Billyboy, the Corner Bar Bear

    Plus 36 Fairly True Tales from Up North

Billyboy, the Corner Bar Bear Plus 36 Fairly True Tales from Up North (Ships Free!)

$ 17.99 USD

The perfect gift for anyone who might like a glimpse into the past life of folks up north. Like THE MOOSE & WILBUR P. DILBY, you get 37 more short stories from the old days from award-winning historical fiction author, James Brakken. You'll love these views of days past, each offered with down-to-earth sensitivity and humor. A 200 page, illustrated softcover that's suitable for all age readers. Ships free to USA. WI Sales Tax paid by

A "Billyboy" Excerpt:

Perry’s Prize

Perry Finstead failed at photography. Like most amateur photographers, he’d load his Kodak with a new roll of film, take a snapshot or two, then let the camera sit on the shelf for weeks on end. By the time the roll was finished, dropped off at the corner drug store, developed in some faraway factory and returned, Perry often could not recall where the photo was taken or, for that matter, why. But everything changed in ’55 on his thirty-third birthday when his wife gave him the latest in instantaneous innovations, an instrument invented to impart immediate gratification to amateur photogs—the Polaroid Land Camera.

Within minutes of opening the gift, the ecstatic birthday boy began a whole new hobby. It started with the first snap-click of the shutter, followed by a one-minute wait that took an eternity. Predictably, when Perry peeled the patented protective paper from his print, he was hooked, addicted, obsessed with Dr. Edwin Land’s clever contraption.

For weeks, Perry’s Polaroid produced picture after picture of this, that and the other. But wildlife interested him most, each fascinating Finstead four-by-five photograph finding its way into the family photo album. Finches at the feeder. A peanut-munching mouse. Chipmunks with cheeks chock-full. Deer, ducks, geese, butterflies, raccoons, he snapped them all until the family photo album featured creature after creature on one page or another—admittedly an amazing assemblage for Finstead, our amateur photographer.

One evening, a lightning bolt struck Perry—figuratively speaking, of course. Within minutes, he’d created quite a clever contraption made of strong string strung through eye screws screwed into the top of his picnic table. After securing his camera in an upturned peach crate, he attached one end of the string to the camera’s shutter release. The other end he secured to a plump, fried pork chop he’d found in the fridge. Content with his invention, he went inside to watch from the window, waiting for his largest wild game, a bear blamed for bashing trashcans up and down the road in search of midnight snacks.

Comfortable in his easy chair, Perry listened as the clock ticked the time away. An hour slipped by. Then another. Then … a noise. Perry peered out, inaudibly begging for a bruin to appear. The string shifted. The shutter snapped. The camera flashed.

“Damn you, masked bandits!” shouted Perry.

The same six raccoons he’d caught on film chewing on cobs of corn a day before were back for more. Out scurried Perry, pounding together a pot and a pan as the terrified family of mother and kits scrambled from table to lawn before disappearing into the darkness.

Perry processed the print, pleased with the Polaroid’s prompt product.

Now confident his camera could capture an image of the neighborhood bruin, Perry re-rigged his clever contraption. Again he went inside to watch from the window. Again the clock ticked. Again an hour slipped by. Then another. Then ...

You'll love the ending of this "fairly true" tale! (FAIRLY true because it was actually my mother's camera used by "Perry.") can publish YOUR book, too!

Professional quality. Reasonable terms. No need to purchase thousands of books. In fact, most of our Indy authors purchase about 50 books at a time. NOW ACCEPTING BOOK PROPOSALS AND REVIEWING MANUSCRIPTS.

CLICK HERE to see our BVP webpage on this website.

Contact James Brakken, BVP Publisher, today.
or phone 715.798.3163 today!

Available Here Now!
Find Billyboy at
Fall Fest!

Sept 22, Hayward, WI & Sept 28 in Cable. Two great events with food, arts & crafts, games for the kids, a car show (Cable), music, and fun! It's also a chance to meet the author of 9 "up north" books and see his latest, short story collection, Billyboy, the Corner Bar Bear Plus 36 Fairly True Tales from Up North. 

From the back cover:

If only we could see life in the north as it was way back when. Imagine the tales we’d hear! Stories so important back then, yet so soon forgotten.

Here you’ll find tales inspired by true events that occurred somewhere in northern Wisconsin in the past. James Brakken, Bayfield County’s award-winning author of historical fiction, provides a glimpse into days gone by, warming your heart, bringing a tear, or making you laugh out loud.

These are tales told straight from the heart and the heart of the north. Of good people and bad, clergymen to gangsters, youngsters to oldsters. As in Brakken’s The Moose & Wilbur P. Dilby collection, these thirty-seven stories take place not far from Lake Superior in woodlands, waters, and places that folks called home.

Step into the past with characters you’ll grow to love and places you’ll love to visit——if only within these pages.

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