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“Zebra.” Friends by Fate. Enemies by Destiny. is a Black Friday/ Cyber Monday deal #comingofage

Title: “Zebra.” Friends by Fate. Enemies by Destiny.


Author: Jill Wallace


Genre: Coming of Age Fiction, Literary Fiction, Action & Adventure.


Book Blurb: 


A young white boy, son of the hotelier, and a Zulu stable boy grow up together, building an extraordinary friendship as they explore the rugged Drakensberg mountains around a remote South African hotel during the apartheid era. Jock and Papin forge an indelible bond while learning to love and appreciate each other’s cultures. When one saves the others’ life, they become blood brothers.


Bigoted hotel guests remark they can't tell where the white boy ends, and the black boy begins. But the boys’ friendship is strong enough to conquer all—until society’s impossible expectations wrench them apart, leaving them with soul-deep wounds that will not heal. 


A decade later, these long-lost friends meet on opposite sides of a bloody battlefield, one a reluctant soldier, the other a passionate freedom fighter. Their intimate knowledge of the other’s way of life could be the very tools that save them…or destroy them. 


And an unimaginable choice will put Jock and Papin’s once unbreakable bond to the ultimate test. 


Jill Wallace, author of the multi-award-winning World War II novel “War Serenade,” brings together a fascinating coming-of-age story with a compelling tale of human connection in “Zebra.”




When he was six, Jock, the son of a white hotelier, was instructed on berg adder bites and learned their bite would “shut down your organs.” He’d asked how a snake bite could possibly be responsible for shutting down the musical organ his mom played for the hotel guests in the family room. Papin, Jock’s Zulu friend, laughed so hard he fell off the sink in the busy scullery.


Now at 1.30 a.m. here stood a forlorn hiker named Paul, who’d walked blindly down the Drakensburg mountains, through mist and the most treacherous terrain in South Africa for twelve hours to find help. His friend had been bitten by a berg adder and wasn’t doing well and was being tended by the third man. Eventually the lights of the hotel guided him to Champagne Castle Hotel to find rescuers.


Dad barked his orders: “Bekah, wake up eight of the strong outdoor team and Mandinsolo. Warmest clothes, work boots and in the bar in thirty minutes.” Jock saw the vein in Dad’s neck pulsing. “Jock, get your mom in here to see if Paul needs the hospital and call Natal Mountain Rescue. Take twenty pairs of socks, new batteries for nine torches, nine whistles and two dozen chocolates from the shop.”


Jock sprinted off grateful he could visualize his dad’s long list. Otherwise, his bum would be smarting for days. He found Papin in the kitchen helping Thabo, the always happy chef, pack rucksacks with sandwiches and packets of sweet biscuits, biltong and nuts enough for eleven, in case the two stranded climbers were capable of eating solids.


“Four days, eleven men, lots of food,” Thabo smiled like this was a celebration.


In the bar, Zulu men pulled new socks over old ones, followed by heavy boots. Their food-filled rucksacks were packed tight with first aid kits and warm clothes.


It was just after 4:30 a.m. when the rescuers, with gear and a stretcher, gathered outside the scullery, which was the furthest point away from guests’ accommodations.


Dad thought of guests before he thought of anyone or anything else. Jock knew his dad loved him best in the world. But only after the guests.


Eight of the hotel’s strongest and Mandinsolo—their head guide, master climber and Jock’s hero—stood in a horseshoe shape with Dad, his white face shining in the moonlight, at the pinnacle of the curve. He cleared his throat and spoke in Zulu. Dad’s kinship through his attempt at using his staff’s language was evident in the faces that watched him.


“Men, this will be a hard climb to find exactly where the two strays are camped. One by one, each of these gullies between Cathkin Peak, Monk’s Cowl and Champagne Castle have to be explored until the climbers are found. There is no other way.”


Jock looked at Paul, whose white face had turned ashen. Imagine how I’d feel if Papin was lost … and he felt his face scrunch up in fear.


Dad continued in English: “I send you on a very difficult lifesaving mission. It’s true the lost climbers are not our guests, but we can’t stand by while others suffer. To do nothing would not do your ancestors—or mine—proud. Natal Rescue will be here in about three hours, so you won’t be alone. Never take your whistles from around your necks. They are your only tools to keep in touch. If the mist is down, whistles will be the only way to find each other. Never separate in less than twos as you go up the ravines, in case someone gets injured. Whatever you do, listen to Mandinsolo. He knows these mountains better than all of our ancestors. Do your best. Nobody can ask more of you.”


Jock saw no fear. Each face shone with pride and camaraderie. Jock glanced at his friend standing beside him and felt the very same as those brave Zulu men looked. Proud and safe with a friend he trusted. He didn’t care a fig that the hotel guests called the two best friends “Zebra” because they said, they didn’t know where the black boy ended and the white one began.


Kah-chick. Jock captured this special moment of unity with his imaginary Mind Brownie. He knew the memories would comfort him endlessly when he had to leave Papin and this hotel to be locked in a boarding school fifty miles away.


In spite of their heavy loads on their backs, nine men walked tall and proud toward the imposing mountains, flashlights bobbing in the darkness. Jock stood with the rest and watched till the lights were but pinpricks in the darkness.


Jock felt Dad’s hand ruffle his hair. “What do you think, Jock?”


And Jock looked up at his father and said “I love being Zulu,” and he put a small white hand over his heart.


Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):





What makes your featured book a must-read? 


Anyone who has ever been a friend will relate to the complexities of this friendship. Readers say ‘Zebra’ makes them laugh, cry, and root for Jock and Papin all the way. They stay up late, hanging onto every word in hopes the two resume their remarkable bond.


Giveaway –


Enter to win a $10 Amazon gift card:



Open Internationally.

Runs November 24 – November 29, 2023.

Winner will be drawn on November 30, 2023.

Author Biography:


Jill Wallace was born and bred in South Africa and lived the second half of her life in America. She feels like the African baobab with roots that look like branches. Like the confused ‘Upside Down Tree,’ Jill believes her heart is African and her body is American. Or is it the other way around?


In South Africa, Jill was a contemporary dancer and a PRO for a hotel and a shopping center conglomerate. She flew as an international air hostess for South African Airways, enjoyed 6 continents and hundreds of adventures. She married her dream man, Athol, a rugby player who makes her laugh, and Jill inherited her 2 heart-children full time in a strange, new country where together they found compromise, laughter, and love.


In the U.S, Jill’s been a bad waitress and an excellent (but inconspicuous) movie extra for “Pretty Woman” director Garry Marshall, and a realtor for 30 years. 


First written as a script, the true-story-inspired "War Serenade'' was twice optioned for a movie. As a novel, “War Serenade” garnered multiple literary awards and a Rone and Reader’s Choice for the audiobook version.


Her second novel "Zebra" is inspired by Athol's life. It’s a searing, soaring, heart-breaking, heart-warming coming-of-age story about an unusual friendship between a Zulu and a white boy in South Africa during apartheid. It's intended to be enjoyed by anyone who ever had a true friend or wished they did.


As immigrants the Wallace’s have been humbled by poverty and blessed by kindness. Jill’s books will always have a South African flavor.


Wallace’s first series about friendship and strange phenomena, is “Time Flies,” inspired by her life as an air hostess and her belief in soulmates.


Learn more about the author and her books at and join Jill's Club Untamed for titillating nuggets and giveaways.


"War Serenade" Accolades to date include: Winner - On-Line-Book Club - Book of the Year 2019 - Historical Fiction.


Winner - Golden Quill 2019.


Winner - Rone Awards for "War Serenade" audible 2020 narrated by Peter Noble.


Finalist - Maggie Awards 2020; Silver Falchion Awards 2019;


Book of the Year 2018 IAN Awards.


"Zebra" Accolades to date Include: Finalist - The Killer Nashville Claymore Award Finalist 2021 (First draft submitted)


"Zebra" Finalist - The Killer Nashville Falchion Award Finalist 2022 - Historical Fiction.


"Zebra" Audio ***** - Readers Favorite - On-Line-Book Club 2022


“Zebra” secured a #1 New Release on Amazon.

Social Media Links:



John albert
John albert
Nov 27, 2023



N. N. Light
N. N. Light
Nov 27, 2023

Thank you, Jill, for sharing your book in our Black Friday/Cyber Monday Deals Event!

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