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?
Charlie’s back stiffened when he heard the swish of the leather curtain that separated the storage area from the store. He slowly turned to face his father who stood in the doorway, each forearm resting against the doorjamb.
Owen Jones cocked his head and raised an eyebrow. “This is regarding a woman, is it?”
His breath still heaving, Charlie folded his arms and tucked his chin towards his chest while he glared at the man from whom he had inherited his gray eyes. Sometimes he felt resentful that his father, a white man, also knew the Kaw language. He turned his gaze away and responded in English. “Yes. It’s my own fault. I should have known better.”