Monday, September 23

Nan Reinhardt and the Women of Willow Bay

The interview's a little different this week. For one thing, Nan's a great personal friend. For another, I've already read her books and loved them, which gave me some different questions to ask. I hope you enjoy meeting Nan and reading those answers. The buy links aren't here because the new books aren't out until September 26--Happy Birthday, dear Nan...--but don't forget them! For now, though, read on. Her bio and blurbs will be at the end. It's a longer post than usual, but I couldn't find a single line I wanted to cut!

Welcome, Nan!

LIZ: It's no secret to anyone that I love your books. I'm so thrilled for you (and me!) that they're almost out.

NAN: Thanks, Liz and right back atcha! It’s been a long journey for both books and revisions were hard. My editor was right, though—the writing is much tighter and better for having worked them over so much.

LIZ: Tell me about the music in ONCE MORE FROM THE TOP. Your own knowledge or research?

NAN: Um… yes. Both actually. My own knowledge, which came from being in band and orchestra all through junior high and high school, plus years of being married to a guy who’s very into classical music. He listens to it a lot and always has, so maybe by osmosis, I picked up some knowledge. I met conductor Michael Palmer when I was eighteen—he was married to my mom’s dear friend and was assistant director of the Atlanta Symphony back then. When we went to Atlanta to visit, I got to see him conduct. It was fascinating and conductors have held a special place in my heart ever since. I listened to a bunch of music before I picked the Haydn piece for Carrie—when I heard that concerto, it just drew me in. So I researched a lot of pianists playing it. If you haven’t heard it, Google the piece, close your eyes, and listen; it’s wondrous! Haydn’s Concerto in C Major.

LIZ: While we're at it, what about music camp? Are you an alumnus?

NAN: No, dang it! I wish I was. When I was in band and orchestra, I played the flute and the piccolo. Several of my friends got to go to music camp and one even went to a summer session at Interlochen. God, I was pea green with envy. We camped in that area of Michigan a lot when I was growing up and Mom took us to see Interlochen. So cool! Clearly, a lot of my subject matter comes from my childhood, huh?

LIZ: In SEX AND THE WIDOW MILES, I love the store Julie volunteers in. Tell us a little about it.

NAN: The store is a consignment/resale shop that’s attached to a shelter for battered women in Chicago. There’s one like it in the town I live in and the concept is such a terrific one, I couldn’t help being intrigued. Women who’ve left their abusive partners and have nothing but the clothes on their backs can go in and find something to wear at no cost. The shop also dresses the women for job interviews, which is where Julie comes in, bringing her fashion sense and a compassionate heart.

LIZ: Oh, the wine! And Tuckaway Winery. I drink whatever someone pours for me, but you KNOW your wine (which makes visiting you even more fun!) and we get to learn a little about it, too. Where does your interest (and Tuckaway) come from?

NAN: Well, my oenophile son would argue whether I know wine, but I know what I like. I started drinking real wine about eight or ten years ago after Son moved to the west coast. Real wine, as opposed to the killer sweet fruit wines you find in the grocery store—gosh, that sounded snobby, didn’t it? God, I’m a wine snob! Who knew? ;-) We’ve tasted wine all over the Bay area and northern California. I guess I’ve developed a little more mature palate now and I love, love to go wine-tasting. There are great wines all over the U.S.—even a wonderful winery in the little Midwest resort town where our lake cottage is located. Wine had to be a part of Julie’s life because it’s so much a part of mine. Tuckaway is an imaginary place—an amalgamation of several lovely wineries I’ve been to over the years.

LIZ: You're an editor, and yet I know if you're diving into the indie-publishing pool, you used an editor. What was that experience like?

NAN: Right off, let me say this—do not even think of going indie unless you use a professional copyeditor. Bad grammar, spelling, and punctuation are the #1 complaints I see in reviews of indie books on Amazon. Frankly, if a book has clearly not been through an editor, it’s a no-go for me. I can’t get into the story if the grammar and spelling are messy, but that may simply be an occupational hazard. Okay, off my soapbox.

I am so lucky because I happen to know Lani Diane Rich and Alastair Stephens of StoryWonk. I love her books and her work, so it was a no-brainer to turn to my friends when I needed the books edited. Lani did two brutal, but wonderful critiques before we ever got to copyediting. It was painful, I anguished a lot, but her honesty helped me turn these two stories into work I’m very proud of. She was the one who convinced me to go indie, rather than sending them out after I reworked them. It’s scary, but Lani and Alastair have been holding my hand through the whole process, giving me both virtual smacks upside the head and warm hugs. My crit partners Cheryl Brooks and Sandy James have been very supportive, too, since they’ve both dipped toes into the indie publishing pool as well. And you’ve been great, Liz, encouraging me! I thank you for that. This is really scary—a big risk, but I have faith in my books, so we’ll see what happens, won’t we?

LIZ: I LOVE your brand. Wax me some eloquence on it.

NAN: Well, the idea for Fine Wine Romances was sort of a collaboration between me and Lani—LIKE FINE WINE was the original title of SEX AND THE WIDOW MILES, but Lani thought it would work better as my brand since I’m writing about more mature heroines, so we switched it up. She designed the logo, which I love—after all, it’s wine! And you know, it feels great to have my own brand and to be releasing two new novels on my 60th birthday—September 26.

LIZ: Release day is also your birthday? What a great way to celebrate turning 60!

NAN: Yup, sure is! Sixty is a very tough one for me because my mom died when she was 60. For years, I’ve lived in fear of the same thing happening to me—genetics is a wicked bitch. So I decided to make turning 60 a truly wonderful event instead of cowering in my house waiting for the big one to hit. I think Mom would get a kick out of me releasing the books on my birthday—she was into always finding the good karma, and she believed in me as a writer long before I believed in myself.

LIZ: Well, I hope you're not going anywhere at 60! We have way too much drinking and laughing and drinking to do! But here we are at the last question, the one I ask everyone. What woman, living or dead, would you want to have dinner with? Where would you go? What would you talk about?

NAN: Wow, that’s an interesting question. Um… I think Gertrude Stein, but only if I could take my mom along, too, because she’d have so loved to have gone to Paris and she and Gertrude would probably be soul mates. Heck, they may actually be soul mates, who knows? <grin> We’d go to a little cafĂ© on the Left Bank in Paris, order Croque Monsieur and a bottle of good wine (maybe two!), and sit for hours talking. I’d love to hear about her life as an ex-pat during the 1920s and about all the wonderful writers and artists she knew. What was Hemingway like? Did you get to spend time with Cole Porter and F. Scott Fitzgerald? Was Zelda really crazy? How incredible it would’ve been to be there then!

You can find everything you need to know to buy Nan’s books at or visit her on Facebook at, or @NanReinhardt  on Twitter.


Hi, I’m Nan and I’m a writer of romantic fiction for women in their prime. Yeah, women still fall in love and have sex, even after 45! Imagine! I’m also a wife, a mom, a mother-in-law, and a grandmother. I’ve been an antiques dealer, a bank teller, a stay-at-home mom, a secretary, and for the last fifteen years, I’ve earned my living as a freelance copyeditor and proofreader.

But writing is my first and most enduring passion. I can’t remember a time in my life when I wasn’t writing—I wrote my first romance novel at the age of ten. It involved a love story between the most sophisticated person I knew at the time, my older sister (she was in high school!), and a member of Herman’s Hermits. I’m still writing romance, but this time from the viewpoint of a wiser, slightly rumpled, menopausal woman who believes that love never ages. After all, we all need a little sexy romance, right?

My first novel Rule Number One is available at and Barnes& The other two, which are the first novels in the Women of Willow Bay series, are being released exclusively at Amazon on September 26, 2013.

Visit my website:



What do you do when the one who got away… comes back?

Carrie Halligan never regretted the choice she made sixteen years ago to raise her son Jack by herself in Willow Bay, Michigan. A successful photographer by day, at night Carrie satisfies her musical passions by playing piano at a hotel bar, maintaining a balance that works for her and Jack. Walking away from Maestro Liam Reilly without telling him she was pregnant with his child may have been the hardest thing she’d ever done, but it was definitely the right thing.

When Liam shows up in town to perform a benefit concert with the local symphony, however, Carrie’s carefully crafted life spins out of control. After sending Jack to summer camp, she realizes she can’t keep Liam in the dark forever. Telling the truth to the man she once loved more than life itself isn’t near as hard as spending time in his presence and realizing that the years haven’t diminished his power over her heart. Will her lie be too much to get past, or will the spark of passion between them overcome everything?


His life ended. Hers didn’t.

Model-thin, beautiful, and aging gracefully, Julie Miles was looking forward to retirement with her husband, Dr. Charlie Miles, in their idyllic Willow Bay, Michigan home. But when Charlie dies of a heart attack, simply getting out of bed becomes a daily struggle. Desperate for a change of scene, she leaves her home to stay in her friend Carrie’s unoccupied Chicago apartment.

Her handsome and young new neighbor, Will Brody, seems to enjoy his assignment to keep an eye on her, and Jules can’t help but be flattered. She embraces life—and sex—again, until the discovery of a dark secret shatters her world once more. She knows her feelings for Will are more than casual, and he’s made it clear he wants her, but how can she ever trust a man again when her perfect life turned out to be a lie? Determined to get to the bottom of it all, Jules goes in search of the truth and discovers that there’s always a second chance to find real love.


  1. Nan! So glad you're here, and thanks for the great, great interview. I'm thinking maybe we should do TV next. :-)

  2. Hi, Nan! Thank you for being our guest today! I love music - all sorts - and Once More From the Top sounds like my kind of story. :)

  3. Great interview, Nan! Looking forward to helping you bite that indie-pub bullet on Wednesday!

  4. What a lovely interview. Congrats on the release of both books, and on your 60th birthday no less! What a celebration that is going to be...better stock up on a few bottles. ; )

  5. Happy birthday in advance, Nan! Best wishes on your releases. I'm sure thay're fabulous. Cheers!

  6. @Liz--Thank you for having me! I'm in for TV if you are, but only if we can have a bottle of Riesling close by! ;-)

    @Kristina--I hope you'll enjoy the music element in OMFTT--I had great fun writing it! Thanks!!

    @Cheryl--Thanks, partner! Can't wait for Wednesday--I promise you a wonderful lunch!

    @Robena--Thank you! Got plenty of wine at the ready for celebrating, baby!

    @Jim--Thanks for coming by! Looking forward to seeing you at retreat in Nov.

  7. Thanks for dropping by the Wranglers! Good interview!

  8. What a fun interview, Nan! I'm looking forward to adding both books to my TBR pile. Best wishes for lots of sales and Happy Birthday!!!

  9. Love your covers, excerpts and blurbs! And your heroines "of a certain age." I wish you much success!

  10. Hello, Nan. Lovely to meet you. I like heroines who have been around the block a time or two, and I've written a romantic comedy with one of those strong women. Going to grab one of your books and settle down for reading.

  11. @ D'Ann--Thanks! So glad to be here!

    @Mellanie--Thanks for stopping by, Mel and for the good wishes!

    @Ashantay--So glad you came by. More mature heroines are the only ones I can write believably, so that's what I do.

    @Joan--how nice to meet you too! Yeah,there's a lot to be said for experience, isn't there? Books come out on Thursday and I'm thrilled you're interested in reading them! I love your tagline--it's never too late to live happily ever after! Couldn't agree more!

  12. A huge Happy Birthday, Nan. Make it one to celebrate! Your books sound delightful. I wish you the best in the indie plunge. Barb Bettis

  13. I'm so excited for you Nan, both about the books and your birthday! I'm glad the day is ALMOST finally here because I'm so looking forward to reading both of these books.

    Are you doing ebook only, or are you also making print books?

  14. @ Barb--how nice to meet you here! Thanks for the good wishes!

    @Skye--Hey, babe, glad you stopped by! ebook only and and only at Amazon for the first 90 days, then onto the other platforms. Not sure if print will come along--we'll have to see how we do with ebooks first.

  15. Sorry I'm a little late to the party!
    Readers are going to LOVE this series, Nan!! These books are really something special!!

  16. Sandy, thanks so much!! You're never too late, my friend--glad you stopped by!