Monthly Archives: August 2016

Welcome to Author Penny Estelle and The Bearded Dude in the Puzzle!

Welcome to Penny Estelle and her wild and very funny imagination. Penny is here today to give us all a window into her latest middle reader book: The Bearded Dude in the Puzzle.


First, let’s have a short synopsis of The Bearded Dude in the Puzzle:

Many years ago, in the land of kings and knights, Dozer, a powerful wizard, casts a spell over Scartin, and changes him into a tiny toy wizard and puts him inside the box of a puzzle.

Centuries later, Shelly Taylor, and her two kids, Bobby and Andrea, find their lives in turmoil. They are uprooted from their home and friends and moved to a small town in Idaho. Their parents’ marriage falls apart, and to make matters worse, for some reason the kids at their schools are shunning them.

Shelly, once an advertising executive, starts cleaning houses to make ends meet. It is in one of these old homes where the ancient puzzle is found.

As the family works on the puzzle, strange things start to happen. An evil presence is making its way to the Taylor house, intent on making sure that puzzle never gets put together, no matter the cost, and it’s up to Bobby and Andrea to make sure that it does!

This is the very intriguing cover.

The Bearded Dude in the Puzzle

And here is an excerpt from The Bearded Dude in the Puzzle:

“Bobby,” Shelly knocked as she opened his bedroom door, “it’s raining. I have to leave early today, so I’ll drop you off at school.”

“Okay, Mom.” Bobby rolled over on his side covering his head with his blankets.

“I believe your mother wants you to arise.” Scartin’s muffled voice came to Bobby.

Throwing his covers off Bobby sat up in bed, scratching his head, yawning.

“You look weary, young Bobby.”

The boy jumped up and locked his bedroom door. “Ya think?” he asked trying to use his best sarcasm. More than once, during the night, thunder had crashed, rattling the windows. “A few times the thunder had woke me up and I find Rip Van Winkle staring down at me scaring know what out of me.”

Scartin sat down on the chair, eyes wide with wonder. “I think you might have been dreaming. I didn’t see Rip here last night.”

“Ugh,” Bobby groaned. He pushed himself off the bed and got clothes out of his drawers. “I was talking about you.”

After a few minutes a smile lit up the wizard’s face and then a deep belly laugh escaped from deep inside. “You are jesting. Now I understand!”

“SHHHHH!” Bobby whispered urgently waving his hands.

Andi pounded on the bedroom door. “Who are you talking to?”

“Uhm…nobody. I’m singing!” Bobby pushed Scartin toward the closet door. “Joey and I will be here after school to work on the puzzle. Stay hidden.”

Scartin was still smiling as he put up a hand to stop the closet door from shutting

“What?” Bobby asked.

“Rip and I don’t resemble each other very much. He’s much shorter than I am.”

Stunned with the realization there really was a Rip Van Winkle, Bobby stuttered, “O..okay. Dude, just stay out of sight.”

Can’t wait to get a copy? Here is the link to Amazon:


And now for a little about Penny:

I write for all ages, from the early reader to adults. My books range from pictures books for the little ones, to fantasy, time-travel adventures for ages 9 to 13. I also write adult stories, including a family drama and contemporary, paranormal and historical westerns romances, under P. A. Estelle.

I was a school secretary for 21 years. My husband and I moved to our retirement home in Kingman, AZ, on very rural 54 acres, living on solar and wind only.

More about my books can be found in the following links: – Goodreads

Thanks for coming for a visit, Penny!


The Cloisters

The Cloisters is a part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, but it is located on the north end of Manhattan between Inwood and Washington Heights. From its terrace, you can see the Hudson and the George Washington Bridge.

GW bridge

The Cloisters advertises itself as a museum of medieval art, architecture and gardens. It is that. First of all, it is designed to resemble a monastery or castle.


The museum incorporates three entire cloisters from monasteries that were located in various parts of Europe, as well as original stone for parts of its walls.

WindowIn the various individual cloisters, you can see the same sculptures worked into the tops of the pillars that the monks saw. Portrayals of hell, for one thing, were common themes. Flames, chains and gleeful demons abound.

Hell 2Hell 3

Stained glass windows are also worked into the design. This one has survived from the 12th Century.

Stained glass 3Some of the stained glass pieces are displayed as you might display a painting, and with good reason. The one following is meant to show the Israelites gathering manna in the wilderness.

Stained glass 2This is another particularly nice one.

Stained glass 4In every cloister, a garden is planted in medieval style, with plants that might have been seen in those gardens.


I am guessing the monks would have enjoyed the butterflies also,

FullSizeRenderThey certainly had a sense of humor; witness this drooling monster, used as a fountain.

Drooling Monster

The Cloisters is also home to the Unicorn Tapestries. They are beautiful, but certainly not joyous.

Unicorn 2

Most museums are quiet places. This one is especially a place for peaceful contemplation of art and life and religion. it is difficult to come away without encountering something that makes one think.

thomasThe piece of art above is a carving that represents the death of Mary, the mother of Christ. You will notice that there are ten men attending her, and you would be right if you guessed they were disciples of Jesus. Who was missing, other than Judas, who had hung himself long before this event? Thomas was not able to make it. But here is the interesting part, at least to me. When he was told by the others that Mary had risen into heaven (the Assumption), he doubted their story. In other words, the same fellow who didn’t believe that Christ rose from the dead until he could touch the wounds himself also doubted that Mary was lifted into heaven. Once a doubter, always a doubter, is the moral of that story, I guess.  And by the way, according to legend, the belt on Mary’s robe fell to earth, convincing Thomas that she had indeed been lifted up. Do you think his face turned red?