Monday, August 8, 2016

Make-Believe Beau by Keli Gwyn ends 8/15

Please welcome Keli Gwyn to my blog this week. Thank you for joining us this week, Keli. I love your picture. So cute! Keli has a fun and interesting post on roller skating. She's giving away a copy of her new release  Make-Believe Beau. Answer one or more of the questions she asked to be entered. Don't forget to leave your email address and let me know if you are a feedburner follower for an extra entry.

Roller Skating Then and Now
by Keli Gwyn

I grew up in the days when kids could play in the streets of my small town without a parent in sight. It wasn’t quite the Dark Ages. It was the 1960s.

One of the activities my childhood friends and I enjoyed was roller skating. We had heavy metal skates like those pictured. We’d slide our feet into them and use the skate key to crank them to our size. The skates had to fit snuggly, or they could separate from our shoes—with unpleasant consequences. I know because I kissed the pavement a few times.

I’d like to tell you that I zipped along the sidewalks with grace and ease, but that wasn’t the case. Those skates were heavy, and I wasn’t the bravest child on the block. A more honest description would be to say that I wobbled my way down the road, arms flailing as I fought to remain standing, wearing a goofy grin.

By the time I reached my teens, skates had improved. The wheels were attached to the boots, which provided a whole lot more support. Most of us rented our skates, not caring that countless others had worn them or that they smelled like a gym locker. We pretended that quick spritz of disinfectant spray the attendant shot into the boots worked wonders.


Skating had moved indoors to roller rinks with spinning disco balls splashing the walls with a rainbow of dancing lights. Music blared from the speakers, combining with the thunder of wheels rumbling over smooth wooden floors. The laughter of skaters whizzing past me bolstered my courage. If they could zip along, so could I. And I did, albeit a bit more tentatively. I still crashed on occasion, but I was conscious of those around me, so I’d hop back up, paste a smile on my face and keep on doing laps. Despite all my falls, I had a blast.

When I learned that roller skating was all the rage in the 1870s and that my historic Gold Rush-era town had a roller skating rink back then, I knew I had to have a skating party in one of my stories. Since Make-Believe Beau is my first story set in Placerville, I finally got to include a skate date, so-to-speak. I had such fun writing that scene.

I had some research to do in order to accurately portray an 1874 skating rink. As I expected, the floors were wooden. Since the phonograph wasn’t invented until three years later, the music would have been performed live. Women and men roller skated. Many rinks would hold classes for the ladies before the general skating sessions.


Surprisingly, the skates (similar to those in photo) weren’t too much different than those heavy, clunky models I wore as a girl. A skater slid her foot into the clamp at the toes and buckled the strap around the ankles, just as I did. Thanks to James Plimpton, who revolutionized roller skates in 1866 when he created the four-wheel model with turning capabilities that we’re used to, skaters could go in circles rather than being limited to straight lines as they had been until that time.

The hero and heroine of Make-Believe Beau, Flynt Kavanaugh and Jessie Sinclair, have a great time skating. As is often the case with couples in romance novels, things soon take a turn—for the worse. Not to worry, though. Flynt and Jessie may have to deal with all the difficulties I throw at them, but that just makes their hard-earned Happy Ever After that much sweeter.

Questions for You:

Did you enjoy roller skating when you were younger?

If you skated, were you on the timid side, like me, or did you race around the rink with flair?

As a draftswoman in a man’s world, Jessica Sinclair causes a stir as her new male colleagues vie for
her attention. And the company manager has an ultimatum: fake a courtship with her boss, Flynt Kavanaugh…or lose her job. But pretending to be smitten with the handsome engineer unleashes a real, complicated attraction—and could reveal the past she hoped to keep hidden.
Jessica is certainly the best person for the job. But as their make-believe romance escalates, Flynt knows that’s not the only reason he wants her on his team. However, with his past shrouded by a shameful secret, Flynt has always focused his ambitions on building a career, not a family. Now he has designs on Jessica’s heart, but can they trust each other with the truth?




ABOUT KELI:
Award-winning author 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.
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, other Gold Rush-era towns and historical museums. She loves hearing from readers and invites you to visit her Victorian-style cyber home at www.keligwyn.com, where you’ll find her contact information.

Find Keli's books here.



(All images are from Wikimedia commons. Photo 1. Photo 2. Photo 3.)
Link to photo 1
Link to photo 2
Link to photo 3

31 comments:

  1. Thanks so much for hosting me, Debbie Lynne. I look forward to interacting with your blog's readers.

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  2. Thanks for sharing Keli Gwyn about roller skating. I tried roller skating a few times at a roller skating rink but never felt comfortable skating without holding on to someone or the wall. I fell several times needless to say. Make Believe Beau sounds like a delightful read with romance and hidden secrets of the hero and heroine. marilynridgway78[at]gmail [dot] com

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  3. Thanks for sharing Keli Gwyn about roller skating. I tried roller skating a few times at a roller skating rink but never felt comfortable skating without holding on to someone or the wall. I fell several times needless to say. Make Believe Beau sounds like a delightful read with romance and hidden secrets of the hero and heroine. marilynridgway78[at]gmail [dot] com

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  4. Marilyn, you're not alone. I kept close to the wall when I went to the roller skating rink, too.

    Thanks for your kind words about Make-Believe Beau.

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  5. I spent more time on the floor than upright. Haha

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    1. Lucy, I spent my fair share on the floor, too. Thankfully, I never got hit by other skaters when I was down. Another positive was that I got some great views of the disco ball from that perspective. :-)

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  6. I have never roller skated before. We couldn't afford it when I was younger and when I saw my oldest daughter fall and break her elbow when she was little, I vowed never to try as an adult. I'm a big chicken. LOL princessdebbie1_2000(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Debbie, I'm sorry your daughter was injured while roller skating. I can see why you wouldn't want to try after that.

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  7. I roller skated a few times as a teenager, and there is a year round ICE rink in our area of Maine as hockey is a big deal in Maine. We've been there a few times. I'm a wallhugger. Thank God I have never fallen in front of my grandchildren!!! Thanks for this unique post! I am a follower.
    bcrug(at)myfairpoint(dot)net

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    1. Connie, you're far braver than I am. I summoned enough courage to roller skate, but the thought of ice skating gives me the heebie jeebies. Ice is hard and cold, and the skate blades look mighty sharp.

      I don't have to worry about future grandkids wanting me to skate. I developed osteoporosis at an early age, and my endocrinologist has told me dangerous sports are off limits. That gives me a built-in excuse. =)

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  8. I would like to say that I skated like Peggy Fleming (telling my she also) but I was more like you! Birthday parties at the skating rink were very popular when I was growing up and yes, there were the disco lights and music. FUN times, even if I was a rail holder!!
    Debbie, I am a follower.
    Connie
    cps1950(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Meant to say "telling my age". Auto correct at work again!
      Connie

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    2. Connie, I remember wanting to ice skate like Dorothy Hamill. I wanted her hair cut, too, but my fine hair lacked the body to pull it off. My body lacked the grace to pull off any resemblance of her skating. =)

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  9. My husband and I met roller skating about 46 years ago, we married 6 months later! It was always special to me because that is how my aunt and uncle met too, they were married 4 months before I was born and lived the rest of their lives together, both have passed now. So, roller skating holds a special place in my heart. Oh, and my first job was at a roller skating rink, working the concession stand!

    wfnren at aol dot com

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    1. Wow, Wendy! I love the role roller skating has played in your life. What a great first meeting story! I'd love to hear more about it. Did your future husband ask you to skate during a couples skate? Did you fall at his feet? The romance writer in me is beyond curious.

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  11. I loved roller skating while growing up. We had a rink in our town and I would go with friends. Of course, we were also looking at the best boy skaters too!! I usually skated by myself. I know a lot of the teens delighted in being whipped around the corners, not for me for sure!!
    Also our church youth group went to a christian skating night once a month and it was fun meeting teens from other churches.
    They also had a short devotional at the event. I will always remember our youth group leader loading us all up into his station wagon. He was an older man Joe and he had such a heart for the Lord.

    Debbie - I follow your blog by e mail.
    marypopmom (at) yahoo (dot) com
    Maryann

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    1. Debbie, I'm glad you have such wonderful memories of roller skating outings with your friends and your youth group. Like you, I had fun watching talented guys skating when I was young, too. ;-)

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  12. I did roller skate as a kid. I never fell but maybe because I was not brave enough to do much!! lol
    I love your books! I do follow this blog by e mail.
    thanks for your giveaway
    jacsmi75 at gmail dot com

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    1. Jackie, I'm glad you enjoyed roller skating and didn't take any tumbles. Perhaps you were better at it than you give yourself credit for.

      Thanks for the kind words about my books.

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  13. I didn't roller skate much when I was a kid. I grew up on a farm, so not much concrete there to skate on. When I did go to a roller skating party for a birthday or some occasion, I didn't like it very well because I wasn't very good at staying on my feet. The book sounds like one I'd enjoy. Thanks for giving us the background and for the giveaway.

    I'm a Feedburner follower.

    pmkellogg56[at]gmail[dot]com

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    1. Pam, I can see why you didn't skate much. Farms aren't roller skate friendly, but they do offer many other ways to have fun, I'm sure.

      Thanks for the kind words about my story. I'm eager for readers to meet Flynt and Jessie. I did have one reader write today and tell me she was quite a ways into the story and "ready to smack Flynt upside the head" because he was so sure he knew what Jessie was thinking but was way off base. My poor hero does take a while to figure things out, bless him. :-)

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  14. Congrats on another book being published!!! I love the history in your stories! I'm looking forward to reading Make Believe Beau.

    I was not a good skater and much like you in the timidity department. More often than not, I would find myself sitting abruptly on the floor and trying not to get run over. ;-)

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  15. Thanks for being such an enthusiastic supporter of my stories, Anne.

    I spent more time than I care to admit on the roller skating rink's floor. Even though I was sure the other skaters would crash into me, they never did. I guess they were more adept at roller skating than I was. :-)

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  16. I still have my first pair of roller skates. The leather straps are gone and so is the key but the memories are in my heart.
    Janet E.
    von1janet(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Janet, how cool that you still have your skates. I hope seeing them brings back lots of great memories.

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  17. I love roller skating. I zoomed around the rink. I played all the games and won a few free snack bar items. I love to skate backwards, race and play shoot-the-duck. I bought my own pair of skates and had them for probably 20+ years - replacing the wheels on them myself. When my brother and I were a little older, my family would go to the roller rink on most holidays :) Roller-blading is fun, too. I wish we had a roller rink nearby so I could take my children.

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    1. Sounds like you're a lot more adventurous than I am. You're the kind of skater I admired as I shuffled my way along the wall of the skating rink.

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  18. Congrats Marilyn! You're this weeks winner!

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    1. Congratulations, Marilyn! I'm looking forward to sending you a copy of Make-Believe Beau. I hope you enjoy Flynt and Jessie's story.

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  19. Thank you so much. I'm blessed and look forward to reading "Make Believe Beau" by Keli Gwyn. God bless.

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