Keli Gwyn
Romantic Traditions: Wedding Send-Off

I heard horns honking recently, looked out the front window, and saw a sight that put a smile on this romantic’s face. A string of cars were following a bride and groom’s getaway car, making quite a ruckus.

Upon hearing that noisy sendoff, I was was whisked back to my childhood when that sound used to make me go all mushy inside as I imagined the day I’d be a bride leaving my wedding seated beside my brand new husband.

Dreams don’t always turn out the way we expect.

Sometimes they’re even better.

Such was the case when Gwynly and I wed.

I’m giving a fist pump to the couple who gifted us the ride, expressing my thanks and telling them they outdid themselves.

Instead of a car trailing tin cans and tennis shoes, one of our groomsmen and his wife gifted us a ride in a 1950s Rolls Royce.

Instead of our friends tailing us honking, we walked down a red carpet to the classy car, sipped sparkling cider, and enjoyed a quiet ride in the lap of luxury.

That ride was one of the most romantic I’ve ever experienced!


If you’re married, what was your wedding sendoff like?

If you’re not married, what’s the most romantic sendoff you’ve seen?

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Keli Gwyn
Recommended Read: A Bride Sews with Love in Needles, California

Amazon shipped A Bride Sews with Love in Needles, California this past week.

This sweet story by Erica Vetsch is the latest in Barbour’s Destination Romances line, a line Erica helped launch with A Bride’s Portrait of Dodge City, Kansas. I enjoyed Erica’s first Bride book and was eager for her second.

About the Book

When her brother is injured fighting in France, Meghan enlists her fellow Harvey Girl waitresses to sew a Red Cross signature quilt to raise money for wounded doughboys. Local horse breeder Caleb McBride longs to join the battle, but the army won’t take him. Because he has kept his shameful infirmity a secret, the townsfolk have labeled him a coward and war profiteer. When Meghan uncovers his malady, her poor opinion of Caleb unravels. Can this beautiful seamstress find a way to mend his heart?

 ☙ ☙ ☙

My Thoughts

In a word, A Bride Sews with Love in Needles, California is wonderful! Erica Vetsch has created compelling characters I cared for from the start. I enjoyed every minute spent with impassioned but impulsive Meghan and brave but burdened Caleb. This well-written story is rich in historical detail and will engage the emotions at every turn. Erica did a great job capturing the hostile environment of Needles, California. Learning more about the life of a Harvey girl was fun. I highly recommend Erica’s latest release.

 ☙ ☙ ☙

Question for You

Needles, California is in the desert. Have you ever lived in or visited the desert? If so, what did you like most and least about it?

 ☙ ☙ ☙

Win Both of Erica’s Bride Books!

I have three copies of A Bride’s Portrait.
I also have three copies of A Bride Sews with Love.
I’m giving both books to each of three winners.

To enter the drawing, leave a comment by Sunday, November 4, answering the question above. Be sure to leave your email address when prompted so I can contact you if you win.

I’ll post the three winners’ name here and in a comment.

The three winners are Susan Mason, Ladette, and Jessica Nelson.

No purchase necessary.
Offer void where prohibited.
Odds of winning vary due to number of entrants.
Prizes will be mailed to U.S. or Canadian addresses only.






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Keli Gwyn
When Romance Strikes a Chord by Joanne Bischof
Married to her first sweetheart, Joanne Bischof lives in the mountains of Southern California where she keeps busy making messes with their home-schooled children. When she’s not weaving Appalachian romance, she’s blogging about faith, writing, and the adventures of country living that bring her stories to life.
Joanne and I met online and had fun learning that we share several connections, as you’ll see in her post. Take it away, Joanne. . .

I’m so delighted for the opportunity to be a guest on Keli’s blog today! She is such a lovely lady and a sweet encourager in the writing world. I find it so fun that we share several things in common. We both live in California, both write historical romance and we both have music in our stories.

I play the mandolin and loved using that instrument through the hero of my upcoming novel, Be Still My Soul. My husband is also a musician. He’s a drummer and wait for it…a cellist. Yep, odd combo, I know! There’s something about watching him play that stirs my heart. It transcends conversation. It fills the gaps in moments when our words just aren’t enough. There is something so expressive—and romantic about music. I think that’s why Keli and I both used this beautiful language in our novels.

I smile when I remember the duet scene towards the end of Keli’s book, A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California. It was between her hero, Miles and the spunky heroine, Elenora. I can still remember the sensation of being in the concert hall. Hear the mismatched tuning of the stringed instruments, the hushed murmurs of the crowd as the performance drew near. Feel the leather of the violin case between my hands and understand the nervous anticipation between a couple who wanted to show their love, but didn’t know how.

It was one of my favorite moments. The tension, the intrigue, the yearning—all those came through in that piece of music. It’s the binding that can pull two characters together. Though they may fight it and though life may throw them challenges, that pull, that bond remains. It’s heart deep.

This is what I love so much about music and seeing it incorporated into fiction. Music is a vehicle for the heart and can showcase how romance blossoms, deepens. It expresses yearning, anger, hope, and desire. It becomes the words, when we ourselves, have none.

Has there been a time when music became the words when you had none? Is there a specific song that brings you back to a certain time and place?


Joanne’s Debut Novel

Night’s chill tickled her skin. Lonnie pressed her hands together and glanced up. He was even more handsome up close. Having grown up the shy, awkward daughter of Joel Sawyer, she’d hardly spoken to any boy, let alone the one who had mothers whispering warnings in their daughter’s ears and fathers loading shotguns.
Pretty Lonnie Sawyer is shy and innocent, used to fading into the background within her family, and among the creeks and hollows of the Appalachian hills. Though her family is poor and her father abusive, she clings to a quiet faith. But when handsome ladies’ man and bluegrass musician Gideon O’Riley steals a kiss, that one action seals her fate.
Her father forces her into a hasty marriage with Gideon—a man she barely knows and does not love. Equally frustrated and confused by his new responsibilities, Gideon yearns for a fresh start, forcing Lonnie on an arduous journey away from her home in Rocky Knob.
Her distant groom can’t seem to surrender his rage at the injustice of the forced matrimony or give Lonnie any claim in his life.  What will it take for Gideon to give up his past, embrace Lonnie’s God, and discover a hope that can heal their two fractured hearts?
Gideon only ever cared about himself. Now that Lonnie is his wife, will he ever be worthy of her heart?

 ☙ ☙ ☙

Win a Copy of Be Still My Soul

To enter the drawing, leave a comment by Sunday, October 28th. Be sure to leave your email address when prompted so I can contact you if you win.

I’ll post the winner’s name here and in a comment.

Congratulations to Pam K., winner of Joanne’s book.

No purchase necessary.
Offer void where prohibited.
Odds of winning vary due to number of entrants.
Prizes will be mailed to U.S. or Canadian addresses only.
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Keli Gwyn
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