Character Spotlight: Sarah Sundin’s Dan & Tess (with giveaway)

When Tides TurnMeet a Lieutenant and an Ensign in

Sarah Sundin’s

WWII Romance

When Tides Turn



The Story

When fun-loving glamour girl Quintessa Beaumont learns the Navy has established the WAVES program for women, she enlists, determined to throw off her frivolous ways and contribute to the war effort. No-nonsense and hoping to make admiral, Lt. Dan Avery has been using his skills to fight German U-boats. The last thing he wants to see on his radar is a girl like Tess. For her part, Tess works hard to prove her worth in the Anti-Submarine Warfare Unit in Boston–both to her commanding officers and to the man with whom she is smitten. When Dan is assigned to a new escort carrier at the peak of the Battle of the Atlantic, he’s torn between his lifelong career goals and his desire to help Tess root out a possible spy on shore. The Germans put up quite a fight, but he wages a deeper battle within his heart. Could Tess be the one for him?

With precision and pizazz, fan favorite Sarah Sundin carries readers through the rough waters of love in a time when every action might have unforeseen world-changing consequences.

Meet Dan & Tess

Brief physical description

Lt. Dan Avery—Dan is tall with an athletic build, wavy black hair, and hazel eyes. In my rough draft, I had Tess describe him like this: “She’d never considered him handsome. Arresting, fascinating, and insanely attractive—but never handsome.” Then I saw the cover model. Ahem. I rewrote that sentence.

Ensign Quintessa Beaumont—Tess has curly light-blonde hair and golden-green eyes. Dan thinks, “Everything about her was as golden and sparkling as sunshine on the ocean.”


Dan—When I turned in my cover questionnaire to Revell, I’d attached photos that matched the “Dan” in my mind. But the cover model. I think he’ll do just fine.

Tess—I pictured a Betty Grable kind of beauty for Tess—glamorous and gorgeous, but with that fun and cute look to her. The cover model is adorable, and that little smile of hers completely won me over.

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Strengths and weaknesses

Dan is hard-working, ambitious, and thoroughly dedicated to his naval career. He’s an honest man of integrity. However, his dedication comes at a price. He rarely takes time for rest or fun, and he’s sworn off women as a distraction.

Tess is fun-loving, enthusiastic, and outgoing. She is warm-hearted and brings out the best in people. However, she’s used to getting her own way, and she’s more self-centered than she realizes. She’s easily bored and gives up when things get too difficult.

Quirk (if any)

Dan doodles subconsciously when he’s stressed, which is often.

Tess loves mysteries and longs for her own to solve, confident in her keen powers of observation.

Your inspiration for the character

Tess came into being as Mary Stirling’s long-time best friend in Through Waters Deep, the first book in the Waves of Freedom series. As a child, Tess had brought shy Mary out of her shell. As a beautiful, vivacious woman, she unwittingly caused some . . . drama in that story. I wanted her to come to see her faults, to challenge herself, and to grow.

When I was in college, I knew some boys in ROTC who didn’t want to get involved with women, determined not to lose their “edge.” That attitude became the inspiration for Dan’s character.

Background to the story

I knew Tess needed to be humbled, and what better way than to fall for a man who isn’t available—in Dan’s case because he’s “married to the United States Navy.” And I knew colorful Tess was just the woman to fill in Dan’s black-and-white life.

As for the action plot, I wanted to conclude the story of the US role in the Battle of the Atlantic, with the peak of the battle in early 1943 and the turning point in favor of the Allies in May 1943. I also wanted to tell the story of the first WAVES, the women who served in the US Navy in World War II.

Thanks Sarah!Sarah Sundin

Sarah Sundin is the author of eight historical novels, including Anchor in the Storm. Her novel Through Waters Deep was named to Booklist’s “101 Best Romance Novels of the Last 10 Years,” and her novella “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” in Where Treetops Glisten was a finalist for the 2015 Carol Award. A mother of three, Sarah lives in California, works on-call as a hospital pharmacist, and teaches Sunday school.

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Buy from Amazon: When Tides Turn or Koorong

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58 Responses to Character Spotlight: Sarah Sundin’s Dan & Tess (with giveaway)

  1. I can’t think of something I subconsciously do when I’m under stress. I try to take a walk as a conscious effort to clear my mind.

    I look forward to Sarah’s latest novel!

  2. I pick my cuticles. It’s a horrible habit, but better than picking my nose!

  3. Gosh, I had to think about that question for a minute! I usually grab something snacky to munch on. Bad for you, I know. Which is one of the reasons I don’t keep snacky foods in my house. If I have to prepare it, I’m usually out! Haha! :)

  4. Bite my nails…or snack!!

  5. Nothing really comes to mind that I subconsciously do. I don’t often get stressed but when I do it’s usually big things and I listen to worship music and read psalms.

  6. Thanks for having Sarah and for hosting the giveaway! I twirl my hair around one finger but only if I’m really stressed.

  7. What a fun post! I enjoyed getting to know these characters a little, and now I’m even more eager to read this book! I can’t think of anything I do when I’m stressed, except maybe bite my lip sometimes. I usually don’t eat when I’m really stressed.

  8. Hmm, I don’t think so. But I do like to buy books when I’m stressed/anxious/feeling down … though I’m fully aware I’m doing so! ;D Haha!

    Love Sarah Sundin’s novels and so excited for this one!! <3

    Thanks and blessings!

  9. Bounce my knee! :)

  10. I talk to myself for a couple seconds about all the things I have to do before I realize that I’m talking out loud.

  11. If I do something subconsciously when I’m stressed, I’m not aware of it. I do like to listen to Christian music to help me feel less stressed.

  12. I take a shower when I’m stressed, luckily I don’t work outside the home!

  13. I didn’t realize it till it was pointed out but, when I’m nervous or stressed, I scrunch my toes.

  14. Awful habit and my dentist cringes, but I grind my teeth when terribly stressed; otherwise I just eat more chocolate! I have most of Sarah’s books and always so look forward to her next release. Thanks!

  15. Yep, I do this thing with my tongue and my teeth. Hard to describe, but when I recognize I am doing it, I pop in some gum. Usually happens when I am driving and my kids are being naughty in the backseat, lol.

  16. I will either start moving around a lot (such as finding excuses to leave the room and avoid conversations), or, if that’s not possible, get tense and freeze up, which leaves me sore and incredibly stiff. When driving in a blizzard, it practically takes a crowbar to pry my fingers off the wheel and applications of grease to get my shoulder joints moving again.

  17. Sad to say…I can’t keep nice long nails when I’m stressing.

  18. Sarah has the best books. Warms your heart and you feel good after reading them. Love.

  19. If there is, I’m unaware of it.

  20. I doodle with colored pens, usually purple or pink, and eat chocolate.

    Looking forward to reading When Tides Turn.

  21. I tend to start making lists. Most of the time I don’t even realize it but I do!
    Thanks fir the chance to win. I loved the other books in this series and am looking forward to this one!

  22. I think that is so neat that Dan doodles when he’s stressed. I have fond memories of watching my dad doodle with he would be on long distance phone conversations. I’m not sure if he was stressed at those times though. I’m not sure what I do subconsciously when I’m stressed. I need to ask my family what they think. I’m looking forward to reading Sarah’s latest. Thanks for the character info and the giveaway!

  23. Love your books. I bite my lower lip when I get stressed.

  24. I bite my nails.

  25. Subconsciously, I don’t think so. Consciously, I clean.

  26. I read the previous book in this series, but haven’t read this one yet. Maybe I will win a copy! Thank you for writing these wonderful historical fiction books!

  27. Not that I am aware of!

  28. If I’m stressed at work, I usually start talking myself through things. I don’t know if there is anything else I do subconsciously.

  29. MY bad habit while stressed is to eat cookies…. 😳

  30. I tend to snack when I’m stressed out. I’m sure my sister could answer that question better than i can.

  31. When I am stressed I tend to breath out heavily every so often. Didn’t know I did it till my Mom told me now I notice it.

  32. I thoroughly enjoyed the first book in the series, thanks for sharing about the characters in this new book.

    I can’t think of any nervous habits I have things I do when I get stressed , I just tend to withdraw.

  33. My body tenses when I’m stressed.

    I’m so excited to read When Tides Turn. Sarah’s stories are AWESOME!

  34. Oh I cannot wait to read this one! It sounds so good, and I’m just so excited for it. :)

    As for the question…probably bite my nails. Not a good habit, I know, but there it is. 😛

    Thank you for this giveaway!
    (And I agree, the cover picture of Dan is great :D)

  35. I usually bite my nails when I’m stressed or I get really really quiet. Your book looks amazing.

  36. I usually talk alot when Im stressed.

  37. When I’m stressed or have imminent deadlines my leg bounces. A lot!

  38. I pick my nails. I know it’s bad, but I’ve been doing it for 31 years!! 😳

  39. Only thing that I can think of is I notice my jaw ticks when I’m stressed. I have the first two books in this series and I’d love to add this one to my collection. Thanks for the fun interview & giveaway chance!

  40. When I am stressed I eat…or at least that’s what I blame my overweight-ness on–living a stressful life! LOL! When I get busy/stressed I eat more fast food type fare and don’t stop to eat more healthy food. Thanks for sharing, I love Sarah’s books

  41. I am not aware of doing anything subconsciously when I’m stressed. But I sure do feel my blood pressure rising. Thanks for the chance to win this book.

  42. I cross my arms.

  43. Stella Gustafson

    I bite my nails. Can’t wait to read the book

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