My name is Robyn Echols. Zina Abbott is the pen name I use for my American historical romance novels. I’m a member of Women Writing the West, Western Writers of America, and American Night Writers Association. 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.
Annie Flanagan happily moves to Jubilee Springs to work as a maid for Delly Nighy, the daughter of her former New York City employer. For one thing, very few know that her next younger sister, Kate, has signed up with the Colorado Bridal Agency and started writing to an Irish miner, Michael O’Hare, in the same town. Both Annie and her mother back in New York grow concerned when the second man the bridal agency puts Kate in contact with is a miner in Central City. He’s not Irish—and he’s not Catholic. What is worse, she seems to prefer him over Michael.
Kate Flanagan, working as a scullery maid to help support her family, desperately desires to escape the dead-end poverty allotted to Irish women living in the lower east side of Manhattan in New York. Anxious to find a husband out west, she signs up with the bridal agency suggested by her sister. After living with her alcoholic father, she is leery of choosing Irishman Michael O’Hare for a husband. As much as she wants to live near her sister, dare she take the chance Michael O’Hare will not turn out like her da?
Annie and Michael grow closer as they work together in order to persuade Kate to come to Jubilee Springs. She needs to come soon—before winter sets in and disrupts the railroad service that will bring her to the high mountain mining community. Kate agrees to travel to Jubilee Springs before Christmas, but several factors, including the train, threaten to derail this romance.
Michael knows what he promised. He knows what he wants. In the end, will he marry the bride who has captured his heart?
Q&A With the Author:
What inspired this Christmas/Winter book?
I wrote for a multi-author series two years ago, Sweethearts of Jubilee Springs, including a novel titled Dead Set Delphinia. A secondary character in it from New York named Annie wished to get the address for the mail order business she learned Delphinia used to give to her sister, Kate. Two years later, I felt I still needed to write Annie’s and Kate’s story regarding how each came to Jubilee Springs
Do you have other Holiday books? If so, what are they are for which Holidays? If not, what other books do you write?
I have one other Christmas holiday book, Too Old for Christmas, set in the 1856 California gold rush town of Columbia. My other holiday books, a trio of related novellas, once again from the Sweethearts of Jubilee Springs series, Aaron’s Annulment Bride, Cat’s Meow, and Bargain Bessie, revolve around Independence Day in 1881.
What is your largest unfulfilled dream, and what are you doing to reach it?
I would like to have one of my books end up on the U.S.A. Today’s Bestseller’s List. I’m working on it—I’m writing.
Tell us about things you enjoy — what you do for fun or personal satisfaction besides writing?
Besides writing, I enjoy reading, quilting, and photo-editing. I make a lot of my own promotional banners/memes.
Are your characters/stories/scenes, etc. based on anything in real life?
Some are; some aren’t. I do a lot of research to make my stories as realistic to the time period as possible. Although Jubilee Springs in my current novel is a fictional town, it is loosely based on the topography and history of a real town in the Arkansas River silver mining region in the Rocky Mountains. Some, like my recently-published Escape from Gold Mountain, is almost more fictionalized history rather than historical fiction. Even though some of my characters and story elements are fictional, I used real people and incidents of that time as the foundation of the story.
Tell us one Christmas or Winter tradition that you love to do every year, and why it is so special to you.
My husband and I were married six days before Christmas. Almost every year, we go to the same foothills restaurant to celebrate.