INDEPENDENCE DAY 1881 by Zina Abbott
SERIES: Sweethearts of Jubilee Springs
PUBLISHER: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
RELEASED: May 9, 2018
GENRE: Historical Romance, Victorian, Romance
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.
Snippet from Bargain Bessie:
Eddie Joe stuck his thumbs in his pockets and rocked back on his boot heels. He licked his lips.
Zeb’s eyes narrowed at the sight. Yep. Ol’ Rusty, boy, hadn’t been talking through his hat, at least not completely.
“You ever thought about getting married, Boss?”
“Married?” Zeb slapped his palms flat on his desktop and jerked back in his chair so far he almost hit his head against the back wall. Him? Here he thought after what Rusty had said, it was Eddie Joe who had gone looking for a wife. “What on earth brought on a tom-fool question like that?”
Excerpt from Bargain Bessie:
“They hired this woman out of Denver who owns a bridal agency to line up a bunch of brides for the miners to marry. Real nice lady, Boss. Real short and sort of on the well-fed side, but kind of cute. But don’t go getting any ideas about her. Seemed to me like ol’ Royce Bainbridge spent a lot of time with her, and I’m not sure it was all business from the way things looked.”
“I could care less about Royce Bainbridge’s love-life. And I certainly don’t care about some big-city, slip-shod bridal agency taking people’s hard-earned money.”
Eddie Joe cleared his throat. “Well, you might want to rethink that, Boss. She’s right scientific about it. She has everyone write a letter, see, then uses this special formula to figure out who would be the best possible matches based on how their handwriting matches up. I mean, it worked out well for a couple of the miners. They wrote to a couple of ladies based on her findings, and ended up getting married to them yesterday. Some of the others, though, they ended up choosing based on…well…you know…”
Zeb kept his voice deceptively quiet. “No. I don’t know. Explain it to me.”
“Ah…well…good ol’ mutual sparking, I guess. You know, talk a little, do a little dancing and picnicking, go for a ride in the country, and the next thing you know…. I mean, we may have missed the Sunday sermon, but yesterday that church was busy all day with couples getting hitched. This lady from Denver, she might be able to find you some sweet thing…”
“I may not be old, but I sure wouldn’t be interested in some girl just out of the schoolroom.”
“Then you are interested.”
“No, I’m not.”
Eddie Joe forged on as if he hadn’t heard his boss’s denial. “She has women all ages. One of them was some widow who was forty if she was a day. Real nice lady, and at your age, it’s not going to matter much some lady being five-six years older than you…”
Zeb shook his head. “No, Eddie Joe. I’m not interested in some nice lady five or six years either way.”
“That’s all right, Boss. This old gal, she ended up making good friends with the daughter of Amos Lehman. You know, the one whose mule gave Jubilee Springs its name?”
“Amos Lehman? That old coot?”
“Yep! Speculation is she’ll end up with him, especially seeing as how the miner she was set up to marry got himself killed in a shootout. Oh, and forget about Lehman’s daughter. Got the impression the sheriff had his eye on her in more ways than one. But, there were still some other nice women who came up and got married yesterday. That Mrs. Millard must have done something right.”
“The lady with the bridal agency.”
“And you’re saying I should write her a letter. Then based on how I dot my ‘i’s and cross my ‘t’s, she’ll figure out who I should marry? I’ve never heard of such nonsense. And I sure don’t want you talking this up with the other men. The last thing I need is for you or anyone else getting any ridiculous ideas.”
Eddie Joe swallowed. “Most of these boys at the ranch are looking for temporary arrangements, Boss. But, not every cowhand wants to ride the cowboy trail all his life, especially someone like you who’s built up a nice spread. You want to have a say on who ends up with it when you pass on, don’t you?”
“Stop trying to put me in my grave, Eddie Joe.”
Eddie Joe flung his head side to side with an exaggerated shake. “Nope! No, Boss, I’m not trying to do anything of the kind. Just looking out for the best interests of the ranch. Just keep in mind she only uses handwriting to narrow down who you’d most likely do good with. You write letters back and forth to a couple of them gals for months. Only if you think things will work out with the lady do you make arrangements to meet up in person. You should talk to her yourself, Boss. She chaperoned a handful of brides up this last weekend, and says when she has another batch ready to come, she’ll chaperone them up too. I can…” Eddie Joe cleaned his throat. “I mean, if I hear anything about when she’s due up this way again, I’ll let you know.”
Zeb offered Eddie Joe a gimlet eye. “So I can stand in line behind a bunch of miners to ask her to find me a woman because I can’t find one by myself?”
“No, now, Boss. You’re trying to put words in my mouth that I had no intention of putting in there. I’m just saying, seeing as how there aren’t hardly any decent single women in these parts, working with this woman to help bring someone in who might make you happy and give you a good family may not be a half-bad idea.”
Zeb harrumphed. “Well, don’t go out of your way to steer me her way when she comes to Jubilee Springs. If I decide to go wife-hunting…and that’s a big if…I’ll go talk to her when I go to Denver to buy provisions for the winter. Until then, let it go and get back to your job.”
“You got it, Boss.”
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.
Connect with Zina here:
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