Keli Gwyn
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LIH Spotlight: Mail Order Sweetheart

This week I’m shining the spotlight on
Mail Order Sweetheart, a June release from
Love Inspired Historical author Christine Johnson.

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

The Husband Hunt 

Theater singer Fiona O’Keefe is on a quest to form the perfect family for her orphaned niece. It’s a shame handsome and musically talented Sawyer Evans can’t support a household on his sawmill-manager wages. Fiona needs a respectable gentleman of means. And if she can’t find one in Singapore, Michigan, then she’ll just have to look for a husband in the mail-order want ads…

Sawyer doesn’t want Fiona to marry a stranger…or anyone other than him. It would be easy to reveal that he’s secretly heir to a railroad fortune. But Sawyer’s determined to be a self-made man, so he isn’t willing to take his father’s money. Instead, can he prove to Fiona that the man she needs is already by her side?

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.


The End of an Era

I’ve often told my husband that a single email can change a writer’s day. That was certainly true today.

Harlequin sent an email to its authors this morning announcing the closure of five of its lines: Harlequin Western, Harlequin Superromance, Love Inspired Historical, Harlequin Nocturne and Kimani Romance.

Yes, that list included the Love Inspired Historical line I’ve been writing for. The last LIHs will be those releasing in June 2018.

As you might expect, the news has sent shock waves throughout the publishing world. Many of my fellow LIH authors are reeling. A LIH author friend posted the following on Facebook not long after the announcement.

I ache for the authors of all the lines that will be closing, as well as all those affected by this announcement, including our readers.

You might be wondering how I’m doing in the face of this news. Because of a choice I made a few months ago, the news didn’t have the same effect on me that it has others.

I’ve decided to retire. Yup! You heard that right. My November Love Inspired Historical, Their Mistletoe Matchmakers, will be my last novel. (The blurb just went up on Amazon. You can read it here.)

Why did I make this decision? Because I want to spend more time with my  wonderful husband. Carl retired two years ago, and he’s has been enjoying himself immensely. While he’s been hiking, going to the snow, taking bike rides, etc, I’ve spent much of my time nose-to-screen. But no more.

I sent in my final Love Inspired Historical just last night. Their Mistletoe Matchmakers has been revised, edited and returned to my savvy editor, Emily Rodmell, who has edited all five of my LIHs.

I’m eager to embrace the free time coming my way, but I’ll miss interacting with you, my devoted readers. Not to worry. I won’t be disappearing.

I’ll continue to blog here and offer my weekly giveaways through the end of the year. I’ll remain active on Facebook, too. I’ll probably be on Pinterest more often, looking up recipes, craft ideas and more. I’ve never had enough time to spend there, but I will now. I might even write a magazine article now and then. Who knows?

Thanks for your support, encouragement and understanding as I embark on this new chapter of my life.


Questions for You

How do you feel about the news that the LIH line will be closing?

How long have you been a LIH reader?

Who are some of your favorite LIH authors?
(To be clear, I’m not seeking compliments. I’m eager to hear which
of my fellow LIH authors’ stories you’ve enjoyed over the years.)


Book Giveaway!

Enter to win a print copy of Mail Order Sweetheart
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 20 at 11:59 p.m. PST.

Winner to be announced in my new
blog post on Monday, May 22.

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

Congratulations to the winner from my May 8 post!
Gloria F. will receive a copy of A Tailor-Made Husband,
a June LIH by Winnie Griggs.








Keli Gwyn


  • Keli, thank you for your prayers and encouragement for LIH authors and readers! I am so happy for you as you embark on this new chapter in your life, and while I’ll miss reading your beautiful books, I’m glad you’re on to new adventures!

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Susie, my heart aches for you and the other LIH authors. The news came as such a shock. You’re all talented writers, and I trust you’ll find ways to tell your stories. I’m just sad it won’t be through LIH.

  • Becky Smith says:

    WOW! I had not heard! I’m excited for you, Keli, but I sure will miss your writing! I’ve enjoyed reading you, Regina Scott, Winnie Griggs, Danica Favorite, and recently Anna Zogg. I’m sure there are many more, but these come to my mind now. I just recently heard that my daughter-in-law great great grandmother was actually a mail-order bride! She was too embarrassed to talk about it much, so they don’t know much more. Thanks, Keli, for your wonderful blog! Blessings to you, as you retire!

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Becky, the news from Harlequin came as quite as shock. I know they have to make tough decisions at times, but this one makes me sad. I don’t like to see my author and reader friends hurting.

      I’m glad you’ve enjoyed so many LIH stories. They’re written by a talented bunch, and I trust they’ll find other ways to get their stories out there after the line closes in June 2018.

      How cool that your daughter-in-law’s great great grandmother was actually a mail-order bride. It’s too bad she didn’t share the story. I’m sure it would have been fascinating.

  • Jane says:

    I have been reading LIH for many years I don’t remember when I started.
    Favorite Authors: Keli Gwyn, Linda Ford, Lyn Cote, Lacy Williams, Laurie Kingery, Karen Kirst, Valerie Hansen, Winnie Griggs, Sherri Shackelford.

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Jane, thanks for being such a faithful reader of the LIHs. There are so many talented authors writing them. I can see that you know that. 🙂

  • Such a bittersweet announcement, Keli. So happy for your retirement, but sad to hear you’ll be done writing novels. Thank you for your prayers. It’s been such a shock today. I’m confident God has all this in His capable hands.

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Gabrielle, my heart goes out to you and our fellow LIH authors. The news was a shock, indeed. I trust that you and the other authors will find ways to get your wonderful stories out there for readers to enjoy.

  • Gayla Beech says:

    Your books are great and your a special lady.

  • Debra says:

    Congratulations on making such a big decision and for all the joys of more time with your wonderful husband. I think it’s going to take some time for all of this news to sink in.

    I expect we’ll continue to see fiction from these great LIH authors–I just know it!

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Debra, I appreciate your kind words and well wishes. I’m going to be OK, but my heart is aching for my fellow LIH authors. As you said, they write great stories. I trust they’ll find ways to get them into readers’ hands.

  • Lori Payer says:

    Congratulations on your upcoming retirement! I hadn’t heard and I’m saddened for the authors and readers. I’m sure the Lord will direct those authors to other publishers and readers will have to seek other publishers for books that they wish to read. Huge adjustment for some, I’m sure.

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Lori, thanks for your kind words about my retirement. I’m looking forward to spending more time with my great guy.

      Like you, I trust that the Lord will go before the LIH authors and help them find homes for their stories.

  • Keli!!!
    I’m so sorry for all the authors affected by this, and frankly quite stunned that YOU are retiring…but I totally understand.

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Jennifer, the news came as quite a shock. I feel for my fellow LIH authors. I trust that they’ll find other ways to get their wonderful stories in readers’ hands, but first comes grief.

  • Trixi says:

    I’m really shocked as a reader to learn this sad news 🙁 LIH is my favorite of the line and I know, love and influence for a number of LIH authors. It’s saddened my heart so much. Hard to put into words how it makes me feel…I want to rant and rave at the publisher one moment and dissolve into tears the next. I’ve been reading LI for a really LONG time (all lines) but have in recent years really connected with historical novels. I can’t explain why but it’s just something that clicked with me.

    My heart goes out to our authors. I know God has a purpose and a plan for all of this, but it rocked both writers and readers world & shook us up. I guess maybe I’ve taken it pretty hard as a reader. Especially in the light of the Heartsong Presents publishers dissolving it’s line of books last year. You guys give us not only something good to read, but more importantly spiritually uplifting stories full of hope & God’s love. I pray that God will open doors for the authors this most affects. And that He will bring comfort & peace.

    Keli, how bittersweet! I’m so glad you will be able to spend the time with your husband, doing all the things you want to do together. I will miss your lovely stories! I’m glad to be able to keep up with you on both the blog and Facebook. You’ve become one of those precious author friends I mentioned earlier. You always have a ready smile & a sunny disposition 🙂

    Some of my favorite (oh I don’t like that word) LIH authors? You (of course), Christine Johnson, Stacy Herne, Janet Dean, Regina Scott, Sherri Shackelford, Louise M. Gouge, Winnie Griggs, Rhonda Gibson, three of our newest ones Gabrielle Meyers, Susanne Dietz & Erica Vetsch, Danica Favorite, Linda Ford….oh who am I kidding, there isn’t an LIH author I don’t like! 🙂 Within those writers, there’s so many great series to enjoy as well. Characters that have become like friends to me.

    Anyway, I’ve made this quite long already! Thanks for featuring Christine Johnsons newest. I have at least one of the Boom Town Brides books on my shelf, love to add the rest 🙂

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Trixi, the news has saddened authors and readers alike. It certainly was a shock. I know publishers must make tough calls at times, but this one affects people I care about, so I’m feeling sad for all of them, you included.

      I appreciate your kind words about my stories. I’ve been blessed by your enthusiastic support of me and my writing. You’re a gem!

      I’m not surprised your list of LIH authors whose books you enjoy included every one of us. You’re one of our biggest fans, and I greatly appreciate you.

  • Lucy Reynolds says:

    Congratulations on your retirement. I’m sorry to hear of LIH closing. I love reading your books, Regina Scott, Erica Vetsch, etc. My prayers for all the authors. God bless!

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Lucy, thanks for your well wishes on my retirement. I’m looking forward to spending more time with my great guy.

      Thanks, too, for your prayers for the LIH authors. I trust the Lord has good things in store for them, but they’re hurting right now, and I’m hurting for them.

  • I am totally BUMMED that there will be no more LIH!!!! I’m glad I still have a lot on my bookshelf to read and reread!

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Wendy, so many of us are feeling sad about the news. I’m glad you have LIHs to enjoy. They will still be published until June 2018, so you have the opportunity to add a few more to your shelf.

  • Connie Tillman says:

    How do you feel about the news that the LIH line will be closing? I am so bummed. I love LIH. I love the authors, and how awesome the stories are. I always learn so much

    How long have you been a LIH reader? A little over a year

    Who are some of your favorite LIH — Erica Vetsch – and my mind just went blank — there are others.

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Connie, I’m sad that this announcement affects our wonderful readers like you. I’m glad our stories have brought you joy. Since you only began reading them a year ago, you can enjoy the back issues in e-book formats. There are nearly 400 LIHs so far, and they will continue to be published for another year. How’s that for finding a bright spot in the midst of a rather gloomy day?

  • Linda Williams says:

    I am sad to hear that the LIH line is being closed. It is so hard to find books that not only interest me but are wholesome to read. I have enjoyed many authors among whom are Keli Gwyn, Linda Ford, Lyn Cote, Valerie Hansen, and so many others. I pray that they will find new avenues for their writings. Keli, I am proud of you for “retiring” so that you can spend more time with Carl. From personal experience in almost losing my husband to a massive heart attack, we don’t know how long we will be given with our mates. Each day is a blessing. You won’t regret your decision.

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Linda, I’m glad you’ve enjoyed the LIH stories. It’s great that we’ve been able to bring wholesome, God-honoring stories to our wonderful readers.

      Like you, I pray that the LIH authors will find new ways to get their great stories in readers’ hands.

      Thanks for sharing in my excitement about my retirement. I know you understand my desire to enjoy my time with Carl. I’m looking forward to many fun adventures in the years to come.

  • So sorry to hear about the closure of these lines. Seems to be a sign of the time. I am sure the talented authors will find other publishers or self-publish. On the other hand, congratulations on your retirement! Enjoy your time with hubby. I am sure you will still do a bit of writing as it seems to be something we just can´t do. Hope you keep blogging about your retirement adventures. All the best!

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Darlene, thanks for your kind words and well wishes about my retirement. I’m looking forward to this new chapter of my life.

      One constant in the publishing world is change. Saddened by this latest one. I feel for my fellow LIH authors, but I trust that they’ll find ways to get their stories in readers’ hands.

  • Beth Vogt says:

    Wow, Keli, you were one of the first LIH authors I thought of when I heard the news about the change at Harlequin. And now to find out that you are retiring. I’m happy or you, but sad for me and all your other devoted readers. Can’t wait to hear about your new (non-writing) adventures!

  • Fedora says:

    I thought of you when I heard the news earlier today, Keli! I’m so thankful to hear that because of your own decision, this will not impact the same way as it will other authors. I am definitely sad for other authors, and as a reader, I will miss LIH and the other lines to be closed. I’ve been an LIH reader for years, and have enjoyed the variety in this line. Some favorite authors have been you, Linda Ford, Winnie Griggs, and others.

    Will be looking forward to seeing more about your adventures with Gwynly!

    Thanks also for sharing about Mail Order Sweetheart–I love the sounds of it and will definitely have to pick this up!

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Fedora, thanks for your kind words and your support over the years of me, my writing and the LIH line. I’m hurting for my fellow LIH authors and look forward to seeing the many ways they find of getting their great stories in readers’ hands.

  • Mary Preston says:

    Names escape me, but I enjoy the line immensely. I’ve been a reader of the LIH books for quite some time. I will miss them. All the best.

  • Sharon Jones says:

    I was sad to hear LIH was being discontinued.
    I have been reading them for sometime. My favorites authors include you, Erica Vetsch, Winnie Griggs, Dorothy Clark, & Lacy Williams. I just pre-ordered Their Mistletoe Matchmatchers and I loved Her Motherhood Wish. You will be missed but I hope you and your husband enjoy retirement!

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Sharon, I share in your sadness. I trust that the Lord will help my LIH sisters find ways to get their stories out there so readers like you can continue to enjoy them.

      I’m glad you enjoyed Chip and Callie’s story. It was my most adventurous. Henry and Lavinia’s is such a sweet Christmas story. I’m excited about it.

  • Robin in NC says:

    Oh my goodness! LIH & HW are some of my favorite type of books! Boooo
    It’s also sad that you’re retiring, but retirement is totally wonderful, so I get it! It’s an ever changing world, for better or worse. Congratulations! Enjoy your time with your sweetie! Thank you r your wonderful books!

  • Connie Saunders says:

    Keli, I am deeply saddened to hear about LIH. I had read these books over the years but since my own retirement three years ago, I have really enjoyed these authors and their books. Certainly no “bad apples” in the bunch but I do rspecially enjoy Sherri Shackelford, Susanne Dietz, Erica Vetsch, Danica Favorite, Christine Johnson, Stacy Herne, Janet Dean, Linda Ford and, of course, you! I pray that other publishing opportunity will be made possible for all of them!
    Congratulations on your retirement. I don’t think you will ever regret your decision but be assured that You will be greatly missed!

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Connie, I agree. The LIH authors put out one great book after another, don’t they? I trust that the Lord will help my LIH sisters find homes for their great stories so readers can continue to enjoy them.

      Thanks for your well wishing on my retirement. I’m eager to spend more time with Gwynly.

  • Lynne M Feuerstein says:

    Actually just discovered the LIH line,so am especially sad to see it go. Like you Keli am hoping the authors will find another way to get their books published. Congrats and all my good wishes for a happy retirement. So glad you’re not totally disappearing from FB though, will keep an eye out for you. 🙂

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      I’m so glad your discovered LIH, Lynne, and that I’ve gotten to know you. It’s great that we can keep in touch on FB.

      Thanks for your well wishes on my retirement. I’m excited about the adventures awaiting me and my guy.

  • Chrissy says:

    I couldn’t believe the LIH announcement yesterday. Immediately thought of you and the others.
    It is a bittersweet moment hearing you will retire from novel writing, Keli, as I love your stories. I am blessed to own every one of them.
    Although, I am happy for you and your guy, I will miss your hometown books.
    Looking forward to seeing yu on FB, and maybe we can have lunch.
    May God bless your new journey into retirement with Gwynly.

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Chrissy, the news came as such a shock. I ached for my author friends who write for the affected lines.

      Thanks for your kind words about my stories. I appreciate your support. Seeing your smiling face at my signings puts one on my face. 🙂

      Lunch sounds like a great idea! Let’s get one on the calendar.

  • Brenda W says:

    I am very upset to hear that the LIH line will be closing. In my opinion, they should have closed the lines that are not Inspired….

    The LIH authors will probably find a new company that is better for Inspired books.

    I have been reading LIH since about 2005 probably.

    I like all of the LIH authors I have read–Winnie Griggs, Debra Clopton, Keli Gwyn, Regina Scott, Danica Favorite, Karen Kirst, Belle Calhoune, Dorothy Clark, Bonnie Navarro, Sheryl St. John, Sherri Shackleford, Brenda Minton, Linda Ford, Patricia Davids and many more.

    Congratulations on your retirement. I know you will enjoy it. We will miss your books about your part of the country.

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Brenda, the news hit the LIH authors hard, but it was also hard on our loyal readers, like you, which makes me sad. I trust that the Lord will help my LIH sisters find new homes for their great stories so readers can continue to enjoy them.

      Thanks for your kind words about my retirement and my stories. I loved setting them here in the Gold Country that I love.

  • Katrina says:

    Keli, I will be honest with you in that I think the news is heartbreaking. I will miss it. Love Inspired tells me I’m about to read a good, clean story and find inspiration to apply in my life. I have loved reading for many years, but when I became a Christian I was very concerned I couldn’t find appropriate books to read, but when I found this line I was very excited. I love historical and contemporary. I do wonder how the authors are going to continue with their writing. I am happy for you and hope having more time to spend with your husband is all you want it to be. Enjoy every minute of it.

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Katrina, heartbreaking is a good word to describe what many of are feeling. Readers who pick a LIH can count on being swept back in time to a sweet, wholesome, God-honoring story. The good news in all this is that the stories will continue to be published until June 2018.

      Thanks for your well wishes on my retirement. I’m looking forward to this new chapter in my life.

  • Vicki says:

    I’m so sad to hear this news and it makes me wonder about the other LI lines. My fave authors? Of course you, and I don’t think I have EVER read a LI story that I didn’t love! I pray that all the displaced authors will find a great place to ‘call home’. Maybe they should all band together & form their own Inspired line!

    As to your retirement, congrats on making this decision. I know Gwynly will appreciate having you by his side during the new adventures that you choose to do together. Who knows–maybe you two will write a book together about a couple that retires and goes on many adventures together–but on your own time–no more deadlines). (My hubby helps me with my writing, but I do have to say, that our travel adventures slows down the writing process significantly! So much to see & do!

    Again, enjoy retirement! Oh yeah–and a question for you–what will happen with this last book of yours ‘Due in Nov.’ since June is their last month of publishing?

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Vicki, the news has shocked the LIH as well as our loyal readers like you. I appreciate your faithfulness. The one good thing in all of this is that the stories will continue to be published until June 2018. Since mine’s coming out in November 2017, it is still on the schedule. 🙂

      Thanks for your well wishes on my retirement. I’m eager to embrace this new chapter of my life. It’s great that you and your husband travel and enjoy great adventures together–and that he helps you with your writing. Teamwork is a good thing.

  • Andrea Stephens says:

    While I am greatly saddened that I will only have one more book of yours to read, I am happy that you will be getting to spend more time with your husband, having fun.
    I wish nothing but the best for you in your retirement. If you decide to write a little story now and then, I’m sure we would all be happy to read it.
    Much love to you.

    I am so sad and not quite sure what to do with myself over the closing of the LIH line of books. They are my favorite! I hope the LIH authors find a new way to share their books with us.

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Andrea, I share in your sadness. My heart aches for my LIH sisters, but I trust that the Lord will help them find ways to get their great stories into readers’ hands.

      Thanks for your kind words about my stories and your well wishes for my retirement. I’m looking forward to gadding about with my great guy.

  • Winnie Griggs, Regina Scott, Renee Ryan, Yours Truly, Lyn Cote, Erica Vetsch, Dorothy Clark, Janet Lee Barton, Naomi Rawlings, Gabrielle Meyer; Historical Fiction authors my very favorite genre. Thank you, one and all. Would be wonderful if authors join together for Historical Collections. Kathleen

    • (Oops, my Website address on my above comment is incorrect. I have corrected it here.) Thanks, and… enJ*O*Y and take lots of photos for us! Kathleen

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Thanks for being such a loyal LIH reader, Kathleen. Interesting idea about having LIH authors join for collections. Maybe they will.

  • I have only read a few LIH stories. So I can honestly say that YOU are my favorite LIH author 🙂 I’m glad that you will now get to spend time with your leading man!

  • I am very sorry for all the authors affected by the closing of the various lines. I had a similar situation many years ago when one of my lines closed, but I truly believe that when God closes one door, he opens another. I will pray for my fellow authors who are affected to find that other door. Congratulations on the upcoming retirement. Enjoy the time with your hubby.

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Caridad, thanks for your kind words and your prayers for the affected authors. I’m sorry you’ve dealt with a similar situation.

  • Lynda E. says:

    I love the LIH line and am very sorry to see it go. I have read them for years and enjoy them in between longer books. Thanks for the giveaway–I will be snapping up as many as I can find between now and June 2018!

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Lynda, the news came as a shock to many of us. My heart is aching for my LIH sisters, our wonderful LIH readers and the two LI editors who will be losing their jobs. The one positive is that we can look forward to LIHs releasing until June 2018.

  • Marilyn R says:

    I was sadden to see LIH was coming to an end when I saw the first FB post. Keli, I’ll miss reading your books but I know you’ll enjoy retirement with Carl.

    Prayers for all the authors being affected by the announcement. I cannot recall the first LI book I read, but will be gathering more for my personal library in the months ahead. They are great books to reread–the historical ones have been some of my favorite ones. God blessings and guidance to you and
    all the other authors.

  • jcp says:

    I’m shocked the LIH line is closing.

  • Laura AKA Loves 2 Read Romance says:

    I am so sad that LIH is being discontinued. I am praying for all the authors affected by this. Congratulations on your retirement!

  • Keli Gwyn says:

    Congratulations to this week’s winner, Katrina! I’ll be in touch.