Saturday, August 26, 2023

It's the Little Things

I know that title isn't original, nor is its sentiment. I'm probably not the first person who's ever said it, who's ever discovered it. It's not even the first time I've discovered it. 

But I bought these salt and pepper shakers for $16 and change, which I found shocking. I don't ordinarily spend that much on things like salt and pepper shakers that someday my kids are going to shake their heads over, but I loved them. They made me think of the red glass sugar bowl and vase that are in my east window that my mom always loved. And the red stained-glass lady Martha Roberts made and gave to me that I love. She hangs in the north window where I see her whenever I stand at the sink and think of Martha. I hope she knew how much I enjoy the glass lady. 

For a long time, there was a box of green army men in the closet upstairs. It was what made me stop cleaning my younger son's room after he left for college. Eventually, I went back and cleaned it, I guess, and I'm not sure what happened to the army men, but it's been 31 years since I opened that box and I still remember it as if it were yesterday. It was the first day of the empty nest, which wasn't nearly as funny as the jokes about it were. 

I have a bottle of my favorite Hempz lotion on my desk. My daughter gave it to me for her birthday. It smells like peppermint and vanilla. 

On the shelf of a cupboard where I can see her easily is the Hummel figurine my son and daughter-in-law brought me from Germany. I still have her box, too. 

Our friend Brad sent Duane a snapshot from their  younger days (okay, much younger) and I keep looking at it and remembering the boy I first met. 

Going through pictures, I found one of my brothers, sister, and me all dressed up. I wondered whose funeral it was, and I missed when there were five of us. Today, Friday is my sister's birthday, the second one without her. 

No moral to this story today. My friend Cindy's Uncle Estel passed away this week. He lived a long and good life and was well loved in it. He gave joy and friendship and he made people laugh. Cindy saw him just a few days before he died. She said, as a reminder, 

"Lesson learned…. Don’t skip opportunities to connect with people you love because they may not be there if you wait."

Cindy's right. Don't miss those opportunities. Never miss a chance to say good and loving things to people. Share memories. Laugh with them. Let them know you're thinking of them. It is, in the end, the little things.

Have a good week. Be nice to somebody.

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Bringing the Magic by Nan Reinhardt

The Weaver Sisters turned up in Max Lange’s book, Falling for the Doctor, when they brought Max’s love Lauren out to the showboat so they could have their reunion, and I was immediately intrigued with the idea of identical triplets. It’s funny how character surprise us, first by appearing in our heads, then by going off on their own to tell their stories. Jazz’s story, Home to River’s Edge, book 1 in the Weaver Sister series was pretty much in my head when I sat down to write it, although it took some twists and turns I wasn’t expecting.

Meet Me in River’s Edge, Jo Weaver’s story, was different. First of all, I knew my premise—a female boat mechanic who had no use for the rich, entitled “river rats” who cruised the Ohio River in their expensive yachts all summer long suddenly falls in love with one of them. I also knew that Alex, the hero and heir to a vast hotel fortune, had to bring his own special magic to win Jo over.

Adding a touch of magic to a contemporary romance was a tricky business for me because I’m not a paranormal writer, but I knew that Jo and Alex’s romance would get a little push from a very unusual and other-worldly source—Alex’s dead twin sister, Arianna. She’s not a ghost in the book, but rather a presence that Alex feels driving him toward Jo, a woman who is so not his type. The scientist in him might ordinarily have eschewed the feeling that his sister’s spirit was close, but Alex was used to feeling Ari near. He knows Jo is the one and it only takes a little nudge from the other side to convince him to pursue her. He wins Jo’s heart, but relinquishes it when he realizes that he may not be able to give her a forever. They are both devastated by his decision to separate himself from Jo, but Ari is there, pushing him toward his happily-ever-after.

The magic was fun, I loved creating subtle, not creepy, ways to bring Ari into Jo and Alex’s story. I hope you enjoy Meet Me in River’s Edge and that you can find the magic, too! Welcome back to River’s Edge, Indiana!

Meet Me in River’s Edge, book 2 in the Weaver Sisters trilogy

He ticks every one of her “never again” boxes…

Jo Weaver loves her job as a boat mechanic for her family’s marina in River’s Edge, Indiana. But when she’s pulled away from her high school reunion with her sisters to fix a stranded yacht, she can’t restrain her irritation. Jo doesn’t like wealthy men who think they can have whatever they want, and she has no intention of falling for rich and charming again.

Born into the international Briggs Hotels empire, Alex Briggs has never felt comfortable with his life of privilege. Abandoning his family’s business to pursue medical research, he’s far more at home in his lab. When the yacht he restored himself breaks down on the way to an important conference, Alex begrudgingly goes in search of a boat mechanic and falls, literally, into Jo Weaver’s arms. The fireworks he feels are impossible to ignore.

Jo does her best to keep Alex in the business zone, but he keeps slipping into something more. Can she trust her fragile heart, especially when Alex and his life-altering research are so far from River’s Edge?

Buy Links:


Excerpt - The Girl Mechanic

“But my dinghy’s tied up at the showboat landing.” His tone wasn’t whiny, not at all, although the slight undercurrent of anxiety that he’d clearly been trying to stave off since he’d fallen into the party at the winery was starting to show.

Jo’s sympathy grew slightly since his concern seemed to be for other boaters and not strictly himself, and he was a customer—a potential customer—so she gave him a smile. “Chill. It’s safe there, and I’ll take you to get it once we figure out what’s going on.” She pulled into the gravel drive and then stopped the truck in the parking lot by the marina shop.

Alex’s brow furrowed as she opened her door. “Are you going to call the mechanic to come out with us?”

She held back the retort that immediately rose to her lips and instead merely replied, “The mechanic is already here.” He had no way of knowing, after all.

Alex hopped out of the truck. “I don’t see any other cars and the place is dark.”

“I’m the mechanic, Mr. Briggs.” Jo slammed her door harder than was probably necessary, but it eased her urge to smack him.

His jaw dropped. “You?”

She hit the remote locks on the truck and strode to the service door, punching in the key code and tapping the light switch before giving him a cool stare. “I promise it’ll be more believable once I get into my coveralls and hat and collect some tools.” She turned, deliberately not holding the door open for him.

Alex had to rush to catch it before it shut in his face, which gave her a smidgen of satisfaction. “Look, I’m sorry. I got no problem with a girl mechanic. I’m a millennial—we’re open to anything.”

Jo stopped in the middle of the shop and spun around, hands on her hips. This guy was something else. “A girl mechanic? Did you seriously just say you had no problem with a girl mechanic?”

Defensively, he raised both hands, managing to look innocent as a lamb and rocket-hot all at the same time. Damn him. “Don’t shoot me. I’ve never met a woman boat mechanic before. It’s . . . unexpected, that’s all.” Somehow, his open expression reminded her of a golden retriever, all eager and wide-eyed and trying desperately to please, so he could get what he wanted.

She shook her head.

Don’t try to disarm me, buddy. I’m immune to river rat charm.

“Well, that’s who you’ve got tonight.” She held up her hand. “Wait here. I’ll go throw on my coveralls and grab some tools.”

Nan Reinhardt is a USA Today bestselling author of sweet, small-town romantic fiction for Tule Publishing. Her day job is working as a freelance copyeditor and proofreader, however, writing is Nan’s first and most enduring passion. She can’t remember a time in her life when she wasn’t writing—she wrote her first romance novel at the age of ten and is still writing, but now from the viewpoint of a wiser, slightly rumpled, woman in her prime. Nan lives in the Midwest with her husband of 50 years, where they split their time between a house in the city and a cottage on a lake.

Talk to Nan at:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Tule Publishing | BookBub | Goodreads

Saturday, August 19, 2023

The Cottonwood by Liz Flaherty

You've probably heard me mention the tree before. It's a cottonwood in our side yard. When we first moved here in 1977, she was hardly more than a sapling, but cottonwoods grow fast. They irritate a lot of people, and I've heard them called "junk trees," especially when they're spraying their cotton far and wide, but I've always loved ours. Two of them have come down, and it was good they did--they were too close to the house for safety. 

However, the one in the side yard is still there. She--yeah, I'm almost sure she's a girl--has been struck by lightning more than once, so her main center trunk is dead. Other, lesser trunks have risen around it, though--although we lose one once in a while. The cottonwood is unsparing of herself when she does her spring cleaning.

Take it down or leave it an argument I've won, so far. Cutting the tree down is mentioned occasionally at our house. So far, my saying, "Let's just wait until we have to," has worked, and she's still standing there with her center bare and dead and life climbing all around her. 

The birds love that tree. In the morning, they make excited swoops from it to the suet feeders. The squirrels run up and down and all around it, leaping from the live trunk across the dead center to another leaf-laden branch. If I were a mother squirrel, my heart would be in my mouth the whole time. 

I have always loved trees. We had boxelder trees in our backyard growing up. One of them had swings hanging from a strong, low-hanging branch. It also had a wonderful arrangement that was perfect to sit in, hidden from view. When Mom urged me to stop reading and go outside, that seat in the tree was as far as I got--I took the book with me. 

Speaking of Mom, I was as brokenhearted as she was when they cut down the trees beside our road for the purpose of widening it. The road never got that much wider, but the roadside became silent and unstoried. We no longer picked up windfall apples for pies, no longer gazed in amazement at the tree shaped like an egg, no longer picked up walnuts. 

It gave me the same feeling I get looking down State Road 16 in Denver where trees were taken down. The street looks nice. The curbs. The porches on almost every house. But it's not a pretty street anymore, not sheltering, not do-you-remember? 

But our cottonwood is still standing there in the yard. When leaves are on, she looks like a one of those trees gnomes live in in storybooks; all that's lacking is the door. And the gnome. 

The deer who use our yard as a passthrough appear from behind its wide trunk. The orioles and cardinals make bright spots in its leaves. The evening sun, spectacular on its own, silhouettes through the branches and makes you stop and look, breath suspended for just a glorious moment. 

When we moved here, we talked about moving that cottonwood and its neighbor to the north to different places, but we never did. Now one of them is a cornerstone of our property--although I'm not even sure if it's on our property--and the other is the one in the picture. Beaten and suffering from the involuntary amputation of its strongest limb, it still gives shelter and beauty and pleasure every day and asks nothing in return. 

Relationships are like that. If friendships have lasted a long time, they probably have some bumps and bruises on them. Long marriages are held together not only with love, but with scar tissue as well--many of the branches get broken along the way, and sometimes it's as if lightning has indeed struck. 

Like the tree, relationships offer shelter, pleasure, and respite for the soul. And like our cottonwood, relationships are often messy and require more upkeep than seems fair. But you can't have one without the other, and I don't want to give up either.

Our tree can stay for a while, at least. She seems sturdy to me, and the wildlife and I all like her. It's another thing to feel grateful for, that relationships and trees prosper even when they're not always pretty. 

Have a good week. Plant a tree. Be nice to somebody. 

P. S. I’m assembling a surprise package for a newsletter subscriber, a Window Over the Sink blog commenter, or someone who reviews one of my books prior to September 15. Just drop me an email at with "Prize Package" in the subject line. (A separate entry for each review!)


Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Newsletter by Liz Flaherty

I don't usually share my newsletter here, but here it is anyway. I hope you enjoy and comment for a chance at the prize package! See you Saturday!

Hello! The corn’s tall and tasseled and smelling sweet and the school buses are back on their routes here in rural Indiana. This summer has gone so fast, hasn’t it? And that’s okay with me. I’m absolutely an autumn person. The sights, sounds, tastes, and smells are like a new beginning to me.

I do love new beginnings, don’t you?

Because of Joe is a favorite from my backlist. I love its setting—Pensacola Beach—and its premise—marriage resurrected—and its theme—family. I imagine my writing has matured in the years since Because of Joe was first released, but the heart with which I wrote it is still the same. I love family, and it doesn’t matter at all whether you’re related by blood or not.

Anyway, a few people have asked for the book lately, which made me happy. However, it hasn’t been in print for…well, a really long time. When I asked Rhonda and R.J. at The Wild Rose Press about it, they were happy to give it a new cover and put it in print. This also made me happy. Find it on Amazon here.

I am re-releasing the Second Chances series with my own Singing Tree Publishing. I have new covers and the series has a different name, A New Season. Remember what I said about new beginnings? I’m excited to have these books back out there. I plan to have them all released by November. Wouldn’t the set make a great Christmas gift?

Book One, A Year of Firsts, is on Amazon in both ebook and in print. If you’d like a signed copy, email or PM me. Here’s the Amazon link.

Speaking of bargains…oh, weren’t we? Well, if you’re looking for one, the eBook edition of A Soft Place to Fall will be on sale for 99 cents on August 26-31! You can find it at the retailer of your choice here or on Amazon here. It’s one of my favorite stories ever and Early McGrath is one of my favorite heroines. I hope you like her, too.

Coming right up!

Well, on October 10, anyway, Harlequin Heartwarming authors—past and present—are going back to Christmas Town! This year’s offering, from authors Melinda Curtis, Anna J. Stewart, Cheryl Harper, Beth Carpenter, Cari Lynn Webb, Tanya Agler, LeAnne Bristow, and me, is Lights, Camera, Christmas Town! We are having such fun with it and hope you like it, too.

We’ll be looking for reviews. Email me or PM me and I’ll put you on the list!

Wishing you the best autumn ever, whether you spend it with football, pumpkin spice, or reading a good book…well, many good books…in your chair with a blanket and something good to drink.If you haven't subscribed to the newsletter, here's the link:

I’m assembling a surprise package for a newsletter subscriber, a Window Over the Sink blog commenter, or someone who reviews one of my books prior to September 15. Just drop me an email at with "Prize Package" in the subject line. (A separate entry for each review!)

See you soon!

Saturday, August 12, 2023

Break Time by Liz Flaherty

I'm taking the week off! I'll be back next week. 

Don't forget to visit Denver Days today, Second Saturday music at Gallery 15 tonight, and whatever other "doings" that are going on.

I'll have a newsletter out this week. If you've never subscribed, please do! It only comes out a few times a year and there's usually a prize included!

Have a great week and be nice to somebody!


Saturday, August 5, 2023

Memories and Good Times by Liz Flaherty

It has been a busy, busy, fun, fun week. As I write this, I have a grandboy sleeping on the couch, need to be at church to dispense school supplies at noon, and have my class reunion tonight. My hair's a mess and I don't know what to wear. And I'm a year older--let's not forget that. 

But having a grandkid in the house--that's the best thing.

Friends and neighbors have suffered losses this week. I am so sorry for that, but I keep thinking of the memories that are floating around the community. When Ronnie, Phil, and Matt went to visit someone from the church, how she loved seeing the "three amigos" and how much good they did for her. When Bob teased Teresa at the community garage sale at the fairgrounds and she called, "Security!" and made everyone laugh--Bob harder than anyone else. The loving obituaries written for them that made people laugh in their sorrow.

The corn is soooo tall, isn't it? Tasseled out and with dark silk spurting from the ears. I love the sweet smell in the morning. 

My favorite woodpecker, the one with the dark read head and the markings that look as if they were delineated with a teeny-tiny paintbrush, is hanging on the suet feeder. I love the side yard and the animals that visit it. 

Three Old Guys played at the Lewis Cass Alumni Association Pavilion in Walton on Sunday. The pavilion is so nice and the crowd was even nicer. Sometimes it's fun being a groupie. 

I hope memories gentle the losses of the families who're saying goodbye to their loved ones. Have a great week. Be safe, be well, and be nice to somebody.