Keli Gwyn
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Birthday Celebration Giveaway!


Since there are five Mondays in July and since this particular Monday just so happens to be my birthday, I’m celebrating with a special giveaway.

Instead of shining the spotlight on another of the August Love Inspired Historicals this week, I’m offering a dozen books from the three Love Inspired lines. How’s that for a gift that will give hours of reading pleasure or make great gifts for friends?

Please scroll down to find out how to enter the giveaway.

The regular spotlights and giveaways will return a week from today.


Birthday Fun

Carl and I have reached that point in life when we have all we want and then some. Instead of giving each other gifts, we’ve chosen to give experiences.

When Carl and Adriana asked me how I wanted to celebreate my special day last year, I said all I really wanted to do was spend time with them as we browsed in IKEA. My family granted my wish.

My guy and I first discovered this wonderful store when we lived in Germany early in our marriage, so going there now evokes memories of a very special time in our life.

After we spent a couple of hours looking at the many interesting itemsβ€”and putting a few in our cartβ€”we enjoyed a delicious lunch in the cafeteria.

Adri asked me recently what I wanted to do to celebrate my birthday this year. Since Carl and I had just returned from a two-week road trip, I wasn’t eager to spend a lot of time in the car, so a day trip was out.

Our gal, who knows her mother well, reminded me that I’d had a blast at IKEA last year and asked if I wanted to go again. Yup! I agreed without delay. More memories to be made.

Questions for You

How do you like to spend your special day?

What’s one of your most memorable birthdays, and why?


Book Giveaway!

Enter to win a box filled with 12 books from the three Love Inspired
lines by leaving a comment on this post with the answer to one of
the questions above. You must answer a 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, July 22 at 11:59 p.m. PST.

Winner to be announced in my new
blog post on Monday, July 24.

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

Congratulations to the winner from my July 10 post!
Lynne F. will receive a copy of Frontier Want Ad Bride,
an August LIH by Lyn Cote.










Keli Gwyn


  • Mary Preston says:

    Happy Birthday!!!

    Birthdays should be special. A trip to IKEA sounds like fun to me.

    I like our family tradition of not having to do chores on your birthday.(My children especially loved this when they were little.) This makes the day very special indeed.

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Mary, I like your tradition. I never thought about it, but I rarely have to do a chore on my birthday. My great guy takes care of them for me. I’m blessed, and I know it.

  • Wishing you a very Happy Birthday!! I love being with friends and family on my birthday. One rule is I don’t cook on my birthday so if I’m not taken out, we don’t eat.

  • Lisa Brown says:

    I like to spend the day with my husband and doing nothing in particular.

  • Brenda W says:

    I like to spend my birthday going to one of 3 shopping malls, any of which is 70 miles away and eating lunch in a restaurant which is not in my home town.
    One birthday I remember, was when I was going through a rough time emotionally and a stranger bought my lunch at a restaurant near a mall 70 miles away. I’m still amazed about that. And thankful.

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Brenda, seems we like the same things. I just spent my day shopping and going out to eat. πŸ™‚ How special it must have been to have a total stranger pay for your birthday meal.

  • I love to spend my birthdays with my family but since mine falls on July the 12th, I have spent many birthdays on vacation!! Which is very exciting!

    I must say that my most memorable birthday was on our vacation in Florida! My parents surprised me with a ride on a huge pirate ship that had tons of fun things to see along with very kind pirates! This ship lover was very happy!

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Kalan, what a special treat that pirate ship birthday surprise must have been. I’m sure you’ll treasure that memory for years to come.

  • Katrina L says:

    I like to spend my birthday with friends and family. I love to get a new book as one of my gifts to myself. I often get to do special outings on my birthday as it is in August. I love going to gardens.

  • Joan Kurth says:

    I am kind of low key so just like to spend my birthday going out to lunch or supper with my husband. The birthday wishes on Facebook and the snail mail cards I get are a real joy, too.

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Joan, I really enjoy the Facebook birthday messages. I just spent an hour and half savoring those friends have left for me. Such fun!

  • Becky Smith says:

    I like to spend my birthday with my hubby. In the past I have had to wait until he comes home from work, but he retired. It’s fun to go out to eat, wander in antique stores, and maybe even see a movie. When he wasn’t home, I would read or do a jigsaw puzzle. My most memorable birthday was on a Sunday, and we came out from church to see our car all decorated. We went out to eat at a quaint little restaurant, and wandered through several antique stores.

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Becky, I’m glad you’re able to spend your birthdays with your guy these days. There’s nothing like time with our person hero, is there?

      Love the story about the decorated car. Did those who did the deed know it was your birthday?

      • Becky Smith says:

        Oh, yes, they knew it was my birthday. I’m sure the ring leader was my brother-in-law. I couldn’t figure out how so many people knew it was my birthday, until I left church and saw our car.

  • Trixi says:

    Ok, seriously I am drooling over TWELVE beautiful Love Inspired books!! I just can’t get over it πŸ™‚

    Secondly, HAPPY BIRTHDAY KELI!!!! It looks like you got spoiled rotten today…yay! You deserve it my friend πŸ™‚

    Thirdly, I have to admit, I don’t celebrate my birthday. Stopped that at about 29. I know it sounds terrible, but I’m just not enthused about them as I used to be. I just like to go to a nice restaurant, order me a nice juicy steak and have meaningful conversation with my husband and grown kids πŸ™‚ Like you, I’m at the point in my life where I don’t want anything but time well spent with loved ones!

    Most memorable birthday: My husband, his sister, and I are August babies. So we celebrated our shared month birthday going to a pre-season Seahawks football game. Since she lives up in WA and it’s a short light-rail ride away and the tickets were cheap…we figured why not? We had a BLAST πŸ™‚ Want to go again sometime, we’re huge Seahawks fans!!

    Thanks for the giveaway chance Keli! By the way, I’ve never been to IKEA. We don’t have any down here where we live, I think my sister-in-law has one up near her but we’ve never taken time to go there. We’re always doing something else πŸ™‚ I also didn’t know you found it in Germany, how fun!

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Trixi, unlike you, I get excited about my birthday. I guess I’m still a kid at heart. I don’t care about the gifts, though. For me it’s about time with my loved ones and the shared experiences. OK. I enjoy the eating out, too, but I like that any day.

      Your three-in-one Seahawks birthday celebration sounds like it was lots of fun. I hope you’re able to enjoy a repeat in the not too distant future.

  • Deana Dick says:

    My most memorable birthday was when I turned 50. My husband took me to the hill country in Texas to a cute little inn for the weekend. He gave me a beautiful diamond cross necklace but still had one more surprise. He had homemade cards from every child in the Sunday School classes that I was over. It was the best birthday I have ever had.

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Deana, what a wonderful birthday celebration that was. Your husband obviously put a lot of effort into planning it. I’m sure he earned major points.

  • Fedora says:

    I prefer to celebrate fairly quietly with family, Keli! I love the ones where we either go out for a meal or DH cooks, and otherwise we stay in, reading or doing mellow stuff, and maybe taking a walk πŸ™‚ Glad you got to celebrate with your loved ones, and woohoo for IKEA, LOL!

  • Jordann says:

    Hope you had a Happy Birthday! ❀️ I really enjoy spending time with my family on my birthday! There is really nothing better than being surrounded by those you love!

  • Karen C Riley says:

    Again Happy Birthday and glad that it was good for you at Ikea. My favorite birthday was my 40th. My youngest sister Beverly gave me a surprise party. She had all the invitations sent out and it was amazing. She had it at a restaurant in Tampa Florida. So many showed up like family and friends. I could not have asked for a better day.
    My favorite gifts to get are books.

  • Susan Williford Cobb says:

    I am so glad that you had a good birthday Keli. I think my favorite birthday was my 34th because that was the day that Sam got down on one knee and proposed to me. He not only asked me to marry him but he asked my children if it was ok with them. Now I am 51 and I am so glad I get to spend all my birthdays with him.

  • Jane says:

    If I am not working I usually stay home and read or work on a craft project. Sometimes I go out to lunch or dinner with friends.

  • Martha Peace says:

    I go out to eat with my family,l always read

  • Robin in NC says:

    Happy Birthday Keli!!! Aren’t birthdays the best?!?!? My mom used to make our favorite meal on our birthdays. I miss this so much! πŸ™ As a grown up, hubs always takes me out for dinner & we usually do something like go to the zoo or the beach. Even though there are more birthdays behind me instead of ahead of me, I still love celebrating!! πŸ™‚

  • I love spending my birthday with family. I’ve always loved that. I’ve had a few surprise parties in my life and my family knows I don’t like those. ha! My biggest surprise was for my 50th. My family knew I didn’t like surprise parties so they just planned a big get-together with family and friends and told me about it. What they didn’t tell me was that my parents would be cutting their travels short and be here for my special birthday! They arrived the day before and while sitting in a campground they decided they were not going to wait until the next day to come see me so they showed up on our doorstep after dinner and surprised us all! Now that is a surprise I LOVED! The older I get the less I care about gifts, but the gift of getting together with family and friends is the best for me! I love that your family is making memories on your special day! Love your Ikea trips!

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Julie, I love that your family planned a special party for your 50th and honored your wish not to be surprised, but what fun that your parents added a surprise to the event with their early visit anyhow.

  • Linda Ortiz says:

    Happy Birthday!Have a fantastic day!!πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‚

    I like to celebrate my birthday with family. An nice dinner and a yummy cake.

    The most memorable birthday, well it was my 40th, two of my best friends took me to dinner, which was great!!!

  • My mom my sister, and I have a tradition of meeting for lunch on our birthdays. Birthday girl gets to choose the restaurant and one of the others pays.I always enjoy these times spent together and hope for many more. My mom is now 85 so we are all aware that our time may be limited.

  • Nancy M says:

    I love going to IKEA! The closest one to us is about 2 hours away! I plan on going in a few weeks though! My birthday is right after Christmas, so we are usually still visiting with family. It’s another day of going back and forth between parents houses. My hubby tries to do something special for me. I’d like to just steal away with them for the day and do fun stuff. This year we will. Our family is near a major city and I think the City Pass would be fun to get and just enjoy being a tourist.

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Nancy, I understand about birthdays near Christmas. Our daughter is a New Year’s Baby, so I always worked hard to make her birthday celebration separate and special.

      Sounds like you have a fun celebration planned for your birthday this year. I often play tourist in my local area.

  • Beth C says:

    This year for my birthday, we were in the Rocky mountains in Canada and the US. It was so beautiful!! We enjoyed that trip so much!! This was my most memorable birthday!

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Beth, my husband and I just returned from a road trip from Northern California to Colorado Springs. We experienced those majestic Rockies. Wow! They really are something, aren’t they?

  • Anne Payne says:

    Happiest of birthdays to you, Keli!!! I love that you and Carl give each other experiences as your gift. My husband and I pretty much do the same thing now. Since both our birthday’s are in the summer, we usually ride out early the Saturday closest to our birthday and go to yard sales. We love to do that. And, of course, a bite to eat along the way. We just enjoy being together! πŸ™‚

    • Anne Payne says:

      Oops…meant to say don’t enter me in the giveaway. I can’t believe I am saying this but I have too many books! Seriously. I’m trying to give away some of my own collection of fiction books. I definitely don’t buy those at yard sales. πŸ™‚

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Anne, I love that you and your husband have a fun birthday tradition you share. I’m sure you enjoy the finds at the garage sales, but the best part, as you said, is the time you get to spend together.

  • Susan Snodgradd says:

    I just like to spend my day with my husband of 39 zyeard. I don’t really have a most memorable birthday, unless you count when my militia career uncle sent me a big baby doll one year. I named her Melissa Kay.

  • Judy Sheridan Smith says:

    My most memorable birthday will be the one coming up in September as it is the day our son gets married in Oklahoma! Hubby and I live in North Carolina and will travel in our 5th wheel to attend this very special event!

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Judy, what fun that your son is getting married on your birthday. I’m sure you’ll enjoy the trip across the country as well as the wedding itself.

  • Hi, Keli. What a fantastic gift you are giving for your birthday!
    My best birthday was almost sixteen years ago as we waited for the birth of our second grandson. He was eight days late, but he’s still my favorite birthday present.

  • Patty says:

    Happy Birthday!

    When I worked a regular 9-to-5 job I would have to take my birthday off if possible. Now that I’m a small business owner that’s a bit harder. Usually we just head out to dinner with the family in the evening.

  • HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Keli! πŸ™‚ I love to spend my birthday with family. It doesn’t really matter what we’re doing – as long as we’re together!

  • Jan Hall says:

    My most memorable birthday was the year that my husband surprised me with a cake he had baked himself and a card that he had made instead of buying. He cooked all meals and did the dishes too. To top it off he took me fishing. I will always treasure this memory. He was such a caring man. He passed away July 29 last year.

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Jan, I’m sorry you lost your husband and best friend. He was obviously a special man who went out of his way to show you how much you meant to him. My heart goes out to you as you prepare to mark the first milestone of his passing this coming week.

  • Laura AKA Loves 2 Read Romance says:

    Happy Birthday Keli! I enjoy low key birthdays where I spend time with family and friends eating and maybe watching a movie. In fact since we are an hour away from a movie theater that has been our birthday celebration for a couple of years is to see a movie. As to my favorite birthday was probably my sweet 16 where I had a bunch of friends over we watched a movie and had a snowball fight. I have only been to Ikea once. Unfortunately I was having a migraine so I didn’t get to enjoy it much. Looks like your trip was much better.

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Laura, watching a movie with family and/or friends sounds like a great way to celebrate.

      I hope you’re able to visit IKEA again someday when you’re feeling all right. It’s a great place.

  • Bonnijean Marley says:

    Happy Birthday!

    My family usually takes me to my favorite restaurant for dinner on my birthday.

  • Noela Nancarrow says:

    Happy Birthday Keli!!!! I love your idea, I might pinch it one year for myself! My most memorable birthday that comes to mind was when I turned 50 and hubby had turned 60 one year. Our three wonderful children organized for us to stay at the Q1, the tallest residential building in Australia but also not far from us. They presented us with beautiful and moving speeches, a spectacular cake, and balloons, and we had a bunch of friends join us. When they all left we got to enjoy the luxury apartment with incredible views of the Pacific Ocean. Anything with friends and family though, is a winner in my book! God bless!

  • Lucy Reynolds says:

    Happy and blessed birthday. My most memorable birthday was when my mom gave me a surprise 16 th birthday party. My parents gave me a blue star sapphire ring that I still wear. That was way to many years ago, but I treasure the memory.

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Lucy, surprise parties can be such fun, can’t they? Sounds like yours left you with many wonderful memories–and a beautiful ring to remember the day by.

  • Kay Garrett says:

    We too have collected all the dust collectors that we need and pretty much have all our needs met so materialistic items are not on our wish lists for special holidays including birthdays. To me an amazing birthday is staying at home. We just recently built our dream home in a location we have loved for years, the Ozark Mountains, coming here as often as we could for vacations. Now we don’t have to pack up and leave because we are HOME! Nothing would make my day happier than sitting on our large front porch, fans on, admiring the wonderful view or reading a great book while hubby smokes some delicious meats for supper. After a fantastically delicious meal, we could take in one of the free concerts in town stopping by our favorite soda shop on the way home for a little birthday celebration sundae. Now that’s a BIRTHDAY worth celebrating – loving life and loving who you are spending it with! πŸ™‚

    The birthday that has the best memories are the ones that we celebrated with our daughter, Jenet. They are extra special to us because she left for her heavenly home at the all too early age of 17. I so fondly remember when she was just 12 years old how she shooed me out of the kitchen where behind closed doors she worked for a long time to prepare completely on her own a birthday dinner for me from recipes I had been showing her how to make. She not only made the meal but using our good china and crystal setting an amazing table and then did all the clean-up work after the meal. The food was deliciously cooked. She did an awesome job and made this Momma very proud. It was the peanut butter slapped together special meal that she made when she was five on a much higher plan excellently executed. It was better than any wrapped present could have ever been. Memories I will cherish all the days of my life! After all, memories are made not bought. <3

    Thanks for this amazing chance!

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Kay, how wonderful that you and your husband are enjoying life in your dream home in one of your favorite places. I can see why you’d be content to stay there and celebrate.

      I’m so sorry you lost your daughter when she was so young. It sounds like Jenet was a very special and very thoughtful young lady. I’m glad you have such delightful memories of her.

  • Meredith Miller says:

    Happy Birthday! I like to take the day off work and pamper myself or do something I love to do like shopping or going to the library.

  • Kirsten Rinehart says:

    Happy Birthday! I like to hang with my family. One year they suprised me with a horseback riding trip. It was amazing

  • Linda May says:

    Happy Birthday, I spent my last Birthday with my Son & his family in Chicago. The last Birthday was rough because I lost my Husband to Kidney Cancer 8 months ago, my son mad sure I had a special day. I Love these inspiring books, Thanks for this generous giveaway.

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Linda, I’m so sorry you lost your husband to cancer. I’m glad your son made sure your first birthday without your husband was a special one.

  • Rachael Clemons says:

    Happy birthday!!! I just have dinner with my family.

  • Deborah Favorito says:

    Happy 😊 Birthday πŸŽ‰
    I always buy myself a present for my birthday, I also took the day off if I was working. My best present was when we took our children to Colorado, my son bought me a Christmas ornament that says Massachusetts. My daughters bought me small doll ornaments. I collect ornaments. I also live in Massachusetts. The ex? Told me the vacation was my present. Idiot.

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Deborah, I like your idea of treating yourself on your birthday. That trip to Colorado with your kids sounds like it was fun, especially when they chose such thoughtful gifts for you.

  • Marilyn R says:

    I enjoy spending my day with family when possible on the actual day. That doesn’t happen often with us living in different areas. A special and dear couple (like adopted parents) had a lovely dinner and gifts for me after I had worked on my birthday. Thank you for the great giveaway. The winner will be blessed with fantastic books to read.

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Marilyn, it’s hard having children who live far away. I’m sure you enjoy the times you do get to spend with them, even if they don’t happen to be on your birthday.

      I love what your heart-adopted parents did to make one of your birthdays extra special.

  • Keli Zsolcsak says:

    Happy Birthday again Keli!

    I LIKE to spend my birthday by not cooking dinner, πŸ™‚ I feel a fews days of the year I should not stress about food. lol. My grown girls always call me, and that is special to me.

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Keli, I’m with you. The last thing I want to do on my birthday is cook, so a meal out is a must. It’s nice that your grown daughters call you on your special day.

  • Beverly says:

    Hi Keli
    I like to spend my birthday with my family
    My most special one was when my girls surprised me with an Alaskan cruise in 2010
    Michael W Smith and friends were in the cruise it was great

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Beverly, what a special birthday you had that year. Love the surprise your daughters planned for you–complete with Michael W. Smith!

  • Maryann says:

    Birthday Blessings to you Keli! Looks like you had a wonderful day!
    My most memorable birthday was my 25th and I married my best friend on that day. What a birthday present! 34 years and still in love!

  • vera wilson says:

    Just a quiet dinner at home with someone special.

  • Michelle Stockert says:

    My birthday memories growing up are that my mom made us feel so special on that day. We didn’t have the $$ to do fancy things, but there was always a cake and our favorite meal.

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Michelle, I love that your mom went out of her way to make your birthdays special. What wonderful memories she has blessed you with.

  • Susan Johnson says:

    I usually go out to eat with my family. My daughter’s birthday is 6 days after mine and Mother’s Day is always a few days after that, so a lot of times those celebrations get combined. That is ok, though, as long as I get to be with my family.

  • Cheryl Baranski says:

    I normally like to spend the day with my husband and boys. The location varies. We could stay home and play board games all day or we could go to Busch Gardens for the day. I think my best birthday was when we had a family picnic at my parents house. Lots of food, playing badminton followed by homemade ice cream.

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Cheryl, having fun with family sounds like a great way to spend your special day, although I’d vote for seeing Busch Gardens. It’s on my Bucket List. πŸ™‚

  • Martha Crutchfield says:

    Happy Birthday! I will be celebrating my birthday tomorrow.

  • Laura W. says:

    How fun, I love Ikea! Happy Birthday! I think most birthdays are very casual now that I am a mother and I have a son with a birthday days before mine. To me that was my most memorable birthday, the year he was born. He was born early and remained in the NICU. I ended up being discharged from the hospital on my birthday. It was so hard!! I had to go home with no baby, but it was bittersweet, because I knew he was being taken care of and he made it safely into this world. He was my best present yet!

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Laura, I’m sorry you had to be separated from your son on your first birthday after he was born. I hope there have been many fun celebrations for both of you since then.

  • Susanne says:

    I like to spend my birthday with just my closest family. Maybe go out to eat or have cake & ice cream at home. πŸ™‚