Remaining true to our annual tradition, the summer of 1996, my friend Shirley and I loaded the back of my Jeep and headed to a cabin in Northern Arizona. I would write and she would work on her music. That year, however, we encountered a big problem. No, it wasn’t a bear on the trail, the squirrels in the attic, the midnight mice, or a skunk on the porch.
Our two-day getaway to the cabin swallowed a Saturday. Saturday night was DR. QUINN, MEDICINE WOMAN night, and the modest cabin didn’t allow for TV viewing.
Don’t get me wrong—Shirley and I are all about retreating from noise, the hectic pace of small town life, and breathing in the pine-scented tranquility the mountains offer, but miss viewing Dr. Quinn (Jane Seymour) and Sully (Joe Lando) in “real time?” No way!
We had to find a place with good television reception. The nearest town was about thirty miles away. Never mind that we’d be driving back to the cabin in the dark, in the land of roaming bears and deer and elk.
This was before televisions lined the walls of most eateries. Where, oh where, could we go to catch up with the unstoppable Dr. Michaela “Mike” Quinn and mountain man Bryon Sully? Department stores that sold televisions? Sports bars? Uh, not the kind of shows they broadcast.
Ah ha! Hospital rooms have televisions. Yep. Off we went to the hospital to search for an empty room with a TV. With no time to spare, we settled into the outpatient waiting room, and were swept away into historic Colorado Springs with the beloved cast of DR. QUINN, MEDICINE WOMAN.
Yes, it was a dreary day when that show was cancelled. But fast forward to 2012. I’m a historical novelist, writing Old West fiction for WaterBrook Press. I’m still fascinated with the role of female physicians in the 1800’s. It’s no wonder then that Colorado doctor, Susan Anderson known as Doc Susie, serves as my “real life” character in The Bride Wore Blue, Book Three in The Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek Series.
Headed toward a fresh start but tethered by her past,
Vivian longs to break free, to find forgiveness and love.
At last, the sisters are reunited! The youngest Sinclair, the family “baby,” is moving from Maine to Cripple Creek, Colorado and joining Kat, Nell, and Ida. But Vivian is a young woman with a will of her own, and made some decisions back in Portland that have begun to haunt her. Will she be able to live up to the expectations of her three perfect and now happily-settled sisters?
The sisters warmly welcome Vivian to the mountain west, but the wild-and-woolly mining town isn’t ripe with opportunities for a respectable young woman. The youngest Sinclair sister is determined to make her own way, so when she’s offered a job as a hostess in a sporting house, she takes it, thinking the position is appropriate for a tainted, unlovable woman like herself. Although she’s convinced she’ll never be asked to entertain privately, Vivian keeps her employment a secret from her sisters, knowing they’d be mortified—as will Carter Alwyn, the kind and godly sheriff’s deputy who’s sweet on her.
Vivian is descending into a life of secrets, lying to the very people who love her and could help her heal from her mistakes. Will an outpouring of grace remind her that she is still God’s beloved and that her past can be washed as clean as Rocky Mountain snow?
So is it Vivian or Sheriff’s deputy Carter Alwyn who has need of the good Doc Susie’s services? And who is at fault?