top of page

The Healer of Briarwood

Historical Western Romance/Western

Be swept away in this story of courage, second chances, and the undeniable power of love. 

A man with a healer’s touch. A woman with a healer’s heart. 

Doctor Finnegan Brody tends his patients, keeps to himself, and vividly remembers the heartaches and trials from the Civil War and why he devoted his life to healing. He watches the townspeople live their lives, loving and laboring alongside one another, and wonders if one day he will give a woman as much time and dedication as he gives the people of Briarwood. 

Katharine Kiely has a deep-rooted stubbornness to never give up, even if it means leaving behind her comfortable life by the sea to protect her father’s health and help expand his empire. When she finally arrives in Briarwood to convince the Gallaghers a spur line should cross their land, nothing goes as she expected. 

Finn, with his knowledge of healing the people, and Katharine, who learns how to heal with her heart, join together as the townsfolk of Briarwood face challenges and choices that could alter their way of life forever. 

Welcome to Briarwood and Hawk’s Peak, where friendship, love, and hope conquer overwhelming odds.

Acquire the Book
Read the Book

Kindle, tablet, mobile, and more – Download this book in an instant or order a paperback edition, and be transported into another world.

Available in Paperback, E-book, & Large Print

Amazon Kindle
Amazon Paperback
Large Print on Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Enjoy an Excerpt


Brody read over the latest issue of The Lancet by lamplight in the pre-dawn hours. His focus shifted from a case on typhus to a lecture on the diseases of children as he jotted down a few notes to study later. The quiet hours of morning allowed him to study, for as his mentor once told him, “When a doctor stops learning, he ceases to be a doctor.”

Pounding, hard and urgent, shook the front door of his clinic. “Anyone in there?”

Brody pushed away from his desk and rushed to the door. On the other side, a man of small stature struggled to hold a woman in his arms. She lay limp, though Brody could not determine the extent of her injuries in the darkness lurking outside. Brody lifted her into his own arms and hurried to deposit her gently on the examining table.

“Is she your wife?”

The man shook his head, his face pale and chest moving with heavy breaths. “I found her like that, just lying on the road into town. I’m thinking she’s been shot, but I can’t rightly tell. She was bleeding some. Don’t reckon it makes sense me finding her before the critters, what with all the blood.”

Brody had already moved the light closer and saw the blood-darkened area of the dress covering her abdomen. He probed gently. “Not a gunshot. What’s your name?”

“Cletus Drake, sir. I come through town here now and again. Ain’t never seen the likes of this before.”

“Most people call me Doc or Brody, Mr. Drake. Sir is for fathers and politicians.”

Brody recalled seeing the man a few times. A tracker, trader, and as far as Brody knew, a man who had never caused trouble in Briarwood. “You’ve done a good thing here, Mr. Drake. I’ll need you to wait outside, if you’re of a mind to stay.”

“I have business with Mr. Baker at the general store when he opens, and I reckon I ought to tell . . . this town got a sheriff yet?”

Brody hovered over his patient, his eyes never moving away from his careful search around the wound. “Tom Culver, former ranch hand at Hawk’s Peak. He’s the sheriff now when one’s needed. There was a man in jail last night for causing a commotion at the saloon, so the sheriff will be in the rooms above the jailhouse.”

“I reckon then I ought to go. I didn’t find nothing with her.”

Brody looked away briefly to take in Cletus. A story that she’d been robbed and left for dead was plausible, if not provable. “No horse or other means of transport?” He perused her simple dress and practical boots.

“Just her. I didn’t see no one else. It was too dark to search. Found her ’bout a mile east by Molly, my mule, but she could only carry the lady. I should’ve got her here sooner—”

“You did well, Cletus. Someone must miss her.”

“I promise I didn’t see nothing with her, Doc.”

Brody gave his full attention for a minute over to Cletus. “I never thought you did, good man.”

“It’s just that some folks might think different, me being—”

“The color of your skin does not matter here. This woman owes you her life, and that is all I am thinking. Go on now and get the sheriff.”

“Sure thing, Doc.”

“Oh, and Mr. Drake. Thank you for bringing her into town.”

The man paused at the doorway. “Will she live?”

Brody stared down at the tangled fair hair framing pale skin. “I don’t know.” He bolted the door when the man left and returned to the woman’s side. The bleeding had stopped, thanks to Cletus, though Brody suspected she had already lost too much before the trader found her.

He spent the next hour gently removing her bloody clothes and inspecting bruises and cuts during the examination. Her corset had been no match for the blade that sliced through the thin layers. “The knife missed your organs. Good. Your recovery won’t be easy, but it could have been worse.” He spoke aloud to his patient, as much for her as himself. Later, he’d complete a medical chart. For now, he committed every detail to memory, first with the actions of his hand, then with his recitations.

“Bruising on one wrist, scratches on both hands. She fought someone.” Brody sucked in a breath, briefly closed his eyes to pray, and examined lower. He kept his curse silent for fear she might hear him. “You’re a strong lass to have fought back, to have survived.” Why did they not finish the job? he wondered. Had Cletus scared them off? He could suspect the traveling trader, but a man who saves a person is rarely the same who tries to end a life.

“A single bruise along the left chin. Another next to the right eye and cheek. They will spread before they heal.” He made a mental note of the herbs and medicinal powders he would prescribe, some for pain and others to help speed along the healing.

Another hour passed while Brody removed every thread transferred from her clothes into the wound by the knife. He placed precision stitches through her pale skin to close the wound. He could do nothing about her blood loss except try to replenish her fluids. The scratches and bruises he treated with ointments. The wrapping he used on her injured wrist was almost the same color as her skin.

“You’ve lost too much blood, lass.” Brody poured fresh water from a pitcher into a washbasin and dipped the end of a clean cloth into it. With gentle care, he parted her lips and twisted the edge of the cloth until the water dropped into her mouth. To his enormous relief, her tongue moved when the water hit it. “Stay with us, lass. You’ve come too far to give up now.”

Brody repeated the ministrations until she fell into a deeper sleep. It was a start.


Excerpted from The Healer of Briarwood by MK McClintock. Copyright © 2020 by MK McClintock. Published by Trappers Peak Publishing. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the author or publisher.

The Healer of Briarwood

Available in various formats including e-book and paperback. Read the e-book on most devices and tablets with the free Kindle App

More to Read
bottom of page