Keli Gwyn
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LIH Spotlight: Would-Be Mistletoe Wife

This week I’m shining the spotlight on
Would-Be Mistletoe Wife, a December 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.

Mistletoe Match

Worried she might lose her teaching job if funding is cut for her boarding school, widow Louise Smythe must consider marriage. But the only prospective groom in town is lighthouse-keeper Jesse Hammond, and he wants children—something she may never be able to provide. While Jesse waits for the ideal woman to make his wife, though, Louise can’t help but long for something more than his friendship.

If he wants to be promoted to head lighthouse keeper, Jesse needs to find a wife suited to his rustic lifestyle. But as he and Louise partner to give the town’s homeless orphans a joyous holiday, he’s drawn to the petite woman. Will the light of Christmas finally inspire them to trust in each other’s hearts?

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: Strong Heroines

The release of my final novel this month has me feeling a bit nostalgic. As I look back on this story and the seven others I’ve had published, I’ve noted some commonalities. I’ve covered the role music plays in many of my stories, the endearing children in half of them and the supportive heroes in all of them. This week, I’m focusing on my heroines, who are all strong women, although they might not describe themselves that way.

Elenora Watkins, the heroine of my debut novel, A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California, is not only strong, but she’s strong-willed and has a stubborn streak too. That’s not a problems for Miles Rutledge, who’s a mite mule-headed himself. These two mercantile owners compete at every turn, each of them out to best the other in merchandising, music and marksmanship. At least, it starts out that way. I love seeing the change of heart they undergo as love gains a foothold.

When Spencer Abbott, the hero in Family of Her Dreams, meets Tess Grimsby, she issues the recent widower a challenge. If he’ll give her one day, she’ll prove she’s the right woman to serve as his housekeeper and care for his two young children. Her inner strength and huge heart enable her to win over the grieving children, but she has to redouble her efforts where their withdrawn father is concerned.

Sweet Becky Martin, the heroine of A Home of Her Own, doesn’t see herself as strong, but she possesses a quiet strength. She does an excellent job caring for James O’Brien’s ailing mother, helps him in his apple orchard and establishes a successful baking business. Her strength is put to the test as she deals with a scheming brother back east who has framed her for a crime he committed, and she shows everyone, herself included, what she’s made of.

Former saloon singer Jessie Sinclair, the heroine of Make-Believe Beau, has worked hard to become a draftswoman, forcing her to work alongside men who doubt her abilities, but she rises to the challenge. Harder yet is overcoming her past, but with the Lord upholding her, she holds her head high and shows engineer Flynt Kavanaugh that she’s a woman of worth.

Chip Evans and Callie Hunt, from Her Motherhood Wish, discover two youngsters alone alongside the road. Although she doubts they’re in danger from the murderous trio that took the life of the children’s father and left them orphans, Chip convinces her otherwise. She froze when her own parents were killed in front of her when she was a girl, but Callie displays remarkable strength in the face of danger. She would do anything to protect the children she’s come to love.

Lavinia Crowne, the heroine of Their Mistletoe Matchmakers, fears losing the respect of her controlling father. She heads to California prepared to claim her recently orphaned nieces and nephew and take them back to Philadelphia with her, where they will enjoy a lavish lifestyle. Henry Hawthorn has other plans, which pits Lavinia against him. She fights for guardianship, but her ultimate battle is with herself. Can she stand up for what she believes is best for the children, even if that will cost her everything?

Readers have asked I see myself in my heroines. There are elements of me in each of them, but like Becky, I don’t see myself as strong, although others do. What I do know is that I admire each of my heroines and wish I were more like them.


Questions for You

What do you see as your greatest strengths?

What have others said are some of your strengths?


Book Giveaway!

Enter to win a copy of Would-Be Mistletoe Wife
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, December 2 at 11:59 p.m. PST.

Winner to be announced in my farewell
blog post on Monday, December 4.

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

Congratulations to the winner from my November 20 post!
Julie will receive The Gift of Twins by
Love Inspired Historical author Gabrielle Meyer.

Keli Gwyn


  • Deana Dick says:

    My strengths are that I’m loyal, compassionate, hard worker, will help others and I have a passion to help authors.

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Deana, those are great traits. I can attest to your passion to help authors. You’ve done lots for me, such as sharing my giveaway posts, and I really appreciate it.

  • Amy says:

    My greatest strength is my ability to improvise. My friends say my empathy is my strength! Thank you for the giveaway!!

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Amy, an ability to improvise is a trait that comes in handy, isn’t it? I like that your friends point out your empathy. Clearly, they know that you care and are there for them.

  • Julie says:

    Whew, this is a hard one. My strengths are found in the Lord,family, and friends. They all make up the woman I have become. Without Jesus I couldn’t get through life’s curveballs. Without family I wouldn’t have the support and encouragement to be a better me. And without friendships I wouldn’t know how to serve and love on others.

  • Robin in NC says:

    In a way, my greatest strength is also my greatest weakness. I am the poster child for go along to get along, don’t make waves kind of person. The majority of the time, it doesn’t really matter in the long run.

  • Denise Marshall says:

    People say my strengths are , friendliness, and I can make people feel welcome and comfortable! I am a people person!

  • Robin Warren-Busigo says:

    Wow, these are hard questions. My first gut answer will be that my ease in talking to people, and making them feel comfortable. My father has said to me many times, even as a young child, “You have never known a stranger”. I can talk to people sitting next to me on a plane, in line at the bank, etc. I guess that is one advantage to moving every two to four years, while growing up.

  • Brenda W says:

    Not sure if it is a strength but I can be stingy and live on less when I have to. I learned from the best–my mother who lived through the depression. My cousin says I am persistent.

  • Lynne M Feuerstein says:

    Some people have said I have a warm, friendly attitude and smile that makes people feel better,plus a kind gentle heart. I hope I live up to their description and use whatever stengths God gave me to help others.

  • Mary Preston says:

    I think my greatest strength would have to be my loyalty. My loved ones know that they can trust me to be there for them.

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Mary, loyalty is a wonderful strength to have. It’s one I would include in my list of strengths. I’m sure your family members and friends appreciate knowing that you’ll be there for them.

  • MH says:

    I have been called compassionate. Not sure if it’s totally true, but it’s something I can strive for.

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      MH, compassion is a beautiful trait. I’m sure you’ve made a difference in the lives of many who are going through tough times as you come alongside them to offer care, concern and kindness.

  • Connie Saunders says:

    It is hard to talk about myself but I have good work ethics and I am also a person who believes in fulfilling my commitments. My greatest gosl is to be a Barnabas, an encourager, and I do try to focus on the good vs. the bad.
    Thanks for choosing to write about strong women.

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Connie, I think recognizing our God-given strengths helps us by making us aware of the traits we can put to use as we serve Him, the One who equipped us.

      I’m sure anyone with whom you’ve served appreciates your good work ethic, reliability and positive outlook. Your encouragement has no doubt blessed many people.

  • Mari says:

    I have been called an encourager and organized by many managers in my work.

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Mari, I had to smile when I read your comment because those are two words that have been used to describe me. I love organizing things and encouraging people.

  • Becky Smith says:

    I’ve been told that I am an encourager and I always look on the bright side of things. My hubby was also called an encourager, and when we got married, one of my roomies said it wasn’t fair for 2 encouragers to get married. LOL! I’m glad you were nostalgic because it was fun to look back at your strong heroines!

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Becky, how cool for you, an encourager with a knack for looking on the bright side to marry another encourager. Talk about being mutually supportive. 🙂

  • Trixi says:

    I can find the humor in just about anything. My husband has taught me over the years to look for the bright side in everything. Some things are tougher than others, but I try. I think one of my biggest strengths is getting someone to laugh or smile 🙂 I learned the meaning of my name is “she who brings joy” or “She who pleases”

    Others have said I’m a good encourager. I love cheering people up when they are down or giving a positive word to someone who needs some uplifting. I don’t like to see someone down or discouraged. I guess I’m also empathetic (or sensitive) with others feelings. They seem to go hand in hand don’t they?

    Thank you for spotlighting another fantastic LIH! I really admire that cover, so festive!! Looks like they are having fun hanging the wreath from the door.

    • Keli Gwyn says:

      Trixi, I’ve seen your positive outlook, ability to make people smile and encouragement evidenced so many times over the years I’ve known you. You’ve certainly put many smiles on my face and lifted me up just when I needed a bit of encouragement.

  • Keli Gwyn says:

    This week’s winner is Denise M. Congratulations, Denise! I’ll get the book to you soon.