Monday, March 26, 2018

Everything We Lose Blog Tour! (+$15 GC Giveaway!)

Title: Everything We Lose
Author: Annette Oppenlander
Series: N/A
Pages: 277
Date Published: 2018
Publisher: Oppenlander Enterprises
Format: Kindle
Genre: Historical Fiction YA
Source: Goddess Fish Blog Tours
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A farm boy’s choice to protect his friend, a slave, from a brutal attack forces both on separate journeys: 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.

~My Thoughts~
The plotting was a bit odd. Time moves in fits and bursts, spending several chapters on only a few days and then jumping forward years. This made the pace slightly confusing. I struggled to grasp some of the timing changes. However, in doing so we are allowed important glimpses into moments that spark change in the lives of the main characters, so are important chances to examine the events that cause both boys to take action in later chapters.

I enjoyed both Adam and Tip's perspectives. They both have a lot of heartbreaking things happening to them, and both deal with their struggles in different ways. I felt like Annette did a great job in shaping their characters and having them grow throughout the journey. I feel like I enjoyed Tip's story the most. He maintains this kind of positivity despite desperate and terrifying situations and I really loved his strength - and of course his love for his Ma! 

I have to admit, some descriptions were not detailed enough and I did feel as though I craved a bit more character development than what I got. However, the story moved along well enough and the action of the story typically had great details. 

Although this is a war story, it isn't really about the war. You aren't going to get many battle sequences or shots about the brutality and glory of the battlefield. What you will get is deep emotion from soldier and slaves affected by the Civil War and how the war changed the paths they were on in life. I'd say this is definitely worth a read if you're a history buff, or enjoy exploring emotional nuances of how conflict can affect everyday life. 

~Try an Excerpt!~
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.
~Meet Annette!~ 
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.
Facebook ~ Blog ~ Website ~ Twitter ~

Annette will be awarding a $15 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.


  1. I enjoyed getting to know your book; congrats on the tour, I hope it is a fun one for you, and thanks for the chance to win :)

  2. A fascinating time period. Love this cover.

  3. Hi Lisa,
    Thank you for hosting and reviewing! I very much appreciate it and will be around today to answer questions. All the best, Annette

  4. Congrats on the tour and I appreciate the book description, review and the great giveaway as well. Love the tours, I get to find books and share with my sisters the ones I know they would enjoy reading and they both love to read. Thank you!

  5. Hi Annette, It's nice to meet you and get acquainted with your work.
    If it weren't for blog tours like this, I wouldn't find all good books like this one. I do like books set in and around the American Civil War and it's been a long time since I've seen anything I would like to read. Thanks for the review too.

    1. Thank you, Karen. I hope you'll enjoy it! It was such a fascinating, yet horrific time in American history.

  6. This sounds like a book I'll enjoy, thanks for sharing!

  7. Thanks for the giveaway; I like the excerpt. :)

  8. Hello! I am back to thank you again. Been pretty busy lately and missing many entries but I appreciate the chance at winning.

  9. Thanks so much for the opportunity to win this giveaway and all the difficult work you put into bringing it to us.

  10. The book sounds very intriguing, thank you for the reveal!

  11. Wishing you a terrific Easter weekend and thanking you for a terrific giveaway.

  12. Happy Easter and thanks again for the opportunity to win.