Name: Violet Lindstrom
Siblings: Alma, Karl, and Nels
Places lived: I was born and raised in Salina, Kansas, but now I’m living on a US air base in Leiston, England. Quite a change for this homebody.
Jobs: I’m the director of the Red Cross Aeroclub at Leiston Army Airfield, home of the US 357th Fighter Group. I organize refreshments and activities for the men, and make sure the club is a homey refuge from the war.
Friends: My best friend is Kitty Kelly, my fellow Red Cross worker. I love her perkiness and high spirits. I’m trying to make friends with pilot Adler Paxton—I find him so intriguing, and I think he needs a friend.
Enemies: I can’t think of any, but Rufus Tate, my Red Cross field director, is making my life rather miserable.
Dating, marriage: I haven’t dated much since Dennis Reeves broke his promise to me and I broke our engagement. I’d love to marry someday. Adler Paxton certainly appeals to me—he’s so chivalrous and mysterious—but he keeps himself at a distance.
Children: Someday! I adore children. My favorite part of my job is arranging activities for our American airmen and the local British children—parties and crafts and baseball.
What person do you most admire? Without a doubt, my great-aunt Violet, my namesake. She’s a missionary in Kenya, and I long to follow in her footsteps.
What, if anything, would you like to change about your life? With World War II raging, I can’t become a missionary overseas as I’ve always planned. In the meantime, I’m doing the best I can and serving overseas with the Red Cross.
How are you viewed by others? I hope others see me as compassionate and hardworking. Some see me as a goody-goody, but I don’t mind.
Physical appearance: The first thing people notice about me is my height—I’m six feet tall.
Voice: Awful—we Lindstroms all sing off-key.
Right- or left-handed? Right
Strongest/weakest character traits: My greatest strengths are compassion, diligence, and loyalty. My weakest traits—I’m beginning to see I can be self-righteous and judgmental. I’m praying the Lord will help me with that.
How much self-control do you have? Very good.
Fears: My greatest fear is that I’ll fail the Lord. Deep down, I also fear I won’t like being a missionary. Being away from my family here in England has made me so homesick. How will I adjust to living overseas for life?
Collections, talents: I’m very athletic—I run fast and I’m good at baseball, but I’ve never pursued sports.
What people like best about you: They like my enthusiasm and dedication.
Food, drink: I’ve never been a fussy eater, but I do miss my mother’s cooking.
Books: I don’t tell many people, but I love Western novels, especially Zane Grey. One of my favorite parts of this job is running the library in the Aeroclub.
Best way to spend a weekend: Working on an air base in the middle of a war means no weekends. The flyboys work almost every day, and so do I. But I don’t mind. I’ve come to enjoy my work.
What would a great gift for you be? Adler Paxton gave me the best gift ever—he introduced me to a movie star from my favorite Westerns.
When are you happy? When I’m with my family and friends. When I’m doing good work that benefits people and serves the Lord.
What makes you angry? When people show disdain for what is good and right, and when they hurt others.
What makes you sad? When children are lonely or suffering.
What makes you laugh? Children, my family, my friends. The airmen can be very funny, and I’m learning to enjoy their company.
Hopes and dreams: I dream of becoming a missionary overseas, although I’m beginning to wonder if that’s the best choice for me—and even if it’s what the Lord actually wants. I do know I want to serve him somehow.
What’s the worst thing you have ever done to someone and why? I’m afraid it happens in this story. I hurt the man I love and see a horrible sin festering in my soul.
Greatest success: I’m so pleased with how the Aeroclub turned out. Kitty and I were in over our heads when we arrived, but we’ve managed to create a club that’s welcoming and fun.
Biggest trauma: When Dennis Reeves broke his promise to me and I had to end our engagement. The mission board refused to send me overseas as a single woman. It’s painful to find your lifelong dream destroyed.
What do you care about most in the world? Children. I loved my time teaching third grade, even though I was reeling from my lost dream. I love how children are so open-hearted, and I love helping them understand a new concept.
Do you have a secret? I’m so homesick in England, away from my family. For someone who’s always wanted to live overseas, this is quite unsettling.
What do you like best about the other main characters in your book? Adler Paxton intrigues me. He’s so chivalrous and energetic and bright, and we share a love of Westerns. His Texas accent certainly helps! He’s also so mysterious—I sense deep hurt in him that draws me. If only I could help him.
What do you like least about the other main characters in your book? Adler’s mysteriousness also means he pushes me away, as if he’s protecting that wound.
Most embarrassing thing that ever happened to you: I was horrified when that awful Willard Riggs grabbed me and kissed me on the pier in New York when we were boarding the Queen Elizabethto sail to England. Thank goodness Adler, my cowboy hero, saved the day!
Burdened by his past, Lt. Adler Paxton ships to England with the US 357th Fighter Group. Determined to become an ace pilot, Adler battles the German Luftwaffe as the Allies struggle for control of the air before D-day. Violet Lindstrom wants to be a missionary, but for now she serves in the American Red Cross, where she arranges entertainment and refreshments for the men of the 357thin the Aeroclub. Drawn to the mysterious Adler, she enlists his help with her programs for local children. Adler finds his defenses crumbling. But D-day draws near. And secrets can’t stay buried forever.
Sarah Sundin is a bestselling and award-winning author of historical novels, including The Sky Above Usand The Sea Before Us. Her novels When Tides Turnand Through Waters Deepwere named to Booklist’s “101 Best Romance Novels of the Last 10 Years.” A mother of three, Sarah lives in California, works on-call as a hospital pharmacist, and teaches Sunday school. Please visit her at www.sarahsundin.com.