May I first thank you so much for having me? I appreciate the opportunity to visit, and look forward to it! I suppose there is always a story behind every book, and this is true of VOW UNBROKEN. Mary Sue Seymour, my agent though not at the time, said that if I’d write a historical Christian romance set in the 1800’s, she would sell it. I started almost immediately and sent it to her nine weeks later in July. She signed me to representation in August and sold it to Howard Books in October! We met at a small East Texas conference, and guess what Mary Sue’s maiden name was - - - McADOO!
Which character in your new release most interested you while you wrote? Why?
This would be sweet Susannah. As the pages piled up in my manuscript, Sue became more and more a part of me, perhaps more than any other character I’ve ever written. Saying that, in one way is telling a bit on myself, because I gave her some of my own faults. She’s stubborn, opinionated, outspoken, and likes things done her way. However, at the same time, she’s strong and passionate, and loves God with her whole heart and is willing to do whatever it takes to be obedient to Him. We differ in that she believes the tragedy of loosing her young husband is God’s punishment for her not honoring her father, and praise God my young husband has grown old with me! Of course, I had my daddy’s blessing, too. She and I both got married at 18 and married our school sweetheart. His death left her stranded on the hard Texas prairie pregnant and with an orphaned five-year-old nephew to rear. She rises to what God requires of her and is willing to sacrifice her own happiness to serve Him well.
If you were a style of music, what style would you be?
My name, pronounced carol, means ‘joyful song’. I’ve always loved music, but in the Charismatic move of the seventies, I discovered praise and worship music that took me straight into the throne room of God and there was nothing I had ever experienced in my life to compare with being in His manifest presence. It’s hard for me to choose between praise and worship, because I’m loud and happy and love to dance and sing joyfully in praise. However, if I have to choose, I’d going to say worship. We enter His gates with thanksgiving, His courts with praise, but it is worship that grants us access into the Holy of Holies where He holds on us and loves on us and meets our every need. I love to be in His presence more than anything, it’s what I desire!
Your enthusiasm is catching. :) What is your favorite season of the year?
Spring is my favorite season by far. I love it because everything that’s looked dead and bleak breaks forth with new life which appears as green everywhere, tiny leaves on the barren tree branches begin to soften their hardness, grasses and clovers cover the browned harsh stubble left from fall, flowers grow green then bud with their lovely colorful flowers. I love the warmth after it’s been so cold for so long. Green has been my favorite color since I was a little girl. Sometime in my forties, I just decided to go with it—like some older women go with purple or red—I went with green, my clothes, furniture, walls, sunglasses, brushes, dishes, canisters, bedding, roofs, cars, and need I continue? J Once my husband asked, “Caryl, how long are you going to stay on the green kick?” I was a bit taken aback, I thought he should’ve known. The answer seemed perfectly clear to me, and he’s a very wise man. “Until I die, Ron, and I know if I go by way of the grave, you’ll get me a green casket.”
Love, love, love that reasoning! Green's a favorite of mine too. And did you know it's the easiest color on the eyes? What do you like most about the area where you live and/or grew up?
Sometimes, I feel almost cheated that I wasn’t born in Texas so I could claim I’m a native of this great state. But at least Daddy and Mama came before my first birthday and I’ve never known another home and I love this Lone Star State! I grew up in the northwest outskirts of Dallas and had horses, dogs, and cats. At twelve, we moved to Irving, a suburb of Big D, and lived ‘in the city’ so my horses had to go. My husband had been in Irving since he was two and we married right out of his school and had all our babies in Irving and most our 14 grandsugars were also born in Irving. After fifty-five years, God led us to the far northeast corner of Texas to Red River County. It’s the same land my heroine lived on back in 1832. A beautiful nine hundred and sixteen acres a few miles south of Clarksville, the county seat, way back in the woods is my home. I love Texas for her weather, if you don’t like it one day, not a problem, it can change by fifty or sixty degrees tomorrow. I love that Texas has four distinct three-month seasons. I am proud of our conservative government in Texas and that we remain a state that stands against murdering the unborn. If I got to be czar, we’d even be a lot more conservative and anyone who didn’t like it could vote with their feet and move right out! I know God loves Texas, He blesses us because we love and bless Israel, too! I like everything about TEXAS!
What is a favorite memory from your childhood?
I never remember a time when I wasn’t absolutely goo-goo-gah-gah over horses. When I was nine years old, Daddy drove me what seemed a long way to a pony ranch and bought me a tiny little silver dappled gray Shetland colt. He rode home in the back seat with me on my lap. Twinkle Toes and I were very best friends and by the time I could ride him--had to wait almost two years--I was too big for him and Daddy bought me a Morgan, but I never had a better friend as a child than my Twink.
I love any principal found in the Word, and God’s given us such an awesome manual for life. The value of forgiveness, in VOW UNBROKEN, Sue comes to realize she must forgive herself; the significance of trusting Him—there’s no fear, NO THING to be afraid of—if you believe that He is on the throne and in control and cares about every detail of your life. Honoring your parents is a Truth in VOW UNBROKEN. Being a guardian of the Truth so glorifies God and I love to share and show in my stories that there is never, ever any situation that warrants telling an untruth. Loving God with your whole heart, soul, and mind; having no other gods—and that isn’t always a little wood, stone, or golden image, it can be anything we esteem more than our Creator. Oh, and the importance of watching what we say. Our words are so powerful and rush to our future ahead of us. It’s so important to realize the power in our tongue and every word that comes out of our mouths. Have I mentioned obedience? Loving everyone unconditionally? They will know we are Christians by our love.
Share a verse or Scripture passage with us that is special to you. (and why it's special)
“And they overcame him by the Blood of the Lamb, and by the Word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.” Revelation 12:11 (KJV) I believe that I will see Him come again in the sky and the end of this age in my lifetime. I believe that His Church will go through the horrible days of tribulation such as the world has never known. But I will not fear, neither stumble or fall or doubt the victory we’ll celebrate in the end when He appears to shorten those days for the sake of the elect. I draw strength from this scripture. Nothing is more powerful than the shed red Blood of God’s perfect Lamb, and He IS the Word of our testimony. My grandson, the youngest of the four we’ve reared these past eleven years, was born on December 11th, and came home from the hospital to me and O’Pa, so I’ve claimed this as his scripture 12:11, and God gave me a wonderful happy song that can be sung as a round, “We Shall Overcome!”
When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?
I don’t know exactly when HEART STOLEN will be released. Sue’s fourteen year old nephew Levi in VOW UNBROKEN has grown up and at twenty-six serves under the first president of the Republic, Sam Houston, as a Texas Ranger. He rescues a hometown girl from the Comanche and promises to get her home. I also love writing for mid-grade, so it might be that STARFISH PRIME, book one of The King’s Highway trilogy and a dystopia of the end times might beat the next Lone Star Novel to release. God knows, but He hasn’t told me.
Thanks for joining us, Caryl!
To buy the book:
Barnes and Noble
Connect with Caryl here:
Pinterest - http://www.pinterest.com/gramilady
LinkedIn - http://www.linkedIn.com/CarylMcAdoo
Caryl is giving away a copy of Vow Unbroken. The giveaway is only available to U.S. addresses.
To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment along with your email address. You may enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post.