Keli Gwyn
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LIH Spotlight: A Tailor-Made Husband

This week I’m shining the spotlight on
A Tailor-Made Husband, a June 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.

From Bachelor Sheriff to Family Man 

Tired of pining for handsome sheriff Ward Gleason, seamstress Hazel Andrews plans to head East for a fresh start—until Ward finds an abandoned child. Hazel can’t turn down his request that she watch the little girl while he investigates a spate of crimes. But spending time with Ward is sending local gossips—and Hazel’s heart—into turmoil.

Nothing in Ward’s world is the same since he took charge of orphaned Meg…and that includes his growing feelings for Hazel. A fake engagement will allow them to care for the child together until Hazel moves away and finds someone more worthy. But with little Meg convinced she’s already found her forever family, can Ward and Hazel dare to make her dreams come true, along with their own?

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.

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Visiting a Story Setting

I love setting my stories here in the Gold Country where I live. I’ve featured several towns, which I’ve visited, enabling me to bring them to life as accurately as possible.

My latest release, Her Motherhood Wish, features an exciting scene set in Clarksville, California at the base of the Sierra Foothills. The hero of the story, Chip Evans, and some of his friends take on a villainous trio in this small town.


Unlike other towns I’ve used in my stories, I didn’t have access to Clarksville because it sits on privately owned land. Once a year, the site is opened to the public for Clarksville Day. To my dismay, the event didn’t take place the year I was writing Her Motherhood Wish. Clarksville Day was postponed three years due to construction of a freeway overpass nearby.

This year, at long last, Clarksville Day returned! I got to visit the town this past weekend and see the sites in my story firsthand.

The location I was most interested in was a barn owned by the Tong family, which I mentioned in my story. I thought at first that the building pictured above, labeled a Tong barn, was it. As I read the information posted, I learned that this barn didn’t come into being until the 1940s, when the vacated schoolhouse that forms the center portion of the barn was moved down the street and the two sides added.

As I explored the rest of the town, I located the ruins of the original Tong barn that existed in the 1870s. You can tell from my smile in the selfie below how happy I was to be standing in the very spot where Chip stands in my story.

Although using real towns in my stories requires a lot of research, I don’t mind. Doing the research gives me a good reason to explore historic places in the area, which my husband and I love to do. It would be easier to develop a fictional town, but I prefer helping preserve the rich history of the Gold Country I’m privileged to call home.

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Question for You

Which do you prefer, fictional settings or real ones, and why?

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Book Giveaway!

Enter to win a print copy of A Tailor-Made Husband
by leaving a comment on this post with the answer to the
question above. You must answer the 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, May 13 at 11:59 p.m. PST.

Winner to be announced in my new
blog post on Monday, May 15.

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

Congratulations to the winner from my May 1 post!
Kathleen will receive a copy of The Bride’s Matchmaking
Triplets,
a June LIH by Regina Scott.

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Keli Gwyn

29 Comments

  • I like either one! But I find that when I’m writing I like the general area to be real but the actual town to be fiction. I tried writing a western Texas book but I have found I lean more towards farming so I am looking forward to my next story being set in Minnesota farming/wooded lands!

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Kalan, it’s fun to figure out where to set a story, isn’t it? Sounds like you have some good ideas. I wish you well as you work to get those words on the page.

  • jcp says:

    I prefer the fictional ones because I really want to be immersed in that world. It’s hard not to compare how the author portrays it to its’ actual reality.

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      I can see that comparisons could be possible if you’ve been to the actual location. What I’ve found is that local readers who have been to the towns in my stories love seeing them in my stories and having the opportunity to learn more about those locations’ pasts than they knew.

  • Jane says:

    I like either one but I hate when I find wrong information in the story when it is a real town. I like learning about new places and things to see in the surrounding area and any historical facts that I might not know.

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      I’m with you, Jane. Historical inaccuracies can pull me out of a story. That’s why I go to great lengths to get my facts straight.

  • Brenda W says:

    Just so it is a historic setting, fictional or real town is ok. I like when the first Chapter heading tells the location and the year of the story.
    Please tell me near the beginning if it is a fictional town, because I usually search to see where the town is located on a map.

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Brenda, I, too, want to know the period and the place the story will take place. I include that information at the start of each of my stories.

      How would you know if the author set the story in a fictional town, other than looking for it online, that is?

  • Andrea Stephens says:

    Hi Keli! I’m so glad you got to stand in the same spot Chip “stood” in. I love the pictures.
    I don’t mind reading a book set in a real town but the author better know that town. I once read a book that was in a town next to where I grew up and the author had it all wrong. The topography was way off, she described a huge lake I know so well as a small fishing pond. She didn’t even describe the town square correctly. I may just be overly picky but if an author can’t get at least a few very distinctive things right, then they should make the town fictional. Just give me a general idea of where the town is or even a real town the fictional one is near.

    I’m sorry I’ve missed your blog posts lately, my laptop has been in various states of not working for the last month and I can only do a little bit on my tablet.

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Andrea, first off, I’m sorry you’ve been having computer issues. That can be so frustrating. I hope they get resolved soon.

      When I asked my question about real or fictional settings, I had no idea readers felt so strongly about this issue. I assumed authors would work hard to get the details correct if they chose to use a real place. I certainly do. If I take literary license, I mention that in the Dear Reader letter at the end of the book.

      • Andrea Stephens says:

        Keli, I so appreciate that you work hard to get your details correct. I know several other authors do too. I won’t let a few that don’t spoil my enjoyment.

  • Robin Weiss says:

    I prefer a fictional setting, I get enough reality in real life! 🙂

  • Mary Preston says:

    So long as the setting fits the story I don’t mind real or fictional.

  • Lynne M Feuerstein says:

    I like either one Keli,although if it’s real I like the author to be as accurate as possible. That way I can believe the story and settings the author has written about.

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Lynne, I’m seeing that accuracy is very important to readers. Authors should take note of that and do their research. In my case, I do too much research at times, and my editor makes me remove some of the historical detail I love to include. 🙂

  • I’m good with either a real setting or a made-up one. I guess I’m easy to please 🙂 I love how you get into your research though! CA has some beautiful history doesn’t it?

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Julie, I like your willingness to enjoy a story whether the setting is real or fictional. I appreciate your kind words about my writing. I love bringing the historic towns of the Gold Country to life on the pages of my stories.

  • Becky Smith says:

    I like both fictional places, like Becky Wade’s Merryweather, and real places, like Keli’s Placerville that I have learned so much about its history. Both are fun to read. This book sounds really good!

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Becky, both fictional and real settings can be fun, can’t they? It’s the story itself that’s the most important part, right?

  • Gloria Flick says:

    It doesn’t matter to me if the setting is real or fictional as long as thevplot is clear and interesting. What really impresses me, though, is when an author uses a real place, but then fictionalizes part of it. It seems to me that takes skill as a writer so that the combination comes across as real.

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Gloria, accurately portraying a real place requires a good deal of research. I enjoy that part of the process greatly. At times, though, I do have to change things slightly to make a story work. When I do, I make note of the changes in the Dear Reader letter at the end of my stories.

  • Marilyn R says:

    Keli, glad you stood where Chip Evans did in your Her Motherhood Wish. (Beautiful story). I like the historical information woven into fictional settings but also enjoy real settings that we can get a glimpse of–especially if that historical area hasn’t been visited by the reader. Authors have so many aspects to consider while writing remarkable stories. God bless.

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Marilyn, thanks for your kind words about Her Motherhood Wish. I had fun working the historical settings into the story. Giving readers a taste of the Gold Country I love makes me happy.

  • Keli Gwyn says:

    Congratulations to the winner of the giveaway, Gloria F!

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