Monday, May 16, 2016

An Overlooked Hero and Brothers-in-Arms Book Release

Today I am delighted to welcome my good friend Jack Lewis Baillot to my blog.  Jack's newest book, Brothers-in-Arms, will be released on the 31st of May and let me tell you, you do NOT want to miss it.  I beta read it and LOVED it.  She has written a truly great tale about just how far friends will go for each other.  Seriously, READ IT.  Oh.  One little warning: it may or may not be a painful book.  Muahahahaha.

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 first­hand 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.

Find Brothers-in-Arms on:

To celebrate, I present the author herself.  Welcome, Jack!

Greetings to all Melody's wonderful readers from Jack. I'm here because I have a book being let loose on the defenseless world and Melody let me invade her blog. Let's hope she doesn't come to regret it.  [Pfffft, NEVER, Jack.]

When I set out asking for what kind of posts blog authors would like when I invaded, Melody mentioned a post about a WWII figure who I felt was often overlooked – and I might have did a happy dance and clapped my hands. I knew just who to pick.

(For those who can read my mind before I type, no, I didn't pick Louie Zamperini. Nice try, mind readers.)

Naw, I know of plenty of other men to pick from...such as Louie's best friend, Russell Allen Phillips.
Called Phil by his friends – and Allen by his dad – Phil was the pilot who flew most of their bombing missions. He was described as a quiet man who could enter a room and leave without anyone knowing he'd been there. Sometimes men would have conversations with him and realize when he left that he hadn't said a single word.

In spite of that, there was a mischievous side to Phil which Louie brought out even more when they became friends. (Not that Phil didn't have this side growing up. As a boy he would hide in trees with bags of flour and bomb passing cars.)

Phil and Louie constantly pulled pranks on each other between missions. Some of them were elaborate, and one Louie pulled on Phil he felt endangered his existence so he went into hiding for a couple days after he did it. One of my favorite stories about them is when they decided to take their mattresses out on the ocean and try to float on the waves, and almost drowned.

That said, hey I had to take a moment to ramble right?, there are reasons I think Phil is more of the overlooked hero.

Phil was one of the men who lived after his plane crashed into the ocean. Along with Louie and one other crewman, called Mac by his friends, he found himself adrift on a raft. Sadly Mac ended up passing away before they were rescued, but Phil survived the 47 days on the raft with Louie, only later to be picked up by Japanese soldiers. He was beaten along side Louie and later sent to a labor camp where he spent the remainder of the war.

When he got back home Phil didn't talk much about his time on the raft or everything he went through as a POW in the hands of the Japanese. In fact, many of his friends in his hometown had no idea about until Louie's story was told and they discovered Phil had been with him.

After the way Phil was content to return home and marry his sweetheart and raise a family. He seemed to put the war behind him and become instead a husband and dad. But it still affected him.

After the plane crash he never got into another airplane – except for when his daughter's husband died and he flew out to be with her. He blamed himself for the men who died and his family wasn't ever sure if he ever got past that blame.

He was an amazing man who never really accepted that, or let anyone know. If it wasn't for Louie's story being told, Phil's might never have been revealed. And he probably would have been okay with that, but I'm happy it had the chance to be told. He has inspired me just as much as Louie.

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.

Connect with Jack on:

1 comment:

  1. It makes me sad to think how many "Phils" there have been in the world; traumatized by war, but unable to speak about it. Thanks for having Jack over to your blog to tell us about him! He sounds a little like Colonel Brandon from Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen: "[He] is just the kind of man whom everyone speaks well of, and nobody cares about; whom all are delighted to see, and nobody ever remembers to talk to."


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