn’t have enough basil in it; or re-ironed a shirt nine times while a monster stood behind her tightening an extension cord he’d wrapped around her neck.

So–a little peek into Sarah’s head . . .

Gratitude list:

  1. Husband, Son, Grandboy, DIL, Sister–my family. How grateful I am for them!
  2. My denomination just elected the first black woman General Minister–man I love being a part of the Disciples of Christ.
  3. The lake–always a place of peace and comfort.
  4. Richie came through his cancer surgery well and is home safe and sound.
  5. Made the decision to go indie with Saving Sarah. Big load off my mind, so now I can focus on new stories.

 

 

posted under The Women of Willow Book, This Life..., Writer's moments | Comments Off on Life Is . . . Settling Down . . .

Best Friends

June9

Yes, it’s me, looking for peace again . . .

You see, my dear Dee died on Monday–quietly and surrounded by her family, she moved on. I don’t deny I’m grateful that she is finally free from the cancer that has racked her body for five long years. I’m happy that she’s finally reunited with the love of her life because she’d been longing for that. I’m glad this horrible siege of illness is over for her sons, who can now remember their Mom as the vital beautiful woman she was, even when cancer stole that from her. Honestly, I’m even a little relieved that my life may return to some semblance of normal . . . maybe, if I can remember what that is.

But I have to tell you, I’m overwhelmed with sadness at the loss of my friend of thirty-four years. I hate that I won’t be talking or texting or visiting with her again in this life. It feels as though a piece of me is missing–not the same feeling that I had when Kate died. That was different–like a third of the sisterhood had gone missing, which it had.

Dee and I raised our boys together, confided in one another, protected each other’s secrets, and stood by one another through thick and thin. And although I have several very close friends who fit into that same category, Dee was the first. The first woman-to-woman friendship that I trusted. She showed me what it meant to be a best friend, so I was able to discern who was going to fit into my life in that way as I got older; and now I’m blessed to have several best friends.

I’m so grateful that she was in my life, glad that I could be in hers. I’m thankful for the women in my life now, who I know will see me through this grieving time and understand because they’re friends like Dee was a friend. You all know who you are, so I’m just going to say thank you right now–thank you for your love and support and care-giving. I want to gather you all close and find a way to keep you safe so I won’t ever have to feel this empty place in my heart again. However, I also know with everything inside me that you precious ladies will fill that hole with love and joy and laughter. I’m blessed to share my life with all of you, just as I was blessed to share my life with Dee. Thank you.

posted under Gratitude, Memories, Musings, This Life... | Comments Off on Best Friends

Last Day of Lent

April15

Today is the last day of Lent. Tomorrow is Easter and I can get back on social media. This has been a fascinating journey for me–an eye-opener, frankly. I had no idea I was so attached to Facebook and Twitter, no idea that so much of my social life was online. If you had asked me forty days ago if I was on social media much, I would’ve said “no, not much.” If you had asked me if I would miss it, I probably would’ve laughed. “Oh please, I have a life–I don’t need FB.”

Well, apparently, it has nothing to do with whether or not you have a life–at least not for me. I do have a life, but I confess I missed Facebook, I missed reading all my friends’ posts and news, checking out my author pals’ promotions and announcements, and seeing pictures of people’s grandkids and vacations. So there we have it–I am a Facebook junkie.

But, I didn’t miss the rancor of political posts, the constant stream of whining about either party–my friends come from both sides of the aisle–or the ads. I really didn’t miss the ads because it’s kinda creepy how you can look at something on Amazon or Google and the next day it shows up up in your Facebook news feed. Is it just me or is that creepy? All in all, I think I’m going to try not to be so addicted once I sign back on.

So to that end, I won’t be re-installing Facebook on my phone–I took it off my smart phone in December in preparation for giving up social media for Lent and honestly, I’m a happier person without it on there. I can still check Facebook on my computer and a couple of times a day should be just fine for that. I hope when I go back, I can focus my social media time on book promotion more than anything. That was the original reason I started my Facebook account and I think I’ll be a more well-rounded person if I keep that in mind.

All in all, an interesting experiment. I’m looking forward to saying howdy to everyone on Monday–I’m going to wait until after Easter to re-activate my account just because, you know, it’s Easter and my mind and heart should be elsewhere on Easter. Thanks to all of you who stopped by here while I was on social media hiatus–I’ll still be posting here regularly, so please continue to drop by! Happy Easter!

Gratitude for today:

  1. It’s the last day of Lent.
  2. Spring yard work is nearly done and man, are things getting green! Can’t wait for the flowers to start blooming.
  3. Powerful Good Friday service at church last night–so glad we went.
  4. Good day with Dee and Di yesterday. Also great to have Liz to talk to on the way home. Thanks, Lizzie!
  5. Husband, who worked so hard in the yard today–we make a good team.
posted under Gratitude, Musings, This Life... | Comments Off on Last Day of Lent

Some Saturday Entertainment

April8

So we’re opening up the lake cottage this weekend–yay! We’re up and running–the water’s back on, the yard’s been cleaned up, the bathroom’s are cleaned, and the vacuum’s been run. We still have to wash windows/windowsills, scrub the back of the house, scrub the deck, and set up the porch furniture, but we’re getting there. It’s a gorgeous day here–60 degrees and sunny, sunny, sunny. We took some time out to Skype with Son and Grandboy, which is always a joy, but now I’ve got to head back outside to help Husband clean the deck.

Before I go though, here are a couple of fun places for you to check out if you’re just sitting around wishing you had something really exciting to do today. First stop by Word Wranglers and meet podcaster Dr. Kelly Jones of Southern Fried Scholar fame. She is delightful!

If you haven’t listened to the new episode of JED BARTLET IS MY PRESIDENT at Chipperish Media, then definitely head on over there next. Lani Diane Rich is always a ton of fun and I love spending an hour in denial with her each week.

Husband sent me a fascinating interview with author Lionel Shriver this morning, where she discusses her new novel The Mandibles with talk show host, Mark SteynSteyn is a terrific interviewer and, although I’ve never read her before, I’ve heard about her and from this interview, she seems like a smart and very interesting woman. I love finding new authors, so I just ordered this book for my Kindle.

Gratitude for today:

  1. Anytime I get to see Son and Grandboy.
  2. Lake season is here and I am so ready!
  3. A fun evening with our friends Moe and Rich last night–good friends, good food, good wine, good fellowship. Nice!
  4. Saving Sarah –book 4 in the WOWB series–is moving right along, thanks to the characters basically taking over the story.
  5. Tomorrow BFF Liz and her Hubs are coming over to share some lake fun with us! Can’t wait!
posted under Chipperish Media, Lake life, My Favorite Podcasts, Southern Fried Scholar, This Life... | Comments Off on Some Saturday Entertainment

Spring Is Springing (cross-posted)

March28

Spring seems to be springing already and you know, we really haven’t had much of a winter here. (Those are my grape hyacinths that grow under the dining room window–aren’t they pretty? You can also see that the flowerbeds need to be cleaned out . . . yikes!) Oh, we’ve had few days of snow, but no real accumulation, and a few days of serious cold, but no long stretches of temperatures below freezing. That’s unusual but certainly not unheard of here in the middle of the United States. I remember lots of mild winters. But I think this one is feeling weird because it’s been a weird year. Between body stuff going on—which has been resolved—and an election I can’t fathom and all the unconventional activity in our nation’s capital, everything feels . . . I dunno—unsettled.

I’m not the only one feeling this sea change—Son has mentioned it and I know Husband is aware that this year has been/is different. Liz and I have had endless conversations about life seeming different and sorta uncomfortable right now—like a pair of yoga pants that are a little too snug or socks that keep slipping down. I’m hoping that a trip to see the Grandboy soon will even things out in my head and that opening the lake cottage will bring some sense of normalcy because man, I am ready for just plain normal.

To be very honest I’m also really ready for Lent to be over—I miss my social media. The break has been eye-opening. I never would’ve guessed I was so addicted, but apparently, I am. I’m missing out on a lot of stuff from friends and family and church and writing circles and editor groups. Hopefully, everyone will still remember who I am when I get back after Easter.

I’m so thankful for Liz, who keeps me in the loop—we text or talk or gChat at least once a day, more often most days. We do that anyway whether I’m on social media or not—I need Lizzy like I need air. Dee stays in touch and so does sister PJ and my good buddy, Charlie. But you know what’s really cool? Fellow Word Wrangler Margie has been sending me stuff via snail mail—cards and little notes just to check in—and I want to say here how much I appreciate her care and concern. I don’t know who told her that I love, love to get mail—I always have loved to get mail, but wow! This is so much fun! I’m thinking Margie may have a new pen pal because I love to write letters too. There’s just something special about a pen and pretty paper, don’t you think? I got this one from her yesterday . . . and it’s on the bulletin board above my desk—a sweet reminder that she knows how much I’m missing the contact of social media. Thanks, Margie—you rock, baby!

So here’s the question of the week: Do you like writing letters? Would you go back to pen, stationery, and stamps if you had the opportunity? If so, send somebody a note today. I’m sure it would be much appreciated.

posted under Lake life, Liz Flaherty, This Life... | Comments Off on Spring Is Springing (cross-posted)
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