Of Cupcakes, Cats, and THE CALL

Welcome, maties! There’s been a mutiny on the blog.

I’m Anne, Keli’s CP, here to tell you a story. A special story with a very happy ending.

Put on your fuzzy slippers, grab a cupcake . . . or two, and gather round . . .

(Be sure to check out the gift bag giveaway at the end of the post. There are three chances to win.)



Keli’s Story: From Dream to First Sale in Five Years

Keli and Anne


Keli with Rachelle Gardner, who offered her representation in Dec. 2009.


That’s right! Keli SOLD her story! Woo-hoo!!!

And now, she’s here to tell us all the juicy details.

Welcome, Keli, and CONGRATULATIONS!


First, tell us all about The Call!

Thanks for hosting this cyber celebration, Anne! You’re the hostess with the mostest.

The Call? Well, there were two actually. And I missed them both.

The Calls, which are still on my answering machine to this day. =)

On November 30, I sat holed up in my office with the door closed, cranking classical music on my computer while I updated Quicken. I took a break from the excitement of reconciling check registers and emerged from my office in search of shortbread and sweet tea. I approached the kitchen, saw a blinking number 1 on the answering machine, and punched “play.”

When I heard Rachelle asking me to call her back, I was pretty sure she had good news,  but I didn’t want to get my hopes up. I left her a message and proceeded to pace and pray. My cats got tired of watching me wear out the carpet and resumed their naps.

A few minutes later, Rachelle called and told me we’d received an offer from a highly respected publishing house. I said some rather incomprehensible stuff, which Rachelle assured me is quite common on such an occasion. I got off the phone, did some high-pitched squealing, and sent our cats running for cover.

Rachelle had yet to hear from a few other houses, so we had to wait to finalize things. I spent several days floating on above the clouds and doing spontaneous happy dances.

On December 7th, I returned from the grocery store to see a number 2 blinking on the answering machine. Imagine my surprise when it was Rachelle saying we had a second offer on the table and to call her ASAP.

In order to spare her eardrums, I took five minutes to whoop and holler before returning her call. She gave me the details and told me to take time to think things over before I gave her my decision.

Both houses are great. Both editors have stellar reputations. But I had to choose.

I talked to the Lord, my hubby–and myself. I hyperventilated, paced, and prayed some more. The decision was not an easy one. Both offers put stars in my eyes. Only when I’d come to feel a sense of peace, did I call my awesome agent back.

Sending in the contract.

And then began six weeks of knee-bouncing, toe-tapping waiting during which I talked Gwynly’s ears off. My guy is amazing. Never once did he ask me to stop gushing.

On Saturday, January 15, 2011, I signed my first publishing contract, went to the FedEx counter at Office Max, and sent the life-changing document to Barbour Publishing.


How did you celebrate?

At Olive Garden with my celebratory glass of Asti champagne.

There have been multiple celebration over the past six weeks. Since Gwynly knows I don’t care for cooking, he took me out to eat at Olive Garden, Panda Express, and, of course, Taco Bell. He’s come home with bouquets of flowers and balloons. And he gave me a mushy card that warmed this romance writer’s heart.

I got to share the news with my church family and local friends this past weekend, which was wonderful. They’ve been a tremendous source of support and encouragement.

And now you’re hosting this awesome party for me, Anne, and I’m able to celebrate with my cyber friends. Talk about being blessed!


Can you share any details, like when your story will be released and what the title will be?

The contract didn’t specify a release date, and I’ve yet to meet my editor, but I trust I’ll have more information soon.

In regards to a title, I can tell you three titles my inspirational historical romance won’t have. It won’t be Playing on Heartstrings, the title it bore when it placed in two contests back in 2007. It won’t be Violets & Violins, the title I used when I entered it in contests in 2009. And it won’t be Love in Store, the title it bore on the proposal.

I can write stories, but when it comes to titles, I obviously need help. Thankfully, publishers are pros at such things. Barbour listed a tentative title in the contract, one I really like and look forward to sharing in a future blog post. For now, I’m simply calling it The Book That Sold. 🙂

This is a milestone in my life, but it wouldn’t have been possible without the love, support, encouragement, and assistance of a small army of incredible people. This post would be twice as long if I tried to list everyone, but I do want to say thank you to my husband for being the nicest and most patient person I’ve ever met, our amazing daughter for dealing with a writing-crazed mom, Rachelle for believing in me and giving me two of the best Christmas presents I’ve ever received, and Jody Hedlund and you, Anne, for being awesome critique partners and treasured friends. I wouldn’t be celebrating today if it weren’t for you and the many others I’m privileged to call my friends.

* * *

Anne’s Gift Bag Giveaway

Each gift bag includes a notepad, bookmark, candle, and cookie.

*sigh* (Anne again.) I love stories with happy endings!  I promised there would be cupcakes, . . . so we have a cupcake themed giveaway.  Can you smell the frosting?

If you’d like a chance to win one of the goodie bags, just leave a comment on January 17th. I’ll hold drawings at noon and 4:30 p.m. EST and ask Keli to hold the last one at 9 p.m. PST. To enter, leave a comment and add your email address when prompted.

Note: Offer void where prohibited.
Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants.

Congratulations to the winners: Dr. Richard Mabry, Cara Putman, and Susan Hatler.


About Keli Gwyn

I'm an award-winning author of inspirational historical romance smitten with the Victorian Era. I'm currently writing for Harlequin's Love Inspired Historical line of wholesome, faith-filled romances. My debut novel, A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California, was released July 1, 2012. I'm represented by Rachelle Gardner of Book & Such Literary. I live in a Gold Rush-era town at the foot of the majestic Sierras. My favorite places to visit are my fictional worlds, other Gold Country towns and historical museums. When I'm not writing I enjoy taking walks, working out at Curves™ and reading.
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184 Responses to Of Cupcakes, Cats, and THE CALL

  1. Erin says:

    Keli– this is SO SO SO SO SO SO SO exciting. HUGE congrats. I’m thrilled for you and can’t WAIT to read “The Book That Sold”. How wonderful!! And I can’t wait to read more as it shapes!!

  2. Major congratulations, Keli. I’m thrilled for you. You’re such an encouragement to those yet unpubbed.

  3. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!






  4. AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. audra says:

    OH. MY. GOODNESS, KELI!! I just heard the great news!! YeeHaw, my friend. I couldn’t be happier, prouder or LOUDER at this moment! Can’t wait to follow you on the trail of your release date.

    So, so, so happy for you!!!

  6. this is just FAB! Really. so happy for you, and can’t wait to read it!

  7. Linda Kage says:

    YAY, Keli!!! Congratulations! I’m throwing confetti for you. I’d love to see a picture of your cats AFTER you got that call.

  8. lynn says:


  9. What a fun post! I’m wishing you the best, Keli, and sending congratulations. So exciting!

  10. Karen Lange says:

    Congrats, Keli! I just heard the news! How exciting! And Olive Garden to celebrate, you’re my kind of girl! 🙂

  11. Preslaysa says:

    Congratulations!! I’m so happy for you.

  12. Congratulations, Keli! So excited for you!

  13. Oh, and this is an AWESOME story. Applause to Ann. What a beautiful way to present it.

    Sooooo excited!

    Oh, I already said that, so . . .


  14. Pingback: The Revision Decision | Rachelle Gardner

  15. livinglearningeating says:

    Congratulations! I’m hoping to be in your shoes soon 🙂 *wishwishwish*

Comments are closed.