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.
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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?
Kizzie heard the whinny and snort of fear. She felt something tug the reins out of her hands as Sugarcone began to step back. Something or someone was behind her trying to steal her horse.
Kizzie pulled the pepperbox pistol out of her waistband as she spun around. “Drop the reins! Don’t you dare try to steal my horse.”
Kizzie’s eyes widened and her breath began to heave as she took in the appearance of the filthy, poorly dressed man twice her size that stood before her. He was of average height, but the width of his shoulders and his barrel chest above his bulging stomach spoke of bulk strength. His dark beard and moustache bushed full over the lower half of his tanned face coated with dust. A sweat and dirt-encrusted misshapen slouch hat covered his head. His sunken eyes narrowed even further as his mouth split into a mocking grin. He raised his hands, but never let loose of the reins.
“Naw, you don’t want to shoot no one with that silly little pop gun. You just hand it over real nice. I’ll take that and the horse and leave you be.”
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