Dear Readers, Caryl and I have been good friends for several years now. We met at ACFW national conference and really connected because we’re both Texans and we both write historical novels. I will be a speaker at a mini-conference she’s directing in August in
. It’s the second conference I’ve
taught at that she was the director. And I love her books. Southlake, Texas
Welcome back, Caryl. How did you come up with the idea for this story?
This is a fun story as it was the title that spoke to me while finishing up book six in the series JUST KIN. In a very poignant conversation between Charley and the Texas Ranger Wallace Rusk, the elder tries to explain why he will absolutely not saddle his beloved Rebecca with a cripple who can never give her children.
He knows that she married him because he wore her down. She’d been the love of his life even before he ever met her in person (in book two HEARTS STOLEN), but though she surely loved him, he always knew he was not the love of her life. Now, he told Charley, “She will be at liberty to love.”
This phrase so spoke to my spirit, that I knew Rebecca’s book…her romance…had to be written, and its title would be AT LIBERTY TO LOVE. So basically, I wrote the book for its title! J From there, knowing Rebecca so well—since she was a nine-year-old in book one VOW UNBROKEN—I started with what she would do upon becoming a widow, and started chapter one.
If you were planning a party with Christian authors of contemporary fiction, what six people would you invite and why?
What a great question! Contemporary, huh? Well, let me see…of course every book I’ve read that’s coming to my brain are historicals! Well, there’s Holly Michael, a
author who I love with my heart. She wrote CROOKED LINES that I so enjoyed and has
its sequel coming out this summer, TRUE PATHS. She’s the wife of a dear
Anglican bishop and loves the Lord!
I’d invite DiAne Gates, a fellow Texan who wrote ROPED, a great contemporary book for young adults…I love reading books for the younger set. DiAne is a lovely and wise lady and I enjoy her company as I know all would.
This would be so easy if we were talking historical Christian authors!
So…oh, I know! Tanara McCauley! Her first book is written and sure to come out soon! She is the dearest woman and smart as a whip. A delight to visit and worship with, and I’d know if she came to my party, everyone would enjoy her. She’s that kind of lady.
And speaking of enjoying someone’s company, Amy Lillard! She’s a good friend, and I get a big dose of laughter every chance I get to spend time with her. Amy writes Amish and contemporary novels that make you giggle all the way through. So that’s four.
I know I have so many author friends who write contemporary, yet my mind is drawing such a blank. Plus I know so many more than six, so I’m concerned of hurting someone’s feelings! I want to invite them all. That’s what I’ll do…if it’s alright with you. I’ll just issue an open invitation and make room for everyone!
Ask and ye shall receive. Now let’s do that for a party for Christian authors of historical fiction, what six people would you invite and why?
Whew! Thank you! But will this really be easier or harder?
I’d invite you right off, Lena Dooley because I admire your McKenna’s Daughters series and would love to get to spend an evening socializing and picking your brain! And my good Virginian friend, Carrie Fancett Pagels would get an invitation. She is a wonderful lady who loves the Lord, too. I enjoyed her Civil War books, and the lumberjack series, too.
Sandy Mauck would certainly get an invitation. She’s written her debut novel, MORE THAN SHE DREAMT and will be following it with a sequel this fall I believe. We share a likemindedness in our love of God and praising and worshiping Him. It would be my delight to finally meet
Sandy in person and hug her neck and sing
Mimi Milan, who wrote REBEL IN JERICHO, I met at my first ACFW Conference—met Carrie and you there, too, come to think of it. Anyway, Mimi, a.k.a. Michele Claudio and I were roommates there, and I haven’t got to see her since. She has a sequel coming out soon, and a portion of her books goes to stop human trafficking.
I’d like to meet Cathy Gohlke after recently finishing her novel SECRETS SHE KEPT. I thoroughly enjoyed it, so I’d invite her to come. I’d love discussing how she wove Corrie Ten Boom into the story...what a dear surprise that was for me. Lastly, I’d invite Bodie Thoene because she’s one of my all-time favorite authors of those I’ve read and never met, and it’d be awesome to meet and visit with her, let her take me back to
Jerusalem with her stories. I know I could
learn a thing or four.
Many times, people (and other authors) think you have it made with so many books published. What is your most difficult problem with writing at this time in your career?
I think that would be the juggling required of an Indie author—or hybrid—to market as well as write. Some authors who come out of the gate selling a million books may not have to market, but the majority of us do. I truly thought I had arrived when I sold VOW UNBROKEN to Simon and Schuster, but I still had to do almost all the marketing.
So the biggest problem is that I’m not twins! With the wee bit of success that has come my way, I find it hard making enough time for keeping up with dear readers who mean so much to me…they are the life of my career. I’d hate to think any one of them felt I’d neglected them in any manner.
Then there must be time to market. An author is always marketing to acquire new readers. Writing then is forced to vie with my life for its fair share or when will the new book come out? And all the readers want the next book, right? J
Tell us about the featured book.
AT LIBERTY TO LOVE is a book of surprise and obedience. It’s indicative of how we so often face many of the same things our parents did, a scriptural principle that it happens in real life. Rebecca never dreamed she’d #1 be a widow like her mother, #2 meet another man who was the one…that special one made for her by God to be her soul mate or that, #3 be in the same position as her mother when it came to unequally yoking herself.
When stubbornness made her a widow, Rebecca Baylor Buckmeyer Rusk didn’t know what to do with her life, but the Holy Ghost placed the seed of desire in her heart…the natural longing to be a mother…and an idea of how she might save a parentless child while adding a rich full love to hers again. And what a boon that her sisters in
Francisco happened to have the Mercy House Orphanage!
The plan worked itself out, and against her daddy’s advice and her brothers’ counsel, she decided to make the long journey alone. She’d go to
and adopt herself a baby—or maybe even two. Have a nice visit with her sisters
then return to Texas
to share her life with her children.
Never did she ever consider another man would be any part of that plan.
But as often happens, God’s plans turn out higher than our own. And who wants to miss Him? I mean really, who among us wants to miss anything He has in store?
Marcus Ford was as shocked as she was, too! He’d heard aplenty about the beautiful wife of his bunk partner in the War, serving under General Buckmeyer. And more of her personality and intelligence from the Major Levi Baylor, a good friend and the woman’s brother.
But he never ever either.
Yet there they were, and she wasn’t anything like any woman he’d ever known. Only he blames God and is uninterested in any relationship with a big man in the sky who let his wife and baby girl die in the yellow fever plague of
New Orleans. He gives Him no credit for being
on the same stage as Rebecca, but at the port, she goes south then west, and
his plans to work as a professor will take him east.
No breaks for the widower or the widow.
I enjoyed this being a “mature” romance as both my heroine and hero are in their forties. Haven’t had one of those since book three HOPE REBORN.
Please give us the first page of the book.
“Are you sure about this?”
Rebecca nodded. “Yes, Daddy. I’ve considered every angle and studied long and hard on it. I’m certain, and my mind is made up.”
He closed his eyes as though he couldn’t stand watching her leave. “I hate it.”
A chuckle threatened, but he was being so pathetic. She swallowed the giggle. “I know, but don’t worry. I’ll be back before you know it.”
His lids lifted, then he leaned in a bit and lowered his voice. “You’ve got both Derringers?”
“And you’re wearing the petticoat Laura made you?”
Mother May punched his arm. “Henry, leave her be. She’s a grown woman.”
“Mercy, baby. I hate this.”
“You’ve already said that, Daddy.”
Movement caught her eye. The driver hustled from the stage’s boot up to the front then climbed aboard next to the guard. “Looks like he’s ready to go, and that I’m his only hold-up.”
“Don’t mind him.”
She reached up and kissed his cheek then hugged Mother May. “I love you both.”
More hugs and kisses followed. One each for her to pass along to all the west coast clan. She thought they might never stop, but soon found herself waving from her window until the dust cloud blocked her view.
Hard even for her to believe it, but there she was. Really doing it. A big part of her heart remained on the boardwalk in front of the Donoho with her parents.
Except they weren’t, not really. Neither one of them.
Another wonderful start to one of your books, Caryl. How can readers find you on the Internet?
All Books: http://tinyurl.com/CarylsAmazonPage
to Love: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01EQC60E2
Author Pages: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/caryl-mcadoo
Website: http://www.CarylMcAdoo.com (All First Chapters are offered here)
Newsletter: http://carylmcadoo.com/sign-up-to-the-caryler/ (Get all the latest news FREE books and sales!)
Reviewer?: http://carylmcadoo.com/christian-evaluaters/ (Join Caryl’s Street Team!)
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_1hQx6UZbWi3OYwmKKxh6Q (hear Caryl sing new songs the Lord gave her! J)
Thank you, Caryl, for visiting us again today and sharing your new book with us. I'm eagerly awaiting my copy.
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