Today I am excited to share about the upcoming release of Jack Lewis Baillot’s amazing book, “Brothers-in-Arms”!! I really am happy for this release! I have read (review) this book previously and fell absolutely in love. I’m looking forward to reading this updated version too!
In addition to spotlighting this book, I am also featuring one of the characters – Japhet Buchanan. So read on to hear more about the book and to have Jack introduce Japhet to us!
Release Date: May 31st
Can a Jew and a Nazi survive Hitler’s Germany?
Franz Kappel and Japhet Buchanan never expected their friendship to be tested by the Third Reich. Friends from early childhood, the boys form an inseparable, brotherly bond. Growing up in a little German village, they escape most of the struggles of war until the day Japhet is banished from school for being a Jew, and later has a rib broken when other village boys beat him up. Franz learns he is putting himself in danger for spending so much time with Japhet but continues to stand up for his Jewish friend even at the risk to himself. Then one day their lives are shattered when they see first-hand that the price of being a Jew is dangerously high.
With the war now on their doorsteps, Franz and Japhet come up with a desperate plan to save their families and get them out of Germany alive. Leaving behind the lives they’ve always known, they move into Berlin with nothing to protect them but forged papers and each other. Convinced their friendship can keep them going, the boys try and make a new life for themselves while trying to keep their true identities and Japhet’s heritage a secret. Taking his best friend’s safety upon himself, Franz joins the Nazis in an attempt to get valuable information. At the same time, Japhet joins the Jewish Resistance, neither friend telling the other of their new occupations.
With everyone in their world telling them a Nazi and a Jew can’t be friends, it is only a matter of time before they believe all the lies themselves, until neither is certain if they are fighting against a race of people or fighting for their homeland. Somehow they have to survive the horrors of World War II, even when all of Germany seems to be against them.
Character Spotlight: Japhet Buchanan
Raechel has asked to do a character spotlight during my blog tour, and she chose Japhet Buchanan as her character. I have to admit, I was very happy to get to write a spotlight for him. The moment he showed up and presented his story to me, years and years ago, I fell in love with him. (He arrived before Franz. I didn’t know it would also be Franz’s story until I started it.)
I wanted to write a story set in Germany during WWII. I read a book which started it, a book which showed a side of the WWII story my history books never spoke of. It was about a small group of Germans who fought the Nazis and tried to stop Hitler’s slaughter of babies with deformities.
Japhet showed up about this time. He didn’t tell me his name, he told me nothing really, just that he was a German, wasn’t a Nazi, had a story to be told, and he had a best friend. I ignored him because I didn’t want to write a WWII story, I knew it would be painful and I wasn’t ready for it.
Years later Japhet returned, this time with a fuller back story and big brown eyes which he used to charm me. He told me he had a story he knew I’d love to write and he wouldn’t go away even when I threw boots at his head. Then he took it one step further and started to tell me his story. A few weeks passed, and the next thing I knew I was sobbing in front of my computer as I wrote the story down.
I am attached to all my characters, but some have very special places in my heart. Japhet Buchanan is one of them, and I’m not even sure I really understand why. I just know I love him.
To give you a quick overview of who he is…
Japhet Josef Buchanan is the youngest of four. He has three older sisters. His family is Jewish and they live in a little German village where his family is well liked – until trouble starts.
Japhet has an out going personality. There are few people who meet him who don’t like him. He’s fun, light-hearted, and gets along with almost everyone. (This is his early history, of course things change.)
When he grows up Japhet has plans to become an artist. He loves to draw, mostly scenery pictures and animals. He’s not so good at drawing people, but his landscapes are stunning. Mostly though, Japhet just has fun getting into trouble with his best friend, Franz Kappel.
In spite of having a fun personality, Japhet is also loyal to his family. He has a fighting spirit and a hidden temper which smolders rather than explodes. When he’s upset, angry, or scared he keeps it all hidden away inside and lets it simmer. He won’t tell anyone his fears unless he is pushed hard enough to bring them up. He’d rather make people laugh than talk about anything serious. He’d also do anything to keep his family safe.
Japhet was a hard character for me to work with, and also really easy. I didn’t really get why I felt this way until the final edit and I realized how much of a change Japhet goes through in the book. (Then I had another crying moment.) He goes through so much that by the end of the book he is not the same boy at the beginning, and it wasn’t fun to see, but it also gave me a chance to do a complete character arch. I don’t think I’ve ever taken characters as low as Japhet and Franz, and for being an Author, it was almost fun to stretch myself to new limits. Painful, agonizing, but also kind of fun. (What can I say, Authors are weird beings.)
And…I guess there he is. Somewhat slightly summed up. I hope readers will be drawn into his and Franz’s story the same way I was and come to love them as much as I do.
Thanks so much, Jack, for telling us about Japhet! And congratulations on this fantastic book release!!
(No idea why, but her photo won’t show up here no matter how many times I try or try to it differently…Sorry!)
Jack is one of those strange people who calls herself an Author. She spends a lot of her time writing and even less time editing. She likes to write about friendships which is partly how Brothers-in-Arms came to be. More than ten years in the making, this is the book she dreaded the most writing, but which also has the most meaning for her.
When Jack isn’t writing, which doesn’t happen too often, she keeps busy with various other hobbies – such as reading, playing the bagpipes to the dread of her neighbors, and drinking tea – which might not be considered a hobby by most but which should be.
She lives in a cabin in the woods with her dog and a library which isn’t quite equal to Prince Adam’s but will be, given enough time and a secret doorway.
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/JackLBaillot
Twitter – https://twitter.com/JackLBaillot
Goodreads link – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24703965-brothers-in-arms
Brothers-in-Arms Pintrest Page – https://www.pinterest.com/jackbaillot/brothers-in-arms/