June 2-13, 2014
Welcome to the D-Day 70th Anniversary Blog Tour! Ten authors of Christian World War II novels are commemorating the brave men who stormed the beaches of Normandy on June 6, 1944. Thank you for joining us as we remember their heroism and sacrifice.
Our novels illuminate different aspects of the war—from the Holocaust to the Pacific to the US Home Front. Each day, visit with a new author as we share our stories, our research, and our unique settings. With each post, you’ll have the opportunity to win that author’s novel, plus a chance to win a packet of ALL TEN featured novels!
For a chance to win ALL TEN novels featured on our blog tour, please visit each blog, collect the answers to the questions, and enter the Rafflecopter giveaway on the BLOG TOUR PAGE. You have a new chance to enter each day of the tour! The contest opens June 2, 2014 at 1 am PST and closes June 13, 2014 at 11 pm PST. The winners will be announced on Monday, June 16, 2014. *Note* Several of the titles will not be released until later in the year—these copies will be mailed to the winners after the release dates.
To win the prize of ALL TEN books, you must have collected ALL TEN answers. The winner must be prepared to send ALL TEN answers within 24 hrs of notification by email, or a new winner will be selected. You can enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway once each day! The more often you visit, the more entries you receive! However, you only need to enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway once to be entered. But don’t forget…to win, you must have collected ALL TEN answers. To collect the answers, you may download the Word document on the BLOG TOUR PAGE.
In Perfect Time, which will be released in August 2014, is the third book in the Wings of the Nightingale series, but it stands alone. Flight nurse Lt. Kay Jobson collects hearts wherever she flies, leaving men pining in airfields all across Europe. So how can C-47 pilot Lt. Roger Cooper be immune to her charms? Still, as Kay and Roger cross the skies between Italy and southern France, evacuating the wounded and delivering paratroopers and supplies, every beat of their hearts draws them closer to where they don’t want to go.
France’s Other D-Day
When my family had the opportunity to visit Italy and southern France in 2011, I was doubly delighted. Not only could we tour countries I had always longed to see, but I could conduct research for my Wings of the Nightingale series, which follows three World War II flight nurses in the Mediterranean. The third novel, In Perfect Time, revolves around Operation Dragoon, the Allied invasion of southern France on 15 August 1944, “France’s other D-Day.”
Operation Dragoon is often forgotten, but it was vital to the war effort. The D-Day landings in Normandy had been successful, but the vast motorized Allied armies needed mountains of supplies, which required good ports. When the US Seventh Army landed along the poorly defended French Riviera, Gen. Alexander Patch’s masterful leadership led to swift victory. By the end of August the crucial ports of Marseille and Toulon were in Allied hands, and within one short month of the landings, the Dragoon forces had linked with the Overlord forces, freeing southern France from Nazi rule.
For our week in Provence, my teen daughter dreamed of ordering a baguette at the boulangerie in her high school French from a handsome, beret-wearing young man (dream dashed – the pudgy middle-aged woman behind the counter pretended not to understand one word she said). Her younger brother dreamed of seeing medieval catapults and trebuchets in action (dream fulfilled!). But I dreamed of seeing historical places and the sites included in my novel.
One of the sites on my list was the airfield at Istres near Marseille, where the Troop Carrier Groups and flight nurses were based in 1944. This was an important base for flying supplies to the front and for returning with the wounded. Since it’s an active military base, I didn’t expect to get close. To our surprise, we were able to drive right onto the base. We kept driving, kept taking pictures, expecting at any minute to be chased down by an armored vehicle. We weren’t. The field looks generic, but I felt the history, even more poignant because the men and women based at Istres were unsung heroes who didn’t receive – or expect – the accolades reserved for men on the front. But I remember their work, their courage, and their sacrifice.
In my novel, Kay and Roger spend a romantic day in the Vieux Port area of Marseille, so my family traced the route they’d take. While the port would have been crammed with Liberty cargo ships in 1944, colorful sailboats filled the docks in 2011. In World War II, most of the buildings had been razed in the German campaign to flush out French partisans, but modern buildings take their place today. Yet some things haven’t changed—the cathedral of Notre Dame de la Garde high over the city, the fishmongers with their huge trays of fish for sale, the massive stone fortresses at the mouth of the harbor, and a tiny gem of an ancient pink limestone church called Eglise St.-Laurent. All these things worked their way into In Perfect Time.
For the novelist, sensory details help bring the story to life—from the smell of lavender to the thrum of cicadas to the intense turquoise of the Mediterranean to the tang of a good baguette. Even if the baguette is not served by a young man in a beret.
More importantly, visiting these sites made history come to life. The black and white photos popped into color. The numbered military units and arrows on the map became the real-life, ordinary men and women who performed extraordinary feats, freeing the world.
We remember. In gratitude, we remember.
Today’s Question: What is the name of the pink limestone church in Marseille that will appear in In Perfect Time?
For a chance to win In Perfect Time, see below. For a chance to win ALL TEN books featured in the blog tour, write down the answer to Today’s Question or log it in the answer sheet (available on the BLOG TOUR PAGE), go to the BLOG TOUR PAGE, and enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway. Make sure you have the answer to Today’s Question ready! And remember you can enter the giveaway every day of the blog tour!
Enter to Win a Copy of In Perfect Time!
To win a copy of In Perfect Time when it releases in August, please leave a comment below and enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway below. If you are unable to leave a comment, please enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway anyway! (Residents of the United States and Canada only please).
Schedule for the D-Day 70th Anniversary Blog Tour
Be sure to visit each site for a chance to win ALL TEN featured novels!
Note: Links will go live on the post date.
June 2: SARAH SUNDIN, author of In Perfect Time
June 3: LIZ TOLSMA, author of Daisies Are Forever
June 4: MURRAY PURA, author of London Dawn
June 5: CARA PUTMAN, author of Shadowed by Grace
June 6: MELANIE DOBSON, author of Chateau of Secrets
June 7: KRISTY CAMBRON, author of The Butterfly and the Violin
June 9: TRICIA GOYER, author of Chasing Mona Lisa
June 10: PATTY SMITH HALL, author of Hearts Rekindled
June 11: CATHY GOHLKE, author of Saving Amelie
June 12: SIGMUND BROUWER, author of Thief of Glory
Sarah Sundin is the author of six historical novels set during World War II, including In Perfect Time (Revell, August 2014). Her novel On Distant Shores is a finalist in the Golden Scroll Awards for both AWSA and the Christian Authors Network. In 2011, 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. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.