A Day in the Life with Cici Wilde by Darlene Franklin

Gunfight At Grace GulchHi. 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.

Website and blog | Facebook | Amazon author page

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!

48 responses to “A Day in the Life with Cici Wilde by Darlene Franklin

  1. Sounds like a winner!

  2. I would be interested in reading the book! Thanks for a chance to enter.

  3. Hi Gram, Donna. Thanks to both of you for your interest.

  4. I love vintage clothing. I wait to read this book!

  5. Looks like a great read! I’ll have to try it! Thanks for the chance to win.

  6. Lenore English

    “Dressed for Death” I love it! I always like to read the first in a series. Thanks for a chance to win.

  7. Barbara Hackel

    Vintage clothing + murder = FUN! Can’t wait to read this one! Had to love the MGM theater acronym, and wonder what other delights await. Thanks for the introduction, Dru. 🙂 Thanks also to author Darlene for the chance to win a copy. 😉

  8. New series! Awesome. Food and fashion and murder. Sounds like a fun read.

  9. Sounds like a great read.

  10. How fun! Can’t wait to read what everyone is wearing. And murder too!

  11. This is not only a new book, but a new author for me. Yeah!

  12. Gina, I’m glad you want to meet Cici at home (in the book)

  13. Lenore, I named it Dressed for Death but in my mind I think “Grace Gulch”. Dressed for death captures Cici’s essence, though.

  14. Barbara, the MGM acronym was pure serendipity, as was the Wilde sisters not to mention Oscar Wilde. I used a book helping me choose ethnic names in Grace Gulch, which is where I came up with Magda Mallory. And of course she was a Grace, the town matriarch. And lo and behold, I had MGM.

  15. elainehroberson

    Another new-to-me author to try. Thanks for a chance to win a copy.

  16. Donna, in my books, such as Gunfight, I come up with a possible combination of flavors (you can imagine what I did in the muffin shop)–but I’ve never actually made them. I can’t, know, living in a nursing home. I still think they sound good. I’d like someone to make it and bring me one. . .

  17. Rita, thanks for your interest.

  18. love the vintage clothes and gunfights, thats really going back , sounds like a great read, ty for the chance to win a book

  19. Thanks for the introduction into this new book and Darlene Franklin. I’m sure it will be a great new adventure. robeader53@yahoo.com

  20. Peggy Hyndman

    Darlene Franklin is a “new-to-me” author. Gunfight At Grace Gulch sounds like a great read. Thank you for introducing me to this author’s work.

  21. Sounds like a fun read!

  22. Love vintage fashion – sounds like a fun read/.

  23. Ah yes, feuds that last for years and years. Just like real life in our crazy world.

    • Real life feuds–I wrote a western (Ranger’s Trail) set during a real feud, the Mason County War, that lasted for about 50 years from what I understand. There were many bitter disagreements about the land claims.

  24. Barbara Jones

    This sounds terrific plus a chance to learn about a state I’ve never been to. Thanks for the chance to win a copy.

  25. Vicki Highley

    What a great start to a new series.

  26. I like the way you kept the murder part ’til the very last, Darlene–way to go!

  27. Doward Wilson

    This sounds like a good read. I have added it to my TBR list. Thanks for the chance to win.

  28. Count me in for this giveaway, please…..
    Thank you….

  29. I want to win this book!

  30. Nice to meet Cici! Wish I could shop at her vintage store! Thanks for the chance to win!

  31. Della Williamson

    Looks like a most interesting read. So hope to read it soonest. Thanks for this chance to do so