This is what happens when you’re a slow #knitter

It’s 75F out and I’m still not done knitting my cowl.

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“Everything We Lose” premieres

I have been eagerly awaiting EVERYTHING WE LOSE, the latest novel by historical fiction author, and one of my talented critique partners, Annette Oppenlander ever since I first read the opening chapters a couple of years ago.

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Everything We Lose, set against the heartbreaking backdrop of the American Civil War, follows the friendship between Adam, a poor farm boy whose father died fighting with the Union, and Tip, a similarly aged slave, and the hardships they endured. After a tragic event, Adam ends up joining the Union army and Tip is sold to a new, sadistic owner. Will Adam survive the cruel war? Will Tip find freedom? Will their friendship survive their circumstances? In addition, there is a larger supporting cast—family and comrades—that you will come to care about just as deeply.

To find out what happens to this pair of unlikely friends, be sure to read to the bottom of this post to find a special deal for the day!

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So who is the brains behind this gripping story? You can find out more about Annette at her website but I’ve also asked her a few questions here.

Welcome, Annette!

You have had much success with your exciting Escape From The Past series which is historical fiction with science fiction elements. EVERYTHING WE LOSE (love that title, by the way), along with SURVIVING THE FATHERLAND, is, I guess, going back to your pure historical fiction roots that you established with your debut A DIFFERENT TRUTH. Would you say you enjoy pure historical fiction more, or blending it with some fantastical elements?

Hi Teresa,
Thank you so much for hosting me!

I admit that writing the Escape from the Past trilogy was a lot of fun because the time-travel element allowed for so much freedom: a computer nerd revisits the Middle Ages, brings his modern-day attitudes and knowledge to the past. Having said that, I think I will always enjoy the historical aspects of my stories. Writing historical novels requires a healthy amount of research into all aspects of a period. Even then, we’re never quite sure if what we write and how we envision things, is completely accurate. But recreating that historical era is what I love, whether it includes a fantastical time-travel element or not.

Related to the first question, will fans of Max get to see more books featuring the lovable geeky gamer?

I wish I could say you’ll see Max again. I loved that silly boy and the problems he got himself into. Right now no other Max stories are on the horizon. But that doesn’t mean I won’t one day resurrect Max and let him get in trouble again in a far away time.

I’m sad that we won’t get to follow Max on more adventures for now but I understand. What are you working on right now or what is in store for your readers next?

I took a few months off, prepping for the release of ‘Everything We Lose,’ but also to settle into Germany again. I was away for over 30 years and re-acclimating has been taking a lot of energy. Strangely, about two weeks ago I got this urge to write something new. So, to answer your question, my next story will be about my grandfather, Wilhelm, who at the end of WWII was taken prisoner by the Russians. Just when he thought the war was over and he could finally go home and rejoin his family, he was taken east and spent the next eight years crisscrossing Siberia surviving in gulags. In preparation, I’m super excited to study the old files, the German military archives will share with me. I’m also hard at work translating ‘Surviving the Fatherland’ into German.

SURVIVING THE FATHERLAND is an amazing and, sadly, timely novel given the current political clime in the U.S. I urge everyone to read it.

Thanks so much, Annette, for taking the time for this interview!

And now, as promised, here’s the deal du jour. Today only—February 18th—the Kindle version of EVERYTHING WE LOSE will be on sale for 99 cents! Grab your copy and get ready to stay up all night discovering the fate of Adam and Tip.

When life gives you grapes…make jelly!

We had our first truly decent grape harvest after many years of feeding deer trying to grow grapes. I juiced them after harvesting and froze the liquid and several months later (yesterday) took it out and made jelly.

I like a bit of mouth feel to my food and therefore like jam better but hubby prefers smooth concoctions and likes jellies. So I made this for him specifically.

Sadly, there was only 4 cups of juice and it made 5 little half pints of jelly but it’s very tasty jelly.

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Book love!

I’m getting ready to write a review of this absolutely delightful new board-book by Susanna Hill, whose talent is huge as her heart! If you know or have little ones in your life, I wholeheartedly recommend this as a gift for them!

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