Saturday, February 24, 2018

Saturday Snippet: Chicken-Scratching

Here is a snippet from The Bavarian Jeweler about Wilhelm's welcome to America. Please keep in mind, in 1850 when Wilhelm emigrated, the German states were not yet unified into one nation. Just as some of my immigrant ancestors insisted on the U.S. Federal Census forms their country of origin was Prussia, not Germany, Wilhelm would have considered himself a citizen of Bavaria.

          The man snarled a response. “I’ll talk how I durn well please, and y’all won’t say no different about it unless all y’all want to get back on that there ship and sail back where y’all come from. So, y’all are German?”
          “No. Bavaria.”
          The man sighed in frustration. “Durn foreigners. Spell it out so I can write it.”
          “I write. To me the paper give.”
          “Gotta to be readable. The chicken-scratch some of y’all foreigners call writing is—well—chicken-scratching.”
          Wilhelm could not understand what scratching chickens had to do with him entering America. He stretched to his full height. “You no like people not Americans, why here you work?” Ignoring the man’s glare, he continued to argue with him. The clerk finally allowed him to fill out the form himself. 

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Saturday, February 17, 2018

Book Tour: OTTO'S OFFER by Zina Abbott

In 1868, Otto Atwell has a 160 acre homestead near Abilene, Kansas and a limp as a result of a Cheyenne musket ball hitting his low back while he marched with the 16th Kansas Cavalry on the Powder River Expedition in 1865. What he doesn’t have is a wife. Then again, what woman would want to marry a cripple?

Libby Jones comes to Junction City as a mail order bride. Not only does the man who sent for her reject her, he tries to sell her to the local brothel to recoup his fee. Otto offers to marry her, but she rejects him in favor of a job with his relatives.

Will Otto’s offer still stand when trouble from Libby’s past catches up with her?   


Otto’s Offer is a stand-alone book in the Lockets & Lace series sponsored by some authors of the Sweet Americana Sweethearts blog. 

While they last, an ebook version of the series prequel, The Bavarian Jeweler, is available from the blog without charge.

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 I just joined 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 the Author here: 

Top Ten List

10 top favorite things: 
1.  I love my computer so I can use it to write stories

2.  I love my sewing machine so I can quilt when I need a break from writing
3.  I love paper and ink books that fill my bookcases
4.  I love my Kindle, Nook and Deseret Book apps because my bookcases are already full of paper and ink books
5.  I love my camera so I can take photographs
6.  I love my photo-editing program so I can tweak my photos so they look even better
7.  I love Yosemite National Park because it is so pretty in any season
8.  I love museums because of all the wonderful historical items they display
9.  I love Columbia State Park and Mono County because they capture the history of the California Gold Rush
10.  I love my car because it comfortably takes me to all my favorite places

Snippet #3

Otto stepped forward. He cursed to himself as his bad leg gave out on him enough his limp became obvious to anyone watching. He steeled himself and forced out the words, hoping he didn’t also trip over his tongue in the process. “Miss Jones. I’m Otto Atwell. I apologize for not speaking sooner before this man had a chance to attack you. I don’t want to discourage you from working for the Palmers, if that is what you want, for they are fine people. We’re family in a roundabout sort of way. However, you said you came here to marry…”
Jefferson interrupted Otto by clearing his throat. “Otto, I think I know where this is going. Are you sure about what you’re planning to say?”
Otto turned to his father. “Yes, Pa, I am.” He turned back to Libby and introduced the rest of his family and Shorty. “Miss Jones, the Palmers, here, are my uncle’s wife’s parents.”
 Otto paused, and guessed from the way Libby’s lips were parted and her eyes moved from one face to another, she felt overwhelmed with all the family connections. He looked beyond his family group, only to realize the scene held the rapt attention of a growing audience of town people. He closed his eyes, certain he was making a fool of himself. However, he was not a coward. No matter the outcome, he would see it to its end.
“Miss Jones, I know we haven’t exchanged letters, and you know nothing about me but what you can see here right at this moment. However, knowing you came here to marry, and knowing you don’t wish to marry Mr. Chambers, I am making you an offer of marriage. If you agree, I’ll pay Mr. Chambers the fee you say you owe him…”

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