#FridayReads – The Doctor’s Wife & Brutal Season Sample

What I’m Currently Reading

Cover for The Doctor's Wife. A woman in the foreground is looking at an old farmhouse with a cedar tree to one side of the house.

The Doctor’s Wife
Myra Hargrave McIlvain
Indies United Publishing
January 24, 2023

Amelia Anton leaves Germany in 1845 on an immigrant ship bound for Texas. After the death at sea of the child she is hired to tutor, her employer abandons her in Galveston. Reduced to emptying hotel chamber pots, Amelia quickly accepts the marriage proposal of the highly regarded ship physician, Joseph Stein. The couple sail down the coast to a barren camp of German families dying of diseases while they wait for transport inland.

While her husband is absorbed in healing the sick, Amelia grapples with what may be causing her failed marriage. As the community grows, Amelia finds satisfaction operating Doctor Stein’s mercantile business, translating newspapers for Germans who can’t read English, and nurturing a boy who arrives in port as a stowaway.

It is a buying trip to New Orleans that leads Amelia in a new direction and eventual understanding of her own strength.

I’m only a few chapters in, but the story is great so far. Amelia is a wonderful character, and I can’t wait to see what is in store for her. Myra’s previous books have been enjoyable reads, so I was thrilled when she offered me an ARC. (Full review to come.)

About the Author

Storytelling, especially Texas stories, is part of Myra Hargrave McIlvain’s heritage from the time of her birth in the family’s hundred-year-old log house in Northeast Texas, to the move to Houston where Myra grew up. Her writing career began with the publication of a family humor column that spanned the years she raised her children.

After several years offering Texas seminars Myra and her husband began taking her classes on one-day historic trips that led to a worldwide tour business. After retiring, Myra lectured for the continuing education program at the University of Texas and other venues across the state. She published her first historical fiction in 2012 and is currently working on The Reluctant Bride, her fifth fiction.

Whether she is telling stories in her books, her blogs, or her lectures, Myra McIlvain views history as the story of a people, and the people she knows best have made Texas home.

Brutal Season Sample

Now, an excerpt from my forthcoming novel, Brutal Season– the fourth book in the Seasons Mystery Series. Things to be done before the release on April 10 are progressing well, and I plan to have a cover reveal later this month at Lone Star Literary Life. In the meantime, I’m still sharing the graphic I made some time ago. (You can see why I rely on a professional to make the real cover. LOL)

First responders in the foreground with a car on fire in the background. Wordage: Brutal Season Coming Soon

I’m waiting for the galleys to come back from the editor, then it will be off to formatting. The following comes right after the part of chapter two I posted here a couple of weeks ago. Enjoy…

The route back to her house took Angel through the outskirts of downtown, and she noticed more people on the streets than usual on hot summer nights. She slowed as she passed clusters of folks and noted that most of them were Black. One young woman held a sign aloft that proclaimed, Black Lives Matter.

She was momentarily stymied. As a cop, she should definitely alert the department that something was brewing. But as a confused, angry black woman she didn’t want to do that. Not at the moment anyway. Let the people be.

Before she could make a decision, her phone pinged with an alert to a text message, and she pulled into a parking spot to read it. The text was from Isabella, a young woman she’d met last year when a local group of activists formed to protest the killing of George Floyd. It had been a chance encounter at a vigil for Floyd held at Fair Park. At the time, Angel had debated about going. Not sure if it was okay with the department that officers attend something like that, but she’d not been able to resist the pull of her heart that took her there.

After the prayer service came to a close, Angel wanted to avoid being seen by the good Reverend Billie Norton who’d led the prayer service. He was good friends with her father, and Angel didn’t want him reporting that he’d seen her here, so she’d pushed to the back of the crowd, inadvertently bumping into Isabella. After apologies and quick smiles were exchanged, Isabella had slipped Angel a business card. “In case you’d like to join the movement.”

The movement turned out to be a local group of activists in the Black Lives Matter organization. Angel had almost tossed the card. There was no way she could get involved. Surely that would be a risk to her job. But as the national momentum against the injustices of Black people getting killed by police grew, she’d felt a pull to take a stand. So, she’d met with Isabella a few times, even going so far as to give the young woman her phone number, but with each visit, Angel had become increasingly conflicted. Finally, the last time they met, she told Isabella about her job and all the reasons she couldn’t join the local protests. Much as part of her heart wanted to.

Still, Angel hadn’t deleted Isabella from her contacts. She’d admired the young woman’s dedication to the cause and sense of righteousness. Was this what Angel’s mother meant about being righteous? Daring to do the uncomfortable? 

Angel texted back, Where are you?

At the Metro Diner.


Ready for preorder at a special price.

That’s all from me for today, folks. Whatever your plans for the weekend, I hope they involve some fun and friends and family. See you on Monday.

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