Nan Reinhardt, Author

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

Celebrating Mom’s Way

May10

I was just in the kitchen putting baked beans together and it occurred to me how much of my Mom’s way of doing things I’ve brought to my own adulthood. Like, for instance, baked beans. Mother was always horrified at the idea of dumping a can of baked beans into a pot and warming it up right from the can. Instead, she drained the beans, put them in a casserole dish, added barbecue sauce, mustard, a chopped onion, and brown sugar. Then she placed two strips of bacon across the top in an X and put them in the oven. She baked them until they were dry enough that when you spooned them up, they didn’t drip. I can smell those beans right now because that’s exactly what I just did a few minutes ago, and the scent of brown sugar and bacon and tomato-y bean deliciousness is filling my house as I write.

When I iron shirts, I start with the collars and sleeves because that’s the way Mom did it. When I make iced tea, I use four Constant Comment tea bags and four regular tea bags—guess where I learned that little trick. Mom. I make boiling water pie crust rather than ice water pie crust because that’s what Mom did and it’s much better that way. And Mom always poured milk over hot cereal, so when I got married and realized that my husband didn’t use milk on oatmeal, my first thought was, “how weird.” Because wasn’t Mom’s way the right way to eat oatmeal?

But, it’s not just household things that I brought from Mom, I also brought some of my parenting stuff—like reading aloud to my son practically from the day he was conceived until well after he learned to read himself, and teaching him to play Scrabble almost before he learned the alphabet. Hey, it’s a great way to learn to spell, right? Mom always made us try three bites of anything new on our plate—my kid had to do the same. When he was irritated or frustrated or just plain pissed, I’d send him to his room for ten minutes of pouting, then he had to talk it out. It was Mom’s best technique for keeping four kids from each other’s throats, and it kept my only child from becoming distant and closed up.

Some of  my own pleasure preferences were also hers. I’m a huge fan of board games. So was Mom. I’d rather be on Lake Michigan than almost anywhere else on the planet—that love of the lake is from Mom. And along with that, give me a lake to swim in over a pool any day—Mom taught all of us to swim in Lake Michigan. Also, she could sing all the lyrics to every musical ever produced on Broadway from 1949 to 1979.  I’m embarrassed to confess, so can I. Camelot, My Fair Lady, West Side Story–name a musical and I’ll sing you a song from it. You’ll be sorry because I can’t sing worth a damn, but by god, I know all the lyrics.

In some ways I’m not at all like her—I’m not very outspoken, I’m not very bold, but I’m trying. I’m more tightly wound and I need more structure in my life than she did. I’m a much better money manager. And I don’t have her frustrating ability to make the most unreasonable thing sound perfectly reasonable. I can’t tell you how many times I walked away after trying to best her in an argument, then realized, “Hey, wait a minute! That’s the dumbest thing I ever heard.” I can almost see her smirking now… But I think she’d be proud of who I’ve come to be since her passing, the small business owner, the mom, the grandmother, and probably most important, the writer. Mom always believed I would be a famous writer one day, but I think she’d be pleased with my mid-list author status.

Several years ago, I would have been appalled if someone had said to me, “Wow, you remind me so much of your mother.” I didn’t want to be like her because she was different and different scared me. But now, a little wiser, a little more aware, I see what a treasure she was and how much she influenced every area of my life. And you know, once in a while, I look in a mirror and there she is… and you know what else? It’s not so bad… as a matter of fact, it’s kind of comforting.

I love and miss you, Mom. Happy Mother’s Day.

The Famous Sister

March25

I love that I’m currently ranked #33 among all of Amazon’s Best-Selling Contemporary Romance Authors–what a wonderful feeling that is! My sister, PJ, teasingly refers to me as “my famous sister,” which I find delightful and hilarious because although I treasure her pride in my writing, I’m hardly famous. I’m simply a midlist romance author, although I do have a small cadre of loyal readers to whom I owe any success I can lay claim to. My publisher, Tule Publishing, has added to that group and I’m ever always grateful to the team there who work so hard on my behalf.

But I have to tell you honestly, as I sit here in my jammies and my hoodie, sipping a cup of coffee, and going through editorial revisions on my next book in the Four Irish Brothers Winery series, I don’t feel all that much like a celebrity. Revisions are hard work. Finding just the right degree of tweak is a tricky business. I love this book. It’s probably my favorite of all the books I’ve written, and that includes Once More From the Top, which has long held that position in my heart. But I know that my editor’s comments are valid ones and that she is simply helping me make this the best story it can be. So, I persist…

In other news, we have chosen a title and a cover for Brendan’s book that I’ll share later in the week. It’s just as beautiful as the other Four Irish Brothers Winery covers, so I’m delighted as usual with the great work that Lee Hyat does for all of the Tule Publishing authors she works with.

We’re all good here–staying in mostly, except for walks around our neighborhood where we are all avoiding one another by crossing to the other side of the street as we pass. Big waves, lots of distance. Been doing Skype and FaceTime with sister PJ and with Grandboy, who read us the story he’d written this week. He’s doing fabulously well with his creative writing and storytelling. I love that he likes to write!

We’re also watching a house finch build a nest in the wreath on our front door. It’s been fascinating to see her progress. Can’t wait for her lay eggs in it. We’re sharing picture with Grandboy and he’s getting a kick out of watching with us virtually.

Speaking of famous authors, I’m so grateful for gChat, where I get to spend time with my writing bestie, Liz Flaherty, each day! She keeps me sane and grounded, and is always a willing shoulder to cry on and listening ear. Although we became friends fairly recently as besties go, I can’t imagine my life without her in it. If you haven’t read any of her books, now’s the time. Click her name above and you’ll end up at her Amazon author page. Pick a book, any book, and discover her marvelous voice!

Take heart, mes amies, as we make this journey together. I truly believe all will be well. Remember to be thankful for all things, hold your face to the sun, and love well!

~Nan~

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Hunkering Down…Really?

March17

Right off, this is not news for me–I’m a freelance editor. Lock-down has basically been my life since 1996. I work from home, I write at home, I’m pretty much at home about 70% of the time. However, the whole idea that I have to stay at home is new to me and frankly, it’s kinda bugging me. I keep thinking of reasons I need to get in the car and go somewhere. If this self-quarantine thing wasn’t happening, I’d be merrily working away, needing nothing. Go figure. Here’s the thing, though; this isn’t really terrifying me. We needed a reset in this country, maybe this is the start of it. If we take good care of each other, we’ll get through it and come out better people on the other side.

Ingredients for Husband’s chili

We did go to the grocery store this morning for essentials–produce mainly, which was pretty much wiped out at our Kroger, although they were restocking when we arrived. We got bananas and couple of other fresh items, scooted down another couple of aisles for coffee and filters, then hit the checkout. Folks were gracious and chipper. Nobody was filling their cart with dozens of anything. Except for some empty shelves, it was a normal day at the Kroger. Then we went by Costco and filled the car up with gas at a price that we hadn’t seen in years. Husband is making chili today, which means it will be a good day.

Brendan’s story coming up

I intend to continue my life–working on clients’ projects, writing, getting ready to do promotion for Book 4 of the Four Irish Brothers Winery series. My cover should be coming along soon and that’s when I’ll do a title/cover reveal for Brendan’s book. Man, do I love these characters and this story. I don’t know why it’s so close to my heart, but it is. I think maybe because for the first time since I’ve been writing these brothers, the story took over and basically told itself. I’m sorta on pins and needles as my editor reads it and I’m hoping she loves it as much as I do. Hold a good thought, okay?

Stay tuned here for news about River’s Edge. I’ll be doing a post with updates about the citizens there. Sound like fun? In the meantime, stay well, be grateful for all things, and love without ceasing.

~Nan~

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Happy New Year…

January1

…and may 2020 bring all of you joy and peace and happiness. I know so many folks are doing a word for the year or making resolutions. I’m not. I’m simply going to make an effort to move forward and enjoy the journey.

I am making some commitments. Not resolutions or huge lifestyle changes, but rather commitments to myself. One to take better care of me in all ways, but mostly by being more mindful each day. A commitment to finishing a book and getting a new series started. That means I need to step away from social media for a bit. I’m not going full-on hiatus, but I am going to cut my Facebook and Twitter time down to once a day. I know that means I’ll miss some things and if I miss something important from you, I’m very sorry. But I am way too distracted by social media and the best thing I can do for myself as I work is to simply stay away.

I’ll be checking in here frequently each week–not sure how many days, but I’m hoping it can be my place to process stories and life in general. I hope you’ll all stop by and join me. I’ll be rethinking the social media hiatus the first of April, and who knows? I may not be able to stick to it. We’ll see, won’t we?

In the meantime, my gratitude for this first day of a new year and a new decade overflows. A few of the multitude of things I’m so thankful for in my life are my family, Husband and Son and Grandboy and DIL and sister…and all the folks who are in my family; my friends–in particular Liz, Moe, Connie, Di, Har and my other lake pals, my church friends, and friends old and new that I’ve found on Facebook; our new house; my writing and my publisher, who always supports me; my health–although I’m getting older, I’m still strong and pretty much healthy and when I’m not, I’m very grateful for my doctor.

My wish for all of you is a peaceful 2020, full of joy and hard work if you’re looking for it and the fulfillment of your dreams. Remember to hold your face to the sun, be grateful in all things, and love well.
~Nan~

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New Week; Big Gratitude

November11

This is the start of a brand new week and although I haven’t done my gratitude days for a while, I have a really good reason for my absence, which will be revealed here one week from today. In the meantime, let’s talk about…whatever.

Right off, what the heck happened to fall? I mean, the leaves started changing, we had a few brisk days and suddenly, oh my gosh! It’s winter–like below freezing temps and snow! Now, I’ll grant you, the snow didn’t stick, but the temperatures in the 20s and teens sure did! Leaves are falling off the trees like crazy up here at the lake and poor old Husband nearly froze his bum off taking the boat around to the launch to pull it for the winter. However, it is now safe in storage and we are heading in the direction of getting the cottage ready for winter as well.

I’ve been crazy busy getting ready for the release of Christmas with You–book 3 in the Four Irish Brothers Winery series. That happens November 21 and then the Book Blast with Goddess Fish Promotions happens December 2 through 6. There’ll be fun prizes and giveaways during that week, so stay tuned and watch for announcements on Facebook and Twitter.
I gotta tell you, I love this story. Aidan is such a great character and Holly grew stronger and became quite a good woman by the end of the story. It’s fun to watch your characters develop as you write their story. Character arcs are probably the best part of creating a story, although setting runs a close second. Well, and secondary characters are a blast, too. I guess I love everything about writing.

Speaking of writing, I’ve got something new brewing in my head that I’m hoping will turn into a proposal for my publisher. It’s something different than I’ve ever written before, but I think I can pull it off. I have a friend who writes this genre (nope, it’s a secret until I see if my publisher is interested), so I’m going to contact him and process the idea with him and get his opinion. We’ll see…

So for now, that’s the news that’s fit to print. Be sure to check back here next week for big news! Can’t wait to share it with y’all! Until then, gratitude for this week is my family, my friends, time to write, changes coming together for the good, and always, my readers, who keep me focused on what’s next.
Remember to hold your face to the sun, be grateful for all things, and love well. ~Nan~

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Day 9: Gratitude and Happy Birthday to Tule!

September9

It’s my publisher’s 6th birthday! Tule Publishing has officially released 600 books and been in business for six years! Here’s to many more years of publishing wonderful stories by lots of great authors (me, too!) and to me having a long career with Tule!

Well, no new houses to see, although our portal keeps getting new ones posted. Just not our house. We looked at two that were not our house, so I’ve decided to try to adopt a zen attitude–if it’s the right house, we will know it when we see it. I just can’t spend too much more time with a house-hunting knot in my stomach.

Edits on book 3 arrived and after a long talk with my editor, I stopped crying and started working on ways to develop Holly. She needs developing. So that is my mission for the next couple of weeks. Hold a good thought, okay?

Gratitude for today:
Oatmeal for breakfast
Lovely 3/4 moon tonight
Finished Kristin Higgins’s new book Life and Other Inconveniences–excellent read!
Saw a whole yard full of gladiolas today–they were exquisite!
Iced tea

posted under Four Irish Brothers Winery, Gratitude, House Hunting, Musings | Comments Off on Day 9: Gratitude and Happy Birthday to Tule!

Promo Is Scary

June5

I’m deep into book promo for Meant to Be, Sean and Megan’s book in the Four Irish Brothers Winery series that I’m writing for Tule Publishing. It releases on July 18, but is currently available for pre-order. I confess I’m not a good self-promoter. (However, I can stick a convenient link into a blog post with little trouble.) Most of the writers I know aren’t good at it. Promotion means coming out of our little writing caves and interacting with the reading public. I wish I could describe how intimidating that is.

Although when I’m with my tribe, I’m pretty outgoing, I don’t do well with crowds of strangers, whether physical or virtual. I’m getting better as I get more experience at promo, but all in all, I’d rather write. Fortunately, for me, I have a great publisher, who really promotes my work and encourages me to do the same.

So, I’m hip-deep in it–creating graphics, contacting book bloggers, coming up with giveaway ideas, paying promoters, and just generally marketing the heck out of my newest story. Here’s hoping it all pays off big for the Four Irish Brothers Winery series. Hold a good thought, won’t you? And hey, if you haven’t pre-ordered MEANT TO BE yet, slip on over to your favorite eBook retailer and click. Sure would appreciate it!

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

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Almost There…

May22

Well, we’re about 24 hours from closing and soon our home will belong to our buyer. We’ve worked hard to infuse as much love and joy into that house as we can, and if it’s true that homes have feelings, he should be all warm and fuzzy by tomorrow evening.

As for us, we are warm and fuzzy thanks to Son and DIL and Grandboy, who have welcomed us into their home and created a lovely temporary resting place as we look for a new house. Son made me a little office space, there is a wet bar that is our “kitchen,” and the bedroom and private bath are cozy and comfortable. We’re settling in, but we don’t want to get too comfortable. We’d like to try to find a house before summer is over.

Last night, Grandboy and I had a lovely time singing made-up rhyming monster songs when I tucked him in and we cuddled for a few minutes. He’s such a sweet soul, much like his mom and dad. All in all, we’re exhausted, but okay. I think we’re going to take a short break and try to regroup, then begin the house hunt. A few days at the lake will help immensely, I’m sure, plus a couple of writer buds are coming by next week for a writing day, so that will be fun, too.

Our routine will be back in force as Sunday we serve communion at church and I’m back to work with editing gigs and writing on novel 3 for the Four Irish Brothers Winery series for Tule Publishing and get ready for promotion for book 2, which releases July 18. A cover reveal and pre-order should be coming up soon! All in all, we survived the house selling and moving to storage… the next steps are pure adventure.

Gratitude for today: Son, DIL, and Grandboy–how generous and gracious they are! Good friends in our mover and realtor, who’ve had our backs through all this and continue to be there for us. Gracious clients who’ve stood by as I’ve had to stop work briefly during the actual move. All the folks who’ve helped or offered to, specifically Moe, who packed like a trooper and Terri, who cleaned with us yesterday. Merci, mes amies!! And all praise and glory to God, who has kept his hand of protection around us and listened to my weepy prayers and imprecations. God is good.

AUTHORS with HEART READER GIVEAWAY

Remember that the Authors with Heart 2019 giveaway is happening right now! Stop by and enter to win one of eight great tote bags filled with lots of fun goodies! Click the link above to enter!

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

~Nan~

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Wednesday, Yes! Wednesday Check-in

May1
Our lilacs in the front yard

I’m actually getting this up on the right day, aren’t you proud of me? Well, don’t be because I should be writing on book 3 for the Four Irish Brothers Winery series or working on editing gigs. However, yesterday was somewhat of a victory, so I’m celebrating by keeping to my planned schedule.

We got the garage and attic decluttered! YAY! Sent a truckload of stuff with the Fire Dawgs–a great group of guys who take care of junk for people who’ve lived in a house for 35 years and collected…well, a lot of stuff they no longer need. Our attic is empty for the first time in 35 years and the garage is officially ready to pack for the movers. The Fire Dawgs were amazing–quick, kind, efficient, and understanding. We really appreciated their hard work on our behalf.
As we watched them drive away, Husband said, “We never could have done that ourselves.” That may not sound huge, but for him to confess that something was beyond him is more than huge. It’s acceptance of help and he’s getting better at that throughout this process. I’m really proud of the way he’s been able to release some of the hard work to others. If you’re married to or know an engineer, you’ll understand how difficult that is for him.

We’ve had such great help as we’ve made this journey–Our realtor, Lynn, from ReMax Ability has been our salvation, and our mover, Fred, from Guardian Relocation is the best. Both of them have shown such consideration and care for re-homing these two old empty-nesters. We can’t imagine having done any of this without them. It’s wonderful to have thoughtful, caring people on your team–hugs and assurances of “We’ve got your back,” have helped us more than they can imagine. I’m still a wreck and probably will be until the closing is done, but each step we finish means, as my pal Liz Flaherty keeps telling me, another big sigh of relief. And Lynn keeps telling us the fun part (finding a new home) is coming. I’m truly ready for the fun part!

So gratitude for this week, all the good folks helping us along this very new and different path; support from dear friends and family; my faith, which keeps me tethered even when I feel adrift; Tule Publishing and their support for my writing; and lilacs–my lilacs are blooming and they are lovely and sweet.

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

~Nan~

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Wednesday, Okay, Thursday Check-in

April18

I didn’t think it was possible for life to get busier, but it has as we draw nearer to closing on the house and moving. So much to do and so many things to think about! However, all that stuff doesn’t mean I’m excused from my copy-editing gigs or writing. I have deadlines on both, so I’m still deep into Aidan and Holly’s story and the work that I’m contracted to do for my clients. Yesterday, though, I did some work in the yard and it was lovely to be completely mindless for just a couple of hours.

Be sure to grab my pal, Liz Flaherty’s holiday novella, The Dark Horse at a special price today–just 99 cents! It’s part of a fun boxed set and is there really a wrong time to read a holiday romance? (Bonus: It’s also in Kindle Unlimited!)

Gratitude for today: Husband, who is my rock always; Son and DIL, who’ve been so gracious and generous as we’re making this transition; our realtor, whose knowledge and kindness is holding us up; the green in our yard reminding me of what a beautiful place we’re sharing with our buyer; a chance to work in said yard yesterday and give it a little extra love for the new owner.

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

~Nan~

posted under An Editor's Life, Four Irish Brothers Winery, Gratitude, Liz Flaherty, Musings | Comments Off on Wednesday, Okay, Thursday Check-in
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