Keli Gwyn
Discovering Yesterday’s Treasures at the Used Bookstore

Our daughter, Adriana, is an avid reader. She devours books like some people do chocolate.

During her recent visit, Adri and I spent some time in our historic downtown area. Her must-see stop was 326 Main Street, one of the oldest buildings in Placerville, California with a history that, according to some, includes grizzly bear and donkey fights during the early days of the Gold Rush.

And what is at 326 Main Street? The Bookery, a labyrinthine shop filled to the brim with books from days gone by. This used bookstore has long been one of Adri’s favorite destinations. Even if she’s only here for just a day or two, she makes time to browse.

We entered the store that day, and she wove her way through the maze to the classics. I’ve been to the Bookery many times, but I wasn’t aware they had this section. I tend to get lost in the historical section near the front door and haven’t discovered the treasures to be found if one spends an afternoon perusing them all as Adri has.

When we reached the classics section, Adri lifted a hand, trailed it across the spines of the books on the top shelf, and audibly sighed. She turned to me with a satisfied smile on her face. “Aren’t they beautiful?” She remarked about how the place “smells like books.”

Adri went on to explore the section. Since she visits the store frequently, she can spot new additions quickly. A gilt-edged volume of Jane Austen’s Emma captured her eye that day. She opened the volume to the copyright page, hoping to see a date from the distant past. Even though the copyright was 2000, she bought the book because “it’s so pretty and will look nice on my bookshelf.”

Eager to capture this memory in the making, I asked Adri to pose for a picture. I backed up as far as I could to get the shot, bumping into the rack behind me. I turned and beheld a sight that caused me to inhale sharply: the Women Pioneers section. Three rows of titles, many bearing the names of courageous women who settled the Golden State, were hidden in the back of the Bookery. A wealth of reference books I can’t wait to explore as soon as my schedule lightens up a bit.

While making such an unexpected discovery was wonderful, what thrilled me more was witnessing Adri’s passion for books. She may be part of the wired generation, but she loves the look, feel, and smell of print books and can’t imagine life without them. She’s read books on my Kindle and spends time researching new releases on Amazon, but when it comes to owning a book from bygone days, she prefers those she can hold in her hands. I guess you could say Adri is a classic!

☙☙☙

Do you enjoy perusing the shelves of used bookstores?

What’s one treasure you discovered in a used bookstore?

☙☙☙

 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 23

Cynthia Herron~ Book Introduction and Giveaway

The Mustard Seed ~ Interview and
Book Giveaway with Lindsay Harrel

July 24

Lisa Jordan – Guest Post and Book Giveaway

Comment Link 10 Comments
Keli Gwyn
Friday Fun Book Release Style

A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California is now in readers’ hands.
I’ve been blown away by the many wonderful responses and kind reviews.

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’m doing that is to hold my Five Weeks of Fun drawings.

Every Friday, from today until the end of July, I’ll start a new drawing for one Bushel of Fun filled with a copy of my book and five items from the story, a prize package worth $40. Each drawing will run through the following Thursday, and the winner will be announced in the Friday post the next day.

 

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’ll share a passage or two showing why one of the items the bushel plays a part in the story.

French-milled Lavender Soap Bar

A lavender soap bar is mentioned in the story twice. In the excerpt below, Elenora is talking with her daughter, Tildy, about the building Elenora has rented to house her shop and is reflecting on the bath they’d taken following their week aboard the train that transported them from Omaha, Nebraska to California.

…..“It’s so dirty, Mama.”
…..Tildy ran a hand over a simple pine display case and held up a dust-covered palm to Elenora. The sun slanted through the large plateglass window at the front of the shop—her shop—throwing shadows over the littered floor.
…..“It may be dirty, but at least we’re clean now.” Never had a bath felt as good as the one she’d taken after Tildy finished hers the day before. They still smelled of lavender, thanks to the bar of French-milled soap she’d tucked in one of their trunks at the last minute.
…..“How long do you think it will be before you can open up?”
…..“I’ll have the place clean in two shakes, but it’s going to take time to get merchandise.”
to get merchandise.”….

In this scene, Elenora is in her shop talking with Mile Rutledge’s mother, who speaks first.

…..“What’s that I smell? Lavender?”
…..“The vendor had received a shipment of European soaps. I have Pears glycerin bars, too, but I passed on the ones from Wrights.” She wrinkled her nose. “I’ll leave it to your son to carry theirs. Men may like the strong coal tar smell, but I prefer something more delicate.”
…..“I agree. May I see the lavender one?” Elenora removed a bar from the display case and handed the fragrant soap to Mrs. Rutledge, who took a whiff. “Mmm. I’ll take it.” She opened the reticule hanging from her wrist and produced a coin.
…..Elenora waved a hand. “Consider it a gift.”
…..“You’re as bad as Miles with those peppermint sticks he slips Matilda. You’ll not stay in business long if you give away your wares.”
…..“But I’ll have a loyal customer, I hope.” She smiled.

☙☙☙

A Question for You

Do you enjoy the scent of lavender?

Have you every grown lavender?

What type of soap bar is your favorite?

☙☙☙

The 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 Gabrielle M.
Congratulations, Gabrielle!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

☙☙☙

 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 20

The Barn Door Book Loft ~ Interview and Book Giveaway
with Patty Wysong, Sharon Lavy, and Carole Brown

Comment Link 20 Comments
Keli Gwyn
Romantic Appearances

When I see my guy all decked out, my romance meter pins.

Men in suits look super. When Gwynly showed up for our first date in one, I was impressed. When I entered the church for our wedding and beheld him in his tux with tails, my pulse rate rivaled an Indy car at full throttle.

This past weekend, I went to my first book signing. Gwynly donned his brand new Victorian finery. When he walked into the living room wearing his frock coat, silver brocade waistcoat, bib-front shirt with stand-up collar, silk puff tie, high-waisted trousers, and top hat, I went all doe-eyed.

My guy looked dashing, debonair, and downright drool-worthy. (Yes, even couples married close to 25 years can still go gaga over one another.)

Unfortunately, the day was warm. All right, some would call the upper nineties stinkin’ hot, but I was trying to be upbeat. I didn’t want to think about how toasty it was, since I was in my Victorian gown with its full skirt, petticoat, and long-sleeved bodice. At least I had my Battenburg lace fan to create a breeze.

Being a guy, one not used to wearing suit coats, Gwynly didn’t want to roast, so he took off his frock coat soon after we arrived. He still looked nice, but I prefer the complete picture. There’s something so romantic about a Victorian gentleman dressed to the hilt that does something for this romance writer’s heart, especially when said gentleman is my guy.

☙☙☙

What outfit does your special someone wear that sets your heart racing?

☙☙☙

 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 18

Katie Ganshert – Guest Post and Book Giveaway

July 19

Come Meet AusJenny – Interview and
Book Giveaway with Jenny Blake

Magical Musings – Guest Post and Book Giveaway

A Pen for Your Thoughts – Book Spotlight and
Book Giveaway with Shirley Connolly

Relz Reviews – Character Spotlight with Rel Mollet

Comment Link 15 Comments
Keli Gwyn
« Previous PageNext Page »

 
css.php