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.
Even though he burrowed deep into his blankets inside the steep-sided
freight wagon that served as his bedroom, Sean
sensed the inside of the barn grow brighter as someone opened the door. He
threw his arm over his squeezed-tight eyes and groaned as the pounding headache
topped by a touch of nausea hit him full force.
|Carriage house at Columbia State Park|
“Mr. Flood. Are you in here?”
Sean recognized the woman’s voice. It belonged to the aggravating blue-eyed beauty he had met the day before—the McNair boys’ mother.
Aye, nothing like meeting a woman when you be at your worst, boyo.
“I told you he keeps all his things in the wagon and sleeps in there, Ma. We only built a fire inside the cabin out of the wind to fix his supper.”
So, Jesse, you had to be bringing your ma up to talk to me at the crack of dawn, did you?
“Mr. Flood, if you’re here, may I please speak with you for a moment? The boys said you wanted to talk to me about chicken soup. They were very insistent I come.”
“Aye, be with you by the by.”
Sean stretched and rubbed his fingers through his hair, then scratched his beard. Unfortunately, it did nothing to ease his aching head. With his hair sticking up in tufts twisted in every direction, his beard bristling every which way and his rumpled clothes smelling sour with sweat, Sean felt loathe to face his visitors.
A woman will nay be letting a man die in peace, now will she? ’Tis what you get for having the boys ask their ma to cook for you.
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: