Friday, October 07, 2011

ALABAMA BRIDES - Sandra Robbins - Free Book

Welcome to my blog, Sandra. So good to have you back. Have you ever been to Alabama?
Alabama is a neighbor to Tennessee, so I’ve visited the state many times. My sister attended college in Birmingham and now lives in Mobile. That has given me a tie to that beautiful state, and Gulf Shores has always been a favorite vacation spot for my family.

How was the setting chosen for this series?
That is an interesting story. When I first submitted the proposal to Barbour, I had set the stories in Mississippi. I had lived in Mississippi in the past and have always felt a connection to that state. However, the editor emailed me and said she really liked my proposal, but she had another proposal for Mississippi that she liked too. She asked if I could change my setting to Alabama because the other proposal had the Battle of Vicksburg in it, and that battle couldn’t be moved to Alabama. I did some research and discovered that the Black Belt of Alabama on the Alabama River was similar to the Mississippi Delta on the Mississippi River. So I picked up my characters, the fictional town of Willow Bend, and the steamboats and moved them from the Mississippi River to the Alabama River several hundred miles away. It worked great for me and for the authors who had collaborated on the Mississippi proposal, too.

What do you like most about this collection?
I enjoyed researching the problems the South faced after the Civil War and incorporating that into the lives of my characters. Even though much of the land lay in shambles and families were left with little in the way of worldly possessions, the people of the South persevered and established a new way of life. Some wanted the old way back, and my book addresses the problems some had when the tenant farmer institution replaced slave labor. As I’ve often said about the collection, it sweeps your emotions into a time when belief in God, love, and homestead were the only roads to a renewed future.

What book are you currently writing?
I have just finished writing the first in a three book historical romance series that will release from Harvest House next year and am working on the second one. This series is set in Cades Cove, Tennessee, a remote valley in the middle of the Smoky Mountains. The first story, Angel of the Cove, takes place in 1894 when a young girl comes to the valley to spend the summer with a renowned mountain midwife. The second book, Mountain Homecoming, tells her daughter’s story, and the third one, Mountain Laurel Promises, tells her granddaughter’s. 

We need to book this series on the blog, too. What’s coming up next in your writing life?
I plan to finish the two books in the Smoky Mountain Memories series. Then I have another historical romance that deals with the suffrage movement that I plan to finish. I have so many ideas floating around in my head I sometimes wonder what I will be doing next.

Tell us about the stories in the collection.
Alabama Brides tells the stories of three women who lived on the banks of the Alabama River after the Civil War. Here’s the series description: Alabama’s rich history comes alive through the eyes of three determined women, willing to take a leap of faith and risk all for love. In the Columns of Cottonwood, Savannah learns that there’s more to home than a plot of land, as Dante searches for God’s answer to his dream. In Dinner at the St. James, Tave’s love softens the heart of a wounded man, leading him to sacrifice everything for her. In Blues Along the River, Victoria witnesses first hand God’s redemptive power in her family as He remakes her husband into the man of her dreams.

Please give us the first page.
Here’s the first page of The Columns of Cottonwood:

August 1871
Outside Willow Bend, Alabama
 A low, musical rumble like distant thunder drifted through the afternoon quiet. Savannah Carmichael paused before climbing into the buggy outside her aunt’s house and listened. The familiar sound floated from the direction of the river.

            The horse hitched to the buggy jerked up his head and whinnied at the deep-pitched drone. Jasper Green, her aunt’s handyman, stroked the horse’s back and grinned. “There’s the whistle. The Liberty Queen done docked. I ’spect we’s be seein’ lots of folks flockin’ to town.”

            Savannah nodded and stepped into the buggy. “I’m sure the merchants will be glad to see the passengers come ashore. They always spend a lot of money.”

            Excitement washed over her as it did each time she heard a steamboat arrive. The Montgomery Belle, the Carrie Davis, the Liberty Queen, the Alabama Maiden—she knew them all and recognized their distinct whistles. Today she’d get to see the Liberty Queen, because her route would take her by the landing. She never tired of watching the passengers from the big paddle wheelers walk from the boat up the hill to the small port town of Willow Bend, Alabama. Her mind would whirl with all sorts of visions as she imagined herself a passenger in unfamiliar locations and disembarking with enough money to buy
whatever her heart desired.

            She smiled. “Wouldn’t it be wonderful to sail away on a steamboat and leave all our problems behind?”

            Jasper pushed his tattered straw hat back and gazed up at her. “You’d just have to come back sometime, Miss ’Vanna. Besides, it takes money to ride boats, and I doan think we’s seen much of that ’round here lately.”

            She laughed, smoothed her long skirt, and reached for the reins Jasper held. “Not since the war at least. But one day that will all change, Jasper. I just know it will.”

            “Yas’m. That’s what you been sayin’ for a long time now, but I ain’t seen no
taxes being paid.”

A sigh rippled through her body. “No, not yet, but I have faith God’s going to provide us with the money somehow.”

These sound interesting. Where can the readers find you on the Internet?
I always enjoy hearing from my readers.
You can find me at my website at,
I also blog once a week with three other authors at
Readers can email me at

Thank you, Sandra, for giving us a glimpse into your writing life.

Readers, here's a link to the book. By using it when you order, you help support this blog.
 Alabama Brides (Romancing America)

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 Feedblitz, Facebook, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link.


Patsy said...

Oh Sandra, I wish your setting could have been in Mississippi. I'm from Laurel, MS so I have ties with the south. (I'm 54 and lived here all my life.) I know your book will be great no matter where the setting takes place. Looking forward to reading it.

From South MS


Coolestmommy said...

I happened upon these "States Brides" books when looking for something else. I'm so glad I found them. This sound like a wonderful addition to the series.
coolestmommy2000 at gmail dot com

Rebecca said...

Thank you so much for the chance to win this. This book looks amazing. I would love to read this. Thanks again.

I am from Oklahoma.

Wendy Newcomb said...

I love these books, I have to keep a list (144 of them) so I don't buy duplicates, lol. Thank you for hosting this giveaway.


apple blossom said...

thanks for the interview please enter me
I live in ND

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

scottsgal said...

I love this time period and genre to read - thanks for the chance
cheryl in IL

Sandra Robbins said...

Hi Patsy. I lived in Starkville when my husband and I were in college. Then we moved to Jackson and lived there. I love the state of Mississippi, and I have some wonderful friends there. Thanks for stopping by today.

Sandra Robbins

Sandra Robbins said...

Robyn, I'm so glad you found the "States Brides" books. I would love for you to have Alabama Brides to add to your series. Thanks for stopping by today.

Sandra Robbins

Sandra Robbins said...

Hi Rebecca. It's great to see you here on Lena's blog today. Maybe you'll be the winner of Alabama Brides. I really enjoyed writing the stories in this book and would love to share them with you.

Sandra Robbins

Sandra Robbins said...

Oh my, wfnren, you are truly a fan of this series! It's always a pleasure to meet a dedicated reader of a genre I love. Thank you so much for stopping by today.

Sandra Robbins

Sandra Robbins said...

Hi appleblossom. It's good to see you again responding to one of my blog posts. I hope you're having a great day, and I really appreciate you taking the time to leave a comment.

Sandra Robbins

Sandra Robbins said...

Hi scottsgal. I love your user name because I have a son named Scott. Thank you for stopping by today and leaving a comment. I, too, love this time period in history and the genre.

Sandra Robbins

Merry said...

I'd love a chance to win Sandra's book, she is a favorite author for me. I love the post Civil War setting, so many changes in the south at that time. Alabama has good memories for me also, I had 2 of my children there!
Merry in TX

Sandra Robbins said...

Oh, Merry, thank you so much for saying that I'm one of your favorite authors. Your comment has made my day! It is so wonderful to know that the words God has given me have appealed to you. I appreciate you!

Sandra Robbins

Bluerose said...

I am absolutely THRILLED that your book is set in Alabama!! ;) That makes it a must read for me!

Tammy from Alabama

Sandra Robbins said...

Hi Tammy. It's great to meet someone from Alabama, one of my favorite states. Some of my best vacations have been spent at Gulf Shores. Thank you for stopping by today.

Sandra Robbins

Lourdes said...

Hi,sounds like a great book. Would love to win. Thank you for the opportunity to do so.

Lourdes from Huntington, NY

Kristie said...

Info about tenant farmers is largely foreign to me. I would love to read about it. It was very thoughtful of you to change your book setting. I'm from Ohio. kristiedonelson(at)gmail(dot)com Thank you.

Arieth said...


Sandra Robbins said...

Lourdes, it's so nice of you to stop by and leave a comment. Maybe you'll be the winner of Alabama Brides. Don't forget to check back and see if you won.

Sandra Robbins

Sandra Robbins said...

Hi Kristie. The tenant farmer system developed in the South after the Civil War. After the slaves were freed, the only way the landowners could get their land worked was to recruit labor to work the fields for a share of the profits. The landowners provided the workers with housing and bought all the seed and equipment. Of course the tenant farmers had to pay back half of the costs, so they were never able to make much money. It became a different system of servitude for many families and existed until the 1930s and 40s.

Sandra Robbins

Sandra Robbins said...

Hi Aritha. I'm so glad you stopped by today and left a comment. I've lived in the South all my life, and I really enjoyed researching what happened here after the Civil War.

Sandra Robbins

Anonymous said...

i would love to win a copy of this book.

angela from ky

Jo said...

Sounds good! I have always enjoyed reading books from that era. Please enter me.

Jo from Southern Arizona

Abigail Mitchell said...

Looks very interesting! Please enter me in the drawing.
Thanks and God Bless!
Abigail Richmond
Blanch, N.C.

Sandra Robbins said...

Hi Angela. You're from my neigboring state of Kentucky. It's always a treat to meet someone close to home. I hope you have a great day.

Sandra Robbins

Sandra Robbins said...

Hi Jo. I enjoy reading books from that era, too, and I really enjoyed writing these. If you win Alabama Brides, I hope you'll like the stories I've created about that period of history.

Sandra Robbins

Sandra Robbins said...

Hi Abigail. You're from North Carolina which also borders Tennessee. I have a Love Inspired Suspense that is set on Ocracoke Island. It released in July, and the next one in the series will release next February. I love visiting North Carolina.

Sandra Robbins

Nathanael Richmond said...

Enter me please!
Nathanael Richmond
Blanch, NC.

Faith's Grandma/Oh said...

Looking forward to reading this book....Thanks.. Faith's Grandma

Unknown said...

i and my 85 year old Mom love the State Brides, and would love to win Alabama Brides. Thanks for the chance to win, Lena and Sandra

mitzi_wanham[at]yahoo[dot]com from Peace River Country, Alberta

Patricia said...

Next month I will be 61 and I am a native Houstonian from Texas. I would love a chance to visit Alabama through reading your book. Thanks for the chance at winning a a copy.

Patricia aka Mamaw

plb1050 at gmail dot com

Sarah Rebekah Richmond said...

It looks and sounds interesting!
Please enter me in the drawing.
Thanks for the chance to win.
God Bless,
Sarah Richmond

Joanna Richmond said...

this book looks so interesting. I would love to read it. enter me in the drawing. Joanna Richmond,
Blanch NC.

Angela C. said...

Would love to win this book.Thanks Angela C./Oh

Sharon Richmond said...

Sounds like a great book! I love reading and would love to win this book! Thanks and God bless!
Sharon Richmond
Blanch, NC.

Courtney said...

Sounds like a wonderful book, thanks for the chance to win!

from WA state

Nancye said...

Sounds like a great book! Thanks for the chance.

Nancye in Kentucky

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Maggie Carr said...

I live these collections!

Maggie Carr
Northern Indiana