Novelist and Children's Author

Featured Book Through Waters Deep

Posted by on Aug 13, 2015 in Fiction | 49 comments

And the winner of Beyond the Ashes by Karen Barnett is:

Loraine N.

Congratulations, Loraine!

And now for our featured book . . .

Through Waters Deep

From the back cover:

It is 1941 and America teeters on the brink of war. Handsome and outgoing naval officer Ensign Jim Avery escorts British convoys across the North Atlantic in a brand-new destroyer, the USS Atwood. On shore, Jim encounters Mary Stirling, a childhood friend who is now an astute and beautiful Boston Navy Yard secretary.

When evidence of sabotage on the Atwood is discovered, Jim and Mary must work together to uncover the culprit. A bewildering maze of suspects emerges, and Mary is dismayed to find that even someone close to her is under suspicion. With the increasing pressure, Jim and Mary find that many new challenges—and dangers—await them.

 Sarah Sundin

An interview with author Sarah Sundin:

Finish this sentence. Inspirational fiction is . . .

Light and hope and insight. The world is dark and dreary and often horrific, but God offers so much more. When a novel shows a character in dark or dreary or horrific circumstances and shows the character tackling fears and sins, growing in faith, and overcoming—the reader grows in the hope that they can do likewise.

Tell us how you got the idea for Through Waters Deep.

While researching World War II, I was struck by what happened in the United States from 1939-41, when Europe had been embroiled in war but the US remained neutral. I was surprised that American warships escorted British convoys across the Atlantic, and that German U-boats sank one US destroyer and damaged another, killing over 100 American sailors…before Pearl Harbor! Also, while the United States was truly united during the war, in the years of neutrality, bitter arguments raged between isolationists and interventionists. Rumors of sabotage and espionage ran rampant. I decided to tell the story of a US naval officer on convoy duty in 1941, and an unassuming secretary at the Boston Navy Yard who becomes convinced that a saboteur is at work.

What’s one of your favorite scenes in Through Waters Deep?

The romantic ending scene is my favorite, but I don’t want to share spoilers! But another scene I like is when Jim and Mary put on disguises to attend an isolationist rally on Boston Common. I loved seeing the daring part of Mary’s quiet personality sparkle and watching Jim’s perception of her begin to shift. Plus it was fun to show some of the division in America and a hint of the danger facing Mary.

Are you anything like Mary Stirling, your main character? If you could cast him/her in a movie, whom would you choose?

Of all the heroes and heroines in my novels, Mary is the most like me at the core—we’re both “INFJs” on the Myers-Briggs scale—quiet and analytical, but sensitive and dreamy. However, I don’t share Mary’s deep aversion to attention (it only makes me slightly uneasy), nor do I share her eagerness to solve a mystery.

Describe Jim Avery. What actor would you hire to play him?

I’m going to cheat for both characters. The cover photographer did an excellent job at hiring models for the book cover! Jim and Mary are almost exactly as I picture them in my mind. This is even more true if you see the amazing video the photographer made of the cover shoot. The model for Jim has a nice big grin like the hero, and the model for Mary has lovely light blue eyes like the heroine.

What do you want readers to take away from this book/novel?

To be willing to hoist their sails! Mary is afraid to hoist her sails for fear of drawing attention to herself and failing. Jim is afraid to hoist his sails for fear of hurting people through bold action. They both learn, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).

Do you have another book in the works? Tell us about it.

Anchor in the Storm releases next summer, the second book in the Waves of Freedom series. 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 Ens. Archer Vandenberg, even if Arch is her brother’s best friend. As Arch’s destroyer battles U-boats along the East Coast in the darkest days of the war, Lillian uncovers a black market drug ring. Arch’s efforts to aid Lillian’s investigation and to win her trust fling them both into danger—from torpedoes, drug lords, and opened hearts.

What was your favorite book as a child? Why?

I devoured the Little House books. Over and over. My sister and I acted them out, arguing over who played Laura and who played Mary. We tied our rain bonnets in a way that vaguely resembled sunbonnets and wore our calico flannel nightgowns. Our beds served as covered wagons, although our mother cruelly refused to buy us canopy beds, which would have been so much better! We had a lot of fun.

For fun, what do you snack on while you write?

Gum. I have a lot of nervous energy when I write, and I developed a horrible habit of foraging in the pantry in the late afternoon. The last couple of years I’ve substituted gum (I’m especially fond of Mentos spearmint). That takes care of the nervous need to chew, and I can’t put anything else in my mouth. I’m slowly losing the extra pounds.


Sarah is offering a copy of Through Waters Deep AND a fun apron made by Marci Seither (US only) to one of you. Please answer this question in the comment box along with your e-mail address so that I can contact you if you’re the winner. The winner will be announced next Thursday, August 20th, so you have a week to enter. Tell your friends!



Sarah asks: What was your favorite childhood book?


Author bio

Sarah Sundin is the author of seven historical novels, including Through Waters Deep (Revell, August 2015). Her novella “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” in Where Treetops Glisten is a finalist for the 2015 Carol Award, and her novel On Distant Shores was a double finalist for the 2014 Golden Scroll Awards. A mother of three, Sarah lives in California, works on-call as a hospital pharmacist, and teaches Sunday school.

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Join the conversation and post a comment.

  1. Sherry Kyle

    And the winner of Through Waters Deep by Sarah Sundin and and the vintage apron is: Beth
    Congratulations, Beth!

    Thank you, friends, for joining in. I hope you enjoy my next interview with Anita Higman, author of Summer’s List.

  2. Vicki Eick

    i did not have many books growing up, so I was late to the reading scene.. My treasured book was the Surprise Doll. I still have it, and although it is in rough shape, I cherish it!

    • Sherry Kyle

      I have a box of books that I’m keeping for my future grandchildren now that my kids are growing up. Thank goodness for the library where we can read our favorites over and over! Blessings!

  3. Naomi Musch

    That’s such a hard question, and it depends on which part of my childhood I consider! First it was Beauty & the Beast. A couple years later it was The Witch of Blackbird Pond (probably still one of my faves). By the end of elementary school it was Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None.

  4. Eli O.

    Oh wow! There are too many to pick one. So I’ll just pick one of my earliest favorites–Heidi by Johanna Spyri. Even before I could read, I would sit for hours on my grandmother’s lap while she read it to me. Once I started reading to myself, my favorite would probably be The Boxcar Children.

  5. Gail Hollingsworth

    my favorite childhood book was Pippi Longstockings

  6. DarcyO

    When I first learned to read, The Bobbsey Twins books were my favorite.

  7. Rebekah Hansen

    The Narnia series. If I’m honest they’re still some of my favourite books!

  8. apple blossom

    Treasure in the Snow

    ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

  9. PDBuie

    My favorite childhood book included, The Secret Garden, and many mystery books like, The Nancy Drew Mysteries and Trixie Beldon books. 🙂

  10. Raechel K.

    Lovely interview!
    I adore that apron. 🙂
    Hmm…I loved The Dear America series a great deal, and also the Mandie Mysteries. 🙂

  11. Beth

    My favorite book as a child was Anne of Green Gables. I think I read the entire series in junior high.

  12. Joan Arning

    I’m dating myself! Before I could read it was Pokey Little Puppy. My favorite after I learned to read was Bobbsey Twins in the Country!

  13. Tami

    The Anne of Green Gables Series. 🙂

  14. Kathryn Steffen

    My favorite childhood book is and always will be the Little House Books. I am still in love with them today. So much so that I recently attended a convention titled “LauraPalooza” at South Dakota State University. It was a comic con for Little House fans. Coming in at a close second is a book called Baked Beans for Breakfast that my mom read to me while I waited for the bus.

  15. Shelia Hall

    I am like you! I loved the little house books as well as Little Women by Louise Mae Alcott

  16. Rachel Gheen

    I always loved when my grandmother would read “Robert the Rose Horse”. I find that I read it the same way as my grandma when I read it to my son.

  17. Rachel D

    I loved the Dear America series! Still enjoy reading them every once in awhile!

  18. Carol Alscheff

    I was crazy about a book called Baby Island by Carol Ryrie Brink. I read it over and over as did two of my daughters. I also enjoyed her book Caddie Woodlawn.

  19. beth shepherd

    I loved Anne of Green Gables. Thank you

  20. Brittany Keating

    My favorites were the Mandira Mystery series. I read and re-read those that I owned and that my school’s library had as often as I could. I also liked Boxcar Children.


  21. Chrissy D.

    Animal Farm (Must admit, didn’t realize the plot at the time).

  22. Morgan Parson

    I loved reading Nancy Drew books when I was little! Well, I still do! My grandmother would read me a chapter or two every night before bed when we were at her house. 🙂

  23. Patti Hess

    Any Judy Blume books

  24. judy grogan

    Tom Sawyer

  25. judy grogan

    Huck Finn