Guest Author Keli Gwyn: Shifting into Romance

by | Guest Author | 19 comments

Keli Gwyn is one of the most encouraging people I know, who is quick to promote others. We became friends through the blogophere, and we share the same agent, Rachelle Gardner.  

Keli writes stories that transport readers to the 1800s, where she brings historic towns to life, peoples them with colorful characters, and adds a hint of humor. A California native, she lives in the Gold Rush-era town of Placerville at the foot of the majestic Sierra Nevada Mountains. Her debut novel, A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California, set in the heart of the Gold Country where she lives is currently available. When Keli’s fingers aren’t hovering over the keyboard of her newfangled laptop, she enjoys strolling past stately Victorian houses in her historic town, burying her nose in reference books as she unearths interesting facts to include in her stories, and interacting with other romance readers. Her favorite places to visit are her fictional worlds, the Coach factory outlet store, and Taco Bell. To learn more about her, visit her website

Widow Elenora Watkins is determined to provide for herself and her daughter without relying on anyone else. Can she run a successful business after falling for the competition? Miles Rutledge finds himself willing to do anything to keep Elenora in town. But can he win her heart while putting her out of business?


Is your guy into cars? Mine is.

Judging by the malespeak heard during the fellowship time after church on Sundays, many men have a thing about their vehicles. We have fellows who are into British cars, a guy who’s getting his Cobra back on the road, and Jeep owners who are rock crawling enthusiasts.


Gwynly owns a ’68 MGB roadster he’s had since 1970. His pale yellow sports car, Midge, brings him a lot of pleasure. He likes working on her engine, polishing her until she gleams, and taking her for a spin.

Because I know how much enjoyment Gwynly’s blonde British beauty brings him, I’ve worked to develop an understanding of his bond. I’ll never be as attached to Midge as Gwynly is, but for his sake, I searched for ways to share his interest and found five.

1. Shift my focus. Rather than thinking about how I’d like him to romance me, I’ve realized that if I put his hobbies and interests first—in this case his car—I can romance him.

2. Learn some car talk. Since Gwynly spends upwards of half an hour each Sunday talking with his male friends about cars, he must be as into them as I am into writing. Thus, it’s important that I expand my vocabulary. For example, over dinner recently he mentioned how much better his gas mileage is since his mechanic adjusted Midge’s SUs. That might not mean anything to you, but to the wife of this MG enthusiast that means Lawrie changed the mixture in the carburetors so the “B” is running leaner and cleaner.

3. Wax eloquent about his set of wheels. After Gwynly’s spent hours applying polish and rubbing it off, I run my hand over the shiny surface and tell him how nice Midge looks. If our guys have been hunched under the hood for half a day replacing a part, we can ask them to show us the results of their hard work and thank them for it.

4. Put the brakes on the complaints. There were days early in our marriage when I was jealous of the time Gwynly spent with Midge. I’ll admit that I wasn’t very understanding or supportive. OK, I was downright grumpy. I griped and complained and whined and wheedled because I wanted his time and attention. These days I park my tongue when I’m tempted to moan and groan.

5. Enjoy the ride! Making the effort to connect with our guys by showing genuine interest in their cars can pay off. We can rev their romance engines with a compliment or a word of gratitude about how well they maintain their fleets, fueling their desire to romance us in return. And we can literally enjoy going on rides with our guys. I’ve found Gwynly relaxes, opens up, and converses freely when he’s behind the wheel. Put him in the driver’s seat of his B with the top down and his gal by his side, and the romance shifts into high gear.

Your Turn: Do you compliment your guy on his car and his car care? Do you enjoy going on rides with your guy? Do you know what your guy’s dream car is?

Keli is giving away a copy of A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California. Leave a comment for a chance to win!

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  1. Lindsay Harrel

    Keli, what a cute post!! 🙂

    My husband would like to be into cars, but he doesn’t really have time or money for it right now. He always points out a certain kind of car he wants, but he knows it’s expensive and not practical right now. I wouldn’t mind him getting it later on when we have the money for it, though.

    Right now? We both have cars that are over 10 years old (mine I’ve had for 11 years, and it was 5 years old when I got it!)…but at least they’re paid off! 😛

    • Keli Gwyn


      I think you’re wise not to spend too much on cars. There will be time later on to upgrade if you choose. It’s fun to dream until then, right?

  2. Lisa Jordan

    Keli, thank you for being my guest today. You must have such fun taking rides in Midge with your hubby. And your house…gorgeous!

    My hubby isn’t into cars, but he’s a bigtime fisherman. And with two boys, I could either join them or get left behind, so I chose to join them. Being on the water and spending time with Hubby is so relaxing.

  3. Keli Gwyn


    Thanks so much for hosting me. Gwynly and just returned from a top down drive in the “B.” It’s only 87º, which is cool for this time of year here in the Sierra Foothills. There’s even a gentle breeze, so it was quite pleasant.

    I think it’s neat that you join your fellows on their fishing trips. Do you actually fish, too? What are your favorite kind of fish to catch and prepare?

  4. Carl Gwyn alias "Gwynly"

    Yes Ladies, what my wife says about her taking an interest in my MG is true. She actually has found that she enjoys some of the activities with it, shows, car club adventures, etc., more than she thought she would. For me the important thing is that she is willing to enter my world. Not that Keli has to get her hands greasy, but her understanding some aspects of my interests pays off in our relationship. Who knows when a top down ride on an evening under a gorgeous moon may end at her favorite restaurant with candlelight?

  5. Jaime Wright

    My husband isn’t into cars or drives. He’s a hiker. So does it count that I know what brand of hiking boots he prefers? 🙂

    • Keli Gwyn


      Gwynly saw your comment today, and he was impressed that you know what brand of hiking boots your hiking hubby wears. He said that totally counts. He went on to say that if you know what trails your guy likes to hike, that’s great, too. And what Gwynly thinks would be the best of all would be for you to ask your hubby if you could join him on one of his hikes.

      So there you have it. Guy counsel from my great guy.

  6. Cynthia Herron

    Oh, wow! Loved this post, Keli! (And especially liked “Gwnly’s” take… moonlight, candlelight, restaurants, etc. Ahhh, what all ladies love to hear!

    Might your hubby ever try his hand at writing?

    Thanks, Lisa, for bringing us this fun post!

    • Keli Gwyn


      Gwynly does come up with some great ways to add romance to my life. =)

      While my guy doesn’t aspire to be a writer, he has had a number of articles published in The Science Teacher magazine and our car club’s publication, The MG Driver.

  7. Melissa Tagg

    Okay, so I’m not married, but I hope I can show appropriate interest in whatever my husband is interested in…including cars. 🙂 I love it when you talk about you and Gwynly!

    • Keli Gwyn


      I hope when the Lord brings just the right fellow into your life that he has a flair for romance.

  8. Melody Durant

    This is a great post and I’m sending it to my daughters. Replace ‘car’ with canoes, pets, cooking, livestock, whatever – it’s the same road map when having conversations with your spouse. Wished I’d realized this as a pastors wife for 20 years. Now as a missionary wife we’re TOGETHER 24 hours a day and just how much togetherness should there be? I’m taking this approach today…except I’ll have to talk about jungles, unreached people groups,….

    • Keli Gwyn


      You’re so right. Whatever our guys are into is something we women would be wise to learn to discuss and show an interest in. It might seem silly, but I even prayed that the Lord would help me understand and appreciate Gwynly’s interest in his British beauty. =)

      I think it’s great that you and your husband are serving as missionaries. May the Lord bless your work among those unreached peoples.

  9. Karen Lange

    I love Keli’s wise and fun advice. It’s amazing how we can learn important lessons from cars. 🙂

    • Keli Gwyn


      Who knew that a British sports car could teach this formerly unappreciative wife so much?

  10. Rosalind Haven

    Keli, Not married at this time but my ex’s dream car was a 57 Ford Thunderbird Convertable. We were unable to manage while together raising 6 but he has managed to get one with his 2nd wife. Am glad for him but if I had to choose would still choose my young ladies and gentlemen.

    • Keli Gwyn


      I’s sorry for the tough times you’ve been through, but I’m glad you have those wonderful young ladies and gentleman to love. No car can take the place of beloved children.

  11. Roxanne Sherwood

    Fun post!

    My guy is not into cars so much, but I have learned what his interests are and how I can be involved, which is important to him. He wants time with him, not just the encouragement to pursue hobbies alone. In return, he encourages and enables my writing.

    • Keli Gwyn


      Isn’t it great how appreciation and support beget appreciation and support? Love how that works.


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