When Tides Turn (Waves of Freedom #3) by Sarah Sundin

Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance
Publisher: Revell
Publication Date: March 2016

Tired of being viewed as just a pretty face, Quintessa Beaumont enlists in the Navy’s newly formed WAVES program for women. Not only will it aid in the war effort, it will give her the chance to prove she can also be useful. However, in her pursuit of demonstrating she can contribute more than beauty, Tessa becomes embroiled in a case that reeks of sabotage and spies.

No-nonsense Lt. Dan Avery longs for the sea, instead he’s stuck behind a desk. But he’ll endure anything to make admiral, including hold on to his land legs a while longer and swear off love. So he’s less than thrilled when vivacious, fun-loving Tessa bursts onto his radar. She’s exactly the kind of distraction his mentor has warned him about, and Dan is determined to keep her far away.

Sarah Sundin does it again! When Tides Turn hits the trifecta with a beautifully-blended story of love, intrigue, and faith. Well-researched history, heart-warming characters, and a historical setting that pops to life make this novel impossible to set down.

Despite my immense love for Jim Avery (Through Waters Deep), I think his no-nonsense brother has taken his place as my favorite hero in the Waves of Freedom series. I don’t want to give anything away, but just wait until the scene in which Dan gives Tessa one of the sweetest gifts ever. I’m pretty sure I melted into a puddle right then and there.

As always, the characters are exquisitely developed as they face life and faith obstacles many of us can relate to. Sundin has a knack for understanding and addressing the human psyche. Though Tessa and I are night and day different, I could connect with her and found I, too, struggle with a lot of her fears and worries. It was a reminder that despite people’s differences; we deal with a lot of the same issues.

I strongly recommend When Tides Turn to anyone looking for a great historical romance with a hint of mystery. If you haven’t read the first two installments, I encourage you to start there, not because they are imperative to follow this book, but because the series is too good to miss.

Review copy provided by publisher. Thanks!

**Originally posted on Radiant Lit.

Anchor in the Storm (Waves of Freedom #2) by Sarah Sundin

anchor-in-the-storm-sarah-sundinGenre: Historical Fiction, Romance
Publisher: Revell
Publication Date: May 3, 2016

All her life, Lillian has fought prejudices — as a woman and as a disabled person. However, when America joins World War II, she has the opportunity to prove herself as a pharmacist and show that her gender and disability don’t hold her back. While her new employer makes it clear he doesn’t want her around, Lillian throws herself into her work determined to become indispensable. Figuring out why large prescriptions of sedatives are coming through seems like the best place to start. If only her brother’s best friend, Archer Vandeberg, would find another woman to pester with his attentions.

With his good looks and money, Arch is used to women fawning over him, but not Lillian. His charm seems lost on the fiercely independent pharmacist. The harder he tries to flirt, the more she seems to dislike him. Assigned to a destroyer that hunts German U-boats, Arch discovers his men struggle with nerves and staying awake — a potentially deadly combination during a time of war. Worried that his men could be self-medicating, Arch follows the trail only to discover the Lillian may have unwittingly landed in the middle of a dangerous plot.

Anchor in the Storm reunites readers with Lillian and Arch whom we briefly met in the first installment of the Waves of Freedom series. As always, Sarah Sundin brilliantly portrays the 1940s. Though undoubtedly hours of research go into her stories, I never feel like I’m reading pages of study or history. Rather, I’m transported to the past and experience the era and lifestyle for myself.

I loved that Lillian isn’t your typical heroine. She doesn’t fall under the “perfect,” “model-like” category often prized by society. However, her inner beauty and resilience quickly shine through and overshadow her physical disability. If only we did the same in real life and stopped judging others by what we see on the surface. I enjoyed watching Lillian and Arch’s romance develop even though Arch fumbled on more than one occasion. His mistakes only served to make him more real.

While book one in this series, Through Waters Deep, is still my favorite, Sundin spiked the tension to new heights as the climax of Anchor in the Storm unfolded. I gasped for breath as the author wrenched me back and forth between two nerve-racking events. I recommend this novel to readers who enjoy historical fiction with a taste of romance and mystery.

Review copy provided by Litfuse Publicity Group. Thanks!

**Originally posted on Radiant Lit.

Interview: Sarah Sundin, Author of Anchor in the Storm

Sarah-SundinMale and female stereotypes have always existed. World War II brought major changes to the status quo in America as necessity challenged traditional male/female roles and opportunities. Sarah Sundin delves into these dynamics in the second installment in her Waves of Freedom series, Anchor in the Storm.

Anchor in the Storm is the second release in your Waves of Freedom series, set in the romantic yet tumultuous World War II period. Tell us a little about this story and how the series ties together.

 For plucky Lillian Avery, America’s entry into World War II means a chance to prove herself as a pharmacist in Boston. She loves the wartime challenges of her new job but spurns the attention of society boy Ensign Archer Vandenberg. As Arch’s destroyer battles U-boats along the East Coast, Lillian uncovers a black market drug ring. Arch and Lillian work together on the investigation, but he wonders if he can ever earn her trust and affection.

Anchor in the Storm is the second book in the Waves of Freedom series. Arch is the best friend of Jim Avery, hero of Through Waters Deep, and Lillian is Jim’s sister.

Why did you decide to give your heroine, Lillian Avery, a visible physical disability? In what ways would her life have been more challenging in 1942 than today?

 My oldest son was born missing his left arm below the elbow. He’s never let it stop him; he’s a mechanical engineer and a black belt in karate. He’s faced challenges, but I’m thankful he was born in modern times when we have more enlightened views of disabilities and have protections for the disabled. So what would it be like to have a disability in the 1940s, especially for a young lady with a visible physical one? It was interesting to show Lillian’s struggles and the prejudices she faces, but also the kindnesses shown to her.

Job opportunities exploded for women in the 1940s because of the draft. What were some of the anchor-in-the-storm-sarah-sundinpositive and negative aspects of this explosion? Would Lillian have been able to find a job as a pharmacist in that day otherwise?

 World War II brought extreme changes for women. The needs of the nation brought millions of women into the workforce. The positive benefits include the immense increase in production that allowed the Allies to win the war. Also, women challenged themselves with new roles and often discovered new strengths in themselves. The negative issues are similar to what we face today, primarily with difficulties finding childcare. As for Lillian, I like to think she would have found a job during peacetime, but it would have been difficult for a woman in a man’s field — especially with a disability.

How easy is it for people to find too much security or identity in their career?

 In Anchor in the Storm, both Arch and Lillian come to question how much of their identity comes from their careers. It’s easy to define ourselves by the roles we play, but when the roles change, who are we? The man who loses his job and can’t find a new one in his profession? The stay-at-home mom facing an empty nest? Anyone facing a career change? As Christians, we know our identity is in Christ alone, but that’s easier to say than to feel. The challenge is to hold on to that intellectual knowledge of our eternal security and identity when our earthly roles change.

Your leading man, Archer Vandenberg, suffers from combat fatigue, or what we now call post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). How was PTSD viewed and treated during World War II versus today?

 Our understanding of PTSD has slowly been changing. In the traditional military, it was viewed as cowardice or weak nerves. When World War II began, physicians didn’t really know how to treat combat fatigue, and men were often discharged, labeled as “unfit for duty.” Great strides were made during the war as physicians and commanders slowly came to see it as a medical condition, but treatment remained difficult. It still is.

What are some of the life lessons you hope soak into your readers’ hearts while they’re enjoying Anchor in the Storm?

 Both Arch and Lillian learn to place their security in Christ alone, to allow God to be their anchor no matter what happens in life. The theme verse for this novel is Hebrews 6:18–19 (KJV): “We might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast.”

EXTRA

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Read my review of the first installment in the series, Through Waters Deep, and be on the lookout for my thoughts on Anchor in the Storm.