Hi. My name is Cici Wilde, the proud owner of Cici’s Vintage Clothing Store in Grace Gulch, Oklahoma. I grew up here, left long enough to attend design school for a couple of years, then returned home where I know everyone and they know me.
Lucky for me, I do have a home of my own away from the family farm. My wardrobe is fairly small, because I borrow from my store’s inventory to feature the current theme. Today I’m rocking a pair of bell-bottoms. There’s not much I can do to tame my dandelion-seed hair.
Usually I head to Gaynor Goodies for my first treat of the day. With my love for good foods, like our hearty weekly family meals, church socials, and food at The Gulch, my town’s fancy restaurant, it’s a wonder I manage to maintain a healthy weight.
I also go to the bakery to catch on the day’s gossip with Jessie Gaynor. Staying on good terms with the Gaynors is essential. I’m close friends with Cord Grace, and the Gaynors have never forgiven Bob Grace for winning the race for Grace Gulch during the Land Run.
My store is successful, but that doesn’t mean I have many customers during the day. I do a lot of business on line. Saturdays are my busiest days, and I love catering to the kids, with books about history and outfits to match.
I may spend time researching about my next theme for the store—I’m going with the war years (World War II) since I’ve landed a great collection of almost every women’s military organization. Once in a while I sew clothes from authentic patterns, if a particular era is likely to be in high demand. Grace Gulch’s annual Land Run days always require extra prairie dresses and bonnets, and sometimes even outfits for the gents.
When I have to leave the store, either my sister Dina or our pastor’s wife, Enid Waldberg, takes over. Most often I leave for an estate sale or even a promising garage sale. An old farm holds the most opportunity. I’ve found everything from dresses ‘89ers might have worn to millennial memorabilia.
I also provide costumes for productions at the Magda Grace Mallory Theater—yes, we really do call it the MGM. Not only does my sister Dina assist in the productions, the director, Audie Howe, is my boyfriend.
And of course, I never know when my older sister, “Hurricane Jenna,” might blow through. . .
Lately, though, I’ve developed a penchant for getting involved in murder—and when it comes to murder, nothing goes as planned.
You can read more about Cici in Gunfight At Grace Gulch, the first book in the “Dressed For Death” mystery series.
About Gunfight At Grace Gulch
The feud between the Graces and the Gaynors is still going strong more than a century after its inception in the 1891 Oklahoma land run. Newspaper editor Penn Hardy is murdered during the reenactment of the most famous gunfight in the history of Grace Gulch, Oklahoma. Cici Wilde, owner of a vintage clothing store, feels compelled to investigate when police suspect people close to her. She soon discovers her talent for sleuthing equals her flare for wearing period clothing. Theater director Audie Howe never expected the reenactment to end in a real murder. He cares too much for the future of the Magda Grace Mallory Theater – and the charming Cici Wilde – to let her face danger alone. Cici and Audie take a dangerous gamble to nail the killer – and lay their lives on the line.
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All comments are welcomed.
Meet the author
Best-selling author Darlene Franklin’s greatest claim to fame is that she writes full-time from a nursing home. She lives in Oklahoma, near her son and his family, and continues her interests in playing the piano and singing, books, good fellowship, and reality TV in addition to writing. She is an active member of Oklahoma City Christian Fiction Writers, American Christian Fiction Writers, and the Christian Authors Network. She has written over fifty books and more than 250 devotionals. Her historical fiction ranges from the Revolutionary War to World War II, from Texas to Vermont.
Giveaway: Leave comment below for your chance to win a print copy of Gunfight at Grace Gulch. US entries only, please. The giveaway will end January 29 at 12 AM EST. Good luck everyone!