What book should you read next? What words should you write next? Whether you're a reader, a writer, or both, you need look no further for ideas and pointers to help you make up your mind. You might even get your next book for free--and signed by the author!

Sometimes I even give away my own novels. My Inspirational romances and devotionals are pictured below and are detailed on my Books page. You can always count on a trace of humor in my novels and nonfiction. Whether you're a teen or a woman mature in years, I think these stories will ring true.

Read on, and discover some of today's most appealing Christian novelists, their latest books, and their words of wisdom and imagination. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Sarah Sundin and Free Books!

PhotobucketAllie is promised to a man she doesn't love, but a furloughed B-17 bomber pilot captures her heart--will she honor her family's wishes or take a chance on true love?

Before we meet today's novelist, I'd like to announce that the winner of the drawing for Sandra Byrd's novel, Piece de Resistance, is:

cathiecaffey@ . . .

Congratulations! I'll contact you today for your snail mail address, and we'll get your book to you right away. I encourage readers to keep commenting and/or subscribe at right in order to participate in future book give-aways!

And now let's meet novelist Sarah Sundin, author of A Distant Melody (Revell, March 2010).

PhotobucketSarah Sundin's first novel, A Distant Melody, was released in March 2010 by Revell. She lives in northern California with her husband and three children. When she isn't ferrying kids to soccer and karate, she works on-call as a hospital pharmacist and teaches Sunday school and women's Bible studies. She is a member of Christian Authors' Network and American Christian Fiction Writers.

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of A Distant Melody.

PhotobucketLt. Walter Novak flies a B-17 bomber in battles over Nazi-occupied Europe during World War II, while Allie Miller serves in the Red Cross against the wishes of her wealthy parents and controlling fiancé in California. Walt and Allie meet at a wedding and begin a correspondence. As letters fly between Walt's muddy bomber base in England and Allie's mansion in an orange grove, their friendship binds them together. But can they untangle the secrets, commitments, and expectations that keep them apart?

Which character in your novel most interested you while you wrote?

I adore Walt and Allie, my hero and heroine, but the character who interested me most had to be Cressie Watts. I didn't plan for her--she just showed up. Allie, a wealthy, well-mannered young woman, goes for a walk after a horrendous day and enters a rundown church. She needs to get away from her parents' superficial congregation, so I thought she might talk to the pastor. Instead, Allie and I both find--to my surprise--this feisty older woman who ropes Allie into helping her air out the pew cushions. She's Allie's opposite in every way--exactly the mentor Allie needs at this point. I adore her brusque ways, her deep faith, and her humor. And there's a funny story regarding her name too.

Ah, you're a tease! Besides learning the origin of Allie's name, why will readers enjoy your novel?

May I quote my review from Historical Novels Review? "An impressive World War II romance full of courage, sacrifice, and lessons learned. The time Sundin has put into researching aviation during the war is evident, and she does an excellent job weaving those details into the story. Perfectly plotted, dramatic and full of tension, this is an excellent start to the new Wings of Glory series. Highly recommended."

I do believe I'd have that review framed and mounted on the wall above my computer if I were you.

If you were the casting director for the film version of your novel, who would play your lead roles?

That would be hard! Neither Allie nor Walt is considered good-looking--except in each other's eyes--and almost all Hollywood types are gorgeous. I haven't seen anyone who matches the characters in my mind--including the very cute cover models.

Yeah, actually, from what I can see of the heroine on your cover, she favors a brunette Scarlett Johansson. If you're going for not-so-gorgeous, I suppose we'll have to leave this one blank.

This month we're looking at opening lines. What are the first lines of your novel? What did you hope to convey with those opening lines?

One whole delicious week together. Allie Miller clung to her best friend's promise and to the train ticket that would deliver it.

Allie followed an inlaid marble pathway through Union Station and breathed in the glamour of travel and the adventure of her first trip north. Anticipation trilled a song in her heart, but the tune felt thin, a single line of melody with no harmony to make it resonate.

I hoped to convey the sense of hope and anticipation Allie has for the coming trip, coupled with the sense of emptiness and discontent she has in her current life. The trip will change everything.

Really well done--that thin tune says it all.

What facet of the writing craft comes easiest to you? What do you struggle with?

Dialogue comes easily to me, especially light banter. Love it. The very first book I wrote was full of light banter. And that was about all. It should never, ever be published. What's most difficult to me is description. In my rough draft it always feels like the drivel I wrote for creative writing in high school. Gag. In rewriting I try to work in story-related and character-related details and metaphors to enrich it and remove the gag-factor.

Choose an inanimate object to represent you. Explain what you have in common with that object.

I struggled with this question. All my life I've had this weird phobia against being labeled. I had friends in high school but didn't belong to a "group." I joined a sorority in college (bad idea) but took defiant pleasure in being the only chemistry major in the house--and being the only sorority girl in the chem department. So I think I'm a spork. Not a spoon. Not a fork. A little of both. I'm a Sunday school teaching carpool soccer mom--but that's not all. I'm a pharmacist. I'm a published author. I'm a candidate for serious therapy.

LOL! Aren't we all?

Everyone struggles with this question, I think. But I love (and I think the readers do, too) the creativity that's sparked by having to step so far outside the norm in explaining something about who you are.

What is the last book you read that moved you? How did it affect you?

I just finished The Shape of Mercy, by Susan Meissner. Besides being a generally moving story, it made me think about how we judge others, how we filter other people through our own experiences and expectations and background. To a certain extent, this can't be avoided, but we need to be constantly aware of it and conscious of our inability to judge people's motives.

I've had Susan's book on my TBR list for quite awhile now, and I read anything about it with one eye closed--always concerned I'll learn too much about the plot. I'm dying to get to it!

What are you working on now?

I'm waiting on Revell's copy edit of A Memory Between Us, Book Two in the Wings of Glory series, and I'm polishing Book Three before turning it in to my editor. Meanwhile, I'm planning out another series, also set during World War II.

Where else can readers find you or your writing online?

Website: www.sarahsundin.com
Blog: www.sarahsundin.blogspot.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/sarahsundin
Twitter: twitter.com/sarahsundin

A Distant Melody can be purchased through:
Barnes & Noble
And at your local bookstore!

Thanks, Sarah, for visiting with us and telling us about A Distant Melody. Readers, Sarah has offered to give a copy of her novel to the winner of our drawing on Thursday, March 11. To enter, leave a comment for Sarah, below. Leave your email address, in case you win, like so: trish[at]trishperry[dot]com.

Check out my interviews with Annalisa Daughety and DiAnn Mills, below, and leave a comment under their interviews to be entered in drawings for signed copies of their novels

Annoying legal disclaimer: drawings void where prohibited; open only to U.S. residents; the odds of winning depend upon the number of participants."


Sherry Kuhn said...

This looks the a great book. I really like the cover. Please enter me in the drawing. Thanks for the great interview too!


gahome2mom said...

Thanks for sharing.


Julia said...

Definitely interested in reading this. Please enter me.


Linda said...

I had 4 qualifications for a future husband. One was that he had to have been through the service or I wouldn't get involved. We had the draft back then, and I wasn't going to be a war widow! Guy I married already went through the service! I'd like to know how this is handled in this book. Please enter me.
desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

Judyg54 said...

The interview and the book were both very interesting and I am sold on reading this story (and the sequels). Sign me up for a chance to win.

Anna W. said...

Ooh, sounds great! Please enter me!

writer_weaver at yahoo dot com

Casey said...

Please don't enter me, I already have the book, but I wanted to stop by and say how much I am enjoying it! Good work Sarah and I can't wait to see how it ends. :)

Cherie J said...

This book sounds great! Please enter me. Thank you!


Mary M said...

Great interview, Sarah! Let us know if there are anymore interviews to read! I have the book already, which I am really enjoying, but have in mind a friend I'd like to gift a copy to should I be the lucky winner! Keep up the great work!

Sarah Sundin said...

Thank you, everyone, for all your kind words! And thanks, Trish, for giving me this opportunity.

Anonymous said...

I have heard so much about this book and have it on my "to read" list. Please enter me. Thanks!!!

Carole said...

Sarah, your series is already on my wish list and I enjoyed the interview. It's interesting how Cressie's character evolved and that Walt & Annie don't have the typical Hollywood-type looks. I am eager to begin reading and appreciate the chance to win a copy.

cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

Anonymous said...

I look forward to reading your book especially since my father-in-law as a pilot in WWII. Stories of pilots in that era have a special interest for me. beekeeper5[at]bellsouth[dot]net

Administrator said...

I love the questions you asked Sarah here! So much fun. I am anticipating some great Hollywood movies from her work :)

Thanks for sharing about her book- great interview. Congratulations on your success Sarah!

Laura Wrede
National Women's Ministry Writer

Trish Perry said...

Yes, as beekeeper said above about her F-I-L, my father flew during WWII. That's how my parents met. My mum, a Brit, was selling tickets to a dance for all of the servicemen, and my dad (a P-51 fighter pilot) thought she was a knockout. They've been married for more than 64 years!

So I feel a kinship with this kind of story, too.

raspberrygirl said...

Sounds very interesting! Please enter me. Thanks!

Julie Lessman said...

Hey, Sarah and Trish, great interview! I'm really looking forward to reading Sarah's book, so thanks for the opportunity to win it here.


Sylvia M. said...

Oh, I love this time period and have been looking forward to reading this book for awhile now. I saw the fabulous cover for book two and am already looking forward to it just by the cover!:) I'd like to be entered into this giveaway.


Cheryl said...

I would love to read this book. Please enter me in the contest. My email[@]charter[.]net

Merry said...

Stories set in WW2 draw me in as I also have family who fought in the war, were pilots, found love... please sign me up! Thanks for a chance, Trish.


denise said...

Your book looks great.

tweezle said...

I love hearing how characters "just show up". It's always interesting knowing that the book has a life of its own :) I'd love to read this - it looks like a really great read!

Thanks for the chance!
tweezle at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

i love the cover of this book...thanks for the opportunity to read it :)


rubynreba said...

I know this is a book I would like to read.

Abi said...

this sounds like a most interesting book. Thanks for the interview.

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Lindsey said...

This book looks absolutely wonderful I would love the chance to win it!

I haven't read many World War II books, and I have been hearing so much about them and how good they are, and the description of this book sounds so good.I can't wait to read it! Please enter me in the contest!! And Carman sent me!

Cindy W. said...

I absolutely love the cover and would really love to win a copy of your book. Thank you for the opportunity.

God Bless you,
Cindy Woolard


Emily said...

Looks like an awesome book! I will definitely have to check it out.
Please enter me!




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