A holiday romance set in 1854 Columbia, California.
Too Old for Christmas, by Zina Abbott.
About the Book:
Irishman Sean Flood survived the potato famine, crossing the Atlantic, the Mexican-American War, and wandering the Western wilderness with his mules and freight wagon. But, due to poor diet and deprivation, his teeth did not fare well. It’s November of 1854 in Columbia, California, Queen of the Southern Mines, a city Sean is helping to rebuild after the disastrous fire the previous summer. Intense stabbing tooth pain drives him to see Doc Massey, the local dentist. He first stops by the mercantile to pick up a bottle of whiskey—for medicinal purposes—and food he’ll be able to eat when it’s all over. If only the beautiful but aggravating woman ahead of him who keeps her face half hidden and insists she won’t accept charity would finish up with her purchase so he can get his supplies, his tooth pulled and return home to his mules and half-built cabin….
That night, Sean meets the woman’s two sons, Jesse and Benjy McNair, and learns her secret. He decides with only three teeth left in his head, he needs widow Ona McNair’s charity—and he’s willing to pay for it. Sean won’t accept nine year-old Jesse’s declaration his family’s poverty means the boy is too old for Christmas that year. Sean is a full-grown man and he’s not too old for Christmas. He not only plans to come bearing gifts to Christmas Eve dinner with the McNairs, but he knows exactly what gift he wants for himself.
Author Interview - Q&A with S.E. Daley:
S.E. Daley: What inspired you to write in the first place?
Zina: I have always loved to read and write. I was sort of a day-dreamy child who made up stories in my head. I naturally progressed to writing my stories down so others could read them.
S.E. Daley: What inspired this particular book/series?
Zina: This past year my husband and I made several trips to Columbia State Park, a
preserved Gold Mining town in California’s
southern Mother Lode region. I took scads of pictures of the place this year,
bought books, and researched its history, learning to love it even more than in
past years. My writing focus had been on my Eastern Sierra Brides 1884 series,
but I missed a publishing deadline. Since my next book in the series will not
be published until next year, that meant my Christmas story in the series will not
be published until next year, either.
|Eagle Cotage & Fallon House Theater - Columbia State Park, CA|
I have no idea where I saw it, but an old photograph of a very lovely woman who obviously had lost all her teeth caught my attention and stayed in my memory. As soon as I decided I wanted to write a Christmas novella for this year, the idea for the plot for Too Old for Christmas, complete with title, inspired by that picture popped into my head. I quickly decided chose to set it in one of my favorite places to visit. In no time at all, I had the outline for an entirely new series organized on my computer: Too Old in Columbia.
S.E. Daley: How do you spend your free time?
Zina: I love to read and quilt. I also love to take road trips to the mountains and other scenic localities. I love exploring the West.
S.E. Daley: What is the thing you struggle most with when you are writing and how do you defeat it?
Zina: The more I publish, the more time I spend marketing my books: blogs – including on group blogs –Facebook, Twitter, blog tours, making promotional hand-outs – all the things needed to get my name and the name of my books out there so people know what I have to offer. I defeat it by keeping on top of my calendaring, making templates for visuals to use and reuse on Twitter and Facebook, and keeping an organized filing system on my computer not only of my research and other resources, but also of my promotional and publishing deadlines.
S.E. Daley: If you could spend a day inside one book, what book would it be and why?
Zina: I try to spend a little bit of every day inside one book or another, whatever I’m reading at the time. The book I most like to get into is the one I’m writing at the moment.
S.E. Daley: Do you listen to music while you write? If so what kind?
Zina: No. I prefer to write in dead silence. I have learned to write while the news is on, but I don’t listen to music often.
Zina: Unfortunately, I think Sean got a healthy dose of my orneriness. I’m not Irish, but I do have that redhead trait. As for Ona, I think I wrote into her personality a sense of caution when dealing with unfamiliar people and situations. She is not quick to reveal her feelings, even though they run deep.
Too Old for Christmas is now available on pre-order at Amazon. You may purchase it by clicking HERE. It will be available on Nook soon.
About the Author:
Zina Abbott is the pen name used by Robyn Echols for her historical novels.
The author currently lives with her husband in California near the “Gateway to Yosemite.” She is a member of Women Writing the West, American Night Writers Association, and Modesto Writers Meet Up. She currently lives with her husband in California near the “Gateway to Yosemite.” She enjoys any kind of history including family history. When she is not piecing together novel plots, she pieces together quilt blocks.
Zina Abbott Links: