Character Spotlight: Sarah Sundin’s Dorothy & Wyatt (with giveaway)

The Writer & her Book (13)

Sarah Sundin’s latest characters are here! If you haven’t read one of Sarah’s novels you are truly missing out on a slice of history as well as a romantic and intriguing story line. Sarah’s WWII novels are exceptional ~ both from an historical viewpoint just as much as her characterisation and plots. I’m excited for you to meet Dorothy and Wyatt and hope you get your hands on a copy of The Sea Before Us, the first book in her Sunrise at Normandy series, set during the latter stages of the second World War. Be sure to enter the giveaway below for your chance to win a copy of The Sea Before Us, courtesy of Revell Books.


Second Officer Dorothy Fairfax

Greer Garson

Physical Stats



Hair colour & style

Bright red. She wears it in a low bun to fit under her uniform cap.

Eye colour


Dress sense

As an officer in Britain’s Women’s Royal Naval Service during World War II, she wears her “Wrens” uniform—a smart double-breasted navy blue jacket, a navy blue skirt, a white blouse, and the tricorn Wrens officers’ cap. With severe clothing rationing in England, she’s thankful for her uniform—but she does missing dressing up!


Greer Garson

Can’t live without…

Her black Scottish terrier, Bonnie Prince Charlie, because the little dog reminds her of happier times. And he’s simply darling.


Friendly, enthusiastic, animated, and bright. She adores her friends, and loves bringing out the best in them.


She’s always felt unloved, especially since the war began, so she overcompensates and tries to remake herself. Also, her love of fun and excitement sometimes causes her trouble.


Dorothy loves painting and drawing. Art helps her express her feelings. Currently, she’s using her artistic skills in the WRNS to analyse vacation photographs and postcards to create diagrams and maps of Normandy that will be used by the Allies on D-day.

What book or movie would they recommend?

Her favorite movie is Random Harvest, starring Greer Garson—she loves the poignant romance, the darling little kilt the heroine wears in the beginning of the movie, and her favorite actress—partly because someone once told Dorothy she looks like Greer Garson.

Your inspiration for the character

The British people during World War II have always impressed me with their strength and resilience. Dorothy Fairfax represents that spirit, doing her best to be cheerful and productive despite great loss and pain and hardship.

9-5 Telephone

Sarah indulging in some research on the streets of London!


Lt. Wyatt Paxton

Physical Stats



Hair colour & style:

Sandy-blond, worn short.

Eye colour:


Dress sense:

Wyatt is an officer in the US Navy and wears dress blues. Since he’s never had much interest in fashion, this is fine with him.


I can’t find anyone famous. He has friendly, boy-next-door good looks, not drop-dead gorgeous, but the kind of man who grows on you as you get to know him.

Can’t live without…

He’s been living “without” for almost three years, when he lost everything that meant anything to him—except his faith.


Wyatt is quiet, steady, honest, loyal, and thoughtful. A born protector, he’s drawn to those who are vulnerable or hurting.


Almost three years earlier, Wyatt set into motion a tragic string of events that forced him to run away from home. He’s determined to pay off his debt and subconsciously punishes himself. Since loyalty to his family has always been dear to him, this estrangement from his loved ones aches.


His work. He’s thorough and conscientious as he draws up naval bombardment plans for D-day, knowing they could be the key to success or failure.

What book or movie would they recommend?

He’s always loved Charles Dickens and is re-reading David Copperfield and Hard Times. It’s exciting for this Texas boy to be in London.

Your inspiration for the character

What would it be like to be responsible for the death of someone beloved by your community, by your family—by yourself? This is the question that led to Wyatt’s story. As the “good” oldest brother, Wyatt is shaken to the core by his actions, but he’s determined to make things right with his family.

Background to the story 

While researching the US Navy’s role in World War II for my Waves of Freedom series, I became fascinated by the role played by American destroyers off Omaha Beach. I wanted to tell the story of D-day from the sea, from the air, and from the ground—and the three Paxton brothers were born. Since the stories play out in parallel, at the same time, the brothers had to be estranged to make the concept work. In The Sea Before Us, Wyatt and Dorothy work together in London to help make Allied naval plans for D-day. Wyatt hopes she’ll return his growing love, but will family secrets, misplaced secrets—and the seas off Normandy—separate them forever?

Thank you Sarah!

The Sea Before Us

In 1944, American naval officer Lt. Wyatt Paxton arrives in London to prepare for the Allied invasion of France. He works closely with Dorothy Fairfax, a “Wren” in the Women’s Royal Naval Service. Dorothy pieces together reconnaissance photographs with thousands of holiday snapshots of France–including those of her own family’s summer home–in order to create accurate maps of Normandy. Maps that Wyatt will turn into naval bombardment plans.

As the two spend concentrated time together in the pressure cooker of war, their deepening friendship threatens to turn to love. Dorothy must resist its pull. Her bereaved father depends on her, and her heart already belongs to another man. Wyatt too has much to lose. The closer he gets to Dorothy, the more he fears his efforts to win the war will destroy everything she has ever loved.

The tense days leading up to the monumental D-Day landing blaze to life under Sarah Sundin’s practiced pen with this powerful new series.

Sarah Sundin green 1

Sarah Sundin is the author of ten historical novels, including The Sea Before Us. Her novels When Tides Turn and Through Waters Deep were named to Booklist’s “101 Best Romance Novels of the Last 10 Years,” and Through Waters Deep was a finalist for the 2016 Carol Award and won the INSPY Award. A mother of three, Sarah works on-call as a hospital pharmacist and teaches Sunday school. Please visit her at

Relz Reviewz Extras
All Things Sundin @ Relz Reviewz
Visit Sarah’s website and blog
Buy from Amazon: The Sea Before Us or Koorong

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41 Responses to Character Spotlight: Sarah Sundin’s Dorothy & Wyatt (with giveaway)

  1. Yes, my great grandfather did.

  2. No need to enter me in the giveaway since I have the book on my very-soon TBR pile. I’m just starting to read Sarah Sundin’s books and am totally excited!

  3. I don’t know if any of my family served in World War II. This book sounds really good!

  4. I love this cover!!

    My grandfather served during WWII. He was stationed in Alaska.

  5. My father served in World War II. He was in the Navy and stationed in Pearl Harbor after the bombing. He worked repairing ships.

  6. Family members – B-26 pilot based in England, B-17 flight engineer based in Italy, aircraft mechanic based at pilot training facility in TX.

  7. My grandpa was at the very end but thankfully the war ended before he actually had to go out.

  8. My Uncle served in WWII and the Korean war. He was very young in WWII. and I LOVE Sarah’s books :)

  9. My great-uncle served on a ship in the Pacific. He drowned after the ship was attacked by a Japenese plane. My grandpa also served in the US Army during WWII. He was in Europe and didn’t like to talk about it much.

  10. My grandfather served in WW2. Sadly, I did not learn nearly enough about it from him before he died nearly 20 years ago. I’ve loved Sarah’s books and would love to win this one! Sounds amazing!

  11. Unfortunately, I don’t have any close relatives who served in the military during WWII. Can I say, as a classic film fan, I’m thrilled to see Greer Garson served as the inspiration for our heroine?

  12. I had many family members and friends who served. I love learning the history and hearing the stories of patriotism that my loved ones displayed for their county and families.

  13. My great-grandmother’s brother died on the USS Oklahoma. That’s all I know of for my family.

  14. I don’t think any of my family members served in WWII but i enjoy reading about it

  15. No… not from that war.

  16. Not from that war. My grandparents were farmers, so they stayed home. But I had an uncle in Korea, I think.

  17. That’s Greer Garson!!! Of course you would pick a British beauty!

  18. Several of my uncles served in World War II. One was stationed in England, one in the Philippines, and another somewhere in Europe. I know he was in Germany for the Nuremberg trials.

  19. I think my paternal grandfather served in WWII.

  20. My grandpa served in WWII, and last year when we visited Hawaii for my husband’s work with the Medal of Honor Foundation, he and Medal of Honor recipient Chuck Hagemeister flew my grandpa’s U.S. flag from that time period over the USS Arizona at Pearl Harbor. It was unforgettable.

  21. I’m not sure about family members who served in WWII. I love Sarah’s books. This one sounds like a great read and the cover is beautiful. Thanks for the giveaway. 😊

  22. Yes! My pop & 6 of my uncles!

  23. So excited for this book!

    Yes, we have several family members that served in WWII

  24. My grandfather served in the Navy in WWII.

  25. My cousins did on both my mom’s and my dad’s side. One of them went down with the USS Oklahoma, whose remains were recently identified, and will have a military burial in May.

  26. No, none of my family members served in WWII. I’ve been reading a lot of books lately set in that time period and I’ve really enjoyed learning more about it.

  27. Both of my grandfathers did.

  28. My mother’s brother did. He served in the airforce.

  29. My grandfather served in the Navy.

  30. All of my great uncles did. My grandma had 6 brothers. They all survived thankfully!

  31. My mom’s family escaped from Germany during WWII. One of our clarinet players in my community band served in WWII. Sadly, he is ill and his prognosis is grave.

  32. Karen, above, is my sister. So like her, all I know of is our Great Grandmother’s brother on the USS Oklahoma.

  33. My father served in WWII in the Philippines.

    Thanks for the great interview and the opportunity of this giveaway!

  34. My father had rheumatic fever as a child so he was unable to serve in WWII, but he had a couple of brothers that did. My mother’s brother was a POW in WWII. Thankfully, they all made it home alive. I haven’t read any of Sarah’s books, but they sound interesting.

  35. Not in WWII but my grandmother’s cousin served in WWI and is buried in a cemetery near Vimy Ridge.

  36. Both my grandfathers served. One in the Pacific and one in Europe.

  37. My father and four of my uncles served.

  38. no I don’t think any of my family served in WW2. I did have a family member who served as a sharpshooter in the civil war though. some interesting stories passed down. I so look forward to reading this book. It is on my to buy list

  39. Yes, one of my grandpas and a couple of my great uncles served during World War II.

  40. I had a couple of uncles and knew of several church members that served. I love reading about WWII historical fiction.

  41. My Grandpa served in the Army over in Germany in WW2. My grandmother used to have black & white pictures of (what they believe) to be Hitler’s barracks. I’m not sure who in the family has those now that’s she’s gone, but they were fun to look at and imagine that time in history!

    Thank you for the fun character interview and giveaway Rel!

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