Nan Reinhardt, Author

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

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~

Writing Retreat Day 2

February19



We are in our second day of writing retreat and we think we deserve great thumps of “good job, girls” on our backs. Because we have written, yes, and also because between the two of us, we’ve only bought one pound of fudge and two bottles of wine. No clothes. No sweatshirts proclaiming our whereabouts. We’ve eaten well—we always eat well—talked about everything from character development to eye shadow colors (neutrals work—who knew?), and slept well on the beds in the boutique hotel where we ended up staying.

I am homesick, of course. It happens every time. Nan rolls her eyes when I admit it, but then she calls Jim, so what does she know?

Strictly from a writing point of view, I can’t say enough about the value of a writing retreat. While it’s true it’s fun to spend good-friend time, having someone talk you off the ledge when you absolutely know the book you’re writing is a piece of crap less than stellar is priceless.

We’ve discovered over the years that we are absolutely splendid at naming each other’s characters, that she can beat me at Farkle, and that we share an affinity for fuzzy socks. We have a good time and the annual or biennial getaway days serve to deepen the friendship.

It’s a time for dialing down whatever has us being stressed and dialing up things that make us laugh. While a writing retreat is a valuable tool for getting work done, it’s even more important in its curative treatment of mental health issues.

Good to talk to everyone. Hope you’re having a great week.

Liz, feeling mentally healthy as all get out. 😊



Writing Retreat Day 1

February18

It’s a little before 8 p.m. and Lizzie and I are already settled in our cozy room and we’ve both written a good bit since we checked in around 3 p.m. It’s been a nutty day. Right off, it is cold! Like winter serious cold!

Our reservations were at a state park inn and we couldn’t check in until 4 pm, so we had lunch at this fabulous restaurant here in Nashville, IN — just fantastic food! An amazing cream of chicken soup with spinach and artichokes. Man was that ever tasty! The restaurant is part of an inn here in the heart of town–The Artists Colony Inn. It’s very pretty.

While we were eating, we got a message from the state park inn telling us, we thought, that the heat was out in the hotel. We checked with desk clerk at the Artists Colony and got a price for a room just in case the heat didn’t get fixed by the time we checked in at the state park. As it happened, we misunderstood and the heat was out in the pool, not the whole inn, but the inn was overrun with kids, literally! Not sure why so many kids were there, but honestly, we couldn’t see how we could possibly write there. So we decided not to stay and instead made our way back to The Artists Colony and checked in.

This is a lovely place–our room is charming with quilts on the beds and lots of fun antique-y style furniture. We’ve settled in nicely, opened the wine we bought at Cedar Creek winery earlier in the day and are bouncing ideas off each other as we write. A perfect beginning to the writing retreat.

I’ve gotten a good start on Aidan’s story–used a fun device that I hope will work at the beginning. Not sure yet, but the story’s already moving along. Liz is doing great on her story, too. We’re kickin’ it! Hold a good thought for both of us. More tomorrow.

Retreat!

February17

It’s Sunday morning and I’m still covered up with work, but I can see the light at the top of the heap finally. I’ve been focusing on editing gigs and packing up the house, so I haven’t written a word on Aidan’s book yet. However, I’m in full discovery mode and have even written a synopsis for the story, so I’m already ahead of the game on the book. Now it’s just down to writing, which will begin tomorrow when Liz and I get to our retreat.

I can’t wait for our retreat time–I think we both need the girlfriend time, the writer buddy time, and the away time. I always write well on retreat, so I’m hoping this one is no exception. I’m looking for my muses for this book–Aidan Flaherty is a blond, and not as brawny as his brothers–more arty and lithe, but sexy and very fit because he plays a cop on TV. I’m thinking maybe Max Lloyd-Jones. He’s got my Aidan vibe–sexy, but friendly… hot, but approachable and fun… how about this guy? Max Lloyd-Jones? He’s pretty much got my vote.

For Holly, I was a little stumped until I came across this Australian actress, Adelaide Kane. She’s got the look I’m going for–innocent, yet wise and a little cynical. She’s had a rough start and is a little envious of what appears to her to be Aidan’s dumb luck.

So, here are my new characters–hold a good thought for the story, which will be a Christmas book and even includes a young boy, who will be the catalyst for Aidan and Holly’s story.

Liz and I will blog our retreat here, but don’t get too excited–we tend to mostly write on these shorter adventures, so there may not be too much to report. Hold a good thought for decent weather and safe roads, okay?

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

~Nan~

Holiday Romance with Liz Flaherty

October11

Know what’s great? Having a BFF who is also a romance writer because it means I get first peek at all her books, plus I have someone to process stories with. Someone who really gets it when I’m stuck and thinking I’m the worst writer ever. It’s good to be that person for her, too! Today, I’m celebrating the release of that person’s newest novel. Liz Flaherty’s The Dark Horse: A Christmas Carousel Story is part of the 12 Days of Heartwarming Christmas series of holiday novels and it is a wonderful, touching story.

Liz graciously agreed to share an excerpt:

This isn’t a scene between the hero, Row, and the heroine, Chloe; rather, it’s between Row and his best friend. And it’s pretty close to my favorite. You need to know that there are four foster kids at stake here, two boys and two girls. And remember, this is Christmas Town, where love always finds a way.

Shoe was in Germany. Even though he didn’t remember exactly how many hours the time difference was, Row knew his friend would wake when his phone rang and that he wouldn’t be happy about it.

He wasn’t.

“Unless you’re terminally ill or at the airport needing to be picked up, you have to hang up and call back at a reasonable hour.”

Row laughed. He thought he’d missed Shoe’s James Earl Jones growl as much as he missed the man himself. “Would you have married Tatiana if she hadn’t been in love with you?”

“I’d have married Tatiana if she’d been in love with you.”

“She was, brother. We just didn’t want to tell you.”

Shoe chuckled at the old joke, his voice becoming more wakeful. “I don’t know that she was in love with me or even if I was in love with her then. She had a lot on her plate, being a single mom in medical school. She liked me and I loved her little boy, I had a steady paycheck and a car. I wanted to be Isaac’s dad more than I’d ever wanted anything—even more than I’d wanted to fly Black Hawks. So we got married.”

Row knew, simplified as the telling of the story was, that it was also the truth. He must have asked Shoe a hundred times if he was sure of what he was doing before he’d stood up with him in the Vegas wedding chapel. “What about now?” he asked, although he knew the answer to that one. He just liked hearing it.

“She’s the air that I breathe, man, and these kids? These kids are my reward for becoming a grownup. Did I tell you Isaac is starting on the basketball team here? As a sophomore? His mom is so proud.”

“I know. You’ve told me a dozen times. Too bad you’re not a little proud yourself.”

Shoe yawned hugely. “Now, since people are going to wake me up for church pretty soon, why don’t you tell me why you called so I can sneak in another half hour of sleep?”

Row told him. He talked about Connor and the music in the boy’s soul. He told about Chloe’s face when she sat with a sleeping toddler in her arms. He tried to explain how if felt sitting next to her on the couch or in his car. He said no, no, he wasn’t in love, just seriously in like—and he was worried about the Michaud kids. Big time.

Shoe laughed a lot from the other end, and then he said quietly. “Remember when we’d fly into places we weren’t sure about? We’d say a prayer and go in, because if we just hung there in the air, all we’d do is run out of fuel and get embarrassed when we fell out of the sky. I’ve waited a long time to hear that tone in your voice that Chloe seems to have put there, so go in, Row. Don’t wait to fall out of the sky.”

They ended the call then. Row sat on the loveseat in the guest house’s miniature living room, sipping the beer he’d poured from a growler when he’d come home after helping Chloe carry the little girls back upstairs at her house. He’d kissed her at her front door, held her gaze for a long time, and kissed her again.

It had been a long day and he was exhausted. But enlivened, too. He picked up his phone again and called his father. “Are you disappointed about not being a grandfather?”

Mr. Welcome hesitated. “Yeah, I guess I am. Are you thinking about making me one?” He chuckled, and the sound fell warm on Row’s ear. “I’ll take two of each.”

Liz is a multi-published author with Harlequin, The Wild Rose Press, and Carina Press. She has three grown children, the three they married and brought home to her, and the Magnificent Seven grandchildren who are, you know, magnificent. She and Duane live in the same farmhouse back a lane they’ve been sharing for 40 years and hope to share for…well, probably not another 40, but a long time more. She also hangs out with me–our 3-hour lunches are the stuff legends are made of. She’d love to hear from you at lizkflaherty@gmail.com or please come and see her at http://www.facebook.com/lizkflaherty

 

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

How Do You Text?

August14

This article from the Wall Street Journal made me smile because Samantha Hayes, the heroine in my new book coming October 29 from Tule Publishing has a “thing” about texting and how people do it. In A SMALL TOWN CHRISTMAS, the fact that Conor Flaherty, the hero, just uses texting for the utility of easy communication–no emojis, correct spelling and punctuation–is simply one more reason for her to fall in love with him!

My writing BFF, Liz Flaherty and I tease each other a lot about our excessive use of exclamation marks when we “chat” on Google each morning–we both do it. But I think we’re only trying to get a point across and show one another how we feel about any given topic. Oh, BTW, Liz’s new book, NICE TO COME HOME TO is available on Amazon and other book retailers.

Enjoy this article from the Wall Street Journal and then leave me a comment about how you feel about punctuation in texting and emails. Me? I’m kind with Sam on the topic, but I’m guilty of overuse of emojis and exclamation marks when I text . . . however, I do try very hard to spell everything correctly and OMG! I don’t use abbreviations like OMG and LOL and CUL8TR, especially not that last one! Ugh! LOL!

Let’s discuss. In the meantime, mes amies, remember, hold your face to the sun, be grateful for all things, and love well.

Nan

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!

 

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Author Event!

August3

I’m so excited to be doing an author panel/book signing with three other fabulous writer on Saturday, August 5. Kathleen Thompson, Liz Flaherty, and Cheryl Brooks and I are going to be there talking about writing romance and taking your questions. Then afterward, we’ll all be available to chat and sign books. If you happen to be in the Logansport, Indiana, area, we’d love to have you stop by the Logansport Library and join us for a lively discussion about writing and publishing and romance.

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