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Archived Group Reads - 2019 > April Book of the Month - The Sea Before Us (Sunrise at Normandy #1) by Sarah Sundin

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message 1: by Loraine, CFD Momma (new)

Loraine (librarydiva) | 2655 comments Mod
The Sea Before Us (Sunrise at Normandy, #1) by Sarah Sundin

n 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.


message 2: by Loraine, CFD Momma (new)

Loraine (librarydiva) | 2655 comments Mod
The Kindle version of this book is now on sale for 99 cents at Amazon.

https://www.amazon.com/Sea-Before-Sun...


message 3: by Loraine, CFD Momma (new)

Loraine (librarydiva) | 2655 comments Mod
Who's going to be joining me this month? I read this book when it first came out and it is an excellent WW2 Historical fiction novel.


message 4: by Hannah (new)

Hannah  Cook (hannahcwrites) I will :D Just bought it.


message 5: by Loraine, CFD Momma (new)

Loraine (librarydiva) | 2655 comments Mod
Just talked to Sarah Sundin, and she will be joining us throughout the month. Please make her feel welcome to our group.


message 6: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Sundin (goodreadscomsarah_sundin) | 37 comments Hi everyone! I'm so excited that CFD will be discussing The Sea Before Us! Please feel free to ask me questions. So...a bit about me...I live in Northern California with my husband, an aging yellow lab (who still gets in trouble like a puppy), and an aging kitty (still frisky!). Our three children are in their twenties, out of the house, and out of the area - our two oldest are college grads with jobs they love (hallelujah!), and our youngest is in the Navy, based in Japan. Up until last month I worked one day a week as a hospital pharmacist, but I've now (GLADLY!) given that up to focus on writing full time. (Can you see me happy dancing?). For fun, my husband and I love traveling and going to the gym - I'm very fond of my barre class. I also teach fourth- and fifth-grade Sunday school, which is a blast!


message 7: by Loraine, CFD Momma (new)

Loraine (librarydiva) | 2655 comments Mod
Thanks for joining us Sarah. What got you interested/started in writing and why historical genre?


message 8: by Loraine, CFD Momma (new)

Loraine (librarydiva) | 2655 comments Mod
Welcome Ariel. Glad you are joining us this month.


message 9: by Andrea, Hospitality Coordinator (new)

Andrea Cox (andreacox) | 2018 comments Mod
Sarah, I'm a bit behind on your books right now so am not joining in on the discussion. But I'm happy you're joining us here in CFD! Welcome!

What drew your writer's heart to focus on WWII fiction?

I've become fascinated with the genre a lot more in the last couple of years, so I've been discovering more and more authors who write these beautiful, heart-breaking stories.


message 10: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Sundin (goodreadscomsarah_sundin) | 37 comments I can combine Loraine's and Andrea's questions - because they're related :) I began writing in 2000 because of a dream that wouldn't let me go - a literal dream at night with characters that wouldn't let me go in the morning. I had to write it down, so I did. It was a rather surreal thing for a chemistry major to experience! Then more story ideas came, and the one that stuck with me had to be historical fiction for certain story reasons. I needed an era to place my story and immediately thought of World War II. My grandfather was in the Navy during WWII and my great-uncle flew B-17s - and everyone, including my grandmothers on the Home Front, told stories. So the era has always drawn me. The more I researched the era for that first WWII book, which turned into A Distant Melody, the more I became fascinated by it. There are SO many stories, so much conflict, and so much romance as young people went all over the country, all over the globe, and met people they never would have met. I haven't run out of ideas since.


message 11: by Loraine, CFD Momma (last edited Apr 02, 2019 09:24AM) (new)

Loraine (librarydiva) | 2655 comments Mod
Thanks for sharing Sarah. I'm drawn to WWII historical fiction because my uncle was a navigator for the Canadian Air Force. On his very first flight after reaching Europe, his plane was shot down. He spent the rest of his time in 4 different German POW camps. Also I now live in a senior independent living complex with a US Air Force pilot (he's 98 and shares a lot of his experiences with us) and a US Army nurse who was in the first hospital unit on the front line. She has received numerous awards and was just awarded the French Foreign Legion Medal of Honor. She is 94 and still does radio and TV interviews as well as speeches. So these two wonderful people have even deepened my interest.


message 12: by Andrea, Hospitality Coordinator (new)

Andrea Cox (andreacox) | 2018 comments Mod
Sarah, that's such a special story! I can completely relate to the nighttime dreams turning into story ideas. Happens to me all the time!

It's so awesome that your family's history is so immersed in WWII and that the matriarchs of your family enjoyed telling the stories to the up-and-coming generations. It feels like it's your turn now, with your books. :)

Happy writing!


message 13: by Hannah (new)

Hannah  Cook (hannahcwrites) Sarah wrote: "I can combine Loraine's and Andrea's questions - because they're related :) I began writing in 2000 because of a dream that wouldn't let me go - a literal dream at night with characters that wouldn..."

Aw! Your cat and dog both sound like fun animals! And, that's awesome you love to travel and write full time now that your kiddos are older and gone. What a unique way to start your writing career -with a dream! :D I'm excited to try my first book from you this month.


message 14: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Sundin (goodreadscomsarah_sundin) | 37 comments Loraine wrote: "Thanks for sharing Sarah. I'm drawn to WWII historical fiction because my uncle was a navigator for the Canadian Air Force ..."
I love that you've known so many WWII veterans - what an amazing experience. I worked for the VA when I was younger, and the WWII vets were wonderful. Always kind, chivalrous, patient, and humorous.


message 15: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Sundin (goodreadscomsarah_sundin) | 37 comments Andrea wrote: "Sarah, that's such a special story! I can completely relate to the nighttime dreams turning into story ideas. Happens to me all the time!..."
Funny thing - it's only happened to me once! I'm certain that was God's way of dragging me into writing. I do get my best ideas when I'm trying to fall asleep though...


message 16: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Sundin (goodreadscomsarah_sundin) | 37 comments Ariel wrote:..."
Thank you for taking a chance on a new-to-you author! I appreciate it.


message 17: by Andrea, Hospitality Coordinator (new)

Andrea Cox (andreacox) | 2018 comments Mod
Do you keep a notebook close at hand? I like to keep paper, pens, and a flashlight by my bed for that very same reason. Why is it that the best ideas come during dishes, showers, and when we’re dozing off?! Haha!


message 18: by Donna Tulip (new)

Donna Tulip | 11 comments Started a couple of days early. I'm on chapter 12. ENjoying it so far. The prologue.....


message 19: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Sundin (goodreadscomsarah_sundin) | 37 comments Andrea - I keep notepad and pen in the bathroom and dash in when I get ideas at night. And just this Sunday...anyone watching me at church would have thought I was incredibly moved to be taking such furious notes. Nope. Story idea. Sparked by the sermon, but the MOST romantic idea for my current story.


message 20: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Sundin (goodreadscomsarah_sundin) | 37 comments Donna Tulip wrote: "Started a couple of days early. I'm on chapter 12. ENjoying it so far. The prologue....."
Thank you, Donna! The prologue - that almost didn't end up in the book! I knew what happened that day and had written it out, but it wasn't in my first draft. It's "backstory" - events that happened before the real story, so I referred to it in dialogue and memories. But something felt flat, and my agent agreed. On the DAY I turned it in to my editor, I included a note saying, "What do you think about adding a prologue showing why the three brothers are estranged?" She said, "Stop and write it right now." So I did. And I'm so glad.


message 21: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca (rebeccav) | 35 comments I just bought it. I loved "A Memory Between Us" and reviewed it on Amazon. I don't think our church library had this one yet.


message 22: by Andrea, Hospitality Coordinator (new)

Andrea Cox (andreacox) | 2018 comments Mod
Sarah wrote: "And just this Sunday...anyone watching me at church would have thought I was incredibly moved to be taking such furious notes. Nope. Story idea. Sparked by the sermon, but the MOST romantic idea for my current story."

Yes! I've so done that! It's a little more obvious in my situation, since my family home churches, but afterward, I asked my mom if she had guessed it was a story idea, and she said she hadn't. I guess listening while writing worked out all right! :)

I'm glad to know I'm not the only writer who does that. Also, Sarah, I'm really happy for you! Isn't it so fun when those inklings we need plop into our laps (or minds) at JUST the right moment?


message 23: by Kate (new)

Kate (liahonagirl) | 367 comments I'm in the middle of this one right now and really enjoying it! Can't wait for the official discussion to start.
And, Sarah! So glad to have you join us this month. My question for you is about the dedication in this book. Your son warns about squirrels? I had my sneaking suspicions when I read the dedication, but when you had Bonny Prince Charlie taking after squirrels, it kinda cemented things. Is the dedication meant for a fur-kid? ☺


message 24: by Maya (new)

Maya | 2 comments I started earlier than April 1rst... And let me say that this book left me starstruck. I may or may not have finished this book at 2am (I mean who needs sleep). Such a powerful story of faith and growth and understanding one's worth even when we doubt that we have any. I am so excited to start "The Sky Above Us".
Such a beautiful book.


message 25: by Loraine, CFD Momma (new)

Loraine (librarydiva) | 2655 comments Mod
Glad you enjoyed it Maya! The Sky Above Us is just as good.


message 26: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Sundin (goodreadscomsarah_sundin) | 37 comments Rebecca wrote: "I just bought it. I loved "A Memory Between Us" and reviewed it on Amazon. I don't think our church library had this one yet."

Thanks, Rebecca! I'm so glad you enjoyed A Memory Between Us!


message 27: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Sundin (goodreadscomsarah_sundin) | 37 comments Andrea wrote: "Sarah wrote: "And just this Sunday...anyone watching me at church would have thought I was incredibly moved to be taking such furious notes. Nope. Story idea. Sparked by the sermon, but the MOST ro..."

It is!! I love it!


message 28: by Sarah (last edited Apr 04, 2019 05:57PM) (new)

Sarah Sundin (goodreadscomsarah_sundin) | 37 comments Kate wrote: "I'm in the middle of this one right now and really enjoying it! Can't wait for the official discussion to start.
And, Sarah! So glad to have you join us this month. My question for you is about the..."


Ah, the squirrels. It's an inside joke. Stephen is my oldest son, a mechanical engineer with his head firmly on his shoulders. He has a strange thing about squirrels. He doesn't like them. And I love them. So I tease him.


message 29: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Sundin (goodreadscomsarah_sundin) | 37 comments Maya wrote: "I started earlier than April 1rst... And let me say that this book left me starstruck. I may or may not have finished this book at 2am (I mean who needs sleep). Such a powerful story of faith and g..."

Thank you, Maya! You made my day - and on a day I needed it :)


message 30: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Sundin (goodreadscomsarah_sundin) | 37 comments Loraine wrote: "Glad you enjoyed it Maya! The Sky Above Us is just as good."

Thank you, Loraine!


message 31: by Kate (new)

Kate (liahonagirl) | 367 comments Sarah wrote: "Kate wrote: "I'm in the middle of this one right now and really enjoying it! Can't wait for the official discussion to start.
And, Sarah! So glad to have you join us this month. My question for you..."

Ahh, okay! Inside jokes among family are the best!☺


message 32: by Hannah (new)

Hannah (bookwormhannah) | 852 comments You know the worst thing about Sarah Sundin’s books?

....I have read them ALL and I have to wait until next year to read more. It’s tragic.

I love your stories, Sarah...I’m addicted to WW2 stuff anyway, but I love the spiritual lessons so much! They always make me think twice.


message 33: by Loraine, CFD Momma (new)

Loraine (librarydiva) | 2655 comments Mod
I agree Hannah. Hate to wait for more especially WW2, and Sarah always includes such a strong faith thread throughout.


message 34: by Maya (new)

Maya | 2 comments Sarah wrote: "Maya wrote: "I started earlier than April 1rst... And let me say that this book left me starstruck. I may or may not have finished this book at 2am (I mean who needs sleep). Such a powerful story o..."

I only wrote the truth. Thank you for your stories. Hannah and Loraine said it well, your books contain such powerful lessons of faith.


message 35: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Sundin (goodreadscomsarah_sundin) | 37 comments Maya - thank you :)


message 36: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Sundin (goodreadscomsarah_sundin) | 37 comments Kate wrote:

Thanks, Kate :)



message 37: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Sundin (goodreadscomsarah_sundin) | 37 comments Hannah wrote: "You know the worst thing about Sarah Sundin’s books?

....I have read them ALL and I have to wait until next year to read more. It’s tragic.

I love your stories, Sarah...I’m addicted to WW2 stuff..."


Thank you :) I do wish I wrote faster, but a book a year is all I can manage.


message 38: by Loraine, CFD Momma (new)

Loraine (librarydiva) | 2655 comments Mod
Sarah you deserve a life besides writing! We'll be patient and wait:)


message 39: by Andrea, Hospitality Coordinator (new)

Andrea Cox (andreacox) | 2018 comments Mod
Sarah, you just take the time you need. Patience is a great trait to gain, and rereading is a thing for some readers. :)


message 40: by Paula (new)

Paula Shreckhise | 190 comments I have not read a Sarah Sundin book that I didn’t love! Waiting for a break so I can read the latest! Hers are keepers!


message 41: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth (lizr8900) | 177 comments I started yesterday and the prologue hooked me! I’m a huge fan of WWII fiction!


message 42: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Sundin (goodreadscomsarah_sundin) | 37 comments Paula wrote: "I have not read a Sarah Sundin book that I didn’t love! Waiting for a break so I can read the latest! Hers are keepers!"

Thank you so much, Paula! Happy reading!


message 43: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Sundin (goodreadscomsarah_sundin) | 37 comments Elizabeth wrote: "I started yesterday and the prologue hooked me! I’m a huge fan of WWII fiction!"

Thank you, Elizabeth! I'm glad you enjoyed the prologue.


message 44: by Linda (new)

Linda Branich (mabranich) | 186 comments I started this morning and will finish tomorrow.
I am a baby boomer and grew up with WWII stories. Yours is a very powerful story!


message 45: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca (rebeccav) | 35 comments I needed to re-hear the message of clinging to God in overwhelming times, instead of stiff-arming him and feeling orphaned and forlorn like Dorothy. Not finished with the book yet, maybe at 80%.


message 46: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Sundin (goodreadscomsarah_sundin) | 37 comments Linda wrote: "I started this morning and will finish tomorrow.
I am a baby boomer and grew up with WWII stories. Yours is a very powerful story!"


Thank you, Linda! I'm glad you're enjoying it!


message 47: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Sundin (goodreadscomsarah_sundin) | 37 comments Dee ~ Proudest Nanna Of Newborn Millie ~ wrote: "I really like this, and it has a nice feel about it. I cannot wait to read more."

Thank you, Dee!


message 48: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Sundin (goodreadscomsarah_sundin) | 37 comments Rebecca wrote: "I needed to re-hear the message of clinging to God in overwhelming times, instead of stiff-arming him and feeling orphaned and forlorn like Dorothy. Not finished with the book yet, maybe at 80%."

Thanks, Rebecca! I need to re-hear this message myself :) Often.


message 49: by Linda (new)

Linda Branich (mabranich) | 186 comments Finished! Now I HAVE to find out what happened to Clay and Adler and if Wyatt and Dorothy really do get married.


message 50: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Sundin (goodreadscomsarah_sundin) | 37 comments Linda wrote: "Finished! Now I HAVE to find out what happened to Clay and Adler and if Wyatt and Dorothy really do get married."

Thanks, Linda! Clay's story is finished and has passed the first round of edits at my publishing house. They're working on the cover right now, and I can't wait to see it! The book will release in early 2020, probably in February.


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