Monday, April 15, 2013

Sometimes I wonder if I was born with a book in my hand. I’m sure my mother would have told me if that had been the case because she was also an avid reader and fostered her love for the written word in me. By the time I was in college, I was reading across a broad spectrum and finding out I loved many different genres. My favorites were mystery/suspense and historical romance. So when I decided to follow my dream and enter the world of writing, I found I couldn’t choose which genre to write. I decided to pursue both, and I’ve discovered it was the right choice for me. 

In the last two months I’ve had two historical romances to release. One is Mountain Homecoming, the second in my Smoky Mountain Dreams Series, and A Lady’s Choice, a release in Summerside’s new American Tapestries line.  

In my latest book, A Lady’s Choice, the heroine Sarah Whittaker has to decide which path she should travel. Should she marry the man she loves or follow her dream of helping win women the right to vote? Her journey takes her from a small, rural Tennessee community to Washington, DC where she joins suffragists at the White House gates. The Silent Sentinels as they are called because they refuse to answer the insults hurled at them by the crowds are arrested for blocking sidewalk traffic and sentenced to Occaquan Workhouse. Behind prison walls, they suffer all kinds of abuse as they refuse to waver in their commitment. 

Although Sarah Whittaker is a fictional character, the events described in the book are historically accurate and depict what many women suffered to give their daughters, granddaughters, and generations to come the right to vote. Those women made a choice to stand against injustice, and women today have the privilege of casting their votes. 

Because of what they endured, the suffrage movement became one of the hottest political issues of the day, and by the summer of 1920 thirty-five states of the needed thirty-six had ratified the 19th amendment which would give women the right to vote. Of those states yet to vote, Tennessee seemed the only one where victory might be achieved. However, the Tennessee House of Representatives was evenly divided on the issue. 

When the roll call began, supporters in attendance realized something unexpected had happened. Harry Burn, who had staunchly supported the defeat of the amendment, had voted aye, and the motion passed by one vote. When reporters asked Harry why he changed his vote, he said his mother had written him and told him to vote for ratification. He ended by saying a boy should always do what his mother said. He made the right choice. 

Writing A Lady’s Choice, the fictional story of one young woman’s journey in the suffrage movement, has made me more thankful for my right to vote. It’s also made me proud to be a Tennessean where the last battle was fought and very thankful for a mother who urged her son to do what was right. 

It is my prayer that we will never take that right for granted and that we will impress upon our daughters to make their choices known by voting on election day. 

Sandra Robbins, former teacher and principal, is an award winning multi-published author of Christian fiction who lives with her husband in Tennessee. Angel of the Cove, her first book in the Harvest House Publishers historical romance series Smoky Mountain Dreams, released in August, 2012, and was recently named the 2013 winner in the Single Title Inspirational Category of the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence. In April 2013 Summerside released A Lady’s Choice which chronicles the plight of suffragists who picketed the White House to gain the vote for women. 


  1. Absolutely gorgeous cover, Sandra. Congratulations, and best of luck with the new series!

  2. Dear Ms. Robbins,

    I like your blogpost, but I should note that if TN had not ratified the 19th amendment, Connecticut or Vermont would have the next year.

    ~~Nate Levin


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