2020 Carol Award Finalists Q&A (and a Giveaway!): Sarah Sundin & The Sky Above Us

Posted September 10, 2020 by meezcarrie in 2020 Carol Awards, Author Interview, Christian, giveaway, historical, romance, Sarah Sundin / 42 Comments

Happy Thursday once again! As you by now already know, through September 19th (culminating with a list of winners), I have the privilege of sharing mini interviews with nearly all of the 2020 ACFW Carol Award Finalists! Today I’m continuing with Sarah Sundin and her Carol Award finalist book The Sky Above Us! You can check out a list of all the finalists HERE.

FYI – There will be 2-3 posts per day, and a series-long giveaway, so make sure you catch them all!

Sarah Sundin is the bestselling author of several popular WWII series, including Sunrise at Normandy, Waves of Freedom, Wings of the Nightingale, and Wings of Glory. Her novels have received starred reviews from Booklist, Library Journal, and Publishers Weekly. Her novel Through Waters Deep was a Carol Award finalist, and both Through Waters Deep and When Tides Turn were named on Booklist‘s “101 Best Romance Novels of the Last 10 Years.” Sarah lives in Northern California. Visit her at www.sarahsundin.com

Sunrise at Normandy #2
GENRE: Inspirational Historical Romance
RELEASE DATE: February 5, 2019
PAGES: 356

Facing the past may be the most fearsome battle of his life.

Numbed by grief and harboring shameful secrets, Lt. Adler Paxton ships to England with the US 357th Fighter Group in 1943. Determined to become an ace pilot, Adler battles the German Luftwaffe in treacherous dogfights in the skies over France as the Allies struggle for control of the air before the D-day invasion.

Violet Lindstrom wants to be a missionary, but for now she serves in the American Red Cross, arranging entertainment for the men of the 357th and setting up programs for local children. Drawn to the mysterious Adler, she enlists his help with her work and urges him to reconnect with his family after a long estrangement.

Despite himself, Adler finds his defenses crumbling when it comes to Violet. But D-day draws near . . . and secrets can’t stay buried forever.


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Hi Sarah! Welcome back to the blog!

Q: How has Christian fiction impacted you personally?

Sarah: Christian fiction has been such a joy in my life. The characters challenge me on how I live out my faith, and the stories show me hope and light in a dark world. I’ve had the bonus joy of coming to know so many of these authors as friends and to see the gritty genuineness of their faith.

Carrie: I totally agree!

Q: When you’re not writing your next award-nominated book 😉 who are your fave authors to read & why?

Sarah: Ooh, I always hate these questions, because I love so many authors! I feel as if I can invite only three friends to my birthday party, and someone’s going to feel left out. Some authors who have never failed to delight me include Melanie Dobson, Karen Barnett, Kristy Cambron, Jocelyn Green, Lori Benton, and Amanda Dykes. And this is a partial list!

These authors share a beautiful way with words and characters, and a dedication to portraying history with accuracy and compassion.

Carrie: I know – it’s a terrible question for me to ask lol. And I love all of those same authors – for the same reasons!

Q: Do you have any strange writing habits/quirks?

Sarah: When Cara Putman and Tricia Goyer (more favorite authors!) and I wrote Where Treetops Glisten, they dubbed me The Spreadsheet Queen. I am an extreme outliner. I have charts and questionnaires and spreadsheets and systems for every aspect of my novels, from characters to plot to research to bookmark mailings to interview requests. It’s obsessive, but I can’t work without them.

Carrie: you would fit in quite well at JustRead Tours – we could not function without our copious spreadsheets haha

Q: Which of your characters has really stretched you as a writer?

Sarah: Both Adler Paxton and Violet Lindstrom in The Sky Above Us stretched me. Really stretched me. Adler has committed sins that appall most people. He can’t even admit them to himself. And Violet is the “good Christian girl” who wants to be a missionary—and is oblivious to her own sin of self-righteousness. I found myself in both of them—the worst of sinners and the judgy good girl. This allowed me to portray them both authentically and compassionately—but it also challenged me to confront areas of shame and self-righteousness in my own life.

Carrie: both extremes there, you’re right – and I have been each one at different points in my life ♥ Thankful for God’s grace!

Q: What’s the weirdest thing you’ve googled lately while researching a book?

Sarah: Hoo boy. Where do I start? Just this week—gazogène engines, the weather in Paris on certain dates in 1941, did France have school uniforms, list of books banned by the Nazis, ballets performed in Paris in 1941. And that tells you a smidgen about my 2022 release—ha!

Carrie: oooo is it 2022 yet?!?

Q: What is something God taught you while you wrote The Sky Above Us?

Sarah: The sin of the Pharisee is a subtle sin for Christians. We look down on the world for its worldliness and pat ourselves on the back that we aren’t like “those people.” Through Violet’s journey, God showed me the danger of self-righteousness and how silently it creeps into my heart. It even crops up when I judge my friends in my heart for being judgy! Lord, help me!

Carrie: oh boy. yep. I’m guilty of that as well. Lord, thank you for putting up with us & making us more like You.

Q: What is one of your favorite quotes from The Sky Above Us & why do you love it?

Sarah: Adler says to himself, “Forgiveness without reconciliation would be like barbecue without the sauce—nourishing, but not the full savory delight.”

I love this partly because it captures Adler’s Texas voice, but mostly because of the message of reconciliation. It also shows Adler’s love for the family he betrayed and his longing for the home he doubts he’ll ever see again.

Carrie: that’s a great word picture!

I am offering one reader any TWO books (print copies) that finaled in the 2020 Carol Awards! (open internationally as long as Book Depository ships to your address) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.

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What about you? What makes you want to read the historical romance Carol Award finalist The Sky Above Us by Sarah Sundin & what did you enjoy about Sarah’s answers?

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42 responses to “2020 Carol Award Finalists Q&A (and a Giveaway!): Sarah Sundin & The Sky Above Us

  1. Perrianne Askew

    I haven’t read one of her books yet but there is one on my TBR pile (sighj. I like Adler’s comment about barbeque, and yes the sauce is the best compliment.

  2. Suzanne Sellner

    I am just about to finish The Land Beneath Us in your Sunrise at Normandy series–excellent! What an interesting way to learn some history, enjoy some fictitious but realistic relationships, and be inspired by spiritual truths!

  3. Rachael de Klerk

    I’ve only heard good things about Sarah Sundin’s work. I really need to read her books ASAP(especially since WWII is my favourite genre).

  4. Gloria A

    Great interview and found the self righteousness angle addressed tying in with the Pharisees as an interesting theme. Also, judging those who judge…never thought about it that way.

  5. Winnie Thomas

    I love Sarah Sundin’s books, but I have a lot of her backlist ones to read yet! I even have 3 or 4 on my Kindle. I’m hoping to get to them soon, but I’m fully resigned to the fact that there are more fantastic books out there than I’ll ever be able to read! My TBR list is toppling fast! Yikes! I have too many favorite authors and they keep writing fascinating books. I guess that’s a good problem to have, huh?

  6. Elizabeth Litton

    Sarah Sundin’s series about the Paxton brothers was a great series! It’s so fun to learn about writing quirks and oddities of the author as well!

  7. Roxanne C.

    I loved the Sunrise at Normandy series, and Sarah Sundin’s other books are on my wishlist. She is a fantastic writer!

  8. Loved learning more about this author and books. My kind of books. Would love to read and review print copy of books. Look forward to enjoying this authors books

  9. Dawn

    I read The Land Beneath Us but have not read either of the other two books in the series. I enjoyed the D-day history and would like to revisit Sundin’s characters as we got some of their stories in the secondary plotlines of the other novel.

  10. Mallori N.

    I can’t wait to read this book and see how Adler’s and Violet’s story unfolds, especially after reading the little teasers about their personalities/backstories.

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