My name is Robyn Echols. Zina Abbott is the pen I use for my historical novels. I’m a member of Women Writing the West and Western Writers of America. I currently live with my husband in California’s central valley near the “Gateway to Yosemite.”
I love to read, quilt, work with digital images on my photo editing program, and work on my own family history.
I am a blogger. In addition to my own blog, I blog for several group blogs including the Sweet Americana Sweethearts blog, which I started and administer.
A widow with two small children, Nissa Stillwell was forced out of the mining supervisor’s house after her husband died in the mine disaster in Wildcat Ridge, Utah. She quickly learns before his death, he went heavily into debt. She leaves what few possessions remain behind and contracts with the Ridge Hotel to do their laundry and live in the laundry shed and drying yard next to the hotel. She is able to make ends meet—barely.
Being left with only the furnishings and personal items that make up James Stillwell’s estate, Mortimer Crane goes after Nissa to pay the balance owed. She refuses, but he insists she work off the debt in his Gentlemen Only Salon.
Rancher Dallin Walsh has been too busy building up his spread in the isolated mountains of western Colorado to look for a wife. He comes to Wildcat Ridge for a big horse auction. Between Crane and three drifters, he comes to Nissa’s defense more than once. Desperate to leave Wildcat Ridge, Nissa asks him to hire her as a housekeeper. Does Dallin want a housekeeper—or does he have something else in mind?
Hal and Buck, two wranglers who work for Dallin, soon find most women in town are as eager to find husbands to move to Wildcat Ridge so they can keep their homes as they are to sell horses. A woman in difficulty captures Hal’s attention. Another woman finds Buck, but he definitely is not interested in a wife.
Who will go to Colorado, and who will stay in Wildcat Ridge?
A light nudge on the bottom of his boot jolted Buck out of a deep sleep. He scrambled to his feet in an instant. With one hand on the butt of his pistol, he tossed aside his bedroll. It was only when, through his bleary sleep-hazed eyes he recognized Hal, he let out a sigh of relief and settled to a sitting position on the straw. Leaning back against the short wall where the roof joined it just above his head, he raked his fingers through his sleep-mussed hair and scratched his head. “What did you go and do that for? Took about ten years off my life.”
Unrepentant, Hal leaned against the flat side of the livery building near the edge of the loft where the roofline was high enough he could stand at his full height. “You’re getting soft being in town. It’s daylight. Time to be up.”
Buck grumbled as he pulled one boot off and wiggled his toes. “Says the man who spent the night in a soft bed at the hotel. You got to sleep all night without a care in the world. Me, on the other hand, every time one of these horses started to snort or stomp, I got up and climbed down the ladder to take a look-see, make sure everything was all right.”
“Must you take those boots off, Buck? The stink of those socks is enough to stampede the horses right out of here.”
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