Her Healing Ways, by Lyn Cote


Unconventional. Unafraid. Unwelcome.

A female physician with an adopted black daughter? The townsfolk of Idaho Bend will never accept Dr. Mercy Gabriel—even when faced with a deadly cholera epidemic. But all Mercy needs is one man willing to listen…and to trust.

Four years of war command turned Lon Mackey into a footloose gambler who can’t abide attachments. Yet he can’t help getting riled by the threats Mercy keeps receiving. Her trailblazing courage could reignite his faith and humanity. And his loyalty could make her dream—for the first time—of a family of her own….

Her Healing Ways is the final book in my Love Inspired Historical “Gabriel Sisters” series about three Quaker sisters who are trying to help others in the aftermath of the Civil War.

This final story is Mercy Gabriel’s. She worked alongside Clara Barton as a fellow nurse throughout the Civil War. Now she’s graduated from the Female Medical College of Pennsylvania, which was the first US medical college exclusively for women.

Mercy and her adopted daughter Indigo, an orphaned former slave, head west to find a place where Mercy hopes she will be accepted as a physician.

I think this hope demonstrates one of the most interesting facts about the West. The West was a place where the “unconventional” had more freedom, had a chance to prove themselves and be accepted for what they could do, not their differences.

Mercy rightly assumes a frontier community with both logging and mining will need a doctor and they will accept her when the need arises.

Can you think of any other examples of unconventional people who found a home in the West?

Mark Twain and Theodore Roosevelt come to my mind. Mark Twain developed his writing while out West (The Jumping Frog of Calaveras County). And after his first wife’s untimely death, Theodore Roosevelt carved his future from his escape to the West

Any more examples? Comment to get your name in the drawing for one copy of HER HEALING WAYS.

+ posts

23 thoughts on “Her Healing Ways, by Lyn Cote”

  1. The first one that comes to mind for me is Frederick Remington who moved west to prove himself as an artist.

  2. Chicago Joe(Josephine Hensley)who ran a saloon and supplied dancing girls.

    Haven’t read many stories about Quakers so this should be interesting.


  3. Thank you for this wonderful interesting post,I cant think of any names right now,but as a adoptive parent to a older child from foster care,I can relate to the wanting people to accept your child,thanks for such a great post today!

  4. I’m awed at your heroine Mercy’s independence and intelligence! I’d love to read the 3 (Quaker) Gabriel sister’s stories!

    Wyatt Earp, Buffalo Bill Hitchcock,
    Joe Glidden Barbed wire inventor
    Levi Strauss – Levi pants inventor

    More contemporary people:

    Frank Lloyd Wright left Wisconsin and settled in

    All the actors and actresses who head to Hollywood for fame and fortune

    Ex-California Governor Jerry Brown

    Current California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger

  5. Thanks for all the kind comments. I have always admired Quakers because they were the first Christian group to grant women an equal role in the church and in life. Also they were at the forefront of the crusade to end slavery and to give all women equal rights.
    I think the Love Inspired Historicals have consistently LOVELY covers. I have not been disappointed by any of the 3.

  6. Vicki,
    Yes, Mercy worries for her daughter who is now approaching 16. As a young woman of color, she faces discrimination and is at risk of being treated with less respect by men than her white counterparts–at that time.
    Mercy loves her and wishes the best for her, but it’s a dangerous world out there.
    I didn’t mention it but the story also has Chinese immigrants. I like to write stories with many different cultures coming together–always good conflict.

  7. Hi Lyn, Mercy’s story sounds awesome! I’m from California originally and can testify to the fact that the West still attracts unconventional people 🙂 I went to UC Berkeley … now that’s place for uniqueness!

    Thanks for visiting Wildflower Junction!

  8. I loved this series and am sorry to see it end. I have a copy of the book so no need to enter me in the contest.

    What are your plans for your next book?

    Peace, Julie

  9. I read a book years ago about Charles Buton Irwin who traved west ny wagon and traveled through the area we love to camp in Northpark, Colorado. He was quite the colorful character. He was a bull rider in wild west shows. I discover he was a real person when visiting the museum in Walden, Colorado. They had many items from his family. The name of the book was ‘Prairie’

    I love the cover of your book and will be looking for it. Quakers have such interesting history that I always enjoy reading about them.

  10. I don’t have any specific examples, but when you read histories of towns and communities, there are always women who made a life for themselves. The hard life rewarded those who were willing to work hard. For the most part, you were judged by what you could do, not who your family was or your social status. Your contribution to the community was what counted, not your past or sex. Of course this is a bit of an idealized view, but it was much more true in the West than anywhere else in the country. Strong women had a better chance to make their dreams come true. The new territory gave everyone a chance for a new start. It is still home to the spirit of individuality.

    Good luck with the release of HER HEALING WAYS and have a blessed Holiday Season.

  11. Lyn, a big welcome to P&P. We always enjoy when you come.

    I recently blogged on Margaret Heffernan Borland, one of the strongest women who lived in Texas. She had nine children and outlived three husbands. After her last husband died she led a trail drive by herself, with only her children and orphaned nephew along as hands, all the way up the Chisholm Trail to Abilene, Kansas. Her youngest daughter was eight years old and she pulled her own weight it’s told. I really admire women like her who’s larger than life.

  12. Interestig reading. Your book sounds really good. One of the women that carved out a name in the West was Annie Oakley. Also DocHolliday who came to Tombstone for the weather to help with his tuberculosis.

  13. Hi Lyn,

    I’m going to have to read this book. It sounds great.

    I was researching a series set in North Dakota and learned about the Russian Germans who traveled across the ocean to the Dakotas for free land. The area was billed as a beautiful, furtile land–and it was–until winter set in. Still, it’s a fascinating story of pioneers facing untold hardships all for the sake of land and a home.

  14. Thanks for all the comments and examples. I love visiting here. Sorry I dropped out of sight yesterday but we were getting ready to paint our great room and hall BEFORE we decorate for Christmas. Yes, we are insane!

Comments are closed.