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.
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?
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.
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?
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
Tour of Pointe du Hoc 1 and Tour of Pointe du Hoc 2
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
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.
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.
D-Day 75th Anniversary Blog Tour Schedule
Make sure you visit all seven authors!
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
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.
Thank you on both counts, Kelly.
Thank you for sharing this. I already receive your newsletter and I shared on Facebook. Thank you for the chance. Blessings
Thank you so much, Lucy!
Today’s blog brought tears to my eyes.
I’m already a newsletter subscriber and have the first two books.
Eagerly awaiting the third.
I’m honored, Allyson. The accomplishments of this generation deserve to be remembered.
I have followed Sarah Sundin for years and read her books as they came available. I cant’ wait to read The Land Beneath Us
Thank you so much, Karen!
Loved learning more about D-Day! I shared this post on Facebook and am already a newsletter subscriber. Love all of Sarah’s books!
Thank you, Erin!
Subscribed to your email and shared your blog post on my Instagram page Lost_in_a_book_reviewer
Thank you, Jenni! I appreciate it!
A beautiful, heartfelt post! Thank you for sharing this,Sarah!
Am a newsletter subscriber and shared this on Facebook
Thank you, Lynne!
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!
I am too! I’m looking forward to the rest of the posts!
I shared on facebook and am already a subscriber to your newsletter! 🙂
Thank you so much, Grace!
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
Thank you, Jackie! I’m so grateful for your family’s long legacy of service.
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 🙂
Thank you, Jen! I’m glad you enjoyed it.
I am enjoying these posts. I am already a subscriber and I shared tis to Facebook.
Thanks, Carol! I’m enjoying them too.
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
Thank you, Patti! I’m glad you enjoyed it.
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.
Thank you, Rachel! The more I learn, the more I appreciate, and the more I want to share.
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.
Thank you so much, Tia!
What a wonderful post and giveaway! I subscribed and shared. 🙂
Thank you, Stacey!
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.
Thank you, Mary Kay! I’m glad you enjoyed the post.
Such a great post! I’m already a newsletter subscriber.
Thank you, Megan!
I shared on Twitter and I am already a subscriber
Thanks, Sabrina! I appreciate it.
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!!
As a Navy Mom myself, I’m pleased to hear this. And I’m glad you’re enjoying the tour.
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.
Thank you, Pat! That means a lot to me.
I have tweeted and I am signed up for your newsletter! Thank you for the opportunity to win your awesome books!
Thank you, Robin!
Posted to FB & longtime recipient of newsletter. This Blogpost May be your BEST ever! Such heartfelt words!!
Thank you, Lisa! I appreciate your longtime support!
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.
Oops…I’m an e-mail subscriber.
Thank you, Perrianne! I’m glad you appreciate what these men did on that day.
I really like hearing the facts about D day that you have presented. I always enjoy your books.
Thank you, Violetta!
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.
Thank you so much!
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.
Thank you, Kerri! I’m glad you’re enjoying the stories – and the history!
Subscribed and followed on Pinterest. I don’t have any social media other than that.
Thank you, Pam!
Great extensive work you’ve done on these blogs Sarah. Keep up the fine job you have been doing.
Thank you, Dave!
I’m already a subscriber and I shared on facebook! ?
Thank you, Katelynn!
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
It’s an awe-inspiring experience. I’m glad you could see it too!
Thank you so much!
I already subscribe to your newsletter. I shared on facebook. This is a fun hunt!
I’m glad you’re enjoying it, Arletta!
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!
And you’re one of my all-time favorite readers 🙂
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!!! 🙂
Thank you, Alison!
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
Thank you for sharing, Lual!
I shared on FB
Thank you, Rachel! 🙂
Posted to FB and am a subscriber. Thanks for making history so enjoyable!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thank you, Kim!
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!
Thank you so much, Dorothy!
I subscribe to your newsletter — and I love your books! Thanks for sharing with us.
Thank you, Susan!
So looking forward to Clay’s story. I shared on Pinterest and am a subscriber.
Thank you! I hope you enjoy The Land Beneath Us!
Thank You for allowing this contest. I shared from your facebook page subscribe to your newsletters.
Thank you so much, Helen!
I shared your post on my facebook page.
I already receive your newsletter.
Thank you, Tina!
I shared the post on Pinterest. I’m already a newsletter subscriber. Such a nice post! Thanks.
I’m glad you enjoyed it, Rachael!
I am a subscriber and shared on Facebook.
Thank you, Joan!
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.
We certainly do owe them! I’m thankful for that generation – and for people like you who appreciate them 🙂
I’m a subscriber!
Thank you, Melissa!
Very interesting info!
Thank you, Judith!
I posted on Twitter and I’m subscribed to your newsletters.
Thank you for the interesting facts on D-Day.
I posted on social media and I subscribe to your newsletter. Looking forward to reading your newest book when it comes out!
Thank you, Becca!
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!
Thanks, Karen! I’ve been enjoying all the authors’ posts too!
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!
Thank you so much, Michele!
I shared this post on Facebook and I subscribe to your newsletter. 🙂
Thank you, Sabrina!
I have all your books and intend to own whatever you write.
Thanks, Barb! I appreciate your support!
I’m already a subscriber to your newsletter.
I shared this post on Facebook
I love your books
Thank you for the chance.
Thank you so much, Brenda!
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.
I love this, Shelly! I’m so thankful for your father’s long service, especially as a Navy mom myself.
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.
Oh my! I’m so thankful for what they did.
I am already a email newsletter subscriber and I shared your post on my Pinterest account.
Thank you so much, Stephanie!
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!
Thank you, Cindy! I’m glad you’re enjoying the stories!
I’m a subscriber and I shared on Twitter, thank you for the opportunity ?!
Thank you, Jessica! I appreciate it!
I’m an email subscriber.
Thank you, Theresa!
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