Nan Reinhardt, Author

Grown-up love stories, because we're never too old for a little sexy romance…
Browsing Writer’s moments

So Far . . . I’m writing

October5

me-writingI made a plan over on the Word Wranglers blog on Tuesday, I committed to getting up every day at 6:30 a.m. for the next 21 days to write for one hour. This may not seem all that difficult, but right now, for me, it’s huge. First, just making myself leave my nice warm bed, where my nice warm husband is sleeping, is really hard. I mean, it’s still dark outside and yes, yes, I’ve been spoiled by sleeping late since Husband retired. (And by late, I mean 7:30.) So that’s the first hurdle, but it’s not nearly so large as the second, which is butt in chair, hands on keyboard, and write.

Well, it’s only day 2, but so far, I’ve done it. Yesterday, day 1, I wrote for an hour and change and got 782 words down; today, day 2, I managed 1,026 words. They may not be great words or even good words, but they’re written. And right now, the goal is writing, not editing, not reviewing–just writing.   I’ve actually managed to stay away from Facebook or Twitter or Yahoo News or even my email box until after I’ve done my hour’s worth of writing. That may not sound all that amazing, but trust me, it’s an accomplishment.

I may have to get up even earlier if I’ve got stuff happening or a job to work on, which I do at the moment. But that’s okay–I can do this. It’s important that I do this. I’ve written five novels and published four, I know I can write, but it seems as if I’ve been unable to work up the gumption to do it since .  . . well, frankly, since Kate died. And I promise, I’m not using my sister’s death as an excuse not to write, but it’s been hard to focus on much of anything since then. Part of what I hope will happen with this one commitment is that I’ll get more organized, I’ll find a way to fit my whole day into my day, to stop being distracted by stuff that doesn’t matter, and to feel better about myself in general. We’ll see. . . I’ll report in here every few days just to keep myself accountable.

Oh, by the way, I’ve also managed to get in thirty minutes on the treadmill both days . . . something else I’ve needed. Hopefully, I can also schedule in an hour with Scrivener each day after the holidays. I’m trying not to overwhelm myself here . . . with work, time with Husband, going back and forth to the lake, cleaning two houses, and trying to see the people I need to see, my days seem to disappear unbelievably fast. Right now, it’s 11:45 on Wednesday morning and I’m still in my jammies and have no idea where the morning has gone. See? I really do need to get more organized. But, I’m going to do this as Anne Lamott says, “bird by bird.” (Thank you, Anne Stuart for introducing me to that amazing book!)

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Fall Is Here

September28

fall at the lakeFall has always been my favorite time of year, maybe because I was born in late September and I think of myself as a fall baby. But since we got the lake cottage, summer has ranked pretty high on the favorite seasons list, too. This year, I’m kinda ready for cooler nights and crisp days, jeans and sweatshirts, and apples from the orchard, but I’m dreading leaving the lake. In about another month it’ll be time to close up the cottage for the winter, get the boat stored, and say good-bye to our lake friends. That’s the hardest part about shutting down our lake life–saying good-bye. I miss them all so much while they’re off to points south and we come back to the city.

One day, we’re going to be ready to get down to just one house and we’ll have to decide where that house will be. So many factors enter into that kind of decision. If we move to the lake, can two city kids make it in a small town that pretty much closes up in the winter? Would we miss the lake too much if we gave up the lake house to stay full time in the city? Man, I dunno. . .  The lake is beautiful even covered in ice. I think I’d love to live full time at the lake, although my life would certainly change to some degree. Shopping would be harder, but then again, I have to go pretty far in the city to get to a decent mall. There’s no symphony in the lake town, only one movie theater, and my denomination doesn’t have a church there. Plus, my friends and family are in the city, but the lake isn’t so far away as to make that a deal breaker. Lots of factors to consider and not a decision that has to be made any time soon.

I’m hoping that fall will bring more writing time for me and frankly, a greater desire to write. I have three different stories going right now and all of them are kinda stalled out. My brain can’t seem to focus and although I have lots of ideas, they just don’t seem to be coming out of my fingers to the keyboard. I’m thinking I might teach myself to use Scrivener this winter–it would be a good project for me and I would be writing as I was learning. I found some YouTube videos about the program, so I can watch those and maybe figure this thing out. After all, I spent $40 on it–I should use it.

I will be getting back to the gym as fall progresses–lake swimming is out of the question now that the lake has cooled down so much. I miss swimming, so the gym will take priority in the mornings soon. The weight is coming off again after a small gain this summer, which I attribute to just not being careful enough. We do drink more in the summer–it’s the old “I’m a social drinker and I’m with people all the time” thing, I think. 😉 We also drink more margaritas in the summer and even though they’re carb-free and sugar-free, they’re still 100 calories of tequila. And how on earth are you supposed to drink margs without tortilla chips and salsa? You get the picture.

I read an article aboutbreathe a month ago that talked about September resolutions–how they’re much easier than New Year’s resolutions because they’re inner resolutions. A fall renewing of your spirit and determination. I like that idea, just a quiet resolve to do better. The worrying thing will need work this fall–the knot is back, I think mostly because of the elections. That situation terrifies the tar outta me, but outside of voting, what can I do? Just live my life, love my family and friends, and try to do good where I can. Oh, and remember to breathe . . .

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I’m Blogging!

July5

netflixJust a quick note to let you know that I’m up at the Word Wranglers today, talking about my Netflix addiction. Can anyone relate? Holy cow, for a person who really doesn’t watch much TV, Netflix has completely captured me. And frankly, this is the reason I stopped watching TV regularly–my addictive personality. When Son was a toddler, I was completely hooked on daytime dramas. Once I got the kid down for a nap, I’d watch Ryan’s Hope, All My Children, One Life to Live, and General Hospital right in a row, stuffing my face the entire afternoon. When I finally woke up and realized I was not only shortening my life, but also killing off my brain cells, I quit daytime TV cold turkey. It was hard, seriously. But I’ve never gotten hooked on a TV series again . . . until Netflix.

Now I’m trying to decide if binge-watching a series on Netflix is the same thing as spending every weekday afternoon glued to my television set, while drinking Pepsi and eating cheesy bread and cupcakes. Is it? I dunno. I only watch late at night or at times when I’m taking a break from work or walking on the treadmill, not at times when I should be doing other, more responsible activities. And I’m not eating while I watch, as a matter of fact, often I’m exercising while I watch. And I’m focusing on the story–the storytelling.

I’m rationalizing, I know, but part of how a writer learns is by (in my editor’s words) absorbing narrative. Part of discovery is watching movies and TV and reading voraciously. Netflix isn’t added to a bunch of other stuff I watch on TV every day, it’s the only thing I watch. So . . . well, I think I’ll just enjoy the fact that I live in world where I can watch Scandal on a screen I can hold in my hand. It’s a wonderful time to be alive!

Just Musing . . .

July2

Okay, I’m wondering if there is an alarm app I can get for my PC to remind me to blog–I’d have to put it on my laptop, too . . . hmmmm . . . I need to Google this because clearly, I suck at making time to do this. I want to blog. I like blogging. It’s fun and good writing practice, but yeesh, I just don’t seem to make it priority in my schedule.

eloisa jamesUpdates: my copy editing work is good–three projects on my table right now and they’re all coming right along. My Avon book is Eloisa James’s newest and she is so amazing! Love, love her writing! The Kensington project is a new author to me and I haven’t really gotten it started well yet because its deadline is the latest, and project three is Ava Cuvay’s newest novel and it’s just plain fun. I love her voice and her imagination! So all is well.

I did a Twitter pitch for the Women of Willow Bay with the Deirdre Knight Literary Agency this past week. They are celebrating 20 years in the biz and this was their way to share that celebration on Twitter. I’ve never done one before and it was fun and successful to the extent that Deirdre Knight herself liked my pitch, which meant I got to send her the first 30 pages of Once More From the Top. I sent it, so we’ll see how that goes. Still waiting to hear from Harlequin and Entangled, so hold a good thought and send good energy, okay? I so want romance publishers to think about seasoned romance and acknowledge that the largest demographic in the country is still falling in love, rediscovering love and still having sex.  We would love to read sexy romantic stories about people who meet on a level playing field of self-knowledge and life experience.

Here’s a fasfrench diet foodcinating article about the French and how they eat–I think there’s something to be learned here. Two big things that Husband and I try to practice are portion control and eating simply. Because his dietary restrictions keep him from eating processed foods, we pretty much keep to all-natural foods with lots of fruits and veggies and whole grains and fish and chicken. Since he retired, our mealtimes are also no longer rushed affairs. We linger over coffee and conversation and devotions in the morning and generally take at least an hour to eat supper at night, two if it includes wine.

Every time we say goodbyeFive things I’m grateful for this week: We got to spend 10 days at the lake and I swam a lot and we got the boat in the water–summer is officially under way; I have work; I’m getting off the prescription anti-inflammatory and heading for a more natural way to handle my arthritis; Got to see my BFF Liz Flaherty speak at the library in our little lake town and then have supper at the Sportsman afterward with a couple of my lake buddies, Patt and Moe. Great fun, food, and fellowship; The perennial garden out front is blooming like crazy and the lavender in front of the cottage has bloomed already! Flowers everywhere! I got to spend the afternoon with Dee yesterday. We did girly stuff–mani/pedis and shopping. Loved spending time with her!

Deep Breath . . . And . . .

June16

worrier yogaI’ve been doing it again . . . stressing. The knot in my stomach is present again in spite of just having spent ten days with our darling Grandboy. I can’t even say why it’s there, except that I think it has something to do with not writing. Oh, I’ve written blog posts and thought about my novels, but I’m not writing regularly, so there’s that space inside me that’s empty. And I know that if I fill it with stress and worry, my body and my mind will suffer. And at this point in time, my body is doing pretty well. I’m down about 25 pounds and the diverticulitis is well controlled–no pain–and the arthritis is doing okay. Some aches here and there, but if I move enough each day (and not too much), then I’m okay.

My mind is another story–everything is mushy. I’ve been feeling pushed and hurried, although I have no reason to be. All my focus has been on working–editing gigs are rolling in and I’m pleased as I can be about that and I’m really, really enjoying being the copy editor to the stars–several of my authors are very well-known and loved in the romance field. Plus I love working with the few indies I edit for because watching their writing grow is so rewarding. But I need to write! I want to write! So why am I not writing?

For one thing, I’m stressing about the state of the world–the state of our country. I’m angry about Orlando and I’m angry about politics and I’m angry about guns and I’m . . . just pissed! Which is not at all like me. I’m Pollyanna–I always find the good in everything. But I’m frustrated by the evening news and scared for our country and worried to death about what will happen in the November elections. It feels like we are a powder keg waiting to explode when someone tosses a careless match. I don’t like feeling this way . . .

Also as far as the writing is concerned, there may be a little bit of holding my breath happening right now because I’m waiting to hear from some editors about the Women of Willow Bay–something I’ll explain later when I know more. Suffice to say my career feels like it’s on hold. Like I can’t move forward with new stories because I’m in limbo about where the series and my writing life is headed. And yes, that does sound like a lame excuse. It is a lame excuse. So . . . I’m going to make an effort here. I’m going to blog here more regularly, even if it’s just a check in or link to an interesting article or a gratitude list. I have this great space where I can get some good writing in, I need to use it.

My gratitude for today: I’m grateful for the beautiful flowers in our perennial beds around the house–they’re lovely; for my friends who always listen, even when all I do is whine; a fresh mani/pedi; icy beverages and crisp salads; and a call from Son this morning–it always makes me happy to hear his voice.

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!

Welcome A.D. Ellis

March4

What fun it is to celebrate book releases with Indiana Romance Writers of America chapter mates! I’m so excited today to introduce my readers to A.D. Ellis–a fellow contemporary romance author and a friend from IRWA.

ADELLISA.D. spends the majority of her days loving and wrangling two school-aged children, a husband, and a Yorkie with a stubborn streak a mile wide before heading to the inner city of Indiana to teach a challenging group of alternative education students in grades third through sixth. Most days she hits the gym after school in hopes of running and lifting away the stress and headaches of the day before picking up her children and squeezing a whole day’s worth of loving and living into the too-short hours before bed. It’s no wonder Ms. Ellis lives for the slower, easier days she gets to enjoy on breaks from school.

Growing up in a small farming town in southern Indiana, A.D. is grateful to her mother for passing along the love of reading. With her nose constantly stuck in a book, she became accustomed to friends and acquaintances snickering and shaking their heads at her love of reading.

A.D. never dreamed of being anything but a teacher, although there are certain times of the year when she laments her career choice. She had a story idea floating in her head for about a year. After persistent prodding from a friend, A.D. put pen to paper and began writing her first story in October 2013. From that moment on, she was hooked. Taking the people and stories from her head and sharing them with readers is a scary, exhausting, rewarding, and fulfilling experience which A.D. plans to continue until there are no more stories banging around in her mind.

Kendrick teaser 1Her newest book, Kendrick: Torey Hope, the Later Years takes us back to the fictional town of Torey Hope, where spunky and independent Jay Keller only wants to have fun, having long ago decided that love is reserved for people living fairy tale lives.

Kendrick Jordan is a sarcastic, inappropriate smartass, whose sense of humor, intense love of family, and serial dating habits enable him to mask his painful past.

Through a chance encounter, Jay gives Kendrick a chance to satisfy his curiosity with no strings attached. But when Kendrick’s past catches up with him and Jay is dealt a life-altering blow, they find themselves turning to each other for support.

After a traumatic accident threatens their new-found love, Jay and Kendrick must decide if their relationship is worth the terrifying and painful journey they now face.**

 

Purchase links:

Amazon getbook.at/KendrickAmzn

iBooks bit.ly/KendrickiBooks

Kobo bit.ly/KendrickKobo

**Kendrick and Jay’s story is meant for ages 18+ due to adult themes, language, and situations. Sensitive readers should be warned of possible triggers in the storyline.**

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Welcome, Liz Flaherty!

January28

IMG_0750   Hey, Nan! Whose turn to drive is it? Mine? But it’s your car, right? Oh, we’re blogging, not doing a girlfriends trip. Okay, here we go. Thanks for having me here, by the way. I brought wine…

Hi! My name’s Liz Flaherty. Nan and I are friends, good ones. We write together, travel together, moan to each other in long poor-me texts we’d never let anyone else see, and travel all over Indiana to have lunch together sometimes when it’s been a while. We are, we say, sisters from different fathers—and mothers. We are kindred spirits.

We sound like the oldest of friends, don’t we?

But we’re not.

I’m not exactly sure how long we’ve been friends—several years now—but in the short list of my BFFs, her name was added last. Doesn’t make its spot any less firm, but the ink is darker.

Which brings me to telling you about Summer in Stringtown Proper, the love story of Molly Linden and Joe Rahilly—the banker from New York City and the carpenter from Stringtown Proper, Kentucky. She’s divorced, he’s widowed, and neither of them is in the market for a relationship. Of any kind. They’re done. They’re fifty and not the least bit interested in starting over again.

But then they meet.

It’s fun to have made such a good friend at Nan’s and my…er…experienced ages. Part of that fun is the unexpectedness of it that comes with differences; the laughter-laced meshing of city and country, my bigger family and her smaller one, and her ability to work at night while my brain says buh-bye after noon.

This is also the fun of writing about protagonists who are grown-up…and then some. Who aren’t in their first rodeo—they’ve loved before and chances are good they’ve loved well. They have kids and grandkids and retirement accounts. They’re probably not all that career-minded anymore and if they are it may very well not be their first career.

They don’t expect to meet anyone who makes them feel “it” again, who they lie in bed and think about, and who gets their blood moving in all kinds of delicious ways. They don’t want to be in love again because they know no matter it comes to an end, it’s going to hurt. It’s going to leave a mark, a big one.

But, like a friendship that happens unexpectedly, falling in love when you’re not looking for it is wonderful. It’s the kind of story I love to tell.

SummerinStringtownProper_Liz FlahertyBlurb:

Banker Molly Linden never expected to be alone and unemployed at fifty. Buying hunky carpenter Joe Rahilly’s saloon takes care of the employment situation, but she’s still alone. Or is she?

Excerpt:

They finished the dishes in silence. When she let the water out of the sink and turned her head to meet his gaze, he was waiting. His hands grasped her forearms gently, pulling her to him. Fitting her into the lines of his body in a way that made her knees shake and the saltines in her stomach swell and flutter.

“You, too,” he said. “You laughed about martinis—you wouldn’t have done that a month ago.”

She wouldn’t have. She’d have resented being teased about what he perceived as snobbery.

“A month?” She looked at the clock on the wall as though it would tell her how long she’d been on the Ridge. “Have I really been here a month?”

“No, actually you’ve been here six weeks. Not that I’m keeping track of you, but Dad said this morning he and Sadie were going out to celebrate their six-weeks anniversary tonight.” He held her closer, and she felt his heartbeat. Strong and steady. “Makes it our anniversary, too, doesn’t it? I held you that day, too. When we danced three times. Remember?”

“I do.” She shrugged, just a little lift of her shoulder. “Sort of. I wasn’t remembering things too well by the time the reception was over.”

He snickered. “Wine from the Ridge got you.”

“It did,” she admitted. “But I remember that I liked dancing with you.” This was flirting. It was fun. In younger days, she’d have thought it was a little dangerous, something that might get in the way of whatever goal she’d set for that particular time. But now, today, it was delicious.

“Me, too. With you, I mean.” He dipped his head to hers, taking her mouth. And keeping it. Teasing at first, then not so much.

He touched her, his hands first on her back, then on her hips. He held her ever closer, but didn’t push. Didn’t demand. Didn’t…oh, God, his mouth was wonderful. Had she ever in her life been kissed like this?

“I don’t remember,” he murmured against her lips. “Are we to second base yet?”

Laughter rippled between them like a musical balm, and she rested her forehead against his shoulder. She had thought she would never trust anyone with her heart again, yet here she was getting ready to…oh, hell, steal second base and hurtle on to third if he was asking.

“Can I take you home?”

She didn’t want to go home, even to the safe haven that was Sadie’s house. She wanted to stay here in his arms, where she felt more alive than she’d felt in…years. God, yes, years.

But life wasn’t that way. Not real life. In real life, her cellphone rang from the table before her, its dirge-like ringtone the one she’d assigned to her mother’s number in a what-the-hell moment.

Buy links:

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/summer-in-stringtown-proper

ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-summerinstringtownproper-1964626-177.html

KDP: http://amzn.to/1RTyqSe

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/summer-in-stringtown-proper-liz-flaherty/1123269652?ean=2940157937881

And while you’re out, stop by Word Wranglers and say hello or drop me a line at lizkflaherty@gmail.com

 

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!

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