Friday, April 06, 2007

An Easter visit from author Tricia Goyer

Before we hear about Tricia Goyer's latest book,
here's a clever thought from her about Easter.

Every year I help my husband put on an Easter
program for our children's church. And no matter
what part of the Easter story we share, we always
use the same slogan:
No Bunny Loves Me Like Jesus.

This year as you awaken with joy over the resurrection remember:
No Bunny Loves Me Like Jesus.

As you dress in your Easter finest remember:
No Bunny Loves Me Like Jesus.

As you see the delight in your children's eyes as they open their Easter treasures, tell them:
No Bunny Loves You Like Jesus.

And as we consider Christ's death in order that we might have life, let's celebrate:
No Bunny Loves Us Like Jesus!

Love it!

Now, Tricia tells us about the stories behind A Valley of Betrayal.

A few years ago when I was researching for my fourth World War II novel, Arms of Deliverance, I came across a unique autobiography. One B-17 crewmember I read about claimed to make it out of German-occupied Belgium after a plane crash due, in part, to his skills he picked up as a veteran of The Spanish Civil War. Reading that bit of information, I had to scratch my head. First of all, I had never heard of the war. And second, what was an American doing fighting in Spain in the late 1930s? Before I knew it, I uncovered a fascinating time in history—one that I soon discovered many people know little about. This is what I learned:

Nazi tanks rolled across the hillsides and German bombers roared overhead, dropping bombs on helpless citizens. Italian troops fought alongside the Germans, and their opponents attempted to stand strong—Americans, British, Irishmen, and others—in unison with other volunteers from many countries. And their battleground? The beautiful Spanish countryside.

From July 17, 1936-April 1, 1939, well before America was involved in World War II, another battle was fought on the hillsides of Spain. On one side were the Spanish Republicans, joined by the Soviet Union and The International Brigade—men and women from all over the world who have volunteered to fight Fascism. Opposing them, Franco and his Fascist military leaders, supported with troops, machinery, and weapons from Hitler and Mussolini. The Spanish Civil War, considered the “training ground” for the war to come, boasted of thousands of American volunteers who joined to fight on the Republican side, half of which never returned home.

Unlike World War II, there is no clear line between white and black, good and evil. Both sides committed atrocities. Both sides had deep convictions they felt worth fighting and dying for.

Loyalists—also know as the Republicans were aided by the Soviet Union, the Communist movement, and the International Brigades. If not for the weapons and volunteers from these sources their fight would have ended in weeks rather than years. While many men fought side by side, their political views included that of liberal democracy, communism and socialism. The Catholic Basque Country also sided with the Republic, mainly because it sought independence from the central government and was promised this by Republican leaders in Madrid.

Nationalists—or Francoists were aided mainly by Germany and Italy. The Nationalist opposed an independent Basque state. Their main supporters were those who believed in a monarchist state and fascist interests. The Nationalist wished for Spain to continue on as it had for years, with rich landowners, the military, and the church running the country. Most of the Roman Catholic clergy supported the Nationalists, except those in the Basque region.

During the Spanish Civil war, terror tactics against civilians were common. And while history books discuss the estimated one million people who lost their lives during the conflict, we must not forget that each of those who fought, who died, had their own tales. From visitors to Spain who found themselves caught in the conflict, to the communist supporters, Basque priests, and Nazi airmen . . . each saw this war in a different light.

These are the stories behind A Valley of Betrayal.
Tricia Goyer, October 2006

If you like, you can read the first chapter here.

And remember, No bunny loves you like Jesus!

Titus 3:4-8 But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. This is a trustworthy statement....


Tricia Goyer said...

Thanks for having me! It was great hopping over for a visit.

May you have a blessed Easter!

Margo Carmichael said...

My pleasure, Tricia. In college, I made friends from Europe, my best friend being Jose' from Madrid who loved Madrid but especially the Basque Country. I can't wait to read A Valley of Betrayal.