Friday, December 6, 2019

Introducing Christmas With You by Nan Reinhardt

I'm so happy to welcome my friend Nan Reinhardt here today. Don't forget to enter to win a fun prize!

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Nan Reinhardt will be awarding a set of six handmade wine charms and a $10 Starbucks gift card (US ONLY) to 5 randomly drawn winners via Rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.


She’s loved him all her life… but will he be there when she needs him the most?

Disheartened and adrift after being written out of a hit TV show, actor Aidan Flaherty returns to his family’s historic winery, where he’s invested some of the fortune he’s made. As the holidays approach, Aidan becomes intrigued with the old showboat that’s dry-docked just east of town… and even more intrigued with the daughter of his former mentor, who now owns it. He decides to buy the boat and restore it to its former glory.

Single mom Holly Santos is back in River’s Edge after her divorce and she is over men in general and actors in particular. If she could only get rid of her father’s old showboat, a source of fascination for her son, Mateo. She never expects her old crush to walk into her tea shop or the fireworks that happen every time they’re in the same room. Can Aidan convince her that he is determined to restore their shared heritage on the showboat and that he’s home to stay?

Read an Excerpt

“Are you done?” He choked out, also not moving back.

“I don’t know.”

“Well, decide, because I’m going to kiss you.”

“No, you’re not.”

“I’m pretty sure I am.” Aidan took a step closer, pressing her against the railing with his body and set his hands on the rail on either side of her.

Her eyes closed and he felt her trembling. Or he was. He couldn’t tell anymore. He was confused and aching. He lifted his hands and took one step back. “Leave, Holly, because I really, really want to kiss you, but I can’t if you’re not all in.”

Holly eyed him with suspicion. “I’m not sure I’ll ever be all in with you, Aidan Flaherty.” With that she reached up and put one small hand behind his head, tugging his face down to hers. Her lips touched his, gently at first, just a whisper of a kiss. When she increased the pressure, the kiss building in urgency, Aidan wasn’t confused anymore. He knew exactly what he wanted.

He pulled her into his arms, thrusting his fingers into the soft hair on the back of her head, holding her still for his mouth while she wrapped her arms around his neck. The flicker of desire that had started when she’d walked onto the deck began to burn inside him, and he slid one hand down her spine to her hip. She was so incredibly tiny, he was almost afraid to hold her.

Almost. But when she touched her seeking tongue to the seam of his lips, he opened for her, tasting coffee and butterscotch and some unique flavor that was intoxicatingly Holly.

My review: I can't say enough about this book! I love all of Ms. Reinhardt's books, especially the Flaherty Brothers series, and I'm not about to pick a favorite, but the setting of this one--a riverboat in a small Southern Indiana river town--captured both my heart and my imagination. The cast of characters is wonderful, especially the hero with the fedora and the heroine's delightful son Mateo. Seeing Holly, the heroine, grow as a human being, a mother, a daughter, and a woman in love is pure delight. I was lucky enough to get an early read of this book, and have been thinking about it ever since.

About the Author:
Nan Reinhardt is a USA Today-bestselling author of romantic fiction for women in their prime. Yeah, women still fall in love and have sex, even after 45! Imagine! She is a wife, a mom, a mother-in-law, and a grandmother. Nan has been a copyeditor and proofreader for over 25 years, and currently works on romantic fiction titles for a variety of clients, including Avon Books, St. Martin’s Press, Kensington Books, and Entangled Publishing, as well as for many indie authors.

Although she loves her life as an editor, writing is Nan’s first and most enduring passion. Her latest series, Four Irish Brothers Winery, includes A Small Town Christmas, Meant to Be, and the newly released, Christmas with You, all from Tule Publishing. Nan is busy at work on Book 4 of the series, as well as brewing a cozy mystery idea.

Visit Nan’s website at, where you’ll find links to all her books as well as blogs about writing, being a Baby Boomer, and aging gracefully…mostly. Nan also blogs every sixth Wednesday at Word Wranglers, sharing the spotlight with five other romance authors and is a frequent contributor the RWA Contemporary Romance blog, and she contributes to the Romance University blog where she writes as Editor Nan.

Word Wranglers:
RWA Contemporary Romance blog:
Romance University blog:
Amazon Author Page:

A Small Town Christmas:
Meant to Be:
Christmas With You:

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Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Kickin' the Habit by Debby Myers #WindowOvertheSink

They call it “Kickin’ the Habit.” It’s something I really haven’t tried too hard to do. My habit began the night my new boyfriend picked me up in his 1978 Mustang Cobra. Remember those? His had bright blue lettering. When I got in that car, I had that feeling. You know the one…damn, I feel cool! As we drove toward his house, he lit up a cigarette. My habit began.

In a few weeks it will be 40 years since my habit started. Forty years. It started with just a few cigarettes a few times a week. By the time I graduated, it was a few a day.

We had a big party the first weekend we moved into our place at college. Two roommates were sharing this great three- bedroom, two-bath, second floor apartment with me, complete with a balcony. It was at that party that I discovered they both had the habit, too. Great news! After all, living with a non-smoker would have made it more uncomfortable. They’d probably have made me go out to the balcony, even in the winter. People do that to you when you have the habit.

It was during that year that my habit grew into several smokes a day. I had been dating my boyfriend during that time. He had the habit, but only when he drank, which was often. We moved in together, soon learning we were expecting. We got married. I went to the doctor. She asked if I had the habit, but I lied so I wouldn’t get a lecture. I considered giving up the habit. I even slowed down. Yet I remembered the story about my grandma. She smoked non-filter cigarettes all the time. She had several children who all turned out fine. An excuse.

Soon after my daughter was born, my whole family was telling me it would be bad for her if I didn’t kick the habit. I used my grandma’s excuse. Plus, my own dad smoked, then my stepdad. They were all hypocrites. As my choices were really my own now for the first time, I made the first of many bad ones when I decided to continue to smoke. The habit had grown to a pack of cigarettes a day. I was 20, and it  has remained there since.

 I’ve had many friends with the habit over the years. I’ve also had many without it who have tried to talk me into quitting, telling me all the different types of cancer it causes, diseases, deaths. They must know I know all of that. I’d say, “The habit is very hard to break. Any habit, really. I have others. I bite my fingernails making, them look hideous, yet I love my toenails painted. For many years I’ve been addicted to sweet tea and Altoids.” They couldn’t argue with that.

Any habit is hard to leave behind because it’s the biggest form of change there is. I still don’t like change to this day. What would be the point of quitting now anyway? Isn’t the damage already done? So many excuses, 40 years’ worth.

One of the toughest challenges in defending my habit used to be defending it to my children. When my oldest daughter started to smoke, I didn’t know how to handle it. I, who handle all kinds of things with them, couldn’t handle this. They had all three seen me smoke since they were born. It was something else I’d been warned about. My grandma Betty would say, “Do you want them to have the habit because of you?” Ah, I could handle that when the time came. Not so much. Although I think the other two tried it, she is still the only one with the habit.

It’s funny how in recent years smoking has lost its cool. That was my original attraction, remember? The Mustang Cobra, the feeling…I do. Now you can’t smoke in so many places. Now I am frowned upon. Even by those who had the habit but were strong enough to break it. I’m a strong person, right? The problem has always been that I didn’t really want to. I like smoking. This time the excuse is that it relaxes me when I’m tense. Well, it does!

Heck, when I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, I found out one of the
causes was smoking. My neurologist saw on my record that I had been a pack-a-day smoker for 35 years. Like every doctor I ever admitted to about it, she told me I needed to quit. There are drugs now, patches, gum, support groups. She also told me she wouldn’t tell me again—it was my choice. My habit has become so expensive. I’m on disability now, living on half the income I had when I worked. Surely that $180 a month I spend on my habit would be better spent on paying my bills or buying food.

It was. It was my choice. Breaking my habit was now something I should really consider. My excuses just weren’t cutting it anymore. Smoking was doing all the things I’d been warned about and read about. It was affecting my health, my empty pocketbook, and one of my three children didn’t want me to smoke around his kids. My house, that I’ve lived in for 25 years, has smoke-covered walls and no matter how much air freshener I spray, it smells like smoke.

My mother-in-law had the habit, too. She is on oxygen 24/7 and suffers from emphysema. I might turn out that way, toosooner than I realize if I don’t quit. Now they have those commercials. You know the ones. I might turn out like them, too. So, I made that listthe one with the pros of the habit matching the cons. I knew before I did it what the results would be. I’d never considered quitting before. Maybe the time had come.

I’ve had the habit myself for 40 years, but I’ve been exposed to it since I was born. I still might turn out to have a disease. The damage might already be done. I still might die from it. Quitting would be one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I still might not succeed. Despite all of that, for the first time, leaving my habit behind is on the table. I finally want to “kick the habit.” January 1, 2020 is the date. Pray for my sanity! Pray for my weight (not to grow)! Pray for my husband!

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

His arm was WHERE... by Joe DeRozier #WindowOvertheSink

From Joe DeRozier. Thanks again, Joe. We all love the stories we share. And Happy Thanksgiving to all from the Window!

With Thanksgiving around the corner, I wanted to share a story about my youth, during this... my favorite holiday...

  My brother and I were always early risers, but on this day, Thanksgiving  day, mom and dad were already in full production mode.

  I would jump off my top bunk bed, inevitably knocking something off the shelves.

  Dave and I would race down the narrow hallway.  Our feet would feel the cold seeping up through that old floor.

  We often got caught in the doorway leading to the kitchen.  Kind of like a cartoon, or old 3 Stooges movie.... my brother is a year older and bigger than I am,  so the result was predictable.

  We explode into the kitchen, where mom and dad are already hard at work...

  Mom makes the most wonderful, delectable stuffing....EVER!  I'm sure this magical recipe could only be the result of Devine intervention!

  It's the kind of food you eat until you're full......then eat more until you're stuffed....then eat more until you've reached some sort of drunken euphoria....

  It is SO good, that when your Uncle Danny takes the last spoonful, red flashes before your eyes and a physical altercation is almost certain to ensue!   The fact he could (still can) tear me apart, limb from limb, is NOT what stops me..... what stops me is my inability to move since I had already eaten my body weight of this heavenly, God inspired, concoction!

Joe's mom and dad
  To achieve this virtual masterpiece.... an epic masterpiece....a dish that  brings tears to your eyes... mom and dad had a plethora of things to do!

  Dad would throw slices of bread in the oven to toast them.  Mom was cooking.....stuff.  I had no clue what she was cooking, because as she was doing that, I was intrigued by the fact that dad's arm was completely up a dead turkey's butt....a vision that haunts me to this day....
Joe's dad--and his arm...
  ....what was he doing?! 

  Was he looking for something?

  Was Jimmy Hoffa in there?!

  After mom's cooking, dad's homemade croutons, (and severe  violation of the bird), they got out the hand grinder!!!!

  We loved the hand grinder!  It was the centerpiece of this holiest of holy days!

  Dad attached the grinder to the kitchen table, and all three of us kids took turns turning that hand grinder.

  We ground the croutons, the mysterious stuff mom had been cooking, celery, onions, kitchen chairs, old coffee cups.... and nearly our fingertips..

  It is funny how we WANTED to do this.  Mom and dad pulled the ol' Tom Sawyer trick on us!  Until the day I moved out, we still jockeyed for position at the "grinder station".

  I remember the anticipation as I waited in and dad actually used a timer!  That timer felt like a calendar while I impatiently waited..

  After filling every pan in the house (and pans from all neighbors within a 3 mile radius) with this magical substance, mom refrigerated all of them, in turn.

  Now, this was all an exact process that required things to be done in a certain way, in a certain order, for a certain time.  We may have needed a full moon and some chanting.... I was never trusted with the entire spell....I mean, recipe.

  Later, mom would pull the foil covered pans from refrigeration, and dad would start the baking process.

  I have a tear in my eye as I write this, thinking of that....that most wonderful,  happy, loving, smell, that wafted through our home....

  I can still smell it...

  Once done cooking, you waited a specific amount of time.

  What did mom call that?....

  A resting time?

  I didn't care, I just counted the seconds until I could inhale it!

  Mom made enough to last approximately 7 months.... and we never tired of it.

  Breakfast, lunch, supper, snacks, and frozen stuffing on a stick for dessert....and we loved it!

  It really was a family event, though the kids really only did the grinder and ate it......and marveled about how far dad's arm got up the turkey's butt.....but it was tradition.  A wonderful tradition that I'm so sorry I never passed to my kids....

  The only tradition I passed down was pulling those Swanson frozen dinners from the freezer and throwing them in the microwave.

  If only I had jammed my arm in one...

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Go, Big Red! #RedForEd

Here it is Tuesday and I haven't even started a post for today. I'm not used to the blog "working" every week again. But today it's easy. My message is one being shared all over the state today, by thousands of educators who have made the trek to the State house to speak for our kids. Red for Ed!

Our school, the one I went to, my kids went to, some of my grandkids went to, and where my daughter and son-in-law still teach, is a place that is dear to my heart. It is a "safe place," a hall of memories, and, like any other institution, as full of flaws as it can be. But I am, like my neighbor says, always a Warrior.

The football team's defense, when my son and son-in-law played (and likely still...) was known within the community as the Big Red Machine. Shouting in the bleachers was always punctuated with "Go, Big Red!"

So today, when Indiana's teachers are in Indianapolis wearing red shirts and lobbying for better treatment for both themselves and the kids they tirelessly support, I'm saying it loud and proud. I hope you do, too.

Go, Big Red!

The monument has gone #RedForEd tonight! — at Monument Circle Indianapolis.
Borrowed from Keith Clock with thanks.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

OF SPLENDID SUNFLOWERS by Sherry West #WindowOvertheSink

I'm happy to have poet and children's writer Sherry West at the Window today. Please make her welcome.

by Sherry West

Splendid Saffron Sunflowers birthed in fields of verdant green, among tall plain prairie grasses, grow beneath the watchful gaze of the Autumn sun.

Lying separated and scattered along the edges of an old highway, these mysterious fields beckon wonder and whimsy.

Each day’s travel passing these singular fields brings delightful discoveries as slender green shoots arise from gently bent prairie grasses and hay. 

Longer, taller, ever higher they reach - until one day, little round shoots appear at the tops. 

And the day after, bright yellow bits peep from within the tightly sealed enclosures - 
pieces of light reflecting their brilliant guardian. 

Warm autumn rays entice fledgling shoots to venture forth and greet the new day, 
and the Splendid Saffron Sunflowers shout Hurray!

And in the misty morning of the next dawn, their deep dark faces, encircled by shining halos, tilt up to steadfastly gaze upon the sun - warmth, light, and hope.

And as the shining Guardian travels the daily path across the blue, they faithfully remain true, watching and waiting for each day’s renew. 

Of Splendid Sunflowers & Sorrow

Sherry West

What do Splendid Saffron Sunflowers know
Of Suffering & Shaded Sorrow
Whose Shining, Gilded faces turning -
Greet the Sun King in the ‘Morrow?

One Thousand Ten Thousands abide in Green -
Hidden in Grasses tho’ still Seen -
Gently sway by Autumn’s Breeze
While Sailing ‘pon the Em’rald Seas.

Petals Gold, slightly curled
Spread their palms out - Unfurled -
Encircled Spheres, faces - Dark -
Gazing steadily, Embark

& closely Follow 
The Royal path & the Swallow
Flutters, darts ‘twixt Stem & Leaf - 
Lightly lingers, stays cooled Beneath.

Gossamer wings, of Pale & white
Silhouette ‘gainst blue & Bright
Pirouette in frantic Swirling rings
Whilst nearby Cricket chirping, Sings

Th’ Shining Orb arcs Azured expanse
Briefly rests, then Casts a Glance
At the Beloved Retinue
In their Crowns of Golden Hue.


Sherry West is the author-Illustrator of the newly released children’s picture book It’s Raining Cats! It’s Raining Dogs! It’s Raining Bats! And Pollywogs! Morgan James Publishing.

Sherry drew a free coloring page for Word Wranglers, but to tell the truth I can't get it here, although this is what it looks like.