Posted in author interviews, book giveaways

Interview and Giveaway with Author Keli Gwyn!

I am honored to have Author Keli Gwyn as my guest this week. Keli is offering a copy of her new release A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California to one lucky winner!

I have personally read this book and very much enjoyed it. Following is the back cover blurb…

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?

And now, let’s take a minute to meet Keli…

Hello Keli! Thank you for being my guest. What was the inspiration behind your book? I’m a California native and love the historic Gold Country where I live. I wanted to bring the area to life in my stories. While El Dorado is a sleepy suburb now, it was a thriving town in its heyday. When I read about the town’s leading merchant, a mercantile owner named James B. Wetherwax, I was intrigued and wanted to know more about him. However, I couldn’t find much information, but being a writer, I could imagine such a man—and I created the hero of my story.

Widower Miles Rutledge has the most successful business in town, the most impressive building, and is well liked, but he doesn’t have a woman in his life. Along comes Elenora Watkins with her shop across the street.

I love that! Isn’t it awesome how we, as authors, can imagine our characters and then create them on paper? Switching topics now – what is one silly thing about you that most people probably don’t know? I’m not sure if this qualifies as silly. It might be considered weird, surprising, or downright un-American, but I don’t like pie. Apple, pumpkin, lemon meringue? Nope. No pie, no matter what kind it is. I do, however, like piecrust, which is probably why I like shortbread so much.

And lest you feel sorry for me and think I’m missing out because of my pie-less state, let me assure you, I don’t feel that way at all. The way I see it, I’m just leaving more for everyone else to enjoy.

What is your favorite book in the Bible and why? I’m partial to the book of James. I like the way he gives us so many practical tips for living the Christian life.

I agree, James is an excellent book of the Bible! And now, for one of my favorite questions…what charity/organization is very close to your heart and why? This is a great question, one I’ve not been asked before. My husband and I contribute to a number of Christian organizations, but if I were to come into serious money all my own, I would make a donation to Susan G. Komen for the Cure. I lost my beloved mother-in-law to breast cancer a number of years ago and would love to spare other families this heartbreak.

I was sorry to hear about your mother-in-law, Keli.

And last, but not least, where can readers find you? To learn more about me, you can visit my Victorian-style cyber home at, where you’ll find my parlor, study, carriage house, and more, along with my blog and social media links.

In closing, do you have a fun question you’d like to ask my readers? What’s your favorite kind of pie? Or are you, like me, one of those rare people who doesn’t care for pie?

Thanks so much for hosting me, Penny. It’s a pleasure to spend time with you and your blog’s visitors.

Thank you for being my guest, Keli. It is an honor to have you here!

And now, readers, here’s your chance to win A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California.  All you have to do is answer Keli’s question in a comment. A winner will be chosen at random. Sorry this giveaway is open to U.S. and Canadian residents only. If you are a subscriber to this blog, you will receive two entries.  The contest ends on December 13, 2012.


Penny Zeller is known for her heartfelt stories of faith and her passion to impact lives for Christ through fiction. While she has had a love for writing since childhood, she began her adult writing career penning articles for national and regional publications on a wide variety of topics. Today Penny is a multi-published author of over a dozen books. She is also a homeschool mom and a group fitness instructor. When Penny is not dreaming up new characters, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two daughters and camping, hiking, canoeing, reading, running, gardening, and playing volleyball. She is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of the Steve Laube Agency and loves to hear from her readers at her website,, her blog,, and through her newsletter via

79 thoughts on “Interview and Giveaway with Author Keli Gwyn!

  1. I love pies, but because of numerous allergies, most of them are off limits now. When I could eat anything, chocolate silk was a favorite. Now with chocolate and gluten allergies, it is just a good memory!!

    1. Becky, I’m sorry you’re dealing with food allergies. I love chocolate but gave it up several years ago in order to keep from changing my clothes size, so I know how hard that can be. It seems many people are have gluten allergies these days, but I see some yummy gluten-free recipes on Facebook. I hope you can some treats you like.

  2. I love pie 🙂 Give me a good chocolate or pumpkin pie any day!

    I knew we were kindred spirits, Keli….James is at the top of my list, too! I always need the practicality of his instruction.

    Cancer is such an ugly beast. I’m so sorry about your mother-in-law. I lost my mom to cancer 11 yrs ago. Rejoicing that we will be reunited one day and that Christ is our healer!

    1. Anne, I’m so sorry you lost your mother to that dreaded disease. It’s staggering to think of how many families have been touched by cancer. I like to think they’ll find the cure in my lifetime–or at least in my daughter’s. It is encouraging how many cancer survivors there are these days. That shows progress is being made.

  3. I don’t like cake! But I love all kinds of pie, except gooseberry! Sorry to hear that you lost your mother to breast cancer.I have a pre-cancer, MGUS so have to be monitored for the rest of my life. Had one cousin die of breast cancer and another is a survivor of it. I read a book on the history of cancer research and was very encouraged by it. We are very blessed to be living now because more ways of treatment are being discovered every day and I think one day we will see the many of the different cancers drop by the wayside, one by one.


    1. Carol, I’m so sorry you’re dealing with a pre-cancerous blood disorder. That has to be frightening. As you said, great strides are being made in cancer treatments, which is encouraging. Like you, I look forward to seeing the researchers discover the cures.

  4. Oh, my! Pie! So many types to choose from. Honey-pie is good for some, but too sweet for others. A creamy pie thrown in the face to make a point or give a good laugh in a movie is priceless. A yellow banana Moon pie was a lunch box treat as I was growing up. Loved that! Now I love pumpkin pie, pecan pie and apple pie, but my favorite is probably Key Lime pie. Then again, I love a good pizza pie!

    Blessings and thanks for a fun question 🙂

    1. Janice, I enjoyed reading your fun comment. You obviously have a wonderful sense of humor–and a fun writing style. And you just gave me a great answer to use when people ask what kind of pie I like: pizza pie. I do like that kind of pie. 🙂

  5. Sounds like a fun story with lots of dynamics! I like pie a lot – especially pecan and pumpkin. And I don’t care for crust unless it’s the bottom part – soaked with pie filling.

    1. Sparks, thanks for the kind words about my story. Readers have comments about the sparks between my hero and heroine. They do have some rather lively conversations at times. 🙂

      Sounds like you’re someone I could sit next to at a pie social. You might be willing to snap off the crinkly crust at the edge of your piece and give it to me. And yes, when I was a kid I knew which relatives would share their crust with me and made sure I was close by.

  6. My favorite pie is cherry, but I made an apple pie once that won first place at the fair. I used a tupperware pie crust roller-outer, and it had a pie crust recipe on it that always made light flaky crusts. I am a subscriber and would love to win your book! In Jesus, Marriott Cole, author Grace, Miracles, and Chocolate

  7. I’m a pumpkin pie fan and my favorite part to eat is right where the pumpkin, whipped cream, and crust come together and you get a little taste of the pumpkin and cream and a lot of taste of the crust. Back in the days when my mom still made her own pie crusts, she would let my sisters and me have the leftovers. We’d bake them with just a bit of cinnamon and sugar…so good! BTW…I’m a shortbread lover, too. =)

  8. I think I enjoy making pies even more than eating them! But if I were to choose….Butterscotch Meringue…not the box kind – the real stuff that doesn’t even taste like butterscotch -out of brown sugar, butter….

    Would love to read your book!

    1. Melody, I admire those of you who can make pies. My Gwynly doesn’t like cake, so for his first birthday after we were married, I attempted to make my first pie. The filling was OK, but the crust fell apart. By the time I got done with it, the top crust looked a jigsaw puzzle gone bad. Gwynly assured me the pie tasted good, though, so that was some consolation.

  9. Hello Keli. Good to hear this interview with Penny. I love Chocolate and Pecan pies best. And, lots of crust. LOL I know others who leave their crust but you are the first to leave the pie filling. You’re book sounds interesting. I’d like to win it. Maxie

    1. Maxie, I’ve been searching for someone else who doesn’t like pie for the past fifty-someodd years, and I’ve yet to find another person like me. I’m an odd duck I guess.

  10. Awesome interview. with writer Keli Gwyn… favorite pie is pumpkin pie with whipped cream… to win Keli’s new book ‘A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California’….sounds like a very inspirational.. love story .. I have shared on facebook and twitter too ……..

    1. Linda, thanks for your kind words about my story. There is definitely an inspirational element to it, but several of the reviewers have said it’s not heavy-handed, which pleased me because I don’t want to come across as a preachy writer.

      You might find this surprising, but I don’t like whipped cream either. Am I strange, or am I strange? LOL

  11. My favorite pie is anything with coconut in it. My deceased aunt used to make from scratch chocolate pie with egg meringue lightly browned, but I had to give up chocolate. Now that’s as pitiful as someone who doesn’t like pie.LOL Penny, I’m a subscriber. Thanks for having Keli today.

    1. I feel for you, Jo. Giving up chocolate isn’t easy. I did it about ten years ago. I miss it, but the cravings did eventually go away, thank goodness. Did you find that to be true as well?

  12. I must say that while coconut cream pie is a definite occasional “come on” to my palate the others seldom interest me———now, cookies–that’s another story! 😀 I would love to win this book–this genre of history is a favorite and nothing like a compelling love story to boot! 🙂 Please enter my name. Blessings! Darlene Keith

    I do subscribe to this blog Penny

    1. Darlene, I, too, love history. My favorite reads are inspirational historical romances. There are sooo many great ones out there written by talented authors. If only I didn’t have to sleep. 🙂

  13. My favorite pie in the world is my aunt-in-law’s apple pie. It’s the two-time Best of Show winner in the biggest apple festival around. She quit winning when she quit entering. I like to say that someday the Good Lord is going to get a hankering for apple pie, and then he’ll call Aunt Connie home because only the best will do. She’s told me how to make it, but I have yet to succeed.

    I was excited to see Keli’s name when this post showed up in my email. I would love to win the book.

    1. Veronica, sounds like you have a real appreciation of pie. I wonder, how many different kinds do you try at a pie social?

      Thanks for the kind words about my book. You’ll be happy to know that my heroine likes pie.

    1. Bonnie, pecan pie seems to be a favorite of many people. The heroine of my book likes peach and pecan pie. She can’t cook very well, though, so she goes to the hotel restaurant to indulge in a slice from time to time.

  14. I really enjoyed the interview with Keli Gwyn. I would love to win A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado. It sounds like a great story that I would enjoy reading. My favorite is lemon meringue pie.

  15. I love most kinds of pie, but especially rhubarb or rhubarb custard pie. I love pie crust, if it is made from old-fashioned lard–not the stuff you buy in the store. Since, I no longer have a source for the pure, processed lard, I no longer make pies, and rarely eat any. Keli, do you like cooked fruit–like cooked apples? I like to make cooked, sweetened and spiced apples.

    1. Kay, sounds like your pie crusts were really something. I have a hunch I would have really liked them. I don’t care for anything that involves cooked or dehydrated fruit–at least not that I can think of. I do eat some fresh fruits, though. Crunchy Pippin apples and Clementine mandarin oranges are two of my favorites.

  16. Hi Keli, I would say my favorite pies are apple and pumpkin, mainly because those are usually the only two my mom would make for Thanksgiving or Christmas. Plus, she uses an apple pie recipe from a lady who made her husband pie every single week for decades, and then won a contest! So, the crust is amazing and since we only make it once or twice a year it is especially delightful! Also, this is the first time I’ve heard of your book but my sister really wants to read it because she interviewed you last year, but lives out of the country.

    1. Lilly, traditions are so important. They make special events even more special.

      I appreciate all of those who interviewed me. I’ve had so many wonderful hostesses, such as Penny. Which hostess was your sister?

  17. I’m working overseas currently, but did want to say that I enjoyed the interview. Last summer Keli interviewed me and it was lots of fun. I wonder how many people dislike pie, not a whole lot I imagine. Anyway, my favorites are apple and pumpkin.

  18. I guess I will have to say, More pie for me! I actually am more of a cookie and cake person but my favorite pie is our homemade Pumpkin.
    This book looks like a great read. I would love to win but even if I don’t I will be looking for this book at my library.

    I am a subscriber, just signed up 🙂

    1. Jasmine, while I’ve yet to find anyone who doesn’t like pie, it’s nice to hear that you prefer cookies and cakes to pie. I do like both of those, although I rarely eat either one. OK, I do allow myself shortbread and Nilla Wafers on occasion, but that’s pretty much it. I like sweets so much that if I get one taste of a favorite treat, I want more. Kinda like some people and French fries. 🙂

      Thanks for the kind words about my book. You sure know how to put a smile on this author’s face.

  19. Does cheesecake count? It’s really more pie-ish than cake-ish, isn’t it?! 😉 Well, if I can’t choose cheesecake, I love a good chocolate cream or apple crumb-topped pie!

    Sounds like a great book!

    mybabyblessings AT gmail DOT com

    1. Stephanie, I don’t know if others would count cheesecake as pie-ish, but I do. Even though I know it’s a favorite of many, I don’t care for it either. If that doesn’t make me an odd duck, I don’t know what does. 🙂

      Thanks for the kind words about my story–and for the smile they produced.

  20. I love apple pie and cherry pie!
    Thanks for this great interview and wonderful giveaway. The book sounds like an absolute hoot! I love that he has to win her heart yet still plans to put her out of business. 🙂 Please toss my name in the hat for this one, and best wishes, Keli, on the success of this book!

  21. My mother’s rhubarb pie is my favorite pie! 🙂 My brother says her apple pie is the best in the world but I don’t care for apple pie. 🙂 He is an excellent cook/baker and he thinks her piecrust is the best too so I guess at least you could enjoy the piecrust part of her pies Keli! 🙂

    1. Jes, sounds like your mom is quite a pie baker. I’m sure her piecrust would be mighty tasty. I admire anyone who can make a good piecrust. I made a pie for Gwynly early in our marriage, and the crust was a disaster. It looked like a jigsaw puzzle gone bad, and I’m sure it was anything but tender and flaky after I was finished with it. LOL

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