Nan Reinhardt, Author

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

Wednesday Check-in

March20
Mulching for Curb Appeal

It’s been a long week. We’ve spent nearly every day working on some aspect of getting the house ready to put on the market. Our dear brother-in-law came by to help us put down new mulch in all the gardens–fun because the dang mulch was frozen! Made for interesting raking, I’ll tell you. Husband is busy scrubbing the outside of the house and I’m inside packing up the last of the stuff that needs to disappear before we clean and stage. Painters come in next week to freshen up the bathroom and then the realtor will be here to move stuff around and make the place as appealing as possible. Then, the sign goes up and we see what happens. I’m hoping all of you will send lots of positive energy our way that the house will sell quickly and well. We still don’t know where we’ll end up, but that’s okay. Son and DIL have invited us to stay with them while we look for another house, so all will be well.

Over the weekend, we attended the celebration of life for our buddy Rich and it was a sad/joyful experience. Good to see how many others loved him as we did. Also, it was nice to get away for just a couple of days. I didn’t work or think about the move or make any lists. Instead we simply enjoyed one another’s company. On our way back home, we stopped by the lake house and checked on things. That was nice, too. The ice is off the lake and the Great Lakes gulls were taking a rest on the big floats down by the dam before continuing north.We’re more than ready for summer!

I’m working on Aidan’s book–after a couple of false starts, I finally believe I’m beginning his story where it needs to start–right in River’s Edge. My almost-pathological need to dump background into the opening chapters of a book slows me down every single time. Generally, I let the info-dumps go until I get a rough draft done, but this time, Aidan wasn’t moving, so I simply started again. That face is still Aidan in my head, so as long as he stays put, I’ll be good. Holly is a little bit harder and for some reason (we could probably check with Freud on this one), Holly’s mom, Melinda, is reminding me spookily of my own mother. However, that sorta makes her easy to write, so I’m going with it as long it’s working.

Today’s gratitude: Husband, who turned 70 on Saturday and just gets better; our buddy, Rich, whom we will miss every day, but we know he’s always with us; sunny days so we can get the house ready to go; Son and DIL and BIL, who’ve helped us with all this work; Liz, who keeps me sane or willingly goes along with the crazy–either way, I love you like a sister, my friend!

Until next week, mes amies, remember to hold your face to the sun, be grateful for all things, and love well.

~Nan~

Cover Wars!

March13

Happy Wednesday, everyone! The cover for A Small Town Christmas is currently in a cover war over Author Shout. We’re firmly in third place, but here’s the great news, you can vote every 24 hours! So I’d love it if you clicked over and voted for my gorgeous cover all week long! Merci, mes amies.

We lost our dear lake buddy, Rich, on Tuesday and we are heartbroken and bereft. He was a kind, generous, and charming man, who always had a smile. Cancer is so evil, and it has taken so many people from my life in the last few years. I know that, years ago, Rich would have died and we never would have known why, so I’m grateful for the medical advances that gave us a bit more time with him after his diagnosis. But, dammit, I want a cure now!

In other news, I restarted Aidan’s story, book 3 in the Four Irish Brothers Winery series–my first start was all background. I see this new beginning as growth as a writer. Previously, I would’ve waited to trash my first two chapters of info dump until after the first draft was done.

Gratitude is important right now because my life is currently full of chaos and gratitude reminds me to breathe. Today I’m grateful for my dentist, who does good work and acknowledges my fears, Husband, who is working so hard to get to our new life, Rich and Moe, who are dear friends, Son, who came over immediately on Tuesday just to hug us when we told him about Rich’s passing, a good time with Liz, Kristi, and Ava over the weekend–writerly friendships are such a gift!

Until next week, mes amies, remember to hold your face to the sun, be grateful for all things, and love well.

~Nan~

I Can Do This

March6
living room

I’m writing this on Fat Tuesday–we’ve been running moving-type errands today, getting ready for the movers to come tomorrow to pick up what Fred, our mover, (he rocks!) calls “the declutter load.” We’ve emptied closets, packed box after box, bin after bin, taken down photographs, and packed away tchotchkes and beloved knickknacks in an attempt to depersonalize our home in preparation for staging it and putting it up for sale.

It’s been…freeing in many ways but also bittersweet, and I’ve discovered that there is no way to neutralize this house. It’s been too lived in, too loved in. Our rooms are cozy and warm and inviting, so I’m counting on that vibe to sell this place. The yard is huge and the trees provide shade for us and sanctuary for the critters who’ve made their homes in our woods–deer, groundhogs, raccoons, foxes, and birds.

We heard our owl the other night, and we wondered together whether we’d hear owls in our new home, wherever that may be. We’re hoping for some good-sized trees in a much smaller yard along with a smaller house all on one level. I’ll miss my little garret at the back of the upstairs, but a new sunny office will be lovely, too.
Husband will miss mowing on his lawn tractor, but a smaller yard means less upkeep, less work. and maybe a chance for a couple of tomato and pepper plants. We couldn’t keep a garden here because the critters think we planted it for their feasting pleasure. Over the years, we tried everything to discourage them, including an electric fence, but when a squirrel bit the wire and electrocuted himself a few years back, we gave it up and decided to buy our fresh veggies at the farmer’s market or get them from dear brother-in-law, who has a bodacious garden in his backyard.

New Shutters!

So, we’re getting there and some of the huge tasks that seemed insurmountable just two months ago are done–new shutters are hung, the old boat is on its way to boat heaven, the brush out front is cut, and the purging is nearly complete. We don’t know yet where we’ll end up, but there’s more pleasure now in the idea of moving and that’s a good thing.

As always, mes amies, remember to hold your face to the sun, be grateful for all things, and love well.

~Nan~

Wine, Writing & Romance

August29

What’s more fun that doing a book-signing at a winery? Not much. My writing BFF Liz Flaherty and I did just that on Saturday and we had a ball. The good folks at Whyte Horse Winery, in the little lake town where Husband and I have our cottage, opened their doors to us and our readers. We had wine and snacks and books and wine and lemonade and wine and did I mention we had wine? It was wonderful getting to meet readers and answering their questions about writing. Our husbands acted as cashiers while we sold and signed books. Good buddy Maureen was a lovely hostess for us, setting up cookie trays, greeting guests, and inviting them to fill out a slip to win the tote full of goodies we were giving away.

A delightful reader named Terri (she’s the second one from the right on our picture above) won the tote and all fun stuff in it–wine, wineglasses, wine charms, apple butter, apple and wine kitchen towels, earrings, books, a candle . . . lots of cool things for her to remember our event by. It was so fun to see our readers, who were mostly strangers to one another, bond over wine and romance novels. Another big score for love . . . and wine!

All in all, it was a very successful day and Liz and I both appreciated the opportunity to introduce readers to our current books and the new ones we have releasing soon! Not sure when our next event will be, but I’ll keep you posted! Until then, as always, mes amies, remember, hold your face to the sun, be grateful for all things, and love well.

Nan

Cover Reveal!

August3

Wow, am I in love with this cover for my new novel, A SMALL TOWN CHRISTMAS, coming October 29 from Tule Publishing! Isn’t this gorgeous? Here is final version of the back cover blurb:

Four Irish Brothers Winery

A romantic new series by USA Today bestselling author Nan Reinhardt

Winemaker and single father Conor Flaherty is determined to make this Christmas holiday special for his daughter even though his family’s winery, Four Irish Brothers, is facing some challenges.

High-octane Chicago attorney Samantha Hayes is looking forward to some delicious food, fine wine, small town charm, and a break from her hectic big city life when she agrees to do a favor for her boss and help his younger brother with a lawsuit that’s been slapped on his family’s historic winery in River’s Edge. She’s not expecting that her sexy new client will have a smile that will melt her heart and remind her that there’s more to life than work.

Sam falls hard for Conor, his daughter and the small, friendly town, but can she trust her instincts and risk her heart? Sam hasn’t seen a lot of happy-ever-afters in her life, but Conor and the magic of Christmas make her want to believe.

I’m so jacked up about this book and this series! It’s my first Christmas romance and it was a ball to write! Can’t wait to share it with all of you! Sean Flaherty’s story is next–stay tuned for book 2!

Until next time, mes amies, remember, hold your face to the sun, be grateful, and love well.

Nan

posted under Four Irish Brothers Winery, Gratitude, Tule Publishing, Writer's moments | Comments Off on Cover Reveal!

Getting Older or Better?

June3

Seems like this year, June is going to start out with an emotions overload. Yesterday was sister Kate’s birthday. She’d have been 67 and we lost her way too soon. I was so counting on becoming feisty senior citizens with my sisters, like my Nana and her sister Alice. They were so funny and got on one another’s nerves and loved each other with all their hearts. I thank God I still have PJ to make those kinds of memories with–we’ve promised each other we’ll live to an old age and drive each other crazy.  I’m counting on you, PJ!

Today is the celebration of life service for my friend and neighbor, Bon–she passed in April (another victim of evil cancer), but her family decided to have the service today on what would have been her and David’s 56th wedding anniversary. I confess to wishing they’d simply had it back in April because Tuesday is the first anniversary of Dee’s death and I’m already feeling bereft at the thought.

But you know, I think there’s a chance that this may be the new normal for me because I’m getting to the age where friends die. People are living longer because medical science is keeping diseases like cancer at bay longer and we are better at taking care of ourselves. The fact is, though, that I’m almost 65 years old and that’s senior in anyone’s book. Right now, I feel old because my body hurts from switching up my exercise and my arthritis is screaming at me, but I don’t want to be old. Well, not old and sick anyway.

So to answer the question in the title of this post–I think I want to get older and better. I want to be that fascinating old lady that people want to get to know better because man, she’s a little crazy and a lot of fun. I want to write romantic books and swim in the lake and go boating and play with the Grandboy and enjoy Husband and Son and DIL and my friends. I want to find a place to volunteer this winter and be of help to someone other than myself. I want to learn more about everything and taste some different wine and learn to cook some new and exotic dishes. I’m not done yet, not nearly done. Yeah, I’m getting older, but I’m also getting better . . . and that’s okay. That’s okay.

 

 

Staying in the Moment

March30

On Wednesday, I posted this to the Word Wranglers blog–take a minute and read it. I’ll wait here.

Are you a Phubber?

Oh, good, you’re back! Then today I read this article on a phenomenon called “phubbing,” which is the habit of snubbing someone in favor of a mobile phone. We’ve all done it. Some of us do it. I tend to do it most at breakfast because I’m tracking my food on my WW app or checking points for food or… okay checking to see what’s coming in the mail and yes, okay, checking Twitter and Instagram. I don’t have Facebook on my phone because I was spending too much time there. Starting to think maybe Twitter needs to go, too…hmmmm.

Then last night, I caught myself looking at my phone while I was sitting across from my sister at a Maundy Thursday gathering at church. She said something to me and I looked up from my phone and had to ask her to repeat it. She didn’t say anything about the phone, but the look on her face clearly said, “I’m here, whoever’s texting you is not.” She may not even have been thinking that, but man, oh man, that’s what I saw. So I turned turned off my phone, dropped it into my purse, and focused. I focused on my sister and the meal we were eating, I focused on the service, which was beautiful, and I focused on helping bring warm water for the feet/hand washing. I shared communion with my tablemates and passed the peace with my fellow worshippers. I sang. I prayed. I helped clean up. I didn’t touch my phone again until I got into my car in the parking lot, where I turned it on long enough to text Husband that I was on my way home. The beauty of that service and the joy of the fellowship stayed with me all the way home and then I was able to share it with Husband.

Yeah, there’s a lesson there. Be in the moment. Enjoy the here and now because this particular moment isn’t ever going to happen again. Nothing on Twitter or texts or Instagram is as important as what’s happening right in front of me. Or as important as anyone I love.

Gratitude for today:

  • Last night’s service
  • Spring is here, but I could do without so much rain
  • Writing
  • Reading
  • Husband is done with the taxes

 

 

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Gratitude When It’s Hard to Be Grateful

March12

I gave up being dissatisfied for Lent and man, oh, man, is life ever testing me on that one. It’s been a tough week–Son is trying very hard to finish up his PhD thesis in preparation for defense next month, their house is in serious disarray as the contractor gets the kitchen remodel finished up, and we had a terrible tragedy in our family. My niece’s daughter died of an overdose last week. At 24 years old, her life was sad and spiraling downward due to addiction and bad choices, but no one deserves to die so young. We are all heartbroken for her mother–I can’t imagine the pain of losing a child.

Amidst all this, I’m thinking that all I want is to move–and yes, slapping myself each time I get the urge to check Zillow for houses closer to Son. How selfish is it really? He’s moved to the same town we live in after 15 years of being 2000 miles away, so a 30-minute drive is nothing. But I’ve been wanting to move to a different area and to a one-story house for quite some time, so this is not new, but it’s also not the time, and the longing for it sure doesn’t make my Lent promise any easier.

However, in January, I committed to a year of peace, a year with no big decisions, no major changes, no life overhauls. We need a year where nothing happens. We need twelve months of simply living and enjoying the here and now. Then, maybe we can figure out what we want to do next. So, the Lenten sacrifice of dissatisfaction is key here. I think when I find myself being dissatisfied with anything at all in my life, I’ll simply stop for a moment, take a deep breath, and do a couple of rounds of gratitude.

To that end:

  1. Son is nearly done with his thesis!
  2. I’m one-third of the way to finishing my first novel for Tule Publishing.
  3. In another month, we can open the lake house–yay!
  4. Grandboy is always such a little charmer–that face…he’s so precious.
  5. My niece has lots of support from friends-she will survive this.
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Late for Lent

March1

Well, Ash Wednesday was a couple of weeks ago–on Valentine’s Day this year, which was kinda interesting. Anyway, usually, I post during Lent about what I’ve given up and how that’s affecting my life. I’m late to posting about it this year because I committed February to featuring authors of Seasoned Romance on the blog, and it didn’t seem fair to shove in with my own stuff. But the blog is mine again.

I did give up something for Lent this year, but it wasn’t wine or social media or chocolate. This year, I gave up being dissatisfied. That may not sound all that courageous, but trust me, I’ve been spending a lot of time lately feeling sorry for myself. I recognize it and I hate it, but I do it. So on February 14, I committed to being happy right where I am. I have everything I need–not everything I want, but that’s a dark and frustrating path to head down, so I’m just not going to do it anymore. Well, at least not until after Easter. Then all bets may be off, although I hope not.

I’ve let the things that aren’t going right in my life overwhelm my appreciation for all the things that are going right. In the interest of maintaining my Lenten promise, I’m not going to list the things I’ve been struggling with for the past couple of years. Instead, each time I post during Lent, I’m going to name five things that I’m very satisfied with–things in my life and circumstances that make me unreasonably happy or even just mildly happy. Sometimes, yeah, I may be typing the list while I’m gritting my teeth, but, by golly, I intend to be joyful this Lenten season.

So, things that fill me with joy today:

  • Husband. After almost 45 years of marriage, he is still the heart of my heart.
  • Son and Grandboy and DIL–the loves of my life and what joy that they are now living so close!
  • Sister PJ and Brother Bud. We have history and it’s so important to have at least one person in your life who’s known you your whole life. Those people becom fewer and fewer as we grow older. I still have two.
  • My dear girlfriends–you know who you are. I couldn’t begin to find joy without you all.
  • Writing, which fills up a place in me that cannot be filled in any other way.

I’m at USA Today!

September27

Yup, I really am at USA Today–today, actually! Hope you’ll stop by and check out the interview that Joyce Lamb did with me. It was so much fun! We mostly talked about my writing, but there were a few other kinds of questions as well. I hope I came off as the professional I try to be. Let me know what you think, okay?

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