Keli Gwyn
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LIH Spotlight: Their Mistletoe Matchmakers

This week I’m shining the spotlight on
Their Mistletoe Matchmakers, a November release from
Love Inspired Historical author Keli Gwyn. Yup. That’s me. 😃

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

A Christmas Match 

The best Christmas possible—that’s what Lavinia Crowne intends to provide before taking her orphaned nieces and nephew home to Philadelphia. But carrying out her plan may be harder than she expects, with their handsome, stubborn uncle, Henry Hawthorn, insisting on raising the children in rough-and-tumble Sutter Creek, California. Lavinia can’t bear to lose her late sister’s children, though, or go against her father’s demand to bring them home.

Henry believes his nieces and nephew need affection and security more than a lavish lifestyle. But as the children conspire to bring their aunt and uncle together, a new vision fills his head—of future Christmases spent with sweet, determined Lavinia and their growing family. Can three little matchmakers, and the spirit of the season, bring the gift of a very happy 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.


 New Beginnings

The release of Their Mistletoe Matchmakers, my final book, marks the end of my writing career. While that’s sad in some ways, this ending has enabled me to embrace a new beginning. I’ve been transitioning to life after writing, and I can tell you, without hesitation, that retirement agrees with me.

Lavinia Crowne, the heroine of Their Mistletoe Matchmakers, is embarking on a new beginning of her own. She’s left the comfort of her luxurious lifestyle in Philadelphia and has traveled west to Sutter Creek, California in order to collect her late sister and brother-in-law’s three orphaned children.

Believing that the rough and rugged mining town is no place to raise children, Lavinia plans to take her nephew and nieces back to Pennsylvania with her. There’s just one problem. The children’s paternal uncle, Henry Hawthorn, the youngsters’ legal guardian, insists they remain in Sutter Creek with him.

Like many Gold Rush towns, Sutter Creek boasted a wide main street. Many of the buildings standing today date back to the town’s early days. The pictures below give you an idea of the historic flavor.

Henry’s late brother, Jack, built a beautiful house. I chose to use a real home in Sutter Creek as the model for the one in the story. Since the Hawthorn brothers began their careers as blacksmiths, I added wrought iron railings on the porches. Other than that—and the removal of the lawn that wouldn’t have been there in 1860—the house is just as I described it in the story, complete with a mistletoe-laden oak tree in the backyard.

This stately home might strike you as appealing, but Lavinia, the daughter of a wealthy hotel magnate, was used to life in her father’s lavish mansion. She was also used to grand Christmas celebrations. The simple one Henry has planned for the children pales by comparison, but Lavinia is prepared to remedy that.

As you might expect, Lavinia’s dogged determination to provide the children with a Christmas unlike anything they’ve ever experience causes her to clash with Henry. She’s so set on her goal that she’s already had readers flipping pages to find out if she comes to her senses. I won’t tell you how—or where—the story ends, but I will tell you that Henry, Lavinia and the children enjoy a happy ever after and a new beginning.


Questions for You

What new beginnings have you embarked on?

Are your Christmas celebrations simple,
or do you prefer to do things up in grand style?


Book Giveaway!

Enter to win one of five a print copies of Their Mistletoe Matchmakers
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, October 21 at 11:59 p.m. PST.

Winner to be announced in my new
blog post on Monday, October 23.

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

Congratulations to the winner from my October 9 post!
Kathleen D. will receive Mail-Order Christmas Baby,
a November LIH by Sherri Shackelford.










Keli Gwyn


  • We had a new beginning 5 years ago when my husband retired. I love having him home! Christmas is fairly simple. I do love to give gifts so I start crocheting in August or before in order to get all of my projects finished by Christmas. I decorate a little bit, I bake a lot and we spend a lot of time with family and extended family. I’m so glad that you are loving retirement Keli! I love all of the pictures you post and I love your enthusiasm for learning about the history of the places you visit 🙂

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Julie, as the wife of a retired teacher, I can relate to the joy of having one’s husband and best friend at home. We’re blessed to have more time with our great guys.

      I love seeing your beautiful homemade creations when post pictures of your projects on Facebook. I’m sure the recipients appreciate all the love, time and thought you put into your gifts.

  • Dana Spille says:

    The New Beginning I am going is I am getting my Pastor’s License .I’ve raised 5 children 1 girl ,4 boys, they range from 40 to 19 . So I am fulfilling something I believe God is wanting me to do .Blessings DanaGirl

  • Tiffany Hall says:

    Our Christmas celebrations are simple, yet enjoy them so! We decorate the tree, house, and spend lots of time with family celebrating the birth of our Savior, our many blessings, and this wonderful time of year! Thanks for the giveaway opportunity! This sounds like a great Christmas read!

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Tiffany, simple celebrations that enable us to spend time enjoying the season with our loved ones can be the best kind. I wish you a joyous Christmas.

  • amy guillaume linderman says:

    my husband and i moved to a new town a week after getting married. then we moved again just months before our first son was born. it was fun though, now that i can look back. we have simple Christmases…when i was younger there was too much emphasis on the gifts…now it;s more about the decorations and the food and family time

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Amy, you and your husband certainly dealt with some major life changes early in your marriage. I hope those moves went well and that your life wasn’t too stressful as a result of them. It’s amazing how time can lesson the impact of major changes we made, isn’t it?

      Like you, my family and I have shifted the focus of Christmas from gifts to experiences. We really like the difference that has made.

  • Joan Arning says:

    I put up lots of Christmas decorations but nothing fancy…more old fashioned.

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Joan, traditional Christmas decorations can be extra special. I have some of those fragile glass Shiny Brite oranments that we hung when I was a child. I’m going to put them out in a crystal bowl this year.

  • Becky Smith says:

    Our new beginning is retirement since the end of June. We have still been so busy, but it’s been fun to do things together! But we have had fun saying, “The job my husband used to have…” We have been able to stop at a historical site, or tour places like (recently) the factory where they make Twin Bings in Iowa, or sit and watch a movie, or grocery shop together. Still not sure how this phase of our lives works, but each day has been a new adventure!!

    • Becky Smith says:

      And our Christmas celebrations are fairly simple, changing with the year. This year we hope to see our newest grandson, who will be born in December.

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Becky, retirement can be a wonderful experience. My husband retired from teaching two years ago, and I retired from writing after turning in my final Love Inspired Historical this past spring. Like you, we enjoy our together time and are happy to have the freedom to do more traveling.

  • jane naccarato says:

    Not starting anything new. Simple Chistmas stuff, lots of decorations and holiday inspired foods.

  • Ginny Otter says:

    HI Keli,
    After closing down our food pantry I wanted to find something else for the Lord. So I’m now working in a Good News Club. Are you familiar with them. We have quite a few in Vegas. They’ve been around for over 40 years.
    I love to decorate for Christmas. When we moved from Shingle Springs Tom was so mad at me. I have 12 boxes of Christmas treasures.

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Ginny, I am familiar with the Good News Club ministry. What a wonderful way to serve. I’m sure the children you work with love having you there.

      Christmas decorations are so pretty. It would be easy to fill a dozen boxes with them. I’m glad yours are filled with treasured items.

  • One of my recent “New beginnings” would beggining of my second Novel! Wish me luck!
    My Christmas celebrations tend to lean toward the simpler side! Warm family gatherings. (But of course, everyone wears their best duds!)

  • Tammy Amburgey says:

    Christmas has always been my favorite season and love decorating and celebrating with family and friends. Each year seems to be something new with the kids getting older and older, but the house and the tree are always decorated and the nativity set takes center stage on our dining table.

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Tammy, life does change after the “kids” are out on their own, doesn’t it? And yet some traditions seem to endure. Like you, ours includes setting out our nativity set. It’s just two pieces–Joseph, and Mary holding Jesus–but it’s special to us because we bought it in Oberammergau, Germany, where the passion Play takes place, from the woodcarver who made it.

  • Karen Sheeley says:

    My husband retired last year so that was a new beginning for us. Our Christmas is pretty simple. Spending time with family and enjoying the real reason for the season. Thanks for the giveaway.

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Karen, being a recent retiree myself married to a retired teacher, I can relate to your new beginning. I hope you enjoy having extra time to spend with your husband.

      Family times add so much to Christmas celebrations, don’t they?

  • Angie Maner` says:

    My marriage and parenthood. both we’re new starts. There was us also moving to Fl but had to move back to TN. our Christmas is different…. our families live on oppsitive ends of the state so it’s traveling and the like. We love christmas. Nothing like a TN christmas. ty 4 giveaway hopefully I’m picked

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Angie, marriage and parenthood are two of life’s biggest changes, to be sure. So is moving. I hope those transitions went well for you.

      Enjoy your Tennessee Christmas, and safe travels.

  • Maryann says:

    Our one new beginning was when we moved half way across the country for 4 years. My latest new beginning is being a cancer survivor for the second time. Now everything starts over again. Our Christmas celebrations are simple and low key.

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Maryann, a cross country move would be a big change. I hope that experience went well for you.

      I’m so sorry you’ve dealt with cancer–twice–but I’m happy to hear you showed it who’s boss. I hope your new beginning goes well.

  • Lucy Reynolds says:

    My Christmas celebration is very simple to focus on the reason for the season.
    I will miss your books. Blessings

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Lucy, simple celebrations that highlight the real reason for the season are special. That’s a lesson the heroine of my final book needs to learn.

  • I’m a simple Christmas type. Family, Reading the Christmas story (when Jesus was born), carols, yummy food, making memories.

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Trisha, your simple Christmases sound wonderful. Experiences shared with family and focused on the birth of our Savior make them extra special.

  • Monica Silver says:

    My new beginning is becoming a grandma last October when my son married. In November they are expecting their first child together so I will be a first time bio grandma! What an exciting trip this year has been.

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Monica, how exciting to be a grandmother and to be expecting a second grandchild too. Congratulations on the exciting news! You’ll have lots to give thanks for this Thanksgiving.

  • Mary Preston says:

    Our Christmas celebrations are simple and full of wonderful, family traditions.

  • Martha Peace says:

    Love your books,would love to win

  • Wow! I’m so excited to have won! Thank you so much!

    It’s probably because I’m still at the beginning of my writing career, but I can’t imagine retiring from writing. Maybe one day I’ll stop writing with the goal of publication and only share my stories with friends and family … maybe. But I can’t imagine a time when the characters in my head won’t fight to have their story told.

    As for new beginnings, well we recently brought home our newly adopted 18 month old daughter after raising three boys to 11, 9, and 7. I’d say that definitely qualifies as a new beginning! It feels like we’ve gone back in time by about 6 years! LOL

    As for Christmas traditions, we don’t have many at present. Our strongest tradition is making sure we always read the story of Christmas straight from the New Testament on Christmas Day. Outside of that, things have varied greatly from year to year.

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Kathleen, I’m excited to hear that you’ve begun writing with the goal of publication. I wish you all the best. I remember well my early florescent-green newbie writer days. I was certain that if I landed a contract, I’d end up writing for the rest of my days. God had other plans. He prompted me to retire and has confirmed my decision to do so many times in many ways. That doesn’t mean I don’t have story ideas bombarding me or characters trying to work their way into my thoughts. I do, but I’m learning not to listen to them.

      Congratulations on your new daughter. What a joy it must have been to welcome her into your family. She’ll have a trio of fierce protectors in her older brothers, I’m sure.

      Varying our Christmas celebrations can be fun and help to keep things fresh.

  • Your last book sounds amazing. THree years ago we both retired and moved to Spain so I could do more writing! It has worked out well but I am not doing any more writing than when I worked full time. WE are having fun though. Bets of luck!!

  • MH says:

    Christmas in our house is pretty simple. We gather as extended family during Thanksgiving but spend Christmas just with our nuclear family lounging at home and relaxing.

  • Lynne M Feuerstein says:

    While we always have a fun and spiritual Christmas,it has gotten simpler as the years go by. Especially as far as gifts go,its become more quality than quantity.

  • Marilyn R says:

    I prefer the simpler Christmas celebration with the focus on the true meaning of Christmas.

    Congratulations on your retirement and new adventures. I see retirement nearing on my horizon, too. I must have a copy of Their Mistletoe Matchmakers to complete my personal library with all your books.

    Blessings on your new journey in life.

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Marilyn, it does seem that having a simpler Christmas makes it easier to keep our focus on the real reason for the season, doesn’t it?

      Thanks for the well wishes on my retirement. I hope that you enjoy yours, when it arrives.

  • Vicki says:

    My husband & I both love Christmas & all the lights & decorations, but with all the travel with his job now, we have been limited a bit. This year we are looking forward to more time to prepare & decorate, since we will be home for 2 1/2 months as he has knee replacement surgery & recovery. It will be fun to ‘go all out’ again this year.
    We had a tradition Jon of opening one gift, after quoting “The Night Before Christmas” together, & the 1 gift was new PJ’s and/or robes to sleep in that night & wear the next morning. Then my husband would read the “Christmas Story” from the Bible before opening gifts on Christmas morning.
    Now that our children have their own families, we gather as an extended family on Christmas Eve, & still quote “The Night Before Christmas” before exchanging gifts. This leaves Christmas Day pretty quiet for us now. Yes, the traditions change as the kids grow and have their own families, but I still Love enjoying seeing Christmas through the eyes of the children—now my grandchildren.

    Thanks for the giveaway—like I said—I love Christmas & all that goes with it.

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Vicki, I hope your husband’s knee surgery and recovery go well. I’m sure he’ll appreciate all the TLC his loving wife will provide.

      Your Christmas traditions sound lovely. I’m glad you’re able to maintain some of those you’d begun when your children were young, even now that they’re grown and have children of their own.

  • Sandy Smith says:

    Keli, I love Christmas and love to decorate. Sometimes I stress myself out trying to make Christmas picture perfect. But then I remind myself the true meaning of Christmas with the Christ child. We keep an Advent wreath at home and do our own little Advent service on Sunday nights.

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Sandy, decorating can be fun, as long as the process doesn’t become stressful. There are so many beautiful decorations to choose from. Your family’s Advent service sounds wonderful.

  • Sandy Smith says:

    I also meant to say that your book looks good and please put me in the drawing!

  • Connie Saunders says:

    Hi Keli. Your new book sounds lovely. I am probably middle of the road with my Christmas decorating. I always have a wreath on our front door and I have a wooden sleigh with a red bow that I prop up on my porch and that stays most of the winter. Inside my tree is decorated with white twinkly lights and ornaments from Christmases past. I enjoy Nativity scenes so I have some small ones spread throughout the house. I also have a love for the word JOY so you may see Joy showing up in various dishes, signs, etc. The mantel over our fireplace also gets dressed up during this time of year. Christmas is a special time of memories, reflection and rejoicing so I do enjoy trying to make a house a little more festive.
    Thanks for your giveaway and Blessings!

  • jcp says:

    simple is my way to celebrate Christmas.

  • Carolyn J. says:

    My new beginning is retirement. Retirement brought about buying a new home and moving back to my home town after living out of state for 41 years. I wanted to assist my elderly mother (father is deceased) plus be closer to four my siblings and their families.

    I want a simple Christmas with the real meaning, the birth of Jesus Christ, at the forefront.

    God is good all the time.

    Enjoy your retirement, Keli. Thank you for your wonderful books through the years. Your last book will be a great addition to my personal library.

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Carolyn, retiring, moving back to your hometown and assisting with your mother’s care are three big changes. I hope things are going well for you. I’m sure you’ll enjoy being closer to your siblings and their families, especially at Christmas.

      Thanks for your kind words about my stories. I’ve been blessed to live my dream of being a published author, work with such great people and meet so many wonderful reader friends.

  • Brenda W says:

    Retirement is the last new beginning I have had. I enjoy it. The last few weeks I have done some yard work and genealogy.
    I keep Christmas simple–cook some sweets, snacks and a good dinner. And try to stay out of the crowds in the stores and in town.

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Brenda, I wish you all the best on your retirement. It’s great to have more time for hobbies and other activities, isn’t it?

      Like you, I prefer a simple Christmas. I do my little bit of Christmas shopping throughout the year, so I don’t have to do much in December. Instead, my family and I spend our time with friends, seeing plays, going to Christmas concerts and enjoying our services at church. It’s all about experiences for us.

  • Trixi says:

    We bought a new house six months ago & our Christmas celebrations are simply done with just a little decoration.

    I am reading your book now Keli and it’s bittersweet knowing it’s the last one you have written. But at the same token, I’m so happy that you are finding your “retirement” to be even more than you expected it to be. Enjoying time with loved ones and experiencing new things together is really what it’s all about. Life it too short to take for granted those that matter the most to you 🙂 I love seeing all your pictures on FB of family time! Your smiling happy faces says it all.

    Obviously no need to enter my name. I will be happy to share the giveaway on FB and twitter as I always do!

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Trixi, I remember your excitement about your new place. I hope you’re loving it–and your new beginning.

      Thanks for your kind words about my stories. I can’t believe I have six novels, one novella and one short story to my credit. Seeing them on top of my desk’s hutch makes me smile.

      As hard as it was to make the decision to retire, I know it’s the right one. God has confirmed my choice many times in many ways. You’re spot on when you say that enjoying our loved ones is “what it’s all about.” I’m so thankful to have more time to spend with my great guy. We never know what can happen down the road. I’m embracing each day and thanking the Lord for it.

  • Beth Vogt says:

    Keli: I’ve known you were embarking on new beginnings and that ending your writing career was part of that. But I have to say that I’ve always loved your books and I will miss looking forward to the next one. And I love that we met through the writing world.
    My family’s Christmas celebrations are simple — with specific traditions that make them grand to us. One I cherish is topping our Christmas tree with a rather battered foil star that my son and my husband made three decades ago. I’d told my husband that we needed a star to for out tree, expecting him to go out and buy one. Instead, he retired to the kitchen with our then toddler-son, and made one with cardboard and tin foil.

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Beth, your kind words and compliments mean a great deal to me, coming from a talented author such as yourself. I, too, am so glad we met. I look forward to continuing our friendship as author and reader. I love your stories and am eager to devour more of them.

      I love the story of your special star. What a treasure that simple ornament is.

  • Sara Clouse says:

    My new beginning is really something old…we’ve gone back to working in Awana after 10 years away from working with kids.
    And our Christmases are simple…family and friends for dinner.

  • Keli Gwyn says:

    Thanks for all the great comments and the kind words too. They’re much appreciated.

    The winners of this week’s five-book giveaway of my final Love Inspired Historical, Their Mistletoe Matchmakers, are Becky S, Carolyn J, Ginny O, Karen S and Monica S. Congratulations, ladies! I’ll be in touch.