For today’s Sunday Dinner, I invited Cathy McDavid. NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Cathy McDavid is living her dream penning heart-stopping thrillers for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense and heart-touching family dramas for their Heartwarming line.
Sunday Dinner is a traditional (noon) meal served after church on Sundays. Whole families, including extended family, would gather over a large meal to celebrate a day of rest. Multiple cultures enjoy this Sunday Dinner tradition. In my experience, I know it from both my Midwestern farm family as well as my Italian-American family. Now, I’d like to bring Sunday Dinner virtually to you. So, pull up a chair as we invite various guests to join us each week!
Without further ado, please tell us something interesting readers would enjoy learning about you.
I really have lived the cowboy lifestyle for most of my life, getting my first horse when I was a youngster and having them up until a few years ago. Nothing like walking out your back door to the barn and petting a velvety nose. Or some feathers and wiry hair.
While my kids were growing up, we had not just horses and the usual cats and dogs, I also kept a flock of around twenty-five hens (including one resident rooster), adopted a couple of rescue goats and had a pet potbellied pig named Queenie. She lived on the back porch in her own house, built by my stepdad, and had her personal wading pool. Queenie was very smart and knew a half-dozen tricks. She enjoyed going on walks with me around the neighborhood with would follow along like a dog. And also like a dog, she loved belly rubs, flopping over onto her back and begging for them. Every night after dinner, she waited outside the kitchen door for leftover, which I delivered. Her only bad habit was knocking over the barrels of horse grain or chicken feed and gorging herself.
Can you tell us about your latest novel?
Her Surprise Cowboy Groom is book four and the last installment in my Wishing Well Springs series.
An instant family…Could change her plans!
Ambitious wedding dress designer Laurel Montgomery can’t afford to be distracted…especially not by easygoing cowboy Max Maxwell. Wrangling his three-year-old twin daughters, a rambunctious puppy and a fledgling business, Max has his hands full, too. But he also knows the value of going for ice cream and fishing with his girls. Can he show Laurel there are more important things than making it big—like love and family?
Why did you choose to write a story set on a ranch?
Cowboy and ranch stories are my favorites to write, mostly because I lived the life and think cowboy heroes are the best. And since I lived on a small ranch for over twenty years, it’s a story setting I’m very familiar with and love. There’s something very appealing about the great outdoors. It can be adventurous and exciting and charming, too.
What kind of ranching is done in your story?
Wishing Well Springs was once a thriving horse ranch, the largest in the state. When the heroine’s grandparents went into dept and lost the business fifteen years ago, the ranch was sold off acre by acre. It was the heroine’s idea to turn the remaining house, barn, and few acres into a wedding venue. She and her business partner brother keep the cowboy and ranching spirit alive by giving carriage rides to excited brides the happy couples.
Have you been to a rodeo? What are they like and how did you incorporate it into your story?
I’ve been to plenty of rodeos, from the time I was just a kid, and love them. My characters are often rodeo competitors, current or retired. Like so many live sporting events, they are fast-paced and exciting with the crowds going wild. The dangerous events, like bull and bronc riding, are thrilling. The skill events, roping especially, amaze me. I love that women are no longer restricted to just barrel racing and are competing in breakaway roping and team roping. Go girl power. I find writing rodeo scenes, when my characters are competing, to be incredibly challenging. While I’ve tried barrel racing and roping, I’ve never ridden a bull or wrestled a calf, so I’ve relied on interviewing rodeo competitors for my research.
Your story is about a wedding barn. Can you tell us more about them and how the characters created one?
I was inspired to set my series in a wedding barn ranch after attending a friend’s nuptials at a charming wedding barn and western town. While watching the couple exchange vows, I was mentally creating stories. Since I knew I wanted two to four books in the series, I had to come up with a reason for my characters to turn the family ranch into a rustic wedding venue. Desperation seemed like a good motive, so I gave them financial hardships. But why a wedding barn? That part was easy. I made the heroine of my book a wedding fashion designer and her brother an architect. Together, they formed the perfect team.
Were resources easy or difficult to find on these topics? Do you have a favorite resource?
Like I said, I was inspired by attending friend’s wedding. Turns out, there are several wedding barns in my area, so I visited one of them as well. Mostly, I did a lot of research online. There are some gorgeous ones out there. Funny, just recently, an in-law of mine formed a business partnership with a stunning wedding barn back east that is very much like what I always imagined Wishing Well Springs to look like. They even give carriage rides. Wish I’d had that resource while I was writing the book.
What is one piece of your research that you couldn’t include in the book, but wish readers could know?
I don’t really have one specific piece of research. Since my heroine is a wedding dress designer, I did a lot of research on fashion and the fashion industry. I wound up learning much more than I needed for the book. Maybe I can use it somewhere down the road in a future book.
Do you have another book in the works? What can you tell us about that book?
My next book, Mountain Storm Survival, will be available October 24, 2023, and is a Love Inspired Suspense. Here’s a brief blurb:
Their horses running off during a freak thunderstorm in Arizona’s Superstition Mountains is only the beginning of trouble for Rand and Kate. He doesn’t like or trust her for the part she played in the rodeo accident that ruined his career and left him at risk of ever walking again. The fact she paid dearly for her actions makes no difference. Forgiving hasn’t been easy for Rand. But he has no choice except to put their differences aside and work with Kate. If not, they won’t escape alive.
Is there anything else you’d like readers to know?
I just agreed to write another Love Inspired Suspense for their Cold Case collection (my first Cold Case book) and two new books for Heartwarming. This series, called The Rocking Chair Ranch, takes place on a ranch that is converted into a community for independent living elderly people. The stories will be both dramatic and, at time, lighthearted. And, of course, lots of romance.
The afternoon is slipping away, so we have to draw the stories to an end. Cathy, thank you for joining us today!
If readers would like to purchase a copy of Her Surprise Cowboy Groom, where might they be able to do so?
Her Surprise Cowboy Groom is available at most online book vendors such as Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Apple, Kobo, and always at www.harlequin.com
If readers would like to learn about you or your other books, how might they find you online?
I love connecting with readers. You can find me online at: cathymcdavid.com or Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.
Over Sunday Dinner next week author Donna Schlachter will be joining us. See you then!