Monday, May 30, 2016

Main Character Meet And Greet

Today, My Pet Blog belongs to author Jack Lewis Balliot, as she prepares for the release of her latest novel, Brothers-in-Arms. She's here to tell us about one of the main characters of this story.

Take it away, Jack!

HELLO! It is me, your friendly neighborhood Jack. I'm here to invade M.J.'s blog because my book, Brothers-in-Arms, is being released upon the world. And the thing to do when that happens is to invade blogs. It is part of a world domination scheme.

M.J. asked me to do a character post, and since Japhet Buchanan got one, it only seemed fair to give one to the other main character, Franz Kappel.

Franz was one of those characters I didn't understand. He showed up and I thought he would turn out different than he did. Then as I edited he grew even more.

Franz Kappel is quieter at the beginning of the book. He's more than happy to stand back and let his chattery friend, Japhet, do all the talking for them. He has few friends and would keep to himself if it wasn't for Japhet. He's content to let the world pass by and annoy his five older sisters.

All of that changes the day tragedy strikes, and he finds his life and his world changed forever. As he grows older Franz changes. While Japhet, a Jew who is taunted and abused by his used to be friends, withdraws Franz starts to become the outspoken one. He grows reckless and angry, and often gets into fights to protect Japhet. His loyalty to his family and Japhet deepens, but at a dangerous price. While he would do anything to keep them alive and help them escape Germany he also doesn't plan things out very well. And that often ends badly.

Unlike Japhet, I didn't know Franz would be in my book until a few months before I started it. I thought it would more be a story about a German living in Germany at the time of the war, but about the time Japhet told me he was a Jew Franz showed up and told me he was Japhet's best friend.

Franz confused me. When I saw the story they wanted me to write I didn't know the kind of man Franz would be by the end of that and that intimidated me. I foresaw things ending badly and ruining what I thought to be a good friendship. Little did I know the wild ride they would drag me on and what we would see at the end. In fact, it was only thanks to help of my best friend that I finally saw Franz for who he really was.

In spite of all the complications he put me through, the painful story he dragged me into, and the ending I did come to love Franz. Everything about him. His protective nature, his temper, how when he does take time to think things through he doesn't do a good job at it. In some ways he ended up reminding me of my own brothers which only endeared me to him even more.

He's a very special sort of character, and I can't wait for you all to have the chance to meet him.

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.

About The Author

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.

Find her online at:


  1. Now, that's an interesting pair. I'm sure the book is amazing.

  2. Don't you love it/hate it when a character drags you into a painful story? :)

  3. Best of luck to Jack on her upcoming release!

  4. characters can really torture us, but i'm glad it turned out for the best!
    congrats on the release!

    and MJ - thanks so much for the review of Jolissa, glad I was able to surprise and entertain you! especially loved reading your rants for those other books, you crack me up!! i love your intensity and it shows in your own wonderful writing...patiently waiting!

  5. Love the sound of Franz and Japhet's dynamic. And heh, I can relate far too well to characters popping up out of the blue, only to steer a story in completely unexpected directions. As irksome as it can be at times, it always seems to be what's best for the book, in the long run!

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