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?
“My daughter recognizes that, with the shortage of marriageable women in the region, she might not have you long before some young man claims your attention and affection and offers you marriage. She needs you to teach her how to cook and clean.”
That comment stunned Annie. There were men in this wild place out West who would wish to know her better and quickly marry her? No, she’d be loyal to Delphinia and not allow a man to turn her head and persuade her to walk away from her job. “Pleased I am to be accepting the work, Mr. Blakewell….” Annie hesitated, and then offered him a sheepish expression. “I’m sorry, sir. Being home like I’ve been, I’ve slipped back into the speech of the Irish.” She sighed in relief as he waved his hand to brush away her concern.
“I doubt your Irish accent will matter in Colorado, Miss Flanagan. From what my daughter said, there are several Irish working as miners in the Prosperity Mine up there. In fact, she mentioned that, at the harvest dance she attended before her marriage, the mine owner announced that one of the company houses would be awarded to a young Irish fellow as soon as he found a wife through a marriage broker with whom the mine owners have contracted.”
Annie had smiled in response. She did not offer the information that her sister, Kate, had contacted this same marriage broker, Mrs. Lizett Millard, at the Colorado Bridal Agency. Kate had started a correspondence with the Irish miner, Michael O’Hare.