Shannon here: I first encountered Historical Romance author, Keli Gwyn back in 2010 when she offered to host me on her blog. When she asked me to share something readers don’t know about me, I mentioned my shoe fixation (approximately 60 pairs of heels in all different colors). She asked for pictures. What a fun interview, my all time favorite. Later, I met Keli at an ACFW Conference where she asked how many shoes I brought (5 pairs of heels for a three day event). Today I’m honored to host Keli on my blog. She shares how she met her husband, plus a chance to win her debut novel, A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California. Comment on any post dated July 2 – 6 for a chance to win. Deadline: July 14th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Keli:
How did Gwynly and I meet? If you ask him, you’ll get one version of the story. If you ask me, you’ll get another. Since I’m a writer and a hopeless romantic, I’ll share both.
The two meetings took place at social events held by our church’s singles group, the first at a Super Bowl Party. I may shock some of you die-hard football fans speechless, but I’m not into the game. I went to hang out with friends.
Since I wanted to be a good sport despite my lack of interest in the game, I took football- and football field-shaped cakes I’d made to the party. After the meal and the kickoff, I hung out in the kitchen doing dishes with a gal pal in order to tactfully avoid the enthusiastic football fans congregated by the T.V.
Apparently I spoke with a tall teacher sometime during the afternoon. Sadly, I don’t recall that conversation. The fellow does, though, and loves to remind me of the memorable first impression he made on me. What I find noteworthy is that Gwynly has about as much interest in football as I do. It appears the Lord really wanted us to meet, since both of us put fellowship over football that day.
Our next meeting holds a special place in my treasure trove of memories. A few weeks later our singles group held an international dinner. I can’t recall what my contribution was, but I know exactly what Gwynly took: chocolate chip cookies—without nuts. They’re my favorite kind of cookie, so a few of his ended up on my plate.
Gwynly presented a lighthearted devotion that evening about the different “dances” those visiting our group did when they came to our Sunday school class the first time, and he gave us tips on how we could ease their awkwardness. Since I had yet to meet Gwynly (in my mind, anyhow), I figured the least I could do after he’d given a devotion like that was introduce myself.
I wasn’t able to talk with him alone until he was preparing to leave. Using the excuse of wanting the two remaining cookies on his platter, I started a conversation. We exchanged the basics. I learned that he taught physics and physical science, and he learned that I was a bookkeeper and a college student.
Little did I know that Gwynly had been interested enough in me at the Super Bowl party to ask about me afterward. When he learned I was a college student, he figured I was off limits because of my age. He was a long-time bachelor of 37 and had decided he would date women up to ten years younger—but no more. What he didn’t know was that I was in my tenth year of college, making me 28 and “eligible.” Apparently that information came out during our introduction, because he did ask me out.
I’ll share the story of our memorable first date here on Shannon’s blog on Wednesday, July 4th. For now, she’s invited me to tell you how the hero and heroine in A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California meet, and I’m happy to do so. Here goes…
As was the case when Gwynly and I first met, Miles Rutledge and Elenora Watkins deal with a misunderstanding. His meddlesome but well-meaning mother, Maude Rutledge, is responsible for theirs. Miles thinks the person who answered his advertisement for a partner is a man, and his mother has chosen not to correct him.
When Miles meets the stagecoach and discovers a woman waiting for him, he’s none too happy. Miles and Elenora’s first conversation alone in the backroom of his mercantile doesn’t go at all well. He’s upset at Elenora’s apparent duplicity, and Elenora, who has no clue as to the reason for his rudeness and cool reception, is confused. Here’s a snippet from the scene, one I really like because it shows Elenora’s spunk and Miles tendency to speak before he thinks.
Mr. Rutledge grabbed a bentwood chair and placed it in front of her, but he didn’t sit. Instead he strode a few paces away, wheeled around, and held his fisted hands at his sides.
“You’re a woman.”
He inhaled deeply, his nostrils flaring. “You’re going to continue your game, are you?”
“Game? What game? I don’t understand.”
He stalked toward her one slow step at a time, his fists planted on his waist, until he towered over her. “I rarely get upset, Mrs. Watkins, but your charade is…is…contemptible.”
She leaped to her feet, her chest heaving, and stared into icy-blue eyes. Mere inches from him, she heard his labored breathing and saw his jaw flex. What could she have done to drive him to such an ungentlemanly outburst?
About Keli: Keli Gwyn writes stories that transport readers to the 1800s, where she brings historic towns to life, peoples them with colorful characters, and adds a hint of humor. A California native, she lives in the Gold Rush-era town of Placerville at the foot of the majestic Sierra Nevada Mountains. Her debut novel, A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California, set in the heart of the Gold Country where she lives, will be released in July 2012.
When Keli’s fingers aren’t hovering over the keyboard of her newfangled laptop, she enjoys strolling past stately Victorian houses in her historic town, burying her nose in reference books as she unearths interesting facts to include in her stories, and interacting with other romance readers. Her favorite places to visit are her fictional worlds, the Coach factory outlet store, and Taco Bell. Learn more: Website – http://www.keligwyn.com, Facebook Timeline – http://www.facebook.com/KeliGwyn, Facebook Page – http://www.facebook.com/KeliGwynReadersGroup, Twitter – http://twitter.com/#!/KeliGwyn, and Goodreads – http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5411901.Keli_Gwyn
About the Book: Love Is Gold in El Dorado, California
Widow Elenora Watkins heads to California with her nine-year-old daughter, Tildy, eager to become a partner in a mercantile. When the mulish owner withdraws his offer because she’s a woman, she opens her own shop. She’s determined to prove herself capable of running a successful business without the help of anyone—including her controlling father, her seemingly distant heavenly Father, and one Miles Rutledge.
Widower Miles Rutledge is not about to get involved with another willful woman like his late wife, especially when she’s his competition. But the beautiful Elenora may be too hard to resist. When another man appears out to claim Elenora’s heart, Miles searches for a way to win her back. . .while putting her out of business.
Meanwhile, Maude Rutledge, Miles’s meddling mother, longs to see her son make a good match. And Tildy is just as bent on gaining a loving papa.
The battle of wills begins, but can anyone win when the competition is more than they bargained for?
Come back July 4th for Keli and Gwynly’s first date.