History, friendship & danger

The Great War

Romance in Colonial Africa


In a time of change and peace

The newest entry in the family saga:
How Soon the Flowers Fall

Markus Mathais and Solomon Levi have survived the Great War and are building successful lives for themselves in Bavaria amidst the economic and political turmoil of the 1920s. However, the rise of fascism threatens them and their families, and will test their bonds like nothing has before. Tender romance, daring escapes and real history combine to tell the story of Germany between the first and second world wars.

Available via ebook and in paperback.

The Perilous Journey
Book One

An epic historic tale of adventure, war, tragedy and love, experienced by two young Bavarian friends, one Catholic, one Jewish, as German soldiers in China’s 1900 Boxer Rebellion, and sweeping through three continents, and their families' dramas at a grand Bavarian estate in pre-WW I Germany.

Available now in paperback and Kindle!

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"Historical fiction at it's best. An original epic of global proportions. I can hardly wait for the rest of this epic to be revealed."

Dr. Bernard Fradkin, Emeritus Dean of Instruction and Library Resources, Riverside City College

"A compelling adventure. Real history, told from the perspective of a European narrator, oozes from every page."

Julie Jacobs, Director of Juvenile Reading Programs, Santa Clara County

"Five stars. I couldn't wait to turn the next page.
It held my interest to the very end."

Dr. Kenneth Reid, Emeritus Professor of Psychiatric Social Work and published author

The Storm That Shook the World

Book two of a five book multi-generational saga about two German families, one Catholic, and one Jewish. The story of these two families, friends for years, plays out across three continents and the first half of the 20th century. Kalvarianhof, the grand estate of the Levi’s in Bavaria, plays a central role throughout the four book series.

Available now in paperback and Kindle!

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An Incident in Africa

Released in 2017, An Incident in Africa continues the family saga that started in The Perilous Journey and The Storm That Shook the World.

Markus Mathais returns to his wife and her family's ranch in German Southwest Africa, now under British control. Unknown to him, the family is covering up an incident that threatens to plunge them all into conflict with the new government.

Meanwhile Solomon Levi, returned to his family estate near Munich, experiences the German Revolution firsthand as the Weimar Republic is engulfed in the political turmoil of the 1920s.

These lifelong friends, separated by countries and oceans, continue to support one another through terror, intrigue, tragedy and danger as the Mathais family carries out its desperate deception.

Available now in paperback and Kindle!

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Buy all three books at:
AmazonBarnes and NobleIndiebound


Born in L.A., Walter grew up in Detroit, MI. He was Assistant Professor at the University of North Carolina in Charlotte and Professor of Art, Evergreen Valley College, San Jose, CA. He also taught one summer at Hust University, Wuhan, China.

He was a founding partner of the Precious Objects Gallery, Los Gatos, Ca. and served on the following boards: California Crafts Museum, S.F.; Society of North American Goldsmiths (treasurer); Retired Faculty Assoc. (vice pres.); Victorian Preservation Assoc., and the San Jose Arts Commission.

He is currently midway through writing a five book historical fiction series.

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The Colonial Era

Colonizing foreign territories by stronger neighbors has been an ongoing political/military strategy for easily several thousand years. The Ancient Egyptians had trading ‘sites’ through much of the Mediterranean including what is now Greece and Italy.

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The Wittelsbach Dynasty

The earliest known inhabitants in the area of present-day Bavaria were the Celts. Romans conquered the region about the beginning of the Common Era. They divided the southern part into Raetia andNoricum and built fortifications along the northern boundary…

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La Belle Époque

After the Franco Prussian War of 1871-72, and the emergence of Germany as an Empire with colonies scattered around the world, a wonderful period of peace, beauty, Art and culture enveloped Europe, Russia and America. The industrial revolution…

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New Historic Inventions

While most of the characters in my first book, ‘Kalvarianhof, The Perilous Journey’ are fictitious, their lives play out against the background of amazing real inventions that we still marvel at today. Imagine going from horse and buggy, to the first automobiles, some powered by steam, some electric, but most by a gas engine, ( Benz autos in Munich).

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Soellner’s Dispatch #1

As many of you know, I am writing a five book historic fiction series about three generations of two German families during the first half of the twentieth century. To keep avid readers informed of this ongoing saga, my progress in creating it, and to give you…

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Soellner’s Dispatch #2

Chaos reigned in Germany. At the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of the year, the warring powers signed an armistice ending the fighting in World War 1. Before the Treaty of Versailles formally ended the war, Germany’s ruling family fled…

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Soellner’s Dispatch #3

Happy holidays! The holiday season is a busy time. In addition to working on book 3, this year I gave the keynote lecture to the World War One Memorial Association’s Armistice Remembrance luncheon, at Oakland’s Wedgewood Country Club.

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Soellner’s Dispatch #4

I’ve heard people say that there is a book in each of us. More recently, I’ve heard people saying this is the best time in history to be an author! More people are reading more books than ever before. The two biggest reasons are …

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Soellner’s Dispatch #5

At the start of March a dear friend wrote to me saying she’d written a review for The Storm That Shook the World, my second novel. I opened the attachment and was floored. She wrote two and a half pages about the subtleties of the story…

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Soellner’s Dispatch #6

The Storm That Shook the World, my second historic fiction novel, takes place in the years 1909 to 1919, the time before and the time of The Great War, World War One. In the era before radio, television and other modern technologies…

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Soellner’s Dispatch #7

In earlier dispatches, I commented on activities related to writing, being a published author and marketing. In this dispatch I address the shortest, most important line an author writes: the title. A good title matters for two reasons: it’s an attention grabber…

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Soellner’s Dispatch #8

In Dispatch #7 I talked about the “most important short sentence in a book”: the title. I have decided on a title after reviewing 75 candidates for book 3’s title. As a special sneak preview for Dispatch readers, I am pleased to announce…

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Soellner’s Dispatch #9

In 1878 and again in the 1880s there were two Congresses of Berlin. These Congresses—called by Otto von Bismarck in the name of the Kaiser of the new German Empire—included all the European colonial powers…

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Soellner’s Dispatch #10

Dear loyal readers: I spent the last weekend of April at the Bay Area Book Festival in Berkeley, where I shared a table with fellow California author Justin McFarr. I sold some books and met friends and other authors new and old and I had a good time.

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Soellner’s Dispatch #11

Dear readers and friends: Here’s an update on my progress in writing the fourth book, Like A Gathering Storm (working title) in my five-book historical fiction series. While this historic fiction novel is written as a standalone story, it will also continue the…

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Soellner’s Dispatch #12

Dear readers and friends. My previous Dispatches have been informational, about history and writing. As a former visual artist, I believe that a picture really is worth a thousand words. With this Dispatch I am sharing my influences…

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The Four Book Synopsis of the Kalvarianhof Saga

Dear readers, as my fourth book is about to release, I’d like to share with you the synopsis of my historic fiction series to date. All four books are available on Amazon in paperback and on Kindle.

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