It’s Party Week for Keli Gwyn!

Cynthia Herron Books 21 Comments

This week at my cyber home, I’ve officially proclaimed it to be “Love on Keli Gwyn week.” (I’ve planned this for a long time, so I’m super excited that you stopped by!)

If you like parties, prizes, and books, then you’ll want to be sure and join in the fun today, Wednesday, and Friday. And don’t forget to stop by the refreshment table that’s filled with all kinds of delectable goodies. (No calories involved–I promise!)

We’ll kick off the festivities today with my review of A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California, but first, I have a confession.

When I was initially asked to review A Bride Opens Shop, I hesitated just a wee bit. Here’s why: I’ve followed Keli’s writing journey since the “early days.” She’s someone I greatly admire, we’re agency mates, and we’ve become personal friends. (And good grief…she’s just so cotton pickin’ nice!) Could I do it? Could I remain impartial enough to give my honest opinion?

Whew! The pressure!

Actually, it was because of our connection that I read A Bride Opens Shop with more of a discerning eye than I normally might have.


Here’s a brief overview of Keli’s début novel (per Keli’s Media Kit used with her permission):


“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?”

Title: A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California
Genre: Inspirational Historical Romance
Release Date: July 1, 2012
Publisher: Barbour Publishing
ISBN-13: 978-1616265830


I initially cracked opened A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California at my lunch table. I’d intended to read the first chapter, but wound up reading three, which is always a good sign.

During the opening scene, we find Elenora Watkins and her daughter, Matilda, traveling to California in search of a brighter future. (Of course, a stagecoach hold-up isn’t part of that plan.) The hook immediately drew me in: a widow and her little girl and the essence of danger right at the outset. Would they be harmed? How would they escape? (You’ll have to read for yourself and see what happens.)

I will say it becomes obvious that Elenora is not some wilting flower.  In fact, she’s resourceful with a great head for business. Thinking she’s about to set up a partnership with mercantile owner Miles Rutledge, only to learn it’s not going to work out, leaves Elenora scrambling for a plan. After all, she has a daughter to support and time is of the essence. When she does come up with a “solution” to her dilemma, it’s not quite what Miles has in mind. Competing with a fellow shop owner is one thing. Competing with a pretty woman is quite another. (And in a shop across from his very own mercantile!)

Sparks begin to fly as “Ellie” and Miles butt heads in business but join hearts in the process. And little Matilda, or “Tildy” as she’s affectionately been dubbed, couldn’t be happier, along with others in town. However, it’s not until other climatic events unfold do Elenora and Miles realize their devotion to each other. Will they set aside their differences long enough to see the forest for the trees? Will Ellie’s relationship with her Heavenly Father take on a new meaning, as well?

I thoroughly enjoyed A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California. The elements of humor, romance, and drama worked seamlessly in the artful telling of a story so poignant it left me breathless.

Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5 stars!!!


Now that you’re chomping at the bit to read Keli’s heartwarming story, I’m thrilled to tell you that Keli has generously offered A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California to one of my wonderful commenters today! AND… more great news… I’m throwing in a $10 Darden’s gift card (good at Reb Lobster, Olive Garden, or Longhorn Steakhouse) to go with it!


When you leave a comment/SUBSCRIBE to my blog today, you’re automatically entered into my end-of-the-month giveaway (which will be held next week. That prize is for a $15 Barnes & Noble gift card!)


It keeps getting better! I’ll have another surprise post on Wednesday and Friday of this week, with more giveaways! So you see, lots of ways (and prizes to win)!

(Don’t forget to ck. out the RULES. Just scroll to the bottom of that post.)

You have until midnight tonight (CST) to enter (leave a comment) for today’s drawing. I’ll announce today’s winner on Wednesday’s post.


Imagine you’re transported back into time.

What ONE modern item/convenience would you take with you?

Photo Credit of Keli: Sierra Springs Photography

Website –

Facebook Timeline –

Facebook Page –

Twitter –!/KeliGwyn

Goodreads –

Blessings Always,

Comments 21

  1. Tonya Ashley

    That’s an easy question! I just spent almost a week without a refrigerator. I never realized how much that would upset life. And two weeks ago our A/C went out.

    So it would easily be all manner of keeping things cool!

  2. Jessica R. Patch

    Ah! So awesome! It’s great seeing Keli over here and I’m looking forward to all the weekly treats you’ll be dishing!

    How far back in time? I need airconditioning and real toilet! 🙂

  3. Post
    Cynthia Herron

    Tonya, yikes! Yes, with the extreme heat we’ve been having, no fridge OR A.C. would be two “modern conveniences” I wouldn’t want to give up–NOW or THEN. AND…I’m throwing in indoor plumbing, too.

    Sending you “cool” thoughts!

  4. Post
    Cynthia Herron

    Jess, that would be waaaay back. And I just mentioned to Tonya that indoor plumbing would be an absolute must for me, too! (I’m NOT a “rough it” kinda gal… LOL!)

  5. Loree Huebner

    Don’t put me in for the drawing – I have the book and loved it.

    Great review! I’m enjoying learning so much about Keli in her blog tour interviews.

  6. Post
    Cynthia Herron

    Loree, it’s been great fun to learn such interesting tidbits about Keli. I enjoyed reading your blog post, as well! Wish Blogger/Blogspot was kind to me and that I could comment on my fave authors’ sites again.

  7. Keli Gwyn


    Yikes! Being without a refrigerator or air conditioner in the middle of the summer would be tough. Sorry you had to go through that.

  8. Keli Gwyn

    Jess, I’m with you. A modern bathroom is a must. Using outhouses holds no appeal. And after having worn my Victorian gown in the middle of a California summer when the temperatures were hovering just below the triple digit mark, AC is a necessity.

  9. Keli Gwyn

    Cindy, what an honor it is to have my book featured on your blog. Thank you for that great review. I’m so glad you enjoyed the story.

    I look forward to spending the rest of the week with you and your blog’s visitors.

  10. Donna Alice Patton

    Guess if I were transported back in time I’d love to have a can of RAID! Honest – have been to some of those historical buildings and museums and the bugs are terrible. Imagine no screens and all the flies and crawly stuff getting into bed with you. ICK!

  11. Janella Wilson-Winners

    I couldn’t be without a washer and dryer. I couldnt imagine having to wash every single article of clothing for my entire family.

    Please enter me in the drawing, the book sounds interesting.

  12. Sue Harrison

    During winters we often have to make the choice as to which modern convenience we need most because we lose our electric power and our generator will only run a few things. I usually choose running water!

  13. Post
  14. Post
  15. Post
  16. Post
    Cynthia Herron

    Sue, wow! Tough choices are never easy, are they?

    I can somewhat relate. We have a well which also doesn’t operate when the electric goes out. Living where we do, we’ve experienced both extremes. We’ve lost power for up to a week with tornadoes in the spring/summer, and also for a few days in the winter with excessive cold snaps.

    Yippee for running water!

  17. Keli Gwyn

    Donna, I don’t like bugs either, so Raid sounds like a very practical choice to me.

    Erica, I’m all for indoor plumbing–and AC.

    Janella, I’m with you. The thought of scraping my knuckles on a washboard makes me cringe.

    Sue, it must be tough to lose power and have to choose which conveniences are most needed. Running water would be high on my list.

  18. Tonya Ashley

    Seeing all these responses makes me think I’d be in real trouble if I were suddenly transported back in time and lost ALL modern conveniences at once. I think I would be okay if I could be weened off of them one at a time.

    We’ve been without electricity in the winter (and everything it powers, including the hot water heater). That can happen a lot here, for days or even weeks. We do ok because we have sleeping bags and a gas stove. Lots of friends have gone electric, but I told my husband I never want an eletric stove because I want to be able to EAT when the power is out!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *