March 5th, 2011

andrew potter

Behind the Cover: Al Rossi

Al Rossi was a prolific book and magazine illustrator during the 1940s to 1960s. He was the original cover artist of Junkie, the novel William Burroughs published under the pen-name of William Lee. He was also one of the main cover artist for Beacon.

Cover artwork for Beacon and various other "sleeze" paperback publishers was supplied by The Balcourt Art Service in New York City. Balcourt employed a number of top-notch artists to provide the visuals they needed. After the artwork was used by a publisher, the original was usually returned to Balcourt and put into inventory. Some of these already published covers would later be altered (by the original artist) and used on another Beacon paperback title.

Beacon paperback covers are quite popular and somewhat famous today among collectors. This is because of their overly sexy cover images produced during the 1950s to the 1960s. Some of their early covers are actually painted by artists who came out of the pulps and went into the paperback field. Thats probably why many of Beacons earlier covers have a "pulpish" look to them. Some of Beacons cover artists went on to become well recognized and respected illustrators in the field.

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andrew potter

Wolf’s Survival by T.A. Chase

This novel starts with a mix of danger and thriller to then move to being completely a light romance.

Oliver is a conservationist working for the government; he wants to reintroduce the wolves in an area where they were hunted until extinction and his good intentions are not welcomed by the locals. Actually there is only one rancher, Jacob, who more or less is not pro or cons Oliver’s aim, but Jacob is used to not mingle with the townsfolk, he prefers to live on his own ranch with his dogs and sheeps.

Oliver and Jacob accidentally meet in town and Jacob is fascinated by the young man with his aura of innocence; Oliver is not really young and naïve, but he was in a long-committed relationship with another man who sadly died 5 years before, and since then he has never dated again. So basically Oliver only had a previous experience and he considers himself an average guy who probably will never attract a handsome man like Jacob.

Jacob has no really interest in social butterflies, living in a rather isolated ranch and not liking too much crowded place, Oliver is probably his perfect companion: a man who likes and respects the wild life, who will be willing to share the isolation Jacob prefers.

The fact that Jacob is a shapeshifter wolf is part of the story but sincerely is not really the main theme; the story moves more around their relationship, the goal to find a partner who can share your life and interests than having the issue to admit you are a mythical creature. Actually when the moment will arrive, it will be so “normal” that it will not cause much trouble in the balance they had already reached with their relationship.

Another main point is, as I said at the beginning, that the story starts with an act of violence, Oliver being beaten by the local rangers, but once Jacob shelters him, the story turns in a fully romance, and the townsfolk more or less disappears from the picture. Wolf’s Survival, in the end, is a nice romance between a lonely man, Jacob, who will heal his past pain with the help of a young man, Oliver; the subsequent relationship will be good and comfortable, with just that touch of passion to warm the whole.

As other readers of this story, I had the feeling that there is, or was, a story for Javier and Dillon, maybe the author will think to write also that one.

Amazon: Wolf's Survival
Amazon Kindle: Wolf's Survival
Paperback: 124 pages
Publisher: Amber Quill Press, LLC (October 15, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1602727643
ISBN-13: 978-1602727649

Reading List: list&view=elisa.rolle