Keli Gwyn
Friday Fun Book Launch Style

A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California is coming soon! Very soon in fact. The official release day is Sunday, July 1.

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

Every Friday, from today until the end of July, I’ll start a new drawing for one bushel basket filled with a copy of my book and five fun 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.

Peppermint Sticks

Tildy is the precocious nine-year-old daughter of the heroine, Elenora Watkins. Readers learn early in the story that Tildy likes candy. Peppermint sticks are her favorite.

In this first passage, the hero, Miles Rutledge, has just met the stagecoach that’s brought his new partner to town. Before he can speak to the person, he and Tildy talk. Here they are in the midst of that conversation.

     “Do you sell candy?”

     Miles started. He’d forgotten about the girl. He leaned forward with his hands on his knees. “Yes, Miss Watkins, I sell some candy.”

     She giggled. “I’m not even ten yet. That’s not old enough to be Miss Watkins. I’m just Tildy. My real name’s Matilda.” She made a face. “It was my grandmother’s name, but I can’t stand it. Mama calls me Tildy, but Grandpa calls me Matilda, even though I asked him not to.”

After Miles meets his prospective partner, he leads Tildy and Elenora to his mercantile. Here’s another snippet of conversation between Miles and Tildy.

      “Look, Mama. He has toys.” Tildy darted over two rows and dropped to her knees in front of a case housing an iron bank, two wooden tops, and a bowl of marbles.

     Mr. Rutledge sauntered up to Tildy and tapped her on the shoulder. “I think you forgot something.”

     She followed his hand to where he gestured. “Oh! The candy. And look. You have my favorite. Peppermint sticks. Do you like them, too?”


A Question for You

Do you like the taste of peppermint? If so, what’s your favorite way to enjoy it: peppermint candies, peppermint ice cream, peppermint tea, or something else?


The Drawing

I’m being brave and using Rafflecopter to hold the drawing. Doing so gives you the opportunity to earn bonus entry points. I’ve not used this service before, so here’s hoping all goes well.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


 Book Release Blog Tour Appearances

The official release of A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California is 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 the last week of June and all of July.

June 29

A Christian Writer’s World ~ Interview and
Book Giveaway with Lena Nelson Dooley

Jill Kemerer ~ Virtual Release Party
and Book Giveaway

Keli Gwyn


  • Peppermint bark (Trader Joe’s).

    Lady, I LOVED the video over at Jill’s today. LOVED it. What a moment–pure Keli!
    ~ Wendy

  • What a great idea, Keli! Can I just say that I absolutely LOVED your youtube video of when you saw your debut for the first time. Totally made me CRY!

  • Amy Campbell says:

    I am hooked on peppermint gum!

  • Seriously so excited for you and sooo excited to read your book!!!

    And yes, I love peppermint candies, especially those ones with the soft center. Yum yum.

  • First, I have to say…LOVE your YouTube video! I’ve cried every time I’ve watched! Thanks so much for letting us share your special moment! (And I could totally tell that Gwnly was even a little choked up! Melted my heart! ;))

    Yes, I like peppermint. I keep it stashed in my car and purse at all times. (Freshens the breath and helps with occasional stomach upset.) Oh, and I usually steep one teabag of peppermint/spearmint with my regular teabags for a nice summery drink.

    Congratulations and big hugs, Keli!

  • Sherrinda says:

    Ooooo, I love peppermint, especially the soft candy sticks! That’s my favorite!

    I will add to everyone else’s thoughts that I loved the video of you opening your boxes of books! Precious!

  • karenk says:

    congratulations, keli…i LOVED your video…it brought tears to my eyes 🙂

    peppermint.hard.candy will always remind me of my grandmother.

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

  • Keli Gwyn says:

    Thanks so much for celebrating with me and for the many kind comments about the video. You’ve been such a special part of my life as I’ve traveled the path to publication that I wanted to share my First Look with all of you.

    I’m so glad my dear Gwynly let me include the footage of him reading the dedication so you could “meet” him. Now you see why I’m so totally gone on my guy. 🙂

  • Anne Payne says:

    I love peppermint sticks in hot cocoa during the winter!

    It’s been so much fun participating in this exciting time with you, Keli. Congratulations again!

    It’s too hot here to do anything outside this weekend so I’ll be lazing around in the a/c reading your book 🙂

  • Terri says:

    I like peppermint in my coffee! Especially with chocolate too!!!

  • Marji Laine says:

    So excited for you! And as far as peppermint, I love it with chocolate. My favorite way to eat a soft peppermint stick was to stir it into hot cocoa. And yes, I’d suck on it like a straw until the cocoa would come up through it! Ha!

  • I love Peppermint – everything!?! One of the BEST peppermint treats that I have ever had was only made for a few months. A few summer ago Baskin Robbins produced a white peppermint ice cream with a chocolate marble swirl, filled with mini “York Peppermint Patties” – the size of Junior Mints. It was a limited edition ice cream and it didn’t make it back into production. I’m not much of a regular sized York Peppermint Pattie fan, but the mini ones in the ice cream… I will never forget them!!

  • Megan says:

    I love peppermint!! It is always so refreshing. It reminds me of being pregnant with my children and had upset stomach!!
    I have really enjoyed all of your FB posts!

  • Mary Manners says:

    I love peppermint tea. It’s a writing staple!
    Congratulations, Keli!!!

  • Patricia A. Turner says:

    I love peppermint sticks. Especially if its the soft type. It is something I truly enjoy during the Christmas season for some reason. But I also like peppermint patties. Yum, Yum!

  • Oh, Keli! I’m so excited for you. I was just thinking about your release and saying a prayer for you. I can’t wait to see this video everyone’s talking about!!

    I love peppermint, especially when it’s shaped in a candy cane and hanging on a Christmas Tree!

    • Keli Gwyn says:


      I uploaded the video of my First Look at my book to The Latest News page of my website, which you can find in The Press Room. That way you don’t have to search for it on YouTube or my personal Facebook Timeline.

      Thanks for your prayers. I appreciate them very much.

  • Amanda Dykes says:

    Peppermint Hot Cocoa or Trader Joe’s Candy Cane Green Tea! …So excited for you, Keli. 🙂

  • Lindy Enlow says:

    Peppermint candy canes by far! I buy them like crazy after Christmas sales.

  • Fedora says:

    Hmm… peppermint is for candy canes 😉 It’s OK, but I don’t love it–I do love that it’s been around for ages, and it’s neat reading stories that include it knowing that the flavor is one that’s been around for so long!

  • I’m getting so excited about your launch, Keli! And really looking forward to getting my hands on a copy of your book. The video was such fun to see (kleenex in hand, of course).

    I like chocolate chip mint ice cream sandwiches, and adore those York Peppermint Patties, although I rarely buy candy bars. (Maybe that’s why they’re such a treat.) I’ve always put a large peppermint stick in everyone’s Christmas stocking, but the grandchildren usually end up eating mine. 🙂

  • What a great giveaway! I love peppermint, especially peppermint ice cream…oh, and York Peppermint Patties. Yum!

  • Sara says:

    My favorite is a peppermint mocha!
    And, Keli, we’re talking about reading your book for our book club. Wouldn’t that be fun?

    • Keli Gwyn says:


      Wow! How fun to hear that your book club is thinking of reading my book. I’m honored.

      I have a special page on my website in The Study with some Book Club Information that you might find helpful. Since you live nearby, I could arrange to visit your book club meeting if you’d like.

  • Keli Gwyn says:

    I’m having such fun reading the comments. Of course, I’m now craving Peppermint Patties. Since I gave up chocolate years ago, this could be dangerous. 🙂

  • Loree Huebner says:

    I’m a huge peppermint fan, Keli. I chew peppermint gum constantly.

    So thrilled for you! Congrats, and many, many more book releases for you.


  • Beth Blee says:

    I enjoy making my own peppermint mocha latte, topped with whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles. With these recent cool mornings in Northern California,it sounds mighty good. Sorry, I have to go … that peppermint mocha latte is calling my name.

  • Good luck with the launch tomorrow Keli! You are doing an excellent job of marketing this book. I would be tickled to win a bushel basket and happy to host you on my blog if you’d like.

  • Casey says:

    The candy sticks. I love getting at least one during the holidays and then just savoring them.

    And when will my copy arrive, hmm? Because I already LOVE Tildy!! Oh my goodness, what a child!!

    TOMORROW, TOMORROW, TOMORROW!!!!!! I remember when you SOLD your book and it releases TOMORROW!!!!!!!!!! 😀 😀

    • Keli Gwyn says:


      Wow! I didn’t even see this until after I saw the picture of you holding the book on FB. What a wonderful sight that is: you and your gorgeous smile. 🙂

  • Erica Vetsch says:

    Such a fun time for you! Soak up all the fun! The baskets look great!

  • Mary Curry says:

    Oh my, every comment made me think of one more way I like to eat/drink peppermint. *sigh* I didn’t realize visiting a blog could be so fattening. ;0

    I’ve actually been drinking peppermint tea as I work on my current mss. It’s set at Christmas and the peppermint smell puts me in the correct mindset.

    Keli, I loved your video. It got me all choked up too. So lovely to share your joy (and tears).

  • Susan Baganz says:

    I love peppermint! We use the oil in our vaporizer when the kids are sick – it has antiviral qualities and makes the house smell like Christmas!

  • Judy Burgi says:

    I love peppermint candy canes. I buy them on sale after the holidays so I can munch on them through the new year! There are also good in hot chocolate and tea!

    Great video Keli! (tissues needed!)

    Baskets look fantastic!

  • What a cute idea I like to make gift baskets. I love the way you tied in the items you use in the basket with your book. Best wishes for a successful Book Launch. My favorite is peppermint candy. I really like peppermint bark. Blessings, Deborah H. Bateman-Author

  • Gina Conroy says:

    So fun! And don’t you LOVE rafflecopter! I’m using it right now for my giveaway!

  • What a fun & clever giveaway! Congratulations on your upcoming release!

    I LOVE peppermint anything. York, Andes, ice cream, you name it … It’s always best when combined with chocolate. 🙂

  • Jackie says:

    My granddaddy always kept a drawer full of peppermint candy by his recliner. Even neighborhood kids came up to see Mr. Hubbard and get a piece of peppermint candy.

    I hope you have much success on launching your new book!


  • misskallie2000 says:

    Love peppermint candy (hard) (keep in my purse when I get thirsty instead of water) less stops at bathroom. lol I love peppermit tea, and just about anything that is peppermint. It also calms the stomach and I use for that often.
    Great giveaway and I love it as because it is different.
    Congratulations on your release.

  • Christina says:

    I think I like peppermint patties the best.

  • Keli Gwyn says:

    I’m loving all these wonderful comments, although they’re making me crave all things peppermint. 🙂

    Thanks for the many kind comments about the drawing and the baskets. I had such fun putting them together.

    I can’t wait until tomorrow when I can show you what I came up with for Elenora’s Extravaganza. It’s a Victorian-themed grand prize package valued at $200 that includes items Elenora would have carried in her shop. Just wait until you see the six stunning treasures.

    OK, I’ll stop. Can you tell how excited I am about this? 🙂

  • Keli,

    I’m like a waterworks today. So excited for you and so grateful for God placing you strategically along the publishing pathway for so many new authors. You’re a California angel, know that? I mean it!

    I feel like I always have a funny story to answer your blog questions; maybe I’m just too long-winded? 🙂

    Anyway, my funny story about peppermint is that I USED to love it, any way I could get it…candy, gum, candy canes, etc.. But in September 2003 everything changed – I couldn’t stand peppermint anything, even mouthwash. My aversion to anything mint was the first sign that I was pregnant with our older son, Cole!

    The cute part is that Cole loves anything peppermint now, and I still don’t. I just can’t handle the taste of strong mint anymore. So we joke that Cole stole my love of minty-tasting candy and gum. 🙂

    Love and Hugs and big excited smiles,

  • Angela Bell says:

    I love peppermint candies! When I was younger, I used to buy peppermint candy sticks at Cracker Barrel. At the time, they cost 25 cents each. 🙂

  • Monica Silver says:

    Peppermints in my desk to freshen my breath before I step out to tour potential residents.

  • Samantha says:

    I love anything peppermint, but definitely peppermint bark! My grandma always gave us peppermint for upset stomachs!

  • Deevena says:

    I love peppermint in hot cocoa!

  • bn100 says:

    Congratulations on the book! What a great idea.

  • bn100 says:

    I like peppermint.

  • Katrin W says:

    I love the peppermint candy my aunt always used to have at her house and in her car, with chocolate filling. Yummy!! Always reminds me of her, she´s gone already over 10 years.

    I loved you video, Keli! I can´t imagine what it´s like to hold your own book in hand. Wow! Congratulations!

  • I have a chocolate cookie recipe that uses almond bark, crushed peppermints & pwd sugar for the blob of frosting on top. OHHHHHHH.

  • Keli Gwyn says:

    Thanks to everyone who entered the drawing for the first Bushel of Fun. I popped over to Rafflecopter, clicked “choose winner,” and up popped Sara’s name. Sara just so happens to live in my hometown. Guess I won’t have to mail this week’s bushel, will I?

    Congratulations, Sara! I’ll be in touch.

    If you’d like another chance to win a Bushel of Fun, visit my Friday posts throughout July, when I start a new drawing.

    And if you want to get in on Elenora’s Extravaganza with it’s Victorian-style prize package valued at $200, visit the Contests and Giveaways page in The Press Room, where you’ll find the link.