Books

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Line of Sight – Klaus Landsberg: His Life and Vision

This unique book traces the history of West Coast television from its infancy and centers on Klaus Landsberg, one of West Coast’s foremost TV pioneers, who did so much to shape television as we know it today.

Born in Berlin, Landsberg fled Nazi oppression in 1937 and his “passport to freedom” to the United States was an invention of high value to the Allied war effort. As a new immigrant, Landsberg found work with NBC and RCA as the company debuted television at the 1939 New York World’s Fair.  He later went on to achieve many firsts in the fledgling industry after founding Paramount Pictures’ experimental television station W6XYZ in Hollywood.  It later became KTLA, the first commercial TV station west of the Mississippi.

In the early days of television, Landsberg and his “dream team” of people in front of and behind the cameras helped invent a whole new medium of communication and entertainment.  Everything was live and there were no do-overs.  Known as the “golden boy” of television in his time, he discovered an amazing roster of stars who owe their rising fame to Landsberg. He realized early on that television could turn its viewers into eyewitnesses at major news events and began hauling his cameras to the places where stories were breaking.  He set the standard for the long-form live news coverage that we take for granted today.

Told from the vantage point of longtime journalist Evelyn De Wolfe, Landsberg’s first wife, this is an intimate portrait of an engineering genius and showman who was part Edison, part P.T. Barnum.  George Lewis, a veteran of 42 years with NBC News who started his career as a war correspondent in Vietnam, collaborated with Evelyn on this book.

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life-and-times-phlange-welderThe Life and Times of Phlange Welder

A MUST for newspaper history buffs and others prone to chuckling! The book reveals a humorous side of journalism and a little-known slice of Los Angeles Times history.

It salutes a bygone era of print journalism and underscores the value of wit and camaraderie in the workplace.  “The bottom line is that few of us can function successfully without it.”

Written by former Los Angeles Times staff writer and columnist Evelyn De Wolfe and illustrated by former Times cartoonist Pete Bentovoja, the book documents the roller-coaster rise and fall of a dapper, fictitious socialite created by a group of Times staffers, during the 1960s, who (for real), wedges his way into the guest lists of L.A.’s rich and famous.

Phlange Welder’s comings and goings were reported in the pages of the Times for five years until that fateful day when he was betrayed and suffered the profound humiliation of a full TV expose.

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conversations-with-zozo-evelyn-dewolfeConversations with Mademoiselle ZoZo– the journey of a doll

“Conversations with Mademoiselle ZoZo” is set in rural France and describes the imagined adventures of a 200-year-old doll’s in her first 50 years! The charming story of ZoZo, a Grodnertal “wooden” and her various young mistresses begins in the early 19th century during the empire of Napoleon Bonaparte…

The story It brings to mind the unique role that dolls have played throughout history in introducing girls and boys to the complexities and demands of a grown-up world. Flipping through its pages, it is easy to reach back to one’s own childhood and identify with young children who often cling to a favorite object for companionship and reassurance. In the confines of a child’s fantasy world, they rule kingdoms, travel by magic carpet, and sort out the angels from the dragons that govern their lives.

Reader Comments:

“The story of ZoZo reminds us that the value of a doll is not measured by how much it costs but what it means to a child… I like this book. It deserves a place on any doll fancier’s bookshelf.”
-Karen Rockwell, former president, United Federation of Doll Clubs

“I like how you didn’t use plain words. You used exciting words.”
-Gracie Aldrich -Age 10

Although basically a children’s book , ‘Conversations With Mademoiselle ZoZo’ is especially appealing to collectors as a frame of reference in this period of turbulent social changes. Reproduced are images from an 18th century French novelette discovered by the author. Actual events and fashions of the era are reflected in ZoZo’s ever-changing wardrobe as she came under the whims of her successive owners. A delightful bit of whimsy, it is sure to find readers of all ages.”
-Antique Doll Collector’s Magazine

ZoZo lived in luxury and the very opposite sometimes. She learned about history and famous people like Louis Braille, Napoleon, etc…I enjoyed learning all about the little clothes and accessories ZoZo was given by each new owner.”
-Tatiana Mustakos – Age 11

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across-the-herring-pond

Across the Herring Pond – a time-travel adventure

A young American journalist has come upon a travel journal of a 19th century Cornish squire.  Quite taken with her discovery, she fantasizes viewing early America as it was almost 200 years ago, traveling as his companion. who in fact is her great-great-great grandfather.

Empowered by the mind’s inner vision, and with the magic of invisibility at her command, Evelyn De Wolfe takes a bold leap backward through time, determined to meet face-to-face with her ancestor and persuade him to let her ride on the coattails of his fascinating adventure to the New World. Her portal of entry is an heirloom painting through which she is led magically to the land of Cornwall and the world of 1810. At first, both annoyed and mystified by the presence of a female “spirit”, Squire James Hosking finally gives in to her wish when promised a trade-off gift he cannot refuse – a glimpse of the future.

Reader Comments:

“I read “Across the Herring Pond” with very great interest and in particular very much enjoyed what was written about Cornwall, obviously after very considerable research.”
-John St. Aubyn, Lord St. Levan, (St. Michael’s Mount, Cornwall)

…a work of original and startling imagination. The author writes with care and pace, painting the picture of the Ludgvan home and its personalities at the end of the 18th century and on into the New World, just a few years after the death of Nelson at Trafalgar In her twist on the excellent plot, the author decides to join James on his entrancing adventure of almost 200 years before. ‘What if I were to step back into his century and meet this independent-minded ancestor whose intense curiosity about America had prompted his long, lone journey to the United States – much as it would mine?’ She travelled to Cornwall in her quest of the man and the story. The mystery of Evelyn is revealed to James before he returns to England, in this charming and fascinating story.
– (The Cornishman, Cornwall,UK )

“A classic that should be in schools.”
– J.M. Hosking (Cornish Bard)

“…a work of unusual imagination with a strong background of historical accuracy, it takes you magically across the Atlantic and down the colonial rivers that were the life of an embryonic America. A charming fantasy full of colonial atmosphere, fascinating facts, and insights into the juxtaposition of past and present as seen through the eyes of a Cornish country squire and a 21st century Los Angeles reporter.”
-Jill Cofrancesco (CNBC writer/producer)

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five-honeymoons-evelyn-dewolfe“Five Honeymoons– a book for all ages

Evelyn is content with her life as it stands – uncomplicated and unattached. Widowed for  14 years , she feels lucky to be healthy and still able to chase her dreams. But at 82,  she can’t imagine she’s about to embark on the most romantic journey of her life.

Why would Juan, whom she hasn’t seen or heard from in 65 years, be writing to her? She slits open the envelope and finds a photo of his 13th birthday party with a letter he’d written at the time to a young friend in the United States. Her eyes glisten as she reads the boy’s description of the girl seated next to him in the photo: “the prettiest and sweetest girl I’ve ever met.”

What triggered this serendipitous reunion in their eighties, after living apart most of their lives … in different hemispheres? How did he know how to find her? Juan and Evelyn’s first encounter is magical, but their five-year relationship must also triumph over the inevitable hurdles they face–age, absence, distance, and illness. There will only be four more romantic opportunities to meet in person. Evelyn labels these precious getaways — their Five Honeymoons.

Reader Comments:

“Both thumbs up on this one. I heartily recommend ‘Five Honeymoons’ to men and women of all ages. This evocative book should inspire people to live life to the fullest as long as you’re alive. In their five encounters Evelyn and Juan did just that. I guarantee that this book, by a skilled writer, will deliver a perfect mix of laughter and tears.”
-David M. Kinchen (Book Critic Huntington News Network, West Virginia)

“With a box of Kleenex by my side I finished reading Five Honeymoons this morning and loved every word of it. First, you are an extraordinary person and have brought into your life many extraordinary people, Juany being one of them. Not only was the story wonderful, insightful, funny and hopeful, but it had many wise words and thoughts for young and old.”
– Judalon Smyth (Writer)

“I enjoyed every page of the book. The lesson learned is not so much waiting for what life brings you, but jumping at that chance and letting yourself be vulnerable. Your book got me thinking about how people go on the paths they take. I thought it was so beautiful the way you broached the subject of impotence. Bravo.”
-Meg Ness (PR Consultant)

“I thoroughly enjoyed this romantic love story and would love to see it on the screen. It seems a natural for a mini TV series. I met the author and cannot believe how youthful , talented and beautiful she is. As I read each page of the book , I was emotionally living her story. What a thrill it is to read about nature’s most marvelous gift – our ability to love.”
-Jeraldine Saunders ( Creator of television’s THE LOVE BOAT series)

“I was so unexpectedly blown away by this story. It was sexy in such a charming way, and even though there were sad moments, it was upbeat, positive and inspiring, Evelyn and Juan were so very lucky to experience such happiness. Many of the scenes touched me deeply, especially in his final moments when he made the effort to earn those last ounces of pleasure by reaching for that coke bottle himself. This story would make a great movie.”
-Charles Phillips (Art director)

“Five Honeymoons is a work of great courage. Little has been done in literature to bring late life romance to light, and Evelyn De Wolfe does it beautifully. She proves that the capacity to love deeply is ageless.”
-Rose Rushit (Author)

“While reading “Five Honeymoons”, I became more and more aware of the mystical, magical quality of this dreamlike story, that threads through the entire lifetime of these two people. Also fascinating are the bits of pertinent history that intersperse the main events., This is one book one cannot put down.” -Jean Quick (Ballet choreographer)

Awards:
“Judge, 2014 Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards.”
Plot and Story: “Outstanding” (Category: Life Stories)
This self-published memoir reflects the efforts of a real pro, journalist Evelyn De Wolfe. The story reaches out and grabs the reader from the first page.  The author, age 82, living in Los Angeles and widowed for several years, receives a letter from her boyhood crush who resides in Brazil. She hasn’t seen Juany in over 60 years. “Now, decades later, I wondered why the adult Juan would want to share those childhood reminders at this stage of our lives, “she writes. Why indeed. The reader is taken on a magic carpet ride of sorts as the two would-be lovers meet again via five honeymoons in romantic settings in the US and South America. Yet the author infuses these encounters with touches of realism: “I was seeing a different side of Juan, an impatient man with high standards who believed in male authority although not in male superiority,” she writes. And although one would hope for a Hollywood ending of a marriage and sail into the sunset, a different kind of ending awaits, reinforcing the sense that every moment is precious and that love can happen regardless of, age, race or creed. Recommended reading, especially for cynics.”

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