By Mona Hodgson
The year was 1996. Remaining true to our annual tradition, that summer 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. However, that year, 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. We’re much too resilient to consider mere animal antics a problem.
No, our two-day getaway to the cabin swallowed Saturday. Seriously? Saturday night was DR. QUINN, MEDICINE WOMAN night, and the modest cabin didn’t allow for TV viewing.
Don’t get me wrong—we’re all about retreating from noise and hectic pace of small town life and breathing in the pine-scented tranquility the mountains have to offer, but miss viewing Dr. Quinn (Jane Seymour) and Sully (Joe Lando) in “real time?” Far too much to ask. No way.
Sure too bad about our annual drive up the mountain to view and photograph deer and elk. We had to find a place with good television reception. The nearest town was a mere twenty or thirty miles away. Never mind that we’d be driving back to the cabin in the dark . . . in the land of bears and deer and elk. Where, oh where, could we go to catch up with the unstoppable Dr. Michaela “Mike” Quinn and mountain man Bryon Sully? Remember, this was before televisions lines the walls of most eateries. So, we brainstormed our options. 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, put our dollar bills into the vending machine, and searched for an empty room with a TV. With no time to spare, we settled into the outpatient waiting room and 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 and 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?
I’m not telling . . . not just yet, anyway. The official release date for The Bride Wore Blue is Tuesday, May 8th, but you can pre-order your copy now.