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The Story behind The Sea Before Us by Sarah Sundin


Here’s another treat for you this week! Sarah Sundin joins us to share the story behind her brand new release (by brand new, I mean today!!), The Sea Before Us. Before we dive into what inspired her to write it, here’s a little bit about the book.

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, who pieces together reconnaissance photographs with thousands of holiday snapshots of France—including those of her family’s summer home—in order to create accurate maps of Normandy. Maps that Wyatt turns into naval bombardment plans for D-day.

As the two spend concentrated time together in the pressure cooker of war, their deepening friendship threatens to turn into something more. But both of them have too much to lose to give in to love . . .

Why did you decide to write this particular book?

D-day continues to fascinate us as a pivotal moment in modern history, and I’ve longed to tell a story revolving around that event. Then I read about the bold and dramatic actions of the destroyers of the US Navy off Omaha Beach, and The Sea Before Us came to be.

On the afternoon of D-day, Gen. Leonard Gerow radioed Gen. Omar Bradley, “Thank God for the US Navy!” The GIs had been pinned down on Omaha Beach. They’d lost most of the tanks they needed for artillery support. They’d lost most of the radio operators and radio equipment needed to call in naval gunfire. But the nine ships of US Destroyer Squadron 18 observed the chaos on shore, and they charged close to the beach—some even scraped bottom!—to fire at German gun positions. Their courage and ingenuity helped the GIs break out of Omaha Beach.

So American naval officer Lt. Wyatt Paxton comes to London to prepare naval bombardment plans for D-day—plans he’ll implement.

Although that history drew me in to my story, the human element made it come to life. In London, Wyatt meets British “Wren” (Women’s Royal Naval Service) Dorothy Fairfax.

The British people suffered greatly during World War II. By 1944, they’d been fighting for almost five years and had endured the Blitz as well as numerous battles worldwide. Dorothy’s story allowed me to explore the effects on one family shattered by the war. When the German air raids return in the “Little Blitz” in 1944, their problems become magnified. Since Wyatt is estranged from his own family and misses them greatly, he is drawn to Dorothy and her father and longs to help them. If he can win the lovely Dorothy’s heart in the process, even better.

Wow, it sounds so good. I can’t wait to read it!

Sarah Sundin is the author of ten historical novels, including The Sea Before Us. Her novels 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

Sarah is also giving away a copy of The Sea Before Us. Follow the directions below to enter.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks so much for joining us, Sarah. As always, it’s been great to have you!


  1. England has a lot more history than france does.

  2. Both would be wonderful to visit, but I think I would visit England. A family member was based there during WWII, a B-26 pilot, and he flew a mission on German gun emplacements on D-Day. His unit was also tasked with trying to take out the launching sites for the buzz bombs. I own several of Sarah’s books, including from the early series set in Europe. They are re-reads!

  3. I have a dedicated Pinterest Board on traveling in France. My health issues might preclude me never going, but it’s where I want to go

  4. I’ve been blessed to visit both England and France after college. I saw more of France, so if I could go back, I would explore more of England. Thank you so much for the chance to win! This book is on my wish list!

  5. I’ve actually visited both! They were both wonderful and steeped in so much history, but I would love to see more of the countryside of France since I just visited Paris when I was there. Thank you for the chance to win!

  6. I’ve been to both. I want to go back to England and visit the countryside more.

  7. I love to visit England and France to beautiful places love to visit. Bucket list.

  8. I guess I’d choose England, my dad served there in WWII.

  9. That’s easy for me! I’d rather visit France. I have ancestors from there, and I’d love to trace my roots in person!

  10. This is going to be an interesting book! I read a lot of historical fiction and I like the fact that this focuses on D-day.

  11. I have always wanted to go to England! There’s so much history there.

  12. I have visited both England and France and thoroughly enjoyed both! If I was visiting today, I would visit England. My husband would enjoy that more, being able to understand the language.

  13. Both England and France are on my go-to list. I want to visit the Vimy Ridge memorial. I love all the history.

  14. Id love to visit both but if I had to choose I’d have to go with France. It’s steeped in fascinating history and i think it’s just a beautiful country.

  15. Would love to visit England.

  16. I think I would want to visit England as I believe I have grandparents that came from England plus the architecture is very pretty! Also, I could understand the language! Thanks for the opportunity to win!

  17. Well, I would love to visit both! But, if I have to choose, it would be England. My paternal grandparents both came here from England and I have always wanted to see where they grew up and maybe meet some relatives.

  18. I’d be hard pressed to decide which one I’d want to visit first because both England and France have their own charm! In France I’d love to visit the Eiffel Tower and England anywhere really 🙂 Love to have High Tea with the Queen but I doubt that would be possible…lol!

    Thanks for the chance to win a copy of The Sea Before Us!

  19. If I had to choose between visiting England or France, I would choose England. I’ve read more books and watched more movies set there. I also wouldn’t have as much of a language barrier. I think this new series of Sarah’s sounds terrific. Thanks for the chance to win The Sea Before Us.

  20. We visited both England and France in October. I’d love to go back to both but if I could only choose one, then I’ll choose France. I have to hit the south of France some day. So much more to explore.

  21. I’d like to visit both, but w/ only one choice, I’d like to visit France (B/C I recently listened to the audio book of “Sister Chicks say Ooh-la-la!” and there were several references to shops to visit and restaurants to try…

  22. I’d love to visit England. The beautiful countryside and the castles are appealing.

  23. I would choose France, as I know that my father was there in WWII. Of course, I would love to see England, too -for it’s history !

  24. I’d love along visit to England to take in some of the sites, sounds, tastes and smells connected with some of my favourite tv shows, films and literature.

  25. I did visit France, mostly Paris, when I was in college. I guess I would like to visit England as I have never been there and it it’s the #1 place my husband always wanted to go to.

  26. I would visit France, because my dad was stationed there during the war.

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