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: History

A Happy New Year to All

I look back on 2018 with utmost gratitude. A year ago, my husband and father suffered strokes within the span of three weeks. I spent months worrying about their recovery, watched tentative steps grow into wobbly walks. Neither man is fully recovered, yet they’re moving, talking and exercising.

My father just turned 90 and is still able to live in his childhood home. And I’ve enjoyed spending time and taking care of him because for thirty years I lived 5,000 miles away and only saw him for a few days each year.

Cover image of splendor in the heart historical romance by annette oppenlanderIn June I was able to finish the German translation of SURVIVING THE FATHERLAND and I recently completed my seventh novel, A SPLENDOR IN THE HEART, a prohibition era historical romance (light on romance). After my editor gets done with it, the book is scheduled to release in March 2019.

I’m thankful for all my readers, many thousands who read my books, who have written amazing reviews and supported me. You make it possible for me to do what I love most. Thank you!

Looking ahead to 2019

books about german POWs in WWIIMy next project is the true story of my grandfather Willi (Wilhelm) who was taken prisoner by the Russians in May 1945 and spent the next eight plus years in gulags in Siberia and the Ural. To do a thorough job I’ve got to research life in a prison camp.

photo of middle-aged man with glassesIn the 1960s the German government commissioned a study about prisoners of war (POW). They looked at soldiers who’d spent time in French, British, U.S. and Russian camps. They analyzed food, social structure and behavioral changes in captivity. They researched how hunger affected men. Findings were collected in ten volumes of which I own several. Now it’s time to get busy and try to grasp what it was like to live or more accurately subsist in a Russian gulag.

I wish you and yours a happy, healthy and successful New Year!

It’s time to get busy.

Exciting News!

New Literary Agent

I’m very excited to share that I’m now represented by literary agent, Dr. Dorothee Schmidt. As you know I recently translated my award-winning novel, Surviving the Fatherland, into German and I’m hoping this true story about my parents will be available in the German language market.

New Prohibition Novel

prescription alcohol I’m putting the finishing touches on my upcoming historical novel, THE ITALIAN’S DAUGHTER. Next step is a complete checkup by my editor. Right now I’m anticipating a release date of March 2019. I’m also still on the fence about the novel’s title, so that may still change.

Like ‘Surviving the Fatherland,’ this novel is written from the points of view of Sam and Paul, the adorable and flawed protagonists. I’d call it a love story, but not in the sense of a historical romance.

Here is a short intro (subject to change):

men spilling liquor into the street during prohibition

U.S. Library of Congress

Cincinnati, December 1924: When feisty and headstrong Sam (short for Samantha) loses her mother in a freak accident, she decides to search for her brother, Angelo, who didn’t return from a business trip to Chicago six months earlier. It is the year 1924, the height of prohibition, and the city of Cincinnati is in the midst of a deep recession. Narrowly escaping a band of thugs, Sam meets Paul, a twenty-year old hobo with a big secret. Together they make their way to Chicago where Al Capone is building an empire.

During a raid Sam and Paul are separated. Sam is forced into a brothel while Paul is arrested. Trapped without money and decent clothes, Sam plots on how to evade the demands of her new profession and the inevitable that comes with it. She realizes that she doesn’t even know Paul’s last name and that she is on her own.

Because the judge is an old family friend, Paul learns during his hearing that his father, a wealthy inventor, is on his deathbed. The judge gives Paul an ultimatum. Go home now and see your father or go to jail. Reluctantly, Paul returns home and learns that his decision to run away seven years earlier was based on a terrible mistake.

Here is to all things new!