Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Historical Shopping with Keli Gwyn


Barbour Books
ISBN: 978-1616265830

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?

Hey, Keli, can you set up the excerpt you sent?
The following interchange takes place minutes after Miles Rutledge and Elenora Watkins meet. They’re alone in the backroom of his shop following a tense introduction that leaves her wondering what’s wrong. His meddlesome mother handled his correspondence and neglected to tell her son that his new partner is a woman. Ellie is unaware that Mrs. Rutledge has withheld that information from Miles. 

Mr. Rutledge grabbed a bentwood chair and placed it in front of her, but he didn’t sit. Instead he strode a few paces away, wheeled around, and held his fisted hands at his sides.

“You’re a woman.”

“You’re observant.”

He inhaled deeply, his nostrils flaring. “You’re going to continue your game, are you?”

“Game? What game? I don’t understand.”

He stalked toward her one slow step at a time, his fists planted on his waist, until he towered over her. “I rarely get upset, Mrs. Watkins, but your charade is…is…contemptible.”

She leaped to her feet, her chest heaving, and stared into icy-blue eyes. Mere inches from him, she heard his labored breathing and saw his jaw flex. What could she have done to drive him to such an ungentlemanly outburst?

Keli Gwyn writes stories that transport readers to the 1800s, where she brings historic towns to life, peoples them with colorful characters, and adds a hint of humor. A California native, she lives in the Gold Rush-era town of Placerville at the foot of the majestic Sierra Nevada Mountains. Her debut novel, A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California, set in the heart of the Gold Country where she lives, was released July 1st.

When Keli’s fingers aren’t hovering over the keyboard of her newfangled laptop, she enjoys strolling past stately Victorian houses in her historic town, burying her nose in reference books as she unearths interesting facts to include in her stories, and interacting with other romance readers. Her favorite places to visit are her fictional worlds, the Coach factory outlet store, and Taco Bell. 

Our humble Keli, forgot to mention that she was a fellow 2010 RWA Golden Heart Inspirational Romance finalist...and also a double finalist in 2008. We most definitely extend a warm unsinkable welcome.

ANGI: How often do you get lost in a story?
KELI: I try to read a few chapters of a romance at the end of each day. As a reward for all I got done, I retreat to a Calgon-scented tub with my latest read, slip into the soothing water, and drift away into the story world. I've recently learned to read while walking on our local hiking trail, and can polish off 90 pages on a six-mile day. Every now and then, I take an entire day and do nothing by read. Sheer bliss! 

ANGI: What’s the first book you remember reading? 
KELI: This will definitely date me, but I remember the Dick and Jane readers. I can still picture Spot, the little dog I watched run. 

ANGI: What’s your favorite “love” word?
KELI: Smitten. I write historical romances set in the Victorian Era, and that word captures the falling-in-love feeling so well. 

ANGI: Can you tell us about a real-life hero you’ve met?
KELI: Aw, shucks. This is too easy. My husband. He's a high school teacher who loves his job and invests himself in young people. That's pretty special to me. Of course, the fact that he's incredibly supportive of me and works hard to incorporate the romance I crave into our marriage doesn't hurt. 

ANGI: What’s your favorite fairy tale?
KELI: I like Disney's Tangled. Unlike so many of the fairytale heroines of bygones days, Rapunzel is bright, spunky, and fun. 

ANGI: What do you like about the hero of your book?
KELI: I like the fact that Miles is a bit of a dandy and that he sticks his well-polished boot in his mouth far more often than he'd like. 

ANGI: Is there a playlist you’d recommend for reading your latest release?
KELI: My heroine plays classical violin. A piece that figures into the story in a special way is Vivaldi's Four Seasons. I listened to it over 1,000 times as I wrote the story. 

ANGI: What sound or noise do you love?
KELI: Nothing beats the rumble of our cats purring. It's such a soothing sound. 

ANGI: What’s your favorite movie of all time?
KELI: It's a tie because I can't choose between The Magic of Ordinary Days or North and South. I love the gentle hero, Ray Singleton, in the first and the tortured hero, John Thornton, in the second. 

ANGI: What is your biggest vice?
KELI: In a word: Amazon. That place is dangerous but oh, so fun. 

ANGI: Is there a “Blooper” in your story (it may have been changed before printing)?
KELI: I work hard to avoid unintentional repetition, so I cringed when I scanned the pages available using Amazon's "Look Inside" feature and saw that my hero, Miles, and his best friend Will both grin in the very same paragraph. I guess they were having a real grin fest that day.

ANGI’S GOTTA ASK: Keli, many of us wait several years before a publisher grabs us up to write for them. You seriously began pursuing your dream in 2006. What did it feel like holding your book in your hands for the first time?
KELI’S GOTTA ANSWER: I've yet to see my book, but I've imagined the moment many times. I have a feeling I'll be shedding tears of joy while squealing and dancing around the post office. 

Catch Keli’s first glimpse of seeing her first book in print. 

Contact   Website    Blog    Facebook    Twitter   @KeliGwyn    Goodreads  

UP NEXT: I'm working on another inspirational historical romance and have many more in the planning stages.

KELI’s GIVE AWAY: I'd like to offer an autographed copy of my book or a CD of Vivaldi's Four Seasons. The winner can choose. 

Note: Offer void where prohibited. Prizes will be mailed to North America addresses only unless specifically mentioned in the post. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants. Winners of drawings are responsible for checking this site in a timely manner. If prizes are not claimed in a timely manner, the author may not have a prize available. Get Lost In A Story cannot be responsible for an author's failure to mail the listed prize. GLIAS does not automatically pass email addresses to guest authors unless the commenter publicly posts their email address.

to FOLLOW us on Twitter (#GetLostStories) or LIKE us on Facebook to keep up with all our guest authors and their prizes.

Join me Friday when I host debut author and good friend MOLLY CANNON. And come back tomorrow when Maureen hosts Joanne Levy. ~Angi 

GOT A QUESTION YOU’D LIKE TO ASK YOUR FANS? I realize not everyone has the desire to learn to read while walking, but it's proven to be one of my best multitasking successes. What's one of yours?


  1. Keli, welcome to Get Lot in a Story, Unsinkable Sister. I've waited for this book forever, so speaking of Amazon.... off I go after this post. Love the conflict and your answers are terrific. Your husband sounds like a great guy and inspiration to you.

    oooh multitasking. I'm going to say brainstorming while cleaning. When I'm stuck I go clean something (it has to be done anyway) and think about my plot.

    Have fun with your debut! So pleased for you!

    1. Donnell,

      Thanks for sharing in my excitement--and for your kind words about my story.

      Brainstorming would be a great way to make housework more bearable. I'd much rather think about dashing heroes than dusting.

    Woo HOO for Unsinkables.

    MULTITASKING? I don't think I ever stop. My husband always claims that I get from letter A to Z without the other 24 letters while he's stuck on if not B, then C.

    Many Many successes to you, my friend !!

    1. Angi,

      It's great to be here at GLIAS. Thanks so much for hosting me.

      Sounds like you're a multitasking maven. I'm sure I could learn a few tips from you.

  3. Keli, I am so, so thrilled that this book is finally out! Can't wait to get a signed copy. As for multitasking, I'm the queen of plotting while driving my daughters to their various clubs and classes. I keep a notebook and pen in my console and take notes at traffic lights and when traffic gets backed up. :-) Hugs!

    1. Shelley,

      Plotting while driving is one of my multitasking feats as well. I have to be careful not to get so absorbed in the story playing out in my head that my attention wanders, though. I doubt an officer would accept the excuse that I really didn't see the car I just plowed into because I was time warped to the 1800s. =)

  4. Welcome, Keli, and congratulations!

    1. Alexa,

      Thanks for the welcome. It's great to be here.

  5. Another interesting post... I'm going to try to rent the two movies that Keli you mentioned. I believe that we have similar interests. I have recently started listening to audio books while I clean the house, doing yard work or driving/waiting for my children. Although, I prefer to read -- the audio tapes allow me to enjoy a hobby while working. couturecloset at comcast dot net

    1. Dianne,

      I think you'll enjoy the movies. I do. . .again and again and again. =)

      My agent listens to audio books all the time. I've not tried it, but listening to books being read aloud would be a great use of driving time.

  6. Congratulations on the new book! It looks like a good one.
    I am bad at multi-tasking but I do like to read during the commercials of my favorite tv shows.
    mce1011 AT aol DOT com

    1. Maureen,

      I've never tried reading during commercials. I think I'd have a hard time switching back and forth between two stories. Does that ever happen to you?

  7. Congratlations, Keli!!! So thrilled that your book is out. :)

    1. Maureen,

      Thanks for sharing in my excitement.

  8. Keli! What a fun interview.

    And reading while hiking? I don't know if I could do it.

    1. Abigail,

      I'm able to read while walking because I do much of my walking on a fairly level trail that's paved and has no motor vehicle traffic--just walkers, cyclists, and a rare equestrian. I have gotten whacked in the face by a low-hanging branch a time of two when an author had pulled me so far into her story world that I wasn't paying much attention to the world around me, but that's the only mishap I've dealt with so far.

  9. Reading while walking would be completely awesome, but I tend to want to really get places quickly when I'm walking and I'm afraid I might trip and hurt myself, defeating the whole multitasking thing... I don't have many areas I can safely multitask--sometimes I can watch TV and crochet or knit, but that's about it :) Or I can eat and read, but really, that's hardly multitasking at all :D

    f dot chen at comcast dot net

    1. F. Chen,

      Watching TV while crocheting or knitting is a fine way to multitask, but I really like the reading and eating combination. =)

  10. Very nice interview. Maybe eating and watching tv at the same time?


    1. bn,

      I'm quite adept at eating while watching TV, too. =)