Wednesday, December 01, 2010

YULETIDE DEFENDER - Sandra Robbins - Free Book

Welcome, Sandra. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.

I think every writer must include a part of themselves in their characters, and I’m no different. I find my characters reacting the way I would in situations. Maybe I should clarify that. I don’t react the way my villains do, but my hero and heroine’s reactions are very much like mine.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?

I suppose the quirkiest thing I ever did was when I was on an antiquing trip with my best friend. We both collect blue and white stoneware, and we had heard of an antique mall that had many pieces for sale. We were in Ohio and were pleased when we saw the name of the town where the mall was located about 120 miles from where we were staying. So we took off in search of the mall. When we arrived in the town, though, we couldn’t find anyone who had ever heard of this antique mall that was supposed to be one of the largest in the country. We finally found one person who told us we had the name of the town right, but we were in the wrong state. We needed to be in Indiana. A quick search of a map revealed we were only about three hours away from the Indiana town, so we took off. Needless to say it was rather late when we returned to where we were staying that night, but we had acquired some wonderful blue stoneware pieces.

I have a friend, who would do that very thing. Road Trip! When did you first discover that you were a writer?

I had always wanted to write, but I think I first discovered I could write when I took a fiction writing class in college. I came up with a story idea during that semester that I have never quit thinking about. The story has never been written, but it may be someday.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.

I like suspense and mystery, romance both historical and contemporary, and women’s fiction. I don’t care for fantasy or science fiction.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?

I stay focused on what’s most important in my life—my faith in God, my family, and my writing. I try to remember that life is fleeting and that no one is irreplaceable, but I do want to make an impact on lives I touch. That’s why I pray that the words God gives to me will be like seeds that are scattered into the world. I don’t know where they will land, but I pray God will help them to find fertile soil in the heart of someone and will help that person understand the love that God has for him or her.

How do you choose your characters’ names?

For my hero I like to choose a one syllable name. I think that makes him sound like a stronger character. For my heroine I try to choose a name that has more than one syllable because I think it sounds more feminine. I search name lists on the internet until I find the right combination for my story. The hero and heroine in my latest book are named Matt and Rachel.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?

I am most proud of the children my husband and I have raised. They are all grown now with families of their own, and they all have a faith in God that guides them in their daily lives. Nothing gives me more pleasure that spending time with our four children and my grandchildren.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?

I think I would be a Yorkshire terrier dog. Maybe I think that because my Yorkie passed away a year ago at fourteen years of age. She had all the characteristics that I admire in a person. She gave me unconditional love and was completely loyal. She enjoyed life to the fullest and was never too involved in what she was doing to come running to me if I called. She gave me encouragement in my writing because she lay at my feet the entire time I was on the computer. I still miss her so much.

What is your favorite food?

I have two favorites—hamburgers and chocolate chip cookies. I think I could live on those two foods. I get hungry just thinking about it.

Sounds good to me. Let's go get some for lunch. What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?

Before I started writing, I was the principal of a school and supervised a staff of over 60 employees. I suppose I was used to being the final authority on decisions in the building, but I found that wasn’t true when I began to write. I was fortunate to find ACFW and get into a critique group through that organization. As I began to receive feedback from my critique partners, it was sometimes hard to accept. But God revealed to me that I was growing as a writer and that I needed to learn from those who had more experience than I did. I’m so glad I listened to God’s soft voice for now I realize He was preparing me for the editors and readers that I would encounter later on. Now I’m thankful for the help I was given by so many.

I know what you mean about that. Tell us about the featured book.

Yuletide Defender is a romantic suspense that is releasing December 7 from Steeple Hill Love Inspired Suspense. An anonymous source tells Rachel Long, a determined newspaper reporter, that he believes a vigilante is responsible for the deaths of gang members in their city. Rachel who needs a big story to advance her career decides to find out the truth. Matt Franklin, a police detective, is worried for the feisty reporter who keeps showing up in the wrong part of town and becomes her protector. The two of them find that a threatening gang war is propelling them to a showdown—just in time for Christmas.

I want to read that. Please give us the first page of the book.

Arriving at a murder scene before breakfast wasn’t Rachel Long’s idea of a good way to start the day.

She leaned against the lamp post at the corner of 9th and Perkins and pulled her coat tighter. The December wind that whistled around the deserted storefronts and rundown apartment buildings lining the street sent a shiver down her spine. Unlike other neighborhoods in Lake City, there were no holiday decorations anywhere in sight. In fact nothing about her surroundings gave a hint that Christmas was only a few weeks away.

A young man’s lifeless body sprawled twenty feet away spoke volumes about what life was like in this part of the city. Several uniformed policemen stood to the side as crime scene investigators gathered their evidence.

Her stomach rumbled, and she pressed her hand against her abdomen to suppress the hunger pains. Coffee would have to come later. As chief investigative reporter for the Lake City Daily Beacon, her job was to cover the news.

One of the policemen backed away, and Rachel caught sight of the victim’s leg twisted underneath him. She made a quick note in her journal of his white canvas tennis shoe with a five pointed star on the side—one of the identifying marks of the Vipers, the gang that boasted control of this neighborhood.

She pursed her lips and tried to mentally recall how many gang-related deaths she’d reported in the past two months. Four? No, five. This one made the sixth victim.

How can readers find you on the Internet?

Readers can find me at my website or at my blog at
I always enjoy hearing from my readers at

Sandra, thank you for the interesting visit.
Readers, here's a link to the book. By using it when you order, you help support this blog.

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 6 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Feedblitz, Facebook, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment. Here’s a link.


Annette W. said...

OOO! Christmas suspense! Yippee!

I love living in rural PA!
derekannette at gmail dot com

fredamans said...

I love Christmas stories! Please enter me from Ontario, Canada.

apple blossom said...

I love the love inspired books. please include me thanks

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Sandra Robbins said...

Hi, Annette. Thanks for dropping by. When I saw that you were Pennsylvania, I had an overwhelming urge to come back to your state on an antiquing trip. I've spent some wonderful times in antique shops there.

Sandra Robbins

Sandra Robbins said...

Hi Freda. I love Christmas stories, too. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas this year. Thanks for stopping by.

Sandra Robbins

Sandra Robbins said...

Hi, Apple Blossom. I'm so glad that you like the love inspired books. Maybe you'll win a copy of my latest one. Thanks for stopping by.

Sandra Robbins

Cindy W. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cindy W. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cindy W. said...

Oh my! I love Christmas & I love Love Inspired Suspense. This is double delicious! Thank you for the chance to win a copy!

I'm from Auburn, IN

Cindy W.


Pam K. said...

This book sounds interesting; not the typical Christmas book. I'd love to win it and read it at my home in Kansas.
Thanks for the interview and opportunity.

Bakersdozen said...

I love reading these types of books. I live in S. California

Dianne P. said...

Sounds great! from Missouri

Linda Kish said...

Sounds good to me. I live in So Cal.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

cynthia said...

I think I would do the same thing---to travel hours to get those special must have pieces. Why not? :)
I look forward to reading your book. I love a good suspense.
I live in California.

Robyn said...

Sounds like a thrill a minute. I'm intrigued by the gang angle in the story since our community has more gangs than we need!

coolestmommy2000 at gmail dot com
I live in the midwest

grannyvon said...

Your range of reading is exactly like mine, except I especially like legal supense. I would love to win this book, Thanks for the chance.

Edwina said...

I love stories set during the Christmas season - combined with suspense - this sounds like a great book! Please enter me in the drawing. I live in Georgia.


kristen said...

Fun story!!
I love your antique search story! Sounds like something I would do.
Kristen from Washington State

Merry said...

I love Sandra's antique trip story, what we will do for our search for treasure!
I'd love to be entered, Sandra is a favorite with me. Thanks.
Merry in TX

Charity said...

I love mysteries so this is one I would love to read:) Please enter me. Thanks!

Nauvoo, IL

Sandra Robbins said...

Cindy, I'm so glad you're a reader of suspense, and I'm especially grateful that you enjoy Love Inspired Suspense. The authors are really talented writers. Thanks for leaving a comment.


Sandra Robbins said...

Hey Pam. Thanks for leaving a comment. You're right about this not being a typical Christmas book. There's even a rogue Santa Claus in it.


Sandra Robbins said...

Hi Bakersdozen. Thanks for dropping by. I've visited in southern California. I once had a harrowing experience when I missed my exit on a freeway in Loma Linda. I finally made it to my destination, though.


Sandra Robbins said...

Hey, Diane P. We're practically neighbors. You're from Missouri, and I'm from Tennessee just across the Mississippi River. I hope you have a Merry Christmas.


Sandra Robbins said...

Hey Linda. So you're from southern California, too. That's a beautiful part of the country, and I especially enjoyed visiting San Diego. Thanks for leaving a comment.

Sandra Robbins said...

Oh, Cynthia, you're a gal after my own heart! When I'm on a mission to find an antique, I don't want to give up. I'm glad to know I'm not alone.


Sandra Robbins said...

Robyn, I'm so sorry that your town is experiencing gang problems. We're seeing it all across the U.S. My son is a policeman, and the first murder scene he ever saw was gang-related. He's never forgotten that. Thank you for stopping by.

Sandra Robbins said...

Hi, Grannyvon. I like legal suspense, too. I've never written one, however, because I'm afraid I wouldn't get the legal facts straight. I just like to dream up suspense that has romance sprinkled in.


Sandra Robbins said...

Hey, Edwina. I like books set during Christmas, too. I was excited when my editor suggested I include a Christmas theme in my book. I really enjoyed writing it. Maybe you'll win a copy.


Sandra Robbins said...

Hey, Kristen. So you're a kindred spirit and wouldn't give up on an antique search either? It's good to know there are other people who think like me. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas.


Sandra Robbins said...

Oh, Merry, how sweet of you to say I'm a favorite with you. You have made me feel really special. When I started writing, I wondered if anyone would like my books. Thank you for making my day!


Sandra Robbins said...

Hi Charity. I love to read mysteries, too. It all started with Nancy Drew when I was growing up. I thought nothing would be more wonderful than to have a blue roadster like Nancy and solve all the mysteries in my small hometown. Thanks for leaving a comment.

Jan Marie said...

This sounds like a perfect book to enjoy over Christmas break - please enter me in the drawing.



Jan Marie said...

Forgot to say that I live in north eastern Indiana.

Brenda said...

I love Christmas stories, please enter me!

I'm from Madison Heights, Michigan

dancealert at aol dot com

Charlotte Kay said...

Was there a more exciting read than a Nancy Drew when we were young?
Well, now I would enjoy your book!
Thanks for the giveaway!

chakasa58 at gmail dot com

Sandra Robbins said...

Hi Jan Marie. I would love for you to be able to read this book over Christmas break. Yikes! Speaking of Christmas, I need to get busy shopping. It will be here before we know it. Thanks for leaving a comment.

Sandra Robbins

Sandra Robbins said...

Hi Brenda. I imagine you'll have a lot of snow for Christmas in Michigan. We very rarely have snow in Tennessee. A few years ago it snowed, and it made Christmas so special. I hope you have a very Merry Christmas.

Sandra Robbins

Sandra Robbins said...

Hi Charlotte Kaye. Oh, you're a Nancy Drew fan, too! My favorite was The Password to Larkspur Lane. Reading Nancy Drew books when I was growing up gave me hours and hours of enjoyment. I'm glad you shared my love for her.

Sandra Robbins

holdenj said...

Yuletide Defender looks great! I like a little suspense in my books. We are expecting more snow tonight here in MN. Thanks!

jenmmcclure said...

Thanks for a chance to win this book! I really enjoy a good mystery!
Sandra, you should come to Seagrove NC and you can find all the pottery you could ever want.

North Carolina

Jo said...

I love Christmas stories. Please enter me.


Sandra Robbins said...

Hi HoldenJ. So you're expecting snow in MN. It's gotten cold here in Tennessee, too, but I don't think we'll have any snow. Snowy days are a good time to stay inside and read. Maybe you'll win my book.

Sandra Robbins

Sandra Robbins said...

Hey, Jennifer. I'll have to remember that there's pottery in Seagrove, NC. I love to visit NC. In fact my next book that releases in July is set on Ocracoke Island. That's one of my favorite places to visit.

Sandra Robbins

Sandra Robbins said...

Hi, Jo. I love Christmas stories, too. I have to warn you, though, Yuletide Defender has a twist to it. There are several murders committed in it.

Sandra Robbins

Mozi Esme said...

I'd love to read this!

janemaritz at yahoo dot com


Linda said...

I love mysteries and haven't read a book by Sandra yet. Please add me. I live in COLD MN! I think we have January weather in Dec. No global warming here!

desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

Kelly Massman said...

I'm from Missouri, and I'd like to "show me" what this book is all about (translate: I'd like to win)!

Pat said...

I live in Ohio. That was a great story about your trip to Ohio.
pkildow at gmail dot com

Mark said...

sounds great, would love to read it. Northeastern Ohio here

Maureen said...

Please include me in this giveaway. I enjoy reading the Love Inspired books...and a Christmas one makes it even better.

Nancye said...

Sounds like a great book! Thanks for the chance! I live in Kentucky.

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Tammy G. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
CarolNWong said...

I am from Indiana but I live in Texas now. Do you happen to remember the name of the town in Indiana where you bought the stoneware? I like to visit my brother who still lives in Indiana and I love antiques!

I also love mysteries. Do you think you would ever write one in Indiana?


Tammy G. said...

So enjoy Love Inspired reads especially about Christmas! Expecting a bright and sunny Christmas here in East Texas!

Judylynn said...

Please enter me in this giveaway. Thanks! (Tennessee)


Trinity Rose said...

I would love this book.
Thanks for the giveaway.
Trinity Rose

Charleydog said...

I live in eastern Ontario (Canada) in dairy and horse country. I live in a large farmhouse on two acres but the only creatures here are three cats.
Friendly people but I HATE winter.

pboylecharley AT hotmail DOT com