Monday, November 28, 2016

Blog Tour + #Giveaway: Escape from the Past Trilogy by Annette Oppenlander@AOppenlander @yaboundtourspr

Escape from the Past: The Duke's Wrath
Annette Oppenlander
Genre: YA Historical Fiction, Time-Travel
Release Date: July 31st 2015

Summary from Goodreads:

When fifteen-year-old nerd and gamer Max Anderson thinks he's sneaking a preview of an unpublished video game, he doesn't realize that 1) He's been chosen as a beta, an experimental test player. 2) He’s playing the ultimate history game, transporting him into the actual past: anywhere and anytime. And 3) Survival is optional: to return home he must decipher the game's rules and complete its missions—if he lives long enough. To fail means to stay in the past—forever.

Now Max is trapped in medieval Germany, unprepared and clueless. It is 1471 and he quickly learns that being an outcast may cost him his head. Especially after rescuing a beautiful peasant girl from a deadly infection and thus provoking sinister wannabe Duke Ott. Overnight he is dragged into a hornets' nest of feuding lords who will stop at nothing to bring down the conjuring stranger in their midst.

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“His name is Max,” Bero offered from the bench. “He hid in
Hanstein’s forest.”
The woman stepped closer and then crossed herself. “May the
Lord have mercy. A Wanderer to bring doom to our Haus.”
I vehemently shook my head. “No, no, I’m just lost and need
a place for the night.”
Bero’s mother stepped closer still. She was inches shorter, yet
her shoulders were wide and her arms thick and muscled. I
shrank back. She’d beat me to a pulp no problem. To my horror
she extended an arm to inspect my hair. “What’s a lad like you
doing in the Lord’s forest? You look like a stranger. A conjurer
“He said he is from the village,” Bero intercepted. I wished
he’d shut up. It was nerve-wracking enough to deal with Bero.
The woman was positively frightening—nothing like my mother
who was gentle and sweet.
“I’m visiting,” I tried. Maybe it was best to say as little as
Bero’s mother grabbed my T-shirt and rubbed the fabric
between thumb and forefinger. “Your clothes are…odd.” Then
her eyes fell on my shoes, half hidden in the straw. Obviously not
hidden enough. She got on her knees mumbling something. Then
she crossed herself again. I stood waiting and hoping my legs
wouldn’t tremble. To keep from fidgeting, I stuck my hands in
my pockets, my right fingertips making contact with something


Escape from the past: The Kid (Escape from the Past #2)
by Annette Oppenlander
Genre: YA Historical Fiction, Time-Travel
Release Date: February 26th 2016

Summary from Goodreads:

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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Getting back on the donkey was the hardest thing I’d ever
done. By the way the sun hung lower, it had to be mid-afternoon.
I was bone-tired and so hot that my light shirt was dark with
sweat. Once in a while I scanned the horizon, wishing for clouds,
wishing for something to change and get me out of my misery.
Of course, there was no such thing. The relentless blazing
continued, the sky huge and intensively blue. My muscles
screamed with every step and the insides of my thighs burned
“Hey, Kid.” The voice sounded muffled as I woke from a
daze. The Irish had pulled his horse next to Donkey Biter,
watching me with clear green eyes.
“What?” I croaked.
“You don’t look so good. Where do you say you come from?”
I swallowed, but there was nothing but grit in my mouth and
my mind was blank. I finally waved my chin toward my right
shoulder. “East.”
“You a city boy.” It wasn’t a question. “Going to make your
fortune in the west? Get some gold?”
I nodded and threw a sideward glance at the man, my eyes
aching from the scorching brightness sinking low in the sky. I
had to ask. “Where’re we going?”
The Irish threw me a quick look. “Santa Fe. Isn’t that where
you were heading?”
I managed another nod. That was in New Mexico if I remembered
right. “How far?”
“Boss, look.” Wade yanked around his horse. I saw nothing,
but Scarface next to him raised an arm. Everyone stopped. I was
glad Donkey Biter got his cues from the other horses or I
would’ve walked on.
“Looks like settlers,” Broken Nose said. “Are we going to take
“Don’t be stupid,” the Irish said. “They ain’t got nothing we
We moved on and as the setting sun turned everything blood
red, I finally saw them. My back and legs were on fire and I felt
miserable, but the two families in front of us appeared much


Escape from the Past: At Witches' End (Escape from the Past #3)
by Annette Oppenlander
Genre: YA Historical Fiction, Time-Travel, Action/Adventure
Release Date: November 25th 2016

Summary from Goodreads:

When Max learns that Karl helped spring him from Schwarzburg’s dungeon during the first game, he feels obligated to return the favor. Not only because it’s the right thing to do, but supposedly Max is the one who rescued Karl from Hanstein in 1473 and helped him return home. 

With Karl’s programming help Max reluctantly agrees to enter the game a third time. At least he can visit his old friends and get cozy with Juliana while he’s at it. But two years is a long time in the Middle Ages. Something foul is in the air. Lord Werner is mysteriously absent and the new guards refuse Max entrance. Even Bero’s mother is terrified to see him. With no place to stay, Max soon finds himself on the run from Schwarzburg who hasn’t forgotten Max’s miraculous escape two years earlier. 

When at last Max finagles a way into the castle, Bero is less than pleased to see him, Lady Clara is near death and Juliana is not meeting his eyes. Can Max sway his friends, help Karl and stay out of Schwarzburg’s clutches? And will he ultimately stop Dr. Stuler’s evil computer game?

This is the final book in the Escape from the Past trilogy.


I stepped to the door and knocked. Nothing. I knocked again.
Something stirred inside.
“It’s Max Nerds,” I said. It felt good to use my old name.
“Go away,” the voice said. That had to be Bero’s mother, but
she sounded tired and very old.
“Please open the door. I’ve got some questions.”
“I’ll sit on your doorstep until you speak to me.”
The sound of feet shuffling through straw drew closer and I
took a step back. Then the door moved just enough to show the
mother’s face. Even in the last light of the evening I saw she’d
aged a decade, her hair hung in grayish clumps, the shadows
under her eyes dark with fatigue. That’s how Juliana would look
one day.
“You must leave at once,” the mother whispered. “It is
I stepped closer. “What happened?”
The mother shook her head. “Leave before you bring us
“Can’t I come in for a minute?”
“Nay!” Surprisingly quickly the broad-shouldered woman
stepped outside and scanned the path. I followed her gaze, but
didn’t notice anything. The light was almost completely gone,
but I knew that the people of the Middle Ages saw much better
in the dark.
“Please go,” the mother repeated.
“Tell me what happened here. The village…”
“Shh,” the mother said. “You hear that?”
“Someone is coming.” As quickly as she’d stepped outside,
she disappeared and closed the door behind her. A chain rattled.
Last time there hadn’t been one.
Then I froze.
From the direction of the Klausenhof, horses galloped my
way. I snuck around the side of the shack toward the outhouse,
climbed across the rickety fence and dropped to my knees.
The pounding of hooves drew near, stopping in front of Bero’s
“He was here a moment ago,” a voice said.
“Check the Haus,” another voice commanded. There was
something cruel and cold about it that made me shiver. Deep
down in the recesses of my mind it sounded familiar. I bent


To celebrate the release of AT WITCHES’ END, my publisher has reduced the eBook price of book one, THE DUKE’S WRATH, and two, THE KID, to $0.99 each – regularly $6.99 each.

Guest Post on Character Development

I usually start out with one or two protagonists. These are fleshed out with external characteristics, hair, eyes, built, walk and size. I also determine demographics, i.e. where s/he lives/wants to live, age, family structure, belief system (based on the historical setting) etc. More importantly I create the emotional profile of my character such as strengths, weaknesses, worries and what s/he wants really bad and what s/he fears most of all. Some of those characteristics may not be complete as I start writing, but I have a pretty good idea at the point I begin to write.
That’s all I have. Because I’m a pantser I develop side characters – and these sometimes creep up and become rather important – as I go. In THE DUKE’S WRATH the idea of Bero, the pig herder, came to me pretty quickly because my protagonist, Max, meets Bero in chapter two of book one. Many of the other characters arrived on the scene as my brain produced them. Of course, I also weave in the historical characters of the era my story is set in. I sometimes wonder how my mind creates these people, but they are absolutely real to me. In other words I can see them walk and speak. I see what they look like, their expressions and I know what goes on inside them. 

About the Author
Annette Oppenlander writes historical fiction for young adults and anyone who loves stories set in the past. 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."

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Annette Oppenlander said...

Good morning! I'll be around today in case any of you have questions about my books. Wishing everyone a great day!

Mary Preston said...

I'm loving all of these pictures. The books do look fantastic.

Annette Oppenlander said...

Thank you, Mary. My husband took all the pics.

Kathy Davis said...

I love the photos! I want to be there.