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

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Published on July 20, 2012 03:30 • 53 views

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Keli Gwyn's Blog

Keli Gwyn
Discussions of reading, romance, and all things Victorian with inspirational historical romance author Keli Gwyn.
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