Thursday, February 21, 2013

Hangin' with Rhi Etzweiler: Interview and Giveaway

W00T! I am stoked about playing blog today. Wanna know why? Well, I'll tell you why. Because today, Rhi Etzweiler is back to hang with me. Yaaaaaaaay!! It's been a while. I am one excited blog grrl. :D As if that's not enough reason to be excited, Rhi's Got a new book out, that totally rocks, and there is a shiny giveaway too.

Filled with awesome. That's what this is.

So, please help me give a warm welcome to Rhi, say howdy, and be sure to check out the goods. :D

Thank you for the warm welcome, it’s a pleasure to be here.

Hello and welcome, readers! My name is Rhi Etzweiler, and I’m here to share some tidbits about my latest Riptide release, Fragile Bond.

Before I start rambling though, release week contest!

This bookmark was commissioned exclusively for the promo tour. I managed to steal one of Marc’s dogtags and shipped it off to Freia Inguz Artisan Jewelry, asked her to work some magic. This custom piece also features a bead of certified white amber, the color of Hamm’s mane. And I’m going to give it away. Yep, this gorgeous one-of-a-kind shiny is for you guys!

The contest works like this: there are three questions listed below. To enter, send an email with your name and your three answers to These questions have been specifically drafted so that the answers cannot be found in the available excerpt; you’ll have to purchase and read the book to find them! Your submitted answers must be correct in order to qualify as an entry into the drawing. You may send a replacement entry if you like (in the event that you think you might’ve sent an incorrect answer) but each individual can only be entered into the drawing once. All entries must be received before Sunday, February 24th, 11:59pm EST. Entries received after that time will not qualify. One winner will be selected at random from qualifying entries and announced on Monday, February 25th at Haus of Rhi ( If winner does not respond within 48 hours with a valid postal address, an alternate winner will be drawn from qualifying entries. This contest is open to US residents only, for shipping purposes.

Question 1: What are the names of the three humans on the C-C team?
Question 2: To what does Sierra-India refer?
Question 3: What substance are the scientists after?


Ok, let's do it to it, cuz...Yaaaay! Rhi is back for a visit! :D

Hi Rhi. So glad to have to back!

Mamba! It’s great to be here again. What’s it been, a year? Feels like forever, and it looks like you’re making some changes around here. Totally love what you’re doing with it.

Thanks. Yep, been doing some remodeling. :D Can I get you anything? Drink? Chocolate? Mmmmm chocolate. I want chocolate.

Oh, definitely chocolate! Mocha would be divine right now. It’s been a very busy week already, I think I’m running on caffeine and smiles or something.

You got it! Mocha, coming right up! So. You’ve got a new book. Yaaaaay! Congrats on that jewel. It rocks by the way.

Tell me about this new goodie of yours.

“Fragile Bond” is a gay romance novella that falls in the military science fiction genre. It’s about a forward scout named Marc, who’s a sniper on bodyguard duty, and Hamm, the leader of the alien faction of Furrs that the humans have mistaken for something less than what they are. Marc takes out Hamm’s entire team while they slaughter his squadmates trying to acquire a captive. Hamm ends up with Marc as prisoner, and things get rather interesting when Marc discovers they’re not just predators out to pull down their next easy meal.

The book was so good Rhi. Soooo good. Gotta say, the Furrs… they.were.great. Seriously. And Hamm. *dreamy sigh* I loved Hamm. He was so fabulous. And the world! I LOVE what you have going on there. What inspired all this?

I think a lot of readers will have that reaction to Hamm. You might have to keep him here and protect him for a while, until the frenzy dies down a little bit? And…now Marc is glaring at me because I’ve insulted him. Right, okay never mind then. Marc and Mat are plenty capable of protecting Hamm from excessively affectionate readers, I’m sure.

*ahem* Well anyway, the end result has been more an evolution than a single spark of inspiration. The original intention had been to tell a story about a soldier and his weapon. I think Marc and Mat laughed at me over that aspiration after I managed to get halfway through the first scene. The world and its various alien species were one of those evolutions that took on a life of its own. I’m certain there are political undercurrents enough to birth a small series of novellas once I find the writing space to create them. And I expect I’ll find the space at some point early next year—that’s what I’m planning for, at least. It was definitely fun to explore, makes for a great writer-vacation of sorts.

Ha!  I'm keepin' Hamm here. Sorry Marc, neener neener *sticks tongue out* 

So, Rhi, who was your favorite character to write? And why?

Oh, but I loved them all! Even Dehna. No, really. But my favorite, hmm. Okay you’ve got me; I’ll admit Hamm was my favorite to write. I really enjoyed playing with his struggles, largely because that intellect versus instinct isn’t something that humans have to cope with, beyond a couple primitive reflexes that we quickly outgrow as infants. Evolution has largely stripped instincts from us, and we’re the only creature on this planet that have that lack. So it was fun to create these dilemmas for Hamm and watch him work—and claw—his way through them.

I liked watching him work his way through too. Well done. I'm curious, what was the hardest part to write? 

The scenes with the humans confronting Hamm as the representative of his race, those were the most difficult for me. All the parts that are Hamm with his fellow furrs, or with Marc, those interactions came to me with little strain or effort. But the politics of the humans and their interactions with each other, their ulterior motives and self-interest—they over-thought everything and complicated every piece of communication. It demanded a great deal of attention. By the time I finished editing that portion and felt confident that it was solid, I sympathized with Dehna a good bit.

*nodnod* I suspected you'd say that. What was your favorite thing about the book?

I really, really enjoyed writing the parts that were just Hamm and Marc. Those scenes and interactions, every one of them, are weighted in a hundred ways, with sparks of a thousand different people and twice as many stories. The two main characters interact with and relate to one another on a variety of levels—it’s difficult to explain how much pleasure I found in fashioning their relationship through the course of the story, through its evolutions.

I also had fun doing a lot of the research. Like, loads of fun. Much of it will carry through to future stories in the same world, images of birds and felines for character references and ideas mostly. The images of felines were references for posture and gestures, nonverbal communication and instinctive body postures in great cats, displays of dominance and submission. And I listened to entirely too many videos and audio files of lions roaring, too. They echo through my head at the oddest times, now.

Cool. Ok, so here's what I reeeeeally want to know. Are you going to give us more? Will we get to see more of Marc & Hamm? 

I can’t make promises of when, but I do plan to write a couple more novellas in this world. I expect there will be a good bit of Marc and Hamm in Reccin’s story. There’s at least one more that I really want to write after that, too. It’s still very tenuous and unstructured at this point, but I’ve never been one for actual plot outlines in advance. My writing corner is crammed with planned projects for this year already, but muses being the fickle creatures that they are…well, I’ll be the first to say that really, anything is possible.

Ooooooo, Reccin's story! Yesyes please. Make that! That would be aweS000000ME ( I would sing that part, but blogger says it's bad code and won't let me. Apparently they hate my singing.) Anyhoo ... *sticks tongue out at Blogger* 

heehee, that was fun. 

Thanks so much for coming to chat Rhi. Always good times.

Thanks for having me, Mamba! It’s always a pleasure.

About Rhi Etzweiler

Rhi’s formative years were spent steeped in military culture, and it influences every story—with a definitive twist. Though focusing mainly on science fiction and fantasy, Rhi enjoys spicing things up with a speculative mixture that sometimes defies an easy label. Next to Elizabeth Moon and Meredith Ann Pierce, Rhi counts Jane’s Defense and Popular Science among still-strong influences.

For Rhi, writing is how the muses tell their stories. They might begin small, but they rarely remain so. “Some of them require luring or bribery to draw them out. Usually wine and chocolate work well. Other times, all it takes is a little art. But once they realize I’m listening, they will just keep going.”

You can find Rhi on your favorite social media site with these links:
Email address:
Twitter: @musefodder


  1. This sounds amazing! I can't wait to read it!!! it sounds like it is right up my alley!



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