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Today in World War II History—14 May 1944

US troops entering Santa Maria Infante, Italy, 14 May 1944 (US Center of Military History)

US troops entering Santa Maria Infante, Italy, 14 May 1944 (US Center of Military History)

75 Years Ago—14 May 1944: In Italy, US II Corps breaks German Gustav Line, opening the route to Rome.

Today in World War II History—13 May 1944

Publicity photo of Roy Rogers and Trigger (public domain via Wikipedia)

Publicity photo of Roy Rogers and Trigger (public domain via Wikipedia)

75 Years Ago—13 May 1944: In drive for Rome, French troops break through Gustav Line into Aurunci Hills.

In a raid off the English coast, German torpedo boat S-141 is sunk and Klaus Dönitz, the only surviving son of Adm. Karl Dönitz, is killed.

Movie premiere of Cowboy and the Senorita, starring Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, their first film together.

Today in World War II History—12 May 1944

Monte Cassino (US Army Center of Military History)

Monte Cassino (US Army Center of Military History)

75 Years Ago—12 May 1944: Operation Diadem: US Fifth & British Eighth Armies launch offensive on Gustav Line in Italy, crossing Rapido River and assaulting Cassino.

German Oblt. Oskar Kusch, former commander of U-boat U-154, is executed for anti-Hitler views, betrayed by his second in command—who was killed in the sinking of U-193 on April 24.

Frederick Schiller Faust, the author of 400 Western novels under the name of Max Brand, is killed in Operation Diadem.

Liberty ship SS Juliette Low is launched, named after the founder of the Girl Scouts.

Today in World War II History—11 May 1944

British 99th Light AA Regiment, Cassino, Italy, 12 May 1944. (Imperial War Museum)

British 99th Light AA Regiment, Cassino, Italy, 12 May 1944. (Imperial War Museum)

75 Years Ago—11 May 1944: Operation Diadem: Allied drive to Rome opens before midnight with artillery barrage from Cassino to the Tyrrhenian Sea.

Countdown to D-day: Allies officially begin pre-invasion bombing of German airfields in France to drive the Luftwaffe away from the invasion beaches.

In Italy, Germans release Jews of Turkish, Spanish, Portuguese, Swedish, Finnish, and Swiss citizenship under pressure from these neutral governments.

Movie premiere of The White Cliffs of Dover, starring Irene Dunne.

Today in World War II History—10 May 1944

James V. Forrestal, US Secretary of the Navy (US Navy photo)

James V. Forrestal, US Secretary of the Navy (US Navy photo)

75 Years Ago—10 May 1944: President Roosevelt appoints James V. Forrestal as Secretary of the Navy.

At Heart Mountain relocation camp in Wyoming, 63 Japanese-Americans are indicted for resisting the draft.

Today in World War II History—9 May 1944

Soviet soldiers crossing the Syvash into the Crimea, Dec 1943 (public domain via Wikipedia)

Soviet soldiers crossing the Syvash into the Crimea, Dec 1943 (public domain via Wikipedia)

75 Years Ago—9 May 1944: Soviets take Sevastopol and 36,000 German POWs, securing the Crimea.

Due to a revolt and general strike, President of El Salvador Gen. Maximiliano Hernández Martinez resigns and flees to Guatemala; succeeded by Andrés Menéndez.

Today in World War II History—8 May 1944

Maj. Gen. Edward Brooks (behind Eisenhower) demonstrating M1 Carbines to Gen. Dwight Eisenhower, Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and Gen. Omar Bradley, England, 15 May 1944 (US National Archives)

Maj. Gen. Edward Brooks (behind Eisenhower) demonstrating M1 Carbines to Gen. Dwight Eisenhower, Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and Gen. Omar Bradley, England, 15 May 1944 (US National Archives)

75 Years Ago—8 May 1944: Countdown to D-day: General Eisenhower sets D-day for Normandy invasion as June 5—this will be signaled to the commanders on May 23.

US Congress extends Lend-Lease to June 1945.

German Army Group G established in southern France under Col. Gen. Johannes Blaskowitz.

The Courage Chronicles

Welcome to Day 2 of The Courage Chronicles!

What a joy to partner again with my author friends Regina Jennings, Amanda Dykes, Karen Barnett, and Joanne Bischof. In the past, we’ve brought you the Hope Chronicles, the Christmas Chronicles, and the Trust Chronicles. This time is very special, since we’re also celebrating the release of Amanda’s absolutely lovely debut novel, Whose Waves These Are (read my glowing review here). We’re giving away copies of each of our books, plus a painting we all did together.

Since we’re talking about courage, we decided to do something new and challenging—we created a collaborative painting! We used a kit from Let’s Make Art and took turns with the watercolors, mailing the painting from person to person over the course of a month. This week we reveal our work!

Here’s some of my portion of the painting… Thrilling, isn’t it?

On each author’s blog, you can watch a video and enter the giveaway for the complete painting and a copy of all five books. To enter you’ll need to answer a question that’s answered in the video. You only need to fill out one form from one author to enter the giveaway, but you can earn up to five entries by visiting all five posts and filling out all five forms!

The event runs May 6-10, 2019, with the giveaway closing May 17, 2019 at 9 am EST. The giveaway is open to residents of the U.S.  The posts are located at:

Mon. May 6: Regina Jennings

Tues. May 7: Sarah Sundin (you are here!)

Weds. May 8: Amanda Dykes

Thurs. May 9: Karen Barnett

Fri. May 10: Joanne Bischof

Here is my video. Listen closely for the answer to my question! Then enter your answer in SARAH’S COURAGE CHRONICLES GIVEAWAY ENTRY FORM!

I’d also like to share an excerpt from my latest novel, The Sky Above Us. In this scene, American Red Cross worker Violet Lindstrom needs a bit of courage to know when to keep silent—and when to speak. And she’s also giving fighter pilot Lt. Adler Paxton courage to do what he most desperately needs to do…own up to his past and face his family again. Enjoy!

Adler opened a case and pulled out a trumpet.

Violet sat on the piano bench with her back to the keys. “Do you play?”

He fingered the three valves in a practiced manner, but his expression drifted far away.

Holding her breath, she watched. Waited.

Before long, he plopped onto his backside, leaned back against the wall, and dangled the trumpet between his knees. “Not for”—he let out a dry laugh—“three years. That night.”

The night his fiancée died? “Is that so?”

He frowned at his fingering. “We had a party for Wyatt’s college graduation, big Mexican barbecue. Wyatt on the guitar, Clay on the violin, me on the trumpet. The Gringo Mariachis, we called ourselves.”

She studied his wistful expression. “You were all close once?”

His lips clamped together. “Wyatt and I—we struggled together, like Jacob and Esau—but we got along for the most part. But Clay and I were inseparable. Then I ruined it all. They’ll never forgive me.”

Violet’s chest crushed at the thought. “But your parents? Surely they want to hear—”

“No. Trust me, they never want to hear from me again.” He pushed up to squatting and set the trumpet back in its case. But he lingered and stroked the silver instrument.

Words stirred inside her, and she released them. “Would you like to borrow the trumpet?”

One sharp shake of his head. “The valves stick.”

“Oh!” She darted across the room to a little case on the floor. “This has a bunch of vials and things to care for the instruments. Here we are—valve oil.”

Adler stared at the vial, then at her. “You have a cure for everything, don’t you?”

She laughed. “Only for the valves. Sorry.”

He took the oil. “Don’t suppose this would work on my family, do you?”

Violet smiled down at him. “No, but apologies are remarkably effective at greasing squeaky relationships.”

Thank you for joining me today! Make sure to visit Amanda Dykes’s blog tomorrow for more words of encouragement!

Be strong and courageous, my friends! The Lord will go with you!

Today in World War II History—7 May 1944

Poster for US Army Signal Corps, WWII

Poster for US Army Signal Corps, WWII

75 Years Ago—7 May 1944: Countdown to D-day: US Signal Corps holds “Exercise Pigeon” D-day training exercise.

US Eighth Air Force launches over 1000 bombers in missions to Berlin, Münster, and Osnabrück, Germany.

Today in World War II History—6 May 1944

Pandit Nehru and Mahatma Gandhi at All-India Congress Committee, August 8, 1942, when the “Quit India” resolution was adopted, calling for the immediate dissolution of British rule. (Public domain via Wikipedia)

Pandit Nehru and Mahatma Gandhi at All-India Congress Committee, August 8, 1942, when the “Quit India” resolution was adopted, calling for the immediate dissolution of British rule. (Public domain via Wikipedia)

75 Years Ago—6 May 1944: Off Cape Verdes, destroyer escort USS Buckley and TBMs & Wildcats from escort carrier USS Block Island sink German U-boat U-66; Buckley’s sailors use small arms, hand grenades, and coffee mugs in the battle.

In India, British release Gandhi from prison on medical grounds.

Kathleen Kennedy (daughter of US ambassador to Britain Joseph Kennedy) marries the Marquis of Hartington.