Monday, June 25, 2012

Author Interview and Giveaway: A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California by Keli Gwyn

This is my absolute favorite picture of Keli:)
Welcome to the CBRB, Keli! I'm so glad to have you here! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Thanks for having me!

I’m a native Californian living in a Gold Rush-era town at the base of the majestic Sierras. Enamored by the history of the area, I set my debut novel, A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California, in a nearby town. When I’m not writing, I enjoy strolling past the elegant Victorian houses in my historic hometown, pouring through research books in search of interesting facts to use in my stories, and reading romance novels while walking on the local hiking trail—my favorite form of multitasking.

When did you first discover that you loved writing?

I’ve loved writing since I was seven and dreamed of being a writer “one day.” That elusive day didn’t happen until forty years later when I dusted off my dream and began writing my first story.

Why do you write the type of books that you do?

I’ve been a romance fan for decades. My favorite reads are historical romances with a faith element. I wanted to write what I love to read.

What was your greatest obstacle in writing and how did you overcome it?

My biggest obstacle is self-doubt. I’d love to say I’ve overcome it, but the pesky Doubt Dragon still plagues me at times. Perhaps if Oprah chooses my story for her book club, I’ll get over it. In all seriousness, I think most writers wrestle with doubt on occasion as we strive to produce stories readers will enjoy.

Has writing changed your life in any way?

Writing has radically changed my life. I was a stay-at-home mom when I began writing and hadn’t worked outside the home in years. I felt like I had things under control. Now I work full-time and then some on writing, blogging, and promotion and never seem to get everything done. I love what I do, so I learned to let some things go, as the monster dust bunnies hiding in the corners prove.

Ha! Ha! I completely understand about the dust bunnies;) What Bible scripture has impacted your life the most?

Psalm 34:7-8 helped me see that the LORD wants good things for me and that my part is to trust Him. “Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, and He will do it.”

Amen! Is there a book you’ve read that has been truly spectacular?

Wow! That’s a toughie. I’ve read many spectacular books, so narrowing it down was a challenge. I’m going with Little Women. I read that book as a child and loved it. Still do. Reading about Josephine March and her dream of being a writer fueled my own dream of writing. Reading about Jo’s relationship with Laurie whet my appetite for romance. Reading about Beth inspired me to live a more selfless, godly life.

What’s the funniest/quirkiest thing you’ve ever done?

I tried to hijack a bus in Germany once. Unintentionally, of course.

When my husband and I moved to the Nürnberg area in the late 80s, I resurrected my high school German. On a day early in our years living there, I wanted to catch a bus heading to the PX by the army post. I asked the driver if he went there. At least I thought that’s what I said. He eyed me warily, and I repeated my request more emphatically. His brows shot toward the roof. Feeling ill-at-ease, I squeaked out the question one more time. His features relaxed, and he waved me on the bus.

When I told my husband about the encounter that night, he said I’d used the command form rather than the questioning form. The poor driver was likely worried I was going to take over his bus by force.

Buy At Amazon
Please tell us about the featured book.

Widow Elenora Watkins is determined to provide for herself and her daughter without relying on anyone else. Can she run a successful business after falling for the competition? Miles Rutledge finds himself willing to do anything to keep Elenora in town. But can he win her heart while putting her out of business?

Can you please give us the first page?

April 1870
The Sierra Foothills of California
The stagecoach lurched to a stop, throwing Elenora and Matilda Watkins against a damask-covered sidewall.
Elenora clutched her nine-year-old daughter to her side. “Are you all right, Tildy?”
“Oh Mama. You don’t have to be so skittery.” Tildy shrugged out of the protective embrace, scooted across the bench seat, and shoved the leather window shade aside. “I want to see what’s going on.” She peeked out, whirled around with wide eyes and an enormous grin, and let the dust shield fall with a thwap. “It’s an outlaw, and he’s pointing a gun at the driver.”
Where did her daughter get those wild notions of hers? Elenora shot Tildy a reassuring smile and leaned over the center jump seat to have a look. “Lord, help us.”
A shudder ripped through her. The horrid man atop the big black horse was, in fact, aiming a gun at the coachman, but he was aiming a look of sheer evil at her. One of his eyes bored into her while the other seemed to roam. His sneer made her skin crawl.
How could this be happening? They’d ridden all the way from Omaha on that snorting beast of a train and made the line changes in Ogden and Sacramento City without incident. Why did something have to go wrong on the final five miles between Shingle Springs and El Dorado?
The outlaw’s deep voice boomed. “Hand it over.”

Where can readers learn more information about you? By the way readers, Keli's website is beautiful- both the content and the design.

They can visit my cyber home at www.keligwyn.com.

**********
GIVEAWAY!
Alright readers, here's your chance to win a copy of Keli's debut novel A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California! Just leave a comment with your email address to be entered in the giveaway. Giveaway is available to U.S. residents only.

For extra entries: 
~Be a follower +1 
~Add my button to your blog +1
 ~Post about this giveaway +2
~Tweet +1
~Post on Facebook +1
(please leave a separate comment for each extra entry)

Giveaway ends on Sunday, July 8, 2012 at midnight (Eastern time). Winner will be chosen using Random.org.

65 comments:

  1. This book looks great! Thanks for the review and the giveaway!!

    ladettek@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ladette,

      Thanks for stopping by. I recognize your pretty name from other sites. How did you come by it? Is it an old family name, perhaps, or did your parents create it just for you?

      Delete
  2. I follow by GFC.

    ladettek@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. I tweeted about the giveaway here: https://twitter.com/ladettek/status/217586382779060224


    ladettek@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  4. I posted about it on FB. (not sure how to "prove" that to you).

    ladettek@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  5. Lovely interview! I'm super excited to read this book!

    crazi.swans at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Faye,

      Thanks for stopping by. I hope you enjoy the story.

      Delete
  6. I follow GFC

    crazi.swans at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  7. I tweeted: https://twitter.com/FayeOygard/status/217626816620408835

    crazi.swans @ gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  8. I have added your button: http://labornotinvain.blogspot.com

    crazi.swans @ gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  9. I have posted on FB :)

    crazi.swans at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  10. Looks like a good book!

    Ali @ alibaby374@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ali,

      Thanks for your kind words. I appreciate them.

      Delete
  11. Great interview, Keli! No need to enter me as I've already ordered your book!

    Wishing you every success and many, many sales!

    Cheers,
    Sue

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sue,

      Thanks for your good wishes. I appreciate your support and encouragement. I look forward to the day I'm joining in your First Sale happy dance.

      Delete
  12. Sounds like a fun book. And great interview! Loved the story about Nürnberg!
    kentiapalm a g mail address

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rina,

      Thanks for the kind words. I still get a chuckle every time I think of the look on that poor bus driver's face. I'm sure he had some fun telling his bus driver buddies that tale.

      Delete
  13. Oh Keli, you a too funny. Love the German bus driver story. Sounds like something I would do! Thanks for the giveaway!
    Amy Campbell
    Campbellamyd at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amy,

      Glad you enjoyed my bus driver tale. Who knew I was a potential hijacker? LOL

      Delete
  14. This is a good review and I love the pic of Kelli, this is my era too love books with stories written in this time period, also about strong women that learn how to live their life amidst pressures. thanks for sharing today-would love to be in your drawing. congrats on your debut book.
    Paula O(kyflo130@yahoo.com)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Paula,

      Yay! Another fan of inspirational historical romance. The women back then had to have been so strong. I have such admiration for them and love bringing the era to life on the page.

      Delete
  15. I am a follower on your site,
    Paula O

    ReplyDelete
  16. going to facebook to like your site, may have already done this..

    ReplyDelete
  17. Just posted about the giveaway on my blog: http://rinasreading.blogspot.com/2012/06/several-great-giveaways.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for spreading the word, Rina!

      Delete
  18. A fabulous interview...thanks for the chance to read keli's masterpiece :)

    karenk
    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  19. Karen,

    Thanks for your comment. I chuckled when I read the words "Keli's masterpiece." You made my day!

    I wish you well in the drawing. Here's a hint. If you don't win the drawing here on Aizess's wonderful blog, there are other chances. Visit my website, go the The Press Room, and you'll find a list of Contests and Giveaways.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Congratulations on the book! It sounds good.

    bn100candg(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  21. bn,

    Thanks for stopping by and for the kind words.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Awww, funny story. Those types of situations happen to me ALL the time!! At least I keep my children entertained and at least you made it where you wanted to go on the bus :) Love the introduction to the story - not what I was expecting at all -- and Tildy is SO funny, I think I'm going to "pop". couturecloset at comcast dot net

    ReplyDelete
  23. Dianne,

    How nice of you to entertain your children with your funny experiences. I'm sure they appreciate that--or not. :-)

    I'm glad you enjoyed the sneak peek at the story. Tildy was such fun to write, as you might imagine, and she told me she really appreciates your compliment.

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  24. Congrats on your book, I look forward to reading it.

    rmjagears AT gmail DOT com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Melissa,

      Thanks for sharing in my excitement.

      Delete
  25. This book sounds like a great historical read! martha(at)lclink(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Martha,

      Thanks for the compliment. I hope readers enjoy the story.

      Delete
  26. The Gold Rush era is a fascinating time and I love bride stories, please add me!
    worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Merry,

      Like you, I find the Gold Rush era fascinating. It's cool to live in the heart of California's Gold Country. My town of Placerville has a mine within city limits, and Gwynly and I live just seven miles from Coloma, where James Marshall discovered the nuggets that sparked one of the world's largest mass migrations.

      Delete
  27. I'm a follower.
    worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  28. I've been trying to win this on every blog that's having a contest, love the cover and the book sounds GREAT!

    wfnren(at)aol(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wendy,

      I admire your dedication and tenacity. For those, like you, who are eager to win a copy of the book, you can find a list of all the bloggers holding a drawing on the Contests and Giveaways page on my website( www.keligwyn.com), which is found in the Press Room.

      Delete
  29. I am a GFC follower (wfnren)

    wfnren(at)aol(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  30. I posted this on my blog:
    http://wrensthoughts.blogspot.com/p/contests-and-giveaways-good-luck.html

    wfnren(at)aol(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  31. I tweeted this here:
    https://twitter.com/WendyNewcomb/status/221009699317891073

    wfnren(at)aol(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  32. I posted this on Facebook here:
    http://www.facebook.com/wendy.newcomb.92

    wfnren(at)aol(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  33. Enjoyed the interview! Thanks for the opportunity of the giveaway!

    Blessings,
    Jo
    azladijo(at)aol(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jo,

      Glad you enjoyed the interview. Aizess asked some great questions, didn't she?

      Delete
  34. I'm a follower!

    Blessings,
    Jo
    azladijo(at)aol(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  35. I love fisty women who want to take charge of their own life and go after what they want. Women fought hard to be able to be professionals (drs, professors, lawyers etc) and own their own business and I enjoy reading about women who refused to let anyone tell them that they could not be what they wanted to be. Can't wait to read this story.

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kallie,

      Elenora is indeed a bit feisty. Since she was battling teh conventions of the day, she has to be.

      Delete
  36. Tweeted
    https://twitter.com/misskallie2000/status/221101355106959360

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  37. GFC follower

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  38. Posted button here
    http://ibooksbooksandmorebooks.blogspot.com/

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  39. Oh boy, Keli. I can relate to those dust bunnies. I'm really enjoying reading your interviews. Your encouragement has blessed so many of us.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Julia,

      Thanks to our two long-haired cats, our dust bunnies are alive and well--and very large. :-)

      Delete
  40. Sounds like an awesome read! Thanks for the giveaway!

    harnessrose(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  41. Awesome interview with writer Keli Gwyn.....I would love to win an read Keli's new book..'A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California.....sounds sooo good......I have shared on facebook and twitter.....babyruthmac16ATyahooDOTcom

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lucy,

      Thanks for the kind words--and for sharing the link.

      Delete
  42. This waas a great interview, especially the part about the bus! I would like to enter for your book. Maxie ( mac262@me.com )

    ReplyDelete
  43. I am a follower of this blog. Another entry. Hope I'm doing everything right. I'm not too smart on this internet thing. Maxie ( mac262@me.com )

    ReplyDelete
  44. I posted your blog on Facebook. Maxie Anderson ( mac262@me.com )

    ReplyDelete
  45. I will post about this contest! Maxie ( mac262@me.com )

    ReplyDelete
  46. I am a follower of this blog. Maxie ( mac262@me.com )

    ReplyDelete
  47. Maxie,

    I'm glad you enjoyed the interview. Aizess asked some great questions, didn't she?

    That bus driver story still makes me smile every time I think about it. Don't worry. I haven't tired to "hijack" any buses since. =)

    ReplyDelete