GREAT SUMMER READS 2019, PART 2 – FEATURING AUTHOR ZINA ABBOTT

GREAT SUMMER READS 2019, PART 2 – FEATURING AUTHOR ZINA ABBOTT

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.

The daughter of a
Georgia plantation owner, Diantha Ames was raised and educated to be a lady.
Surviving the Civil War as a child, her family, in a desperate, but ultimately
unsuccessful bid to save the property of both her father and her uncle,
arranges a marriage between her and her first cousin. Although not a love match,
she and Eugene were amiable. As information about her husband comes to light
after his death in the Gold King Mine disaster that took so many lives in
Wildcat Ridge, she is left with her husband’s hotel and postmaster position to
fill—and a lot of questions.
With Diantha’s
former laundress gone, she hires Hilaina Dowd, whose family hails from the
mountains of Appalachia. Hilaina loyally stays with her mother who wishes to
live out her life in Wildcat Ridge and be buried next to her husband who died
in the mine disaster.
Henry “Hank”
Cauley is branded a failure after refusing to be part of his father’s Salt Lake
City brick-making business and then losing his stationary and book store
business. To bury him far away, his brother and conniving sister-on-law use
their political influence with the territorial Congressional representative to
award him the postmaster position in Wildcat Ridge. He arrives in town to take
over the position starting the first of September only to discover the
postmistress, Diantha, knows nothing about the change, and is not relieved she
no longer is obligated to fill this position originally awarded to her deceased
husband. Finding himself surrounded by those loyal to the soft-spoken, Southern
lady, is he destined to also be a failure in Wildcat Ridge?
Buckley “Buck”
Kramer, wrangler on the Grassy Fork Ranch in Colorado, has not been totally
satisfied with his lot ever since the trip he took to Wildcat Ridge earlier in
the summer with his boss and best friend now he sees the happiness of family
life the two men enjoy after they brought back wives. When two trail-worn young
brothers stumble onto the ranch looking for a meal and permanent jobs, but are
told with winter coming on there is only room for one, Buck insists on leaving
in order to keep the brothers together. Is Buck really dissatisfied with his
job on the ranch, or is this an excuse to return to Wildcat Ridge and the woman
he has not been able to get out of his mind?
  
Diantha, Book 14,
is a stand-alone novel. However, you might enjoy it best by reading all the
books in the series, The Widows of Wildcat Ridge. Also, my other book in the
series, Nissa, Book 3, was written to
be a duet with Diantha—a series
within a series. You might also enjoy reading Nissa if you have not already done so.

  
~ Universal Amazon Link
  
Q&A With the Author:
1. What is your
advice to “binge readers”?
You want to read because you enjoy reading, not
because you’ve made yourself so sick you must stay in bed and can do little
else other than read. Keep the following in mind:
          –
Whether you read in bed or while sitting in a chair or on the couch, maintain
good posture. Use pillows—big and small—to support your back, neck, and feet.
As you age, it is important that you not slump and roll forward. Doing so cuts
off your oxygen and/or negatively affects your spine and muscles. The older you
get, the more important this is.
          –
Maintain a comfortable temperature, especially for your feet. If you get too
cold (or too hot) because you are too engrossed in your book to grab some slippers,
or a blanket, or a robe or sweatshirt, or turn on a fan or the air conditioner,
you risk making yourself sick. (Am I the only one who has made herself sick by
continuing to read instead of doing one of these things?)
          – When
your bladder says to go, go. Don’t wait.
          – Use
good lighting. Even if you read from a back-lit e-reader, it helps to have some
light. Safer, too. Remember my advice about the bladder.
          – If
you are going to binge-read at night, make sure you spend part of your day
doing something active.
          – I am
not going to tell you that when you are tired, you need to close the book/turn
off the e-reader and go to bed. You should. However, if I advise you to do
that, it would make me a hypocrite.
2. What are your favorite reading foods?
Mine are chocolate, crackers, dried fruit and nut mix,
toast, soda, and peppermint tea.
3. Do you have any
suggestions to help budding authors become better writers?
Don’t write solid all day. Get some exercise, no
matter how minimal. Break up your writing by making sure to get up and move
around periodically—fold clothes, take care of
your animals, sweep and mop a floor, walk to the mailbox, etc. When your
bladder forces you to make a trip down the hall, while you’re up, find a five
minute on-your-feet-move-and-do task to complete. Keep your muscles and blood
moving. It is good for your brain, heart, circulation, and it keeps down the
swelling in your feet.
Watch what you eat. The older you get, and the more
health issues you develop, the more important this becomes. If you spend lots
of time sitting while you write and/or read, eat fiber, avoid too much salt,
drink water, and watch your carbonated drink consumption. Drinking soda might
not affect you at first—maybe not for years. However, unless a person with a
sedentary job or lifestyle (i.e., a writer and/or a reader) is not careful,
things will back up in the digestive system and cause “issues.” That is when
you trade your greasy chips for crackers full of fiber, your dark chocolate for
York Peppermint Patties or Altoids’ Peppermints, and most of your carbonated
drinks for peppermint or ginger tea.
Avoid running “dumb errands” outside of the house
during your writing time. How it works for me is, once I leave the house to run
a few quick errands, the rest of the day is shot. It is almost impossible to
settle back down to my writing.
I would tell you, for good health, another real
important thing to avoid is stress.
However – (laughs hysterically) – we are talking about being writers, right?
Good luck.
4. Do you have any
other warnings for writers?
Beware the “rabbit
holes.”

What does it mean to “go down the rabbit hole”? From a Google search: “To enter
into a situation or begin a process or journey that is particularly strange,
problematic, difficult, complex, or chaotic, especially one that becomes
increasingly so as it develops or unfolds. (An allusion to Alice’s Adventures
in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.)”
Rabbit holes for writers:
         
Pinterest
          –
Facebook
          –
Instagram
          –
Twitter
          –
Unnecessary, repetitive emails or email “jokes”
To a lesser degree, blog posts and newsletters can
fall in this category unless you approach them with organization and discipline.
If you are a writer, like me, you may use many of
these for marketing. They are important to your success—but only if you make
the time to write and publish something you can promote.
Write first. Research first. As much as possible, save
the “rabbit hole” tasks for later in the day. That way, if you get distracted
and spend hours “down the rabbit hole,” it becomes your “entertainment” for the
evening, instead of watching television or (what you really want to do) reading
a good book.



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