Welcome to my stop on the Virtual Book Tour, presented by Goddess Fish Promotions, for Escape from the Past: The Kid by Annette Oppenlander. Please leave a comment or question for Annette to let her know you stopped by. You may enter the tour wide giveaway, where one randomly chosen commenter will be awarded a $25 Amazon/BN GC, by filling out the Rafflecopter form below. You may follow all of the stops on Annette’s tour by clicking on the banner above. The more stops you visit, the better your chances of winning.
What I Hope My Time Travel Books Teach the YA Crowd byAnnette OppenlanderFirst and foremost I believe in telling a good story with a great, fast-moving plot, relatable characters in a fascinating setting/world. While I believe in people learning from reading fiction, this learning should happen as a secondary outcome and in a natural way. Otherwise it’d be like school and textbooks. Brrh!So, provided I’ve done a good job with my story, I believe my readers come away with three different kinds of information to enrich their lives.Entertaining and Fascinating Information about Historical ErasThe “Escape from the Past” trilogy is set in the German Middle Ages and the Wild West of 1881 New Mexico. In both settings I’m using real historical characters that lived during that time. Castle Hanstein in Thuringia, Germany was home to Knight Werner von Hanstein in the late 15th century. Readers gain a fascinating glimpse into the way nobility lived and the feuds they had with other powerful men. We gain insight into the harsh living conditions of peasants, what they ate and believed in and how unfair their lives were. Overall, we get to see a slice of medieval German life.In “The Kid,” gamer Max meets Billy the Kid and we’re witness to Billy’s last month in Fort Sumner. We also learn about the ruthlessness of the Wild West, encounter Chief Nana, a Warm Springs Apache, who in the summer of 1881 rode a 3,000 mile vengeance war against the U.S. Army and was never caught. The fascinating thing about Nana is that he only had a dozen warriors and that he was about 80 years old and lame in one foot. We also get to live in an American Indian village, learn about rattlesnake bites and the viciousness of a “Norther.”Moral ChoicesMax, the protagonist in the series, must make many decisions to survive. More times than not he chooses to help people at the expense of his own comfort and/or safety. While this endears him to us readers, it puts him in dangerous situations. Max makes moral decisions that if we believe in “leading by example” will leave a positive and lasting impression on us. He acts heroically.We may ask ourselves what we’d do in the same situation. Run and save our hide or help those in need. They say a hero is somebody who choses to do the right thing in the face of adversity. Hopefully, some of that heroic behavior subconsciously sticks with the reader. And maybe one day, s/he’ll help somebody in need.Seizing the MomentMany people dwell on the past, hold grudges, hate what happened once upon a time and in general do not appreciate what they have… now. At the other extreme we live for the future, always charging ahead without enjoying and being present in the moment.Max deals with a lot of adversity, including a split-up family, but in the end he learns he must embrace what he has now. Sure, it’s not perfect, but whose life is perfect, whose family is perfect? Not too many. So, being aware and present in the moment, being grateful for one’s life is a huge learning experience.ConclusionI believe that all readers, teen and adult, benefit from reading the series. Most adults would appreciate learning about history, watch a character rise above and make tough moral choices, and seize the moment. I, for one, feel that Max taught me a few things along the way.And next time you consider playing a new computer game, you may be more careful. You never know if it’s “EarthRider.”
Escape from the Past: The Kid
By Annette Oppenlander
Escape from the Past, Book 2
Publisher: Lodestone Books
Release date: February 26, 2016
Genre: YA Historical/Sci-Fi
Length: 305 Pages
About the book:
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.
EXCERPTGetting 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 raw.“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 them?”
AUTHOR 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