GREAT SUMMER READS 2019, PART 2 – FEATURING AUTHOR ZINA ABBOTT






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.





The daughter of a Georgia plantation owner, Diantha Ames was raised and educated to be a lady. Surviving the Civil War as a child, her family, in a desperate, but ultimately unsuccessful bid to save the property of both her father and her uncle, arranges a marriage between her and her first cousin. Although not a love match, she and Eugene were amiable. As information about her husband comes to light after his death in the Gold King Mine disaster that took so many lives in Wildcat Ridge, she is left with her husband’s hotel and postmaster position to fill—and a lot of questions.

With Diantha’s former laundress gone, she hires Hilaina Dowd, whose family hails from the mountains of Appalachia. Hilaina loyally stays with her mother who wishes to live out her life in Wildcat Ridge and be buried next to her husband who died in the mine disaster.

Henry “Hank” Cauley is branded a failure after refusing to be part of his father’s Salt Lake City brick-making business and then losing his stationary and book store business. To bury him far away, his brother and conniving sister-on-law use their political influence with the territorial Congressional representative to award him the postmaster position in Wildcat Ridge. He arrives in town to take over the position starting the first of September only to discover the postmistress, Diantha, knows nothing about the change, and is not relieved she no longer is obligated to fill this position originally awarded to her deceased husband. Finding himself surrounded by those loyal to the soft-spoken, Southern lady, is he destined to also be a failure in Wildcat Ridge?

Buckley “Buck” Kramer, wrangler on the Grassy Fork Ranch in Colorado, has not been totally satisfied with his lot ever since the trip he took to Wildcat Ridge earlier in the summer with his boss and best friend now he sees the happiness of family life the two men enjoy after they brought back wives. When two trail-worn young brothers stumble onto the ranch looking for a meal and permanent jobs, but are told with winter coming on there is only room for one, Buck insists on leaving in order to keep the brothers together. Is Buck really dissatisfied with his job on the ranch, or is this an excuse to return to Wildcat Ridge and the woman he has not been able to get out of his mind?
  
Diantha, Book 14, is a stand-alone novel. However, you might enjoy it best by reading all the books in the series, The Widows of Wildcat Ridge. Also, my other book in the series, Nissa, Book 3, was written to be a duet with Diantha—a series within a series. You might also enjoy reading Nissa if you have not already done so.



  
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Q&A With the Author:

1. What is your advice to “binge readers”?

You want to read because you enjoy reading, not because you’ve made yourself so sick you must stay in bed and can do little else other than read. Keep the following in mind:
          – Whether you read in bed or while sitting in a chair or on the couch, maintain good posture. Use pillows—big and small—to support your back, neck, and feet. As you age, it is important that you not slump and roll forward. Doing so cuts off your oxygen and/or negatively affects your spine and muscles. The older you get, the more important this is.
          – Maintain a comfortable temperature, especially for your feet. If you get too cold (or too hot) because you are too engrossed in your book to grab some slippers, or a blanket, or a robe or sweatshirt, or turn on a fan or the air conditioner, you risk making yourself sick. (Am I the only one who has made herself sick by continuing to read instead of doing one of these things?)
          – When your bladder says to go, go. Don’t wait.
          – Use good lighting. Even if you read from a back-lit e-reader, it helps to have some light. Safer, too. Remember my advice about the bladder.
          – If you are going to binge-read at night, make sure you spend part of your day doing something active.
          – I am not going to tell you that when you are tired, you need to close the book/turn off the e-reader and go to bed. You should. However, if I advise you to do that, it would make me a hypocrite.

2. What are your favorite reading foods?

Mine are chocolate, crackers, dried fruit and nut mix, toast, soda, and peppermint tea.

3. Do you have any suggestions to help budding authors become better writers?

Don’t write solid all day. Get some exercise, no matter how minimal. Break up your writing by making sure to get up and move around periodically—fold clothes, take care of your animals, sweep and mop a floor, walk to the mailbox, etc. When your bladder forces you to make a trip down the hall, while you’re up, find a five minute on-your-feet-move-and-do task to complete. Keep your muscles and blood moving. It is good for your brain, heart, circulation, and it keeps down the swelling in your feet.

Watch what you eat. The older you get, and the more health issues you develop, the more important this becomes. If you spend lots of time sitting while you write and/or read, eat fiber, avoid too much salt, drink water, and watch your carbonated drink consumption. Drinking soda might not affect you at first—maybe not for years. However, unless a person with a sedentary job or lifestyle (i.e., a writer and/or a reader) is not careful, things will back up in the digestive system and cause “issues.” That is when you trade your greasy chips for crackers full of fiber, your dark chocolate for York Peppermint Patties or Altoids’ Peppermints, and most of your carbonated drinks for peppermint or ginger tea.

Avoid running “dumb errands” outside of the house during your writing time. How it works for me is, once I leave the house to run a few quick errands, the rest of the day is shot. It is almost impossible to settle back down to my writing.

I would tell you, for good health, another real important thing to avoid is stress. However – (laughs hysterically) – we are talking about being writers, right? Good luck.

4. Do you have any other warnings for writers?

Beware the “rabbit holes.” What does it mean to “go down the rabbit hole”? From a Google search: “To enter into a situation or begin a process or journey that is particularly strange, problematic, difficult, complex, or chaotic, especially one that becomes increasingly so as it develops or unfolds. (An allusion to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.)”

Rabbit holes for writers:
          – Pinterest
          – Facebook
          – Instagram
          – Twitter
          – Unnecessary, repetitive emails or email “jokes”

To a lesser degree, blog posts and newsletters can fall in this category unless you approach them with organization and discipline.

If you are a writer, like me, you may use many of these for marketing. They are important to your success—but only if you make the time to write and publish something you can promote.

Write first. Research first. As much as possible, save the “rabbit hole” tasks for later in the day. That way, if you get distracted and spend hours “down the rabbit hole,” it becomes your “entertainment” for the evening, instead of watching television or (what you really want to do) reading a good book.






To view our blog schedule and follow along with this tour visit our Official Event page 





GREAT SUMMER READS 2019, PART 1 – FEATURING AUTHOR ZINA ABBOTT





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.




Will Virginia’s chosen vocation fill the empty spaces in her heart?

It is 1858. With both parents dead, Virginia Atwell lives with her older brother, Jefferson, and his family in Booneville, Missouri. Under the pseudonym, V. A. Wellington, she secretly has been submitting articles to a well-respected investigative journal about controversial topics. To her dismay, she learns her family plans to buy new farmland in the wilds of central Kansas Territory, making it almost impossible for her to continue her clandestine article submissions. More importantly, Virginia is terrified of the prospect of living so close to hostile Indian tribes and dying by their hands because they resent white Americans moving onto their traditional buffalo hunting grounds.

Virginia persuades her brothers to give her a share of their parents’ inheritance so she may attend one of the few colleges in Ohio that accepts female students. There, she finds Avery Wilson, one of her professors and fellow boarder at Bettina Calloway’s boarding house, resentful of female students, conceited and annoying, especially after his criticism and resentment directed towards the author, V. A. Wellington, whose articles are published while his submissions are rejected.

Virginia’s publisher insists V. A. Wellington meet with him in person in St. Louis to discuss a new assignment. When her landlady insists she cannot travel alone, Avery, curious about Virginia’s secretive meeting and unable to resist his growing attraction to the irritating but brilliant student, offers to escort her.

Once the editor discovers his star contributor is a woman, he refuses to send her to write about conditions on the Kaw reservation and the proposed treaty the government intends to impose on the natives. Hoping to favorably impress the editor, Avery offers to pose as Virginia’s fiancé in order to accompany and protect her on her assignment. Her heart goes out to the Kaw, but what can fill the empty spaces of her heart?

Virginia’s Vocation is also part of the author’s Atwell Kin series




Top Ten List:

1.  My faith and attending Church
2.  My family
3.  Writing
4.  Reading books
5.  Dark chocolate (There is a symbiotic relationship between 3, 4, & 5)
6.  Road trips with my husband
7.  Attending writing conventions (6 & 7 are also related)
8.  Quilting
9.  Digital photo-editing

10.  Genealogy





To view our blog schedule and follow along with this tour visit our Official Event page 





VALENTINE COUNTDOWN BLITZ FEATURING AUTHOR ZINA ABBOTT





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.



Prequel to the Atwell Kin series:

Charlie, it would be easier to stop the flow of the great Missouri and Kansas Rivers than to prevent the Americans from coming to Kansas. 

It is 1856, and the United States opened Kansas Territory to American settlement two years before. Land belonging to the once-powerful Kansa tribe, known to the whites as the Kaw, was sold by treaty to the Americans a generation earlier.

His Kansa mother died from smallpox while Charlie was young. He lives with his American father who owns a trading post in Bonner Springs near the junction of the Kansas and Missouri Rivers. A child of two nations, Charlie learns through harsh experience he is not always accepted, including by the father of the pretty redhead who has caught his eye. The arrival of thousands of white settlers makes matters worse.

Frustrated, Charlie visits his Kansa uncle to learn the tribal ways, travel the Kaw Trail to their buffalo hunting grounds, and become a warrior with a warrior’s name. Once he knows both worlds, he will decide which will best serve him in the future.

Meadowlark’s traditional father wishes her to marry Broken Wing, a highly-respected full-blood Kansa warrior close to his own age. Meadowlark rejects being the junior wife under a dying oldest wife and a wolverine of a second wife. Once she learns her childhood friend who left the tribe years earlier has returned to the Kansa, she seeks him out. Even if he does consider her for a wife, can she persuade her father to allow him enough time to prove himself as a warrior? Will her father accept him for her husband in spite of his mixed ancestry?

Will Charlie decide on a future with the white Americans, or will he fight the coming of the Americans by clinging to the past with the Kansa? Will he try to straddle both worlds? What will Charlie choose?



Top Ten List:

Zina Abbott Ten Top Favorite Things:
1.  My faith and attending Church
2.  My family
3.  Writing
4.  Reading books
5.  Dark chocolate (There is a symbiotic relationship between 3, 4, & 5)
6.  Road trips with my husband
7.  Attending writing conventions (6 & 7 are also related)
8.  Quilting
9.  Digital photo-editing
10.  Genealogy




To view our blog schedule and follow along with this tour visit our Official Event page Part 1 
and Official Event page Part 2 




NISSA by ZINA ABBOTT BOOK BLITZ

 

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.

~ Facebook ~ Website ~

~ Amazon ~ Blog ~

~ Pinterest ~ Goodreads ~

~ Google+ ~ Newsletter ~ Booklinker ~

 

 

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?

 

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Snippet

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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GREAT SUMMER READS FEATURING ZINA ABBOTT

 

 

 

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.

~ Facebook ~ Website ~

~ Amazon ~ Blog ~

~ Pinterest ~ Goodreads ~

~ Google+ ~ Newsletter ~ Booklinker ~

 

 

 

Zina Abbott’s first three books in the multi-author series,

Sweethearts of Jubilee Springs.

 

 

Book 3 – Aaron’s Annulment Bride:

Andrea married Aaron so he could get his mining company house, but now she wants an annulment.

 

Book 6 – Cat’s Meow:

Catherine immediately falls in love with tall, hunky miner, Harold. She wants to marry him, but there is one “meowly” little problem.

 

Book 7 – Bargain Bessie:

Brought to Jubilee Springs after the death of her mother, Bessie, a confirmed spinster meets Zeb, a decisive, impatient rancher who is NOT pushing forty.

 

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~ Goodreads ~

 

 

 

Snippet

 

Snippet from Aaron’s Annulment Bride:

After church, Catherine sought Andrea out, a big grin plastered on her face. She grabbed Andrea’s arm and pulled her off to the side so they would not be overheard. “I don’t care how you do it, Andrea, but you get yourself and whatever you want to bring with you to town first thing in the morning. You can leave the horse and pony cart at the livery and let your pa worry about it. Lizett Millard from the bridal agency said she has you matched up with at least two possible men to consider for husbands and she wants you there as part of the first group of brides to arrive in Jubilee Springs.”

Andrea nearly collapsed with relief. She was going to get away from Lloyd McCreary. She was going to be free of being her pa’s unpaid servant who had to beg for the privilege to go to church a few times a month.

Catherine’s next words snapped Andrea’s attention back to the plans for her future. “She sent your ticket with mine. Our train that will take us to Denver leaves at nine o’clock. Make sure you’re there in plenty of time.”

 

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OTTO’S OFFER by Zinna Abbott BOOK TOUR @ZinaAbbott

In 1868, Otto Atwell has a 160 acre homestead near Abilene, Kansas and a limp as a result of a Cheyenne musket ball hitting his low back while he marched with the 16th Kansas Cavalry on the Powder River Expedition in 1865. What he doesn’t have is a wife. Then again, what woman would want to marry a cripple?
 
Libby Jones comes to Junction City as a mail order bride. Not only does the man who sent for her reject her, he tries to sell her to the local brothel to recoup his fee. Otto offers to marry her, but she rejects him in favor of a job with his relatives.
 
Will Otto’s offer still stand when trouble from Libby’s past catches up with her?   
 
Otto’s Offer is a stand-alone book in the Lockets & Lace series sponsored by some authors of the Sweet Americana Sweethearts blog. 
 
While they last, an ebook version of the series prequel, The Bavarian Jeweler, is available from the blog without charge.
 

 

 

 

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 I just joined 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.
Connect with the Author here: 

Excerpt

After it was all over and the dust began to settle, Otto decided the Atwell-Palmer group driving cattle into his property was a sight to behold. He had put his few cattle in his corral with feed and water and left the pastureland next to the small creek open for whatever his visitors were driving. Henry had cleaned and prepared stalls for a few extra horses, but Otto knew the rest would need to be hobbled. Because he couldn’t sit a horse for long, he didn’t know if he would be expected to help keep an eye on the herd that night, or if his father and uncle had made other arrangements. All he knew was, his barn, corral and pasture looked full—how like he would eventually like it to be all the time with his own cattle.

Mary Palmer had answered both Otto’s and Henry’s prayers. As soon as she climbed down from the wagon she had been traveling in while their neighbor, Shorty Sanders, drove, she headed for the kitchen and started frying up potatoes and some ham she had brought to go with the beans Otto had cooking. She also made biscuits, which pleased everyone.

Henry especially felt gratified when Mary pointed to the loaf of bread she had brought in the house.

“I have bread I baked for when we’re on the trail. But your Mama sent that one for you, Henry. She says she misses you and will be happy to see you home again. Now, you hide it in a cupboard, or it won’t last until we leave.”

Henry smiled wide as he found a clean dishtowel to wrap around his bread. “Thank you, Grandma Mary. Otto’s no baker, so it’s either been hardtack or mush the last few weeks. You bet I’ll keep it hidden.”

“You’re welcome, Henry.”

Otto inhaled deeply as he entered the kitchen. “That ham and fixings certainly smells good, Mrs. Palmer. It will be a pleasant break from my usual fare.”

“Then maybe you ought to get you a fat sow about ready to pop out a bunch of piglets instead of those chickens you plan on getting. I’d druther take care of pigs than chickens any day.”

Otto scowled at his younger brother, who had made the suggestion. “All in good time, Henry. Right now, eggs and an occasional chicken in the pot will do me more good than a pig to be kept fed. Besides, we already got the chicken coop built. I’d have to build a sturdy pen first before I can consider getting a sow and a boar. you’ll be going home with Pa once we get back, so it shouldn’t make much difference to you.”

Henry glanced at Mary’s face with her grin and a knowing twinkle in her eye. He knew to not make a big issue of the matter, but he couldn’t resist mumbling the last word on the subject. “Well, you just make sure when you bring back those chickens, you bring back a wife to chase them down and take care of them. I still want nothing to do with anything having feathers and beaks.”

“What’s this about a wife?”

Otto shook his head, avoiding Mary’s probing gaze. “Nothing. Henry is just being his usual ornery self.”

 
 
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Grandma’s Wedding Quilts Blitz Day 2 – Kizzie’s Kisses @ZinaAbbott @LovingtheBook

 

Zina Abbott is the pen name used by Robyn Echols for her historical romances. Robyn currently lives with her husband in California, USA, near the “Gateway to Yosemite.”

She is a member of Women Writing the West, and American Night Writers Association. She enjoys any kind of history including family history.

When she is not piecing together novel plots, she pieces together quilt blocks.

Connect with the Author here:

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Running from hostile Indians attacking Salina, Kansas in 1862, feisty Kizzie Atwell, Grandma Mary’s oldest grandchild, runs into freighter Leander Jones traveling the Smoky Hill Trail. He is as interested in her as his stallion is in her mare. The two join forces to prevent the Fort Riley Army captain from requisitioning their beloved horses for the cavalry. Avoiding bushwhackers and fighting off a thieving bullwhacker binds their bargain.

In 1865, at the victory dance held at Fort Riley to celebrate the end of the Civil War, Kizzie is asked to participate in a fund-raiser to aid the Sanitary Commission helping injured and sick soldiers. It involves chaste sweetheart kisses in exchange for tickets purchased by officers and guests. As a contract freighter for the Army, Leander is invited. Much to Leander’s chagrin, before his chance to claim his kiss, Kizzie’s uncle steps in and puts an end to the kissing game.

Is Leander out of luck, or will the bargain Kizzie and Leander made three years earlier to save their horses lead to a more romantic bargain sealed with a kiss?

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Q&A With The Author:

Describe yourself in 50 words or less.

Auburn hair (although one motor vehicles clerk listed me as “bald”) and hazel eyes, too heavy, love to sit too much, love to read, write and quilt—while sitting too much.

What do you love most in the world?

I love my faith, my church and my family.

What do you fear most?

Not getting everything done in life I should do. I know I won’t get everything done in life I want to do.

What is your largest unfulfilled dream, and what are you doing to reach it?

My largest unfulfilled dream is to be slender. After numerous unsuccessful attempts to achieve this goal, I am working on being satisfied with being healthy and occasionally finding clothes that fit well.

What is the hardest thing you’ve ever done?

Watch some of my children make mistakes and know I must let them live their own lives.

Now that we’ve gotten to know each other, tell me a story. It can be long or short. From your childhood or last week. Funny, sad, or somewhere in between. Just make sure it’s yours. What’s your story?

In my high school senior class play I played the role of the snotty business woman trying to steal the hero from the sweetheart heroine. For my costume, I brought a knit dress from home that was modest enough, but by the time the make-up artist plastered tons of goop on my face and the costume manager stuffed about three rolls of toilet paper in my bra so I would have the right appearance when I walked out on stage under the floodlights, I looked the part on steroids.

After the play, the cast and crew went to a local pizza parlor to celebrate. Shortly after we sat around a table, about three young men I didn’t know with wide grins on their faces dragged their chairs around our table and began to hit on me. At first I was puzzled. I wasn’t used to drawing that kind of attention. Then I realized we were all still in costume and off-stage and up close, I looked like a hooker.

I stood up, said good-by to my friends, and I was outta there.

 

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