Wednesday, July 26, 2006


Does anyone out there love reading as much as I do?? From the time I was able to sit up, hold a book, and turn the pages, I have been hooked. Books make us think, open new worlds for us, and change us, often for the better, but usually in a very gradual and subtle manner. What we pour into our minds or those of our children can affect us--and thus those around us--for eternity.

. . . whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things. Philippians 4:8, NIV

Here, without too much thought and in no particular order, is a sample of my perennial favorites for your consideration:

We Would See Jesus, a classic life-changer, by Roy & Revel Hession, 1958

The Purpose-Driven Life, also becoming a classic and highly re-readable! by Rick Warren

Tuesdays with Morrie, by Mitch Albom (not Christian, but a great perspective on life through the eyes of a dying man)

My Personal Best--Life Lessons from an All-American Journey, by John Wooden, with Steve Jamison. Learn from a coach who built character and success.

Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen. Romance reading cannot improve on this, a novel that put women ahead of their time!

Crooked House, by Dame Agatha Christie, the all-time great mystery writer

How Should We Then Live? by Francis A. Schaeffer, THE Christian theologian of the twentieth century

Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn, both by Mark Twain. Every boy should read these, and probably every girl! If you grew up and didn't, shame--but it's NOT too late.

Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott, is a girls' classic. A must!

Whistle While You Work: Heeding Your Life's Calling, by Richard J. Leider and David A. Shapiro, is the best secular book I've read on this subject.

David Copperfield by Charles Dickens was one of the first classics I read as a young adult, and the characters still fascinate me. Also a favorite, which I read almost annually: A Christmas Carol.

I know this will be controversial, but whatever your stance on the content, the Harry Potter series is very well-written, if taken as fantasy, though certainly NOT appropriate for younger and more impressionable readers. If we cast this aside, we will have to cull quite a bit of what is considered classic literature.

Love Comes Softly introduced me years ago to Janette Oke, whose Christian novels endeared all her characters to me, especially that particular series. Lots of good Christian fiction beckons us these days.

Anything by C.S. Lewis, but all ages enjoy his Chronicles of Narnia series, beginning with The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.

Oxymoronica--paradoxical wit and wisdom from history's greatest wordsmiths, by Dr. Mardy Grothe, for word-lovers and quotation freaks!

I invite you to comment on YOUR favorite reads.

© 2006

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Arms of Deliverance by Tricia Goyer:
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 ( 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:

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 (!

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!