I’ve always been a dreamer. From the time I could hold a pencil, I invented people and places that I could escape to. Sometimes, parents worry about a kid who lives in a make-believe world. Fortunately, my mom didn’t—she allowed me that world because she believed with all her heart that I would be a writer one day. When we were kids, my sisters used to tease me unmercifully about not being in reality, claiming that I lived in “Nan’s world—a nice place to visit, but we certainly wouldn’t want to live there.” Oh, how I wish I could take them River’s Edge! I think they’d sing a different tune.
To begin with, you need to know that River’s Edge is a fictional place. It’s my fictional place. It’s where my stories happen, but it’s inspired by a very real place. If you’ve never heard of Madison, Indiana, you probably aren’t alone. It’s a smallish town on the banks of the Ohio River. Its greatest claims to fame may be that singer Jenny Lind visited in 1851, and every Fourth of July weekend, the Madison Regatta—a hydroplane boat race—happens on the river there. Chautauqua in the fall brings tourists from all over the Midwest as does the Candlelight Tour of Homes at Christmas. The Roostertail Music Festival is a relatively new happening in Madison, but the town is building its reputation as a great place for music. Madison is a laidback town with nice shops and restaurants, a state park just north, several great wineries, and the River Walk along the Ohio. It was the perfect inspiration for River’s Edge.
If there’s anything more fun than creating a make-believe town full of fictional characters, I haven’t found it yet. Every time I sit down to write, I get lost in Nan’s world—River’s Edge. I’m longing to stop by the Riverside Diner and join Harry, Noah, Clyde, and Butch for breakfast—an omelet, three ingredients only, please. I always crave pie if I’ve written about Paula Meadows’s Bread & Butter Bakery or Paris tea if I’ve done a scene in Holly Flaherty’s Tea Leaf Café. Four Irish Brothers Winery, both the vineyard and the in-town tasting room make me want to go wine-tasting with Husband or my bestie, and maybe we could meet up with Sam or Megan or Kitt for a stroll along the River Walk, which looms large as the place to gather in River’s Edge.
In October, I asked a local artist to create a map of River’s Edge based on the stories I’ve told there so far. I sent her the books, and we exchanged several emails where I described the town and the places I wanted to highlight. A few weeks later, she presented me with this watercolor caricature map of River’s Edge. I couldn’t have been more delighted to see my town rendered so perfectly. There was Mac’s and St. Mark’s Hospital, the River Walk and Aidan Flaherty’s River Queen showboat! Even the new Cotton Mill Inn showed up, right there on Warner Drive overlooking the river. What a treat!
I hope you’ll join me in River’s Edge in the Four Irish Brothers Winery series of books and my new Lange Brothers series, beginning with The Valentine Wager. There’s no better place to enjoy sweet small-town romance than in River’s Edge, Indiana.
About the Author
Nan Reinhardt is a USA Today bestselling author of 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 48 years, where they split their time between a house in the city and a cottage on a lake.
Talk to Nan at: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Valentine Wager, book 1 in the Langes of River’s Edge series
by Nan Reinhardt
When playboy police lieutenant Ryker Lange stops Kitt Boynton for driving on the wrong side of the road, his attraction to the feisty Irish lass is immediate. Yet, despite the sizzling chemistry between them, Kitt quickly turns him down.
Kitt has moved to River’s Edge for a fresh start and is ready to focus on her new marketing job at her cousins’ winery. She’s done with players, and vows she won’t let the local sexy cop distract her, but Kitt, a flirt herself, is definitely tempted. To keep her sanity as she prepares for several Valentine-themed winery events, she and Ryker make a bet: for the next three weeks, neither of them can flirt with the other.
The game starts out lighthearted, but when the town takes sides, Ryker and Kitt must choose between winning a wager or finding lasting love.