Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Guest blog and excerpt - Arms of Deliverance by Tricia Goyer

Captain's Log, Stardate 07.11.2006

Pictures galore! Today I have the talented Tricia Goyer guest blogging with me! Tricia's lates historical novel is ARMS OF DELIVERANCE.

The fourth and final novel in this exhilarating series capturing the tales of men and women swept into World War II. Two friends, Mary and Lee, land similar reporting jobs at the New York Tribune on the eve of the war's outbreak and soon they become competitors. Mary's coverage of a bombing raid over Germany leads to a plane wreck and an adventurous escape attempt from across enemy lines. And when Lee hears of Mary's plight, she bravely heads to war-torn Europe in an effort to help rescue her friend. Will there be enough time for diplomacy or will war get the best of everyone?

As something unique and different for my blog (because she likes me! :)) Tricia gave me some pictures that some World War II veterans sent her while she was researching for her novel.

Not everyone has broadband, so I posted them on my scrapbook blog, Camy’s Scrapbook. Tricia’s photos are here.

While several people are participating in Tricia’s blogtour, I think only one or two other people are posting these amazing pictures.

Here’s what Tricia has to say about them:

One of my favorite parts of researching is connecting with veterans. While
researching for Arms of Deliverance, I found some amazing men from the 91st
Bomb Group, based in England.

Here's a sneak peek at some of the photos they sent to me to help with my
research. These are the photos that helped as I wrote my scenes. Are they
cool or what?!

Blessings!
Tricia


Today, Tricia will be giving a “behind the scenes” about her book ARMS OF DELIVERANCE. At the end of the blog post is an excerpt from chapter one.

ARMS OF DELIVERANCE: The Story Behind the Novel

The Idea:


The idea for Arms of Deliverance came one day as I was researching for my novel Night Song. I was watching a video that talked about Lebensborn homes in Nazi Europe. These were homes where young women birthed children for the Reich. After all, to have a "Thousand Year Reich" the Germans needed future Aryans. That was the first layer of the story.

The second layer came when I was researching my novel, Dawn of a Thousand Nights. First, I was studying these amazing women who risked their lives during WWII. (Dawn of a Thousand Nights involved female pilots who ferried US planes around the country.) Other brave women who risked their lives were female war reporters, and I knew I wanted to write a story about them. This sparked my interest too.

Throw in my intrigue of B-17 bomber crews over Europe, and you have the first three elements of Arms of Deliverance. The fourth is a Nazi officer in search for . . . well, you’ll have to read the novel to find out!

The Research:

The first thing I did when I started researching was to check to see if I could find any veterans who were there. I got a hold of an amazing group of men with the 91st Bomb Group. I couldn’t have asked for a better group of guys. You can check them out at their website (http://www.91stbombgroup.com/). Be sure to take time to look at the photos and read the TRUE stories from the 91st!

The men gave me all types of information. They gave me the details of exact flights, actual photographs from that time, and they shared their personal experiences and stories.

Of course, God always surprises me with “abundantly more than I ask for or imagine” when it comes to research for these stories. Here’s one of those God-gifts:

One thing you may remember from photos of old bombers is the nose art, which highlighted the bomber’s name. During my writing, I kept praying for the perfect name for my bomber—something to tie into the book.

During my research I met a veteran from the 91st Bomb Group named Jack Gaffney. Out of the blue, Jack suggested I use the name “Destiny’s Child.” (This came years before the music group!) You see, Jack was a ground crew member and a nose-art artist. He painted the nose art “Destiny’s Child” and other B-17 Bombers.

At the time, Jack had no idea of premise of my novel included the Lebensborn homes and a special child. Is that cool or what?!

To see Jack’s nose art, go here:
http://www.91stbombgroup.com/destinyc.html

Okay, here’s just one more cool story . . .

I’d previously read books about the underground resistance in Belgium, and I knew I wanted to include that in this novel too. In order for that to work, I need to set my novel in a Lebensborn home in Belgium. There was only one of these birthing homes in all of Belgium, yet I could find very little information about it from books or the Internet.

One day I was praying about how to get information, and God reminded me I knew someone from Belgium. I’d met a historian Roger Marquet at a World War II reunion. I emailed Roger and asked if he knew how I could find information on this home. “Oh, yes, I grew up in that town, and I knew the woman who manages the castle where the home used to be.”

Imagine that. I knew only one person in Belgium—someone I had met two years early—who had the exact information I needed. Is that another God thing, or what?!

The Writer:

I have to say that I am changed in some way by every novel I write, and this one moved me deeply. You see, as I wrote about the rescue of a special child, I had no idea what God had in store for me and my family.

One month after the novel was written, my husband and I sat down to discuss something that had been on my heart for a while—the adoption of another child. I won’t give the story behind the novel away, but as I reread it I could see clearly through my written words what God had already been placing on my heart.

I will keep news of our adoption of a baby girl from China updated on my blog (www.genxparents.blogspot.com)!

What’s Next From Tricia Goyer:

Currently, I’m working on my fifth novel, A Valley of Betrayal. It is the first novel in a three-book-series on The Spanish Civil War, which took place in Spain, pre-World War II.

Of course, there is more to my life than fiction. I’m also a wife, mom, mentor, and a children’s church leader, and I also write about these aspects of my life. Generation NeXt Parenting will hit store shelves September 2006.

If you’re a parent, like me, check it out!

Camy here: Thanks, Tricia! Don’t forget to check out her pictures here.

Arms of Deliverance
Chapter 1


Katrine squared her shoulders and instinctively pressed a hand to her stomach as she stepped through the open doors of the café, past the yellow sign that read NO JEWS ALLOWED. She paused as the strong aroma of coffee and cigarette smoke hit her face. Men and women clustered around tables. Beautiful people in the height of their glory.

Looking around at the room’s flocked wallpaper, ornate light fixtures, and marble flooring, she found it hard to believe that not too far away a war stormed. Not only battles for land and power, but a war against a people—her people . . . or what used to be her people.

Tucked between France, Holland, and Germany, Belgium had fallen to Nazi control in 1940, four years earlier. Yet many acted as if the war were not more than a minor disturbance—especially the Germans who filled and controlled the streets, embracing the country as their own.

Katrine had come here too, to escape, to blend in with the numerous transplants on the Belgium streets. More than a year had passed since she was Rebecca Lodz. With the right connections and right papers, she’d hidden herself well. Perhaps too well.

She had visited this café and sipped coffee with her lover only the day before. Yet today she looked upon the scene differently. Now when she glanced at the other women with their fine clothes, red lips, and fancy hats, she realized what she’d become, and whom she’d betrayed. Heaviness burdened her chest the same way it had when she was hiding in that dark, smelly barn.

Only this time it wasn’t rotten potatoes that pressed upon her, animal fodder that for a time had protected her from death. Her burden now was shame—for she was to birth the child of a man who wouldn’t hesitate to kill her if he only knew the truth.

She sucked in a calming breath, wishing she’d called to cancel their meeting. But it was too late. Hendrick had spotted her and waved her toward the secluded table. Two glasses of red wine sat on the glass surface, one half empty. Katrine could tell from the foggy sheen of his gaze that this glass wasn’t his first.

“Sweetheart, you look beautiful tonight. That new dress brings out the blue in your eyes.” He took her face in his hands and pressed his lips against hers. There was possession in his kiss, and a hunger she had come to know well.

“Sit, we will eat, and then take a walk along the river. It’s beautiful this time of year, don’t you think?” His voice was deep and throaty, and Katrine knew what he wanted.

Although Hendrick Schwartz was an officer in Hitler’s army and a wealthy man with a fine furnished apartment, he was also an outdoor enthusiast like none Katrine had known. No doubt he had in mind finding a secluded corner of the park and laying her down in the soft spring grass to take what they both had come to understand was rightfully his.

Katrine stared across the table at her lover. Though twenty years her senior, Hendrick, with his tall, thin frame and chiseled features, turned the heads of many beautiful women. He’d caught her attention, after all.

They’d met one of the first times she’d dared venture out with her new identification papers. Though Katrine now lived a thousand miles away from the village of her birth, and though she looked as Aryan as the women highlighted on Hitler’s posters promoting racial purity, she wasn’t used to being out in the open.

After a year of hiding, she’d walked out of her home that afternoon still longing for the safety of darkness. “People can hide better in a crowd than in the safest dark hole,” said the resistance worker who’d come up with the plan to “Germanize” any Jews who looked the part.

Katrine was riding the tram to the market in Brussels when the handsome officer sat down beside her. She answered his questions bluntly. Yes, she was new to the city, having recently taken a job as a nanny. No, she hadn’t had time to see much of the Belgian capital. Yes, she did have Sunday afternoons off. Before she realized what was happening, she found herself agreeing to a picnic in Parc de Laeken the next Sunday afternoon.

When Katrine told her protector about the invitation from a German officer, the woman had been pleased. “If you can fool him, you’ll fool them all. No one would dare question the girlfriend of a dedicated SS man.”

Now, mere months later, she not only hated herself for falling in love with the handsome soldier, but for tying herself to him through this child—their child. She picked up her wine glass, swished it, then set it back down, her eyes focusing on the grouted lines of the tiled table.

Hendrick took her hand in his. “What is it, darling? Your favorite song is playing, and you didn’t even comment. Are you ill? We don’t have to go for a stroll tonight, after all. Perhaps we can return to my apartment, and I can rub your feet.” Hendrick winked at her. “I told you, you shouldn’t work so hard. Are the Pfizer children acting up again?”

“Hendrick, I’m pregnant.” The words escaped her lips, and Katrine lowered her head, unwilling to meet his gaze. She’d been meaning to wait. To find the right time, the right words. Although she hated what she was, Hendrick’s mistress, what scared her even more was the thought of being alone, forced to raise a child on the little income she made.

“Pregnant?” Hendrick rose and swept her into his arms. “Yes! A child. My child.” His voice rose and his laughter echoed in the room. He spun her around once and set her down gently in her chair. Then he lowered his face toward hers and placed a dozen soft kisses across her forehead, acting as if they were the only two people there.

“A child. My child!” he repeated, louder.

With trembling fingers, Katrine pushed back the stray curls that had escaped from her pinned-up hair. “You’re happy?” Her eyes searched his.

“Happy? I’m overjoyed. No, jubilant!”

“But what of your . . . wife?” Katrine mouthed the last word rather than speaking it aloud.

Hendrick laughed again and sat back down. “Oh, sweet Katrine, you think she does not know? I am with you nearly every day of the week. Our picnics, the gifts.” He took a long drink of wine. “Oh, my naïve girl, this is a new Germany. A land of innovative ideals. Haven’t you heard Himmler himself: ‘All women might not have the opportunity to become wives, but all should have the chance to become mothers.’ My darling, I’ve given you that chance. And you, my dear, will give me the son I long for.”

The rest of the chapter one excerpt is here.

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