Read an excerpt from The Sparrow
Visit Kristy McCaffrey's web site
About Kristy McCaffrey
Kristy McCaffrey has been writing since she was very young, but it wasn't until she was a stay-at-home mom that she considered becoming published. A fascination with science led her to earn two engineering degrees -- she did her undergraduate work at Arizona State University and her graduate studies at the University of Pittsburgh -- but storytelling was always her favorite hobby. Born and raised in Arizona, and recently returned after a 20 year absence in Pittsburgh, she writes Old West romances to capture the landscapes that were such a big part of her childhood. Her first novel The Wren was a CAPA winner for best new author traditional, a Texas Gold finalist, and a HOLT Medallion finalist for best first book. She lives in Scottsdale, Arizona with her husband, four children, and two chocolate labs, Ranger and Lily.
Also by Kristy McCaffrey
THE WREN ~ Wings of the West Series, Book 1
THE DOVE ~ Wings of the West Series, Book 2
An Interview with Kristy McCaffrey
By Holly Hewson for The Romance Studio
HH: Kristy, thank you for talking with us at TRS! Your featured book is The Sparrow and it's the third in your Wings of the West series. Where did the idea for this series come from?
KM: The original idea came to me in high school. I saw a girl returning to a ranch and there were two brothers. That was about it initially. Years later, when I was a young mom, I took that premise and grew it into the first book The Wren. As I wrote it the other stories naturally unfolded in my mind.
HH: How did The Wren and The Dove kick it off?
KM: In The Wren Molly Hart returns to her Texas homestead after living as a Comanche captive for ten years. She encounters Texas Ranger Matt Ranger, whom she knew as a child. He had thought her dead all these years. Together they attempt to solve the mystery around the attack on her ranch and her subsequent abduction, and in the process come to realize that their home is with each other.
In The Dove Matt's brother, Logan, has gone to Las Vegas, New Mexico to find Claire Waters, Molly's friend in The Wren. Claire lives in a brothel run by her mama but secretly wishes to be a doctor. Logan agrees to help her find her mama, who has recently disappeared. But as they uncover the truth, which involves Logan's past as well, they must decide if they can overcome the many obstacles for a life together.
HH: How does The Sparrow continue it?
KM: In The Sparrow Emma Hart, Molly's younger sister, has gone to the Grand Canyon to attempt a daring traverse down the Colorado River on a wooden dory. Matt's buddy, Texas Ranger Nathan Blackmore, has tracked her down and ultimately decides to aid her in her quest. But Emma is gifted with a second sight -- this is part of the reason she's come to Grand Canyon -- and she soon learns that Nathan doesn't believe in parlor tricks, as he calls them. As Emma's abilities grow and she undergoes a shamanic initiation, Nathan begins to realize there is more to the world than can be seen. He also realizes that a life without Emma is no life at all.
HH: What do you like best about Emma and why will readers relate to her?
KM: Emma is young and confused by her gift, but in that confusion she displays courage in attempting such an outlandish trek through the Grand Canyon. I think everyone has faced that in their life -- moving toward something that compels you but not understanding why. Only at the end of the journey can you see the good and the bad steps. That's how we grow and learn.
HH: What do you like best about Nathan and why will readers love him?
KM: Nathan is a man carrying deep regret inside (regarding the death of his father) and he made a decision long ago not to live in a world of faith. He's a typical alpha male but by the end of the story has softened considerably. Your basic romance hero, but I hope I've infused some humor into him.
HH: What draws today's readers to the romance genre in your opinion?
KM: Certainly entertainment, first and foremost. Romance novels are fun to read. I do a great deal of research for my books, as many authors do, so it's a wonderful way to be immersed in another place and time. But I also think there's a deeper psychological pull. Stories help us to learn more about ourselves, and for women, participating in a fictional romantic relationship can often strengthen their own feelings about relationships. I think writers have an obligation to consider the journey they're presenting, and that, while the characters may undergo hardships and make bad decisions, there should always be an uplifting ending. This is the definition of romances and I believe that's why people read them. Hope is a powerful emotion and should always be nurtured.
HH: What else do you have in store for lucky readers?
KM: I'm currently working on the fourth book in the series, The Blackbird. It features Bounty Hunter Cale Walker who has gone to Arizona Territory to help Tess Carlisle locate her father, Cale's mentor. I'm a slow writer and like to spend time immersing myself in different aspects of the story. The theme for this story is healing. How does someone heal themself after a trauma? But more importantly, when does healing need to end and life begin again? I start with these ideas but as the story unfolds I certainly discover more. This one will feature the Apache Indians so I've been researching them in depth.
I've also got a general outline for a fifth book, The Bluebird. It would feature Molly Rose Simms, Molly Hart's niece, as she travels to Creede, Colorado to find her brother. There she'll meet Jake McKenna. Creede was a mining town so I envision weaving that into the story.
HH: What are you reading at the moment?
KM: I mostly read non-fiction. On my nightstand at the moment --
Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype by Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes. It's a wonderful work on the psychology of women. I've read it before but am re-reading sections again.
Transcendence: Healing and Transformation Through Transcendental Meditation by Dr. Norman E. Rosenthal. I try to meditate everyday but am always looking for ways to refine it.
Dog Sense: How the New Science of Dog Behavior Can Make You A Better Friend to Your Pet by John Bradshaw. I'm a big dog lover and this is loaded with interesting info.
HH: Where is your favorite place to shop for books?
KM: The local Barnes and Noble is great for browsing but most of my shopping is done online.
HH: Any special plans for the holidays this year?
KM: My husband and I like to take our four kids skiing every year and the week after Christmas is the best time to get away for several days. We’ll be driving to Taos, New Mexico. My husband and kids snowboard but I stick to skis since I really stink on a snowboard. We’ll enjoy the snow and see my sister since she works ski patrol at the Taos Ski Resort. My parents are coming too, so it’s a fun time with everyone all together.
HH: Thank you!