Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Introducing debut novelist Keli Gwyn w/Giveaway

Let me just say up front I am so excited to have Keli here! Over the last year I have gotten to know her through her blog and email, and I have to say that she is one of the kindest, most encouraging persons I know.

I think you will thoroughly enjoy getting to know Keli. Her sense of humor is delightfully fun! She's also offering a copy of her debut novel, A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California, to one of my readers!



Hi Keli! Thanks so much for being my guest today :) Tell us a little about yourself and your writing journey. 

I’m a native Californian living in a Gold Rush-era town at the foot of the majestic Sierras. When I dusted off my dream of being a writer, one held since I was seven, and began my first story forty years later, I knew I wanted to write inspirational historical romance. Inspirational because my faith is important to me. Historical because I’m smitten with the Victorian Era. And romance because I’m a hopelessly romantic mush pot.

Since I could write a book about my writing journey, I’ll challenge myself to share it in one sentence. Here goes: I wrote five stories in two years, took a year off to study craft, rewrote my third book twice, entered it in lots of contests and did well, got requests from final-round judges, received an offer from agent Rachelle Gardner as a result of one, rewrote the story one more time, chewed my nails when it went out on submission, and rejoiced when it sold six weeks later. Phew! I did it. :-)

That is some journey! Sounds like you were one busy woman. 

What do you think makes a good story?

What goes into making a good story? Hmm. Lemme see. OK. Got it, but bear in mind this recipe is for a romance.

  • A likable hero and heroine who aren’t perfect but are “perfect” for one another

  • A plot that forces the couple into close contact and has some fun surprises for the characters and the reader

  • A unique voice that adds a nice flavor to the story

  • A pleasing progression of plot elements and character arcs

  • A sigh-worthy ending for a couple who has overcome the many challenges the author threw at them 

Oh yes, I love a sigh-worthy ending! I just read one this weekend.

Do you have a favorite book? What about it makes it stand out from others?



My favorite work of fiction would be Little Women. I forked over $10 of my allowance money when I was 13 for a hardcover unabridged version. It’s the only book I have from my childhood. I treasure that tear-stained copy. I read it over and over when I was young, dreaming Jo March’s dream of being a published author and hoping like crazy she and Laurie would get together. If I were ever to write fan fiction, I’d make sure that happened—with my apologies to Jo’s sister Amy of course. :-)

I love Little Women! That's one of my favorites. The movie is pretty good too! 

Have you always been such a fitness buff? Can you share some fitness tips to help us readers get in shape?

I was a sedentary person until my osteoporosis diagnosis last November. The goal of arresting or reversing my bone loss lit a fire under me. I joined Curves, where I work out 3x a week. I walk the other days. To my surprise and delight, I enjoy exercising now.

My best get-in-shape tip for readers is to read while walking. When I heard about this form of multi-tasking from a friend not long ago, I gave it a whirl. Walking on a treadmill could work for some, but I walk outdoors on a fairly level walking trail. So far I’ve not stumbled, fallen, or crashed into another walker, although I did get slapped in the face by a low-hanging branch once. I blame that on Karen Witemeyer. I was so into her latest book that I’d lost track of everything around me.

I'm so sorry to hear about that diagnosis. You are such an inspiration to me in the fitness arena. I love keeping track of your Transcontinental trek! You have spurred me on to get out there and walk more daily. And reading while walking is a great idea. I lose track of everything when I read Karen's books too!

What’s the one food item you can’t live without?

If we’re talking a single entrée, it would be a Taco Bell tostada.

If we’re talking one particular item, it would be bread. My entire family loves bread. Our love affair began when we lived in Germany and got hooked on their heavy, hearty, whole-grained breads. Yummers!

Taco Bell rocks! I agree about bread too. I have switched to Weight Watchers and it's not bad, but I prefer making my own whole wheat!

Be honest and tell us what you’re wearing right now?

I just returned from my Curves workout, so I’m wearing a pair of navy exercise shorts, a gray v-neck t-shirt, and, gulp, no makeup. I’ve already kicked off my cute Nike workout shoes and my socks. And, yes, there is a shower in my future.



Where is your favorite place to write?

At home. I’m a shy writer and can’t write well in public. Not only that, but I speak dialogue out loud as I write it, make faces as I imagine characters’ reactions, and jump out of my chair at times to act out certain gestures. I’m sure I’d get strange looks if I were to write at a coffee house or restaurant.

I laughed out loud at this! That would be a sight to see but so much fun :)

Do you ever wake up in the middle of the night and just have to get up and write down a thought? If so, do you keep a tablet on your bedside table or go to the computer?

Ideas bombard me all the time, even in my dreams. I jump up and race for the tablet by the phone when I want to capture a particularly good one in the middle of the night. 

Do you talk to your characters? Keep story boards? Pictures?

I talk to my characters all the time. And they talk back to me. I love it when I begin a new story and they really start chatting. That’s when I know I’ve got the new characters down.

I plot using two whiteboards on the wall beside my desk and plenty of sticky notes. I like being able to move scenes around if need be.

The pictures I use are old-fashioned photographs from the Victorian Era, either the wallet-sized carte de visite or the 4x6 inch cabinet card. Both are mounted on cardstock. When possible, I use actual photos found on my antique store searches, but I’ve used images from the Internet as well.

I find it fascinating the process that authors use to write their stories.

What’s in store for you next? Are you working on another book?

I’m working on another inspirational historical romance and have oodles more story ideas in the planning stages.

Yay! I love that genre best!

Where can you be found on the internet?

You can visit my cyber home at www.keligwyn.com, complete with its parlor, library, study, carriage house, and more. My blog and social media links can be found there as well.

Thank you so much for being here today, Keli! It was fun learning more about you and  your writing.


Book Blurb

An ever-resourceful widow, Elenora Watkins arrives in El Dorado ready to go into partnership with Miles Rutledge. When he refuses, Elenora becomes the competition across the street. Is this town big enough for the two of them? Miles can’t help but stick his well-polished boot in his mouth whenever he comes face-to-face with Elenora. Can he find a way to win her heart while destroying her business? Miles’s mother, Maude, is bent on Elenora becoming her new daughter-in-law while Elenora’s daughter, Tildy, thinks Miles would make a perfect papa. How far will these meddlers go to unite this enterprising pair?



Leave an encouraging comment or ask Keli a question to be entered to win an autographed copy of A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California. Ends July 6th. US Only (all 50).

111 comments:

  1. Wow! I was sooo excited "opening" your package with you at the post office yesterday!! I love the photo of you under the parasol here! Better than Eliza Doolittle! So sweet. I would love to be included in the drawing for your book, Keli! Kathleen
    lanehillhouse[at]centurylink[dot]net
    P.S. And thank you for my copy of Little Women!

    Purple is my very favorite color.

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  2. Congratulations on your first being published Keli! I look forward to reading it and many more by you.
    Do you have another job other than writing? Any interesting careers in your past?

    Patty

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  3. Congrats on a first publish Keli!! I've seen this book around the blogosphere and it looks great. I would love to win!

    Thanks for the interview and giveaway!

    Ladette

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  4. I'd like to be a little mouse in the corner when you are writing! What fun you must have acting out your characters! Congrats on your new book. It looks like a good one.
    pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

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  5. Congrats on your first published, Keli! You are a great inspiration to me! (PS: Love the way you spell your name! And I love the parasol.)

    Hope I win!

    katelynmwhitley@yahoo.com

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  6. Kathleen,

    Thanks for your kind words. You added a smile to my day. :-)

    Opening the package with my debut novel inside and seeing it for the first time was pretty exciting. Have to admit that was a three-tissue experience for this weepy woman.

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  7. Patty,

    Thanks for your questions. I'm blessed to be able to devote all my time to my writing-related endeavors.

    I was a bookkeeper for many years, and while I enjoyed my job, my last position before marrying and becoming a stay-at-home mom was that of assistant editor at a small publishing company. I learned so much about the industry and dreamed of the day my book would be going through the publishing cycle.

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  8. Thanks for stopping by, Ladette. Anne's blog is a great one to visit, isn't it? She's such a sweet person, one I'm delighted to have as my friend.

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  9. Wasn't that the sweetest video?! I cried too! And I am drooling over Keli's purple parasol :)

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  10. Congrats on your debut novel...it sounds great! And us too, if it weren't for Taco Bell we would have starved many a days! :) Anne, thanks for the delightful interview and book giveaway.

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  11. Aw Keli, I'm glad to have gotten to know you and call you friend. And Ladette is a faithful follower here. I am so appreciative of her support!

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  12. Lovely interview, I totally agree with the points about what makes a good book! I've had my eye on this book for quite awhile, I'm hoping to get my hands on a copy soon :)

    Thank you both!

    crazi.swans at gmail dot com

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  13. Beth, I thought the same thing. How much fun would it be to see someone doing that, say, in a coffee shop somewhere?! We could jump right in and take parts ;)

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  14. Katelyn,
    That parasol rocks, huh?! I think I need one too :) Thanks for coming by and commenting.

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  15. Brenda,
    Thanks so much for taking time to come by and encourage Keli, and me too! You are a sweetheart.

    We took our boys to Taco Bell the other night, getting in the door just before they closed and pigged out!

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  16. At what age did you know you wanted to write? I would be happy to win!

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  17. Beth,

    Watching me write would be an experience. I really do all those things I said--and more. I've been known to sit on a large exercise ball while writing to simulate being on a constantly moving train or stagecoach or to crank up the heater to give me the feel of a hot California summer in the middle of a chilly winter. And you should have seen me the day I acted out the death of a rather nasty villain following a gunshot. :-)

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  18. Katelyn,

    I love my name. My mom spelled it that way because she didn't want it to look like a boy's name. When I was a kid back in the Dark Ages, guys were named Kelly much more often than they are now. I remember a certain good-looking Dr. Kelly Brackett from a show called Emergency. The name was quite popular at the time. One year in elementary school there were something like five Kelly's. You should have seen the confusion on Valentine's Day when we had to put our classmates' cards in the little mailboxes we'd made. :-)

    I love the parasol. It's made of Battenburg lace. I got it on Amazon. They have several different colors.

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  19. Brenda,

    I'm a total Taco Bell addict. When I was in college, I'd eat both lunch and dinner there some days. When I got the shipment of my debut novel yesterday and saw the book for the very first time, my husband took me to Taco Bell for a celebratory burrito afterward. He knows what I like. :-)

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  20. Faye,

    Sounds like we like the same things in a story. I had to learn to give my characters flaws. At one point, I was told my hero was "too perfect." He was, so I worked on him quite a bit. The changes were such fun to incorporate. Miles is now a dandy, has a habit of putting his well-polished boot in his mouth, and is a touch on the stubborn side. Since Elenora can dig in her heels at times, too, it makes for some interesting interactions between the two of them.

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  21. Terri,

    Ever since I was seven, I dreamed of being a writer. Forty years passed before I started writing my first story. Once I did, there was no turning back. I was hooked. I've been writing six and a half years and am having the time of my life.

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  22. keli...congratulations on your debut novel...looking forward to reading it ;)

    anne...loved this posting, as always :)

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  23. I think Taco Bell should give us some coupons for all the advertising today! My favorite is the crunchy Supreme Tacos :) My boys like those new Doritos Locos.

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  24. The review is delicious! Learned a lot about you. I would love to see you dialogue a story! I agree you would probably scare a few patrons at a coffee shop! I LOVE you in your long dress with the parasol. I often wonder how authors get much sleep if they are awakened with novel ideas and need to write them down. Please count me in the giveaway.

    Your problem with your name is what I go through with mine! I wanted to change it to Carmen back then so I could be different. Then I met a Carmen and she didn't like her unusual name! LOL Aren't we funny at times!

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  25. Keli,
    Little Women was the first book that I read and re-read and re-read and re-read.
    I imagined myself as Jo too -- and always wished for a writing place all my own. Today I have one -- well, mostly an office all my own. My husband has a desk in the room where he pays bills and my daughter uses the computer to do homework -- but most of the time it's me and my imaginary characters.
    Can't wait to read your debut novel!

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  26. Keli I preordered your book so I can't wait till it gets here. You may change my mind about romance novels, yet, since I already love historical novels and writing about our area just makes me so jazzed. And I can't wait to see how you weave your faith into the plot. Watching you flourish has been a kick!
    Hey, if you decide to include some little scenes of chickens in one of your books you can come over and spend the day with my girls and see how funny they can be. Sorry I don't have any roosters though.
    With your gown you will have to (when you get older!) enter the El Dorado Fair Rose contest. I love those older gals and you would/will eventually fit right in! El Dorado County and you are perfect for each other! I love it here and I didn't know you were a California gal so I can see why you fit right in.
    We have to get together for Taco Bell soon. Maybe after your party, though, as I guess your schedule is pretty hectic right now. Just enjoy yourself and I am so happy for you that you are doing so well!

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  27. I loved this interview, I think I'm almost as excited to read this as Keli was to get copies in her hands LOL! Great interview Anne. Why am I not surprised that the food she can't live without is from Taco Bell? Gotta love Keli! :-)

    Please don't enter me as I'll be getting my own copy soon.

    xoxo~ Renee C.

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  28. I lied about reading Little Women in sixth grade to win a reading contest. Long story, but I did eventually read it. :)

    So excited about your book, Keli. Your voice comes through even here, in an interview. God bless, friend, and enjoy!

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  29. Karen,

    Isn't Anne the best? I'm so glad she and I bumped into one another here in cyberspace. If only I could meet her in person. I'm sure we'd have oodles of fun talking about books, favorite characters, and more. In fact, I'd love to get all of her blog visitors together for a real gabfest. That would be a blast.

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  30. Linda,

    I'm not sure the residents of my small town could handle me writing in public. Perhaps I could get away with it if I wore a t-shirt that says, "Warning! Slightly wacky writer at work."

    I'm totally smitten with my dress. The seamstress I hired did a super job with it. She's finishing up my husband's frock coat and silver brocade waistcoat now. Gwynly is gonna look mighty nice in his Victorian finery.

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  31. Beth,

    There's nothing like having one's own writing spot, is there? If only I could keep mine free of clutter, though. It's amazing how fast the piles multiply. A few story notes here. A stack of new reference books there. =)

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  32. I am so excited for you and cannot wait until I see your beautiful cover on a local bookshelf! Your purple dress is wonderful. :)

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  33. Maybe Gwynly should video some of these things as special treats for your fans ;)

    Have you started a YouTube channel?

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  34. Terri,

    Wow! It's so cool to get a comment from one of my church friends! You know me and have seen me "dance" in church for years, so I'm sure you understand very well why I can't write in public. I really get into what I'm into. =)

    I'll do my best to show you how much fun romance novels can be. And if my story isn't the ticket for you, I can recommend oodles of great authors whose work you might enjoy.

    I'll keep your generous offer in mind. Since my next heroine tends chickens, your girls and I just might need to get acquainted.

    And Taco Bell? You betcha. Once the busyness of my release month is behind me, we need to set a date.

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  35. Renee,

    Thanks for sharing in my excitement. When it comes to supporting authors, you rock! Can't wait drop your review copy of the book later in the mail later today.

    Guess where Gwynly took me to celebrate after we picked up my books? Yup. Taco Bell. He said I needed a celebratory burrito. It was fun to show the book to the staff. They were happy to see it and rejoiced with me. After all, they've been fueling my creativity for years. =)

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  36. Shannon,

    Little Women is a good book. Glad you finally read it for real. ;-)

    Thanks for sharing in my excitement. I know you understand the thrill, having just experienced the euphoria of the release of your debut novel, Angel Eyes. Your signing at B&N was such fun. Loved your hubby's friends wearing those special "I like Matt's wife" shirts featuring the slogan with the Facebook "like" button on the front and your website addy on the back. Sooo clever.

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  37. Anne,

    What a great idea! I can see it now. A video on my YouTube channel called "Behind the Scenes with a Wacky Writer." LOL

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  38. It would be great fun to actually meet but as we live on opposite sides of the US, I'm not holding my breath ;)

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  39. Anne,

    I'm thinking we could all meet at your local Taco Bell for our book chat. You could have your crunchy Taco Supreme, and I could have a tostada. Yum!

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  40. Anne,

    We could do the next best thing. We could Skype. Since I want to be able to chat with book clubs, Gwynly helped me get things set up. I've Skyped with him across our bedroom, but it would be more fun to Skype with someone I don't get to see in person all the time. :-)

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  41. If you came all the way out here, I would buy you anything you wanted from Taco Bell!

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  42. Gillian,

    It's such fun to have you share in my excitement. I wouldn't be where I am today without the encouragement and support of my friends. I treasure each and every one of you.

    I do love my dress. My seamstress outdid herself.

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  43. I'm all for Skyping. I'm not in a local book club though, so it would just be me :/

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  44. Patricia A. TurnerJune 26, 2012 at 9:28 AM

    I am so anxious to read your book and to learn all about your dress shop and the characters that bring your story together.

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  45. Patricia,

    Thanks for sharing in my joy. I'm eager for readers to "meet" Miles and Elenora, along with his meddlesome mother, Maude, Elenora's precocious nine-year-old daughter, Tildy, and the other interesting--and sometimes quirky--characters who people my story.

    And just to clarify, Miles is the owner of Rutledge Mercantile. Ellie opens a mercantile of her own across the street from his: Watkins General Merchandise. He carries functional items, whereas she likes to stock "the finer things," as she would say.

    I'm in the process of getting together a contest with lots of prizes. The grand prize is Elenora's Extravaganza, a collection of beautiful Victorian-themed items such as she would have carried in her shop. I'll share links to the drawing on my website, my blog, Facebook, and Twitter. Look for it in a day or so.

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  46. It would be so much fun to have a dress up day! I don't think I could talk my men into it though :)

    Your dress is awesome, Keli. Lavender in all shades is so romantic!
    Have you ordered the corset yet? If you do, will it be a pretty one or more functional? There are some stunning ones on Pinterest. Laura Frantz pins some doozies!

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  47. Fun interview Keli and Anne! I love the story about walking and the tree branch. Not that I would wish you pain...but I can totally see how easy it is to get lost in a story :) Congratulations on your book Keli! I am so happy for you.

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  48. Having read this review I'd love to win a copy of this book. Thank you so much for offering this giveaway!
    Nancee
    quiltcat26[at]sbcglobal[dot]net

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  49. Five stories in two years?? Wow! I'd do good to write one every two years, lol! You're book sounds fantastic, and I can't wait to read it. :-)

    gwen[dot]gage[at]gmail[dot]com

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  50. Fantastic interview Anne! Keli is indeed a great encourager. She has spurred many a writer on toward the finish line with her cheering. Keli, I laughed, too, about making faces and gestures as you are writing. I've even stooped to ask my huz and sons to model various gestures so I can get it right. LOL!
    Congrats to Keli on her debut!

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  51. Keli, a huge hug and congratulations to you! I'm so excited to see this long-time dream come to fruition--God so truly works in wonderful ways! Can't wait to see this on a bookstore shelf near me, and put a copy on my keeper shelf!

    f dot chen at comcast dot net

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  52. Reading while walking sounds like something my daughter would do. I do read while riding my exercise bike but think reading while walking would be harder for me. It's great Keli can do it though. It takes multitasking to a new level.
    Having the daughter of the heroine and mother of the hero meddle in the budding romance sounds like fun. I'd love to win a copy of Keli's new book.

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  53. Thank you for the great Interview, how fun it was to read. Congratulation on your Book Keli, it sounds like a very good Book, I love that Genre. Please add me to your Giveaway.
    Many Blessings to you and Anne

    ingrids62448(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  54. Oh, this sounds like it could maybe be funny, can hardly wait to read it.

    wfnren(at)aol(dot)com

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  55. Wow, this is great! I wish my interviews garnered this many comments. I completely agree about Karen Witemeyer, her books will definitely do that to you. :)

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  56. Woot! Excited to get my copy!!!! Congrats again on the book, you deserve a dozen burritos. ;-)

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  57. Congrats on your debut!!! It sounds great and I can't wait to read it!

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  58. Anne,

    I do love my Victorian gown. My seamstress did such a great job capturing the look I wanted. The dress is modeled after one Elenora wears in a special scene of the book. =)

    I just ordered the corset that I featured in my latest Friday Fun Victorian Style blog post. It's a pretty white one--functional but feminine. The price had dropped since I added to my cart. Gotta love that. =)

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  59. Nancee,

    Thanks for stopping by and entering the drawing. I'm looking forward to seeing who the winner is. =)

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  60. Joanne,

    I look forward to getting lost in your story. Soon! You must be getting sooo excited as your release gets closer. I am!

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  61. Gwen,

    The only reason I was able to write so much was that I hadn't discovered the wonderful world of writers online and the wealth of information available on the many blogs and other sites. I lived in a cave those first two years and had no idea what a blog was.

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  62. Carla,

    I smiled when you talked about your guys modeling for you. Gwynly has grown used to me saying things like, "If I stand like this, and you put your arm here, where would that put my head in relation to your chin?" Isn't it great to have such supportive fellows willing to indulge their resident writer's unusual requests?

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  63. Fedora,

    Thanks for sharing in my excitement. You were one of my earliest cheerleaders, and I really appreciate that. I hope you enjoy the story.

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  64. Pam,

    I have a dear friend named Pam K. in my hometown, and she has a daughter, too. Coincidence? =)

    I love Miles's meddlesome--and somewhat crusty--mother, Maude. And Elenora's daughter, Tildy, was such fun to write. She's so happy that people will be reading her mama's story soon that she could pop, as she likes to say.

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  65. Ingrid,

    I'm glad you enjoyed the interview. Anne asked such great questions. I had a fun answering them.

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  66. Wendy,

    There are those who have said the story is funny. RT Book Magazine called it "a laugh-out-loud historical romance with lovable characters" and gave it four stars. I was thrilled, of course. I've always laughed when I read the story, but I didn't know if others would, so it's neat to find out they do. You'll have to let me know if it gives you a chuckle or two. =)

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  67. Margaret,

    Karen is a great storyteller, isn't she? I loved her latest book, Short-Straw Bride. But then, that's no surprise. I loved To Win Her Heart and Tailor-Made Bride, too.

    I'm looking forward to being a guest on your blog and having fun with you and your visitors there. We'll make it a great day, right? :-)

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  68. I'm sorry I had to bug out for so long. I thought I would be able to stay in touch during the evening but it just didn't happen. I'm thrilled with the responses from everyone! Can you imagine what the gabfest would be like in person?!

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  69. I invite all of you to pray for my dear friend Beth. She lives in Colorado Springs and is one of the many who's been evacuated as the fire there threatens her neighborhood. She's safe now, but I can't begin to imagine how she must feel. If you could lift up the others in similar situations, that would be great. And please include the firefighters battling the many fires raging throughout the West. My agent, Rachelle Gardner's, husband is one of them on the front lines at the Colorado Springs fire. Thank you.

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  70. Liz,

    Thanks for sharing in my excitement. It's hard to believe my release is less than four days away. I've pinched myself so many times I'm likely to turn into a virtual rainbow. :-)

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  71. Gwen,

    You have a toddler running around that demands most of your time! I think you're doing good to write at all :)

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  72. This looks a great book to debut! I am putting this one on to read list.
    samanthaakuiper(at)gmail(dot)com

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  73. I am a big iced tea addict.....and I would to read and win Keli Gywn's debut novel...'A Bride Opens Shop In El Dorado, California.......sounds sooo wonderful

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  74. I forgot to mention that I shared on facebook and twitter

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  75. Samantha,

    Thanks for your kind words. I hope you enjoy the story.

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  76. Linda,

    I happen to think A Bride Opens Shop would make a good summer read, since much of the story takes place during the heat of a California summer. And what better beverage to have handy when reading during the summer than a tall glass of iced tea? :-)

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  77. I second that, Anne. Writing while mothering young children is an impressive and admirable feat. Kudos to you, Gwen.

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  78. It was delightful to read about your writing habits! And I must confess that the way you described your love for "Little Women" was quite parallel to my own. I still wish every time that somehow dear Jo and Laurie would get together...but by the end of the book I'm generally all right with the Professor. =-D

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  79. Bethany,

    Ah, another with a deep and abiding love of Little Women--and a desire to see Jo end up with the man who stole her heart. The Professor was a good and kind gentleman and theirs a mature love, but I always wondered if Jo had any regrets. Since Louisa herself loved and lost in a way, I suppose that could explain the ending she chose. However, being a writer myself, I wonder why she didn't opt to end things differently in the fictionalized version of her story.

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  80. Keli,

    I woke up yesterday morning with Colorado on my mind and prayed for them all throughout the day. I just can't imagine what that would be like. We lost a home to flooding long years ago, but somehow fire seems so much more scary to me. Even in the midst of these terrible fires, God is still on the throne!!! Thank you for reminding us all to continue to pray!

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  81. Anne,

    I'm so sorry you had to endure the loss of home to flooding. I know it's behind you, but the experience had to have been so tough at the time. I'm sure it gives you empathy for those, like Beth, who have been waiting for news of their houses. How wonderful that in spite of our human fears and doubts we have a God who cares so much for us and will be there for us no matter what.

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  82. I met Keli when I was 10? ... so 30+ years ago. My mom & her became pen pals and when my mom was finished reading Keli's letters (booklets), she would let me read them. I have always enjoyed reading Keli's letters - through the years, Keli's written me a few times and while I'm great at writing back - I rarely mail the letters (ugh!) So - I'm very thankful for "cyber-writing" and really looking forward to reading Keli's first (of many, I'm certain) novel! <3

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  83. Well, My name is Pam but I have no daughter. I do have a son that I would love to get married to that nice school teacher he is dating. Hoping I will win your book and get some ideas on how to encourage this step without saying anything. Do not want to be that interfering old lady but grandchildren would be fantastic. My son was named after a romance novel's hero so why can't another novel help him to get married. Congrats on your book and hopefully you and your book can be the answer to one of my prayers. HAHA I know you think I am kidding. But guess what................I'm not.

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  84. This looks like a fun book to read - and you sound like a very creative author. I found it amusing that you act out your characters - I think that should add another fun dimension! Congrats on your first book!

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  85. It sounds like a great book and what a wonderful interview! I read too fast and walk too fast, I would be afraid of falling...but you have tempted me!!
    How is your osteoporosis now?

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  86. I love fisty heroines that know what they want and willing to fight for it. Thanks for the opportunity to enter giveaway.

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  87. Hi Keli, I love reading about debut books from new authors. I have been exposed to many new authors that way. I am excited to read your book. Good luck!
    Wendy

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  88. Abigail RichmondJuly 1, 2012 at 7:43 PM

    This story looks Great!!!

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  89. Abigail, I hope readers enjoy meeting Miles and Elenora, his well-meaning but meddlesome mother, Maude, and Elenora's talkative daughter, Tildy.

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  90. Dianne,

    Oh, the many novellas I've written your mom through the years. How fun that you enjoyed reading them, too. It's been such fun to watch you grow up and become a mom yourself.

    I hope you enjoy reading my book as much as you did my letters. :-)

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  91. Pamela,

    It sounds like your son has found a lovely gal, one you wholeheartedly approve of. That's great.

    My book does include a meddlesome but well-meaning mother. Maude Rutledge wants to see her son happy and thinks widow Elenora Watkins is just the woman for him. Elenora's daughter, Tildy, thinks Miles would make a wonderful papa. They do everything they can to get Miles and Elenora together, but subtlety is not their strong suit. :-)

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  92. Jen,

    I am a bit quirky at times, especially when it comes to writing. You should have seen me act out a scene when a character in one of my early efforts was thrown from a stagecoach and tumbled down a hillside. Thankfully I survived my playacting without getting any bruises.

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  93. Martha,

    I had my doubts about being able to read while walking, but I do much of my walking on a trail that is paved, has a nice stripe down the middle I use to judge where I'm at, and is fairly level.

    I had my first bone density test last fall. My hope is that when I have my second this fall they'll find that I've arrested or even reversed my bone loss. I certainly feel stronger and healthier than I have in years. Thanks for asking.

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  94. Kallie,

    My Elenora could well be classified as feisty. When she sets her mind to something, she doesn't let anything stand in her way--even a certain mercantile owner determined to best in her business. :-)

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  95. Wendy,

    Like you, I enjoy reading the work of debut authors. I've found many great books that way. Several of those authors' stories have become must-reads for me.

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  96. Congratulations on your debut novel. It sounds like a great book. I loved the interview as well. Look forward to reading your books.

    Blessings,
    Jo

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  97. Very fun interview. The book sounds lovely. How did you celebrate the book release?

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  98. Jo,

    I'm glad you enjoyed the interview. Anne asked such great questions. I had fun answering them.

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  99. Keli,
    Love that picture of you with the purple dress. I'll bet it was fun to put that outfit together.

    I agree with Carla, you have been so stellar at encouraging us writers. I'm so glad its your turn for release!

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  100. What a lovely honest answer to the outfit question -- and then that lovely dress! Love the color. :)

    Thanks for the chance to win a copy!

    biblioprincess15 (at) yahoo (dot) com

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  101. This book is very high on my Amazon Wish List already and after "meeting" Keli, I really look forward to reading it. I could totally relate to the fascination with "sticky notes"; aren't they great?? Now about talking out loud with my "characters"?. . . .ummm, I will leave that skill with you, Keli. But, how fun!

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  102. I just had my bone density test last month and they said it was bad.
    I love your purple outfit. I think you'll be in the top amish writers very soon.
    I know I will be reading your books.

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  103. bn,

    I've been celebrating the release with my cyber friends and wonderful blog hostesses like Anne. I have a Launch Party and Old-fashioned Ice Cream Social planned for July 15 here where I live. I'm excited about it. There will be Dreyer's ice cream, lots of toppings, and awesome entertainment, including a performance by the Gold Rush Barbershop Chorus, a local group of 18+ men who sing beautifully.

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  104. Julia,

    The dress was made especially for me by a very talented seamstress who makes clothing for local historical sites. Didn't Patti do an awesome job? She's currently working on Gwynly's frock coat and silver brocade vest.

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  105. Rachelle,

    I am quite smitten with my Victorian gown. Isn't the color rich? The dress was made for me. It looks like the one my heroine, Elenora, wears in a special scene in my story.

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  106. Rebecca,

    I'll let you in on a secret. I not only carry on conversations with my characters, but I also converse with our cats. The boys have unique voices and "talk" back to me. Am I quirky. You betcha. :-)

    I'm honored that you have my book on your Amazon wish list. The book is "temporarily out of stock" in paperback form on Amazon right now, though. Hopefully they'll have copies again soon.

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  107. Pat,

    I'm so sorry to hear about your bone density test results. I hope your doctor is able to help you come up with a plan to arrest or even reverse the loss. I'll be 53 later this month, so my osteoporosis was caught pretty early. That's why I'm so dedicated to my exercise regimen. My goal is to best osteo one workout or walk at a time. I look forward to the day I can say "I have osteo no mo'."

    Thanks for the well wishes on my book. I don't actually write Amish fiction, though. I write historical romance set in the Victorian era. There are many awesome Amish writers, though. Some of them are my friends.

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  108. I would love to receive a copy of your book. Purple is my favorite color and this blog page is magnificent!!!

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  109. TERRI CLARK, You are the WINNER of A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California!!!

    I have sent two emails and haven't heard from you. Please respond by Thursday, July 12th, or I will choose another winner.

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  110. Tanquella,

    Your name is so unique. I love it!

    I agree. Anne's blog is lovely. It's a nice reflection of the lovely person she is.

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I am so delighted that you've taken time to come by and comment. Blessings for a joy-filled day!

1 Corinthians 1:3 ~ Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

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