First Line Fridays: A Daring Escape

Welcome to First Line Friday’s hosted by Hoarding Books.

Today I’m featuring A Daring Escape by Tricia Goyer. This page-turning World War 2 story is set primarily in Czechoslovakia. Watch for my review coming soon. I’m going to share with you the first line from the Prologue!



Ustin, Czech Republic
September 20, 1993

          Condensation dripped from stone-hewn walls as Charles lowered himself down into the dry well, seeking the treasure his grandfather had tucked away just days before the Allies sacrificed the Sudetenland to Hitler’s death squad like a lamb to the slaughter. The rock walls and the earthy, wet smell reminded him of medieval dungeons and secret tunnels he had read about as a child, and of tales of adventures hunting treasure.


Ok, you caught me. I gave you two delicious lines. I couldn’t help myself!
What do you think? Will Charles find the treasure that his grandfather tucked away?


Now it’s your turn!

Grab the book nearest to you and leave a comment with the first line. To see what First Lines others are sharing this week head over to Hoarding Books.

First Line Fridays hosted by Hoarding Books


Author Interview & Giveaway with Sarah Sundin – The Sea Before Us

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.

Web Page // Goodreads // Facebook // Twitter // Pinterest //

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.



The Lost Castle (The Lost Castle #1) by Kristy Cambron

Launching a brand-new series, Kristy Cambron explores the collision of past and present as she discovers the ruins of a French castle, long lost to history.


A thirteenth century castle, Chateau de Doux Reves, has been forgotten for generations, left to ruin in a storybook forest nestled deep in France’s picturesque Loire Valley. It survived a sacking in the French Revolution, was brought back to life and fashioned into a storybook chateau in the Gilded Age, and was eventually felled and deserted after a disastrous fire in the 1930s.

As Ellie Carver sits by her grandmother’s bedside, she hears stories of a castle . . . of lost love and a hidden chapel that played host to a secret fight in the World War II French resistance. But her grandmother is quickly slipping into the locked-down world of Alzheimer’s, and Ellie must act fast if she wants to uncover the truth of her family’s history.

Sparked by the discovery of a long forgotten family heirloom, Ellie embarks on a journey to French wine country to uncover the mystery surrounding The Sleeping Beauty–the castle so named for Charles Perrault’s beloved fairy tale–and unearth its secrets before they’re finally silenced by time.

Set in three different time periods–the French Revolution, World War II, and present day–The Lost Castle is a story of loves won and lost, of battles waged, and an enchanted castle that inspired the epic fairy tales time left behind.

My Thoughts:

The Lost Castle is brimming with emotion. Both intricate and detailed, this story is an adventure that you won’t soon forget! Kristy Cambron expertly weaves together three poignant stories into an elegant masterpiece that will tug at the heartstrings of even the most stoic reader.

Ellison (Ellie) Carver’s parents died when she was 11-years old, and she was raised by her Grandmother Viola. Now her Grandmother is slipping away, slowly losing her memories and Ellie longs to know more about “La Bell au bois dormant – The Sleeping Beauty”, a castle in France that seems to hold secrets her Grandmother can no longer remember. A journal, handwritten in French and a photo from June 5, 1944, are the only clues that Ellie has to go by. She feels compelled to travel to France to uncover the mystery that is locked behind the Alzheimer’s walls in her Grandmothers’ memory. Will she be able to discover the mystery of The Sleeping Beauty castle, or only find more unanswered questions?

I honestly couldn’t pick a favorite time period in the story. Every time the story progressed to another time jump, I would think “Oh, just a few more paragraphs, I’m not ready to move on.” However, within a few words, I was fully engaged and happy to be in that time setting.

If you are on the fence about reading a time-slip story with three different time periods, don’t let it hold you back from reading this amazingly well-written story. Just take a piece of advice and pay close attention to the date at each section, that way you can quickly know where you are in time. I’d also add, that you may wish to set aside time to enjoy this book because once you start, you won’t want to put it down!

With a robust theme of faith and a resilient hope for the future, this story is one that will linger with you long after you read the last words on the page. I give this story 5 stars and encourage you to find a copy of this wonderful book to enjoy for yourself.

(I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including Netgalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own.)

Favorite Quote:


About the Author:

KristyCambron  KRISTY CAMBRON has a background in art and design, but she fancies life as a vintage-inspired storyteller. She is the bestselling author of The Ringmaster’s Wife, named to Publishers Weekly Spring 2016 Religion & Spirituality TOP 10. Her novels have been named to Library Journal Reviews’ Best Books and RT Reviewers’ Choice Awards Best lists for 2014 & 2015, and received 2015 & 2017 INSPY Award nominations. The Lost Castle (HarperCollins, series debut in 2018) is her fifth novel. Her first Bible studies (DVD + study guides), The Verse Mapping series, will release in 2018.

Kristy holds a degree in Art History from Indiana University, and has 15 years experience in education and leadership development for a Fortune-100 Corporation. She lovesstorytelling from the stage and travels to teach about the intersection of story roads, faith-following Jesus, and her affection for Bible Verse-Mapping. Kristy lives in Indiana with her husband and three sons, where she can probably be bribed with a coconut mocha latte and a good read.

The last and most important thing? Jesus Christ is everything — let her tell you about Him sometime.

Web Page // Facebook // Twitter // Goodreads // Pinterest


  The Lost Castle


First Line Friday’s (5/26/17): Anchor In The Storm

It’s Friday, and as we gear-up to enjoy a long weekend, let us not forget the reason we get to enjoy the long weekend. A time of remembrance of those who have given their lives in service of the United States of America. In the spirit of Memorial Day, I thought I’d share with you a WWII book from Sarah Sundin. It just so happens that the kindle version of this book is on sale on amazon!

Today’s feature book is: Anchor In The Storm by Sarah Sundin


Vermilion, Ohio
Sunday, December 7, 1941

Lillian Avery’s dream couldn’t have come true at a worse time.

Now it’s your turn!

Grab the book nearest to you and leave a comment with the first line & then head over to see what First Lines these friends are sharing today:

 Fiction Aficionado // Reading is my SuperPower // Bibliophile Reviews //
Bookworm Mamma // Robin’s Nest // All the Book Blog Names are Taken //
Faithfully Bookish // Radiant Light // Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen //
With A Joyful Noise // Kathleen Denly // Singing Librarian // Jane Reads //
 Moments Dipped In Ink // A Baker’s Perspective // Lauraine’s Notes //
Moments Dipped In Ink // Molly’s Cafinated Reads

If you would like to host First Line Fridays on your blog, contact
Carrie at Reading is my SuperPower.