SARAH SUNDIN UP-CLOSE & PERSONAL 5 Book Giveaway Opportunity

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Sarah Sundin is the author of On Distant Shores and With Every Letter in the Wings of the Nightingale series from Revell, and also the Wings of Glory series. In 2011, A Memory Between Us was a finalist in the Inspirational Reader's Choice Awards and Sarah received the Writer of the Year Award at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference. Sarah lives in northern California with her husband and three children. When she isn't ferrying kids to tennis and karate, she works on-call as a hospital pharmacist and teaches Sunday school and women’s Bible studies.

What inspired you to write On Distant Shores?

In my non-writing life, I’m a pharmacist. When I was researching nursing in World War II for the Wings of the Nightingale series, I was surprised to find nothing about pharmacists. After more digging, I discovered Army hospital pharmacies were primarily staffed with technicians with three months of training, and any pharmacists who practiced their professions were also classified as noncommissioned officers—despite bachelor’s degrees. Meanwhile, nurses had commissioned rank. So if a nurse and a pharmacist fell in love, not only would they not be allowed to date—but she’d outrank him. I had to write that story!

What fascinates you about historicals? What do you look forward to when you pick up one to read?

I have a chronic case of Wanderlust—the love of travel. For me, reading historical fiction is like traveling in time. I can never visit ancient Israel or medieval Europe or a World War II battlefield—but I can pretend to in the pages of the book. Historical fiction also serves to remind me that real people lived through those times, and that they faced similar challenges as we do today. When I read about them conquering great obstacles, that gives me the strength to face contemporary obstacles.

What fascinated you and/or surprised you in your research for this book? Why do you write about war times?

The stories of nurses in World War II fascinated me. In Sicily and Italy, where On Distant Shores is set, the nurses lived in primitive conditions, slogging through mud, dealing with bugs and strange diseases, living in tents, eating tinned rations—and diving into slit trenches during air raids. On the Anzio beachhead, sixteen American nurses lost their lives from German bombardment—often while protecting the lives of their patients—yet when the Army talked about evacuating all the nurses, they protested. They insisted on staying. That’s honor and courage in action. And that’s why I write about war times. When I read about young women bearing up in such conditions, it helps me bear up in my extremely comfy conditions—and I hope my readers will be inspired too.

What do you hope readers take away from On Distant Shores?
Family & I in Italy 2011

Flight nurse Georgie Taylor struggles with her fears and has to learn to turn to the Lord for wisdom in making decisions and handling tragedy and trauma. Meanwhile, pharmacist John “Hutch” Hutchinson finds his dreams constantly thwarted and deals with rising bitterness. He has to learn to find contentment wherever he is. I hope readers will find encouragement for when dreams are thwarted, tragedy falls, and decisions have to be made.

Can you give us a sneak peek into what you are working on now? When will it be out?

I just turned in the third book in the Wings of the Nightingale series, In Perfect Time, which will be published by Revell in August 2014. In this story, flight nurse Lt. Kay Jobson collects hearts wherever she flies, but C-47 pilot Lt. Roger Cooper is immune to her charms. Throughout Italy and southern France, as she evacuates the wounded and he delivers paratroopers and supplies, every beat of their hearts draws them where they don’t want to go.

I also signed a contract with Revell for another three-book series, tentatively called Waves of Freedom. During the early years of World War II, three naval officers based in Boston find adventure in the Battle of the Atlantic and are captivated by three lovely women—a shipyard worker, a pharmacist, and a WAVE. Battles erupt on the high seas. Mysteries arise on the Home Front. Family ties and friendships are tested. And love is found where least expected.

Nora: Congrats Sarah! I look forward to your new series. I've enjoyed the Wings of the Nightingale series. 

Out of all the books you've written what reaction to one or several that surprised you, encouraged you in your writing journey?

At a book signing, the store owner was telling me about her other job—as a prison warden! (And she’s just a slip of a thing!) One day she was in her bulletproof glass enclosure reading my first novel, A Distant Melody, when a big tough inmate rapped on the window. “Hey! I read that book.” “Yeah?” the warden replied. “What’s it about?” The prisoner then told her—and added, “It’s a good book.”
Holy moley. I can’t go into prisons—but God can put my books into prisons! I’m still amazed by that.

Nora: WOW!

Was there something in your research you ran across that you found interesting and you thought I have to include this in my book? If so, what was the event or situation?

My family & I in Italy 2011
 So many. My family was blessed to take a trip to Italy and Southern France in 2011—half family vacation and half book research. I was able to feel the sand of the beaches of Anzio and Salerno under my toes. We visited Paestum on Salerno Bay, where the Americans landed in September 1943, where the 93rd Evacuation Hospital (Hutch’s hospital) was based, and close to where the 802nd Medical Air Evacuation Transport Squadon (Georgie’s unit) flew in. In Paestum, we saw ancient Greek temples and a little amphitheatre, smelled the scent of umbrella pines, and heard the cicadas [See pictures]. All those details went into the book—and the amphitheatre inspired a fun little gladiatorial scene with Hutch and his best friend Bergie.

Nora: Thanks for sharing about these Sarah! How fun! Love the pictures! 


What movie affected most you when you were young? If you didn’t watch movies what books affected you most?

I did watch movies, but books affected me more. My sister and I read the entire Little House on the Prairie series over and over, and acted it out with our beds as covered wagons and rain hats for sunbonnets. Since I was a prissy, fearful girl, Laura Ingalls’s example of a real girl facing danger with pluck really helped me. Plus, the books inspired a love of history and a fascination with how real people lived in the past.

You are shipwrecked on an uninhabited tropical island with a group of Christians – all friends and relatives of yours. You all have to work as a team to survive. Many roles have to be filled. Which role do you think you’d play?

I’m the boring practical one, so I’d probably be making lists of things we had to do and helping decide who did what and when.

A friend of yours has a time machine and they will let you use if for a while. Where would you go and what would you do?

I’d go back to the 1940s and visit the sites where my stories have been set—the bomber bases in England, small town California, airfields in the Tunisian desert, quaint Sicilian towns, the beaches of Anzio—as much as I could squeeze in before I had to return!

What three things would you rather not live without (besides your family)?

Caffeine, books, and air conditioning.

What two jobs have you had that would surprise people? Do tell!

I had the best college summer job ever! I worked as a ride operator at Knott’s Berry Farm in Southern California, running roller coasters and the merry-go-round and the Ferris wheel. My favorite job skill—learning how to jump on and off of a moving merry-go-round. That was fun!

Another job that might surprise people—I tutored physical chemistry in pharmacy school at UC San Francisco.


I’m thrilled to visit—and to belong to—The Book Club Network. For almost ten years, I've been blessed to belong to a book club. These women have become some of my dearest friends, and I love supporting other book clubs.

Sarah Sundin
On Distant Shores, coming August 2013 from Revell
With Every Letter, 2012. “A well-researched and absorbing tale”—Publishers Weekly

Thanks for stopping by and helping us get to know you and your books. I’m thrilled about the Giveaway Opportunity at TBCN starting the 20th AUGUST. 5 Book Giveaway oppotunity is at TBCN . ALL entries are to be made there You must be a member to join. It's free and easy.


Nora :o)

Nora St.Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins!


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