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Ellen Brazer

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Clouds Across the Sun
by Ellen Brazer   

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Books by Ellen Brazer
· Hearts of Fire/Removed and being rewritten
· And So It Was Written
                >> View all


Historical Fiction

Publisher:  T.C.J. Publishing Type: 


Copyright:  Dec,30,2009 ISBN-13:  9780615311401

Price: $9.99 (eBook)
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Clouds Across the Sun

Before the end of WWII, Hitler charged a group of his most trusted and brilliant comrades with a mission—educate your progeny and then elevate them to positions of power throughout the world. Steeped in fact and impeccably researched, Clouds Across the Sun is the story of just one of these children.
From Naples, Florida, New York City, and Washington D.C., to Israel and then the killing grounds of Vilnius, Poland (Lithuania) this story is one of great romance, discovery, redemption, and enlightenment as Jotto Wells discovers her Jewish soul and unravels the intrigue surrounding a plan to take over the government of the United States.

 Before the end of WWII, Hitler charged a group of his most trusted and brilliant comrades with a mission—educate your progeny and then elevate them to positions of power throughout the world. Steeped in fact and impeccably researched, Clouds Across the Sun is the story of just one of these children. 

From Naples, Florida, New York City, and Washington D.C., to Israel and then the killing grounds of Vilnius, Poland (Lithuania) this story is one of great romance, discovery, redemption, and enlightenment as Jotto Wells discovers her Jewish soul and unravels the intrigue surrounding a plan to take over the government of the United States.

1951 Naples, Florida
Jotto folded back the bedspread and slipped beneath the cov- ers. She closed her eyes and waited, alert to every sound in the house. There would be no bedtime kisses on the forehead, no en- dearing words wishing her pleasant dreams, and no prayers said on bended knees—not on this night nor on any other night. Jotto heard footsteps coming down the hallway. The door handle turned and the light switched on. Her eyes flew open. She did not need to see a clock to know it was precisely nine-fifteen, and that her father, Hans Wells, had entered the room.
“Good evening, Father,” Jotto said, her tone measured, her de- meanor disciplined.
“I hope your eleventh birthday was pleasant,” Hans said as he pulled the over-stuffed chintz chair beside her bed.
“Yes, Father.” Jotto hid her disappointment in a smile. “Thank you for the encyclopedia.” She could not tell him her real wishes, that she had wanted a Monopoly game and a record player. Her father did not believe in self-indulgent activities.
Hans shifted in the chair and frowned. He did not like the way his daughter had been acting lately: unpredictable moods, picking at her food, sulking. “Have you completed your day’s assignments?”
“Yes, sir.”
“Good. Then, we shall begin.” Hans opened the German ver- sion of Mein Kampf. He reached into his suit pocket, removed a silver music box, and flipped it open. The haunting refrain from Beethoven’s Fur Elise drifted out.
Jotto blocked out the music, determined to say what she had been contemplating for weeks. “Father, I don’t...” She swallowed hard, the demons of doubt screaming at her to remain silent. “I don’t like that book.” She sucked in her breath. “And, I don’t want you to read to me anymore.” The fury in her father’s eyes told her she had gone too far. Jotto’s hand flew to her mouth and her heart plummeted.
Her father slammed the music box closed and rubbed his fore- head with the heel of his hand. The silence was pervasive.
“I will not tolerate your insolence.”
The tone of his voice dripped ice, and Jotto cringed. “I’m sorry, Father,” Jotto said, hoping he would not hear the insincerity in her voice.
Hans drilled his eyes at her. “We will begin now.” He opened the music box again. “You will close your eyes and take deep breaths.” The timbre of his voice was gentle and mesmerizing. “You will lis- ten. Feel yourself growing sleepy. Feel yourself relaxing. You are a feather drifting to the ground. Floating, falling, floating, falling.” He repeated the words over and over and over again.
Jotto slowed her breathing, fluttered her eyes open and closed a few times, pretending to settle into a trance-like sleep.
Hans began to read the book. In mingling of Aryan blood with that of lower peoples, the result was the end of the cultured peo- ple.
Hans took his time, lovingly translating every word. North America, whose population consists by far with the largest part of Germanic elements, who mixed but little with the lower colored peoples, shows a different humanity and culture from Central and South America, where the predominantly Latin immigrants often mixed with the Aborigines on a large scale.
By this one example, we can clearly and distinctly recognize the effect of racial mixture. He will remain the master as long as he does not fall a victim to defilement of the blood.
Jotto was disappointed and exasperated at the words her father read. It felt wrong to her—all the poison. She took refuge by reciting the multiplication tables, as she al- ways did when trying to block out his words. Only then could she drift out of harm’s way.
** * The morning sun reflected off the windowpane, bathing the room
in white and gold. A cardinal perched on the windowsill, pecking on the glass. Jotto awakened with a start.
The door opened without warning. Her father stood on the threshold, dressed in a navy blue pinstriped suit, his tie securely in place. His squinted eyes shot a look of disapproval her way. “Do you know what time it is?”
Jotto glanced at the clock on her night table. “I’m sorry, Father,” she stammered. “I didn’t realize it was so late.”
“Get dressed. The newspapers have arrived, and we have many issues to discuss before you go to school.”
Every day it’s the same dumb things—up at dawn, read the pa- pers, have my schoolwork checked, and be able to discuss the stu- pid books he makes me read. Who cares about German history any- way?
She slipped into a khaki skirt and a white blouse. I shouldn’t have to take etiquette lessons from what’s-that-stuck-up-your-nose Miss Cheavers, and I shouldn’t have to wear dumb dresses to dinner.
Using her fingers as a comb, Jotto pulled at the tangles in her hair as she stared at herself in the mirror. Her hair was the color of freshly harvested wheat, blond and curly. She had almond-shaped sapphire eyes, magnolia-white skin, high cheekbones and a heart- shaped mouth, all suggestions of the great beauty she would be- come. That is not what Jotto saw as she stuck out her tongue at her reflection. My legs look like beanpoles and my feet are huge. No wonder my mother disapproves of me. Who could blame her? It’s not because she’s sick, it’s because I look just like Olive Oyl.
She sneered at herself one last time, slipped into sandals, and took off down the circular staircase.
Jotto slid across the marble floor and jumped over the Persian rug in the hallway. Her breath came in short gasps as she tucked in her blouse and squared her shoulders, before tiptoeing onto the porch.

His mustache seeded with toast crumbs, Hans slowly wiped his face with the linen napkin and rang the bell beside him on the ta- ble.
Jenny, their cook, walked out, clicking her tongue. “I ain’t no cow need calling,” she said, under her breath.
“Miss Wells is ready for her breakfast,” Hans said, ignoring Jen- ny’s remarks.
Jotto stifled a giggle. “Good morning, Jenny.” “Good morning, Sunshine.” The affection hung between them, a transparent web strong and
viable as a spider’s lair, despite Hans’s directive that there was to be no emotional relationships between Jotto and any of the staff.
“No dilly-dawdling, Missy.” Jenny put the plate of eggs and ba- con on the table. “You eat up before it gets cold.”
“That will be all,” Hans said, his scowl dismissive.
Jenny puffed out her chest, made a face, and walked into the house, slamming the door.
She is incorrigible,” Hans hissed. “Good help is impossible to find.” He spread the newspapers out so the front page of the New York Times and The Washington Post were clearly legible. “Look at this,” Hans said, pointing to the headline. Hans shoved the paper across the table. “Read.”
Jotto nodded. It’s going to be a bad morning. ** *
After dropping Jotto off at school, Hans climbed the stairs to his wife Ilya’s bedroom and pushed open the door. It was dark and smelled of stale cigarettes and strong perfume. He pulled open the heavy brocade drapes, immersing the room in sunlight. He glanced around and for the hundredth time he berated himself for spending such a fortune on furnishings: Italian Venetian Murano etched glass wall mirrors, a five-piece salon set of French Art Nouveau furni- ture, carpets imported from Turkey, a nineteenth century Austrian Biedermier desk. Ilya groaned from under the covers.
Otto placed the newspapers on the bed beside her. “Are you plan- ning on sleeping all day?” His voice dripped disgust.
“What else is there for me to do in this God forsaken shit hole?”
Clouds Across the Sun • 5
Ilya hissed in German. She propped another pillow under her head and stared at Hans. Looking much older than her forty-two years, the once beautiful Ilya was like a dehydrated persimmon. Her huge green eyes were lackluster, the blond curls dulled by strands of gray, and her skin was blotched a sickly, sallow shade of ash. She scratched at the festering mosquito bites dotting her bruised arms.
“Why should I get up? You’re never here.” Ilya poked her finger at his face. “You’re too busy with your dinner parties, fancy lun- cheons, and golf.”
Hans watched her with cold, uncaring eyes, infuriated by her whining, his face a dangerous shade of red. “You could make a life for yourself if you wanted.”
Ilya spat out a laugh and gave him a half-grin, half-grimace. She raised both eyebrows. “I find it so interesting that you always find the time for that spoiled little brat.”
“That’s enough!” Hans smashed his fist on the night table. “You will not speak that way about our daughter!”
“Think about it, Hans. If you let me go to Bolivia to be with my brother, you and your precious little daughter could be together with no interruptions.” She held her breath, waiting for his reaction.
He pulled at his mustache and stared off into the distance—re- membering the war and why his brother-in-law was in Bolivia.
Hans and his family were hiding in a bombed-out house in Paris trying to decide what their next move would be, when the political situation took an unforeseen shift. America had identified a new and dangerous enemy—Russia.
Hans and his comrades recognized an unequaled opportunity, and wasted no time establishing a clandestine Nazi network throughout Europe. Soon, they were passing top-secret information to the CIA and the Army Counterintelligence Corps about Russia’s plans to ex- pand communism into all of Eastern Europe. As a reward for their loyalty, and despite laws passed by the United States Congress, se- lected Nazi scientists were allowed entrance into the United States. Unfortunately, his wife’s twin, Otto, had interrogated thousands of prisoners during the war, and because of Otto’s high profile, the Americans had refused him entrance into the country.
Ilya dug her nails into Hans’s arm, bringing his attention back to the present. “Why keep me here, when we both know you hate me?”
Hans snapped his head toward her. “I don’t hate you. I feel sorry for you.”
“I want my brother.” Tears streamed down Ilya’s face. “Please. Don’t do this to me. Let me go.”
Hans took her hand. His eyes and face softened. “I know what you need,” he said gently. “I’ll give you something to make you feel better.
He moved into the bathroom, took a key from his pocket, and opened the locked cabinet. He inserted the syringe into the vial of morphine and pulled back the plunger. He smiled as he replaced the vial.
South River, New Jersey
A month later Hans Wells pulled into the parking lot of the Dia- kos Greek diner to meet with two of his German comrades. He stepped out of the rental car, straightened his tie, took a deep breath, and pulled back his shoulders as he pushed open the finger-smudged glass door. The midday crowd was animated with businessmen in suits smoking cigars and talking loudly, and students wearing Rut- gers University sweatshirts drinking Pabst Blue Ribbon beer and scoffing down lamb gyros. Hans weaved between the tables.
“We were beginning to worry,” said Alexander Lippisch, the renowned German aerodynamicist and full professor at Rutgers. He glanced at his watch and readjusted the gold cigarette holder clenched between his teeth.
“Sorry. My plane landed on time but I got caught in traffic.” Wells slid into the booth. He was always uncomfortable around Lippisch. He was uncomfortable around all the elitists with their greater-than-thou attitudes.
Their other comrade, Kurt Blome, a research scientist with a background in biological warfare, smiled, showing crooked, cig- arette-stained teeth. He pulled at the sleeve of his wrinkled, plaid corduroy shirt. “It’s good to see you again.”
“You too,” Hans said, meaning it. “How have you been?”
“Ach!” Bloom said. “There are not enough hours in the day.” Deep creases crinkled between his eyebrows, as if he was in per- petual contemplation. He scratched the two-day growth of stubble on his face. “How’s Florida?”
“Naples is paradise,” Hans said, unbuttoning the jacket of his hand-tailored suit.
“Yah, but it’s in the middle of the Everglades.” Blome’s eyes twinkled.
Hans thought about the boulevards lined with swaying coco- nut palms, the sweet-smelling warm salt air, expensive stores, and charming restaurants. Aloud he said, “the city is small, but it’s pop- ulated by the giants of American industry, people like the Smuckers and the Evinrudes, who come in the winter to play golf and lan- guish in the pools of their sprawling mansions.” He smiled. “And best of all, the appointment book of my psychiatry practice is filled with the wives of these men—women who accept infidelity, drug abuse, alcoholism, and physical abuse as a way of life. If the city of Naples is a reflection of America...”
“Not a bad life, living in a mansion on the ocean.” Anger and jealousy poured from Lippisch’s piercing blue eyes.
“It’s not the ocean. It’s on the Gulf of Mexico and the expense was necessary.” Hans kept his tone neutral to hide his displeasure at the unspoken accusation. He had chosen Naples because it was only ninety miles from Miami and had no psychiatry practice. More important than that, no Jews lived there. Its isolated location gave him a safe place where he could indoctrinate his daughter without the distractions living in a big city would bring.
“Are you gentlemen ready?” The waitress asked. She wrote down their orders and poured coffee.
Lippisch grunted, his lips pinched in a scowl. “Let’s get down to business.”
“Always in such a hurry. You should learn to relax. ” Blome took a sip of coffee.
Hans turned his eyes toward Blome. “How are things going here?”
“Couldn’t be better. My wife is content, and my three-year-old son speaks perfect English. As for me, I have started to talk just like an American—telling people my son will grow up to be president, and who knows,” he winked, “maybe he will.” Blome laughed. “Alex, tell him about your new girlfriend.”
Lippisch lifted one eyebrow. “She’s an adjunct professor of phys- ics at the university, who just happens to be the very ugly daughter of New York Senator Albert Willick.” He stared at Hans. “I’m do- ing my part for the Reich,” he whispered. “Now, tell us what’s go- ing on with our other comrades?”
Hans leaned on his elbows. “The papers were signed last week. We are now officially capitalists—owners of an oil company in Longview, Texas.”
Blome smiled. “Interesting and brilliant decision. Oil dependen- cy is growing exponentially.”
“This is only the beginning,” Lippisch said, a sinister scowl col- oring his face. “To accomplish our mission we will need to build a network of people who share our ideology.”
Hans smiled. “Take my word. That is going to be easier than we ever imagined.”

Professional Reviews

Clouds Across The Sun
I was able to review this wonderful book by Ellen Brazer titled Clouds Across the Sun and I'm so glad I did. This is historical fiction, but the story is so fascinating and compelling you will be wishing it was made into a movie more than once as I did. The Story starts out in Naples Florida 1951 where we meat Jotto Wells as a young girl. From there we are taken to many places. Ellen's detailed description of places like Israel-Vilnius,Poland are fantastic and I found this book to be unputdownable. I do not want to spoil the readers adventure by describing the story much because its the story itself that will grab and hold you. This story has everything from intrigue and conspiracy to romance and happy endings as we follow Jotto on her journy of self-discovery. This story may be fiction but its truly believable fiction and I thought many times while reading, what if this had actually happened and that thought alone gave me shivers. This story is so filled with interesting characters that it totally captures the imagination like few novels can do. This is one book that I will read over and over again just to experience the discovery and journey again. Clouds Across the Sun is not only filled with factual information, its been so well researched as to be one of those rare novels that reads like history. This is the story of a devious plan to take over the United States by Hitler's most trusted comrades as he charges them to educate there children and elevate them to positions of power - Clouds Across the Sun is the story of one of these children . Totally creative and superbly unique, It is a fantastic read for any history lover .

Clouds Across The Sun
A Review From Melborne, Australia
Clouds Across the Sun, by Ellen Brazer; a review
I have recently taken a break from reading Historical Fiction, but it is a genre I will always go back to time and time again. I love being transported to another time and learning about the way people lived and viewed the world.
“Clouds Across the Sun”, by Ellen Brazer, was the perfect novel to draw me out of my Historical Fiction retirement. Set in post-WWII, Brazer explores what became of reprieved Nazi extremists who were allowed to emigrate to America in exchange for information about the Russians.
Determined to hold true to Herr Hitler’s doctrines, Hans Wells, with the help of his brother-in-law, Otto, plan to take over the US government through puppeteering his daughter, Jotto.
Fast-paced and action-packed, “Clouds Across the Sun” is difficult to put down. I picked it up, intending to read the first chapter, and did not stop until I realized I was up to chapter 8. I had to stop - work beckoned - but it was difficult to walk away.
Crunch time at work and I could not continue with Brazer’s novel. I became frustrated, wondering what was to become of beautiful, indoctrinated Jotto. Would she be able to escape the sins of the father, or is she trapped forever in the soul-sapping universe that is her life?
At times this novel can be confronting, and the rapid jump in time frame can take a bit of getting used to. That being said, Brazer has created a character in Jotto that the reader can truly care about. Her story is heart-breaking and I kept my fingers crossed for a happy ending throughout the entire novel.
“Clouds Across the Sun” is a unique story and cleverly told. It is well worth the read, especially if you are craving something different.
Get Ellen Brazer’s novel “Clouds Across the Sun”

Clouds Across The Sun

This email has to do with my hubby, Richard. Although he has much respect for me and all women in general, has refused to read works of female authors. His excuse is usually that they lack the descriptions of real life adventure, a man's point of view, etc etc...and no matter how hard I had tried in the past to get him to change, he would always revert to Harlan Coban (whom I also love), Patterson, Ludlum, Kellerman, Deaver, and Follett to name just a few.  Richard asked about Clouds Across The Sun....whether it was the swastika, or the star of David on the cover , or just plain my enthusiasm, not sure....but he picked it up and began reading. I didn't tease him..rather just ignored his choice and crossed my fingers.  WALLA!!!   You are a magician! He is now embedded halfway thru your book and has commented several times (no exaggeration) on how much he is enjoying it, and what a good writer you are! He loves how you have made the characters so real they seem to walk all over the pages. (his quote) Leanne Croft

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