Nan Reinhardt, Author

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

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!

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.

So Far . . . I’m writing


me-writingI made a plan over on the Word Wranglers blog on Tuesday, I committed to getting up every day at 6:30 a.m. for the next 21 days to write for one hour. This may not seem all that difficult, but right now, for me, it’s huge. First, just making myself leave my nice warm bed, where my nice warm husband is sleeping, is really hard. I mean, it’s still dark outside and yes, yes, I’ve been spoiled by sleeping late since Husband retired. (And by late, I mean 7:30.) So that’s the first hurdle, but it’s not nearly so large as the second, which is butt in chair, hands on keyboard, and write.

Well, it’s only day 2, but so far, I’ve done it. Yesterday, day 1, I wrote for an hour and change and got 782 words down; today, day 2, I managed 1,026 words. They may not be great words or even good words, but they’re written. And right now, the goal is writing, not editing, not reviewing–just writing.   I’ve actually managed to stay away from Facebook or Twitter or Yahoo News or even my email box until after I’ve done my hour’s worth of writing. That may not sound all that amazing, but trust me, it’s an accomplishment.

I may have to get up even earlier if I’ve got stuff happening or a job to work on, which I do at the moment. But that’s okay–I can do this. It’s important that I do this. I’ve written five novels and published four, I know I can write, but it seems as if I’ve been unable to work up the gumption to do it since .  . . well, frankly, since Kate died. And I promise, I’m not using my sister’s death as an excuse not to write, but it’s been hard to focus on much of anything since then. Part of what I hope will happen with this one commitment is that I’ll get more organized, I’ll find a way to fit my whole day into my day, to stop being distracted by stuff that doesn’t matter, and to feel better about myself in general. We’ll see. . . I’ll report in here every few days just to keep myself accountable.

Oh, by the way, I’ve also managed to get in thirty minutes on the treadmill both days . . . something else I’ve needed. Hopefully, I can also schedule in an hour with Scrivener each day after the holidays. I’m trying not to overwhelm myself here . . . with work, time with Husband, going back and forth to the lake, cleaning two houses, and trying to see the people I need to see, my days seem to disappear unbelievably fast. Right now, it’s 11:45 on Wednesday morning and I’m still in my jammies and have no idea where the morning has gone. See? I really do need to get more organized. But, I’m going to do this as Anne Lamott says, “bird by bird.” (Thank you, Anne Stuart for introducing me to that amazing book!)

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Fall Is Here


fall at the lakeFall has always been my favorite time of year, maybe because I was born in late September and I think of myself as a fall baby. But since we got the lake cottage, summer has ranked pretty high on the favorite seasons list, too. This year, I’m kinda ready for cooler nights and crisp days, jeans and sweatshirts, and apples from the orchard, but I’m dreading leaving the lake. In about another month it’ll be time to close up the cottage for the winter, get the boat stored, and say good-bye to our lake friends. That’s the hardest part about shutting down our lake life–saying good-bye. I miss them all so much while they’re off to points south and we come back to the city.

One day, we’re going to be ready to get down to just one house and we’ll have to decide where that house will be. So many factors enter into that kind of decision. If we move to the lake, can two city kids make it in a small town that pretty much closes up in the winter? Would we miss the lake too much if we gave up the lake house to stay full time in the city? Man, I dunno. . .  The lake is beautiful even covered in ice. I think I’d love to live full time at the lake, although my life would certainly change to some degree. Shopping would be harder, but then again, I have to go pretty far in the city to get to a decent mall. There’s no symphony in the lake town, only one movie theater, and my denomination doesn’t have a church there. Plus, my friends and family are in the city, but the lake isn’t so far away as to make that a deal breaker. Lots of factors to consider and not a decision that has to be made any time soon.

I’m hoping that fall will bring more writing time for me and frankly, a greater desire to write. I have three different stories going right now and all of them are kinda stalled out. My brain can’t seem to focus and although I have lots of ideas, they just don’t seem to be coming out of my fingers to the keyboard. I’m thinking I might teach myself to use Scrivener this winter–it would be a good project for me and I would be writing as I was learning. I found some YouTube videos about the program, so I can watch those and maybe figure this thing out. After all, I spent $40 on it–I should use it.

I will be getting back to the gym as fall progresses–lake swimming is out of the question now that the lake has cooled down so much. I miss swimming, so the gym will take priority in the mornings soon. The weight is coming off again after a small gain this summer, which I attribute to just not being careful enough. We do drink more in the summer–it’s the old “I’m a social drinker and I’m with people all the time” thing, I think. 😉 We also drink more margaritas in the summer and even though they’re carb-free and sugar-free, they’re still 100 calories of tequila. And how on earth are you supposed to drink margs without tortilla chips and salsa? You get the picture.

I read an article aboutbreathe a month ago that talked about September resolutions–how they’re much easier than New Year’s resolutions because they’re inner resolutions. A fall renewing of your spirit and determination. I like that idea, just a quiet resolve to do better. The worrying thing will need work this fall–the knot is back, I think mostly because of the elections. That situation terrifies the tar outta me, but outside of voting, what can I do? Just live my life, love my family and friends, and try to do good where I can. Oh, and remember to breathe . . .

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I’m Blogging!


netflixJust a quick note to let you know that I’m up at the Word Wranglers today, talking about my Netflix addiction. Can anyone relate? Holy cow, for a person who really doesn’t watch much TV, Netflix has completely captured me. And frankly, this is the reason I stopped watching TV regularly–my addictive personality. When Son was a toddler, I was completely hooked on daytime dramas. Once I got the kid down for a nap, I’d watch Ryan’s Hope, All My Children, One Life to Live, and General Hospital right in a row, stuffing my face the entire afternoon. When I finally woke up and realized I was not only shortening my life, but also killing off my brain cells, I quit daytime TV cold turkey. It was hard, seriously. But I’ve never gotten hooked on a TV series again . . . until Netflix.

Now I’m trying to decide if binge-watching a series on Netflix is the same thing as spending every weekday afternoon glued to my television set, while drinking Pepsi and eating cheesy bread and cupcakes. Is it? I dunno. I only watch late at night or at times when I’m taking a break from work or walking on the treadmill, not at times when I should be doing other, more responsible activities. And I’m not eating while I watch, as a matter of fact, often I’m exercising while I watch. And I’m focusing on the story–the storytelling.

I’m rationalizing, I know, but part of how a writer learns is by (in my editor’s words) absorbing narrative. Part of discovery is watching movies and TV and reading voraciously. Netflix isn’t added to a bunch of other stuff I watch on TV every day, it’s the only thing I watch. So . . . well, I think I’ll just enjoy the fact that I live in world where I can watch Scandal on a screen I can hold in my hand. It’s a wonderful time to be alive!

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!

Deep Breath . . . And . . .


worrier yogaI’ve been doing it again . . . stressing. The knot in my stomach is present again in spite of just having spent ten days with our darling Grandboy. I can’t even say why it’s there, except that I think it has something to do with not writing. Oh, I’ve written blog posts and thought about my novels, but I’m not writing regularly, so there’s that space inside me that’s empty. And I know that if I fill it with stress and worry, my body and my mind will suffer. And at this point in time, my body is doing pretty well. I’m down about 25 pounds and the diverticulitis is well controlled–no pain–and the arthritis is doing okay. Some aches here and there, but if I move enough each day (and not too much), then I’m okay.

My mind is another story–everything is mushy. I’ve been feeling pushed and hurried, although I have no reason to be. All my focus has been on working–editing gigs are rolling in and I’m pleased as I can be about that and I’m really, really enjoying being the copy editor to the stars–several of my authors are very well-known and loved in the romance field. Plus I love working with the few indies I edit for because watching their writing grow is so rewarding. But I need to write! I want to write! So why am I not writing?

For one thing, I’m stressing about the state of the world–the state of our country. I’m angry about Orlando and I’m angry about politics and I’m angry about guns and I’m . . . just pissed! Which is not at all like me. I’m Pollyanna–I always find the good in everything. But I’m frustrated by the evening news and scared for our country and worried to death about what will happen in the November elections. It feels like we are a powder keg waiting to explode when someone tosses a careless match. I don’t like feeling this way . . .

Also as far as the writing is concerned, there may be a little bit of holding my breath happening right now because I’m waiting to hear from some editors about the Women of Willow Bay–something I’ll explain later when I know more. Suffice to say my career feels like it’s on hold. Like I can’t move forward with new stories because I’m in limbo about where the series and my writing life is headed. And yes, that does sound like a lame excuse. It is a lame excuse. So . . . I’m going to make an effort here. I’m going to blog here more regularly, even if it’s just a check in or link to an interesting article or a gratitude list. I have this great space where I can get some good writing in, I need to use it.

My gratitude for today: I’m grateful for the beautiful flowers in our perennial beds around the house–they’re lovely; for my friends who always listen, even when all I do is whine; a fresh mani/pedi; icy beverages and crisp salads; and a call from Son this morning–it always makes me happy to hear his voice.

Happy Mother’s Day



Today is my rogues’ gallery of family Moms . . .this isn’t near all the great moms I know, but they’re ones I love . . .


My mom in the late 1970s–love that smile!









My darling daughter-in-law with Grandboy–she’s one terrific mom!







pam and family

Sister Pam and her sons and daughters-in-law–she’s a terrific mom!





kathi dance


Sister Kate, who loved her kids and grandkids with all her heart and soul.

Das Brew

cam and me

Then there’s me, also a mom to a pretty terrific kid. You get a double dose of me because there’s also Grandboy . . . an old pic but still one of my favorites!











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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!

Lent Check-In


It’s been several days since my last check in, which is okay because I’m consciously not stressing about not blogging regularly. It’s a knot thing, you know? But here I am, reporting in.

We saw the doc on Wednesday–I really, really like her. She’s very reassuring without dismissing my fears and anxiety. She agrees it might be time to take a look inside me and verify that we are dealing with diverticulitis and how severe it is. Apparently there are other things we can do for it from different antibiotics that don’t wreck me all the way to having surgery to remove the offending portion of intestine. Hopefully, we won’t be looking at that, but I’m glad to be getting the scan to make sure there isn’t something more severe than diverticulitis going on. Her office is verifying with the insurance company and then we’ll schedule it. The knot has loosened slightly just knowing that we’re checking it out.

Today, we went to a funeral for the mother of one of our lake pals. His mom was 90 and had a good long life and had become quite ill, so her passing wasn’t a terrible tragedy except that she’s gone and there’s a hole where she lived in his heart. I know he’ll miss her and I wish so much he didn’t have to have that sorrow in his life. But it’s part of life, right? One of BFFs lost her mother-in-law this week too–another sorrow for another dear friend. This morning, we made a list of the people who’ve died in the last eighteen months. There were twenty! Twenty people I knew or who were related to someone I am close to are gone. That feels like a lot in a short time. Maybe it’s not . . . thoughts, anyone?

On the gratitude side, we’ve been reading our Lenten devotional each morning and enjoying our time together studying and praying. We’re using a study help that the pastor gave us–three questions to ask about our scripture reading. What does the scripture say? What does the scripture say to me? What does God want me to hear? Sometimes the answer to a couple of those questions is the same, you know? But we’re delving into the ways we share our faith and how we came to our faith, so it’s pretty interesting.

IMG955540Five things I’m grateful for right this minute: We got to see some of our lake pals, and even though it was for a funeral, it was so very good to get hugs and see them. I’m working on a couple of great books right now–one for a pub, one for an indie author–good stories, which is always a pleasure. We had a date last night–dinner and a movie, then we stopped and bought a bottle of pinot noir and enjoyed a glass together as we “camped out” in the lake cottage. we’re not officially open yet, so no running water because it’s still winterized, but we stayed there overnight anyway on our way to the funeral. We had heat and a warm bed and wine and each other, so no complaints. On the way home today, I wrote vigorously in my head on the new story and now I’m getting ready to work on it now. YAY! DIL sent Grandboy’s preschool pictures for us to pick from. Damn that kid is so cute . . .

So, the knot is ever-present, but relaxing some and to me, that feels like Lenten success at this point. Easter is about three weeks away and although, I don’t expect it to be gone by then, but I hope it will be looser, smaller . . . that would be nice.

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