Author Profile: Walter Rhein

Welcome to week four of the new author profile feature on the blog. This week, I want you to say hello to Walter Rhein. To explain how Mr. Rhein ended up on the blog, I need only quote from his bio: “Honestly, I read fantasy to see people get their heads chopped off, so basically the conflict of The Bone Sword is pretty personal. People get their heads chopped off.”

With an attitude like that, I knew Walter and I would be friends. Say hi to Walter Rhein.

—–Machu Picchu, Walter Rhein

Bio of Walter Rhein:
In 2001 I got fed up with things and moved to Lima, Peru. That was great because it afforded me the time to sit in a tiny little room for $100 a month and not do much besides daydream. I ended up staying in Peru for 10 years, and signed my first publishing contract in year 8. Unfortunately, about a year after signing that contract, the two main editors of the publishing house passed away within a month of each other and the house ceased operations.
Shortly after that, I signed a contract with Rhemalda. My first release, The Bone Sword is a pretty straightforward fantasy romp. When I wrote it, I was getting fed up with how every fantasy book involves the “end of the world as we know it.” Honestly, I read fantasy to see people get their heads chopped off, so basically the conflict of The Bone Sword is pretty personal. People get their heads chopped off.
To date, my most successful novel has been Beyond Birkie Fever. “Birkie” is a memoir style book about my adventures as a young cross-country skier. The title is in reference to the “American Birkebeiner” one of the largest cross-country ski races in the world that happens to take place about thirty miles from where I grew up. The mere presence of that race has had a profound effect on my life. Once a year, our little town in Northern Wisconsin would be flooded by skiers from all over the world. Getting to meet and interact with those people ignited a desire for travel that has never been extinguished.
The most recent publication I’ve been involved with is the collaboration novel The Battle for Ebulon you can download that for free here: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/325102 , and it will give you the chance to meet Malik, the main character from The Bone Sword.
I’ve got two other novels currently in the works, so I feel 2013-2014 is going to be big. I’m looking forward to meeting some new readers!
These days I spend quite a bit of time blogging at Streets of Lima (www.streetsoflima.com). About 5 years ago I realized I had a ton of pictures from Peru and that they weren’t doing me any good sitting in my hard drive. As a result, I decided to start publishing them, and I’ve been doing one a day since. I’ve actually made more money from advertising on Streets of Lima than from all my other writing combined.
You can also hook up with me on Facebook here (https://www.facebook.com/wrhein ), and I also moderate a group called Heroic Fantasy. That’s worth checking out because Janet Morris of Thieves’ World fame is a frequent contributor, here’s the link for that: https://www.facebook.com/groups/heroicfantasy/ .
I do all that twitter nonsense as well, but the account just links to my blogs so it’s not that exciting, but here it is @swordreaver.
I’m always on the lookout for reviewers, so if you’re interested in reviewing Beyond Birkie Fever for Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Beyond-Birkie-Fever-Walter-Rhein/dp/1936850028/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1314120830&sr=8-1
Please contact me at: walterrhein@gmail.com and I’ll see about setting you up!

—–

Books by Walter Rhein

bone sword coverTHE BONE SWORD

Deserter on the Run Malik emerges from the swamps of Plaiden seeking only shelter, food, and the time necessary to take the chill from his bones. But after a barroom brawl lands him in trouble with the local authorities, he flees to the mountains with two orphaned children who have the power to heal.

Pursued by the vicious Father Ivory and his Nightshades, Malik and his charges become the center of a grassroots movement that quickly blossoms into a full-fledged revolution. Their problems are compounded when news of their exploits draws the attention of Malik’s former Captain, a swordsman of legendary prowess who will not stop until Malik and his followers are dead.

As the final battle approaches, Malik must face both his inner demons and his former master in a duel that will determine the fate of the free people of Miscony.

Find The Bone Sword on Amazon

BEYOND BIRKIE FEVERWalter Rhein, cross-country skiing

Cross-country skiers are hearty folk. The compulsion to race marathon length distances in sub-freezing conditions requires an eternally optimistic and fiercely independent spirit. The fear of blinding snow or paralyzing cold does not deter them, and it has been said that skiers do not merely laugh at adversity; they are completely oblivious to its existence!

America’s greatest cross-country ski race is the American Birkebeiner, or “Birkie” for short. Every year, thousands of people journey from all over the globe to Hayward, Wisconsin, for a world-class celebration of life, winter and the competitive spirit.

Prior to the race, local participants find themselves in the throes of a unique and natural euphoria. They thrill at the prospect of participating shoulder to shoulder with elite international competitors in a wild race through the great Northwoods wilderness. It is the common person’s Olympic ideal! It is Birkie Fever!

Far more than just a severe case of pre-race jitters, Birkie Fever is an adventurous compulsion that fuses with your very essence and forms an integral part of your innermost being. It is the catalyst for a fundamental joy of life that gives you the courage to expand your dreams and the strength to achieve them!

“Beyond Birkie Fever” is the story of how America’s magnificent cross-country ski marathon can expand your horizons and be the gateway to experiences beyond anything you’d ever hoped to imagine!

Find Beyond Birkie Fever on Amazon

In Paperback

—–

Excerpt from THE BONE SWORD

Snapping Fangs

Malik heard dogs baying in the distance. He grabbed a lowhanging tree branch and swung himself over a muddy ravine.

He was moving quickly now, as quickly as his fever and his

exhaustion would allow.

The dogs were after him.

“Damn,” he muttered under his breath as he slipped on a muddy patch and fell to one knee. For a moment, nausea and weakness assaulted him and he had a difficult time forcing himself back to his feet.

The rain had mercifully stopped earlier that day, but Malik almost wished for it back now. It wasn’t easy for a dog to track in the rain. Even the humid air that boiled up from the droplet-covered woodland should have proved an almost insurmountable challenge for all but the very best animals. Still, without question, the dogs after him had been getting closer over the last few hours. That led Malik to conclude that for the Earl of Miscony to have such animals— presuming his involvement— he must be a nobleman of no small clout. The fact that those animals were currently employed in Malik’s pursuit indicated that the Earl’s relationship with Bertrand the oaf had been significantly more than idle boast.

“Damn,” he said again. It was another piece of information in a long list of items entitled “things I wish I’d known before I killed somebody.”

Bertrand the oaf.

Bertrand the blow-hard.

Bertrand the dead.

“Damn,” Malik said again, “Bertrand’s death will be mine as well.”

Despite his delirium, Malik was able to make good progress through the woods. The trees weren’t the same as those of Camden where he had received his training, but the principals were inherently similar. Look for water, look for mud, hide your scent, leave false tracks. Malik had done all these things; still the dogs pursued.

In his hand he carried a small throwing dagger. It was one of three that remained in a sheath that had been designed to carry ten. That was the problem with throwing daggers, he thought ruefully, sometimes you couldn’t stick around to retrieve them.

As he knifed through the forest, he whittled on a piece of hard oak. The task distracted him slightly from his progress but it wasn’t an idle pastime. He was carving a thin spike about two inches long, and arming it with long barbs on either end.

The spike was just about finished when he noticed a rustling movement in the leaves. Barely looking up, Malik sent the dagger spinning into the foliage. The target produced a tremendous squealing and thrashing sound that Malik pounced upon like a tiger. Pushing away a branch, Malik found himself gazing at the contorting body of a squirrel. The throwing dagger was lodged deeply in its tiny body. In one deft motion, Malik picked up

the creature and quickly killed it. Then he was off running again with the squirrel, the dagger, and the spike all in hand.

The noise of the squirrel set the dogs off baying again and that, in turn, got Malik’s heart pumping. He wasn’t one to panic, for he had a long experience of taking great risks and having them turn out in his favor, but he wasn’t above admitting that he was concerned.

Dogs tended to concern anybody.

Especially dogs as good as these appeared to be.

With a few quick, practiced motions, Malik skinned his prey and squeezed the blood onto the ground. He didn’t care how well the hounds were trained, the smell of blood would excite them beyond control.

He carried the squirrel for a few hundred meters, leaving a wide blood trail until he was sure the air would be sufficiently full of the smell of death to drive the hounds crazy. He then sheathed his dagger and proceeded to insert the wooden spike sideways into the squirrel’s flesh. The sharpened points on either end of the spike stuck out of the carcass in an obvious fashion, but that couldn’t be helped. It wouldn’t matter anyway, no dogwas going to withhold its death clamp when the smell of blood was in the air.

Dropping the squirrel to the ground, Malik continued to run. For a moment, he felt strangely bad. Killing people didn’t bother him all that much. Most of the time it was obvious who had it coming and who didn’t.

In fact in many cases, as with Bertrand — and this in spite of all the trouble it had cost him — it made Malik feel worse to let certain oafs live.

But killing dogs was a different matter, and that was the source of his temporary chagrin. He didn’t like using his intellect to defeat an opponent before it even had the chance of a fair fight.

He wiped his face with his hand and forced the thoughts away. This was no time for such counterproductive thinking. Although he had nothing against dogs in general, the dogs after him now were his enemies. They’d kill him if they got close, and their deaths would be justified, as would their masters’. It didn’t matter what the conflict was or who started it.

Once something was trying to kill you — or eat you, in the case of the dogs — any response was justified.

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