D-Day 75th Anniversary Blog Tour

D-Day 75th Anniversary Blog Tour

June 3-11, 2019

Welcome to the D-Day 75th Anniversary Blog Tour! Seven novelists 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 landing beaches of Normandy to Nazi-occupied Europe to the US Home Front. Each day, visit with a new author as we share about our stories, our research, and our unique settings. With each blog post, you’ll have the opportunity to win that author’s novel–plus a chance to win a packet of ALL NINE featured novels and a gorgeous signed hardback copy of Everything We Have: D-Day 6.6.44, the new commemorative book from the National World War II Museum!

Giveaway Details

For a chance to win ALL TEN books, please visit each blog, collect the answers to ALL SEVEN questions, and enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below or on the BLOG TOUR PAGE. The contest opens June 3, 2019 at 1 am PST and closes June 16, 2019 at 11 pm PST. The winner will be announced on Monday, June 17, 2019. *Note* Several of the titles will not be released until later—these will be mailed after the release dates.

To win the prize of ALL TEN books, you must have collected ALL SEVEN answers. The winner must be prepared to send ALL SEVEN answers within 48 hours of notification by email, or a new winner will be selected.

Sunrise at Normandy Series

by Sarah Sundin

The Sea Before Us

As D-day approaches, American naval officer Lt. Wyatt Paxton is teamed up with Dorothy Fairfax, a British officer. Once they piece together family and reconnaissance photos to map Normandy, will Wyatt’s bombardment plans destroy what Dorothy loves most?

Purchase links

The Sky Above Us

In 1944, fighter pilot Lt. Adler Paxton battles the Luftwaffe over Nazi-occupied Europe, numbed by loss and hidden sins. Violet Lindstrom serves in the Red Cross, where she arranges activities at Adler’s air base. Love blooms. But D-day draws near. And secrets never do stay buried.

Purchase links

The Land Beneath Us (coming Feb. 4, 2020)

Private Clay Paxton trains with the US Army Rangers, his future stolen by his brothers’ betrayal. Leah Jones works as a librarian at the army base, hoping to find her lost sisters. But can her dream of love be fulfilled before his recurring dream of his own death in battle comes true?

Pre-order links

D-Day – Immense and Personal

Out in the living room, Mrs. Paxton sat by the radio. She looked at Leah, face stark.

It was today, and Leah sank onto the couch and tuned her ears to the announcer’s cultured voice: “Under the command of General Eisenhower, Allied naval forces, supported by strong air forces, began landing Allied armies this morning on the coast of France.”

“That’s all the news they have.” Mrs. Paxton’s voice wavered, and she turned off the radio dial. “Naval forces—my Wyatt. Air forces—my Adler. Allied armies—my Clay. Our Clay.”

~The Land Beneath Us

When it came time for me to write my post for this D-day tour, I froze. For the past three years while writing my Sunrise at Normandy series, I’ve been immersed in this single momentous day. So immersed that I didn’t know where to begin to convey how immense and yet how very personal it was.

On a grand scale, we see the months of planning, the enormous volumes of plans, the hundreds of thousands of men and women working out the details of supply and shipping and logistics and personnel.

On a small scale, we see a single Wren (Women’s Royal Naval Service) typing up her dispatches in London and fretting about her sweetheart. We see Gen. Dwight Eisenhower chain-smoking in his trailer at Allied Battle Headquarters in Southwick, momentarily blinded to what’s happening to the armies he’s sent into battle.

Read more: Tour of Southwick House

The map room at Southwick House, with the giant wooden wall map actually used on D-day, Southwick House, England, September 2017 (Photo: Sarah Sundin)

The map room at Southwick House, with the giant wooden wall map actually used on D-day, Southwick House, England, September 2017 (Photo: Sarah Sundin)

On a grand scale, we turn to the sea, where over 5000 vessels and 195,000 naval personnel are responsible for transporting soldiers, bombarding enemy positions, and guarding against enemy attack from the air and the sea. We see ships and sailors from the United States, Britain, France, Poland, the Netherlands, Norway, and Greece.

On a small scale, we see a Coastguardsmen from New Jersey, seasick and homesick, trying to maneuver his bullet-ridden landing craft through booby-trapped beach obstacles as artillery blasts past him. We see a French naval officer, peering through binoculars at his own village on the Norman shore and giving the sickening order to open fire, knowing the only way to free his land is to fire upon it.

Read more: D-Day at Sea

The USS Oglesby bounded over the waves toward Omaha Beach. The forward guns pumped shells straight ahead at the shack, and the aft guns fired to starboard at the battery.

Acrid brown smoke filled Wyatt’s nostrils.

Although he hadn’t been named after Wyatt Earp, he felt like that famous lawman riding into town with his six-shooter. The wind buffeted his face, and his Texas blood galloped. “Yee-haw!” he yelled.

~The Sea Before Us

"Target of Opportunity" On D-Day, destroyer USS Emmons comes dangerously close to shore to battle with German gun battery on Omaha Beach. Painting, Watercolor on Paper; by Dwight C. Shepler; 1944. (US Naval History and Heritage Command)

“Target of Opportunity” On D-Day, destroyer USS Emmons comes dangerously close to shore to battle with German gun battery on Omaha Beach. Painting, Watercolor on Paper; by Dwight C. Shepler; 1944. (US Naval History and Heritage Command)

On a grand scale, we look to the sky, where 11,000 Allied aircraft flew, transports and bombers and fighters, many painted in black-and-white “invasion stripes” to avoid friendly fire from below. We see them dropping paratroopers and bombing enemy positions and strafing roads to prevent the Germans from reinforcing the beaches.

On a small scale, we see an RAF glider pilot from Manchester, cracking wry jokes as his aircraft drifts down in the darkness toward a bridge that must be secured, wishing he’d written one more letter to his son. We see a California boy flying a B-26 Marauder, bombing Utah Beach from an astonishingly low altitude while machine-gun bullets whiz past, praying for the first time in a decade and determined never to stop praying again.

Read more: D-Day in the Air

The clock read 0555, and Adler made another turn. Ahead of him, the clouds thinned.

Maybe he could see something on the ground and get his bearings.

He got his bearings all right.

Framed by the ragged hole in the clouds, the gray ocean below teemed with ships. Warships heaved shells—right over dozens of tiny landing craft. Everything aimed for the golden stretch of beach dividing gray sea and green land.

“Here I am, flying in circles, doing nothing.” If only Adler could help down there. His hand tightened around the stick, longing to tilt it forward and strafe behind the beaches.

~The Sky Above Us

US B-26 Marauder over Utah Beach, 6 June 1944. The medium bomber has been specially marked for D-day with black and white stripes on the fuselage and wings, which were to identify itself as a friendly aircraft to ground units. (USAF photo)

US B-26 Marauder over Utah Beach, 6 June 1944. The medium bomber has been specially marked for D-day with black and white stripes on the fuselage and wings, which were to identify itself as a friendly aircraft to ground units. (USAF photo)

On a grand scale, we turn to the land, the shores of Normandy, where 156,000 soldiers from Britain, the United States, Canada, and France land on five beaches stretching about fifty miles. We see tanks and rifles and machine guns, uniforms and helmets and gas masks. And we see tens of thousands of German soldiers, defending the land they’ve conquered and enslaved, knowing it ultimately means defending their own homes.

On a small scale, we see a farmer from Manitoba, pounding onto Juno Beach, roaring to prevent the fear from pooling in his stomach. We see a Virginia grocer crouched at the seawall on Omaha, urging his buddies forward after all their officers were killed, even as his own brother lies dead on the beach. We see a medic risking his life, over and over, to drag the wounded to safety.

Read more: D-Day – Tour of Omaha Beach

Clay charged down the bow ramp and into frigid water up to his waist. His heart raced, and he plunged forward, his shins slicing the water, his boots fighting for traction.

Up onto the beach, maybe thirty yards deep. Pebbles scattered underneath his boots, hit his calves.

Clay scrabbled ahead, rifle and gaze high. Three grapnels disappeared over the cliff, and the ropes flopped against the earthen face. “Come on, boys!”

~The Land Beneath Us

Army Rangers of the US 5th Ranger Battalion in an LCA landing craft about to board their troopship for D-day, Weymouth, England, 1 June 1944 (US National Archives)

Army Rangers of the US 5th Ranger Battalion in an LCA landing craft about to board their troopship for D-day, Weymouth, England, 1 June 1944 (US National Archives)

On a grand scale, we see the nations wait with bated breath. If the invasion succeeds, the war may come to an end soon. If not, what will they do?

On a small scale, we see a wife in London who refuses to stop knitting until she hears word from her husband. We see a mother in Ohio who jumps whenever the doorbell rings, afraid it’ll be the telegram she dreads. We see a teenage boy in Vancouver skipping school so he can pray for his brother.

Seventy-five years later, it’s hard to see it all, to see the immensity of the largest amphibious operation in history and the intensity of the hundreds of thousands of personal dramas that played out that day.

So today, let’s remember and let’s be thankful.


How many Allied aircraft flew on D-day?

Write it down or enter it in the Rafflecopter giveaway right away.

Rafflecopter Giveaway

To enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway below, enter your name and email address (we need these to notify the winner). Then select an author’s name and enter the answer to that author’s question. You only need to enter the Rafflecopter once to be entered in the giveaway, but you can earn up to seven entries by answering all seven questions in the Rafflecopter. But don’t forget…to win, you must have collected ALL SEVEN answers. You can enter the Rafflecopter each day, or you can enter all your answers at once any time before June 16, 2019 at 11 pm PST. US mailing addresses only, please.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sarah Sundin

Sarah Sundin is a bestselling author of historical novels, including The Sky Above Us and The Sea Before Us. Her novel The Sea Before Us is a finalist for the 2019 Reader’s Choice Award from Faith, Hope, and Love, 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 and teaches Sunday school. She also enjoys speaking for church, community, and writers’ groups.

Bonus Giveaway

For a chance to win the entire three-book Sunrise at Normandy series, please share this post on social media (one entry) and/or be a current subscriber to my email newsletter or subscribe now – click the “subscribe to my newsletter” box in the upper right corner of this website (one entry), then leave a comment below telling what you did. You can earn a total of two entries. US mailing addresses only, please. The winner will receive the first two books now, and the third will be sent in February 2020 when it releases.

D-Day 75th Anniversary Blog Tour Schedule

Make sure you visit all seven authors! Links will go live on the post date.

June 3: AMANDA DYKES, author of Whose Waves These Are

June 4: CATHY GOHLKE, author of The Medallion

June 5: LIZ TOLSMA, author of When the Heart Sings

June 6: SARAH SUNDIN, author of the Sunrise at Normandy series: The Sea Before Us, The Sky Above Us, and The Land Beneath Us

June 7: AMANDA BARRATT, author of My Dearest Dietrich

June 10: VALERIE LUESSE, author of Almost Home

June 11: MELANIE DOBSON, author of Memories of Glass

123 Responses to “D-Day 75th Anniversary Blog Tour”

  1. Kelly Bridgewater

    Thanks for your words, Sarah! You do a great job at bringing history to life. Thank God for your talent! I subscribe to your newsletter.

  2. Lelia (Lucy) Reynolds

    Thank you for sharing this. I already receive your newsletter and I shared on Facebook. Thank you for the chance. Blessings

  3. Allyson Wieland

    Today’s blog brought tears to my eyes.
    I’m already a newsletter subscriber and have the first two books.
    Eagerly awaiting the third.

  4. Karen Asfour

    I have followed Sarah Sundin for years and read her books as they came available. I cant’ wait to read The Land Beneath Us

  5. Erin Laramore

    Loved learning more about D-Day! I shared this post on Facebook and am already a newsletter subscriber. Love all of Sarah’s books!

  6. Jenni Jenkins

    Subscribed to your email and shared your blog post on my Instagram page Lost_in_a_book_reviewer

    Thank you!

  7. Lynne M Feuerstein

    A beautiful, heartfelt post! Thank you for sharing this,Sarah!
    Am a newsletter subscriber and shared this on Facebook

  8. Roxanne Cruz

    I just shared this post on Facebook, and I have been a newsletter subscriber for a while. I am learning so much from all the authors’ blog posts. Thank you!

  9. Grace Summy

    I shared on facebook and am already a subscriber to your newsletter! 🙂

  10. Jackie Muir

    Thank you for this wonderful blog. I am so moved by the WWll erra. I read everything I can find on it, truly love the flight nurses stories. Having a husband that is a 3 time combat veteran, my Father WWll, and a number of relatives that were military. My Gt Gt Grandfather died of yellow fever while serving in WWl, now I have a cousin serving in Afganistan. So yes, your novels mean so much to me,I just cannot pick a favorite, I have every one and always excited about the next one. I add, your book covers have all been so beautiful…they tell a story on their own. Thank you for being such a blessing to us all. Love you and your GOD given talent to tell “their” stories. Thank you

  11. Jen Newendyke

    This is a beautiful post, perfect for today. I have really enjoyed all the posts on this tour so far! I’m already a newsletter subscriber 🙂

  12. Carol Alscheff

    I am enjoying these posts. I am already a subscriber and I shared tis to Facebook.

  13. Patti Bond

    What a wonderful blog you wrote concerning D Day I have enjoyed reading all the posts so far I already subscribe to your newsletters and I just love reading your books I will share this on FB

  14. Rachel Delanoy

    I love your books and have subscribed to your newsletter for quite a while now. Thank you for all of the wonderful D-Day information you have shared; I have learned so much! As you said, it’s very difficult to fully grasp what happened that day, both on the small and the large scale.

  15. Tia

    Thank you for the giveaway. I loved this series and I can’t wait for The Land Beneath Us to come out. I am subscribed to your newsletter.

  16. Stacey

    What a wonderful post and giveaway! I subscribed and shared. 🙂

  17. Mary Kay Moody

    Sarah ~ So grateful for your heart and you sharing your knowledge. Loved learning about the black & white stripes. A jillion tiny details in prep for D-Day. And your post did a super job of giving a taste of the personal and big picture. I shared on Twitter and I subscribe to your newsletter. Thanks for the opportunity to win books.

  18. Debrah Nash

    Sarah, I am a current subscriber to you newsletter. I love the cover for The Land Beneath Us. I am reminded of all that happened 75 years ago and how few we have of those, The Greatest Generation!! We had my father-in-law go Home to be with the Lord and to my sweet mother-in-law. We miss he and she terribly and the things that Dad went through being in the Seabees is amazing!! Now our granddaughter is a Corpman in the Navy and carries on the tradition!!

  19. Pat Jeanne Davis

    Your post on this historical day is marvelous and a very fitting tribute to all those courageous men who fought to secure freedom from oppression. Thank you for all the dedication that goes into each of your novels.

  20. Robin Henderson

    I have tweeted and I am signed up for your newsletter! Thank you for the opportunity to win your awesome books!

  21. Lisa Hudson

    Posted to FB & longtime recipient of newsletter. This Blogpost May be your BEST ever! Such heartfelt words!!

  22. Perrianne Askew

    I appreciate you trying to convey the enormity of the convergence of men and equipment on D-Day for a successful end to the war. What a day that must have been! I am too young to have been there, so your words conveying how this very important mission truly impacts our lives today. If not, we would probably all be speaking German and under a communist regime.

  23. Violetta Davis

    I really like hearing the facts about D day that you have presented. I always enjoy your books.

  24. CutePolarBear

    I’m a current subscriber to your newsletter, and I shared the blog tour and giveaway on Goodreads. 🙂 I loved this post, and was touched by how you personally are touched by the real-life stories of WWII and D-Day.


  25. Kerri Weldon

    I subscribe to your newsletter and love reading not only your books but the history behind them. Your research is amazing. Thanks for sharing your gift and the chance to win.

  26. Pam Morris

    Subscribed and followed on Pinterest. I don’t have any social media other than that.

  27. David Martin

    Great extensive work you’ve done on these blogs Sarah. Keep up the fine job you have been doing.

  28. Katelynn Nutzhorn

    I’m already a subscriber and I shared on facebook! 😀

  29. Rebecca Lare

    Normandy is a beautiful place. I remember standing on Omaha Beach trying to look into the past. I can never fully realize what that day was like. But I am so grateful to the men who fought that day.
    I subscribe to your newsletters and I shared your post on Facebook

  30. Arletta

    I already subscribe to your newsletter. I shared on facebook. This is a fun hunt!

  31. Paula Shreckhise

    You know me, Sarah, I share your stuff all the time. And I subscribe to your newsletter and blog. You are one of my all time favorite authors!

  32. Alison Boss

    Thank you, Sarah, for sharing this wonderful commerative tribute of D-Day! I have shared this post on Twitter and I am a current subscriber of your newsletter. Thank you for your bonus giveaway!!! 🙂

  33. Lual Krautter

    Thanks, Sarah, for giving us all one more glimpse of what happened back then. Subscribed to your newsletter and will post this blog and giveaway on my FB! Thanks, again, for a wonderful giveaway! Would love to win any print book! God bless! Check out my Western art at http://www.facebook.com/LualOKrautter

  34. Dorothy B Harkes

    Hi Sarah! I am a subscriber as well as a follower on Facebook, where I have just shared this page. Thank you and be blessed!

  35. Susan E Stitch

    I subscribe to your newsletter — and I love your books! Thanks for sharing with us.

  36. MJSH

    So looking forward to Clay’s story. I shared on Pinterest and am a subscriber.

  37. Helen

    Thank You for allowing this contest. I shared from your facebook page subscribe to your newsletters.

  38. Rachael Merritt

    I shared the post on Pinterest. I’m already a newsletter subscriber. Such a nice post! Thanks.

  39. Christine

    I love all your books, and subscribe to your newsletter. So glad you and the other authors are keeping history alive, because we owe so much to the “Greatest Generation”! I am proud to say that my parents, aunts, and uncles were part of that era.

  40. Renee Y.

    I posted on Twitter and I’m subscribed to your newsletters.

    Thank you for the interesting facts on D-Day.

  41. Becca F.

    I posted on social media and I subscribe to your newsletter. Looking forward to reading your newest book when it comes out!

  42. Karen Klepsteen

    Thank you so much for sharing this giveaway with us! I’ve already learned so much about World War II from you, and it’s exciting to learn about your fellow authors who are writing about it too. I’m already subscribed to your newsletter and I shared this post on Facebook!

  43. Michele Farley

    I’ve commented about your blog on Twitter and I already subscribe to your newsletter. Thank you for your research and for the fantastic stories you share with us!

  44. Sabrina Templin

    Hi Sarah!
    I shared this post on Facebook and I subscribe to your newsletter. 🙂

  45. Brenda Witt

    Hi Sarah
    I’m already a subscriber to your newsletter.
    I shared this post on Facebook
    I love your books
    Thank you for the chance.

  46. Shelly Duff

    I subscribed to your newsletter. Your books and those by the other authors in this giveaway look amazing. I am grateful to the men and women of that generation who fought for our freedom in WWII. My dad was in the military for 20 years during the Vietnam War era, including the first 17 years of my life. I am grateful to all those who have served in our military in the past, present and future, and to their families who often sacrifice so much more than we will ever know.

  47. Cathy C

    I am a subscriber, and I shared on the Facebook account. Always greatly enjoy and appreciate your well researched WWII novels. I had several family members in the thick of things on D-Day.

  48. Stephanie H.

    I am already a email newsletter subscriber and I shared your post on my Pinterest account.

  49. Cindy

    I already subscribe to your newsletter and follow you on Facebook. I just reread Adler’s story and am looking forward to Clay’s. Thanks, Sarah, for writing such captivating books!


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