Showing posts with label Civil War. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Civil War. Show all posts

Monday, April 16, 2018

"Everything We Lose" by Annette Oppenlander

Everything We Lose
by Annette Oppenlander

Everything We Lose by Annette Oppenlander is currently on tour with Goddess Fish Promotions. Make sure you grab your copy for only $0.99 during the tour (ends 16 April). The tour stops here today for my review, an excerpt, and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.

Two friends--one black, one white.
Torn apart by an attack gone wrong.
One escapes into war, the other is sold into slavery.
Told from alternating viewpoints, one black and one white, Surviving the Fatherland author Annette Oppenlander delivers another stunning historical tale set against the epic backdrop of the American Civil War--a breathtaking examination of the power of hope and friendship, and the endurance of the human spirit to find a way home.
Tennessee, 1861. Fifteen-year-old farm boy Adam Brown would do anything to protect his friend Tip, a slave at the neighboring plantation - even if it means fighting Nathan Billings, the rich and obnoxious landowner’s son. But when it seems his attack has killed Nathan, Adam has no choice but to run away and join the Union Army under an assumed name. Together with Wes, a chatty soldier with a few secrets of his own, Adam embarks on a traumatic odyssey through the war-torn Midwest. As his soul darkens with the atrocities of war, all he wants is to go home. But in order to do that - if he survives - he must face his past.
Unbeknownst to Adam, sixteen-year old Tip is sold to a farmer who takes drunken pleasure in torturing his slaves. Tip quickly realizes that if he wants to survive he must run. Ahead lie hundreds of miles of unknown country, infested by slave owners, traders, starvation and cold. And so begins a journey of escape and recapture, of brutal attacks and unexpected kindness. When a rescue by the Underground Railroad goes terribly wrong, Tip finds himself caring for a pregnant runaway, his journey seemingly at an end. They have reached the Ohio River, a vast watery expanse impossible to cross. It is only a matter of time before roaming slave traders will pick them up - he will never see his mother and his best friend again.

His attention returned to the path winding its way through the patch of woods. Just like Adam, he loved the quiet, the rustling of birds and squirrels, and the coolness of the trees. The shadows were long and he knew he was late—later than he’d wanted to be. His stomach hitched with worry as he pushed his legs to go faster. He’d skipped the dinner hour to be with his friend and make it less obvious that he’d left. He was supposed to ask permission, but when Mama Rose had come running into the vegetable garden with the news about Adam’s Pa, he’d not thought twice.
At last he slowed down. In the dusk, the lights of the kitchen glowed softly, reminding him that he hadn’t eaten. This was his mama’s domain where she ruled and created her famous dishes. He was proud of what she’d accomplished and wanted to do just as well.
No, better. He pressed his lips together. For now he’d stay quiet. No point in talking about it with his mama and downright dangerous to mention it anywhere else.
“Where have you been, boy?”
Tip froze. Master Billings had an uncanny way of appearing out of nowhere. Despite his massive frame, he walked silently, reminding Tip of a stalking cat, ready to pounce and devour.
Billings senior twirled his cane, ready to spear a beast. “I was looking for you earlier. About that porch…”
“Yessir,” Tip said, bowing low. “I see Adam, just for an hour. He lost his Pa in the war and—”
“You left without permission? Wilkes said he didn’t know where you were.”
“Yessir. Sorry, Sir,” Tip stammered. “I meant to ask but Adam my friend and…” He cringed, knowing what was going to be next.
“And though you are clearly not allowed to leave the plantation, you left anyway?” Billings came to a stop next to Tip. “Bend over.”
His gaze on the kitchen window, Tip crouched low, hurrying to cover his head with his arms and hoping his mama wouldn’t glance outside as the walking stick crashed on his shoulder blades.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]

Praise for the Book
“I fell in love with this book.” ~ Our Town Book Reviews
“Annette has done it again! She has written another great book one that will stay with me for a long time to come if not forever. If you are looking for a great book about the civil war and slavery that is right up there with Roots or Gone With the Wind then look no further as I think Everything We Lose will fit that category to a tee.” ~ The Avid Reader Blog
“This book is well researched, an easy read and covers the key opposing themes one wants to see in a Civil War novel - hope vs despair, love vs hate, friendship in the face of adversity, the importance of home and the need to journey away in order to really appreciate it. If you are a history lover, a Civil War buff, or just want to read a really good story, go for it!” ~ William C. Oris
“The author does a wonderful job describing actual events and brings reality to both characters. I strongly recommend this book …” ~ Scott Arquilla
“A compelling story set in the midst of the American Civil War. The author does not gloss over the horrors of war or the inhumanity of slavery. This is a story of faith, hope, and determination. Of coming of age during the most troubled time in American history. And most of all, it's a story of love and friendship that transcends race, politics, and distance. Annette Oppenlander has once again given us a historical page-turner that will keep you on the edge of your seat.” ~ jo

My Review
I received this book in return for an honest review.

By Lynda Dickson
Beginning in August 1861 and ending in November 1865, we follow the lives of Adam, a fifteen-year-old farm boy, and his friend Tip, a slave on the neighboring Billings plantation. An incident causes Adam to run away and join the Union Army, while Tip tries to escape to freedom. Each action has a consequence, and the decisions the boys make will affect their own lives and those of everyone around them.
The story is told in alternating chapters from the points of view of Adam and Tip, providing two vastly different perspectives. The narrative is full of rich details about the homes, food, and lifestyles of the time. Through the story, the author highlights the terrible conditions, the inhuman treatment of slaves, and the horrors of war and makes it all the more real by incorporating actual historical figures and events into the plot. She doesn't assume any prior knowledge of the Civil War or of slavery and does a good job of explaining without lecturing. However, she does provide some background information at the end of the book. It’s interesting to note that, even though the war was fought over slavery, the soldiers themselves were considered the property of the army.
Terribly depressing throughout, it’s a good thing the story ends on a positive note.
Warnings: graphic violence, sodomy, animal cruelty, rape.

About the Author
Annette Oppenlander
Annette Oppenlander is an award-winning writer, literary coach and educator. As a bestselling historical novelist, Oppenlander is known for her authentic characters and stories based on true events, coming alive in well-researched settings. Having lived in Germany the first half of her life and the second half in various parts in the U.S., Oppenlander inspires readers by illuminating story questions as relevant today as they were in the past.
Oppenlander’s bestselling true WWII story, Surviving the Fatherland, was elected to IWIC’s Hall of Fame, won the 2017 National Indie Excellence Award and is a finalist in the 2017 Kindle Book Awards. Her historical time-travel trilogy, Escape from the Past, takes readers to the German Middle Ages and the Wild West. Uniquely, Oppenlander weaves actual historical figures and events into her plots, giving readers a flavor of true history while enjoying a good story. Oppenlander shares her knowledge through writing workshops at colleges, libraries and schools. She also offers vivid presentations and author visits. The mother of fraternal twins and a son, she recently returned to her home, Solingen, Germany where she lives with her husband and old mutt, Mocha.

Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win a $15 Amazon/B&N gift card.


Monday, May 27, 2013

"Their Journey Begins and Journey to Freedom" by K. Meador

K. Meador's Their Journey Begins, is an anthology of short stories incorporating the characters from her first novel, Journey to Freedom. Read more about both of these books below.

Their Journey Begins
by K. Meador


Their Journey Begins is a prequel to Journey to Freedom, featuring individual short story vignettes of Greggory, Robert, Marissa, and Daniel before their lives converge in Journey to Freedom.

Greggory is a half-breed; a mix of Indian and black blood, and struggles both emotionally and physically with hatred and prejudice.

Robert is a slave on a Florida plantation who takes in the starving, angry young Greggory, under his wing and helps him grow into a man of honor.

Marrissa is a young girl who watches her mother waste away working as a maid in the saloon. Dodging the advances of the owner and his threats to put her in service, Marrissa dreams of having a better life and strikes out on her own after her mother's death.

Daniel is an introvert who finds safe haven away from civilization and his past. His business of trapping is successful and he finds contentment in the simple life he leads until he has two visitors.

There are no spoilers in this book so it can be read before or after Journey to Freedom.

We have all heard stories of slaves and Indians during or before the Civil War era but have you ever read something that makes you feel like you are right there with the characters?
Have you ever read a story that keeps you looking over your shoulder because you are afraid that someone might find out you are sneaking around?
Have you ever experienced the emotions of someone on the run whether from their past, someone evil, or just trying to make a better life for themselves?
If you haven't and you would like to experience it for yourself then this is the anthology for you.
These short stories allow you a glimpse into the lives of five very different people that are all struggling to make it.
They are sad, scary, heart-warming, uplifting, and thought provoking all rolled into one.
K. Meador is an awesome author that takes you to the heart of the story and lets you see and live her characters through their eyes.
I totally recommend this book. I know you will not be disappointed!

Book Links

Journey to Freedom
by K. Meador

An unlikely meeting ...
Marrissa is running away, as fast as her feet can carry her. After enduring the abuse at the hands of her employer for years, she has finally found the strength to strike out on her own, and now she has been unceremoniously thrust into an adventure with a man she doesn't know. But things become more serious when she and her companion are taken in by the Cherokee. After enduring attempts on her life at the hands of a jealous wife, Marrissa must once again leave people behind and make her own way. But this time she might be leaving true love behind.
An undying devotion ...
Greggory longs to be a free man. Facing the violent prejudices against him as a half breed, and running from the high price set on his head by the owner of the plantation he used to belong to, he never expected to find peace and happiness with the young woman at his side. But the more time he spends with Marrissa, the more he realizes she is the one for him, and when evidence points to her untimely demise, he vows to gain his freedom and love no one else. But fate might not be done with him yet, and Greggory may have a second chance at the life he first glimpsed in Marrissa's eyes.
A timeless love ...
Set amid the tumultuous backdrop of the American Civil War, Journey to Freedom, chronicles the harrowing misadventures of two star-crossed lovers through nineteenth century America, battling violence, prejudice, and the inherent struggles of their time. Join author K. Meador for a touching saga of love, faith, and survival.

Journey to Freedom made me feel as if I were right in the era of racism and prejudice with Marissa and Greggory. The author makes the characters feel just as real as your own family. The story of their struggles, abuse, and courage captivated me and left me wanting more. The graphic detail provided the imagery to help me understand the nation as it was around the Civil War time period, when people distrusted and feared each other's differences.
Although Journey to Freedom is filled with interesting characters, Carmen and Charles are one of the reasons I love this book. The atmosphere at their home is portrayed to be a safe haven, and their presence offers unconditional love and hope to all. When one of the younger characters was caught in a situation, I was quietly chanting in my mind for Carmen or Charles to come to the rescue, because the author did a fantastic job of creating a trust between the reader and these characters.
I highly recommend, but be prepared for an emotional ride when you read this one!

Book Links

About the Author
Born in Jacksonville, Florida and raised in Texas since age four, K. Meador is the youngest of five children. Growing up in Cross Plains, Texas and being raised on a seventy-acre farm gave her an appreciation for country life and the small town community. She currently works full time as an aircraft mechanic/avionics technician. She has two sons who are actively pursuing their busy lives as adults.
Becoming a successful author is a dream that she has held close to her heart for many years. Taking her first novel, Journey to Freedom, from computer to ink has been that long road of struggle that so many authors are familiar with. Now that the novel is in print, she is humbled by the many responses from those who have already read Journey to Freedom. Their Journey Begins, an anthology of short stories incorporating the characters for Journey to Freedom, was published in November 2012. Transcendence was published in December 2012 and The Knight of the Dixie Wilds in May 2013.
K. Meador's message to you, the very important person who is reading this right now: "Whatever is the dream in your heart, giving up is not an option."

Author Links