Thursday, October 6, 2016

The Bedwarmer's Son: Review and Giveaway

If you're checking in from #write31days, I'll be back tomorrow writing on contentment. Today, I'm reviewing a book on the Celebrate Lit book tour.
The Bedwarmer's Son is about a black man who killed a white man in the 1920s. That in itself is a recipe for disaster; however, the plot twist gets real because it is his own brother. In this story that goes back and forth between the 1920s and the antebellum South, we are introduced to characters who are warm, inviting, and human... with all the flaws one would expect from humans.
I'll be honest, it took me a little while to get into this book, and at times it was difficult to follow because the story would switch from era to era without much warning. As Billy tells his story to Alice from his jail cell, he also offers up the story of Jasmine, the bedwarmer, and her master in the slave days of the South.
At times, it appears there are some inconsistencies within the story.  I'm not sure a female lawyer would have been common in the 1920s; however, after some research, I found that the first female lawyer was admitted to the Georgia bar in 1916, which amazes me, because women couldn't even vote then! (It's always good when you learn something factual from a fictional book).
Overall, this book is a good read, with enough historical tension because of the two time periods to keep the reader connected. I'd recommend it if you like Southern fiction, especially with a historical twist.
I did receive free access to an electronic copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

About the Book

Click to purchase
What if Abel had killed Cain? But there was no jury of his peers….
In 1928 Georgia, a black man who kills a white man is automatically guilty, but the bedwarmer’s son, an ex-slave, is no normal black man. Once his lily-white lawyer lady learns the truth, everything changes. Can she save him from swinging?
Will the bedwarmer murder the one she’s been bought to serve?
From the antebellum South, come travel the dusty trails of Jim Crowe Dalton, Georgia with slave and master, saint and sinner. See if God is really big enough, if He truly cares about His children. McAdoo has done it again, this time in a brand new way. A delightful morsel for the palates of Christian readers world round.

About the Author

Caryl, praying her story gives God glory, loves writing for Christian genres–historical and contemporary romance, Biblical fiction, and mid-grade especially. In 2014, Simon and Schuster debuted VOW UNBROKEN, a historical Christian romance set in 1832 Texas, and Caryl followed with three additional novels. In April, LADY LUCK’S A LOSER (contemporary, mature, inspirational romance); September’s debut, HEARTS STOLEN (set in 1839-1844), book two of her historical Christian Texas Romances–a #1 Amazon Best-seller; and in November, A LITTLE LOWER THAN THE ANGELS, volume one of her new Biblical fiction series, The Generations–also an Amazon #1 Best-seller.
In 2008, her high school sweetheart-husband Ron moved her to the woods of Red River County. Caryl counts four children and sixteen grandsugars life’s biggest blessings believing all good things come from God. Praying her story gives God glory, she hopes each one ministers His love, mercy, and grace to its readers. She and Ron live in Clarksville, Texas with two grandsons, Christian and Benjamen.

Guest Post from Caryl McAdoo

The Bedwarmer’s Son, my twenty-eighth title to be published, is different from any of my books to date, offering two complete love stories from two eras a generation apart.
How I came to write it is a very different story, too!
You see, I have a contemporary book in progress based loosely on the television show The Voice, but instead of the big new singer, my imagined program The Pitch is looking for the next big author! I started it in November 2013, but abandoned its 35,000 words shortly after Vow Unbroken debuted in March from Simon and Schuster.
My characters in The Pitch—three teams of authors and agents—attend writers’ conferences all over the country looking for the next great American novel with the voters being the readers across the country. For my story, I needed lots of titles, a few with skeleton story premises to make it work.
The Bedwarmer’s Son was one of those God gave me.
But it refused to be left there as just a title. The intriguing title demanded to be written.
And so, now I’m blessed that CelebrateLit is hosting a blog tour to celebrate its September release!
Though definitely a historical, this novel is not in my Texas Romance family saga series, but is a ‘companion’ book to it. My readers will remember four-year-old Charley from Hearts Stolen, book two…then him grown up and the hero of book six Just Kin. Well, in The Bedwarmer’s Son, readers meet Charley’s son and grandson, minor characters in a chapter or two.
The story opens in 1928 where the title character, William “Billy” Sinclair II is on trial for the murder of his white half-brother Jamison. Alice Parmalee, his lawyer, finds the old man’s grandson, William “Will” Robert Sinclair IV quite handsome, good-hearted and generous.
In explaining to Alice why he killed his brother, Billy goes back to the story of his mother, the ‘owned’ bedwarmer, Jasmine. Of course, every time he starts, I break into the young slave girl’s point of view, and readers find themselves back in the mid-1800’s. I love her spunk and think you will, too.
I especially love The Bedwarmer’s Son’s opening line: “He sold us right before he married that fancy lady from England, then bought us back the next Spring.” It’s set on the fictitious Three Springs plantation near Dalton, Georgia.
In my story, I used a word that in my growing up was considered on the same level as a cuss word. I would have had my mouth washed out for saying it. So conflicted, I asked for much counsel, and everyone agreed that for the story’s time period—to portray it correctly—it was necessary…but still hard for this lady.
On the other hand, I so enjoyed going back and forth between the two stories. There’s plenty of period racial tension—so common to the day—with the KKK unhappy about the pretty white attorney defending the old black man who’s guilty simply because his victim’s skin was white.
Of course, being a Christian novel, he and his grandson trust God and believe the Almighty sent Alice—an atheist who’s been taught putting any faith in an invisible being is nothing more than a fool’s errand. She’s been reared by a famous black attorney who volunteered to take Billy’s case.
At the end of the story, when Billy’s trial is over, I think readers may be cheering. I hope so.
I pray Jasmine’s and Alice’s journey will cause readers to draw closer to the Lord, while others might reconsider a few of the things they’ve been comfortable believing. That Holy Spirit will use this story to draw them deeper into their own relationship with our Awesome God.
Looking back, I can see God’s hand all over this story and its creation and cover…the whole nine yards. I can’t begin to imagine all the ways He will used it, but am convinced that use it, He will! I always say I am blessed and highly favored, and He keeps on creating the fruit of my lips!
I love story and the cover of The Bedwarmer’s Son (designed by Ruthie Madison Derby) that displays both dejection and hope, and melds the two historic periods. God has indeed blessed me and showered His favor over me. I pray it will touch your hearts.
Oh, and as an aside I spoke with Sandy Barela about over a coffee chat, I wrote Lady Luck’s A Loser back in 2001 long before The Batchelor ever hit TV. My story is a mature inspirational romance about a wealthy man inviting nine women to come live at his bed and breakfast—under the guise of hiring a manager for it—in order to choose a wife.
Hopefully if The Pitch becomes a TV reality show, I’ll get proper credit, considering this idea is published here and copyrighted in my doing it! 🙂 Laaaa!

Blog Stops

September 27: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS
September 28: Karen’s Krayons
September 30: Simple Harvest Reads
October 2: Artistic Nobody
October 3: The Power of Words
October 5: Bigreadersite
October 7: Once Upon A Time
October 8: Bukwurmzzz
October 9: Under His Wings
October 10: Mary Hake


To celebrate her tour, Caryl is giving away all seven of her Texas Romance ebooks to a lucky winner! Click here to enter:


  1. Thank you, Lauren for participating in my blog tour for The Bedwarmer's Son and for your review! I was a bit perplexed because I didn't remember mentioning any buses in the story, but I just went back to control F search for one, and there's only bushes, business, and busy for "bus"...I wonder if you misread bushes (it's when talking about the KKK) I did go ahead and looked it up out of curiosity, and by 1930, there were 100 bus lines including Greyhound! Billy's story is set in 1928, so it'd be safe to use a bus! :) Also, you mentioned women lawyers. It was in 1928 that the first female attorney was appointed and confirmed as a federal judge, (in Ohio if I remember right) so while there weren't NEARLY as many as men...a woman attorney wasn't rare by any means :)

    I love the historical research, but some things, I don't THINK to check the dates, so I always appreciate questions. In book one of my historical series, it's 1832 and I'd mentioned 'snake oil salesmen. One of my editors pointed out they weren't known in US until after 1849! :) Who would've thunk it? :) Blessings! And thanks again! <3

    1. Thanks for getting back to me. I apologize; the comment about a bus was from another book I'm reading. And after researching, I found that the first female lawyer was admitted to the Georgia bar in 1916... before women could even vote! You'll see I've adjusted my review as such. Thanks!

  2. Wow, thank you! I didn't expect you to change your review at all. Enjoyed figuring the mystery out :) Blessings!

  3. Lauren, thank you for sharing your thoughts.