I can’t tell you how excited I am to have Keli Gwyn here today! Keli is a dear, sweet friend whose middle name must be Encourager, because she can encourage like none other. She’s talked me down from the literary ledge more than once, and she’s living proof that persistence pays off. I just dove into her debut novel this weekend, and it is as delightful as she is.

Award-winning novelist Keli Gwyn writes inspirational historical romance. She’s a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America® and is represented by Rachelle Gardner of Books & Such Literary. Keli earned her bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication/Print Journalism from California State University East Bay and worked as a copyeditor for a small textbook publisher. Her debut novel, A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California, will be released by Barbour Publishing in July 2012.

You can connect with Keli on her website, Facebook, Twitter, or Goodreads.


Welcome, Keli! Let’s get to the questions, shall we?

Opener Question: What seven words best describe you?

I asked my husband and daughter for help. They said: cat-lover, creative, cute, detail-oriented, OC, peppy, and short. While I was tempted to omit a couple of their choices, I resisted, so I’m obviously not quite as OC as they think. Of course, I did alphabetize the list. 🙂

Either/Or Questions:

1) African safari or European tour?

Europe. Gwynly and I lived in Germany for four years. We visited a number of countries when my teacher hubby was on summer vacation. There are many places I’d like to see again and some new ones I’d love to explore.

2) Fierce competitor or Cheering on the sidelines?

Hmm. It depends on the game. If we’re talking Scrabble or Bananagrams, I’m right there trying my best to win. If, however, we’re talking team sports, I’m a sideline gal all the way.

3) Coffee or tea?

Tea. Sweet tea year ’round supplemented by hot tea in the winter. I love the smell of coffee, but I never developed a taste for it.

4) On the move or Home sweet home?

I’m a homebody. My family moved every year or two until I was in high school, so I was eager to sink down roots. I love the historic Gold Rush-era town Gwynly and I live in. It’s my first real hometown, and I have no intention of leaving it. Of course, I know the Lord could have other plans. Although I’d be tempted to debate His decision if He were to ask me to move, I’m an obedient oldest child, so I’d do my best to behave. 🙂

5) Designer handbags or Functional tote bags?

Coach bags all the way. I began carrying them in the late 80s before they were even popular. They’re pricey, but they are well made and last for years.

6) Caesar salad or Cobb salad?

Tough choice, but I’ll go with Cobb salad. Just had one of these the other day. Yummers!

7) Mac or PC?

Mac! I’ve been an Apple person for over two decades. I have a large Mac desktop model with a sleek aluminum keyboard. I got a MacBook Pro last winter. I’d resisted laptops until then, but I’m sold on mine now. I do have PC-loving friends, though, and we peacefully coexist.

Thanks for having me as your guest, Sarah. What fun to spend time with you and your blog’s visitors.


My pleasure, Keli!  And I learned some new things about you, which was fun. I didn’t realize you were such a loyal Mac user. I’ll admit I haven’t converted yet, but I’ve been tempted plenty of times. And I had to laugh at your OC comment and how you alphabetized the list. I might be known to have my spice rack alphabetized. 🙂 And I’m much like you when it comes to competitiveness. I’m not overly competitive in sports, but board games? Watch out. (Which reminds me, we still need to engage in a round of Speed Scrabble sometime.) 🙂

Thanks so much for being here! It was my honor to host you.


A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California

An ever-resourceful widow, Elenora Watkins arrives in El Dorado ready to go into partnership with Miles Rutledge. When he refuses, Elenora becomes the competition across the street. Is this town big enough for the two of them? Miles can’t help but stick his well-polished boot in his mouth whenever he comes face-to-face with Elenora. Can he find a way to win her heart while destroying her business? Miles’s mother, Maude, is bent on Elenora becoming her new daughter-in-law while Elenora’s daughter, Tildy, thinks Miles would make a perfect papa. How far will these meddlers go to unite this enterprising pair?


Blog Readers: Let’s talk…Do you have a favorite board game in your family? How about OC tendencies? Anything alphabetized in your house? Come on, ‘fess up, you’re among friends. 🙂



Meet and Greet with Author Keli Gwyn

50 thoughts on “Meet and Greet with Author Keli Gwyn

  • July 9, 2012 at 5:55 am

    I have a magnet on my fridge that says “Turns out there is no prize for alphabetizing your spices.” I beg to differ. If I can alphabetize it…I do.

    • July 9, 2012 at 10:51 am


      Glad I’m not the only one with alphabetized spices. There might not be awards for it, but I have the reward of being able to find what I’m after quickly.

  • July 9, 2012 at 7:45 am

    I used to have things like my bookshelf organized. That was before I had children who think it is fun to empty said bookshelves daily. Same with the movies, my cupboards, … sigh.

    • July 9, 2012 at 10:52 am


      Don’t you just love children who thwart your systems? As our daughter got older, she used to get a kick out of turning a book upside down on the bookshelf and seeing how long it would take me to discover her (mis)deed.

  • July 9, 2012 at 8:45 am

    It’s great to get to know Keli a little better. Great interview, thanks ladies! I just finished Keli’s book and enjoyed it very much. (So please don’t enter me in the giveaway.) Have a wonderful week!

    • July 9, 2012 at 10:54 am


      Well, you sure know how to make my day. You just started mine with a great big smile. 🙂 I’m glad you enjoyed spending time with Miles and Ellie.

  • July 9, 2012 at 8:50 am

    I love that I knew a lot of these answers before reading them. Just started reading Keli’s book–strong beginning! Love both of you ladies!
    ~ Wendy

    • July 9, 2012 at 10:57 am


      I chuckle when I’m completing interview questions and come across one asking me to “share something about you no one knows.” I’m such an open book that I have to think really hard to recall something I’ve not shared before. Often what works is going back in time. Since I’m gonna be 53 soon, I do have a wee bit of ancient history I can call upon. 🙂

  • July 9, 2012 at 9:34 am

    Yay, I love Keli! I started her book this weekend and pretty much wanted to ditch everything else on my to-do list so I could keep reading. Can’t wait to get back to it tonight! I don’t think I’m very OC…in fact, I’m picturing my cupboards in my head right now, and think I can say I am definitely NOT OC. 🙂 But I’m with Keli on the Mac thing–Apple all the way!! 🙂

    • July 9, 2012 at 11:07 am


      Another Apple person? Yes! I always knew you were cool, and now I know one of the many reasons why. Mac Users Unite!

      Be glad you’re not OC. I wish I weren’t. It can be a real pain at times. And just for the record, my spices may be alphabetized and the clothes in my closet grouped by color and sleeve length, but there’s a mound of stuff in my living room floor as I prep for my launch party this coming weekend. And you wouldn’t believe the number of piles on every flat surface in my office. As I survey them, I console myself with the fact that I must not be as OC as I once was and that there’s hope for me yet. 🙂

      And I can’t pass up another opportunity to happy dance with you. I’m soooo excited about your agent news!!!!! I’m sure you’re still soaring somewhere in the ionosphere, which my science teacher guy tells me is even higher than the stratosphere. Here’s to more exciting news in the near future as you and Amanda get your work out there.

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  • July 9, 2012 at 10:02 am

    My spices are very very organized along with my newly organized craft room! 🙂

    • July 9, 2012 at 11:09 am


      Kudos on getting your craft room organized. (I have a hunch the spices have been for a long time.) What crafts are you into?

    • July 9, 2012 at 11:11 am


      I don’t know how you have time to read, what with your writing, your mommy duties, the many adoption activities, and caring for your awesome kidney-donating guy. Do you have a Super Woman cape in your closet?

  • July 9, 2012 at 10:27 am

    I would have to say Keli is great at cheering on the sidelines because I’ve seen her do it for me and so many other writers! Her book showed up in my mailbox last week & put a huge smile on my face while we were evacuated from my home during the Waldo Canyon Fire. I just started reading it — and I’m loving it!

    • July 9, 2012 at 11:27 am


      When I heard about the fire, I’d just seen my book for the first time and the blog tour for my debut novel was kicking off. I felt so bad that I was focused on something like that when so many of you in the Colorado Springs area were evacuated and waiting to find out the news about your homes.

      I forced myself to answer interview questions and respond to blog comments that week, but my heart was so heavy. Gwynly would come into my office from time to time and find me in tears as I read your Facebook updates and looked at the pictures being posted. I prayed and prayed for you, the other evacuees, those who had lost their homes, and the many emergency personnel battling the raging fire.

      I’m so thankful the fire is contained and that you’re home now. I know there will be lots to do in the aftermath of the fire, though, and I pray it all goes smoothly.

  • July 9, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    Great interview. I organize my books like you organize your lists. By alphabet and by series. Works great for me! Congrats on your new release. Can’t wait to read it.

    • July 9, 2012 at 2:22 pm


      Kudos to you on keeping your books organized. I’ve been adding to my reference library and fiction selections so fast that I can’t keep up. 🙂

  • July 9, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    So happy for you Keli! You are an inspiration of using your talents.

    • July 9, 2012 at 2:23 pm


      Thanks for sharing in my excitement! You’ve been a real source of inspiration, you and your talented daughters.

  • July 9, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    Fun interview, ladies! I’m a “Coach bags all the way” type gal too.

    Don’t enter me in the drawing – I’m enjoying Keli’s book also!

    • July 9, 2012 at 2:24 pm


      Yay! Another Coach gal. Aren’t their bags The Best?

  • July 9, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    What a fun interview, Keli and Sarah!

    Our family does enjoy board games–the perennial favorite is Scrabble or Speed Scrabble, but we do still have to team up with the youngest since he’s only 6. The kids also love Life, and on occasion, Monopoly. We recently started playing Clue also 😉

    As for alphabetization, my packrat tendencies WAY override any OCD alphabetization tendencies 😉 Even my bookshelves aren’t terribly organized, alas!

    Congrats again, Keli!

    Tweeted here: https://twitter.com/flchen1/status/222384649278717952

    • July 9, 2012 at 2:29 pm

      F Chen,

      Sounds like you and your family have some real fun playing board games. We played them with our daughter a lot when she was younger. We still try to work in a few rounds of Bananagrams or a Scrabble contest, er, make that game, when she visits.

      I’m not too much of a packrat–except when it comes to sentimental items and mementos. I save encouraging notes and such. I gather you save LOTS of things.

  • July 9, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    What a great interview. I’m so excited to read Keli’s book! 🙂

    I MAY check my alarm clock like five times before going to sleep. I always have this horrible vision of setting it for PM instead of AM and missing an important meeting or something!

    And I love Scrabble, but my husband and I can’t play against each other. Because I’m such a word person, I get mad if he beats me, but it’s usually because he knows all of these obscure words that I challenge…and then they’re actually words. Grrrr. (I’m not like that with any other games or with any other people…just him and Scrabble in particular. Not sure why…)

    • July 9, 2012 at 2:32 pm


      If I have an early morning appointment, I double and triple-check my alarm clock, too. Can’t help myself.

      We Gwyns finally realized we were getting pretty fierce in our approach to a Scrabble game, so we loosened the rules. We no longer challenge. Instead we let each other look up a word to be sure it’s correct before using it. We decided that way we could all learn new words. That doesn’t stop us from trying to get the most points possible, though. 🙂

  • July 9, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    Wow, you all have been busy today! Isn’t Keli the sweetest?!

    I love seeing all the alphabetizers and Scrabble players here. And you non-alphabetizers are welcome too….It takes all of us to make the world go ’round, right? 🙂

    Hope everyone is having a fabulous Monday!

    • July 9, 2012 at 4:58 pm


      Thanks so much for hosting me. I loved your great questions, and I’m loving the fun comments, too.

      Wouldn’t it be cool if we Scrabble players could all get together for a great big Scrabblefest? And I have to wonder if there would be some of us who would store our tiles in alphabetical order while waiting for our turns. 🙂

  • July 9, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    Fun interview, Sarah! Nice getting to know you better, Keli! I’m anxious for a Macbook Pro…. 🙂

    As far as favorite board games, I’m a Monopoly girl!

    • July 9, 2012 at 5:02 pm


      I hope you’re able to get a MacBook Pro. I was a desktop gal for years, but I’m totally smitten with my laptop. I hope my iMac isn’t too jealous.

      Monopoly is fun. I spent hours playing it with my sisters when I was a girl.

  • July 9, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    At my house, we like to play Sorry and Clue, among other games. Yes, I also have my books alphabetized. I’m glad I’m not the only one who groups clothes by color. I’d have my spices alphabetized as well if there was room in the cabinet for that. I just remembered they are alphabetized in the spinning spice rack! My daughter has to put crayons, markers, etc. in the Roy G. Biv order. Guess it all runs in the family.
    Please don’t enter me in the book drawing since I won Keli’s book on another blog and am anxiously awaiting its arrival. Thanks for the fun interview today.

    • July 9, 2012 at 5:07 pm


      Books alphabetized, clothes my color, spices on the Lazy Susan in alphabetical order. Sounds like you’re a woman after my own heart. And I love that your daughter puts her markers, crayons, etc. in rainbow order. My scrapbook papers are stored that way. 🙂

      I’ve already mailed your copy of the book, so you should be getting it soon. I hope you enjoy the story.

  • July 9, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    Yay for Keli! Cute interview, too. I love learning these fun tidbits about people.

    I’m only slightly OC. I DO have the spices on my spice rack alphabetized, though, with labels I made on my label-maker. So cool!

    (Oh, and don’t enter me for the contest, I already have a copy. Thanks!)

    • July 9, 2012 at 5:08 pm


      Wow! Alphabetized spices AND label-maker labels on them. I’m impressed. You’ve given me an idea. . . 🙂

  • July 9, 2012 at 7:14 pm

    don’t enter me, sarah, as i’ve just started the book myself to influence for keli. but i had to comment and say what a beautiful picture that is of you keli!! just gorgeous! 🙂

    • July 9, 2012 at 7:20 pm


      Thanks for the compliment. The credit goes to my awesome photographer. She did a fantastic job. This is just one of many great shots. She really knows how to compose a shot and pose her subject. And she’s really good with Photoshop. 😉

  • July 9, 2012 at 11:55 pm

    We love playing board games. Monopoly & Scrabble are two favorites.

    I’m organized , but don’t label or categorize too excessively. That’s my story & I’m sticking to it.

    • July 10, 2012 at 12:18 am


      Organization can be addicting, can’t it? But it can be such fun for some of us. I’m sure the label companies love us. 🙂

  • July 10, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    I have fond memories of playing Scrabble with my grandmothers, but I enjoy almost all board games. My spices are alphabetized – separated into two groups – one for baking & one for cooking (so technically – herbs / spices). I’m not OCD or OC at all… but I can’t find things when they are not organized – I’m an all or nothing gal – either VERY organized or VERY UN-organized (talking piles). *sigh — couturecloset at comcast dot net

    • July 11, 2012 at 3:49 am


      Wow! You separate your herbs and spices–and alphabetize both groups? That’s impressive! Since I know how much you love to cook and bake,I can see how it would be helpful to have your ingredients organized.

  • July 11, 2012 at 10:44 am

    Hi Sarah & Keli –

    I enjoy Scrabble too, but what I really love is reading. Please enter me in the giveaway. Keli, I hope you’ll save a slot for an interview at my blog. 🙂


    • July 12, 2012 at 10:39 am


      Reading is wonderful, isn’t it? I wish I could do more of it. There are soooo many great books out there. I could easily spend several hours each day with my nose firmly planted between the pages of one of them after another.

      Thanks for the offer of an interview. I’ll be in touch.

  • July 11, 2012 at 11:10 am

    I love reading these interviews you do, Sarah! They sure are a fun way to get to know these different authors.

  • July 12, 2012 at 7:24 pm

    Hi, Keli!! Fun interview!

    I do have OC tendencies for sure, so you’re in good company. LOL
    In the family we like Apples to Apples game. 🙂

    • July 12, 2012 at 7:55 pm


      I’m not familiar with Apples to Apples, so I looked it up. Sounds like a fast, fun game sure to make people laugh.

  • July 13, 2012 at 8:16 am

    Fun getting to know more about you, Keli! And our family loved charades when the kids were younger, now it’s the password type game when you have to guess the answer by saying related clues.

    • July 13, 2012 at 10:18 am


      Charades is fun, isn’t it? My high school buddies and I used to play it a lot.

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