Book Review: Blue Skies Tomorrow

24 Aug

Lt. Raymond Novak prefers the pulpit to the cockpit, but at least his stateside job training B-17 pilots allows him the luxury of a personal life. As he courts Helen Carlisle, a young war widow and mother who conceals her pain under a frenzy of volunteer work, the sparks of their romance set a fire that flings them both into peril. After Ray leaves to fly a combat mission at the peak of the air war over Europe, Helen takes a job in a dangerous munitions yard and confronts an even graver menace in her own home. Will they find the courage to face their challenges? And can their young love survive until blue skies return?

About Sarah Sundin (from the author’s website)

Although I come from a home wallpapered in books, I only briefly envisioned myself as a writer, when my sister and I co-wrote Funny Dancing Fruits and Vegetables complete with crayon illustrations.

Then I discovered science. I loved learning about the intricacies of God’s creation, so I studied chemistry in college, and then got my doctorate in pharmacy—not a typical career path for a writer.

In pharmacy school, I met my husband, Dave. We settled in northern California and were blessed by three bright, funny children—Stephen, Anna, and Matthew.

Then on January 6, 2000, I woke from a dream so intriguing I had to write it down. I proceeded to write a really bad 750-page contemporary Christian romance. Burn-it-when-I-die bad. But the Lord used it to call me into writing. I joined a critique group, attended writers’ conferences, and joined American Christian Fiction Writers. These all taught me about the craft of writing and the publishing industry, and introduced me to writers, editors, and agents.

I first submitted the manuscript for A Distant Melody in 2003, and over the next five years I accumulated a pile of “good” rejection letters from editors and agents. Finally in 2008, a submission at Mount Hermon Christian Writers’ Conference led to the sale of the Wings of Glory series — A Distant Melody (2010), A Memory Between Us (2010), and Blue Skies Tomorrow (August 2011). In 2011, I received the Writer of the Year Award at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference, and A Memory Between Us was a finalist in the Inspirational Reader’s Choice Awards.

Between writing and driving kids to soccer and karate, I work one evening a week as a hospital pharmacist, teach Sunday school to fourth- and fifth-graders, and teach women’s Bible studies. I enjoy speaking to school, community, women’s, historical, and church groups. Visit my speaking page to see a list of topics.

The Lord has called you for a purpose. If He gave you a dream, persevere and never give up. If He gave you the dream to write fiction, then write! Read as much as you can. Join a critique group, attend conferences, and join American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW). Keep reading, keep writing, keep submitting, and learn from all you do. The Lord’s plan may or may not include publication, but His plans are always good!

You can also visit Sarah at her blog, just click HERE.

Q&A for the Wings of Glory series.   

My Impressions:

Blue Skies Tomorrow is the last installment of Sarah Sundin’s Wings of Glory series.  What a shame!  This is such a great series, that I am sorry to leave the wonderful characters that she has created.  But don’t worry, Sarah has another series in the works (more on that later).  Beginning with A Distant Melody and continuing through A Memory Between Us, this series follows the three Novak brothers and their exploits during WWII.  All are pilots with the the Army Air Force and face dangerous missions with great faith and courage. They also meet women that tug at their hearts.  The series brings to life the days of WWII — the hopes, dreams, and fears of the Greatest Generation.

In Blue Skies Tomorrow, Ray Novak is a pastor at heart who finds himself kicked out of his flight instructor position to a desk in a supply facility.  His doubts about his character emerge and are tested in the new role he finds himself in — a desk bound pilot in a safe assignment while others, including his brothers, are facing the ultimate sacrifice for their country.  Could it be true what others whisper; is he a coward?  Helen Carlisle keeps the home fires burning with her work with the Red Cross, Junior Red Cross and various drives and morale boosting shows with which she keeps busy.  Her role is set for her — grieving widow dutifully keeping her husband alive not only for her son, but the town as well — but it is a mask she wears to appease the town and her guilt.  When Ray and Helen bump into each other, they instantly feel a spark of attraction, but also the fears and hurts they have kept hidden so well threaten to come to the surface as well.  In just one night, their course seems set — Ray heads off to a combat assignment in England and Helen returns to the home of her late husband.  But for both of them a nightmare life takes over.  Will they ever find the light of day and each other?

Blue Skies Tomorrow kept me turning the pages.  Both Ray and Helen are thrust into threatening situations from which there seems no escape.  Yet they find the courage and the faith to take the steps necessary not only to persevere, but to come through victoriously.  Ugly things are exposed by Sundin — prejudice and injustice within the Navy, emotional and physical abuse — but she proves that things that flourish in the dark, cannot stand when exposed to the light of day and the light of God’s truth.  It is a wonderful thing when an author creates characters that come to life within the reader.   I felt Helen’s despair, and I lived Ray’s desperation.  Billed as “historical romance”, Blue Skies Tomorrow is so much more —  a wonderful story of two people who find the courage to face their fears and to reach towards what God wants for them.

Highly Recommended.

To read more reviews of Blue Skies Tomorrow, click HERE.

Sarah is hosting a giveaway to celebrate the release of Blue Skies Tomorrow, just click on the image below.  Enter 8/22 – 9/22!

Sarah is at work on a new series — 

WINGS OF THE NIGHTINGALE Series (coming in 2012 from Revell)

In this series, three World War II flight nurses discover friendship, love, and peril in the skies and on the shores of the Mediterranean.

In Every Letter (working title), September 2012 — Loner Mellie Blake longs for adventure as a flight nurse, while Army engineer Lt. Tom MacGilliver tries to overcome the legacy of his infamous father. In North Africa and Sicily, Mellie pioneers air evacuation while Tom builds airfields under fire. Will their anonymous correspondence unlock their true identities?

To Every Shore (working title), June 2013 — Lt. Georgie Taylor loves her job as a flight nurse, but the goals of pharmacist Sgt. John Hutchinson are frustrated at every turn. As Georgie and Hutch care for American soldiers in Sicily and Italy, tragedy brings them together. But will their differences keep them apart?

With Every Beat (working title), June 2014 — Flight nurse Lt. Kay Jobson collects hearts wherever she flies, but C-47 pilot Lt. Roger Cooper is immune to her charms. Throughout Italy and southern France, as she evacuates the wounded and he delivers paratroopers and supplies, every beat of their hearts draws them where they don’t want to go.

(I received Blue Skies Tomorrow from LitFuse in return for an honest review. The opinions expressed are mine alone.)

5 Responses to “Book Review: Blue Skies Tomorrow”

  1. Sarah Sundin August 24, 2011 at 12:10 pm #

    Thank you so much for the lovely review! I’m so glad you enjoyed the whole series. And yep, I’m plugging away on the next series!

    • rbclibrary August 24, 2011 at 12:42 pm #

      Thank you for stopping by. Looking forward to the new series.

  2. Anna (Diary of an Eccentric) August 25, 2011 at 12:54 pm #

    This sounds like an interesting series, as I love reading about WWII. I’ve linked to your review on War Through the Generations.

    • rbclibrary August 25, 2011 at 2:19 pm #

      Thanks Anna. This is a great series.

  3. Jolene August 27, 2011 at 1:38 pm #

    I just finished this book and I agree that it is so much more than a historical romance book!

    New follower by email.

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