During this virtual book tour with Goddess Fish Promotions, Rolf will be awarding a $25 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn winner. To be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase you chances of winning, feel free to visit his other tour stops and enter there, too!
Blurb about High Andes:
Wylie Cypher, suffering from a mid-life crisis, decides to challenge fading youth by taking a trekking vacation across the Cordillera Blanca (White Mountains) of the High Andes in Peru with his daughter, Mercy, just graduated from college. It is 1981.
While working with legal clients in Lima, he inadvertently acquires documents that contain explosive and damning evidence about the Peruvian government’s extreme interrogation techniques. He learns that something is amiss when police detain and torture him. He loses his little toe. A series of misunderstandings precipitate a heart-pounding chase across the high mountains as two sets of villains - government thugs and members of the communist guerrilla Sendero Luminoso – seek out the Cypher group with murderous intent. Combat in the thin air of the mountains, deceptions of numerous sorts, hairbreadth escapes, torture, action in underground caves populated with mummies, and unexpected plot twists fill the pages of this book.
It is in the United States’ national interest to observe the growing communist threat in its hemisphere, so C.I.A. agents are involved. While Wylie and his cohorts are running for their lives, the author also reports on international smuggling of historical artifacts, the fate of a 600-year-old child mummy, and the ancient spirit of the mountains, Pachamama.
Excerpt from High Andes:
Attack on the way to Namora
Two boys noticed the early morning arrival of the vehicles blocking the highway on the outskirts of Namora. They ran back to the highland village to announce the unwanted intrusion of the soldiers, which one of the village elders quickly relayed to the agents of the Sendero Luminoso looking for recruits. The boys and a few friends monitored the trucks and police car as a commander of the guerillas considered plans for their disposal.
High grasses in the meadows on either side of the roadway provided excellent cover. The young men in the village who intended to join the insurrection were enthusiastic about proving themselves against the detested military that treated them like dirt and beat them or worse for harboring revolutionary sentiments. Newly available grenade launchers bearing Cyrillic markings were appropriate for the contemplated assault. It would be a while, however, before the necessary armaments arrived. Some of the young men crawled through the tall grass to get a better look.
They saw two plumes of dust in the distance, which materialized into a pair of vintage pickup trucks that approached the roadblock. The trucks stopped, and a soldier using a crutch approached the first pickup. Almost immediately more soldiers jumped from the back of a truck and surrounded both pickups. A soldier yanked open the driver’s door of the first truck and forced the driver out and onto his knees on the ground. Two other people, one a young woman, were pulled from the other side and forced to kneel next to the driver. A man in the bed of the pickup was waved to the ground, where he sat, apparently mystified at the proceedings.
As the same scenario was repeated with the second pickup, a handful of Shining Path guerrillas joined the boys in the tall grass with two grenade launchers and enough rifles to pass around. The rifles smelled of Cosmoline. The grenade launchers resembled Thompson submachine guns from the thirties—stubby, oversize rifles with a circular magazine holding a dozen fat grenades. The guerrillas also carried olive-green satchels that held more ammunition for their weapons. The self-appointed squad leader crouched down in the grass and raised his binoculars to peer at the activities ahead through the waving grass. He tried to assess whether the people detained were friend or foe. Finally, he decided it did not matter—they were there to kill soldiers and police. If others got in the way, mala suerte. However, he was interested in the goings-on and decided to await further developments.
The author of Public Information has had a varied career. He has been a scrub nurse in an operating room, a professional photographer, a soldier during the Korean War, a correspondent for the Pacific Stars and Stripes, an attorney specializing in international corporate law, a volunteer executive running a not-for-profit dedicated to housing the homeless, a manager of large and small businesses and, lately, an author and Master Gardener.
He first published short stories as an English Major from Yale. Finding the double-digit pay for that work insufficient to support a wife and one and a half children, he went to law school in hopes of finding better paying work. Fortunately, that proved to be the case.
When the author discovered that his wife kept all the 300 plus letters he wrote her from Korea, he decided to use that material as the basis for a novel about the Korean War. It was a story he had wanted to tell for many years.
Public Information is based on his experiences as NCO in charge of a combat Infantry Division Public Information (hence the title) Office in Korea. It tells the story of Wylie Cypher, a hapless young soldier who arrives in Korea in the midst of bloody combat. Wylie manages to survive his sixteen-month tour of duty as Margenau recounts in gory, ribald, poignant and accurate detail. His adventures are recounted in military jargon and his sometimes abrasive involvement with the “Army way” describes the good, bad and incredible of life in the military. Along the way, Wylie manages to find and lose love.
Other veterans have found the story authentic and highly illustrative of the background and details of the Korean War. Publisher’s Weekly commented on the author’s ability to create a sense of time and place. During the summer of 2012, Public Information became an Amazon.com Kindle best seller.
Pistils and Poetry is the author’s second book. It is a compilation of Margenau’s favorite Elizabethan poems (Shakespeare, Marlowe, Donne, and numerous others) juxtaposed with the author’s photographs of flowers. It is a rich and engaging poetry book, enhanced and complimented by luscious photos of flowers. The book is considered as an elegant way to tease reluctant poetry readers into an appreciation of the beautiful sentiments and language of long ago masters of the English language.
Encouraged by the reception for his first novel, Margenau published Master Gardener, his second novel, in March 2013. It is a story that explores conflicts between the benefits of engineered crops and their potential for ecological disaster. Wylie Cypher, the hero of Public Information, is now seventy-five years old. He uses his life and legal experience to defend one of the women in his life, Anne Proctor, against the machinations of malevolent BIG AG. Senior citizens band together as eco-terrorists to save the monarch butterfly, and Dick Geier, the ruthless and profane CEO of BIG AG, engages in corporate shenanigans that reflect current headlines. The story is set in Middletown, New Anglia, not too far from Philadelphia, and episodes along the Amazon River in Peru bracketed by episodes along the Amazon River in Peru..
Margenau's third novel, published in August 2014, is High Andes. The central narrative follows Wylie Cypher, in his mid-forties and suffering from a serious mid-life crisis, and his daughter, Mercy, as they try to elude various villains chasing them across the White Mountains of Peru. The story deals with armed insurrection by Maoist guerillas, smuggling ancient artifacts, “disappearances” of troublemakers, a five hundred year old child mummy, and the CIA.
Rolf Margenau lives in rural New Jersey with his wife, three dogs, a 1932 Chrysler convertible, and a flower garden favored by monarch butterflies. He is now working on his fourth novel. Tentatively titled National Parks, the story recounts what happens, in the near future, when Congress decides to nationalize America’s National Parks.