Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Guest Post with Keli Gwyn

I am thrilled to be able to host my friend, Keli Gwyn, on my day to post at CC&C. Keli and I are friends, agency-mates, publishing house buddies, and we even have a story anthology together. I met Keli online several years ago when we were both pre-published, and  I was blessed to meet her in person a few years ago at a conference. She was every bit as sweet and kind and enthusiastic in person as she is online. 

I asked Keli if she would be willing to come talk about her new release Family of Her Dreams, here at CC&C, and she agreed. :) So, without further ado, here's Keli!

Readers often ask how much of myself I put into my heroines. My answer is that there are aspects of me in each of them. I go on to state an example or two.

I thought it would be fun to compare myself to Tess Grimsby, the heroine of my June Love Inspired Historical, Family of Her Dreams. So here goes…

Four Ways Tess and I Are Alike

• I keep a journal, and so does Tess. These days my journal entries are brief recaps of my activities. Back in the days before I began writing stories, I would pour out my thoughts and dreams on the pages of my journal just as Tess does.

Keli's scrapbooking closet.
• Both Tess and I are sentimental. She saves mementos, such as the train ticket for her ride to Shingle Springs, where her new adventure with Spencer Abbott and his children takes place. Her mementos are tucked between the pages of her journal. If only my collection of sentimental items were as small as hers. I have at least twenty boxes filled with photos, certificates, etc.

• Neither Tess nor I think our singing voices are any good. Thankfully someone comes along who convinces Tess that her voice is just fine. I’m content making a joyful noise.

• Tess has a vivid imagination, as do I. She comes up with clever ways to entertain Spencer’s children. I’m more apt to play with words. Here’s an example. The year our daughter was eight, we traveled to Germany.  Our cat, Snuggles, talked to her all the time back home (in a voice I created). Adri was missing him greatly, so I came up with the idea of having her converse with him via his tailular phone, a solution that eased her homesickness.

Four Ways Tess and I Are Different

• At six foot, Tess has ten inches on me. Writing a tall character was a s-t-r-e-t-c-h, but I was able to incorporate what I’ve learned from watching my 6’ 2” husband. I also talked with two of my daughter’s tall, lithe and lovely friends.

• Tess is a fantastic cook and enjoys meal preparations. Me? Nope. The less time I can spend in the
Keli and daughter Adri at Keli's favorite
 eating place, Taco Bell!
kitchen, the better. My dream is to have a take-out window installed on the side of our house and eagerly await daily deliveries from my favorite restaurants. Who’s with me on this?

• Like Erica, Tess is a quilter. They both create stunning quilts I admire but haven’t the patience to create. My sewing machine and I are not on friendly terms.

• Having a family of her own is Tess’s dream. She loves children and wants oodles of them. I’m not a born mother. I used to joke that I made raising one child look difficult. I’m happy to report that our daughter, now 24, survived her childhood and that Adriana and I have a great relationship these days.

In what ways are you like Tess—or like me?

 Award-winning author Keli Gwyn, a native Californian, transports readers to the early days of the Golden State. She and her husband live in the heart of California’s Gold Country. Her favorite places to visit are her fictional worlds, historical museums and other Gold Rush-era towns. Keli loves hearing from readers and invites you to visit her Victorian-style cyber home at, where you’ll find her contact information.

Family of her Dreams 
Headstrong Tess Grimsby loves her new job caring for the children of a recently widowed man. But she never imagined that she’d fall for her handsome employer. Yet Spencer Abbott is as caring as he is attractive, and Tess can’t help but feel for him and his family. Though, for the sake of her job, she’ll keep any emotions about her boss to herself.
Between his stationmaster responsibilities in a gold-rush town and trying to put his family back together, Spencer has his hands full. He soon finds his new hire’s kind personality warming his frosty exterior. But could he ever admit to seeing her as more than just an employee?
Copyright © 2015 by Harlequin Enterprises Limited
Cover 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.

Erica here: Keli is giving away an autographed copy of her new release! Just answer the question above in a comment below, and you're in. (Note: Due to the high cost of international postage, we have to limit the giveaway to US Residents only.) 


  1. Hi, Keli!!

    Loved reading the comparisons between you and Tess. I love to sing (just love music, would hate to have to choose between books and music), live alone and like you - would love to have that take-out window installed in the side of my condo, am sentimental but disorganized with the storing of my sentimental items, am only 5'5" - but have a 6'6" son, have no patience or skill in any kind of needle work, am not as imaginative as I would like, have 2 sons and wish I had been able to spend more time with them when they were young (instead of working so much), am not as consistent with my journal of gratefulness as I should be - although I thank God continually for my many blessings. I also love reading, as I'm sure you do, and would love to read "Family of Her Dreams"!! Thanks for visiting Coffee Cups and Camisoles!!

  2. Hi, Bonnie! I admire those of you with lovely singing voices. Our daughter has one. Mine is only passable, but thankfully our cats don't seem to mind, which is a good thing because I make up ditties that I warble at them from time to time.

    Yay on take-out windows. Glad you like the idea, too. :-) My lunch deliveries would alternate between Taco Bell, Subway, Panda Express and In-n-Out Burger. Which places would you arrange to have deliver meals for you?

    Wow! Talk about looking up to your son! I thought Carl was tall at 6'2", but if were standing next to your 6'6" son, my guy would look short. How often does you son have to duck to get through doorways?

    Kudos to you on raising two fine young men--and seeing all that you have to be grateful for these days as a result of your efforts. I'm pretty sure I can hear the Lord saying, "Well done, good and faithful servant."

    1. Lol, guess I'm a lot like you re: take-out also - having eaten at Taco Bell, Subway, and Burger King within the last week.

      I don't get to see my son duck through those doorways near as often as I'd like, he and his family (with my only grandchild) have lived several states away from me for a number of years, due to his job. He was always a head taller than anyone else in his school class when he was a pre-teen (finding appropriate children's clothing to fit him was a problem), however, he used that height to his advantage when he started playing sports.

      Thank you for your compliments and comments - my desire is only to serve Him, follow His plan for my life, and reach out to others. Part of that plan has been His leading me to do all I can to encourage Christian Fiction authors for the past 3 years. Congrats on "Family of Her Dreams", Keli - saying a prayer for you and your writing endeavors!!

  3. I have a husband that is six five and I'm five three, what a pair we are! I also hate to cook. But,I am very sentimental.
    Would love to read the book. Thanks for the giveaway.

  4. Wow, Gail! You and your husband have an even greater height difference than Gwynly and I do. I tease him that he's head and shoulders above me.

    I admire my foodie friends, but I lack their passion for meal-preparation. I do like to eat, though, especially when someone else does the cooking.

  5. My husband and I are only a few inches apart in height. :) I do dislike cooking, and I love eating out.

    I love that Tess is a sewing machine is currently in the shop for a tune-up, and I miss it! :)

    So great having you on the blog, Keli!

    1. I've seen some of your quilts on your Facebook timeline. You do a great job with them, Erica. I hope you get your trusty sewing machine back soon.

  6. Hi Keli! We meet again :-)
    No need to enter me in this contest as I have a copy of "Family of Her Dreams" coming my way! I just wanted to chime in and answer this fun question. And say how much I enjoyed all of Keli's answers :-)

    First off, I used to keep a diary as a kid and teen. But as I've been an adult, I don't. I have tried to pick it up again on many occasions, but I just either don't feel I have enough to write about or find anything that interesting to put in a journal, lol! I admire people who can because what a blessing that would be to share that for future generations! I think of my grandparents, who wrote to each other while my grandpa was over in Germany during WW2. What a wonderful treasure to read some of them!
    I am very sentimental! (Just a side note: now I have that Doris Day song stuck in my head "Sentimental Journey"!) I've kept all the letters my husband and I wrote back and forth while we were courting. We lived in different States back then. I also have ticket stubs to different things we've done over the years with the kids and alone, different brochures from various places we've seen & etc! I have past Christmas, Anniversary, birthday, valentines day cards in various boxes. And not to mention pictures...oh my! Every time I look at them, it does take me on a sentimental journey and makes me smile :-)
    I love to sing, I love worship/praise/hymns anything that gets me in fellowship with God! And I don't think I sound too bad either! I've been on a church worship team. I love leading people into communion & fellowship with the Lord.
    I, also, have a vivid imagination. Not that I ever share with anyone, but it's there :-D And I can just see you talking to your daughter via the cat, Keli...haha! What a great idea and it eased her homesickness.
    I am an inch taller than my husband, and I am not short by any stretch of the imaginantion (no pun intended). I'm 5'6" and he's 5'5". It hasn't ever bothered me but I know it's pretty unusual for the lady to be a bit taller. Now my 18 year old son is about 5'9" and my 23 year old daughter is shorter than me by about a inch or two. Now figure that one out, lol!
    And I LOVE to cook or bake! I've tried several new recipes over the years that have made it to my "staple" meal list. I have become the official birthday cake baker for my family & friends because I make it from scratch (even the frosting). You name it, I can probably make it.
    I am not a quilter, crocheter, knitter, cross-stitcher or etc! I can sew a button back on or mend a seam but that is the extent of my want-to or knowledge. It's funny too, I took Home Ec. in high school...but I think that was more because they taught cooking, lol!
    I am a mom to two wonderful grown kids and grandma to one wonderful 15 month old grandbaby. I struggled (and sometimes still do!) at being a mom. I think I agree with you to a point Keli, not sure I was a born mother either! Don't get me wrong, I love my kids, but it's a job that just doesn't come all that natural to me! My husband would be considered the nurturer of the family while I was always the disciplinarian. We are so proud of both our kids, though! My son will be graduating high school next year and he's been a terrific teen/adult! And my daughter turned out to be a beautiful mom herself. So I guess I'd have to say, I've really relied a LOT on the Lord's guidance raising them because I've surely needed it!
    Thanks for the terrific post on today's blog...I really enjoyed it so much! Blessings to each and every one of you!

    1. Thank you for your wonderful comment, Trixi! What fun it is to learn more about you. I wish we lived closer and could meet for lunch. I have a hunch we'd have a wonderful time together and find plenty to talk about. We might even have to rent the table for the afternoon. =)

      I admire those of you who are musically inclined. You make it possible for non-musical me to enjoy the beautiful artwork known as music and song.

      Anytime you want to fly out to California and cook for me, just let me know. I have such respect and appreciation for people who love to cook. I'd love to sample some of your favorite dishes. How are you at Mexican and Italian food? Those are two of my favorites. Hint hint!

      It's nice to hear from someone else for whom mothering didn't come naturally. I dreamed of being a mother, and I love our daughter dearly, but I just don't have that natural instinct with small children that many women do. What's strange, though, is that I have a feeling I'll have a whole different response when it comes to grandchildren. Not that I'm rushing our daughter, but I do think about that stage of life that's yet to come. Did you find your reaction to being a grandmother different than your reaction to being a mother of little ones?

  7. Wow, you actually sound a lot like me. :) I also keep a journal. And I love keeping memories alive in that way, as well as keeping things, like you I have a lot, and not all are small things. :D Cooking: I'm a decent cook, been doing nearly all my life, but I'm not a big fan of it. :P I'm guessing you're around 5'2? I'm 5'4-1/2. Your book looks awesome! Can't wait to read it. :)

    1. Wow, Abigail! We do have a lot in common. Of course, at 5' 4-1/2", you would be able to look down on me. As you surmised, I'm 5' 2."

      What types of memorabilia do you save? I'm curious what the big things are.

    2. Haha, lets just say, its pretty hard to get rid of anything that might have any memory tied to it...which is basically anything. :D Yeah, I probably have a lot of things that some people would think is junk. I love history! Another thing is thatsince I love history, I love taking pictures, another way to keep memories alive. :)

    3. Abigail, I've started taking pictures of things and letting the objects themselves go. It's not easy because, as you said, they represent my family's history, but I needed to free up space. Gotta have room to make new memories, right? :-)

    4. Yep. :) I've just gotta learn to do that too.

  8. I love to keep memorbilia, but my scrapbooking is WAY behind. I adore quilts and needlecrafts, but I haven't made anything in years! I read and Facebook, that's my creative outlet right now!

    1. Jennifer, it sounds like you have several crafts you enjoy. That's great. If only we had more time for our creative endeavors, right? :-)


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