Tell us about your salvation experience.
I was eight years old, and my mother and I went with my grandparents to their church during a revival they were having. As I listened to the preacher talk about asking Jesus to come into your heart, I felt as if he was talking to me. When we went home, I told my mother how disturbed I was because I knew I needed to accept Christ. She took me to see our pastor, and he explained the plan of salvation to me in words that a child can understand. As we prayed together, I felt as if the heavy burden in my heart suddenly lifted. When the prayer was over, I broke out into the biggest smile I think I’d ever had. There was a light feeling in my body that made me think I could float on air. I know some people don’t believe that a child of eight is old enough to understand salvation, but I’ve never doubted the experience I had in the living room of my pastor’s home.
I believe a child of eight is old enough. I was seven years old when I accepted Jesus into my life. You’re planning a writing retreat where you can only have four other authors. Who would they be and why?
Only four? Oh, dear, how can I choose? Since I write historical romance and romantic suspense, I would choose authors who I admire and who I can learn from. First, I would invite my good friend Dorothy Love who I admire for the dedicated and painstaking research she does for the wonderful historical novels she writes. Second, I would choose Debbie Macomber for her friendly style of writing that makes you feel like her characters are your good friends. Third, I would choose Terri Blackstock because her suspense novels served as the inspiration for me to try my hand at mystery and suspense. Fourth, I would invite Tim Downs, the lone man into the group, because I think his Nick Polchak character in the Bugman Series is one of the funniest and most interesting characters I’ve ever read. If I could gain just a little of what these four wonderful authors do in their books, I would be happy.
Do you have a speaking ministry? If so, tell us about that.
I do have a speaking ministry. Most of my engagements are with book clubs, ladies’ church circle groups, or library groups. I usually give my own testimony of how God has worked in my life as I relate the story of my heart attack beside the River Walk in San Antonio, Texas, and how as we waited for the EMTs to arrive I prayed that God would let me live to complete some things in my life, one of which was trying to become a published author. God blessed me that day with an internationally recognized cardiologist who just happened to be finishing another procedure at the hospital when I arrived. Nine months after that experience I got the call that Barbour was going to buy my first book. I try to impress on those I speak with that God only gives us so much time on this earth, and we need to live each day doing putting our trust in Him as we follow our dreams.
What is the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you and how did you handle it?
The most embarrassing thing happened to me in a restaurant in
. My husband, my daughter’s
family, and I had just been seated after a long wait for a table. I tucked my
napkin in my lap and had just picked up the menu when the waiter came and told
us we were going to have to move to another table. I was already irritated over
the long wait, and I huffed in exasperation as I tossed my napkin back onto the table which was pre-set
with white china, stemmed goblets, and silverware. As I rose from the table, I
didn’t realize I had stuck the tablecloth in the waistband of my slacks when I
placed the napkin in my lap. Needless to say, as I left the table, so did the
tablecloth, and dishes clattered to the floor all around us. My poor husband
was more embarrassed than I was as he attempted to catch the falling pieces. I
walked without a backward glance at the destruction I’d left behind and took a
seat at the new table. Of course my face burned, and I know I should have
apologized. But I knew from the angry glances and muttered words of the waiters
they were cursing the day the clumsy American came into their restaurant. Nice, France
People are always telling me that they’d like to write a book someday. I’m sure they do to you, too. What would you tell someone who came up to you and said that?
I would encourage them to be sure that’s what God wants them to do before they set out on a journey to write a book. Writing isn’t something you decide to do and then sit down and produce the next bestseller. It takes time, a lot of perseverance, and a thick skin to meet all the disappointments that can come your way. Writing a book takes as much preparation as does any other job you would apply for. Arm yourself with some good books on writing, join a professional writers’ organization and surround yourself with unbiased critique partners who will tell you the truth about your efforts. But it can be the best experience of your life if you’re willing to hang in there even when the path seems rocky. I did, and I’ve never regretted it.
Tell us about the featured book.
Mountain Homecoming is the second book in my Smoky Mountain Dream series from Harvest House Publishers. The series is a continuing story of a family whose roots go back for generations in Cades Cove in the Smokies. Mountain Homecoming is set during the time that the lumber companies had bought up a lot of the mountain land and were cutting the trees without regard of what it was doing to the mountain range. It is the love story of a man who returns to the Cove after having to leave when he was a child and the woman who wants to help him overcome the darkness of his past.
Please give us the first page of the book.
Rani Martin stared through the cabin window at the
rising above the valley she loved. Usually the sight of the foggy mists curling
around the hills made her happy. But try as she might, she couldn’t find
anything to cheer her up today. Smoky Mountains
There had to be something that would take away the misery gnawing in the pit of her stomach. Poppa always told her she could do anything she set her mind to, but she didn’t know how she could be happy about losing the best friend any girl could ever have.
After today, there would be no reason for her to visit this cabin. Tomorrow Josie Ferguson and her husband Ted would load their belongings in their wagon, take their baby, and do what many of their friends and neighbors had already done—move out of Cades Cove. Josie, the one she’d shared secrets with all her life, would be gone, and Rani would be left behind with only memories of her best friend since childhood.
She didn’t understand what any of the folks who’d left the Cove were thinking. How could they leave the most beautiful place on God’s good earth?
It was springtime, the best time of year in the Cove. The winter snow had melted and the mountain laurel was in bloom. It wouldn’t be long before rhododendrons dotted the mountainsides and azaleas would reappear on Gregory’s Bald. This year, however, Josie wouldn’t be with her to share the wonder of the Cove coming back to life after a hard winter.
How can readers find you on the Internet?I always enjoy hearing from my readers. You can find me at my website at http://sandrarobbins.net or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org You can also find me at Facebook and on Goodreads.
Thank you, Sandra, for sharing this new book with us.
Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Mountain Homecoming (Smoky Mountain Dreams) - paperback
Mountain Homecoming (Smoky Mountain Dreams) - Kindle
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 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.
If you’re reading this on Google +, Feedblitz, Facebook, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link.