Love Inspired Books discussion

Book Extras > The Story Behind The Doctor Takes a Wife by Laurie Kingery

Comments Showing 1-3 of 3 (3 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Love Inspired (new)

Love Inspired Books (loveinspiredbooks) | 1035 comments Mod
The Doctor Takes a Wife by Laurie Kingery

*Note* Laurie also provided some great pics, which can't be viewed here on Goodreads, so if you'd like to see the pics, you can see them on

Just a couple of months ago in November, the first book in my "Brides of Simpson Creek" series, MAIL ORDER COWBOY, was published. In it, feisty Milly Matthews, who is determined not to be an old maid, forms the Simpson Creek Society for Promotion of Marriage, or the Spinsters' Club, as it came to be called. Her purpose was to bring much-needed bachelors to the little Texas town of Simpson Creek following the Civil War. Milly makes the first match, as she deserves, marrying Englishman Nicholas Brookfield, late of Her Majesty's Bombay Light Cavalry.

Anyone writing or reading series romance knows the books in the series must have similar elements—in this case a town and a group of single women who are determined to change their status, with God's help—but the characters must not be carbon copies of each other. Milly Matthews was spunky, determined, and a leader. I had decided her sister, Sarah, should be the heroine of the next story, THE DOCTOR TAKES A WIFE, and so I made her characterization very different from that of her sister. Sarah Matthews is somewhat unsure, a little stubborn, and has always looked to her sister and others to guide her. But whereas Milly has never known the joy of first love before she meets Nick, Sarah has loved and lost—her fiancé never returned from the war and was assumed to have been killed in action. In MAIL ORDER COWBOY, Sarah has already realized she must go on living, and learn to love again, and it seems that she has met a fine man through the Spinsters' Club, though they have only corresponded and not yet met face to face.

In the closing chapters of MAIL ORDER COWBOY, however, Sarah meets Dr. Nolan Walker and realizes he has left one very important fact out of his letters—he's a Yankee, and she wants nothing more to do with him then. How can she love a man who served in the hated army who killed her fiancé?

As THE DOCTOR TAKES A WIFE opens, however, it's very clear that Dr. Nolan Walker is not about to let Sarah go without some very determined efforts on his part to win her heart. Gradually he will succeed in doing so, though it will take a dangerous epidemic and the return of a figure from Sarah's past before they can win their happy ending.

In portraying Dr. Nolan Walker, who had served with the famous 20th Maine Regiment in the Union Army, I used my medical background (I am an E.R. nurse in my "other life") and knowledge of medical history to make him a realistic character. I had to do more research, of course, and I am indebted to books such as LOTIONS, POTIONS AND DEADLY ELIXIRS and BLEED, BLISTER AND PURGE: A HISTORY OF MEDICINE ON THE AMERICAN FRONTIER, as well as sources on the internet which supplied needed details.

The state of medicine in the 1800's was appalling. The doctor of that time may not necessarily have attended a medical school, but might have apprenticed instead with an established doctor for some years. Doctors then had very little in the way of helpful medicines; they used laudanum, an opiate narcotic which was available over the counter, as pain relief, and often relied on drugs that were actually toxic, such as Calomel, which was a mercury-based purgative. Some doctors were still bleeding patients as treatment. Amputation was all too common. The use of carbolic acid as a disinfectant had just been discovered, and the hero of THE DOCTOR TAKES A WIFE uses it, but it wasn't generally accepted as necessary. And when the epidemic strikes Simpson Creek—Nolan Walker can offer his patients very little besides supportive therapy—treating the fever with willowbark tea (an early version of aspirin), trying to correct the dehydration with fluids, and a new form of therapy to Nolan—praying.

I hope you will enjoy THE DOCTOR TAKES A WIFE. Those who haven't read MAIL ORDER COWBOY needn't feel they will be lost if they start reading the series with THE DOCTOR TAKES A WIFE. Each book in the series will stand alone. But if reading my January book makes you curious about Sarah's sister Milly, it's a simple matter to hop over to where it is still available, and order it. :)

Readers can contact me via my website at
Thanks, Dream, for this opportunity to share "The Story Behind the Story."

Follow Love Inspired books on Twitter!

message 2: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer (texasaggieteacher) | 434 comments I just bought this one today! So excited to read it.

message 3: by Terri (new)

Terri (terrie) | 253 comments Jennifer wrote: "I just bought this one today! So excited to read it."

Good for you. Me too:)

back to top