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Christine Johnson | Keli Gwyn
Keli Gwyn
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.

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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.

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Questions for You

What do you see as your greatest strengths?

What have others said are some of your strengths?

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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.

Comment Link 29 Comments
Keli Gwyn
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.

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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.

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Comment Link 68 Comments
Keli Gwyn
LIH Spotlight: Mail Order Mommy

This week I’m shining the spotlight on
Mail Order Mommy by Christine Johnson.

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

mail-order-mommy

A Mother by Christmas 

Nursing a broken heart, Amanda Porter had answered a frontier mail-order bride ad placed by Garrett Decker’s children—only to find the groom-to-be didn’t want a wife. The widowed bachelor she hoped to marry does need a housekeeper, though, and taking the job is Amanda’s only option. But his adorable children are determined she’ll be their mother by Christmas…

His wife’s betrayal and tragic death demolished Garrett’s life. Now he can’t even look at another woman, let alone marry Amanda, who resembles his first love. Even if she does make his house feel like a home, filling it again with laughter and his children’s smiles. But with his daughter convinced Amanda is the perfect mother, will Garrett realize she’s also his perfect match?

Copyright © 2016 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.

💜💜💜

Fun Question for Christine…

I saw on your website that you enjoy hiking. If we were to encounter you on one of those outings, would you most likely be found walking in your neighborhood, traveling on a prepared trail in your town, hiking in the mountains, strolling on the beach or…?

Christine says: “Though you will most often find me walking in my neighborhood (as in every day), my favorite place to hike is in the mountains. The vistas take my breath away…or maybe it’s the altitude, lol. Seriously, I am in complete awe over God’s creation when in the mountains. The sheer size and beauty bring praises to my lips. It has been a couple years since I last hiked in the mountains, and answering this question makes me want to go there again soon.”

Your Turn…

How often do you go walking or hiking?

What are your favorite places to go when you want to take a hike?

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Book Giveaway!

Enter to win a print copy of Mail Order Mommy.

Giveaway ends Sunday, November 27 at 12 a.m. PST.

Winner to be announced in my new
blog post on Monday, November 28.

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

Congratulations to the winner from my November 14 post,
Deana D, who will receive a copy of
Cowboy Creek Christmas, a 2-in-1
by
Cheryl St.John and Sherri Shackelford.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Comment Link 26 Comments
Keli Gwyn
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