Keli Gwyn
LIH Spotlight: Once Upon a Texas Christmas

This week I’m shining the spotlight on
Once Upon a Texas Christmas, a December release from
Love Inspired Historical author Winnie Griggs.

Learn more about the story below, and then scroll
down to enter the giveaway for a print copy.

Partners for the Holidays

Abigail Fulton is determined to find independence in Turnabout, Texas—and becoming manager of the local hotel could be the solution. But first, she must work with Seth Reynolds to renovate the property by Christmas—and convince him she’s perfect for the job. If only he hadn’t already promised the position to someone else…

Ever since his troubled childhood, Seth yearns to prove himself. And this hotel is his best chance. But what does someone like Abigail know about decor and furnishings? Yet the closer the holiday deadline gets, the more he appreciates her abilities and her kindness. His business ambitions require denying Abigail’s dearest wish, but can they put old dreams aside for a greater gift—love and family?

Copyright © 2017 by Harlequin Enterprises Limited
Cover art and cover copy text used by arrangement with Harlequin Enterprises Limited.
® and ™ are trademarks owned by Harlequin Enterprises Limited
or its affiliated companies, used under license.

🎄🎄🎄

Reflecting on My Stories: Endearing Children

The release of my final novel this month has me feeling a bit nostalgic. As I look back on this story and the seven others I’ve had published, I’ve noted some commonalities. Last week I talked about the role music plays in many of my stories. This week I’m focusing on the children that appear in half of them.

My debut novel, A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California, features nine-year-old Matilda Watkins, a precocious girl whose tendency to prattle embarrasses her widowed mother, Elenora, at times. Tildy’s winsome ways capture the heart of Miles Rutledge, the hero of the story. The two of them form a bond, which leads to some matchmaking attempts on Tildy’s part that put a smile on my face whenever I read them.

Because this story is longer than my others, I had the freedom to develop Tildy and give her a larger part than I could the children in my Love Inspired Historicals. She charms everyone she meets, so much so that I had to be careful she didn’t upstage her mother.

Three of my five Love Inspired Historicals include children. The first, Family of Her Dreams, is the tale of a widower, Spencer Abbott, his two young children, Luke and Lila, and the housekeeper he hires to care for them, Tess Grimsby. Luke is four, and his baby sister is just nine months old when the story begins.

Luke isn’t happy about Tess being there, and he lets her know it. Having spent most of her childhood in an orphanage, Tess understands what Luke’s going through and doesn’t push him. There’s one particularly touching scene that showcases her compassion and brings tears to my eyes.

The hero and heroine of Her Motherhood Wish, Chip and Callie, discover two recently orphaned children: five-year-old Jasper and his three-year old sister, Ruby. Chip and Callie, both of whom long to be parents one day, are great with the children. Their patience and understanding help the grief-stricken youngsters adjust to life at the orphanage.

Jasper and Ruby aren’t the only children in the story. Callie and Chip are working at the orphanage started by Tess and Spencer from Family of Her Dreams, so there are many other children around. I had fun revisiting my earlier characters and showing readers what their lives look like eight years later.

My final book, Their Mistletoe Matchmakers, features three siblings whose parents perished in a riverboat accident. Their paternal uncle, Henry Hawthorn, and maternal aunt, Lavinia Crowne, are equally determined to care for their eight-year-old nephew, Alex, and his six- and four-year-old sisters, Marcie and Dot. Although Henry and Lavinia believe they know what’s best for the children, their views are vastly different.

The children take matters into their own hands. Their matchmaking efforts, which really do involve the use of mistletoe, create some interesting interactions between Henry and Lavinia. Like all children, the siblings aren’t always perfectly behaved. Reserved Alex and outgoing Marcie clash at times, whereas sweet Dot stays out of the fray.

Including children in my stories has been fun. Unlike the adult characters who have to choose their words carefully, the youngsters don’t have the same filters. They’re apt to say the most inappropriate things at the most inopportune times, which can lead to humorous interactions.

I’ll let you in on a secret. I’ve been known to make use of children to interrupt at critical moments. They can also bring out the softer side in a hero, which gives us those aah moments we enjoy. There’s a scene in my debut novel where Tildy kisses Miles on the forehead, which, to quote his thoughts at the time, “nearly undid him.” I sigh whenever I read it.

🎄🎄🎄

Questions for You

What’s something funny your child or
a child you know has said or done?

What’s something your child or a child you
know has done that melted your heart?

🎄🎄🎄

Book Giveaway!

Enter to win a copy of Once Upon a Texas Christmas
by leaving a comment on this post with the answer to one of
the questions above. You must answer at least one to qualify.
(Be sure to leave your email address when you’re
prompted to do so during the commenting process.
To keep spammers from snatching your address,
please don’t leave it in your comment itself.)

Giveaway ends Saturday, November 18 at 11:59 p.m. PST.

Winner to be announced in my new
blog post on Monday, November 20.

Must be 18 to enter. International OK. Void where prohibited.

Congratulations to the winner from my November 6 post!
Jan H. will receive His Frontier Christmas Family
by Love Inspired Historical author Regina Scott.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Comment Link 19 Comments
Keli Gwyn
LIH Spotlight: His Frontier Christmas Family

This week I’m shining the spotlight on
His Frontier Christmas Family, a December release from
Love Inspired Historical author Regina Scott.

Learn more about the story below, and then scroll
down to enter the giveaway for a print copy.

A Family Made at Christmas

After taking guardianship of his late friend’s siblings and baby daughter, minister Levi Wallin hopes to atone for his troubled past on the gold fields. But it won’t be easy to convince the children’s wary elder sister to trust him. The more he learns about her, though, the more he believes Callie Murphy’s prickly manner masks a vulnerable heart…one he’s starting to wish he was worthy of.

Every man in Callie’s life chose chasing gold over responsibilities. Levi—and the large, loving Wallin family—might just be different. But she can tell he’s hiding something from her, and she refuses to risk her heart with secrets between them. Even as they grow closer, will their pasts keep them from claiming this unexpected new beginning?

Copyright © 2017 by Harlequin Enterprises Limited
Cover art and cover copy text used by arrangement with Harlequin Enterprises Limited.
® and ™ are trademarks owned by Harlequin Enterprises Limited
or its affiliated companies, used under license.

🎄🎄🎄

Reflecting on my Stories: Music

The release of my final novel, Their Mistletoe Matchmakers, which has already begun to hit shelves across the country, has me feeling a bit nostalgic.

I looked at all eight of my published stories lined up in a neat row on top of my desk’s hutch recently and thought about what they have in common. One of the first things that struck me was that music plays a role in most of them. I’m focusing on that this week and will reflect on three other commonalities in my remaining November posts.


You might think that because I included music in most of my stories, I’m musically inclined. I’m not. My husband plays a number of instruments, and our daughter has a lovely singing voice, whereas I make a joyful noise.

Even though my musical skills aren’t that great, I love music. I took clarinet lessons during the sixth grade and sang in my high school’s choir my freshman year, but that stretched the limits of my abilities.

My lack of raw talent didn’t stop me from dreaming of playing piano like a pro or belting out tunes with finesse, but those dreams aren’t likely to go anywhere. I content myself with signing praise songs in church where my voice is drowned out by the drums or singsinging silly ditties I create to our cats.

When I began writing, my musical dreams worked their way into my stories. The hero and heroine of my debut novel, A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California, both play the violin very well. Miles and Ellie’s exceptional skills lead to a rivalry between them, one of many.

Tess, the heroine of my first Love Inspired Historical, Family of Her Dreams, believes she has a poor singing voice, but the hero convinces her otherwise. She ends up singing duets with Spencer.

By the time my second LIH, A Home of Her Own was contracted, the rights to the characters of my debut novel had reverted to me. I had a wonderful time writing a special scene where James and Becky attend a concert featuring Miles and Ellie, who are a happily married couple at that point.

My third LIH, Make-Believe Beau, features a saloon singer-turned-draftswoman. Jessie’s singing voice rivals that of Adele. Although Jessie vowed never to sing anywhere but in a church after turning her life over to the Lord, she learns to sing when and where He asks her to.

In my final LIH, Their Mistletoe Matchmakers, the hero and heroine both play the piano and sing well. There is a fun scene where Henry and Lavinia are practicing carols with the children in preparation for going caroling.

Although I lack the musical talents I wish I had, I’ve had fun slipping into the heads of characters who are gifted musicians and singers. We writers do live vicariously at times. 🙂

🎄🎄🎄

Questions for You

What types of songs do you most enjoy singing?

Do you play an instrument? If so, which one?

Have you ever performed in a concert?

Do you sing to your pets?

🎄🎄🎄

Book Giveaway!

Enter to win a print copy of His Frontier Christmas Family
by leaving a comment on this post with the answer to at least
one of the questions above. You must answer it to qualify.
(Be sure to leave your email address when you’re
prompted to do so during the commenting process.
To keep spammers from snatching your address,
please don’t leave it in your comment itself.)

Giveaway ends Saturday, November 11 at 11:59 p.m. PST.

Winner to be announced in my new
blog post on Monday, November 13.

Must be 18 to enter. International OK. Void where prohibited.

Congratulations to the winners from my October 30 post!

Abigail M, Jasmine A, Sabrina T, Bonnie R and Connie S will
each receive a prize package, which can be seen in that post.
Look for a comment at the end of the comment trail
to see which winner won which prize package.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Comment Link 43 Comments
Keli Gwyn
Fifth Friday: Five Prize Packages!

Because only four Love Inspired Historicals are released
each month, I plan something different for the fifth Fridays.

Since November will be my last month to post LIH spotlights, when
I’ll showcase the December titles, this will be my final Fifth Friday post.

November also happens to be the month when my final book releases.
I think that calls for some serious fun. And what’s more fun than giveaways?

In honor of this final Fifth Friday post and my final book’s release,
I have five prize packages up for grabs. How does that grab you?
Look below the pictures to find out how to enter the giveaway.

(Update: I just realized I meant to say Fifth Monday.
In my defense, I’m in book release mode,
and I’ve been living the life of a retiree,
so I’m a bit out of practice.)

Prize Package Number 1
A wooden Christmas ornament and a
copy of Their Mistletoe Matchmakers.

Prize Package Number 2
A Christmas-themed adult coloring book
and a copy of Their Mistletoe Matchmakers.

Prize Package Number 3
A copy of my first and last novels:
A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California
and Their Mistletoe Matchmakers.

Prize Package Number 4
My one and only novella, “A Heart Returned,” in the
Seven Brides for Seven Texans Romance Collection
and a copy of Their Mistletoe Matchmakers.

Prize Package Number 5
An elegant Origami Owl Christmas-themed locket
and a copy of Their Mistletoe Matchmakers.


This elegant locket deserves a closeup.
Note that the tiny crystals go inside the locket.
I removed them so the charms would show more clearly.

 

🎄🎄🎄

A Dream Realized

My dream of being a writer was born when I was seven. I realized that each of the books I loved to read had been written by someone. As as result of that aha moment, I decided I wanted to be a writer too.

When I was a teenager, I discovered romance novels. My mom would take my sisters and me to the local used bookstore, where we would each buy ten of the sweet Harlequin romances of the 1970s for a dollar. I’d read my stack, trade with a sister and read hers. I dreamed of writing stories like those I enjoyed.

Forty years after my dream of being a writer was born, I finally embarked on it. Six years later my first book, A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California, hit the shelves. Talk about a thrill. At long last I was a published author.

Three years later, my first Love Inspired Historical, Family of Her Dreams, was released by Harlequin. My heroine, Tess, realized her dream, and so did I. Four more LIHs followed.

As I reflect on my writing career, I feel a sense of accomplishment, along with a great deal of gratitude. I’ve had six novels, one novella and one short story published, each of them a God-honoring story filled with hope, healing and a happy ever after. I couldn’t have realized my dream without the support of so many, including you, my wonderful readers. Thank you!

🎄🎄🎄

Questions for You

What dreams have you realized?

What dreams are you working on now?

What dreams have you yet to pursue?

🎄🎄🎄

Fifth-Friday Giveaway!

Enter to win one of five fun-filled prize packages by leaving
a comment on this post with the answer to one of the questions
above. You must answer at least one question to qualify.
(Be sure to leave your email address when you’re
prompted to do so during the commenting process.
To keep spammers from snatching your address,
please don’t leave it in your comment itself.)

Giveaway ends Saturday, November 4 at 11:59 p.m. PST.

Winner to be announced in my new
blog post on Monday, November 6.

Must be 18 to enter. International OK. Void where prohibited.

Congratulations to the winner from my October 30 post!
Kim A will receive a copy of A Child’s Christmas Wish,
a November Love Inspired Historical by Erica Vetsch.

Comment Link 88 Comments
Keli Gwyn
Next Page »

 
css.php