Nan Reinhardt, Author

Grown-up love stories, because we're never too old for a little sexy romance…
Browsing The Women of Willow Book

I Did It . . . And I’m Still Doing It


me-writingMan, I’m amazed. I did it. Twenty-one days, I hauled my happy butt out of that nice warm bed, trotted right to my office, and sat down and wrote. I didn’t stop to make coffee or get dressed or check email or social media. I wrote. Final word tally for three weeks is just over 22,000 words.

So, what’s the takeaway? First of all, I can do it—I can write. That’s a biggie because I’d pretty much convinced myself I was no longer much of a writer. Life got in the way and I let it. I think that happens to all of us, don’t you? Illness, death of a loved one, finances, jobs, family responsibilities, housekeeping—it all distracts us. And of course the first thing we allow to drop off our plate is the one thing we love doing the most. Is that a woman thing or a human being thing? I’m not sure, I should probably get Husband’s take on that one, although now that I think of it, I see Son doing the same thing. He’s overwhelmed with work, family, caring for a home, being a husband, parenting a young child, trying to finish up his PhD. Music, which he loves, gets done in spurts instead of every day. It’s not a priority. Pleasure’s the only reason to play guitar, so it can wait. It must be an adult thing . . .

Second, I’ve wondered frequently in the last couple of years whether writing is worth the effort when I’m so frustrated with ads and promotions and trying to figure out ways to get my books in front of a larger audience without spending a small fortune. In May, at Spring Fling, I pitched the Women of Willow Bay to some traditional publishers and every single one requested to see a full of the first book, synopses of the other two, and a proposal for the rest. So far, I can’t say the results have been very spectacular. One editor turned the series down, although she repeatedly told me how “wonderful” my writing is; another is mildly interested in the last two books that I haven’t put out as an indie yet; and publisher #3 has pretty much ignored me. But you, know, after twenty-one days of writing every day, I can say that yes, it’s worth the effort. So, I’ll probably try some other publishers while I’m writing Sarah and Libby’s stories. I’m even considering a Christmas novella for next year so I can tell Jack Reilly’s story as he graduates from Julliard and goes out into the world. Who knows?

And third . . . yeah, there is a third, but it has nothing at all to do with writing. It has to do with proving to myself that I’m not losing my ability to focus and commit, which is something that I’ve worried about since Dee got sick and David died and CL was diagnosed with breast cancer, and Kate died and my body has started to sometimes feel like it’s ninety-three years old. For the past couple of years, sticking to anything except work has been hard. I’ve promised myself so many different times that I was going to maintain a diet, an exercise regimen, a housecleaning schedule; that I’d go to the gym regularly, that I’d swim in the lake or walk the shore every day, that I’d get on my bike or get the damn gardens weeded every week or . . . well, you get the picture. But it wasn’t happening and I was feeling more and more like somehow, I’d lost control of the disciplined person I once was. Well, she’s still in there—go figure, and I’m doing a little internal squee that she hasn’t abandoned me completely.

Can I keep it up from now on? Maybe. Dunno—I guess we’ll just take it day-by-day. That seems to be working out so far . . . at least it has for the last three weeks. Thanks for sharing this journey with me.

15 Days and Counting . . .


print-booksA quick report on the 21-Day Writing Challenge that I’m doing in between editing gigs, blogs that need to be written, last-minute IRWA Retreat duties, physicals, flu shots, laundry, getting the lake cottage ready for winter , cleaning the city house . . . aw, hell, there’s no cleaning going on. At this point in time, I’m lucky to be getting laundry done and meals made. Good news is that I’ve written for at least an hour every single morning for the last sixteen days, averaging about 800 to 900 words a day. It feels so good to be writing. I don’t know if what I’m writing is complete crap, but I’m not stopping to edit, I’m just pushing through. The story is there and it’s coming. We’ll worry about revisions when it’s done.

irwa-logoI’m crazy excited about the IRWA Retreat coming up in less than a month! Liz and I are in charge this year and we’re doing something different. We’ve gotten a great response from members with about 24 registered for the event–sure hope they like what we’ve decided to do!

Well, I’m off to edit and then edit and then edit some more! Glad for the work though, it pays the bills. Plus, I’m very grateful to be editing fiction almost exclusively now. The books are fun!

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Checking In . . .


21-days. . . with my 21-Day Writing Challenge. It’s Day 10 and I have gotten up every day between 6 and 6:30 a.m. and written for at least one hour. Sometimes I get so involved that I’ve written for an hour and a half without realizing it. I’m surprised I’ve made it halfway through without missing a day–that may not sound like much of accomplishment, but given the chaos of the last couple of years of my life, it’s big stuff. Altogether, I’ve managed to get down 9,625 new words on Sarah’s story–an average of about 800 words each day–which brings the story to a little under 14K words. Given that a month ago, I was telling Lizzy that I was sick to death of the Women of Willow Bay and wanted to write something brand new, I don’t think that’s too shabby.

At first, getting up was hard–as I said before Husband is warm and cuddly and it’s still dark at 6:30 in the morning, but today was a milestone because I wanted to get up. I woke up thinking about the story and where I was headed next and making a mental list of some things I want to research when I take a break from work later on this afternoon. Could this be the beginning of a new habit? Who knows? But I remain hopeful. 😉

bob-dylanIn other news, congratulations to Bob Dylan for winning a Nobel Prize in Literature for his body of songwriting. That’s pretty cool. He’s only the second American to win a Nobel Prize for Literature–Toni Morrison was the other in 1993.

I got to Skype with my boys last night, which always brings me no end of joy–they both seemed happy and healthy and we giggled while Grandboy pulled out the contents of a goodie bag he’d gotten a birthday party at school. I love how four-year-olds are delighted over the smallest things. I think I need to work at being more easily delighted. Maybe we all should.

lawsThing that are delighting me today: New plantation blinds throughout the entire lake cottage–they look amazing! Dinner last night with Rich and Moe–good food and great fellowship. The sky is October blue this morning after yesterday’s rain and the air is crisp and very cool so I’ll get to wear a sweatshirt all day–nice! We’ve had fresh pears the last three mornings and they’re perfect and delicious. Right now, pears are my favorite treat.

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Just Musing . . .


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!

Lent Check-In . . . I’m Still Here


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!

I’m Going International!


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…


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!

Sunday Gratitude


This will be a quick post, but today has been so lovely, I truly need to acknowledge all the things that I’m grateful for, so here goes.

  1. My dear Husband, who got my car all ready to travel, made sure I understood how to get out the tire changing gear and how to jump the battery and most especially how to get a hold of OnStar if I need help on the road. Then he filled my tank and washed the car. What a great guy!
  2. cam at disneyTonight, we got to Skype with our little guy, who is full of energy and so excited to be talking to Nanny and Poppy.  He showed us all his Cars cars, each with a “Hey guys, look at this!” He got a giant kick out of he and Poppy both looking through their “noculars” at each other on Skype. He loves his binoculars and uses them to look at everything he wants to see up close. He also loved hearing about the big fish that I saw jump in the lake yesterday. Gosh, I can’t wait for Christmas!!!
  3. Talking to Son on Skype was also a treat and it seems as though their house reno is coming along at last! So happy for them!
  4. My dear friend, Moe, brought me an early birthday gift–a gorgeous leather bag/satchel for my computer or whatever I might want to carry. It is beautiful!
  5. I’m finally packed for my trip to MI–decided to try to dress for the weather, so I packed layers.
  6. An extra one–I made my goal for the MidList promotion! I sold some books!

Liz and I will be blogging over at Word Wranglers every day–we actually already started:, so head on over and join us on the trip. Come back here for some gratitude each day though, okay? Oh, and don’t forget to go by The Romance Review to nominate THE SUMMER OF SECOND CHANCES for the TRR Readers’ Choice award. I need at least 50 nominations to go on to the next round in the contest! Thank you always!

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The Romance Review’s Readers’ Choice Awards


The romance reviewToday begins nominations for The Romance Review’s Readers’ Choice Awards and my book, The Summer of Second Chances, has qualified to be nominated in the Romantic Suspense category. I’m so excited to be chosen by TRR, but now the rest is up to my readers. I hope all of you will go to to nominate The Summer of Second Chances. If I get at least 50 reader nominations, I move on to the final round and could be chosen as TRR’s Readers’ Choice romantic suspense book for Winter 2015. Nominations need to be made between September 11 and September 30, so please buzz on over, register, and nominate The Summer of Second Chances as your choice for the TRR award, won’t you? I sure would appreciate it!

Nancy's MI trip 053I’ve been a crummy blogger, but next week, I’m going to get a lot of practice in as Liz Flaherty and I take to the road and blog our writing trip to Michigan. I’ll continue to post my gratitude list here and maybe some other thoughts, but starting September 14, head on over to Word Wranglers for all the details about our trip. I’m sure we’ll include lots of pictures and it should be fun!

Gratitude list for today:

  1. It’s coming on autumn, days are getting shorter and cooler.
  2. Spent an easy morning with Husband doing errands.
  3. Saw three huge monarch butterflies in the Costco parking lot–gorgeous!
  4. Got to be #1 on an Amazon Bestseller list for almost a whole day–nice!
  5. We have a new Word Wrangler coming on board and she’s one of my favorite clients and a super writer!
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print booksThey’re here! My Women of Willow Bay series is now available in . . . dut da da da . . . print! YAY!! This is a photo of the proofs I received earlier this week (we had some issues we had to work out and we did), and very shortly I should receive a box full of the real thing (things?). Anyway, they’re available at Amazon, so if your fondest Labor Day wish is to have Once More From the Top or Sex and the Widow Miles or The Summer of Second Chances, or (gasp!) all three in print, hurry over there and order them. And thanks always, from the bottom of my heart, for your support!

Today I’m thankful for:

  1. A long chat with Son last night—he’s okay—he’s good, in spite of being overwhelmed with school and finishing up his PhD. He has no idea how much time I spend in prayer over him . . . or maybe he does.
  2. My books are in print!!
  3. The big editing gig is through the hard part, all that’s left is author review–I love this client!!
  4. Swimming in the lake.
  5. Lunch with Liz today!
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