Keli Gwyn
Book Browser vs. Book Buyer

While spending three hours at my first bookstore signing, which took place at our nearest Barnes & Noble, I had plenty of time to engage in some people watching. I took advantage of the opportunity to learn about readers.

Every so often, I left the signing area to walk around the store. On row after row I saw customers standing in front of racks examining book after book.

What I didn’t see were customers heading to the registers in great numbers. Those who did buy books left with one, two, or sometimes three titles. The majority left the store empty handed.

I was left with questions. Why had they come into the store? To enjoy the delightful ambiance of a bookstore? To spend time sipping a beverage at Starbucks? Or to escape the 99° temperatures outside?

From what I could see, many came to with one objective: to browse.

I asked myself, why didn’t they buy? Was it because they didn’t come in planning to make a purchase? Because they didn’t find what they wanted. Or because they found what they were after and planned to shop online?

Asking those customers wasn’t an option, but I can ask you. What’s your goal when you go into a bookstore? Are you there to browse or buy? If you’re a browser, do you plan to buy later? At the store or online?

One final question: Do you love the bookstore atmosphere as much as I do?

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 Book Release Blog Tour Appearances

A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California was officially released July 1. Many wonderful bloggers offered to help me get the word out by hosting me on their blogs. The following posts wrap up my official blog tour. Thanks to the many who have followed me throughout the blogosphere.

July 30

Gabrielle Meyer ~ A Victorian Tea and Book Giveaway

July 31

Divine Detour – Interview and Book Giveaway with Kathy Harris

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Keli Gwyn
Friday Fun Book Release Style

The release month for A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California has been such fun. I’m so grateful to everyone for the tremendous outpouring of support.

Because so many wonderful people have helped me reach this milestone, I’m eager to have you all share in the celebration. One way I’ve been doing that is to hold my Five Weeks of Fun drawings.

Today is the start of the final Bushel of Fun drawing. Each cute little basket is filled with a copy of my book and five items from the story, a prize package worth $40. This drawing will run through the end of the month. I’ll announce the winner in my post on Wednesday, August 1st.

The story-related items, as seen above, are: an autographed copy of A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California, a French-milled lavender soap bar, a bag of lemon drops, a bag of peppermint sticks, a bag of rose potpourri, and a package of violet seeds. The winner gets the bushel, too.

All of the items in the basket were available in the year 1870, when the story takes place. Each Friday, I’ve shared a passage or two showing why one of the items the bushel plays a part in the story. Here are the passages about the fifth and final item.

Violet Seeds

Violets play a special role in the story. They’re Elenora Watkins’s favorite flower. The Victorians had a language of flowers that told them what each flower meant. The following lines are from the scene where Ellie is meeting Miles Rutledge for the first time. He expected a man as his prospective junior partner, but she doesn’t know that yet. At the end of this passage, she thinks about meaning of the violet.

…..“Mama, you were right. He is a nice man. And I think he’s handsome, don’t you? I know you were afraid he’d be—”
…..“Yes Tildy, he’s, um, a fine-looking man.” She attempted a smile, but it felt strained. Why was he glaring at her? “Did you find out if he sells candy?”
…..“Your daughter did ask, Mrs. Watkins. She’s honest about what she wants.”
…..“She can be outspoken at times, but she means well. And I’ve told her whispering is impolite. Did she say something amiss?”
…..His carefully combed mustache concealed a portion of his mouth, but the small lines at the corners indicated his lips were pursed. “Not at all. Tildy is forthcoming, unlike some people.”
…..Elenora fingered the silk violets at her throat. Mama had always said the tiny purple blossoms stood for modesty and served as a reminder to show no impropriety in appearance, behavior, or manner. Much of the time Elenora maintained rigid control, but this man vexed her. What did he mean by those inexplicable lines he’d dropped into their discourse?

In this scene much later in the story, Miles is observing Ellie from afar while attending a 4th of July celebration at his friends’ farm. Ellie came to California from Omaha and is adjusting to the heat of a Sierra Foothills’ summer.

…..Miles smiled. Will and Pearl had something special. Something he and Irene had never had. Something he wanted. His gaze wandered to Ellie, who swiped the back of a hand across her forehead and blew a breath over her face. The heat must be hard on her. Those not accustomed to temperatures that hovered around the century mark for days on end often suffered.
…..Unlike many who dressed too warmly their first summer, she’d chosen wisely. The dotted Swiss with its navy spots and the red bow at her throat were fitting for the day, but he preferred her in purple with the cluster of silk violets at her throat. The color suited her—regal and elegant.

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A Question for You

Have you ever grown violets?

What is your favorite flower? Do you know it’s meaning?

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The Final Bushel of Fun Drawing

I’m using Rafflecopter to hold the drawing.
Doing so gives you the opportunity to earn bonus entry points.

The winner of last Friday’s Bushel of Fun is Judy S.
Congratulations, Judy!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Grand Prize Drawing

Don’t miss the drawing for Elenora’s Extravaganza. The prize package, valued at $200, includes six Victorian-themed items such as Ellie would sell in her shop. Entries accepted through July 31st.

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 Book Release Blog Tour Appearances

A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California was officially released July 1. Many wonderful bloggers have offered to help me get the word out by hosting me on their blogs. I’ll be sharing the links to those posts at the bottom of mine throughout the tour, which runs though the end of this month.

July 27

Cynthia Herron ~ Guest Post with Book and Gift Card Giveaway
In this post, I share what’s fact and what’s fiction in A Bride Opens Shop.

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Keli Gwyn
Romantic Rides

When I was a kid, my sisters and I used to dream of riding in a convertible.

My dream became a reality when I met Gwynly. He owns a ’68 MGB roadster, a pale yellow sports car that’s been his companion since 1970.

Gwynly’s beautiful British blonde, Midge, entered his life seventeen years before I did. When we were first married, I was a tad bit jealous because of how much time he spent with her, but she and I have become friends.

Gwynly behind the wheel. Check out that satisfied smile of his.

Gwynly loves to take me for drives with the top down. The fraidy cat in me used to worry about the danger of riding in such a small car, but I’ve mellowed with age. These days, I sit back, relax, and enjoy the thrill of the wind whipping my hair and the sun kissing my cheeks.

There’s something quite romantic about sitting by Gwynly’s side while he wields the wheel of his road-hugging gal. He’s in his element, and I get to share in the experience.

My friend and agency mate Lisa Jordan invited me to write a guest post, and I talked about how we women can reap rewards by “Shifting into Romance.” I listed five tips worth checking out. These are Gwynly-approved tips, by the way. He actually read the post and left a comment.

Since I’d love for you to check out the post and show Lisa some love, I’m not going to ask a question here. I have a fun one at the bottom of my guest post on her blog, though.

☙☙☙

 Book Release Blog Tour Appearances

A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California was officially released July 1. Many wonderful bloggers have offered to help me get the word out by hosting me on their blogs. I’ll be sharing the links to those posts at the bottom of mine throughout the tour, which runs though the end of this month.

July 25

Cynthia Herron ~ Character Interview and Giveaway

SueHarrison.com ~ Guest Post

July 26

Life Lessons ~ Interview and Book Giveaway with Maria Morgan

Write Now ~ Interview and Book Giveaway with Karen Lange

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Keli Gwyn
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