Tag Archives: Sarah Sundin

Congrats to The 2020 ACFW Carol Award Finalists!

22 Jun

A big congratulations to the talented authors who make up this year’s Carol Award Finalists. No matter what genre you prefer, you will find a winner of a read! I have read a few of these books — more are on the TBR list. Hope you find an award winning book to enjoy!

Contemporary

The Death of Mungo Blackwell by Lauren H. Brandenburg
On a Summer Tide by Suzanne Woods Fisher, Revell 
The Printed Letter Bookshop by Katherine Reay

 

Historical

Memories of Glass by Melanie Dobson
The Medallion by Cathy Gohlke
The Seamstress by Allison Pittman

 

Historical Romance

A Reluctant Bride by Jody Hedlund
A Pursuit of Home by Kristi Ann Hunter
The Sky Above Us by Sarah Sundin

 

Mystery/Suspense/Thriller

The Gryphon Heist by James R. Hannibal
Laynie Portland, Retired Spy by Vikki Kestell
Midnight on the River Grey by Abigail Wilson

 

Novella

Always by Jody Hedlund
The Groom She’d Thought She Left Behind from The Runaway Brides Collection by Darlene Panzera
The Baggage Handler by David Rawlings

 

Romance

Driftwood Bay by Irene Hannon
A Glitter of Gold by Liz Johnson
Love You, Truly by Susan L. Tuttle

 

Romantic Suspense

The Killing Tide by Dani Pettrey
Living Lies by Natalie Walters
Knox by Susan May Warren

 

Short Novel

A Rancher to Trust by Laurel Blount
The Rancher’s Unexpected Baby by Jill Lynn
Lioness: Mahlah’s Journey by Barbara M. Britton

 

Speculative

Flight of the Raven by Morgan L. Busse
The Story Raider by Lindsay A. Franklin
Brand of Light by Ronie Kendig

 

Young Adult

Romanov by Nadine Brandes
Coral by Sara Ella
Something I Am Not by Cher Gatto

 

Debut

A Cross to Kill by Andrew Huff
Above the Fold by Rachel Scott McDaniel
Shadow Among Sheaves by Naomi Stephens

 

Top 10 Tuesday — Books in The Time of Quarantine

31 Mar

Today’s Top 10 Tuesday prompt is Signs You Are A Book Lover. I was going to skip this week because I am really bad at these kinds of things. Then I wondered if I could do a quarantine-twist on the topic. I have a two week head start on most of you out there due to my surgery for breast cancer. Covid-19 was in the news of course, but it was a passing topic of conversation not all anybody could talk or think about. I was just about to be sprung from house arrest, when the President and my Governor said not so fast. So what does a bookworm’s existence look like during a quarantine? From my interactions on social media, not much different than regular life, except you don’t have to defend time spent reading. 😉

There are a few things that are different, so here goes my

Books in The Time of Quarantine List.

Libraries have closed, bookstore likewise, and Amazon is not *gasp* delivering books! But I am content because I have so many books on my shelves and on my Kindle. Even if we quarantine for months longer, I won’t run out of books to read. The picture below is just one of my TBR bookcases.

Friends start tagging you (a lot) on FB with funny book memes and pictures of posters, sweatshirts, and mugs. Cute things that I can order on line. But I hate to break it to them — I already own cute shirts and such with bookish themes.

You host a virtual book club on FB. I was so excited by my post-op progress — I was going to be able to go to book club! Until I wasn’t. 😦  I just had to discuss that book though, so some of us got together and had a discussion. We had people attend from Ohio, Texas, and South Carolina! Even the author all the way from California showed up! Thanks, Sarah Sundin!  Was it ideal? No. Was it awkward? Yes. But I learned a lot on how to go about discussing books virtually, and we will try it again in April.

Books have made me examine my own experiences in a new light. A couple of the books I read in March were set during WWI and WWII. Those times of uncertainty and upheaval put today’s crisis in perspective. The way people met Spanish Flu and wartime trauma was inspiring. I loved the examples of determination and community unity that got people through really horrrible times.

 

Has your reading changed?

Are you doing books in a different way?

I would love to hear your bookish quarantine experiences.

Book Review: The Land Beneath Us

26 Mar

In 1943, Private Clay Paxton trains hard with the US Army Rangers at Camp Forrest, Tennessee, determined to do his best in the upcoming Allied invasion of France. With his future stolen by his brothers’ betrayal, Clay has only one thing to live for — fulfilling the recurring dream of his death.

Leah Jones works as a librarian at Camp Forrest, longing to rise above her orphanage upbringing and belong to the community, even as she uses her spare time to search for her real family — the baby sisters she was separated from so long ago.

After Clay saves Leah’s life from a brutal attack, he saves her virtue with a marriage of convenience. When he ships out to train in England for D-day, their letters bind them together over the distance. But can a love strong enough to overcome death grow between them before Clay’s recurring dream comes true

Sarah Sundin is the CBA-bestselling author of The Land Beneath Us (February 2020), The Sky Above Us (2019) and The Sea Before Us (2018), and the Waves of Freedom series, the Wings of the Nightingale series, and the Wings of Glory series, all from Revell. In addition, she has a novella in Where Treetops Glisten (WaterBrook).

Her novels have received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Booklist, and Library Journal. In 2019, The Sea Before Us received the Reader’s Choice Award from Faith, Hope and Love. Both When Tides Turn and Through Waters Deep were named to Booklist’s “101 Best Romance Novels of the Last 10 Years.” Through Waters Deep was a 2016 Carol Award Finalist and won the 2016 INSPY Award, and her novella “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” in Where Treetops Glisten was a finalist for the 2015 Carol Award. In 2011, Sarah received the Writer of the Year Award at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference.

A mother of three, Sarah lives in northern California and teaches Sunday school and women’s Bible studies. She enjoys speaking to community, church, and writers’ groups, and has been well received.

She serves as Programming Director for the West Coast Christian Writers Conference, and she belongs to American Christian Fiction Writers and Christian Authors Network.

 

My Impressions:

The Land Beneath Us is the concluding novel in Sarah Sundin’s Sunrise at Normandy series. The books feature the three Paxton brothers — men impacted by the actions of a single night back at their home in Texas. Lots of mistakes, poor decisions, and, yes, sins took place on that tragic day, and all three men have to deal with the repercussions. In The Land Beneath Us, youngest brother Clay takes center stage. He trains to be a Ranger to fulfill what he believes to be his destiny. On his way he meets a remarkable young woman whose own life has been marked by tragedy and violence. Her example of forgiveness impacts Clay, changing how he sees his life, his brothers, and God. An excellent finale to this series, this book gets a highly recommended rating from me.

There are so many things to love about The Land Beneath Us. I love how Sundin brings the day-to-day activities of WWII-era America to life. Small details such as fashion, baby care, scrap drives show just how life has changed in the modern world. Yet there is much to be learned — unity of purpose and watching out for our neighbors. There were definitely some dark aspects  — prejudices of many kinds — that shine a light on the shortcomings of modern day America as well. Sundin’s research is remarkable. I really felt I was in those Ranger training sessions and on the streets of small town Tennessee. And Clay’s experiences on D Day spotlight the courage and determination of our Greatest Generation. Spiritual themes abound and are naturally woven into the narrative. Forgiveness, feelings of unworthiness, and clinging to what others have done to us are just a few. The two main characters’ developing relationship was special as well. Through letters they go from a marriage of convenience to a deep love. The book includes an epilogue wrapping up all of the books — I loved that too!

For fans of historical fiction set during WWII, this series cannot be beat! If you haven’t read any of the books in this series, you need to. Start at book 1 and get ready for a great reading experience.

Highly Recommended.

Audience: adults.

(I purchased this book from Amazon. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

 

 

Top 10 Tuesday — WWII Fiction

24 Mar

As Covid-19 news is everywhere, and people around the world are called to shelter in place, I have been giving more and more thought to what people endured during WWII. Talk about a world turned upside down overnight — Pearl Harbor, the invasion of Poland, Dunkirk, concentration camps, and D-Day. There are many excellent WWII novels from which to choose so it is hard to pick just 10, but I did my best to whittle the list down. I hope these novels inspire and encourage you with their messages of hope in a very dark time.

For more Genre Favorites from other bloggers, head over to That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top WWII-Era Novels

 

The Butterfly And The Violin by Kristy Cambron

A mysterious painting breathes hope and beauty into the darkest corners of Auschwitz—and the loneliest hearts of Manhattan.

Manhattan art dealer Sera James watched her world crumble at the altar two years ago, and her heart is still fragile. Her desire for distraction reignites a passion for a mysterious portrait she first saw as a young girl—a painting of a young violinist with piercing blue eyes.

In her search for the painting, Sera crosses paths with William Hanover, the grandson of a wealthy California real estate mogul, who may be the key to uncovering the hidden masterpiece. Together, Sera and William slowly unravel the story behind the painting’s subject: Austrian violinist Adele Von Bron.

A darling of the Austrian aristocracy, talented violinist, and daughter to a high-ranking member of the Third Reich, Adele risks everything when she begins smuggling Jews out of Vienna. In a heartbeat, her life of prosperity and privilege dissolves into a world of starvation and barbed wire.

As Sera untangles the secrets behind the painting, she finds beauty in the most unlikely of places: in the grim camps of Auschwitz and in the inner recesses of her own troubled heart.

Flame of Resistance by Tracy Groot

Years of Nazi occupation have stolen much from Brigitte Durand. Family. Freedom. Hope for a future, especially for a woman with a past like hers. But that changes the day American fighter pilot Tom Jaeger is shot down over occupied France. Picked up by the Resistance, Tom becomes the linchpin in their plan to infiltrate a Germans-only brothel and get critical intel out through Brigitte, a prostitute rumored to be sympathetic to the Allied cause.D-day looms and everyone knows that invasion is imminent. But so is treachery, and the life of one American pilot unexpectedly jeopardizes everything. He becomes more important than the mission to a man who cannot bear to lose another agent and to a woman who is more than just a prostitute, who finally realizes that her actions could change the course of history.

The Girl from The Train by Irma Joubert

As World War II draws to a close, Jakób fights with the Polish resistance against the crushing forces of Germany and Russia. They intend to destroy a German troop transport, but Gretl’s unscheduled train reaches the bomb first.

Gretl is the only survivor. Though spared from the concentration camp, the orphaned German Jew finds herself lost in a country hostile to her people. When Jakób discovers her, guilt and fatherly compassion prompt him to take her in. For three years, the young man and little girl form a bond over the secrets they must hide from his Catholic family.

But she can’t stay with him forever. Jakób sends Gretl to South Africa, where German war orphans are promised bright futures with adoptive Protestant families — so long as Gretl’s Jewish roots, Catholic education, and connections to communist Poland are never discovered.

Separated by continents, politics, religion, language, and years, Jakób and Gretl will likely never see each other again. But the events they have both survived and their belief that the human spirit can triumph over the ravages of war have formed a bond of love that no circumstances can overcome.

Hidden Among The Stars by Melanie Dobson

The year is 1938, and as Hitler’s troops sweep into Vienna, Austrian Max Dornbach promises to help his Jewish friends hide their most valuable possessions from the Nazis, smuggling them to his family’s summer estate near the picturesque village of Hallstatt. He enlists the help of Annika Knopf, his childhood friend and the caretaker’s daughter, who is eager to help the man she’s loved her entire life. But when Max also brings Luzia Weiss, a young Jewish woman, to hide at the castle, it complicates Annika’s feelings and puts their entire plan—even their very lives—in jeopardy. Especially when the Nazis come to scour the estate and find both Luzia and the treasure gone.

Eighty years later, Callie Randall is mostly content with her quiet life, running a bookstore with her sister and reaching out into the world through her blog. Then she finds a cryptic list in an old edition of Bambithat connects her to Annika’s story . . . and maybe to the long-buried story of a dear friend. As she digs into the past, Callie must risk venturing outside the safe world she’s built for a chance at answers, adventure, and maybe even new love.

Like A River from Its Course by Kelli Stuart

An epic novel exposing the ugliness of war and the beauty of hope.

The city of Kiev was bombed in Hitler’s blitzkrieg across the Soviet Union, but the constant siege was only the beginning for her citizens. In this sweeping historical saga, Kelli Stuart takes the reader on a captivating journey into the little—known history of Ukraine’s tragedies through the eyes of four compelling characters who experience the same story from different perspectives.

Maria Ivanovna is only fourteen when the bombing begins and not much older when she is forced into work at a German labor camp. She must fight to survive and to make her way back to her beloved Ukraine.

Ivan Kyrilovich is falsely mistaken for a Jew and lined up with 34,000 other men, women, and children who are to be shot at the edge of Babi Yar, the “killing ditch.” He survives, but not without devastating consequences.

Luda is sixteen when German soldiers rape her. Now pregnant with the child of the enemy, she is abandoned by her father, alone, and in pain. She must learn to trust family and friends again and find her own strength in order to discover the redemption that awaits.

Frederick Hermann is sure in his knowledge that the Führer’s plans for domination are right and just. He is driven to succeed by a desire to please a demanding father and by his own blind faith in the ideals of Nazism. Based on true stories gathered from fifteen years of research and interviews with Ukrainian World War II survivors, Like a River from Its Course is a story of love, war, heartache, forgiveness, and redemption.

Maggie Bright by Tracy Groot

England, 1940. Clare Childs knew life would change when she unexpectedly inherited the Maggie Bright―a noble fifty-two-foot yacht. In fact, she’s counting on it. But the boat harbors secrets. When a stranger arrives, searching for documents hidden onboard, Clare is pulled into a Scotland Yard investigation that could shed light on Hitler’s darkest schemes and prompt America to action.

Across the Channel, Hitler’s Blitzkrieg has the entire British army in retreat with little hope for rescue at the shallow beaches of Dunkirk. With time running out, Churchill recruits civilian watercraft to help. Hitler is attacking from land, air, and sea, and any boat that goes might not return. Yet Clare knows Maggie Bright must answer the call―piloted by an American who has refused to join the war effort until now and a detective with a very personal motive for exposing the truth.

The fate of the war hinges on this rescue. While two men join the desperate fight, a nation prays for a miracle.

The Medallion by Cathy Gohlke

For fans of bestselling World War II fiction like Sarah’s Key and The Nightingale comes an illuminating tale of courage, sacrifice, and survival, about two couples whose lives are ravaged by Hitler’s mad war yet eventually redeemed through the fate of one little girl.

Seemingly overnight, the German blitzkrieg of Warsaw in 1939 turns its streets to a war zone and shatters the life of each citizen — Polish, Jewish, or otherwise. Sophie Kumiega, a British bride working in the city’s library, awaits news of her husband, Janek, recently deployed with the Polish Air Force. Though Sophie is determined that she and the baby in her womb will stay safe, the days ahead will draw her into the plight of those around her, compelling her to help, whatever the danger.

Rosa and Itzhak Dunovich never imagined they would welcome their longed-for first child in the Jewish ghetto, or that they would let anything tear their family apart. But as daily atrocities intensify, Rosa soon faces a terrifying reality: to save their daughter’s life, she must send her into hiding. Her only hope of finding her after the war — if any of them survive — is a medallion she cuts in half and places around her neck.

Inspired by true events of Poland’s darkest days and brightest heroes, The Medallion paints a stunning portrait of war and its aftermath, daring us to believe that when all seems lost, God can make a way forward.

My Dearest Dietrich by Amanda Barratt

A staggering love illuminating the dark corners of a Nazi prison

Renowned German pastor and theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer is famous for his resistance to the Nazi regime and for his allegiance to God over government. But what few realize is that the last years of his life also held a love story that rivals any romance novel.

Maria von Wedemeyer knows the realities of war. Her beloved father and brother have both been killed on the battlefield. The last thing this spirited young woman needs is to fall for a man under constant surveillance by the Gestapo. How can she give another piece of her heart to a man so likely to share the same final fate? Yet when Dietrich Bonhoeffer, an old family friend, comes to comfort the von Wedemeyers after their losses, she discovers that love isn’t always logical.

Dietrich himself has determined to keep his distance from romantic attachments. There is too much work to be done for God, and his involvement in the conspiracy is far too important. But when he encounters a woman whose intelligence and conviction match his own, he’s unprepared for how easy it is to give away his heart.

With their deep love comes risk — and neither Dietrich nor Maria is prepared for just how great that risk soon becomes.

Based on detailed historical research, this true love story is at once beautiful and heartrending. My Dearest Dietrich sheds new light on a world-famous theologian . . . and the woman who changed his life.

The Plum Blooms in Winter by Linda Thompson

A Prostitute Seeks Her Revenge

In 1942, Miyako Matsuura cradled her little brother as he died on the sidewalk, a victim of the first U.S. bombing raid on Japan. By 1948, the war has reduced her to a street-hardened prostitute consumed by her shame.

A WWII Hero Finds His True Mission

Dave Delham makes military aviation history piloting a B-25 in the audacious Doolittle Raid. Forced to bail out over occupied China, he and his crew are captured by the Japanese and survive a harrowing P.O.W. ordeal.

In 1948, he returns to Japan as a Christian missionary, determined to showcase Christ’s forgiveness. Convinced that Delham was responsible for the bomb that snuffed out her brother’s life, Miyako resolves to restore her honor by avenging him — even if it costs her own life. But the huntress soon becomes hunted in Osaka’s treacherous underworld. Miyako must outmaneuver a ruthless brothel owner, outwit gangs with competing plans to profit by her, and overcome betrayal by family and friends — only to confront a decision that will change everything.

Sunrise at Normandy series by Sarah Sundin

In 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.

 

Thief of Glory by Sigmund Brouwer

A boy coming of age in a time of war . . .
the love that inspires him to survive.

For ten year-old Jeremiah Prins, the life of privilege as the son of a school headmaster in the Dutch East Indies comes crashing to a halt in 1942 after the Japanese Imperialist invasion of the Southeast Pacific. Jeremiah takes on the responsibility of caring for his younger siblings when his father and older stepbrothers are separated from the rest of the family, and he is surprised by what life in the camp reveals about a woman he barely knows—his frail, troubled mother.

Amidst starvation, brutality, sacrifice and generosity, Jeremiah draws on all of his courage and cunning to fill in the gap for his mother. Life in the camps is made more tolerable as Jeremiah’s boyhood infatuation with his close friend Laura deepens into a friendship from which they both draw strength.

When the darkest sides of humanity threaten to overwhelm Jeremiah and Laura, they reach for God’s light and grace, shining through his people. Time and war will test their fortitude and the only thing that will bring them safely to the other side is the most enduring bond of all.

 

Top 10 Tuesday — Spring TBR

17 Mar

After a really rainy winter here in the “sunny” south, spring has really sprung! All the flowers are bursting forth bringing all the pollen too. Warmer temps are the norm, and more days feature sun rather than clouds. While we can now get out of the house, out and about is out of the picture. But we can still enjoy the fresh air and great outdoors even if it is on the back porch or apartment balcony. I plan to use this time of quiet pursuits reading new books. I know that’s not much different than how I normally spend my time 😉 , but the inside of a book is a great escape from the turmoil found in the media.

I am joining other bloggers with Top 10 Spring TBR lists. My list includes a variety of genres — something for everyone! To find more fabulous lists, head over to That Artsy Reader Girl.

 

Top 10 Books on My TBR

 

The Blue Cloak by Shannon McNear

True, riveting stories of American criminal activity are explored through unique stories of historical romantic suspense. Collect them all and be inspired by the hope that always finds its way even in the darkest of times.
 
Based on real events beginning in 1797 — Rachel Taylor lives a rather mundane existence at the way station her family runs along the Wilderness Road in Tennessee. She attends her friend’s wedding only to watch it dissolve in horror has the groom, Wiley Harpe, and his cousin become murderers on the run, who drag their families along. Declaring a “war on all humanity,” the Harpes won’t be stopped, and Ben Langford is on their trail to see if his own cousin was one of their latest victims. How many will die before peace can return to the frontier?

A Change of Fortune by Jen Turano

Lady Eliza Sumner is on a mission. After losing her family, her fiance, and her faith, the disappearance of her fortune is the last straw. Now, masquerading as Miss Eliza Sumner, governess-at-large, she’s determined to find the man who ran off with her fortune, reclaim the money, and head straight back to London.

Much to Mr. Hamilton Beckett’s chagrin, all the eyes of New York society — all the female ones, at least–are on him. Unfortunately for all the matchmaking mothers and eligible daughters, he has no plans to marry again, especially with his hands full keeping his business afloat and raising his two children alone.

When Eliza’s hapless attempts to regain her fortune put her right in Hamilton’s path, sparks instantly begin to fly. The discovery of a common nemesis causes them to join forces, but with all their plans falling by the wayside and their enemies getting the better of them, it will take a riot of complications for Hamilton and Eliza to realize that God just might have had a better plan in mind all along.

The Englisch Daughter by Cindy and Erin Woodsmall

Old Order Amish wife and mother Jemima has put her marriage and family ahead of herself for years. She’s set herself aside. Raising four children, she’s followed all the rules and has been patient in looking forward to her time to chase a dream of her own.

But when she finds out that her life savings for pursuing that dream is gone — and her husband, Roy, has been hiding a child with another woman — her entire world is shattered. Will she be able to listen to God and love Roy’s child? With so much at stake, how can she and Roy fix their relationship before their lives come crashing down?

Flight Risk by Cara Putman

Savannah Daniels has worked hard to build her law practice, to surround herself with good friends, and to be the loyal aunt her troubled niece can always count on. But since her ex-husband’s betrayal, she has trouble trusting anyone.

Jett Glover’s father committed suicide over a false newspaper report that ruined his reputation. Now a fierce champion of truth, Jett is writing the story of his journalism career — an international sex-trafficking exposé that will bring down a celebrity baseball player and the men closest to him, including Savannah’s ex-husband.

When Jett’s story breaks, tragedy ensues. Then a commercial airline crashes, and one of Savannah’s clients is implicated in the crash. Men connected to the scandal, including her ex, begin to die amid mysterious circumstances, and Savannah’s niece becomes an unwitting target.

Against their better instincts, Jett and Savannah join ranks to sort the facts from fiction. But can Savannah trust the reporter who threw her life into chaos? And can Jett face the possibility that he’s made the biggest mistake of his life?

A Gift to Cherish by Victoria Bylin

Rafe Donovan, a cop from Cincinnati, is haunted by a recurring nightmare about the death of his high school sweetheart. Those nightmares force him to take leave from his job, seek help, and shelter in Refuge, where he pounds nails for his brother’s construction business. Rafe has no desire to stay in Wyoming. His goal is to get back to being a cop in Ohio as soon as possible.

But then he meets Daisy Riley . . . When he finds her stranded late at night with a flat tire, he’s impressed by her courage. Daisy is equally impressed by him, but as a former victim of violence, she treasures her secure life in Refuge. Together they navigate the road to love — one that’s complicated by Daisy’s troubled best friend, online dating, and the impossible obstacle of 1,600 miles between her home and his.

The House at The End of The Moor by Michelle Griep

What Can a London Opera Star and an Escaped Dartmoor Prisoner Have in Common?

Opera star Maggie Lee escapes her opulent lifestyle when threatened by a powerful politician who aims to ruin her life. She runs off to the wilds of the moors to live in anonymity. All that changes the day she discovers a half-dead man near her house. Escaped convict Oliver Ward is on the run to prove his innocence, until he gets hurt and is taken in by Maggie. He discovers some jewels in her possession—the very same jewels that got him convicted. Together they hatch a plan to return the jewels, clearing Oliver’s name and hopefully maintaining Maggie’s anonymity.

The Land Beneath Us by Sarah Sundin

In 1943, Private Clay Paxton trains hard with the US Army Rangers at Camp Forrest, Tennessee, determined to do his best in the upcoming Allied invasion of France. With his future stolen by his brothers’ betrayal, Clay has only one thing to live for–fulfilling the recurring dream of his death.

Leah Jones works as a librarian at Camp Forrest, longing to rise above her orphanage upbringing and belong to the community, even as she uses her spare time to search for her real family — the baby sisters she was separated from so long ago.

After Clay saves Leah’s life from a brutal attack, he saves her virtue with a marriage of convenience. When he ships out to train in England for D-day, their letters bind them together over the distance. But can a love strong enough to overcome death grow between them before Clay’s recurring dream comes true?

Star Rising by Janet Ferguson

Star Youngblood has always been a fighter–a necessity after her mother married a monster of a man. Now, she’s finally on the path to the stable life she’s always wanted. Her employer, Priscilla Kelly, is a sweet woman ravaged by rheumatoid arthritis, and Star will do anything to help her. Even if that means going toe to toe with Mrs. Kelly’s neglectful son.

After being betrayed on the mission field and devastated by the tragic death of his father, Paul Kelly gave up on God. He lives life on his own terms, biding his time as a corporate pilot until he can save enough money to begin his own flight school closer to home. His mother is all he has left, and he wants to be near her. He just didn’t expect her health to decline so quickly. When he discovers his mother has taken in a stray — a woman he’s not at all sure can be trusted — his protective instincts kick into high gear. Paul’s handled a lot of turbulence, but he’s never gone up against a force like Star.

As Paul and Star strive to protect his mother in their own ways, they soon find their own hearts are at the greatest risk.

Starfish Pier by Irene Hannon

A year ago, ex-Delta Force operator Steven Roark left the rigors of combat behind to run fishing charters in Hope Harbor, decompress, and talk some sense into his kid brother. Business is good — but making peace with his past is more challenging than he expected.

First-grade teacher Holly Miller leads a quiet, low-profile existence — until she’s recruited to advocate for a cause that’s dear to her heart. When she solicits Steven’s assistance, sparks fly — especially after they find themselves on opposite sides of an issue that disrupts their placid seaside community.

As these two seemingly incompatible souls search for common ground, might they discover a deeper connection — and find that love can banish darkness and light the way to a future filled with promise?

The Traitor’s Pawn by Lisa Harris

When FBI agent Jack Shannon arrives in Corpus Christi, Texas, he is focused on one thing: find the man who has been selling encrypted government secrets to the Chinese through online birding chat rooms. But when a senator is shot during a hunting trip and the woman he was with is abducted, Jack agrees to join the search — especially when he discovers that the kidnapping victim is Aubrey Grayson, a woman he was once in love with.

As the search continues, it becomes clear the senator may not have been the intended victim — and Aubrey may be connected to the other case Jack is supposed to be working on. Can Jack untangle the knots before it’s too late? And when he learns the truth, will it be too painful to get past?

Join the hunt for the truth — and a traitor — in this tension-laden story of secrets, betrayal, and second chances.

 

March Book Club Pick

2 Mar

The much anticipated novel, The Land Beneath Us by Sarah Sundin, is By The Book‘s March selection. My book club is very anxious to read the final book in the Sunrise at Normandy series. We’re excited, but also a little sad — an excellent series is concluding. However, I know Sundin, one of our favorite authors, will have more reading goodness in the near future!

We would love if you would join in our discussion. Visit our FB page HERE.

 

In 1943, Private Clay Paxton trains hard with the US Army Rangers at Camp Forrest, Tennessee, determined to do his best in the upcoming Allied invasion of France. With his future stolen by his brothers’ betrayal, Clay has only one thing to live for–fulfilling the recurring dream of his death.

Leah Jones works as a librarian at Camp Forrest, longing to rise above her orphanage upbringing and belong to the community, even as she uses her spare time to search for her real family–the baby sisters she was separated from so long ago.

After Clay saves Leah’s life from a brutal attack, he saves her virtue with a marriage of convenience. When he ships out to train in England for D-day, their letters bind them together over the distance. But can a love strong enough to overcome death grow between them before Clay’s recurring dream comes true?

Sarah Sundin is the CBA-bestselling author of The Land Beneath Us (February 2020), The Sky Above Us (2019) and The Sea Before Us (2018), and the Waves of Freedom series, the Wings of the Nightingale series, and the Wings of Glory series, all from Revell. In addition, she has a novella in Where Treetops Glisten (WaterBrook).

Her novels have received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Booklist, and Library Journal. In 2019, The Sea Before Us received the Reader’s Choice Award from Faith, Hope and Love. Both When Tides Turn and Through Waters Deep were named to Booklist’s “101 Best Romance Novels of the Last 10 Years.” Through Waters Deep was a 2016 Carol Award Finalist and won the 2016 INSPY Award, and her novella “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” in Where Treetops Glisten was a finalist for the 2015 Carol Award. In 2011, Sarah received the Writer of the Year Award at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference.

A mother of three, Sarah lives in northern California and teaches Sunday school and women’s Bible studies. She enjoys speaking to community, church, and writers’ groups, and has been well received.

She serves as Programming Director for the West Coast Christian Writers Conference, and she belongs to American Christian Fiction Writers and Christian Authors Network.

 

Top 10 Tuesday — Anticipated Books of 2020 (a few months worth at least)

7 Jan

A new year means new books! And although I have shelves full, there is always room for more great books. My list contains novels that I am looking forward to in the next few months. I am an eclectic reader, so the fiction I have listed runs the gamut of genres — something for everyone!

What new book are you looking forward to in 2020?

For more bloggers’ highly anticipated lists, visit That Artsy Reader Girl.

 

Top Anticipated Books of Early 2020

 

Chasing The White Lion by James Hannibal (3/3)

Daughter of Rome by Tessa Afshar (2/4)

  • End Game by Rachel Dylan (released today! Woo hoo!)

 

The Englisch Daughter by Cindy and Erin Woodsmall (4/21)

Fifth Avenue Story Society by Rachel Hauck (2/4)

The Land Beneath Us by Sarah Sundin (2/4)

One Little Lie by Colleen Coble (3/3)

 

Promised Land by Robert Whitlow (1/14)

Starfish Pier by Irene Hannon (3/31)

The Thief of Lanwyn Manor by Sarah E. Ladd (released today!!)

 

2020 Book Club Picks

1 Jan

Happy New Year! My book club has A LOT of great reading ahead of us. We would love for you to join us online at our FB page. And if Santa brought you some bookish gift cards, our list is a great place to start!

 

Happy New Years Reading!

January — Smoke Screen by Terri Blackstock

February — Lethal Target by Janice Cantore

March — The Land Beneath Us by Sarah Sundin

April — Surprise!

May — Promised Land by Robert Whitlow

June —Magnolia Storms by Janet Ferguson

July — Living Lies by Natalie Walters

August — Surprise!

September — Under A Turquoise Sky by Lisa Carter

October — Egypt’s Sister by Angela Hunt

November — Deadly Intentions by Lisa Harris

December — Christmas book, TBA

 

Guest Post — Sarah Sundin, Author of Sunrise at Normandy Series

4 Nov

I discovered Sarah Sundin early in my blogging career. Her first novel, A Distant Melody, was released in March 2010, and I was offered the opportunity to review it. (You can read my review HERE — don’t judge! 😉 ). I was immediately hooked! Sarah is a must-read author for me. Her books have also become favorites of my book club. We just cannot wait for the next book to be released. Sarah has a wonderful website where she shares her writing adventures. Be sure to check it out. Also make sure to check out the link to the 10 Year Blogivesary Giveaway at the bottom of this post.

Today, Sarah is sharing about her research travels for the Sunrise at Normandy series. Thanks so much, Sarah!

Guest Post — Sarah Sundin

Touring England and Normandy . . . I call it, tongue in cheek, “suffering for my art.”

Whenever possible, I visit the settings for my novels. Each novel in my Sunrise at Normandy series has scenes in England and culminates on D-day, so I was able to lump research for all three books in one trip. My husband was a trouper and let me hijack most of his vacation for research.

Sarah Sundin at Big Ben in London, September 2017 (Photo: Sarah Sundin)

We started in London, which is the main setting for the first novel, The Sea Before Us, and is featured in the other two novels as well. Of course, we saw the big London attractions — because my characters visit these sites too — and because we had to see them! But we also strolled through the Kensington area to find the house where my heroine Dorothy Fairfax “lives,” found the building on Grosvenor Square where the US Western Naval Task Force had its headquarters in the lead-up to D-day, and saw Norfolk House on St. James’s Square, which served as Allied Naval Headquarters.

For The Sea Before Us, we also took a tour of Southwick House near Portsmouth, which served as Battle Headquarters for the Allied Naval Expeditionary Force, where Gen. Dwight Eisenhower made his famous final decision to carry out the invasion — and where Dorothy Fairfax serves on D-day as a Wren (Women’s Royal Naval Service), monitoring the action on the far shore.

In The Sky Above Us, the hero serves on D-day as a fighter pilot, so we visited the Duxford Air Museum to see the workings of a real airfield in Britain. Plus, we saw several

US P-51 Mustang, Imperial War Museum, Duxford, England, September 2017 (Photo: Sarah Sundin)

P-51 Mustangs, the plane my hero Adler Paxton flies.

To travel to Normandy, we took the ferry from Portsmouth across the English Channel to Ouistreham, France. Since Wyatt Paxton, the hero of The Sea Before Us, serves as a naval officer on an American destroyer on D-day, I loved approaching Normandy from the sea and imagining what all those soldiers and sailors must have been thinking as that same shoreline came into view on June 6, 1944.

In Normandy, we toured the German gun batteries at Longues-sur-Mer, walked along Omaha and Utah Beaches on gray and blustery days, and lingered in the American cemetery, an incredibly moving experience.

Pointe du Hoc, Normandy, France, September 2017 (Photo: Sarah Sundin)

In The Land Beneath Us, the final book in the series (coming February 2020), the hero, Clay Paxton, serves in the US 2nd Ranger Battalion, legendary for scaling the 100-foot cliffs of Pointe du Hoc on D-day. We spent another gray and blustery day visiting Pointe du Hoc, pockmarked with giant craters from naval shells and littered with chunks of concrete. We also hiked through the infamous “bocage” (hedgerows) and saw where the Rangers found the German guns and destroyed them.

I had the time of my life! And my husband . . . ? As we were traipsing through a muddy gun emplacement on a gray and blustery day (did I mention it was gray and blustery?), my husband was thoroughly enjoying the adventure and history. I said to him, “Aren’t you glad I don’t write novels set in pretty little English tearooms?”

The look of horror on his face . . . Sadly, I did not get a picture of that.

 

Sarah Sundin is the bestselling author of historical novels, including The Sea Before Us, The Sky Above Us, and The Land Beneath Us (coming February 2020). Her novel The Sea Before Us received the 2019 FHL Reader’s Choice Award, When Tides Turn and Through Waters Deep were named to Booklist’s “101 Best Romance Novels of the Last 10 Years,” and Through Waters Deep was a finalist for the 2016 Carol Award and won the INSPY Award. A mother of three, Sarah lives in California. Please visit her at www.sarahsundin.com

 

One fateful night of tragedy and betrayal drove the Paxton brothers apart. Now, as D-day approaches, they battle the Nazis on the sea, in the air, and on the ground. Three women capture their hearts — a British naval officer striving for acceptance, a Red Cross volunteer searching for purpose, and a librarian longing for family. Will the battles they face lead them to redemption . . . or destruction?

 

10 Year Blogivesary Giveaway!

Be sure to enter HERE.

10 Year Blogiversary Celebration!

1 Nov

I can hardly believe it has been 10 years since I started blogging! 10 years of books, authors, bloggers, and all the bookish goodness I could find. November is going to be one long party! I have lined up some friends to help me celebrate with guest posts about their publishing journeys, books they love, the blogging life, and much, much more. See the schedule below.

 

Of course you can’t have a party without gifts, so I am gifting one of my readers a big box of books and bookish swag. The box includes nonfiction, a variety of fiction genres, and even a cookbook! Some of the books are brand new, others are ARCs, and some are gently read. To enter the giveaway, just leave me a comment. (Please US residents only.)

 

I have to give a big thank you to all those who have read my blog over the years. Your encouragement to me is very appreciated. I have loved every minute of the blogging journey, and I count you all as great fellow travelers. 

 

Guest Post Schedule

11/4  Sarah Sundin, author of Sunrise at Normandy series

11/5  Carrie Booth Schmidt, blogger, Reading Is My SuperPower

11/6  Rachel Dylan, author of the Atlanta Justice series

11/7  Amy Green, fiction publicist Bethany House Publishers

11/8  Heather Day Gilbert, author of Belinda Blake And The Snake in The Grass

11/11  Lindsey Bracket, author of The Bridge Between

11/13 Courtney Clark, blogger, The Green Mockingbird

11/15  Rachel McMillan, author of the Herringford And Watts Mysteries

11/18  Janet Ferguson, author of the Coastal Hearts series

11/20  Iola Goulton, blogger

11/22  Susie Finkbeiner, author of All Manner of Things

11/25  Kimberly Woodhouse, author Daughters of The Mayflower series

11/26  Carole Jarvis, blogger, The Power of Words

11/27  Rebecca Maney, reviewer, Inkwell Inspirations

11/28  Olivia Newport, author of the Tree of Life series