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.
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.
A Question for You
Have you ever grown violets?
What is your favorite flower? Do you know it’s meaning?
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.
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.
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.
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.