Charlotte-Genesee Lighthouse

Charlotte-Genesee Lighthouse
Charlotte-Genesee Lighthouse ~ Photo: Mark Papke

Sunday, August 14, 2011

August's Painting: The Indian's Vespers ~ Asher Durand

Each month, one of the beautiful paintings by an artist of the Hudson River School will be featured on the American Historical Christian Fiction blog.

American Historical Christian Fiction

Have we spent too much time in the reality of the here and now, and forgotten our Ideals, both personal and national? The early artists and writers of this nation once dwelt on forging this country's ideals; so with the help of God, let us do the same. Let us make every attempt to dwell on our ideals.
~Pat Iacuzzi~

Welcome to American Historical Christian Fiction, where the Cross and Quill come together to create a sampler of faith, folklore, and our country's early history. Please be sure to check the links for more information about early American life and colonial history, too.

By Cross and Quill

The Am His blog hi-lights books by Christian authors who are led by the Lord to write about characters and stories set in America's past. They are exciting stories of romance, adventure and suspense, written to inspire and encourage.

If you're looking for a book for yourself, a loved one, or those who may need an uplifting message woven through an entertaining story, please consider new monthly releases in inspirational historical fiction found here--the kind that take you on a journey into our country's past (from early colonial times to WWII) and illuminates the trials, beauty and blessings of our great nation.

This week on Am His Books, it's a delight to hi-light Sarah Sundin's Blue Skies Tomorrow, the third and final book in her Wings of Glory Series.

Sarah Sundin

And for a special treat to get you "In the Mood" as you read about Sarah's latest story, let Glenn Miller and his orchestra take you back to a time where you can imagine Ray and Helen dancing to this great American music....

Title: Blue Skies Tomorrow
Author: Sarah Sundin
Publisher: Revell

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?

Blue Skies Tomorrow, the third book in the Wings of Glory series, follows the three Novak brothers, B-17 bomber pilots with the US Eighth Air Force stationed in England during World War II. Each book stands alone.

Booklist: In her third WWII-set Christian romance (after A Distant Melody and A Memory between Us, both 2010), Sundin skillfully addresses several difficult issues and invests her protagonists with the resilience of hope born out of faith.

RT Book Reviews: Four and a Half Stars. With strong historical detail and superb characters, this may be the best yet. A great read for those who love romance, WWII-era settings or just satisfying stories.

If you like great love stories, especially ones set in the 1940's, you won't want to miss this book. Sarah captures the era perfectly. Whether we're talking life on the home front or battles in the skies over Germany, she doesn't miss a thing. –Dan Walsh, author of The Unfinished Gift and The Homecoming.

Blue Skies Tomorrow is a stunning conclusion to Sarah Sundin’s Wings of Glory Series. What I love about Sarah’s books is that her characters are flawed or have great obstacles to overcome, but falling in love doesn’t erase those problems and often highlights them. She brings her characters through the fire of their shortcomings, and as the romance develops, so does trust, accountability, and even being willing to let go of the other person. –Carla Stewart, author of Chasing Lilacs and Broken Wings.

To visit Sarah:

....And once again, our Guest of Honor for August, Am His Books presents Laura Franz and her latest release, The Colonel's Lady.

Laura has graciously answered a few questions about her writing journey that will encourage both readers and writers of Christian historicals.

~ Laura, when did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

This may sound strange but I “knew” since about age 7. My mom came into my dad’s office one day and I had a book on ships open on the desk and told her I was writing a story about the sea. Wish I still had that one! I was always an avid reader and have such wonderful memories of those little historical biographies of famous people like Daniel Boone and Dolly Madison, etc. I still remember where they were on the shelf of that old library which no longer exists except in my imagination.

~ How did you prepare? College courses? Workshops? Books on Craft?

It’s been said that in order to master something you need to do that something for 10,000 hours. Since I wasn’t published until my 40’s, I spent countless hours writing since childhood. I read so much of everything I could get my hands on, including encyclopedias, so I like to say books were my teachers. I never had any formal training though I did graduate with a college degree in English. I have a collection of craft books and those by James Scott Bell are my favorites. However, I don’t understand many craft books and don’t remember the rules when I write. I guess I’m more an intuitive writer than an educated one.

~ What prompts you to write stories set in colonial America? Is there a family connection?

My family (mother’s side), came from Virginia to Kentucky in the 18th century and still reside there. They settled an area known as Blanton Flat which is marked with a sign to this day and has a graveyard back in the hills and hollows full of Blanton bones. We don’t know much about them other than their names and occupations and dates of arrival, etc. We do know that these family founders, William and Nancy, came into Kentucky with a few slaves, sadly, and settled far off the beaten path in a very dangerous place. I’d love to know what drove them from Virginia and why they chose that particular area of Kentucky to settle in.

~ Your books appear to be strongly character-driven; do you consider this "Deep POV"?

I do now. Actually, I didn’t know what that meant until a couple of years ago when others started telling me that about my writing. I do try to employ all the senses in a scene and really get into the character’s head and heart. If this is Deep POV then I’m glad to do it.

~ When you made out your first proposal, who did you liken your writing style to?

Oh, that’s a trick question! I’d like to say Liz Curtis Higgs as she’s my personal favorite for historical, but at the time I worked on that proposal I think I likened my style to Janice Holt Giles which is even more grandiose. Giles was an amazing Kentucky author who penned realistic, heartbreaking stories about those first settlers with so much skill and grace.

~ How many years/stories did you write before the first one was accepted?

Too many! Hmmm. I wrote several historicals including a Dances With Wolves type sequel, a Gone With the Wind work, a gothic mystery, and even the sequel to The Frontiersman’s Daughter which my publisher didn’t ask to see. Over the years I probably wrote 7 or more actual books and began many stories that I didn’t finish. I was always dabbling, writing, reading.

~ Are you working on your next book? (Maybe a quick sentence or two of what it's about to whet our appetites? :)

Two sisters. One man. When he chooses one, will the other destroy their love?

Book of the Month....The Colonel's Lady

Author: Laura Frantz
Publisher: Revell

Other books by Laura Frantz....

Thank you, Laura! If you'd like follow up on Laura's visit, stop in to say hello at:

If you leave a comment this week to win Sarah Sundin's book Blue Skies Tomorrow, your name will also be included in a drawing at the end of the month for The Colonel's Lady by Laura Frantz, plus a chance to win the lovely blue silk fan pictured above. When you leave your comments, make sure you include your e-mail address. Thank you for stopping in, and....

"May the Lord make His face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: may the Lord lift up His countenance upon thee, and give thee peace." Num.6:25-26 (KJV)


  1. I love books set during WWII, and Sarah's sound fabulous! I've read both Laura's The Frontiersman's Daughter and Courting Morrow Little, and they are wonderful! I'm really looking forward to getting Sarah's series and The Colonel's Lady the minute I have time to do some reading. Too many excellent books, too little time... lol!

  2. Hi Joan,
    So glad you could stop in! Yes, good stories about WWII seem far and few between. After my Mom and Dad passed, they became one of my last connections to the Greatest Generation. Books are
    like picture albums in words--and Sarah does an great job with taking us through that particular portal in time!

  3. i just discovered your blog...i hope you don't mind if i visit...thanks for the opportunity to read sarah and laura's latest novels.

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

  4. Happy to make your acquaintance, Karen! You'll be in the drawings for both books; Blue Skies Tomorrow this week, then your name goes in for The Colonel's Lady. Blessings!

  5. Pat, I am awarding you the Liebster Blog Award. This was given to me by Tori Chase who had also given it to MaryLu Tyndall. It is for blogs of note who do not yet have 200 followers. I have posted about it on my own blog today. There are some "rules". You are the 5th CACWer to receive this award, as with ML, me, and you I also gave to Rita Gerlach and Joan Hochstetler's blogs! Congrats!

  6. I read Sarah's 2nd book in the series and have the first on my wish list along with this last book. Would love to win Blue Skies Tomorrow. Thanks for the opportunity to enter giveaway.
    The Colonel's Lady also sounds like a book I would love th read.

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

  7. Sarah's book are fantastic. Her attention to detail is amazing and the characters are wonderful.

    patterly {at}gmail{dot}com