Puss ‘N Cahoots

I really loved reading this mystery novel! Mrs. Murphy, Pewter, and Tucker are quite entertaining as they solve the mystery at a Kentucky Horse Show.

You can read a review that I did on this book at:  Puss ‘n Cahoots – A Book Review

Published in: on May 7, 2009 at 7:48 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Going For Giant Squid

I’ve seriously neglected this blog in the last few months but I have a good excuse.  I’ve become a lensmaster at Squidoo.com and I’ve spent more of my energy there of late.

I made a conscious decision to go for Giant Squid status.  In the world of squidoom that means that you have published 50 quality lenses and you get a special badge on all of your work.  It also entitles you to a few perks.

When I decided to throw my “pen” into the ring in April I had published 23 lenses (that’s the same as an article in Squidoo language).  The next cut-off period is June 30, 2009.  I’ve been working hard and as of today I’ve published 41.  I’m pretty sure I can get to the required 50 by the cut-off date. Then it will be up to the Reviewers as to whether my work has enough “ink” to be a Giant Squid.

Feel free to visit my profile page and read through any or all of my lenses. If you are a member of Squidoo, you can rate them for me.  Whether you are a member or not, you can leave a comment and let me know that you stopped by. BevsPaper

If you are not familiar with Squidoo, you should visit and look it over. There are so many wonderful lenses (articles) about a variety of topics.  It is free to join, just be careful…it can be addictive! Squidoo

Published in: on May 6, 2009 at 7:21 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Rita Mae Brown

I’ve become a big fan of Rita Mae Brown and her Mrs. Murphy Mystery series.  The series is “co-authored” with her cat Sneaky Pie Brown and the stories are humorous along with a fun mystery to boot.

The first book Wish You Were Here was published in 1990. There are now 18 books in the series featuring Harry Haristeen, the human sleuth, along her cats sleuths Mrs. Murphy, Pewter, and the dog Tucker.

For the horse loving fans she has also written a series Sister Jane Foxhunting Mysteries.

For more information on Rita Mae Brown visit her website: Rita Mae Brown

Published in: on April 21, 2009 at 6:07 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Action Adventure Fiction

One of the genres of fiction is Action Adventure novels. Typically the story is targeted to a male audience, although in the last few decades we have seen that change to have an appeal to the female reader too.  Plots for these books will involve physical action and violence during a quest or military type action in exotic or forbidding locales.  The stories usually involve types of technology and weapons used for combat to fight commandos, terrorists, pirates, and the like.

A few examples of Action Adventure Fiction are:

  • James Bond Series of Books
  • Treasure Island
  • Robinson Crusoe
  • The Hunt For Red October
  • Trojan Odyssey
  • Area 7
Published in: on December 7, 2008 at 8:54 am  Comments (1)  
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Magazine Cover Art

Artists and illustrators in past decades competed fiercely for the honor and recognition that they received when they were picked to create the cover art for magazines such as The Saturday Evening Post, Collier’s, Ladies Home Journal, Country Gentleman, and many other periodicals. At the time they wanted the prestige andDohaonos Cover instant recognition of their talents. Unaware that in the future many of them would become valued as a collectible item.

Norman Rockwell became the most famous, as we all know. Did you know that many of the collectors items that you see today started out as a cover for The Saturday Evening Post? Rockwell did many covers for that particular magazine along with other publications. He also did quite a lot of artwork for advertising campaigns. As much as we love Rockwell and his nostalgic works, there were many other artists whose art is just as stunning and detailed as Mr. Rockwell’s pieces. Names you may or may not be familiar with are J. C. Leyendecker, Stevan Dohanos, John Clymer, John Falter, and George Hughes. These men also did many Covers for different magazines at a time when we didn’t have television to watch. Folks looked forward to the new magazine’s arrival to not only read the articles but to admire art of the cover. Today many people have come to recognize the talents of the Cover Artists and try to collect all of the covers that a particular artist did for a particular publishing company or sometimes for all of the companies that they worked for.

Collectors will pick an artist for their style or possibly because the artist hailed from their home state. Collections can be made with specific themes in mind such as sport related topics, pretty women, children at play, occupations, and many other topics with a variety of the cover artists. Cover art can also be given as gifts to commemorate a birthday or anniversary also.

Published in: on December 3, 2008 at 7:50 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Fantasy Fiction

Fantasy is a genre of fiction that uses magic and the supernatural as a fundamental element of the plot, theme, and/or setting. Fantasy is different from science fiction and horror because it generally steers clear of the technological and macabre themes.

Fantasy fiction can be from ancient myths and legends to the modern works that are embraced by audiences of today. The stories involve magic, paranormal magic with gods, heroes, monsters, and adventures.

Examples of authors of Fantasy Fiction and their works are:

  • J. R. R. Tolkein – The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings
  • C. S. Lewis – The Chronicles of Narnia
  • Lewis Carroll – Alice in Wonderland
  • L. Frank Baum – The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
  • J. K. Rowling – Harry Potter series of books

The list could go on forever with a multitude of favorites by many authors.

I offer a nice selection of Fantasy Fiction on my website – The Paper Trail in my  Fantasy Fiction section.

Published in: on November 12, 2008 at 8:42 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Stevan Dohanos – Illustration Artist Extraodinaire

I have a real passion for the illustration artists who brought the printed pages to life with their incredible artwork. Whether it is an old magazine cover, an advertisement from a magazine, a calendar, ink blotter, or other form of advertising.

One of my all time favorites in this field is Stevan Dohanos. Born in 1907 in Lorain, Ohio he was an  artist and illustrator of the social realism school. The detail that he used in his art is just amazing.  Most of the work that I find done by Dohanos depicts life in America from small towns. He is whimsical and moving and really brings you on a nostaligic journey into our past.

He is probably best known for his many Saturday Evening Post covers with so many wonderful themes. An ice cream stand, a decked out motorcycle, a gas station attendant, or the pet store owner retrieving fish from an aquarium.  No matter what the theme, he gave us a slice of American life from Anytown, USA with magnificent attention to the most minute of details.

Published in: on October 29, 2008 at 8:13 pm  Comments (3)  
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Classic Cars and Trucks in Vintage Magazine Ads

A popular category on my website is the section that has vintage magazine ads for cars and trucks1964 Ford Mustang that we now consider classics. People love these old ads for a variety of reasons.

They may own a 1964 Ford Mustang and want an advertisement showing their classic car. Perhaps they like to display the ad with their car at the vintage car shows that they attend. Maybe they had  one of these spiffy little cars back in the 60’s as a new or used car and they dream of having one again.

Ads can be found for the antique cars and classic cars from every decade. The muscle cars of the 1960’s, beautiful old Dusenbergs, and cars we don’t even remember that were made. Sometimes it’s fun to visit sites with the old car ads to see the companies that started out on their own and then got gobbled up by the American “Big 3″. General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler bought out many small car companies.

The old trucks bring back all sorts of memories too. Some lucky people have a classic old truck and show them off at the car shows. Others remember that old work horse on a farm or ranch they worke on or they used on a job to deliver items to customers. I love the old truck designs especially the old Studebaker truck with it’s classic lines.

I’ve had customers purchase several of these old ads which they intended to frame and hang in their office or den. For whatever reasons, these old ads bring back fond memories of the car or truck that Mom and Dad had, the car we learned to drive in, or the first car we owned.

Published in: on October 15, 2008 at 8:54 pm  Comments (1)  
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Lillian Jackson Braun – Mystery Writer

Ever popular author, Lillian Jackson Braun has a past almost as mysterious as her famous Jim Qwilleran cat series of mysteries. During the years of 1966 through 1968, Braun published her first three novels in the Cat Who… series and then seemed to disappear for almost 20 years.

Koko and Yum Yum have helped Jim solve 29 mysteries to date with #30 set to be released sometime in 2009. It’s title will be “The Cat Who Smelled Smoke”.

Braun writes a classic mystery that is fun to read and well, there are those two wonderful Siamese cats, too. All of her books are a joy to read with no terror or blood, just good old fashioned who done its!

The first 3 titles published by Lillian Jackson Braun were later published together in one book. The Cat Who Read Backwards, The Cat Who Ate Danish Modern, and The Cat Who Turned On and Off can be found in this book located in my shop: The Cat Who…

The Cat Who Wasn’t There can be found in paperback in my shop.

Published in: on October 12, 2008 at 8:02 pm  Comments (2)  
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Hanta Yo by Ruth Beebe Hill

Ruth Beebe Hill wrote one book in her lifetime, Hanta Yo. It was published by Doubleday in 1979 amid some pretty savvy marketing that soon became a huge controversy.

Hill and her Lakotah mentor Chunksa Yuta promoted the book as having taken her 30 years to write. Hill claimed to have researched extensively by both library research and actually visiting Reservations during those 3 decades. She claimed to have interviewed over 1,000 Native Americans. Chunksa Yuta claimed to have taught her the ancient language of the Dakotah to help her write her book and to get her in touch with the Native American “soul”.  The author claimed to have written the book in English, then translated it into the ancient language, and then translated it back into English. Controversy arose from the Native American community over her claims and her depictment of the Sioux Indian tribes of the Black Hills.  It was felt that Hill and Yuta fell short in their accuraccy and used the book to promote themselves and their own agenda while real Native Americans were starving and overlooked by the American public.

I just recently read this book. It is, in my humble opinion, a great story. The book covers the time frame from 1750 to 1834 and tells the story of a small tribe of Teton Sioux over three generations. Hill did a nice job of storytelling showing what one would imagine the daily life might consist of for a small band people. The characters face danger from enemy tribes, hunting, and the elements of nature. As with any culture there is betrayal and disappointment along with love and the joy of a newborn child. As the story unfolds in it’s over 800 pages you realize that a huge part of the story is about this band of people wanting to resist the white man’s sudden and unwelcome emergence into their land. As a story about human nature, it is superbly written.

I didn’t realize the controversy over this book when I first picked it up to read. As a true bibliophile, I just wanted to read a good work of fiction. One of my favorite genres of fiction is the historical novel. I don’t usually put a lot of emphasis on whether the story I’m reading is historically accurate or that the people in the story are being portrayed correctly. To me, historical fiction means that the author has taken an era in history and used their imagination to come up with a storyline that hopefully readers will enjoy. In that frame of mind, I think Ruth Beebe Hill did a fantastic job. I hated to come to the last page of the book. She kept my interest and fascinated me with her detail.

As for the marketing that was done when this book was published, well that is a different matter. I believe the Native American community should have been upset about the tactics used by the author and her mentor to promote their own agenda. There is nothing wrong with promoting a book, all authors need and should do that. It just appears that Hill and Yuta created another form of fiction to capitalize on it. I read one report that said that Yuta agreed to help the author for free room and board and cigarette money. The declaration that the author wrote the book and translated it into the ancient language of the Dakotah seems so unnecessary and bizarre in todays standards. How would you write a language that had no alphabet and was never written by the very people who spoke it? What a shame to create such a sham!

My recommendation would be that if you want to read a good piece of fiction about the late 1700’s and early 1800’s that takes place in the Black Hills and has a good story line this would be a book you would enjoy. Don’t take for fact the depiction of the spiritualty of the tribe or the concept of the Sioux being a culture with no restraints or an almost indivdualistic society. That portion of the book is truly fictional as this wonderful culture is very community and family oriented.

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