Today Zina Abbott will share with you excerpt #5 and
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Beth Dodd has made a promise to help “Lulu”, a young prostitute at the Blue Feather, keep her baby if she decides to leave the whorehouse and become a respectable woman. But Beth hadn’t counted on the obstacles she and the new mother will face from society in the mining town of Lundy. From the obstinate landlady, Mrs. Ford, to her intractable German boss, Gus Herschel, Beth must fight for the woman she’s promised to help. But Beth Dodd never gives in, and she keeps her word with a stubbornness that Lundy folks are not accustomed to seeing from a woman.
Once Lulu, now known as the more respectable Louisa Parmley, starts working for Gus in his kitchen, she proves that Beth was right to take a chance on her. She has every intention of making a good life for her new daughter. But can she also hope to find happiness with Gus? And will Gus be able to accept her and baby Sophie Ann as his? Love was never in the cards for Gus, but Louisa dreams of happiness with the stoic man, and Beth is determined to bring them together through HER INDEPENDENT SPIRIT.
Beth critically eyed the face of her handsome future husband with his olive complexion surrounded by dark hair and a beard. In a voice a little sharper than she intended, she asked, “You aimin’ to shave off your beard for summer just because your brother Luther done shaved off his?”
With a twinkle in his eyes, Val broke into a teasing smile. “Do you want me to shave my beard off, Bethie Rose? It’ll make my face nice and smooth to the touch.”
Beth knew that Val called her Bethie Rose—Rose being her middle name—when he teased her about getting prickly over an issue. But, aware that her annoyed employer she still needed to calm down stood mere feet away from her, she refused to rise to his bait. She merely looked down at her mixing bowl and shook her head while she fought the blush she could feel starting to creep up her neck. “Ain’t no call to go shavin’ your beard on my account. I like it right fine.”
Photo: This photo of the May Lundy Mine taken in the 1890’s shows the location of the mine that, along with the May Lundy Mill, was the biggest employer in Lundy until both were closed down on August 21, 1884 until unpaid debts were satisfied. To learn more, please click here.
About the Author:
Zina Abbott is the pen name used by Robyn Echols for her historical novels. You may find the first two novellas in the Eastern Sierra Brides 1884 series, Big Meadows Valentine and A Resurrected Heart, by clicking on the hyperlinks for the novel titles or by going to Zina Abbott’s Amazon Author Page by clicking HERE.
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Purchase links for Her Independent Heart:
Her Independent Spirit centers around two women, one of supremely strong will, the other, a overwhelming desire for freedom. Both women become friends and help the other to get what they desire. While this is a romance, the history plays a huge part and it would appeal to both historical fiction and historical romance readers. While the story with a definite beginning and ending in this tale is Louisa’s, the overriding and continuing tale (or at least it seems) is Beth’s, and Beth does take center stage in novel, I had trouble figuring out where the novel was going until it was about 70% finished, which makes for a nice change.
I especially liked that the growing relationship between Louisa and her beau (and I won’t tell you who, because that would be a spoiler) is slow and sweet. I enjoyed the characterization of each of the main characters and loved how each one was kept true throughout. This was a really sweet novella and I definitely recommend it.
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