Giveaway,  Guest Authors

Author Spotlight: Bestie Liz Flaherty has a New Book Coming Soon!

We have a winner! Cheri J, you are Liz’s winner. Liz will be in touch! 

What’s more fun than shouting out my bestie’s new book? Not much! Today I’m welcoming Liz Flaherty to the Spotlight with pre-order info for her newest novel, Pieces of Blue. I’ve read this one because, you know, besties… and it is purely Liz’s gorgeous storytelling! She’s here to tell us about it and she has a fun giveaway, too, so read on!

Liz Flaherty has spent the past several years enjoying not working a day job, making terrible crafts, and writing stories in which the people aren’t young, brilliant, or even beautiful. She’s decided (and has to re-decide most every day) that the definition of success is having a good time. Along with her husband of lo, these many years, kids, grands, friends, and the occasional cat, she’s doing just that.


Thanks for having me to visit, Nan. I’m going to mention our trips, so if I forget anything, just jump in here and fix it, okay?

Nan and I take a trip north every year or two, renting a VRBO and staying about four days in one of the beach towns on Michigan’s west coast. We eat fudge (and most anything else that doesn’t move), replenish our sweatshirt collection, find some good wine (and, it must be said, some not so good…), and write a lot.

So when I found the lake that became Harper Loch and the small town that became Placer for Pieces of Blue, I moved them from north central Indiana to north central Michigan. While they are fine where they are and have been there for a really long time, I wanted Maggie North’s hometown to be Muskegon. I wanted the winters to be brisker than we’ve grown used to here in central Indiana. What I really wanted was to place them in the Upper Peninsula, but never found the time to get up there again to…absorb. Because absorption is what I need when I’m putting a story in place.

Although I am a writer and I should be able to do these things easily, I have a lot of trouble explaining the importance of setting.

It’s not the same for everyone—I’ve read books that could have been set virtually anywhere without their quality being diminished. I’ve read books where the writer has “called it in.” If there’s a stereotype that can be applied to a place, a time, or a demographic, they’ll use it. (I’m a Midwesterner who lives rurally and goes to church every Sunday; ask me how I know this.)

It’s because of that part, I think, that setting becomes a character for me, with a personality of its own. Like the people and animals in the story, it has flaws—the road to Harper Loch is a curvy lane-and-a-half; spots of brilliance—wait till you read about the Burl; and the feeling of a safe place—there’s a liars’ table at the Mercantile.

Pieces of Blue, my new women’s fiction title with a sweet splash of romance, will be released on July 1, but it’s up for pre-order now! I hope you’ll give it a look and that you enjoy it. Please let me know if you do!

In the meantime, here’s the blurb and an excerpt that’s intended for you to gasp with pleasure and demand more. If it doesn’t do that, please don’t let me know! I’m kidding! Really!

Thanks for coming by. For a chance at a surprise gift package involving a Starbucks card—not a big one; I’m cheap. Ask Nan—tell me where you’d like to have a lake cottage and what you’d like it to be like. We’ll draw a winner on Saturday morning. (US only)

Pieces of Blue

Life comes in shades of blue… 

For all of her adult life, loner Maggie North has worked for bestselling author Trilby Winterroad, first as his typist, then as his assistant, and finally as his ghost writer. Throughout her first marriage, widowhood, remarriage, and divorce from an abusive husband, Trilby was the one constant in her life.

When he dies, she inherits not only his dachshund, Chloe, but a house she didn’t know existed on a lake she’d never heard of. On her first visit, she falls in love with both the house and the lake. Within a few weeks, she’s met most of the 85 inhabitants of Harper Loch and surprisingly, become a part of the tiny community. Her life expands, as does a new kind of relationship with her friend Sam Eldridge. She finally feels not only at home, but safe.

Until her ex-husband is released from prison. The fragile threads of her new life begin to fray, and that feeling of safety is about to shatter into a thousand pieces.



Like me, he’d brushed his teeth before coming to the kitchen, and he tasted of toothpaste and coffee and…oh, sweetness.

“Plundering,” I murmured against his mouth.

He drew back again. “Huh?”

“I’ve written it,” I explained. “We’re plundering each other’s lips.”

“Nah. Plundering is stealing stuff so you have to go to court and I can get you thrown in jail or keep you out depending on how much you want to pay me.”

I burst into laughter, knowing his integrity much too well to go for that one. “It’s that, too, but when—”

“We’re just deposing each other a little bit. Checking out witness reliability and all that. I think you’re a fine material witness.” He interrupted himself to kiss me again. I very nearly moaned with the pleasure of it. I held it back, but a whimper escaped, and he chuckled as he bent his head to kiss the hollow of my neck inside the soft cowl of my sweater. His breath was warm and fast, the feel of his lips on my skin some glorious word I hadn’t figured out how to write yet.

“Yes, ma’am. A fine one.”

What was he talking about? “A fine what?”

“Witness. Material.”


“For when I go plundering.”

We both plundered a little more then, until I got up, pushing him away with light hands on his shoulders. “Cinnamon rolls.”

“Oh, yeah.” But he gave me one more smacking kiss before subsiding. “I might have to plunder them when they’re done.”

“Kiss them?” I raised my eyebrows at him as I went to get the bowl of doubled-in-size dough. “You’re going to kiss pastries?”

He came around the island, carrying his coffee mug, and pulled me into his side, the motion reminding me of his height. “If you make them, you bet.”

I heard Chloe’s tags jingling as she hurried down the stairs. “Will you let her out? It’s always urgent in the morning, and she’s had to come downstairs, so she’s really hurrying.”

He opened the back door and the mudroom door, and the little dachshund sailed past both of us without so much as a yip of greeting. I watched through the window as she ran to her chosen spot at the edge of the woods and relieved herself.

A moment later, with her ears flapping as she ran, she scrambled toward the house and breakfast, stopping this time to let Sam assure her she was indeed the best dog in the world.

I have always loved mornings. Although I spend more time alone than is probably good for me, there is something about the solitude of the early hours that does, as the Psalm promises, restore my soul.

But for this early April morning on a little Michigan lake, I was glad not to be alone. And both my soul and my heart seemed to be thriving on restoration.


  • Roseann McGrath Brooks

    Oooo. Enticing excerpt! Looking forward to starting to read the book soon! As for a lake cottage, we actually have one, so I don’t even have to dream. Since we’ve lived in parsonages our whole married life, our Poconos home has been the only house we own, so it’s both a getaway and an investment! What I love about it is simply that it is “away.”

    • Liz Flaherty

      Sometimes “away” is all you need. Nan and I can both attest to that. We run off a couple times a year, shouting “I love you” over our shoulders at our husbands and promising to be home soon. I hope you like the book, Roseann!

  • Cherie J

    I would love one in the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee but with all the amenities and within driving distance.

    • Liz Flaherty

      Someone else mentioned within a few hours, and I agree with that. I love the Smokies!

  • Angie M

    I would love to have a cabin on a small lake only a couple hours drive from home. I would love a daybed swing on a screened in porch where I would spend lots of time reading! Looking forward to the new book!

  • MinnieBoo Buher

    My lake cottage should be close enough that friends and I can drive there, but far enough away that it feels like a getaway. It should have a great view, lots of comfy porch seating and books. Lots of books! Oh, and since we’re dreaming here… no snakes!

    • Liz Flaherty

      Oh, absolutely no snakes! I’d just as soon skip mosquitoes, too! Thanks for coming by.

  • Cathy Shouse

    I’m so, so ready for another of your novels, Liz! For a lake cottage location, I’d choose Lake Pleasant in Indiana. We’ve rented a “primitive” cabin there for a week every summer for decades.

    I’d like for it to be modern (with A/C), have pretty floral pillows tossed on wicker furniture or maybe wood, and have a spacious deck. I’d like to inherit it like the heroine in your upcoming novel.