Monday, March 18, 2013

MOUNTAIN HOMECOMING - Sandra Robbins - One Free Book

Bio: Sandra Robbins, former teacher and principal, is a multi-published author of Christian fiction who lives with her husband in the small college town where she grew up. Her books have been finalists in the Daphne du Maurier Contest for excellence in mystery writing, the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence for romance, the Holt Medallion, and the American Christian Fiction Writers’ Carol Award. Angel of the Cove, her first book in the Harvest House Publishers historical romance series Smoky Mountain Dreams, released in August, 2012, and was followed by Mountain Homecoming in March 2013. The third book Beyond These Hills will release in September. In April 2013 Summerside (Guidepost) will release A Lady’s Choice which chronicles the plight of suffragists who picketed the White House to gain the vote for women.

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 Nice, France. 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.

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.
Chapter 1
Cades Cove, Tennessee
June, 1914

            Rani Martin stared through the cabin window at the Smoky Mountains 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.

            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 or email me at 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.


Katie G. said...

This sounds amazing! I would love to win it. Wonderful interview as well. I'm from NC (up in the mountains originally, so this one really interests me! :) ).

Amy C said...

I love Cades Cove and would love to have this book to the Book one I have of the series.
Amy C

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I would love to read Mountain Homecoming.

Katie J. from FL

Heidi said...

Can't wait to read the series!
Heidi, CA

Marianne Barkman said...

Another keeper by the sounds of things. I would love to win. Thanks for a great interview. Jesus said let a little child come unto me. Who are we to discourage that?

Marianne in Arizona


scottsgal said...

I love reading books set in the west - thanks for the chance
cheryl in IL

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the chance to win this one.

Bonnie Jean

Library Lady said...

Thanks for entering me in the giveaway.
I would love to win this book to give to my church library.
Janet E.

Sandra Robbins said...

Hi Katie,
It's good to hear from someone in North Carolina. I love your state, and I've written several books set there. Thanks for stopping by.

Sandra Robbins

Sandra Robbins said...

Hi Amy,

Thank you for leaving a comment and letting me know that you have Book one in the series. Maybe you'll win this one, too.

Sandra Robbins

Sandra Robbins said...

Hi Angela,

I see you're from Kentucky, so we're neighbors. I live in Tennessee. Thanks for stopping by and good luck in the drawing.

Sandra Robbins

Sandra Robbins said...

Hi Katie J.,

I would love for you to read Mountain Homecoming, too. It was a joy for me to write. Thanks for stopping by.

Sandra Robbins

Sandra Robbins said...

Hi Heidi,

Thanks for leaving a comment. Maybe you'll be the lucky winner today.

Sandra Robbins

Sandra Robbins said...

Hi Marianne,
I agree with what you said about a little child leading. Your comment warmed my heart. Thanks for stopping by.
Sandra Robbins

Sandra Robbins said...

Hi Cheryl,

Actually this book is set in the South, not the West. Cades Cove is a valley in the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee. Maybe you'll win it.

Sandra Robbins

Wendy Newcomb said...

This sounds like a good book!

Wendy from FL


Sandra Robbins said...

Hi Bonnie Jean,

Thanks for stopping by. Maybe you'll be the one to win.

Sandra Robbins

Sandra Robbins said...

Hi Janet,
Thank you so much for wanting to share my book with your church library. Maybe you'll get to do that.

Sandra Robbins

Sandra Robbins said...

Hi Wendy,

Thank you for the compliment about it sounding like a great book. I really enjoyed writing it. Thanks for leaving a comment.
Sandra Robbins

Norma S said...

I would love to win this book, thanks for giving me a chance. Sandra, did you give up teaching and principal to write? That is great that you accepted JESUS into your life at an early age God bless you! I bet that was hilarious that you had the tablecloth hooked in your waistband of your slacks when you place the napkin. Love your cover to your book,and you had a greaat interview. God bless you.
Norma Stanforth from Ohio

Lori Shultz said...

Would love to read and win this book. Lori S. from KS

Mary Preston said...

That is an embarrassing thing to happen.

1914 is a time of great upheaval in the world. I wonder how this relates in the story.

Mary P


karenk said...

thanks for the chance to read this novel

kmkuka at yahoo dot com
from PA

Jo said...

I would love to win a copy of this book and thank you for the giveaway.

Jo from Southern ARizona

A Cooking Bookworm said...

I absolutely loved Angel of the Cove and have been looking forward to Mountain Homecoming!

Loved hearing about the French restaurant episode! ;-) My hubby and I had a 'fancy' restaurant embarrassment several years ago. We're just country bumpkins and went to this really nice place for our anniversary for dessert. We were shocked to see they served instant coffee! I don't drink it, but I was not impressed as my hubby spooned several scoops into his cup. Before he could start mixing in the water, the tuxedoed waiter came over, quietly picked up my husband's cup, dumped out the grounds, and said, 'No, this.' He proceeded to wipe out the cup and make the coffee...with the french press on the table! We had no idea what one was...but we do now! And, we just wanted to crawl under the table! ;-D Fun memories to laugh about now!

Binghamton, NY

mybabyblessings AT gmail DOT com

apple blossom said...

thanks for the chance to win

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

apple blossom said...

oops forgot to post in first comment live in ND

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Lyndie Blevins said...

Thanks for sharing a part of your heart and book with us today.

Thanks for the opportunity to get this book.
Lyndie Blevins'

Duncanville, tx

Sarah said...

Enter me!!!
Sarah Richmond

Patty said...

The Smokey Mountains are beautiful! I been to Cades Cove before=)

Patty in SC

sharon m said...

I think your book MOUNTAIN HOMECOMING looks very good. Thanks for the opportunity to win. sharon, san diego

KayM said...

I love Cades Cove and the Smokie Mountains. I would really enjoy reading this book. Thank you for offering an opportunity.
may_dayzee (at) yahoo (dot) com

Sharon Richmond said...

Enter me this book looks great!!
Sharon Richmond

rubynreba said...

I read the first book in this series and would enjoy this one.
Beth from Iowa

Jackie Tessnair said...

I would love to read this book.Please enter me...Thanks,Jackie Tessnair,N.C.

Juanita Nobles said...

I'd love to win this book. Though I haven't read this author, I like to find out about new ones. Please enter me.
Juanita Nobles, DeSoto, MO, near St. Louis

Merry said...

I love visiting Tennessee, via book or in person. Please add me to the drawing!
Merry in TX4321

Veronica Sternberg said...

I like when plots involve trying to be more environmentally conscious. I'm in MN.

Jorie said...

I personally love stories of redemption, second chances, and of characters who resolve that going back home to where everything was once familiar is a step towards resolving what is conflicting them in order to live free in the future without anything holding them back! :) Thank you for offering this bookaway!