Nan Reinhardt, Author

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

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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So Close…

March3

I’m soclose to writing THE END on Book 4 of the Four Irish Brothers Winery series–Brendan’s story. Very soon, I’ll have a title and cover reveal for you.

This series has been a ton of fun to write and I’m delighted my publisher and readers are loving the Flaherty brothers and the town of River’s Edge. In fact, my publisher has invited me to write another series that happens in River’s Edge, Indiana. So stay tuned! All your favorite characters–Mac from the Riverside Diner, Noah from the hardware store, Dot and Mary from the quilt store, Janet from the yarn shop, and many others old friends, as well as the whole Flaherty crew, will be back soon! You’ll also meet lots of new folks in the new series, including some awfully nice brothers who serve the town of River’s Edge.

I’m incredibly grateful for my loyal readers and for all the new readers who discover one of my books and then go on to seek out the others because one of my stories has drawn them in. I’ll keep writing. Y’all keep reading, okay?

Stay tuned here for news and release dates and cover reveals! In the meantime, remember, mes amies, hold your face to the sun, be grateful for all things, and love well!
~Nan~

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The Empty Bed Review

January28
Book 2 in the Burial Society Series

I was fortunate enough to receive a ARC of The Empty Bed, Nina Sadowsky’s latest installment of the Burial Society series, and wow, what a thrill ride! I both loved, and I confess, was sometimes confused by, the various POVs and settings, but that didn’t keep me from reading well into the night with a driving need to know what happened next, and isn’t that what a thriller is all about? Sadowsky’s artful prose takes you on an intriguing adventure with operatives from the witness protection program/detective agency she created previously in The Burial Society as three different stories intertwine in three different parts of the world. Another exciting read with characters who intrigue you, exotic settings that put you right into the action, and plot twists that keep you guessing right to the last page.

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Hibernation…

January11

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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It’s Release Day and…

November21
Christmas with You

…we have a new house! Life is good! Stay tuned for more pictures and details, but here’s the picture of the front of our new home. Thanks for all the prayers about everything from book releases to finding our perfect home!

Our New Home

We are bursting with gratitude! Have a great day everyone!!

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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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Book Blast Tour!

October28

I know I owe this blog about fourteen days of gratitude and one huge day of gratitude for something that’s in the works. I purposely haven’t posted here for a couple of reasons. One is that although I don’t really believe in jinxing something by talking about it, I’m reluctant to start celebrating before it’s time. So hold tight and I promise, there will be news. The other reason is just plain busyness. Life has been complicated and so overwhelming for the past couple of weeks. But I’m here now and with some fun news.

Goddess Fish promotions is doing a Book Blast Tour for me December 2 through 6 to help me launch Christmas with You, book 3 in the Four Irish Brothers Winery series. Would love to have you sign up to participate. They send you everything you need to post, so all you have to do is post it. Merci, in advance!

I’m working on book 4 of the series and a proposal for a cozy for my publisher. Hold a good thought, okay? Gratitude for today:
Our kids and how gracious they’ve been to let us camp out in their basement while we house hunt.
Grandboy, who is such a sweet, sweet soul.
My editing work has slowed enough for me to breathe deeply at a time when deep breaths are what I need most in the world.
Hopefulness about house hunting
The lake, which is often the source of peace.

Have a good day today, mes amies, and remember to hold your face to the sun, be grateful for all things, and love well!

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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