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Did you miss a newsletter? Wondering what kind of grist you missed? You’re in luck!
Below are all the little tidbits that Rina has shared, from the very beginning of The Grist.

April 19, 2023
Cupcakes Required

Having a cupcake bakery in a small-town romance has become a little cliché. (Can something be a little cliché? Or is it one of those binary choices?) But I had to do it. Why, you ask?
Well, I make the best damn cupcakes around. At least my family and friends think so.
In fact, about 15 years ago, I spearheaded a fundraiser through my office, where a group of women and I sold Rina-made cupcakes and then donated all the money to a local food bank. Guess how many cupcakes we took orders and money for?
Over 63 dozen cupcakes sold. Which meant we had over 63 dozen cupcakes to make. Thankfully I had a group of lovely and talented co-workers helping me out, and we managed to get them all done in two long days of baking and frosting.
Given the pivotal role of cupcakes in my life, I knew I had to have cupcakes in Jasper Mill.
You’ll learn more about the cupcakes from Tess’s Treats in my short story Her Sweet Lips. And Tess will get her very own HEA in Right Tool for the Job, coming this August.

May 18, 2023
Character Names in Pirate Booty

This is a good one, friends. After I point it out, you’re going to smack yourself in the head and wonder why you didn’t notice it before.
If you’re a woman of a certain age (like me), you love The Princess Bride. There is no other option. You watched it, you loved it.
You may recall that Cary Elwes played the hero Westley. And of course, Westley also became the Dread Pirate Roberts. There could be no other name for our hero, Wes, in Pirate Booty. (His full name is Westley Jasper Herrington V.) 
The link to our heroine is a bit more obscure, but only slightly. It was Robin Wright Penn (even though she has divorced Sean Penn, I still think of her that way) who played Princess Buttercup in The Princess Bride. A robin is a bird. A phoebe is a kind of bird too. And so our heroine became Phoebe. (You’ll have to read Pirate Booty to get her full name — it won’t disappoint.)
Keep an eagle eye out for anything else that might be inspired by The Princess Bride! And if you haven’t seen the movie, go watch it. Now. (No objections from Grover will be received.)

June 21, 2023
How I Chose National Unicorn Day

My book The Lady & The Unicorn is part of a shared universe in which all of the main characters connect through an online dating app called Holidates. The premise is that it’s just a fake-dating, single-event kind of thing.
So I signed up to join the Holidates world, and my assigned month was April. What holiday would I use as a vehicle for my story?
Easter? Too easy. Time to hit up the internet and see what else April had to offer. It hit me all at once.
April 9. National Unicorn Day. It’s also my sister’s birthday. And in 2023, it just so happened to be Easter as well.
How could I resist the trifecta?
I knew that my Holidates story had to revolve around someone needing a date for National Unicorn Day! Go have a read for the explanation of why and how Liona found Grant to be her date that day.
There are lots of little tidbits behind The Lady & The Unicorn. Look for more in future newsletters!

July 19, 2023
Origins of “Right Tool for the Job”

Mr. Rina (Mysterina?) can be meticulous when working on home improvement projects, or repairs, or pretty much any task. I love him for this, but it’s so not me!
So he might find me doing something like opening my latest Amazon box with my car keys, or using the end of a screwdriver to hammer a small nail into the wall. And inevitably, he will hand me the box cutter or the hammer and remind me you’ve got to use the “right tool for the job.”
There’s a little bit of Mr. Rina in our hero Declan Russell, and that’s where the title Right Tool for the Job came from!