Keli Gwyn
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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.

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Keli Gwyn

43 Comments

  • Brenda W says:

    I enjoy trying to sing Contemporary Christian songs, some Messianic and Celtic too.
    I played the piano but have not practiced in years so I have almost forgot how. I got an organ but have not tried very hard to learn it.
    I think I may have played in a recital at school when I was taking lessons.
    I should sing to my cats instead of saying–no, stop that. Wonder what reaction I would get from my cats?

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Brenda, I’m glad singing brings you such joy. I’m sure your cats would love hearing your voice raised in song instead of denying them whatever it is they earnestly believe they deserve to have or to do whenever they want to have or do it. LOL

      It’s great that you got to have piano lessons. Do you think your skills would come back quickly if you were to sit down at a keyboard again?

  • Robin in NC says:

    I have absolutely no musical ability at all, but that doesn’t stop me from singing! 🙂 Christmas songs are my favorite!

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Robin, I’m with you. Singing is fun, even for those of us who aren’t as musically inclined as we might like to be. Christmas songs are such fun to sing. I have fond memories of family trips in our station wagon each December when my late father would lead us in carol after carol. I knew more verses than anyone else in the family, so I often ended up doing solos. No one in the family complained about my voice, bless them.

  • amy guillaume linderman says:

    i grew up playing piano, cello and guitar….can only play piano now. i like to sing pretty much everything! i wouldn’t say i sing TO my cats, but they are always on my lap when i am, lol. i grew up doing concert choir in school and i was in the kids choir in church.

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Wow, Amy! You’ve had some wonderful musical training. I’m impressed that you played the cello. I’m glad you’re still able to play the piano. Do your cats enjoy it when you do? We have one cat who loves hearing my husband play banjo, but that cat isn’t as fond of the guitar, for some strange reason.

  • Julie says:

    I love all kinds of music. I mainly listen to Christian(Air1,KLove). No, don’t play an instrument. Never been in a concert. Sang in choir as a teen. I break out in song when the mood or occasion arises whether it is with the granddogs, grandkids, husband, or just the walls 🙂

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Julie, the radio in my truck is tuned to a Christian station. The other drivers must think I’m nuts because I belt out songs along with the singers as I go down the road. When I’m stopped at signal, I’ve even been known to tap out the beat on the dashboard, drummer style.

      I love that you break into song whenever, wherever and with whomever you want. Way to rock it, Julie!

  • Katrina L says:

    I think it is wonderful that you have included music in your stories. I have a kindle version of your debut novel and I can’t wait to read it, as I play violin too!

    I actually play the piano, flute, violin, viola and organ. I also sing in choirs and direct choirs. My favorite music is Christmas music and I love to sing and play it. So glad that it is Christmas time again right now. I have a couple concerts coming up on Dec 11 and Dec 16. And we will have a family concert the week of Christmas.

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Katrina, I love that you play violin–along with all those other instruments. I didn’t really know much about the violin until I wrote my debut novel, but I wanted my hero and heroine to compete in many ways. The hero, Miles, fiddles, whereas the heroine, Ellie, prides herself on her classical violin abilities. Little does she know that her high-and-mighty attitude is going to lead to trouble. Haha!

      Our daughter loves Christmas big time, so much so that I dedicated Their Mistletoe Matchmakers to her for that reason. Like you, Adriana loves to sing carols. She generally starts up around about September.

      I hope you have a wonderful time performing at your Christmas concerts. They’ll be here before you know it.

  • Peggy Choate says:

    I most enjoy Christmas songs! There is such a variety – humorous, Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer; sentimental, I’m Dreaming Of A White Christmas; and my favorite, Christ centered of which Mary Did You Know? Really makes me teary as I’m the mother of two sons. I take what God did very seriously!

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Peggy, Christmas music is wonderful, isn’t it? There’s such a variety, as you said. My favorite carol is “Angels We Have Heard on High.” I love the glorias. “Mary, Did You Know?” is so beautiful. Hearing it turns me into a weepy mess.

  • jane naccarato says:

    The clarinet in 4th grade and got a guitar in the 8th grade. I haven’t played since high school. My singing voice is ok I sing along with the radio and cds. Rock, country, Dean Martin, Christmas songs.

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Jane, I didn’t know you’d played clarinet and guitar. Were you in the band back in our high school days?

      I love that you sing along with the songs you enjoy. I do the same. Well, I do that with songs I know, which pretty much limits me to praise songs, Christmas carols and the music of the 70s.

  • Mary Preston says:

    I do like to sing , but I am terrible at remembering the words. Sometimes a song from a TV show or movie will stick in my head for ages. Some gentle folk songs from Poldark are rattling around at the moment.

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Mary, I can relate. I have a hard time remembering the words to many songs. The only ones that have stuck over the years are some hits from the 1970s, several Christmas carols and a handful of praise songs.

      If something has to be stuck in your head, gentle folks songs aren’t bad.

  • Martha Peace says:

    I like to sing,and l sing along with the CDs when I’m driving

  • MH says:

    I enjoy contemporary Christian songs, hymns, and chorale music.
    I play the piano and have played in concerts in the past. I don’t own a pet, but if I did, I’m sure I’d sing to him or her 🙂

  • Tiffany Hall says:

    I love to sing songs that praise the Lord, whether it is praise and worship or the older hymns. My second favorite is Christmas songs! I love Christmas music!
    I play the piano and had many piano recitals as a child as well as performed in our church’s Christmas contata’s as a teen and young adult.
    I have never sang to my dog.

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Tiffany, praise songs and Christmas carols top my list of much-loved music too.

      I admire those of you who can play the piano and perform for appreciate audiences. You bless many people that way, I’m sure.

  • Ok, you got me. I sing to my dog, Dot. Sometimes we even dance around the house together. It is usually rock and roll. I think it’s great that you included music in your wonderful books. The only one I did was Amanda on the Danube – the Sounds of Music. But writing about Vienna, I had to include music, didn’t I?

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Darlene, I love that you not only sing to your dog, but you also dance with Dot. My cats might endure my dopey ditties, but they would never put up with dancing. I’d end up needing stitches if I attempted such a feat, I’m sure.

      I love that one of your stories takes place in Vienna. Our daughter lived in Austria for two years and visited Vienna as many times as she could. When we went to see her, we spent five days touring the city. There’s so much to see–and hear. I attended a Vivaldi concert in a famous cathedral while we were there. What a wonderful experience that was.

  • Lynne M Feuerstein says:

    Must admit like to sing old standards from the 40’s and 50’s,and show tunes from Broadway and movie musicals. 🙂 Also like religious songs such as On Eagle’s Wing’s and One Bread,One Body.

  • Becky Smith says:

    I sing all of the time. I enjoy most singing Christian songs, songs that encourage me and keep my eyes on Jesus, songs that bring Him joy. I can play a little piano and guitar. I play a clarinet, have played in many concerts, as well as soloed in church. I love ensembles and they are a favorite of mine, just to hear how the various instruments come together. I used to sing to our pets when we had them. “Singing’s my favorite,” to quote Elf.

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Becky, I love that you’re so musically inclined. What fun you must have playing all those instruments and singing for your own pleasure as well as the enjoyment of others.

  • Evangeline says:

    I most enjoy singing the old hymns. I play the piano. While I have never played in a concert, I did play in numerous recitals.

  • Marilyn R says:

    I enjoy singing hymns and some of the new contemporary choruses. I’ve played the accordian and piano.
    Glad you incorporated music into your LIH books.

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Wow, Marilyn! You’re the only person I know of who plays the accordion, besides my husband. It’s not the most common instrument, but it sure is fun and festive.

  • Megan says:

    I enjoy singing anything that has to have all the parts to make it beautiful.
    I play clarinet, bass clarinet, saxophone, some percussion, and am learning guitar.
    I played water glasses in a concert one time as part of the clarinet music. That was a fun day.
    I sing to my cats all the time. I don’t know that they appreciate though. 🙂

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Megan, it’s clear you have a lot of musical ability. I’m impressed by the number of instruments you play. You remind me of my husband in that regard. He plays guitar, banjo, clarinet, recorder, penny whistle, accordion, concertina and more.

      I love that you played water glasses for a concert. Not just anyone can put that on her resume.

      It’s great that you sing to your cats. They can be such persnickety audiences though, can’t they?

  • Jan Hall says:

    I love to sing Christian music and songs from the 70’s. Unfortunately I don’t have a good singing voice. As a kid I played a Clarinet. I have been known to sing to my dog.

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Jan, your list of what you enjoying sing and mine look alike. I don’t think I have a good singing voice either. And I played clarinet as a kid, just like you. Who knew we have so much in common? 🙂

  • Trixi says:

    I love singing praise songs along with the radio or one of my worship CD’s. I used to be on the worship team in the church we attended in a different city. I took choir in Elementary school (I can’t remember what years) and have always had a love for singing. I’ve not done it professionally but I guess I have a decent enough voice, lol! Worship music has always moved me deeply and put me in fellowship with God.

    I also played cornet in 5th & 6th grade but lost interest in it. Now I can’t read a lick of music…lol! I’ve always wanted to learn how to play the piano and violin, I love the sound of both instruments.

    And yes, I did sing to our pets…made up silly songs while they looked at me like I was nuts…lol! 🙂

    Thanks for the giveaway Keli! I love this gorgeous cover on Regina’s book…I just can’t get over how talented the LI art department is!

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Trixi, how cool that you have sung with a worship team. I’m sure you’ve blessed many people over the years as you’ve lifted your voice in song, sharing the Lord through the talents He’s given you.

      I learned to play what was called a Tonette when I was in elementary school. I feel for that teacher. My classmates and I did a whole lot of squeaking and squawking on those simple plastic instruments.

      What fun that we share a love of creating songs for our furry friends.

  • When my Pastor’s wife asked I said yes to singing with the worship team and eventually led on my own. I wish I had stuck with playing violin and clarinet but the practice was too painful for my sisters.

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Beckie, what a delightful surprise it is to have you visit my blog and leave a comment. I didn’t know you’ve served as a worship team leader. That’s great!

      I wish you had stuck with those instruments, too, but at least you played them for a while. You could always pick them up again. 😉

  • Jennifer Hibdon says:

    I love music!!! I sihg and have played both piano and clarinet. I hear wonderfully intricate songs in my head…and play a basic melody and simple harmony with my hands! Thanx for the giveaway. I have been enjoying your family adventures on Facebook.

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Jennifer, your love of music shines through in your comment. I’m glad it brings you such joy. I’m sure you bless others with your talents.

  • Keli Gwyn says:

    The winner of this week’s giveaway is Jan H. Congratulations, Jan! I’ll be in touch.

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