Ruins of Castle Hanstein near Bornhagen, Germany

Visiting the ruins of Hanstein takes us back to medieval times - Castle Hanstein near Bornhagen, Germany in 2012 More »

Vietnam War protestors demonstrate - Wichita, KS, 1967.

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Solingen, Germany after the bombing, November 1944. - Stadtarchiv Solingen

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My grandmother Grete with her sisters in the early 1920s in Germany.

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B17 Bomber above German Airfield in WWII

U.S. Bomber flies above German airfield in WWII. More »


Category Archives: Challenges

New Release and Great Reviews

Here are a few things that happened during the last week:

book cover surviving the fatherland by annette oppenlander‘Surviving the Fatherland’ Released 

On Bestseller List in Canada! 

Now an IWIC Hall of Fame Novel

You can now order the eBook or paperback directly without wait. Over the past couple of weeks I’ve seen a steady uptick in orders and it seems that Canadians are quite interested in the story. So, thank you, Canada! In fact, right now, SURVIVING THE FATHERLAND is in eleventh place on their bestseller list. I’ve kept the eBook price at a very affordable $0.99 so there is no reason to wait.

The First Reviews

I received an outstanding ***Five Star*** editorial review from International Writers Inspiring Change (IWIC). Here is an excerpt:

“It is difficult not to give this book, Surviving the Fatherland, by Annette Oppenlander, a five-star rating. Surviving the Fatherland is an historical fiction based on true events, the lives of those who survived World War II, during the war and then in post-war Germany…the story is not gruesome, but rather, it is a statement about the depth and strength of the human soul, and ultimately, really, of the love that drives people on in spite of all the reasons not to love. Highly recommended.” Read full review

cover image for Escape from the Past, book 3Midwest Book Review for ‘Escape from the Past: At Witches’ End’

“Annette Oppenlander has a genuine flair for original and compelling storytelling and as with the first two volumes, “At Witches’ End” will keep the readers rapt attention from cover to cover. Unfailingly entertaining from beginning to end, and also available in a Kindle format ($5.38), “At Witches’ End” is unreservedly recommended.” Also available in the Midwest Book Review March 2017 edition of Cowper’s Bookshelf.

book cover Escape from the Past written by Annette OppenlanderI’ve asked my publisher, Lodestone Books, to lower the eBook price of the first in the ESCAPE FROM THE PAST series to $2.99. I’m hoping this will create more interest in readers who don’t know me and who would like to try out the first in the time-travel adventure series. I absolutely adore Max, so I’m hoping my new readers will too.

Additional Background Information about ‘Surviving the Fatherland’ 

I will soon post more photos and information to go along with Surviving the Fatherland. I’m also contemplating a story about Wilhelm, Lilly’s father, who spent nine years in Russian gulags. The original manuscript contained three chapters detailing his experience. In order for me to write about his time, I’d read a number of books about life in a gulag. Unfortunately, these chapters did not make it into the published version. I plan to share some of this knowledge at some point soon.

Read the interview with International Writers Inspiring Change (IWIC) which also shows some original photos from the era.

Surviving the Fatherland

book cover surviving the fatherland by annette oppenlander

The cover of my new WWII novel.

In a few weeks I’m going to release my new novel, SURVIVING THE FATHERLAND (now on pre-order at Amazon). It’s been fifteen years in the making, an emotional journey of sifting through the messy past of my family. Set in war-torn and postwar Germany, SURVIVING THE FATHERLAND tells the story of my father and mother coming of age in Hitler’s Reich, the most horrific time of German history. Despite its harsh setting and struggles, it is a story of adventure, of love and hope, and ultimately of triumphing against the odds.

The story has gone through many changes and dozens of revisions. In the original story, I included several chapters about Lilly’s father, Willi (Vati). To be able to write authentically I read a number of books about Russian gulags. As it turns out, none of those chapters made it into the novel.

a young couple posing in front of a house

My mother and father around 1950

I also contemplated adding more photos to the novel. In the back matter, you’ll meet all the major characters. These portraits are not nearly as interesting as some of the group photos I found in my parents’ albums. One of my favorites shows my parents around 1950 when my mother was eighteen.

I’m also planning to add study guides because I think that much of the information in the book is worthy of discussion. Each character’s struggles and conflicts are not only real, they show some of the lasting effects of growing up as war children.