Sunday, April 8, 2018

Everything We Lose

Historical Young Adult

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.
NOTE: The book will be on sale for $0.99 during the tour.


Adam rushed to the opening that was closest to the stables and peeked out. Nathan’s mother, wearing a gown of crisp cotton with a soft pattern of cornflowers, its blue reminding Adam of his own mother’s eyes, stood waiting outside. She held a dainty umbrella of cream-white lace to shade out the sun and a pair of riding gloves. “If you don’t come soon, I must go back inside,” she said, her voice almost too quiet to hear. “It is dreadfully hot today.”

“You think she look in here?” Tip whispered.

Adam shook his head and kept watching the yard. His mind screamed leave. Yet he stood with indecision. He couldn’t go outside while Janet Billings was near. Thoughts of what he’d done roiled inside his head, panic drying his mouth.

To his relief, Janet Billings slowly wandered back toward the main house when Wilkes crossed her path. She was too far for Adam to hear, but Wilkes’s voice boomed easily across the lawn. “Sure, M’am, I’ll be happy to search for him. Give me a few minutes…I’ll be right back.”

To Adam’s horror, Wilkes headed straight toward the stables and then made a sudden turn toward the grain shack. Obviously it was well known that Nathan Billings liked to torture Tip.

Adam leaped from the window, grabbed Nathan’s feet and pulled him toward a stack of burlap sacks. He had mere seconds to hide them both. From the corner of his eye he saw Tip turn on his side, pretending to be asleep. Desperately yanking at the sacks to make space, he pushed Nathan, who felt soft as a bag of flour, and himself into the opening and cowered low.

The door flew open. “Mr. Billings, are you in here?” Wilkes rushed to Tip’s cot. “You awake, Boy?”

Tip grumbled and rubbed his eyes. “Something wrong?”

“Have you seen Master Nathan?”

Tip shook his head, his brown eyes wide. “No, Sir.”

“I wonder why the shack was unlocked,” Wilkes mumbled as he turned and walked back out.

“They pick up wheat for the kitchen earlier,” Tip offered, but the overseer was already gone, the chain rattling on the outside.

Adam slowly rose as Tip sat up on his cot. Their eyes met.

They’d both be hanged come morning.

I fell in love with this book.  There’s only one thing I can find to disagree with.  Its genre is marked as Young Adult and I cannot think of an adult who wouldn’t enjoy it just as much.  I couldn’t seem to read it fast enough to see what would happen with each chapter.
This book is set in the times of the Civil War, the times when people owned people, people had friendships that they couldn’t even acknowledge. While this book is set in the times during the Civil War, it is not a book about war. It is about families and experiences of people trying to live in the midst of the War. The War cannot help be mentioned because so many of the hardships as well as freedoms were by-products of the War. There is much emotion in this book.  Oppenlander found a way to realistically touch on many emotions and yet in my opinion, there is nothing in this book that any age can’t read.   
Each scene is so very vivid, as if you can see the farms and beautiful old homes ravaged by the war as well as the shacks many slaves lived in.  Each personality was so well-defined that you could picture them in your own mind.  That’s the key to a well-written book. One where you can step into the story, feel where you are and be a part of the people around you. Where you can feel their pain and their joy. Really an excellent book to put on your “to be read” list.

**This book was provided to me in exchange for an honest review.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:  

Annette will be awarding a $15 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. (see below)

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.

Pinterest: annoppenlander



  1. This looks like a fascinating read :-)
    and thanks for the giveaway!

  2. 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 :)

  3. Sounds like a great book - thanks for sharing!

  4. Loved the article. Congrats on the release and book tour. Bernie Wallace BWallace1980(at)hotmail(d0t)com

  5. Thanks for stopping by today. Wish each of you luck on the Giveaway and best of luck on the book to our author, Annette Oppenlander.

  6. Thank you for introducing me to this book, it sounds like something I'd really enjoy reading!


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