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?
…“I saw her from afar last year but she made no effort to talk to me then. Why would she wish to speak with me now?”
Eyes-like-hawk grinned. “There is only one way to find out, my cousin. As soon as I leave, walk over and talk to her.”
An expression of panic flashed across Charlie’s face. “I don’t know what to say.”
“Then listen to what she says. Gray Squirrel, if you plan to count coup with the Cheyenne, or risk your scalp stealing horses, you must show courage. You can start practicing now by walking over and talking to one Kansa woman.”