Monday, August 22, 2011

End of Summer Bash: Welcome Sarah Sundin!

Sarah Sundin is no stranger here, as I had the pleasure of hosting her back in March for a Monday for the Military feature. Sarah is such a great person, and a great author, as well! It's wonderful to have her back with us to celebrate the end of one season and the beginning of another!

Amber: Thank you so much for joining us today!

Could you share with us one of your favorite memories from this past summer?

Sarah: How appropriate—I’m doing this interview on the plane home from two weeks in southern France and Italy! In addition to seeing the usual tourist sites, I got to research my next World War II series. And my children consented! I got sand in my shoes from the landing beaches at Salerno, strolled through Greek ruins at Paestum where an evacuation hospital was based, watched my kids frolic in the surf at Anzio, and got surprisingly close to the Istres airfield near Marseilles—which is an active French military base. I took lots of notes, pictures, and video.

Amber: Gotta love when you can combine work and play in such a grand way! ;)

If you could choose one of the characters from your latest novel to join you for an “end-of-summer” party, who would you want to celebrate with in person and where would you go?

Sarah: Just one? I’d really like to have a back yard barbecue with the three Novak brothers and the women they love. They’re a lot of fun when they’re all together, and I’d just serve up food and listen to them interact. And they deserve a relaxing evening after what I put them through!

Amber: Sounds like a good time! (And yes, I'm sure some relaxation is in order!)

Please tell us more about your latest release. If you could share a scene from the book to whet our appetites, that would be fabulous!

Sarah: Blue Skies Tomorrow is the third book in the Wings of Glory series, which follows the three Novak brothers, B-17 bomber pilots with the US Eighth Air Force stationed in England during World War II. Each book stands alone.

"Lt. Raymond Novak prefers the pulpit to the cockpit, but at least his stateside job training B-17 pilots allows him the luxury of a personal life. As he courts Helen Carlisle, a young war widow and mother who conceals her pain under a frenzy of volunteer work, the sparks of their romance set a fire that flings them both into peril. After Ray leaves to fly a combat mission at the peak of the air war over Europe, Helen takes a job in a dangerous munitions yard and confronts an even graver menace in her own home. Will they find the courage to face their challenges? And can their young love survive until blue skies return?"

As for a scene, how about the first page…?

~ Excerpt from Blue Skies Tomorrow ~

Helen Carlisle strolled up G Street, careful to keep a pained expression. Some days the performance of grief was easier than others, but it was always necessary for her son’s sake.
She shifted two-year-old Jay-Jay higher on her hip and inhaled the Delta breeze, flowing fresh from the San Francisco Bay into the Sacramento River Delta, rain-scrubbed and scented by new grass on the hills.

With a bump of her hip, Helen opened the door of Della’s Dress Shop and set her notebooks on the table by the door.

From a picture frame on the table, Jim Carlisle smiled up at her—long, lean, and handsome in his Navy blues. The hometown hero. Was he wearing that uniform when a Japanese torpedo slammed into his destroyer off Guadalcanal?

She pressed her fingers to her lips and then to the cold glass over Jim’s cold face. But a scan of the shop revealed no sign of her in-laws. Footsteps came from the back room and the curtain swished open, so Helen repeated the performance, laid another kiss on the portrait, and lifted it for her son. “Give Daddy a kiss.”

Jay-Jay mashed his palm over his mouth, making a crunching sound, and passed the kiss to the father he couldn’t remember.

A crunching sound? Jay-Jay’s cheeks stretched rounder than usual. “Sweetie, what do you have in your mouth?”

He shook his blond curls, his mouth clamped shut.

“Let Mama see.” Helen dropped to her knees, pinned the boy on her lap, and pried open his mouth. He howled and flapped his arms at her.

“Please, sweetie?” Nausea billowed through her. Chunks of slimy gray shell lay in her son’s mouth. She’d set him down for a minute, only a minute while she hung the thermometer poster in the window of the Red Cross Branch Office to monitor the War Fund Campaign.

~ End of Excerpt ~

Amber: I recently started the book, and I can't wait to find out more!! (Readers, be looking for my review later this week!)

What do you look forward to most about the coming autumn season?

Sarah: Autumn’s my favorite season. I love the stores full of school supplies. I love the crisp weather and the colors—we get a bit of that in northern California! I love college football and rooting for my Alma Mater. (Go Bruins!) And I love sending my children away to school and dancing in the silent house. The only thing I don’t like so much is sending my oldest son away to college. But hey, he’s going to UCLA, so that makes it a bit easier. (Go Bruins!)

Amber: Autumn sure is a great season! Thank you for reminding us that we have a lot to look forward to in the coming months. (Although I understand what you mean about the sadness of college farewells...) So glad you could visit with us today!

Readers, Sarah has generously set aside a book for one of you! So if you would like a chance to win a copy of Blue Skies Tomorrow, just leave a comment with your e-mail address. All winners this week will be announced on Saturday, August 27th.

*This drawing is open to residents of the U.S. and Canada only.*

Tomorrow's guest is Laura Frantz, so I hope you'll join us again tomorrow for another great interview and giveaway!


Amy said...

Hi. I have not read any of your books yet, but I am interested in getting started. Your vacation sounded wonderful. Thanks for the giveaway.
sweetdarknectar at gmail dot com

Keli Gwyn said...

Thanks for the fun interview, ladies. I'm a huge fan of Sarah Sundin's work. She's one of my must-read authors, the one who turned me on to WWII historicals, and she's a great person. I blasted my way through Blue Skies Tomorrow, as I did the first two books in the series. I'm super excited that my hubby and I get to attend her launch party for the book this coming Sunday.

Please don't enter me in the drawing since I already have a copy of the book and will be purchasing an autographed copy at the launch party.

Renee said...

Please don't enter me, since I'm reading BST right now. I love books and movies that take place during the '40's. Such great material for drama and heroism. I've enjoyed all Sarah's books and look forward to the next series!

Michelle said...

Great interview! Sounds like you had an amazing summer vacation, Sarah!

I'm reading Blue Skies Tomorrow for the Revell Blog Tour. Can't wait to share my review on Saturday! : )

Thanks for entering me to win! If I'm so blessed to win a copy, I'll be passing along my current copy to a friend. (Well, I'll probably pass the current copy along to my friend either way, lol). I have Sarah's first two books signed, so it would be neat to have all three. :D

Have a blessed day, ladies!

Charity U said...

Please enter me! This is the only book of Sarah's that I've read, and I LOVED it. :) Thanks so much!


Unknown said...


Love the start of your End of Summer Bash, and I can't wait to see what else is in store throughout the week!

I've been trying so hard to win Sarah's new book that I've lost count of all the contests I've entered. LOL! So many people have given such glowing reviews of her books that I can't wait to read one. :o)

southernsassythings at gmail dot com

Sarah Sundin said...

Thanks, everyone! I'm so honored that you stopped by. And it's sweet that some of you want to win a copy for a friend :)

Amber Holcomb said...

Good morning, everyone! :) (It's still morning here on the West Coast, LOL!)

Sarah, I'm pleased to have you as our guest today! Thank you for your kindness and for stopping by to say "hello!"

And I agree that it's sweet to see readers wanting to pass on the love. :) Thank you all for visiting, and good luck to those of you who are entering the drawing!


Melanie said...

I would love to win this! Please enter me!

frequentreader19 (at) gmail (dot) com

Christian Bookshelf Reviews

Laura Frantz said...

So good to see Sarah here:) She's just as wonderful in person as she is on the page! It's fun to share a release date and find you here at Amber's, too! Off to say hi to Julie. I'm a day late to this party...:)

Eva Maria Hamilton said...

That sounded like such a great vacation! How lucky to 'live' your book :)

Sarah Sundin said...

Christy - you definitely try hard!! Someday.... :)

Laura - hi there! Amber has such an amazing line-up for this week! I'm honored to be included. And it's fun sharing a release day with you too :)

Melanie said...

I awarded 'Seasons of Humility' the 'Liebster Blog Award'. Stop by Christian Bookshelf Reviews for the details!


Marissa :) said...

The book sounds wonderful! Can't wait to read it! marissamehresman(at)aol(dot)com

Pam K. said...

This is a book I'd really love to read. Thanks for having the opportunity to win Sarah's latest!


Michelle said...

Wonderful interview, ladies. I have the first two books on my shelves, and I'm just waiting to get my hands on BST so I can read all of them at once.

mchapman (at) windstream (dot) net

Julie Lessman said...

SARAH!! Looking forward to seeing you at ACFW as well as reading your fabulous new book. LOVE the cover, LOVE the title and I already know I'm gonna LOVE what's inside as well, so here's to a GREAT launch, girl!!


Renee (BlacknGoldGirlsBookSpot) said...

Don't enter me since I JUST reviewed this book on my blog. I had to stop by and see what was up with Sarah and I must say one of the only things I like about Fall is football so I definitely feel your excitement. Go Steelers. ;-)

XOXO~ Renee

Sarah Sundin said...

Thanks, everyone! I'm honored that you're interested in the book!

JULIE!! (All caps deserve all caps) Isn't Revell's art department the BEST!! I've been so thrilled with all my covers. When I filled out my first cover/title questionnaire, I used your cover for A Passion Most Pure as an example of covers I liked.

Renee - I agree with the Go Steelers! If I didn't, my parents would disown me. Besides, I was born in Greensburg :)

Patricia said...

Enjoyed the interview and would love a chance to win this book.

plb1050 at gmail dot com

Renee (BlacknGoldGirlsBookSpot) said...

Hahaha I think you need to come back to Greensburg and do a reading or book signing at the Barnes and Noble. Since the Borders in Uniontown closed a few years back the B&N in Greensburg is the closest bookstore to me.

XOXO~ Renee

Lisa said...

Would love to win a copy! I love your books!!
bluejay(at)hwyman dot com

Julie Lessman said...

Aw, SARAH, that is SO cool to hear -- THANK YOU!! And, YES, Revell's art department is FABULOUS!! Cheryl Van Andel is one of my favorite people in Grand Rapids, I can tell you that! :)


Katie Marie said...

Amber, I already have a copy, so please don't include me in this giveaway.

Hey Sarah! I just wanted to stop over and say that your entire Wings of Glory series is amazing. I just read Blue Skies Tomorrow on Sunday and enjoyed every moment I spent in that story. Roy and Helen's story was so sweet, deep, and touching. Loved it!

~ Katie

lgm52 said...

Oh, my goodness...I'd love to read this book!

karenk said...

a great posting....thanks for the chance to read sarah's latest novel ;)

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Liz R said...

I would LOVE to read this book! Thanks so much for the chance to win a copy!


God bless,
Liz R

Sarah Sundin said...

Renee -I'd love to do that some time! My parents just bought a house in Greensburg and they shop at that B&N all the time :)

Merry said...

What an awesome trip for research, I'd love to explore France and Italy! I've really enjoyed this series and can't wait to read Blue Skies Tomorrow. Please include me in the drawing. Thanks!
worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com

Marjorie/cenya2 said...

I have the first two books of the series and would love to add this one.
One of my very favourite authors.

cenya2 at hotmail dot com

Anonymous said...

I have just found Sarah Sundin's books. I finished the first two books in the series just last week. I loved them both and would love to win book 3. Thanks for the giveaway

chellb dot chellb at gmail dot com