Welcome reader friends! I am super excited to have Sarah Sundin visiting with us today.

SarahSundinSarah Sundin enjoys writing about the drama and romance of the World War II era. She is the author of The Sea Before Us(coming February 6, 2018), the Waves of Freedom series (Through Waters Deep, Anchor in the Storm, When Tides Turn), the Wings of the Nightingale series, and the Wings of Glory series. Her novels Through Waters Deep and When Tides Turnwere named to Booklist’s “101 Best Romance Novels of the Last 10 Years.” Through Waters Deep won the 2016 INSPY Award and was a Carol Award finalist.

A mother of three, Sundin lives in northern California. She works on-call as a hospital pharmacist and teaches Sunday school and women’s Bible studies. She enjoys speaking to community, church, and writers’ groups.

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For those who may haven’t yet had the pleasure of reading this wonderful story is one you won’t want to miss out on reading! To read more check out my review (click here).

TheSeaBeforeUsIn 1944, American naval officer Lt. Wyatt Paxton arrives in London to prepare for the Allied invasion of France. He works closely with Dorothy Fairfax, a “Wren” in the Women’s Royal Naval Service. Dorothy pieces together reconnaissance photographs with thousands of holiday snapshots of France–including those of her own family’s summer home–in order to create accurate maps of Normandy. Maps that Wyatt will turn into naval bombardment plans.

As the two spend concentrated time together in the pressure cooker of war, their deepening friendship threatens to turn to love. Dorothy must resist its pull. Her bereaved father depends on her, and her heart already belongs to another man. Wyatt too has much to lose. The closer he gets to Dorothy, the more he fears his efforts to win the war will destroy everything she has ever loved.

The tense days leading up to the monumental D-Day landing blaze to life under Sarah Sundin’s practiced pen with this powerful new series.

  The Sea Before Us (Sunrise at Normandy #1)

Please join me in giving a warm welcome to Sarah Sundin! Thank you Sarah for vising with us today and taking time out of your busy writing schedule to answer a few questions.

Q: What is your favorite season, and why?

Sarah: Autumn. I’m a November baby, I adored going back to school, and I love cool weather.

Trisha:  Autumn sure is a beautiful season! I love all the colors. It’s like nature’s last hurrah before winter sets in.


Q: What is the best part of your day?

Sarah: Early afternoon to early evening is my most productive time. I’m not a morning person, so I’m barely coherent before noon. In the afternoon my creativity and energy finally arrive. And then my husband comes home from work, which makes my day. And not just because he’s the one who loves to entertain our high-maintenance yellow lab.

Trisha: Evening is family time in our house also. It’s my favorite part of the day!


Q: What are some of your favorite CF reads from 10 years ago, or further?

Sarah: Before 2000, I’d read little Christian fiction, other than This Present Darkness and the Left Behind series. Our kids were still little, and taking time to read felt almost selfish. When I started writing in 2000—and I knew I wanted to write for the Christian market—I had a good excuse to begin reading again. I started with Robin Jones Gunn’s Glenbrooke series and loved the combination of romance, faith, humor, and realistic characters.

Trisha:  Sounds like you picked out some good stories!


Q:  If we took a peek at your “recently played” music, who would we find?

Sarah:  Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, the Andrews Sisters, Harry James, and Artie Shaw.

Trisha:  I should have guessed! You know, too love listening to these singers/artists. Now I have the song “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” playing in my head, I sang that song in choir! My grandmother use to play “In The Mood” by Glenn Miller on her record player and we’d dance with the broom and dust cloth while cleaning. Fun memories!


Q: Did the plotline or the characters come first?

Sarah:  At the “big picture” level, the plotline for the Sunrise at Normandy series came first—I wanted to have three brothers fighting on D-day from the sea, the air, and the ground. To make it work, the brothers had to be estranged. Once I knew that, the characters came to life and drove the plots for each of the three novels.

Trisha: I’m really looking forward to reading the other two brother’s stories!


Q:  Which character took you by surprise?

Sarah:  Mr. Fairfax, the father of the heroine, Dorothy Fairfax. World War II has caused him great suffering, and he doesn’t bear grief well. He started off in my mind as a fairly negative character, but I grew to have great sympathy for him, and I love how he grew during the story. The scene that made my cry when writing involves Mr. Fairfax and Dorothy.

Trisha:  Yes, I think I know what scene you are talking about with Dorthy and Mr. Fairfax!


Q:  What was the latest you stayed up working on this story?

Sarah:  In college, I was the queen of the all-nighters. I can’t do that anymore. My husband has been a good influence on me, and I keep regular hours (my eighteen-year-old self is SO ashamed of me). So the latest I stayed up writing The Sea Before Us would be 10 pm. But usually I wrap up my writing for the day by 6 pm.

Trisha:  Oh, I’m with you! My ability to stay up super late, has diminished.


Q:  What is something that didn’t make it into the final copy?

Sarah:  Nothing actually. I’m an outline-oriented writer, and I think through my plots before I start the rough drafts. But something appeared in The Sea Before Us that wasn’t in my original draft—the prologue. Three years before the story begins, a tragic string of events thrust the three Paxton brothers apart. In my original draft, this story was revealed by Wyatt Paxton in conversation and memories. But it felt kind of flat. I played with the idea of adding the incident in a prologue, but kept rejecting the idea. When I turned the manuscript in to my editor, I mentioned the idea of a prologue. She said, “Write it now!” So I did. It only took about two hours, because I already knew what happened and I’d already imagined the scene from the perspective of each brother. It flew! And it was probably the most emotional scene I’ve ever written—it really shook me up. I’m getting great feedback from readers, so I’m very glad I added it!

Trisha: I’m glad you added the prologue! That was fantastic!


Q:  What books/stories are you currently working on and how long till we can read more?! (I’m eager to read more amazing stories can you tell?)

Sarah:  The Sky Above Us will be released in early 2019. It features Adler Paxton, a P-51 fighter pilot who flies over Normandy on D-day, and Violet Lindstrom, a Red Cross worker at Adler’s air base. I just finished my publisher’s first edits on the novel, and I’ve seen the early work on the cover! Can’t wait to see the official book cover! The last book in the series, The Land Beneath Us, will be released in early 2020, and it tells the story of Clay Paxton, an Army Ranger on D-day.

Trisha:  I’m super excited to read Adler’s story and Clay’s as well! Thank you so much for visiting today!

*** GIVEAWAY ***

Sarah Sundin is giving away 1 (one) print copy of her book “The Sea Before Us” Please review the policies here. Please note that due to shipping cost this print copy is only available to those in the continental USA. The giveaway will be open for one week. At the close of the giveaway period the winner will be contacted via email and announced on this page.

Return daily during the giveaway period to tweet for bonus entries using the Rafflecopter entry form.

 To Enter the Giveaway: 

1.)  Leave a blog post comment answering the following question:
“Do you stay up late reading? What is the latest you’ve stayed up reading?”

2.) CLICK HERE to enter the Rafflecopter entry form.


* * * * *  GIVEAWAY ENDED * * * * * 

Winner is: Tami L.



66 thoughts on “Author Interview & Giveaway with Sarah Sundin – The Sea Before Us

  1. 10:30is probably as late as I can stay up to read. Honestly 11:00 is probably the latest these days. My hubby gets up super early for work. Thank you formthe giveaway opportunity.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, I have stayed up late reading. I’m not really a night owl unless I’m reading. I think the latest was somewhere around 1:00 or 2:00, trying to finish!

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  3. Wonderful interview, Trisha! Thanks for putting it together! When I was much younger, I stayed up til wee hours of the morning, reading. Now … I’m lucky if I’m up past eleven or midnight! Usually, I read in the late afternoon, after all my editing (for clients) and writing (for my readers) is done.

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      1. “Whispering age” … yeah, that’s sometimes slightly depressing. 😉 Sigh… but I am thankful for all we can accomplish in one lifetime if we really reach for it! 🙂

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  4. I used to stay up late studying, when in college. Then, gradually, though the years, my ability to do so has changed. I do most of my reading in the evening, but now I am usually in bed at 10, at the latest. I have many of Sarah’s books and always greatly enjoy them and the history involved.

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  5. I have been known to stay up all night reading. My internal clock is set to wake me up around 4am, (not my choice). I also have a problem putting good books down once I start reading them.
    Great interview!

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  6. Yes! I have stayed up to finish books I can’t put down, as late as about 2am 🙂 Usually I read until about midnight or so.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I don ‘t too often stay up really late reading. I do stay up later than I should on occasion (and I probably would more if I didn’t have to get up for work every morning). And I don’t think I could stay awake to read all night.

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  8. The latest I’ve ever stayed up reading is 3 am. Now that my alarm clock rings at 6:30 am, I try not to read past 1 am. I just need more sleep than that. (I need more like 8 hours a night but it’s sacrificing for a good cause.)

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  9. I have to admit that I usually have a problem trying to read at night. I never have a problem falling asleep, so if I get into bed with a book – even a really interesting one – I’m nodding off before I even get through 3 pages. I read best in the tub, or on the couch, or traveling, or sitting on a chair outside.

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  10. I’ve stayed up until 5AM reading, but of course that was when my daughter was on summer vacation and we didn’t have to get up early for school. 😉

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  11. Thanks Trisha for this wonderful interview! Have to admit I’m a night owl when it comes to reading. Sarah Sundin’s The Sea Before Us ,The Wings of the Nightingale series,and Julie Lessman’s Daughters of Boston series all had me up ’till 6 am. 🙂

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  12. I’m always the last to bed as night time is my time to read! Often fall asleep reading trying to finish one last chapter lol

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  13. I’ve stayed up until Midnight to finish a book. Since I’m able to read all day, I usually finish a book in the early evening. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I have definitely stayed up until 2 or 3am reading. However, since I had my two children, I try to cap it at 11. I’m not usually successful if I’m in the middle of a good book!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I’m with you Trisha & Sarah ~ can’t pull all-nighters any more. I’m typically in bed by midnight ~ but have stayed up until 4 AM on a rare occasion because each chapter end demanded I continue for those books that pull me into the story-world. This sounds like a fantastic series! Thanks for the interview & giveaway.


  16. I have stayed up all night before, but not lately. More often than not, I am doing most of my reading during the day when my children are at school. Evenings are usually spent with my husband watching a tv show or playing a board game or something.

    Liked by 1 person

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