Sunday Dinner with Caryl McAdoo

Sunday Dinner

For today’s Sunday Dinner, I invited Caryl McAdoo. Christian author Caryl McAdoo loves God and family, including 27 grandsugars, then writing stories and singing new songs. She and Ron, 55 yeas married, live in Clarksville, Texas—waiting.

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 so appreciate the dinner invitation, Danielle! It’s always nice eating someone else’s cooking!

I think that I milk two goats every day is very interesting. I only milk in the evening so I get about a half-gallon a day! The milk is sweet and delicious! I drank it alone the first ten days while Ron finished up the store-bought milk (and made sure I didn’t perish 😊) then he had his first glass. I asked, “What do you think?” He said, “I can’t tell the difference!” Too cool!

Can you tell us about your latest novel?

My latest novel SETTLERS & TOFFS is available now for pre-order and debuts August 23rd! It’s book two after WAGONS WEST in my New Beginnings Family Saga.

Here’s the jacket copy:

New and old collide in SETTLERS & TOFFS as Ambrose Lee and Blaire build a hotel and a new life together with a remnant from the wagon train he captained in ’49. Settling in Auburn, California, they deal with the gold rush boom town’s growing pangs while the next Earl of Farnsworth, William Cromwell, voyages home to England with his intended Clara and her family. Though separated by a country and an ocean, troubles and trials plague them all. Revisit old friends from Book One WAGONS WEST and meet new ones in this second novel of the New Beginnings Family Saga! This story has been previously published on Kindle Vella with the same title as episodes for Season Two. Season Three, ANSWERING THE CALL episodes are now available at Kindle Vella now.

Why did you choose to write a story set in three different locations?

Many of my novels have two or three storylines running at the same time. As I said, SETTLERS & TOFFS is book two and a family saga, so it follows the characters from book one, WAGONS WEST, which is an epic wagon train story set in 1849 with many diverse folks! One happened to be a young English nobleman called Willie posing as a servant to his valet so he could taste a normal life.

After he falls in love with a young lady traveling along the Oregon/California Trail, too, Clara Spencer, he gets called home for a family emergency. He invites her and her family (a married brother, Oscar, who’s an artist, and younger sister Stella) to come along. He’s certain he can get Oscar a lot of work painting portraits. So one storyline is set in London and the Farnsworth Estate close by in the country.

The wagon master, Ambrose Lee, and several of the pioneers who he guided safely to the gold fields of California decided to settle the beautiful boom town of Auburn. One storyline follows those families with letters being written to and from England as Blaire Beechy’s daughter Adeline had married Oscar while on the trail.

And then the third setting is another wagon train, this time led by Emmerson Pierce, the man who served as Ambrose’s scout in book one (WAGON’S WEST in 1849). I love wagon train stories!

Have you lived in or visited either California and in London? Can you tell us about it?

I was born in California, but in Long Beach near LA in the southern part. We drove through Auburn just a few years ago when we decided to drive the Oregon Trail to see the terrain and uncover some awesome facts researching along the way. Awesome trip!! I’ve only been to England through the Downton Abbey series which I’ve watched multiple times!

What research was required to set a book in either place in 1850?

I’ve written more than ten books with covered wagons but learn something new every time I do! As far as the mid-1800s, I’ve probably written forty books so through them , my research has been extensive. Mostly about the trades of the day—blacksmiths, lawmen, cobblers, laundrymen, but toys and games and food dishes.

I wasn’t a history buff in high school. It was my least favorite subject, but I love history now. Texas history best of all!

What does a day in the life of one of your characters look like?

Rising at dawn, preparing breakfast over a campfire, cleaning dishes after with minimum amount of water (if any) and getting ready for dinner (what lunch was called in 1850s) before packing everything back up in anticipation of the wagon master hollering, “Wagons Ho!”

Walking about 13-20 miles each day with a short dinner break, taking a turn drovering oxen, unpack tents and bed covers, chairs, dishes, etc., collecting firewood and cooking supper over a campfire, cleaning dishes again, feeding and watering livestock, lay weary bones down.

Days of pioneers on the Oregon/California Trail were labor intensive, wrought with dangers, troubles, and emotional hardships. We have romanticized them in our present day thinking, but those people were such heroes!

Were resources easy or difficult to find on these topics? Do you have a favorite resource?

I know the research that was spent before computers because the first book we wrote was way back then! Hours up[on countless hours were spent at the library searching for information! Authors now are so spoiled with Google and Wikipedia! Nothing you want to know is hard to find. I’m reminded of a verse in the Bible regarding the endtimes . . . Daniel 12:4 “But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.”

What is one piece of your research that you couldn’t include in the book, but wish readers could know?

Nothing comes to mind! If it’s interesting, it’s included!

Do you have another book in the works? What can you tell us about that book?

Always! There’s always another book in the works! Otherwise, how could I ever get to them all? I’m working on TEXAS TIMES, getting it ready for its September 5th debut day! There’s formatting to finish and covers to approve!

I’m also uploading episodes to my Kindle Vella Season Three title ANSWERING THE CALL which means four new episodes a month—at least that is my goal 😊 These episodes turn into novels the year after they’re written just as SETTLERS & TOFFS from Season Two is now!

Of course author write, and right now I write about a thousand words a day on THE GINGERS LOVE THEIR MYRRH. God willing, it will launch in January 2024 as book one in a new annual multi-author collection I’m organizing called “Grandmothers Know Best”! I’m really looking forward to it!

Is there anything else you’d like readers to know?

I just want to encourage every one of the readers to hold fast to the hope found in Christ! He is altogether trustworthy and faithful to supply your every need and get you through every trail and heartache that comes your way! He is the answer to every question and the One Who loves you unconditionally without measure forever! He’s happy to carry your burdens and keep your head above water when you feel like you’re drowning. He is my all and all and has delivered me from ALL fear and worry, giving me the most wonderful life filled with peace an joy and too many blessings to count!

The afternoon is slipping away, so we have to draw the stories to an end. Caryl, thank you for joining us today!

If readers would like to purchase a copy of SETTLERS & TOFFS where might they be able to do so? 

It’s available on Amazon for eBook pre-order now here. It will debut on August 23rd and soon be available in paperback and audio formats!

If readers would like to learn about you or your other books, how might they find you online?

I am all over the internet! Here’s some places to find me!

Amazon | BookBub | Simon & Schuster | Website | Newsletter | YouTube | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads | Pinterest | LinkedIn | Alignable | AllAuthor

Danielle, again, thank you so much for having me! 😊 Blessings!

Over Sunday Dinner next week, we’ll hear from author AJ Skelly! See you then!

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