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 www.sarahsundin.com.
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!