Sunday, May 22, 2022

Sneak Peek Inside Reinventing Riley

Living in Central Indiana among a gathering of small towns, one of the fun things for me about visiting cities is their tall buildings. I find them amazing and exciting. I like craning my neck in search of the sky, eating at restaurants not available in cornfield communities, and walking everywhere. And then I can’t wait to get home, where the tallest building in all those small towns is three stories, the sky is big and beautiful, and “everybody knows your name.” 

But it’s the buildings I’m thinking about today, the ones that hold place of pride on corners or stand in groups in the middle of the block, their facades corniced and bracketed. They’re brick and most of them have had windows and doors and purposes replaced over the years. Many of them have been painted in colors more welcoming than the old brick. 

Reinventing Riley is a sweet romance between a rock-and-roll playing pastor and a savvy businesswoman. Their story shouldn’t have anything to do with buildings, it does. When Rye, who’s just sold a business and has absolutely no interest in buying another one, sees the Culp Building in downtown Fallen Soldier, Pennsylvania, it speaks to her. Like all old buildings, it has stories to tell.

Reluctantly, she listens. 

He’s afraid a second time at love wouldn’t live up to his first. She’s afraid a second round would be exactly like her first. 

Pastor Jake McAlister and businesswoman Riley Winters are in their forties and widowed. Neither is interested in a relationship. They both love Fallen Soldier, the small Pennsylvania town where they met, even though Rye plans to move to Chicago, and Jake sees a change in pastorates not too far down the road. Enjoying a few-weeks friendship is something they both look forward to.

However, there is an indisputable attraction between the green-eyed pastor and the woman with a shining sweep of chestnut hair. Then there’s the Culp, an old downtown building that calls unrelentingly to Rye’s entrepreneurial soul. And when a young man named Griff visits Jake, life changes in the blink of a dark green eye.

Reinventing Riley will be released and available on Amazon on May 25. 
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Rye had loved it when Granny cleaned the bookstore just two bus stops from where they lived. She couldn’t remember the name of the store, only that she’d always called it the reading room. Her grandmother had fretted because no matter how laboriously she cleaned, the shop always smelled like dust to her. Rye, sitting on the rug in the corner that held the children’s books, thought that meant heaven must smell like dust. 
She wondered if the owner of Have A Cup would be interested in a satellite location. Or maybe he’d prefer the competition of another coffee shop. It was funny how coffee shops and bookstores belonged together.
And music.
She didn’t know of any venues in town. No one had mentioned any, although musicians had played at the Dockside at the rehearsal dinner. 
Every town needed music, didn’t it?
She texted Jake. Is there anywhere in town to listen to music?
His answer made her laugh. My house, but it’s dusty here.
Dust. Like a bookstore, or a stage, or the underside of coffee shop chairs where people sat and read or worked on laptops or wrote in coil-bound notebooks. Bookstores felt like hope. So did live music and fragrant, rich coffee. 
The Reading Room.
Oh, good heavens, she could even envision the sign above the entrance that would lead straight upstairs. Actually, there wasn’t an entrance now. That would require some design changes unless she wanted to put the door in the back on the alley. Not a good idea.
What was she thinking?
“Where do you buy books?” she asked Lucy when her neighbor tapped on the kitchen’s French door and walked in carrying a steaming tea kettle.
“Ricky hates tea and I had the water hot before I realized I didn’t want to drink alone,” she explained. “Earl Grey all right for you?”
Lucy poured water into the blue-and-white teapot Rye set on the table and snugged a crocheted cozy over it. “Online, usually. Or from the library. Usually I buy them and then donate them to the library.”
“No electronic reader for you?”
“Only when I travel. I like to smell the ink, I guess.”
“What would you think of a bookstore in Fallen Soldier?”
“New or used?”
Oh. She hadn’t thought that far. So much for business acumen. “Yes. Plus an area for live music or readings or other artistic demonstrations. And some kind of coffee and tea shop. Called the Reading Room. Upstairs at the Culp.”
Lucy didn’t hesitate. “Sounds great to me.” 
“It might fail.”
“But it might not.”

All About Liz:
USA Today bestselling author Liz Flaherty started writing in the fourth grade when her Aunt Gladys allowed her to use her portable Royal typewriter. The truth was that her aunt would have let her do anything to get her out of her hair, but the typewriter and the stories it could produce caught on, and Liz never again had a day without a what if… in it. She and Duane, her husband of at least forever, live in a farmhouse in central Indiana, sharing grown children, spoiled cats, and their grandkids, the Magnificent Seven. (Don’t get her started on them—you’ll be here all day.) To find out more about her, stop by or sign up for her newsletter at

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Liz Flaherty said...

Thanks for having me to visit!

Kara O'Neal said...

Enjoyed the post! The cover is so pretty!

Liz Flaherty said...

Thanks, Kara. It IS pretty, isn't it?