Nan Reinhardt, Author

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

40 Days…


keep-calm-and-live-lent-2I always give up something for Lent–well, I have for the last twenty or twenty-five years anyway. It’s my little stab at doing something and sticking to it for a specified time. I can honestly say that I’ve always succeeded at it, too. If I vowed to give up chocolate or wine or sweets or . . . whatever for forty days, I did it. I think there was a little part of me that worried God would strike me with lightning if I backslid or cheated. I don’t know, but I’ve always been very faithful to my Lenten sacrifice.

However, this year, I wondered what would truly be a sacrifice–I’m already working very hard at eating well, so giving up something like chocolate or wine wouldn’t be all that much of a sacrifice. I make my living on the Internet, so I can’t give that up or social media which, although I wouldn’t mind a break, is also vital to my life as an author. I need to stay connected if I want to stay in front of people as a writer.

I thought and thought about how I’ve spent my energy and where my head has been and what I’ve done in last year and a half, and I realized that a real sacrifice for me would be to give up the knot in my stomach. Crazy? I don’t think so. That knot has been there for months . . . over a year and a half of almost continuous worry.

Worry over son, concern for Grandboy and DIL, grief over sister Kate, and worry about how sister PJ will ever get along without her and whether I can ever be the sister to her that Kate was. Worry over my career, as publishing is going through a sea change and editing gigs have ebbed and flowed. Fear that I’ll never be a decent enough writer to warrant attention from a publisher, and a huge fear that I won’t be able to earn enough as an editor/writer to pay my own health insurance costs. Worry over Husband as he retired and started a new phase of his life–our lives–and wondering how me continuing to work would affect his retirement.

Worry over my friends and the fact that they’re losing their parents and ones who are dear to them. I really want people to quit dying. Worry over my health, worry over Husband’s–we’re fine, but getting older and stuff is starting to creak now and again. Worry over Connie and her fight with breast cancer and Di and her fight with breast cancer and Sheila and her fight with lung cancer (which sadly, she lost last month). Why is there so much cancer and illness in the world? Worry that I’m probably going to have to have knee replacement and what if I have a heart attack or what if Husband does or what if Son’s asthma kicks up again? What if I can’t stop crying if I really let myself wail and howl over Kate dying . . . What if God is disappointed in me because I worry so much and never really let go and let Him handle the worries?

The list is endless and the knot is ever-present–it’s a part of me, always reminding me to worry about . . . something. But this Lenten season, I’m going to make every effort to give up that knot, banish it, dissolve it, make a conscious choice to stop worrying about all these things over which I have no control. To truly let go and let God.

I’m not certain, but I think there’s a chance this might be harder than giving up chocolate . . . however, I’m vowing to try.

Welcome, Liz Flaherty!


IMG_0750   Hey, Nan! Whose turn to drive is it? Mine? But it’s your car, right? Oh, we’re blogging, not doing a girlfriends trip. Okay, here we go. Thanks for having me here, by the way. I brought wine…

Hi! My name’s Liz Flaherty. Nan and I are friends, good ones. We write together, travel together, moan to each other in long poor-me texts we’d never let anyone else see, and travel all over Indiana to have lunch together sometimes when it’s been a while. We are, we say, sisters from different fathers—and mothers. We are kindred spirits.

We sound like the oldest of friends, don’t we?

But we’re not.

I’m not exactly sure how long we’ve been friends—several years now—but in the short list of my BFFs, her name was added last. Doesn’t make its spot any less firm, but the ink is darker.

Which brings me to telling you about Summer in Stringtown Proper, the love story of Molly Linden and Joe Rahilly—the banker from New York City and the carpenter from Stringtown Proper, Kentucky. She’s divorced, he’s widowed, and neither of them is in the market for a relationship. Of any kind. They’re done. They’re fifty and not the least bit interested in starting over again.

But then they meet.

It’s fun to have made such a good friend at Nan’s and my…er…experienced ages. Part of that fun is the unexpectedness of it that comes with differences; the laughter-laced meshing of city and country, my bigger family and her smaller one, and her ability to work at night while my brain says buh-bye after noon.

This is also the fun of writing about protagonists who are grown-up…and then some. Who aren’t in their first rodeo—they’ve loved before and chances are good they’ve loved well. They have kids and grandkids and retirement accounts. They’re probably not all that career-minded anymore and if they are it may very well not be their first career.

They don’t expect to meet anyone who makes them feel “it” again, who they lie in bed and think about, and who gets their blood moving in all kinds of delicious ways. They don’t want to be in love again because they know no matter it comes to an end, it’s going to hurt. It’s going to leave a mark, a big one.

But, like a friendship that happens unexpectedly, falling in love when you’re not looking for it is wonderful. It’s the kind of story I love to tell.

SummerinStringtownProper_Liz FlahertyBlurb:

Banker Molly Linden never expected to be alone and unemployed at fifty. Buying hunky carpenter Joe Rahilly’s saloon takes care of the employment situation, but she’s still alone. Or is she?


They finished the dishes in silence. When she let the water out of the sink and turned her head to meet his gaze, he was waiting. His hands grasped her forearms gently, pulling her to him. Fitting her into the lines of his body in a way that made her knees shake and the saltines in her stomach swell and flutter.

“You, too,” he said. “You laughed about martinis—you wouldn’t have done that a month ago.”

She wouldn’t have. She’d have resented being teased about what he perceived as snobbery.

“A month?” She looked at the clock on the wall as though it would tell her how long she’d been on the Ridge. “Have I really been here a month?”

“No, actually you’ve been here six weeks. Not that I’m keeping track of you, but Dad said this morning he and Sadie were going out to celebrate their six-weeks anniversary tonight.” He held her closer, and she felt his heartbeat. Strong and steady. “Makes it our anniversary, too, doesn’t it? I held you that day, too. When we danced three times. Remember?”

“I do.” She shrugged, just a little lift of her shoulder. “Sort of. I wasn’t remembering things too well by the time the reception was over.”

He snickered. “Wine from the Ridge got you.”

“It did,” she admitted. “But I remember that I liked dancing with you.” This was flirting. It was fun. In younger days, she’d have thought it was a little dangerous, something that might get in the way of whatever goal she’d set for that particular time. But now, today, it was delicious.

“Me, too. With you, I mean.” He dipped his head to hers, taking her mouth. And keeping it. Teasing at first, then not so much.

He touched her, his hands first on her back, then on her hips. He held her ever closer, but didn’t push. Didn’t demand. Didn’t…oh, God, his mouth was wonderful. Had she ever in her life been kissed like this?

“I don’t remember,” he murmured against her lips. “Are we to second base yet?”

Laughter rippled between them like a musical balm, and she rested her forehead against his shoulder. She had thought she would never trust anyone with her heart again, yet here she was getting ready to…oh, hell, steal second base and hurtle on to third if he was asking.

“Can I take you home?”

She didn’t want to go home, even to the safe haven that was Sadie’s house. She wanted to stay here in his arms, where she felt more alive than she’d felt in…years. God, yes, years.

But life wasn’t that way. Not real life. In real life, her cellphone rang from the table before her, its dirge-like ringtone the one she’d assigned to her mother’s number in a what-the-hell moment.

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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…



Guns . . . Really?


peanuts christmasI’m freaked out. Someone behind us is shooting something huge–like a cannon or an anti-tank weapon or something! At first, it sounded like a dump truck dropping its bed too fast, but we’re convinced it’s a weapon of some kind. Ack! I’m so not a gun person and for some reason, guns have become a big thing for people around me.

A lot of people I know–people I wouldn’t have expected–have gotten into having guns lately. One person in my family is going to the shooting range (Ack! The cannon just went off again!) to learn to shoot the new pistol that her husband got her for Christmas. Points for learning gun safety, but yikes, I don’t want to be around folks carrying concealed weapons. I realize that silliness of that statement because “concealed” obviously means I won’t know if they’re carrying . . . don’t expect this to make sense. It’s an unreasonable fear.

I know that my fear of guns stems from my own bad experience of being held at gunpoint when I was taken hostage in a bank robbery forty (yes, forty!) years ago. I pretty much got over the trauma of that experience, but I still hate guns and I still am not crazy about being inside a bank. I do the drive-up when I go to the bank unless I absolutely have to go inside. So, no guns for Nan–don’t ask me to see them, don’t tell me you have them, please, please don’t let me know you’re carrying one.

Our neighbors to the north are big shooters and we hear their various and sundry weapons going off pretty frequently, but this is the loudest one yet. Headphones work if it’s clearly going to be an all-day event, but I wish like anything that shooting wasn’t their sport of choice. (Cannon fire again.) Not sure what the point of this blog is, except that I needed to post and this is what is on my mind. That said, I’m going to put on my headphones, turn up Rod Stewart, and get back to my editing gig.

cam at disneyOh, and I truly did look at images of guns, but I just couldn’t do it–too creepy, so my pictures are of some things that makes me happy…unlike guns…which do not make me happy. ;-(

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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!

Wednesday Gratitude in Michigan


01a3099d42d93b25d834f1a1e0c913b563f097845fYeah, I missed yesterday, but I’ll be double thankful today. Here goes:

  1. Lovely hotel room here in Muskegon–gorgeous view and so very comfy.
  2. Having that “I’m home ” feeling here in west central Michigan.
  3. Showing Liz all the places I love so much.
  4. White River Light station.
  5. Chocolate (random, I know, but I’m enjoying some fudge we got in Pentwater today and it’s really good).
  6. I wrote last night–made some decisions about where to go from here–feels great!
  7. Shilled our books to some ladies at a fruit stand today–could mean some sales.
  8. Gorgeous watching the kite boarders today.
  9. Swimming
  10. I remembered more than I thought I would…things haven’t changed all that much.

Monday Gratitude


This list is easy–it’s been a lovely day and I am feeling particularly blessed.

  1. The car did great as we traveled today and I figured out why Gigi–the GPS–wanted to take us down all the country roads. It was actually a treat.
  2. Liz and I are very companionable and travel well together.
  3. Gorgeous hotel in Muskegon–amazing staff and a beautiful big room.
  4. Son is doing well and seems happy. That’s always a blessing.
  5. Lake Michigan is so comforting–it is home.

01e615a97bf0f88ef764611f766a62ab5ba650ee84 018feff2d45d6aa7bdfc7a91e8188cce881c23ff0e

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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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Nan Reinhardt blogs regularly about writing, editing, romance, and family. Talk to her, or follow her on Twitter.


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