The Medicine Man

The Medicine Man

The White Sandy Reservation needs a doctor, and Madeline Mitchell needs to do a little good in the world. It seems like a perfect fit, until she meets the medicine man, Rebel Runs Fast. As far as Madeline can tell, Rebel’s sole mission is to convince her patients that modern medicine can’t help them. And the fact that he makes her heart race every time he looks at her only irritates her more.

Rebel swore off the white man’s world–and women–years ago. But he’s never met a woman like Dr. Mitchell. She doesn’t speak the language, understand the customs, or believe he’s anything more than a charlatan–but she stays, determined to help his people. He tries to convince himself that his tribe doesn’t need her, but when patients start getting sick with strange symptoms, he realizes that he needs her more than ever.

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NOTE: The Medicine Man was previously published as Mystic Cowboy.
Men of the White Sandy #1
ISBN-13: 978-1-941097-32-8




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Praise

  • Mystic Cowboy was named a finalist in the 2014 Booksellers Best Award contest!
  • Mystic Cowboy was named a finalist in the 2014 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence contest!
  • Mystic Cowboy was named one of 2013’s Best Covers by Scorching Book Reviews!
  • 5 stars! Mystic Cowboy is filled with tension, Lakota beliefs, a little science, and a whole lot of romance…Filled with history, and rich descriptions of each scene, this modern day Western/Romance/Intrigue/Medical novel has lassoed five stars from me.–Tome Tender Book Blog
  • Four stars! Both generosity and greed play an important part in this love story where the tension mounts as illness threatens the entire reservation. Excellent character development is the highlight of Anderson’s tale — Madeline and Rebel are often at odds as Rebel struggles to maintain his heritage and lifestyle while keeping Madeline by his side.RT Book Reviews
  • There is so much more to this story than hunky-cowboy-who-just-happens-to-be-a-Lakota Indian meets white city girl. Cultural differences create difficulties in Madeline and Rebel’s relationship beyond just medicine man vs. doctor of medicine. However, the attraction between Madeline and Rebel is there from the start and heats up nicely. Don’t miss Mystic Cowboy, and be on the lookout for the next installment in the series.–Library Journal
  • A rollercoaster ride from beginning to end, with dynamic characters, a rich background and history, a touch of supernatural element with Rebel’s visions, a mystery to be solved, and lives to be saved, this book grabbed me by the throat from the first word and didn’t let go until my eyes passed over the very last word.  Now that I’ve read one of Sarah’s books, I can’t wait to read more.A Little Bit Tart, A Little Bit Sweet
  • 4 stars! My final verdict on this book is that I truly enjoyed it and it has made me rethink my view of Westerns. If you are looking to stretch your romance wings then this book is a great one to pick up.–Dark Faerie Tales
  • 4.5 stars! Mystic Cowboy was a hot, steamy romance that kept me up late into the night.  Loved Rebel and Madeline’s story and Ms. Anderson has created characters that you can fall in love with.Books n’ Kisses
  • An enjoyable story about two people from different worlds finding harmony. I loved this story and look forward to more about this place at the White Sandy. A great start to the series.Ramblings from a Chaotic Mind
  • When I finished reading Mystic Cowboy I sat staring at my Kindle screen thinking “Wow.” Anderson did an amazing job capturing the turmoil within each character. Madeline and Rebel had so much chemistry I think my screen started smoking. The skinny dipping alone…. Oh my! I can’t recommend this book enough. It was beautiful read.–Ramblings and Reviews
  • I was hooked on this book from the beginning. Maddie’s big life change was fascinating to read about, and I liked her character quite a bit. However, Rebel steals the show. He is enigmatic, sexy and so perfect for Maddie that I couldn’t put “Mystic Cowboy” down…If you like contemporary stories about Native Americans and/or cowboys, you can’t miss with “Mystic Cowboy.” It is a delight to read, with a sensational blend of suspense, sexiness and romance.Romance Novel News
  • I am so glad I read this book after reading a great review by a Goodreads friend!Swept Away By Romance
  • Rarely do I read books and want to push the heroine out of the way and grab the hero for myself. But in this book, that’s exactly what I wanted to do! …I give this a 5/5 and can’t wait to get my hands on the rest of the series!A Romance Author’s Journey
  • 4 1/2 Stars! The romance was fantastic. The chemistry was very well written and they certainly did steam up the pages. I particularly enjoyed the skinny dipping scene…I love Sarah Anderson’s books and this one may be my favourite. A different publisher, the first book in this series feels a little saucier than the rest of her work and I loved it…Scorching Book Reviews
  • 4 Stars! Sarah does a great job making the conflicts realistic… Rebel is sexy as hell though and his need for Maddie just shines through all the conflict.  She heals his soul and gives him the partner he never thought he would have.  Let me tell you the skinny dipping scene alone is worth the time and money for this book.  I had to fan myself a few times as I read it!Book-A-Holic Anon
  • 4 1/2 Stars–a True Gem! I’m really still in awe about Mystic Cowboy by Sarah M. Anderson…While on the surface this seems to be a western romance I found myself making much deeper connections to the story. The spiritual elements in Mystic Cowboy were truly touching, bringing me a peace I had not expected to find, and for that I am truly grateful I got to read it…I’ll be watching for where Ms. Anderson takes the Men of White Sandy. I think I’m hooked.Ava at Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews
  • 4 STARS! A sexy tribal cowboy for a hero, a cast of wonderful characters to help bring the story alive, and a heroine who won’t take any crap, Mystic Cowboy kicks off Anderson’s new series and left me wanting more! I especially look forward to Nobody’s story. Oh my. Dark, quiet, mysterious…and with an air of “deadly” about him, I’m dying to know more! 😀TBQ’s Book Palace
  • From RT Book Review’s FOREWORDS – THE BOOKS BEFORE THE BUZZ:
  • The new doctor at the White Sandy reservation is doing her best to help keep her patients happy and healthy but a very sexy medicine man seems to be trying to convince his people to stay far away from the new doctor. How will this smart woman balance the world she’s always known with the one this Mystic Cowboy is determined to show her? You’ll have to read Sarah M. Anderson’s upcoming book to find out …

Chapter One

He let his mind go blank as he stared at the fire. Years of practice kept his feet and hands still until he was little more than the stump he was leaning against. The calm that overtook him left little else. The crickets called over the breeze like young braves singing to their lovers. The grasses shushed the river like a mother comforting her baby. And the water giggled like a child with a new toy. In the distance, a coyote set off a round of cries into the night, searching for his friends. The sounds of his world surrounded him and told him he was right with it. He was where he belonged, doing what he should.

If he was patient, he would see his next idea. And recently, he’d been getting real good at patient. Patient was getting his work into art galleries from South Dakota to New Mexico, and that one pipe bag he’d made last year was in the Museum of the American Indian in D.C. Patient was making him a major player in the world of Indian art.

He sat for a long time, but time itself wasn’t important. What was important was patience. And the next bag. The longer he sat, the better the idea would be.

At some point between the hoot of a hungry owl and another breath of wind, things changed. The temperature dropped from sixty to six in a heartbeat. The snow seemed not to fall from the sky, but spring straight out of the ground. The fire disappeared into the steam of the breath coming from his mouth. No cars; no airplanes. No wires. He could just make out the low ceiling of smoke that pointed to a village over the next hill.

The peace filled him. Nothing else mattered but this connection to the past, the past that held the key to his future. Nothing else mattered but a winter’s day on the plains. He could see it now. The white background. His next pipe bag would be a winter scene.

The thud of hooves drew his attention. A horse, the red paint on his face looking like blood in the snow, ran toward him from the east. White flakes kicked up with each stride, shrouding the horse in a cloud of ice.

A horse. A red-and-white paint horse running through the snow. The image assembled itself in his mind’s eye. Tanned leather, long fringe, beaded tie done in the same white. It would be a beautiful bag.

The horse ran right past him, so close that he was lost in the ice cloud. He waited. This was the end of the vision. As soon as his eyes cleared, he’d be back in front of his fire, next to the river on an early May evening. And then he could get started on his leather.

But it didn’t happen. Instead of the past leaving him behind, it pulled him deeper into the vision. When his eyes cleared, he saw the horse was gone, and he was colder than he’d ever been in his life. Feeling suddenly a little lost in time, he looked around the place he was in. And what he saw only added to his confusion. Instead of the four prints, he saw only two in the snow, headed toward the village.

He stared at the tracks. Not hooves; not a horse. Human. Small human prints. Looked like the heels were dragging a little, fanning the snow out in a long tail behind each step. He didn’t know what to make of them, but he tucked the shape and size away in his mind. Maybe he would do a pair of moccasins, too. He hadn’t done mocs for a good long while.

Just a pair of mocs couldn’t be why he was still here, freezing his ass off in the snow.  The village. Something in the village was pulling on him. He began to follow the tracks, tripping through the snow banks. He didn’t remember walking being this hard. Usually, if he moved at all in his visions, he seemed to float above. But not now. The cold air tried to rip the breath from his chest as the snow clawed at his feet. He fought on, trying to remember that this snow wasn’t really here, and that he wasn’t about to get frostbite chasing down a horse that left delicate human footprints. This was all just a vision. Nothing more.

He lost his footing and slid the last few feet down the hill and into the safe circle of tipis. It was a little warmer in the circle, sheltered from the wind behind the hill. He stood, dusted the snow from his braid, and looked for the tracks.

And saw nothing but bodies, lying where they’d fallen.

Panic stuck in his throat as he began to count the dead. Five here, seven there—the numbers climbed quickly. Dressed in the traditional buckskins, the people—his people—lay on the ground where they’d fallen, their pocked skin almost as white as the snow that held them in its grasp. There was no blood, so it wasn’t a war party or the blue coat soldiers come back again.

He looked at each member of his family, held forever in Death’s grasp. There was no one left to perform the death rites; no one to keep their souls until they were ready to be judged by Owl Woman.

The sickness had come.

Through the haze of horror that blinded his eyes almost as much as the wind-whipped snow, he tried to focus on what he knew. He knew what—and when—this was. This was the smallpox epidemic, and it had wiped out whole branches of his tribe, the Lakota tribe, back in 1831. A hundred and seventy years ago—a past long dead.

Or was it? Why was this particular past coming back to him now? Why had the horse—the footprints—led him here?

He looked for any sign of life. Some had lived: the tribe had survived this sickness. Someone had to have lived.

There were the footprints again, but this time they were different. Next to each body, the tracks stopped, and what looked like knee prints were pressed into the snow. Someone else had been here. Someone else knew of the sickness.

He studied the tracks. For the life of him, he couldn’t tell if the horse—the person—who’d left them had brought the sickness or had tried to stop it. Tried, and failed. Everyone here was dead, except for him.

The horse appeared again, agitated and wild. Foam dripped out of its mouth. The horse was sick, too. And it was charging. He couldn’t move. He couldn’t get out of the way of this death bearing down on him.

“What do you want?” he shouted, hoping the horse could hear him, praying it would listen.

“I came here looking for you,” a voice said. It didn’t come from the horse, but from the wind around him. He couldn’t tell if it was a threat or a promise. The horse—death—blew blood out of its nose as it ran faster and faster at him.

He closed his eyes, bracing for the impact. Instead, the cold, the snow, the horse, the voice—all disappeared, and he found himself once again sitting in front of his fire on a cool May night. His blood was pounding, and he was so dizzy that he was sure he going to throw up, but after a moment, it passed. It always passed.

But what he’d seen didn’t pass.

The sickness was coming again. And someone was coming with it.

*****

Thank goodness, Dr. Madeline Mitchell thought as she hurried into the sterile gown and snapped the shield over her face. Anything to get her away from all those half-hearted well-wishers.

“Drugs!” the woman—girl really, probably no more than 17—who was sprawled on the stretcher screamed. They hadn’t even made it to a room in the E.R. yet.

At least it’s not a boring night, Madeline thought as she bent to check. That baby was already crowning. The girl screamed again, and another inch of the head emerged. They would barely have time to get to the room. Drugs were out of the question. She was just going to have to tough it out.

Madeline let her training take over. She loved the E.R., loved the unexpected. In fact, right now, she was loving the unexpected more than normal. It was her last night working before she bailed on Columbus, Ohio, and to bring a new baby into this world as her final act at the hospital seemed fitting. She was doing a last little bit of good.

Madeline followed the stretcher as they raced down the hall, keeping her hand on that little head. You can do it, baby, she thought, almost as much to the girl as to the infant. “I want you to push,” she said, keeping her voice low and steady as the door shut behind them. Then she looked at the nurse for some explanation as to why this girl was in the E.R. and not the maternity ward.

The nurse shrugged. “Her mother said she’d been in pain all afternoon. Thought it was an appendix. She passed out in the waiting room.”

“Where’s the on-call O.B.?”

The nurse rolled her eyes. “Your guess is as good as mine.”

“DRUGS!” The girl’s voice careened off the walls. The head gained another inch.

“She’s a screamer,” the nurse said under her breath.

The girl was probably in six degrees of shit with her parents right now and was about to have a natural childbirth whether she wanted one or not. Madeline could see from the terrified look in her eyes that she felt alone. The last thing she needed was a snippy nurse making her feel even smaller.

“I’m right here, honey. You’re not alone,” Madeline said in her most soothing tone as she shot the nurse the look that everyone referred to as the Mitchell Sneer behind her back. It came in very handy at times like this. The nurse backpedaled and shut the hell up. “You can scream if it helps, okay? But I need you to push.”

The girl nodded and sucked in a huge breath. Madeline barely had the chance to wish for earplugs before she was cradling the newborn baby boy.

Perfect, she thought as she did the quick check. Of course they’d run tests on him—sounded like he’d gotten no prenatal care—but he was perfect. The girl, who was now sobbing, had needed Madeline right then more than anyone else in the world, and she’d been there for her.

This is what she lived for.

In the middle of the adrenaline rush, a tinge of sadness snuck up on her. She’d never see either of them again, never know if they turned out all right and lived happily ever after. She was leaving. The weight of the decision hit her in the sternum.

“I can’t believe you’d rather go to some Indian reservation than stay here and do this, Dr. Mitchell,” the nurse said, her voice dripping with cynicism as they waited for the afterbirth.

“I’ll still be doing this,” Madeline shot back, still keeping her voice low. The mother of the girl had been wheeled in on a matching stretcher, and they were both crying. It’s not that Madeline didn’t feel for their situation, but she didn’t allow herself to get too attached to patients in the E.R. Caring about patients was a recipe for insanity. “I’ll be the only doctor within a hundred miles.” Pregnant teenagers, gunshot wounds, car accidents—she didn’t have any illusions that those things would be more of the same. “But don’t forget, I’m double certified. I’ll be doing general practice. A lot of preventative stuff. Those people just need a good doctor.”

The nurse scoffed, an attitude that was shared by more than a few people at the hospital. “Yeah. Good luck with that.”

Madeline had heard the gossip, whispered down silent hallways. Darrin had spread more than his share it. They all thought she was nuts, and in her weaker moments, Madeline was afraid they might be right. Her sister Mellie was the only one who thought Madeline was doing the right thing.

Maybe she was nuts, maybe she wasn’t. That didn’t change a thing.

The Lakota Sioux on the White Sandy reservation in South Dakota needed a good doctor. Madeline needed, well, she wasn’t sure what she needed anymore.

She looked at the baby, mother, and grandmother, all bawling their heads off in nearly perfect three-part harmony. She needed this, this rush from doing her job and doing it well. But it wasn’t enough any more.

She needed something else.

She hoped to hell it was out West.

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