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Love Inspired Historical | 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.

🎄🎄🎄

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: The Gift of Twins

This week I’m shining the spotlight on
The Gift of Twins, a December release from
Love Inspired Historical author Gabrielle Meyer.

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

Unexpected Holiday Blessings

Finding twin five-year-old boys on his doorstep isn’t the first surprise Reverend Benjamin Lahaye has faced lately. Emery Wilkes, the new schoolteacher the town has hired, turns out to be a very pretty woman—not the man they’d been expecting. And though the twins and Emmy are only boarding with Ben until Christmas, the arrangement feels all too natural.

Emmy has moved to Minnesota to put loss behind her. Marriage would mean forsaking her position and her purpose, and Ben is an honorable man who understands her refusal to wed. But as he gets closer to tracking down the little boys’ father, Emmy realizes just how much she wants their sweet temporary family to become permanent.

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: Supportive Heroes

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 and the endearing children in half of them. This week I’m focusing on my heroes, who are staunch supporters of my heroines.

In my debut novel, A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California, the heroine, Elenora Watkins, opens a small mercantile across the street from a large, well-established mercantile owned by the hero, Miles Rutledge. Ellie is out to prove she can run a successful business on her own and has a hard time accepting the help Miles offers. Thankfully, he’s just as bent on convincing her she has nothing to prove because it’s evident to him she’s a bright, capable, creative woman.

Becky Martin, the heroine of my second Love Inspired Historical, A Home of Her Own, has a gentle, loving nature. She does a wonderful job caring for the ailing mother of the hero, James O’Brien. He, in turn, supports Becky in her dream of opening a bakery.

Flynt Kavanaugh, my civil engineer hero in Make-Believe Beau, champions Jessie Sinclair, the newly hired draftswoman at the irrigation company where he works. Callie Hunt discovers a love of woodworking when she’s asked to work alongside carpenter Chip Evans in Her Motherhood Wish, and he’s happy to help her learn the craft.

The heroine of Their Mistletoe Matchmakers, Lavinia Crowne, arrives in Sutter Creek determined to show her sister’s recently orphaned children the kind of lavish Christmas celebrations they’ll have when she takes them back to Philadelphia with her. She’s sure she can offer her nephew and nieces a better life than they would have in their small town.

Even though the children’s paternal uncle, Henry Hawthorn, is just as determined to provide a simple, faith-filled family celebration for the children and keep them in California, he does his best to support Lavinia in her plans while praying she’ll embrace the true meaning of Christmas.

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Questions for You

Which men in your life have been your biggest supporters?

What have the men in your life done to help you reach your goals?

🎄🎄🎄

Book Giveaway!

Enter to win a copy of The Gift of Twins
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, November 25 at 11:59 p.m. PST.

Winner to be announced in my new
blog post on Monday, November 27.

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

Congratulations to the winner from my November 13 post!
MH will receive Once Upon a Texas Christmas
by Love Inspired Historical author Winnie Griggs.

Comment Link 39 Comments
Keli Gwyn
LIH Spotlight: Once Upon a Texas Christmas

This week I’m shining the spotlight on
Once Upon a Texas Christmas, a December release from
Love Inspired Historical author Winnie Griggs.

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

Partners for the Holidays

Abigail Fulton is determined to find independence in Turnabout, Texas—and becoming manager of the local hotel could be the solution. But first, she must work with Seth Reynolds to renovate the property by Christmas—and convince him she’s perfect for the job. If only he hadn’t already promised the position to someone else…

Ever since his troubled childhood, Seth yearns to prove himself. And this hotel is his best chance. But what does someone like Abigail know about decor and furnishings? Yet the closer the holiday deadline gets, the more he appreciates her abilities and her kindness. His business ambitions require denying Abigail’s dearest wish, but can they put old dreams aside for a greater gift—love and family?

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: Endearing Children

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. Last week I talked about the role music plays in many of my stories. This week I’m focusing on the children that appear in half of them.

My debut novel, A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California, features nine-year-old Matilda Watkins, a precocious girl whose tendency to prattle embarrasses her widowed mother, Elenora, at times. Tildy’s winsome ways capture the heart of Miles Rutledge, the hero of the story. The two of them form a bond, which leads to some matchmaking attempts on Tildy’s part that put a smile on my face whenever I read them.

Because this story is longer than my others, I had the freedom to develop Tildy and give her a larger part than I could the children in my Love Inspired Historicals. She charms everyone she meets, so much so that I had to be careful she didn’t upstage her mother.

Three of my five Love Inspired Historicals include children. The first, Family of Her Dreams, is the tale of a widower, Spencer Abbott, his two young children, Luke and Lila, and the housekeeper he hires to care for them, Tess Grimsby. Luke is four, and his baby sister is just nine months old when the story begins.

Luke isn’t happy about Tess being there, and he lets her know it. Having spent most of her childhood in an orphanage, Tess understands what Luke’s going through and doesn’t push him. There’s one particularly touching scene that showcases her compassion and brings tears to my eyes.

The hero and heroine of Her Motherhood Wish, Chip and Callie, discover two recently orphaned children: five-year-old Jasper and his three-year old sister, Ruby. Chip and Callie, both of whom long to be parents one day, are great with the children. Their patience and understanding help the grief-stricken youngsters adjust to life at the orphanage.

Jasper and Ruby aren’t the only children in the story. Callie and Chip are working at the orphanage started by Tess and Spencer from Family of Her Dreams, so there are many other children around. I had fun revisiting my earlier characters and showing readers what their lives look like eight years later.

My final book, Their Mistletoe Matchmakers, features three siblings whose parents perished in a riverboat accident. Their paternal uncle, Henry Hawthorn, and maternal aunt, Lavinia Crowne, are equally determined to care for their eight-year-old nephew, Alex, and his six- and four-year-old sisters, Marcie and Dot. Although Henry and Lavinia believe they know what’s best for the children, their views are vastly different.

The children take matters into their own hands. Their matchmaking efforts, which really do involve the use of mistletoe, create some interesting interactions between Henry and Lavinia. Like all children, the siblings aren’t always perfectly behaved. Reserved Alex and outgoing Marcie clash at times, whereas sweet Dot stays out of the fray.

Including children in my stories has been fun. Unlike the adult characters who have to choose their words carefully, the youngsters don’t have the same filters. They’re apt to say the most inappropriate things at the most inopportune times, which can lead to humorous interactions.

I’ll let you in on a secret. I’ve been known to make use of children to interrupt at critical moments. They can also bring out the softer side in a hero, which gives us those aah moments we enjoy. There’s a scene in my debut novel where Tildy kisses Miles on the forehead, which, to quote his thoughts at the time, “nearly undid him.” I sigh whenever I read it.

🎄🎄🎄

Questions for You

What’s something funny your child or
a child you know has said or done?

What’s something your child or a child you
know has done that melted your heart?

🎄🎄🎄

Book Giveaway!

Enter to win a copy of Once Upon a Texas Christmas
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, November 18 at 11:59 p.m. PST.

Winner to be announced in my new
blog post on Monday, November 20.

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

Congratulations to the winner from my November 6 post!
Jan H. will receive His Frontier Christmas Family
by Love Inspired Historical author Regina Scott.

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