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Blog Tour & Giveaway: Escape from the Past: The Kid by Annette Oppenlander

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MediaKit_BookCover_EscapeFromThePastTheKidEscape from the Past: The Kid

by Annette Oppenlander

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GENRE:   YA historical/sci-fi

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BLURB:

 Time-traveling gamer, Max, embarks on a harrowing journey through the Wild West of 1881! After a huge fight with his parents, Max tries to return to his love and his best friend, Bero, in medieval Germany. Instead he lands in 1881 New Mexico. Struggling to get his bearings and coming to terms with Dr. Stuler’s evil computer game misleading him, he runs into Billy the Kid. To his amazement Billy isn’t at all the ruthless killer history made him out to be. Trouble brews when a dying Warm Springs Apache gives Max a huge gold nugget to help his sister, Ela, escape from Fort Sumner. Shopping for supplies Max attracts the attention of ruthless bandits. Before Max can ask the Kid’s help, he and Ela are forced to embark on a journey to find his imaginary goldmine. This is book 2 in the Escape from the Past trilogy.

 

 

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Excerpt One:

 

My chest began to throb without warning, then tighten. Had it been this painful last time? Ten months had passed since I’d last played. I smiled despite the pain. I couldn’t wait to sneak up on Bero. Hug Juliana. The pressure on my body increased. She’d be mad, of course, but then she’d kiss me. Maybe we could sneak into the barn tonight.

 

The weight on my lungs grew. Breathing stopped. My vision filled with the red haze of oxygen deprivation. I tried to gulp, but my ribs were glued to my sides. I was stuck…and terrified. The fog turned gray…then black. Like last time, I managed to stand, but my legs and feet stood rooted like the giant oaks in Hanstein’s forest.

 

My heart pounded in my neck, the only sign I was still alive. The fog deepened. Why was this taking so long? Still the pressure held as if I’d been thrown under a boulder. I was dying.

 

I’d made a huge mistake.

 

It’s easy to forget fear. Stuff happens and you get distracted. After a while all you remember are the good things. Now that I was unable to move, unable to do anything, I remembered the way I’d felt the first time I landed in the game. I’d felt terror.

 

And terror was back now in full force, squeezing my middle and poking at my heart. As the pressure lifted and the fog cleared, the sense of impending doom gripped me with such force that I fell forward. I’d made a horrible mistake.

 

Stumbling, I stubbed my toes and suppressing a shout. In the near darkness, a rock or cliff rose wide as a house and three stories high. I only saw its outline, a black edge against the starry sky above.

 

The whistling I’d heard earlier definitely came from between the giant rocks. The air was filled with the scent of grasses, grit and something like sage. Had I returned in the summer?

 

Behind me the area appeared more open. Maybe I was down near the river and Luanda’s house. Should I move in the dark or wait? I’d get lost, wandering off in the wrong direction.
A cold wind dug under my shirt and nipped at my skin. I tugged my sweater closer around me when I saw something glowing on the ground like a huge red eye.

 

“Not a move, Boy,” the voice hissed. “Or I’ll blow a hole through your gut.”

MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_EscapeFromThePastTheKidAUTHOR Bio and Links:

Annette Oppenlander writes historical fiction for young adults. When she isn’t in front of her computer, she loves indulging her dog, Mocha, and traveling around the U.S. and Europe to discover amazing histories.

“Nearly every place holds some kind of secret, something that makes history come alive. When we scrutinize people and places closely, history is no longer a number, it turns into a story.”

 

Social Media Links

Website: http://www.annetteoppenlander.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/annetteoppenlanderauthor/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27180530-escape-from-the-past

Twitter: @aoppenlander

 

Buy Links

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Escape-Past-Kid-book-2/dp/178535213X/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1447856090&sr=8-2&keywords=escape+from+the+past+the+kid

 

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/escape-from-the-past-annette-oppenlander/1122768791?ean=9781785352133

 

IndieBound: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9781785352133

 

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Interview:

Where are you from? Tell us a little about yourself!
I grew up in Solingen, Germany, a city known for its cutlery and sharp kitchen knives. After completing a business degree at the University of Cologne I moved to the U.S. for a one-year work assignment. Instead, I met my future husband at a super bowl party and got married a year later. That was in 1987. I’ve been living in different parts of the U.S. ever since.

Tell us about your book? How did it get started?

In “Escape from the Past: The Kid” gamer Max time-travels to the Wild West of 1881 New Mexico where he runs into the Billy the Kid. To his amazement Billy isn’t at all the ruthless killer history made him out to be. Trouble brews when a dying Warm Springs Apache gives Max a huge gold nugget to help his sister, Ela, escape from Fort Sumner. Shopping for supplies Max attracts the attention of ruthless bandits. Before Max can ask the Kid’s help, he and Ela are forced to embark on a journey to find his imaginary goldmine. This is book 2 in the Escape from the Past trilogy.

 

Growing up in Germany, I’ve always been fascinated with the Wild West. I remember watching westerns with my father and reading books about pioneers, American Indians and the gold rush. After I moved to the U.S. I continued reading historical fiction set in the eighteen and nineteen hundreds.

 

I chose Billy the Kid because I see him as a tragic character who encountered a string of bad luck and was basically set up to fail. He isn’t much older than Max and you can easily see how any young man could’ve had Billy’s fate. The second important character is Chief Nana, A Warm Springs Apache warrior, who in the summer of 1881 rode a 3,000 mile vengeance war against the U.S. Army. He was never caught nor were his fifteen or so warriors. The amazing thing about him was his age. He was around eighty years old then and had a bad leg.

How do you create your characters?

I start with the historical era I want to write about. In historical fiction you have fictional characters and you have characters that existed in the past. In “The Kid” I already had my main fictional character, Max, who is sort of derived from my two gamer boys. I read several books about Billy the Kid and studied about Warm Springs Apaches and Chief Nana, the ancient warrior Max meets in the story. I develop detailed bios for all my characters, including internal and external traits, flaws and strengths. Once I know them well, I begin writing.

What inspires and what got your started in writing?
Becoming a writer/author was a process that took several years. In the beginning–the late 90s–I wrote children’s stories for early readers. I didn’t know anything about writing for children, the market nor the submission process, so this went nowhere. In 2002 I interviewed my parents about their lives during WWII in Germany which led to a number of short stories. I didn’t really imagine writing a novel, let alone several, I merely wanted to preserve the memories for my family.

But I became aware how much I enjoy the writing process. How I felt while I did it. I worked for a PR agency and did lots of business related writing. I’d go home at night and write some more, spent my weekends writing fiction. I grew more and more invested, took classes, read books on craft, attended conferences and joined a critique group. In 2009 I attended a short story class at Indiana University and that’s when the light bulb turned on fully. I’ve known ever since that writing is my passion and I must do it even if publication is light years away.

Where do you write? Is there something you need in order to write (music, drinks?)
I typically write in my office, an ex-bedroom with lots of book shelves and a desk. I have a really great chair that allows me to sit for many hours. Some people love to write in a coffee shop, but I find that too distracting. You’re talking to a chocoholic, so anything with chocolate works for me and I eat way too much of it on a daily basis.

How do you get your ideas for writing?
My trips provide almost unlimited ideas. I often visit historic areas in Europe, museums and castles. That’s how I came across the ruins of Castle Hanstein in Thuringia and learned about Knight Werner for book one in the “Escape from the Past” trilogy. On a daily basis I draw inspiration from my walks with my mutt, Mocha, an old graying dame. Thirdly, reading offers a constant flow of ideas.

What do you like to read?
I have a number of favorites, but my all-time favorite is J.R.R. Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings.” I also enjoy many historical fiction authors, including James Alexander Thom and Sarah Waters. I like John Green and Sue Monk Kidd. I could go on for a long time.
What would your advice to be for authors or aspiring authors in regards to writing?

I’d tell an aspiring author to be patient and set aside doubt. I think all writers, even the most gifted ones, have doubts whether their manuscripts are any good. But while we may struggle with doubt about our ability to craft a compelling story, in the end, we must continue writing. Many people give up too early because doubt overtakes them. Believe in your work and put in the time and energy, read, go to conferences, participate in critique groups, confident you’ll succeed in the end. Follow your passion.

Anything else you’d like to share?

My books are recommended for YA school and public libraries and appeal to teen readers as well as people who love historical fiction and action/adventure.

Website: www.annetteoppenlander.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/annetteoppenlanderauthor/

Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/Annette-Oppenlander/e/B00W8QRTJ4/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1454683931&sr=8-1

Blurb:

Escape from the Past: The Kid

Time-traveling gamer, Max, embarks on a harrowing journey through the Wild West of 1881! After a huge fight with his parents, Max tries to return to his love and his best friend, Bero, in medieval Germany. Instead he lands in 1881 New Mexico. Struggling to get his bearings and coming to terms with Dr. Stuler’s evil computer game misleading him, he runs into Billy the Kid. To his amazement Billy isn’t at all the ruthless killer history made him out to be. Trouble brews when a dying Warm Springs Apache gives Max a huge gold nugget to help his sister, Ela, escape from Fort Sumner. Shopping for supplies Max attracts the attention of ruthless bandits. Before Max can ask the Kid’s help, he and Ela are forced to embark on a journey to find his imaginary goldmine. This is book 2 in the Escape from the Past trilogy.

 

Excerpt:

My chest began to throb without warning, then tighten. Had it been this painful last time? Ten months had passed since I’d last played. I smiled despite the pain. I couldn’t wait to sneak up on Bero. Hug Juliana. The pressure on my body increased. She’d be mad, of course, but then she’d kiss me. Maybe we could sneak into the barn tonight.

The weight on my lungs grew. Breathing stopped. My vision filled with the red haze of oxygen deprivation. I tried to gulp, but my ribs were glued to my sides. I was stuck…and terrified. The fog turned gray…then black. Like last time, I managed to stand, but my legs and feet stood rooted like the giant oaks in Hanstein’s forest.

My heart pounded in my neck, the only sign I was still alive. The fog deepened. Why was this taking so long? Still the pressure held as if I’d been thrown under a boulder. I was dying.

I’d made a huge mistake.

It’s easy to forget fear. Stuff happens and you get distracted. After a while all you remember are the good things. Now that I was unable to move, unable to do anything, I remembered the way I’d felt the first time I landed in the game. I’d felt terror.

And terror was back now in full force, squeezing my middle and poking at my heart. As the pressure lifted and the fog cleared, the sense of impending doom gripped me with such force that I fell forward. I’d made a horrible mistake.

Stumbling, I stubbed my toes and suppressing a shout. In the near darkness, a rock or cliff rose wide as a house and three stories high. I only saw its outline, a black edge against the starry sky above.

The whistling I’d heard earlier definitely came from between the giant rocks. The air was filled with the scent of grasses, grit and something like sage. Had I returned in the summer?

Behind me the area appeared more open. Maybe I was down near the river and Luanda’s house. Should I move in the dark or wait? I’d get lost, wandering off in the wrong direction.
A cold wind dug under my shirt and nipped at my skin. I tugged my sweater closer around me when I saw something glowing on the ground like a huge red eye.

“Not a move, Boy,” the voice hissed. “Or I’ll blow a hole through your gut.”

 

Thank you so much for having me!

GIVEAWAY INFORMATION

Annette Oppenlander will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn host.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

18 COMMENTS

    • Hi Becky, my favorite genre is historical fiction. I also read the occasional mystery or thriller.

  1. Enjoyed reading the excerpt. This story sounds really good. Now I have to red the rest of the story to see if he moved and who asked him not to.

  2. Enjoyed the excerpt and interview, sounds like a terrific read, thanks for sharing and good luck with the tour!

  3. Sounds like an awesome series!! I love Billy the Kid so I’m excited to check this one out. Thanks for sharing 😀

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