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Book Reviews

What's in the Book Basket This Week? God and Spirit
By R.P. BenDedek
Feb 2, 2014 - 12:27:20 AM

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"What's in the book basket this week?" brings to the attention of readers via publication of publicity material, one or two (OK maybe 10) book titles worthy of attention but which are probably not currently being reviewed by our reviewers and whose authors probably have not provided us with any other material to publish. We can't do book reviews for every book, but we do assist authors to promote their books via a "No Charge - No Pay" service in which we invite authors to give us something to publish in which their promotional details can be included.

Articles published this week at Magic City written by various book authors include:
(Sun Jan 26 to Sat Feb 1)

  1. Valdis Lauva: From 'Insula' to the USA by Elisabeth Lauva from 'Insula - Island of Hope'
  2. Lost in Teen Part Six by Michael Wright author of 'Death of a Green Soldier'
  3. Who's the Lazy One, You or Your Child? by Nancy Rose author of "Raise the Child You've Got--Not the One You Want"
  4. Crossing the Corner Office Chasm by By Teresa Taylor author of The Balance Myth: Rethinking Work-Life Success

Book Reviews Published This Week

Milt Gross Book Review: "I was that Masked Man" by the late Clayton Moore with Frank Thompson
Jan 26, 2014

Moore tells of his early life in acrobatics and other endeavors but focuses, of course, on his playing the Lone Ranger. Not the original actor, but Moore played the Lone Ranger for years in many of the 221 TV episodes and two movies and in retirement traveled as himself portraying the Lone Ranger. Forced out of that role for several years by a restraining order, he eventually was permitted by the producers to go back to his travels as the Lone Ranger.

R.P. BenDedek Book Review: "The Entity" by Norman Harrison
Jan 26, 2014

Mr. Harrison is a great story teller. Normally I don't like detective stories except maybe for Agatha Christie novels. This one was superb. It was quite different to anything I have ever read and would make for a great movie. The book has a rather surprising ending as one would have expected but one which I did not predict, and it sets the groundwork for the forthcoming sequel, "The Entity: The Doomsday Chronicles."

M. Stevens-David Book Review: "In the Mists of Time" by Richard D. Baldwin
Jan 29, 2014

This is a story about two young men, artists, who move to a dilapidated farmhouse along the Maine coast and after buying the property, they discover a secret about the previous owners that takes the reader back to the sailing days when slaves were being brought to our American shores. This book was originally published in "2006" under the title "The Gibbs' Place Mystery."

M. Stevens-David Book Review: "Was I a Stranger in My Homeland?" By Malavi Sivakanesan
February 1, 2014

This book may be small in many respects but it has a beauty in the way it has been printed and from the inclusion of many of the author's family pictures. I found it very educational and interesting and would not hesitate to recommend it to others.

R.P. BenDedek

On God/Religion/Spirituality:

No. 1

"The God Within Speaks"

by Hazel Sinanan

LONDON -- The search for wisdom, truth and knowledge is a quest affecting all mankind. Author Hazel Sinanan wrote "The God Within Speaks" to help individuals succeed in that search.

"The God Within Speaks" illustrates how the answers to life's big questions can be found within when one cultivates a relationship with their inner-divine being. Sinanan helps readers find truth through the discovery of their "sacred self," which allows them to exude clarity, confidence and certainty in a harmonious, balanced life.

Sinanan spent many years as a lawyer and law educator, but after a profound spiritual awakening in 2009 she has rededicated her life to spiritual teaching and energy healing.

"The Mantra of my teachings is 'the path to freedom is truth'," Sinanan said. "I encourage all people to take the inner journey to their higher mind, which will allow them to find the voice of truth improving and clarifying their daily lives."

"The God Within Speaks" follows Sinanan's personal story to enlightenment in order to inspire the discovery of the extraordinary in what people normally find ordinary.

"The God Within Speaks"
By: Hazel Sinanan

SC-ISBN: 978-1-4525-8078-4
SC-Retail price: $23.99
Available at and

For more information please visit or

No. 2

"The Great Gray Globs"

by Norma Wilson

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Have you ever wondered how life would be different if you hadn't been born?

In "The Great Gray Globs", the new book by Norma Wilson, readers are taught the importance of appreciating life and realizing the fact that none of us needed to be placed on earth, yet here we are.

Wilson presents the idea that during conception, there are countless factors that attribute to everyone being born. The thought of having not been "chosen" during this amazing life experience would be such a devastating act.

"The Great Gray Globs" is a terrific and imaginative way to explain the miracle of life. Readers will learn they are special because God chose them to be born, not the gray globs who were not only not given a chance of life, but also not provided an opportunity for eternal life.

"I knew that God had a message for me to deliver; that you were chosen by God to be his creation. " said Wilson. "He created you just as he wanted you to be and your life has a plan and a purpose."

Parents may use this book to discuss the Christian view of the miracle of life, with their children. The book also indicates to all ages the importance of a relationship with God and the gratification that comes by knowing there is a Savior always watching over you.

Norma Wilson has been involved in volunteer service since she was nine. She was an employee of the Commonwealth of Kentucky for twenty-six years. She was executive director of the Governor's Office of Volunteer Services and the Kentucky Office of Volunteer Services. She has been presented fifty-one awards and citations from various organizations.

"The Great Gray Globs"
By Norma Wilson

ISBN: 978-1-49080-857-4
Available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Westbow Press.

No. 3

"Biblical Lessons"

by Robert Ridings

"Biblical Lessons," by Robert Ridings is a guide to a deeper understanding of God's plan and leading a more fulfilling life, based on the Bible-focused men's small group classes the author manages in local prisons, nursing homes and senior homes.

Ridings' new book draws influence from the 12-step Recovery in Christ program the author attends, as well as his unique background and expertise in lay counseling. "In my 10 year walk with the Lord, I have experienced what is written in the book," Ridings says. "'Biblical Lessons' is designed to provoke deep thought and deep examination of ourselves and our Christian life."

Biblical Lessons: Fifty-Two Topics invites you to explore the Bible's teachings by listening to its wisdom, digging into the meaning of selected passages, and asking how the insights gained speak to your daily challenges and joys. Robert Ridings takes his long experience in leading weekly Bible studies and applies it to crafting a collection of studies that do not shrink away from asking the hard yet vital questions that probe the alternatives one faces: "Is Christ part of my life, or is Christ my life? Do I really trust the Lord, or do I trust more in worldly things like money? Am I growing closer to God, or am I complacent?"

Robert Ridings, a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors, holds diplomas in addiction counseling and biblical counseling. He leads weekly Bible classes in prisons, the Frederick Rescue Mission, and with seniors. He and his wife live in Frederick, Md. This is his first book.

Each topic in the book was chosen after much time spent in prayer and leading by the Spirit. I prayed about Scriptures to use for each topic, and for thought provoking questions for the reader to consider as we learn more about the Christian life and ourselves. Each lesson is a brief guide to open discussion in the class, which included personal experiences, additional scriptures, how the topic will affect their life, and how to achieve the Lord’s will. My thirty-six year engineering background led to the structure of short easy to read lessons. (Read More)

No. 4

"The Battle of the Three Wills"

by H. Edward Schrier

Seeking God's will: The key to winning any battle

Christian handbook reveals the path to strong decision making

BROWNSBURG, Ind. -- In the words of Ronald Reagan, "If we forget that we are one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under."

In his new book "The Battle of the Three Wills," author H. Edward Schrier provides readers with a Christian-based reference handbook to guide the decision-making process.

"Each one of us is faced with a choice each time we are confronted with a decision," Schrier said. "Most choices fall on the side of good or evil."

Using biblical scripture as a foundation, Schrier urges both politicians and civilians to seek the will of God when making a choice.

The author draws from his experience as both a former political official and church leader to provide well-researched insight into topics such as Congress, the media, the Bible, the Quran and several other modern-day issues.

Schrier's desire is to bring readers to the kingdom of God by sharing God's plan of salvation and the ongoing battle between God's will, Satan's will and man's will.

H. Edward Schrier, a recipient of the Distinguished Hoosier Award, has worked as a Realtor for more than 50 years. In addition to holding public office and teaching Bible studies, he has also served as a lobbyist for the Indiana Association of Realtors and Hendricks County Commissioners. He currently resides in Brownsburg, Ind. with his wife, Shirley.

"The Battle of the Three Wills: As it Relates to Good and Evil"
By H. Edward Schrier
ISBN: 978-1-4817-5877-2
Softcover retail price: $23.95
Hardcover retail price: $31.99
E-book retail price: $3.99
Available online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble

No. 5

"An Exceptional Zephyr"

by Dorian Dalta

Currently being reviewed by R.P. BenDedek for Magic City

Dorian Dalta has written a new novel where he concludes the consequences that result from becoming dependent on alcohol. Inspired by true events, "An Exceptional Zephyr" is a new intriguing novel that delves into an older man's journey after a destructive life and how he found his place in God's plan.

Rahja is an ailing old man. As his life draws near to its end, he begins to experience visions of his past and glimpses of eternal life. Failed relationships, long bouts of unrestricted alcoholism, and the longtime estrangement of his only son haunt his dying days. His attempts to resolve these issues find an unlikely ally in the companionship of an aging Catholic priest named Padre Pauly.

Padre Pauly has also confronted similar tribulations. With his help, Rahja comes to sudden promise late in life. He finds resolve in the realm of the unexplained. Rahja's answers come in the form of inspired healing and the plainly mysterious. On his lonely path to rejuvenation, Rahja finds brief connection with his first and only wife, Rose. His answers come in the form of questions. His problems are answered by listening and quietly accepting the soft melodies of An Exceptional Zephyr.

Dorian Dalta has a double master's degree in counseling psychology. He is a freelance musician and lives in St. Cloud, Minnesota.

"An Exceptional Zephyr"
by Dorian Dalta
ISBN-13: 9781452580685
Publisher: Balboa Press
Publication date: 9/24/2013
Pages: 212

No. 6

"The Divine Summit: A Love Story"

by Steven Panzer, Ph.D

If you are unwilling, it will be difficult to understand the true purpose and power of Christ says Steven Panzer, Ph.D. In his inspirational novel, "The Divine Summit: A Love Story," he reveals that in the darkest moments, when despair and hopelessness can destroy our faith, this is when Christ bestows his greatest blessings on us.

As a spiritual counselor for thirty years, Panzer discovered that most Christians are not aware of the sanctifying power of grace working to transform their lives through their most agonizing trials and tribulations.

After experiencing great loss and tragedy in his own life, the author reached rock bottom. "I felt as if my entire world was a barren wasteland," said Panzer. "From the depths of despair I cried out to God to relieve me of my pain. The miracle that took place in my moment of complete surrender transformed my life for eternity. I experienced an instantaneous conversion, receiving Christ's divine love and glory in my heart."

Determined to share that life changing experience with his spiritual brothers and sisters he wrote "The Divine Summit: A Love Story."

This heartwarming romance novel is a story of intrigue, mystery and adventure. As the protagonist's life unravels, Michael Salter's faith in God shatters. Thus begins a miraculous spiritual journey culminating in the experience of God's love and glory. It is a tale of the awesome power of Christ's love to heal the characters of their deepest pain and fear, unveiling a profound intimacy between a man and a woman that can only be experienced through the grace of the Lord.

"The Divine Summit: A Love Story"
By Steven Panzer, Ph.D, ISBN: 978-1-4908-1096-6
Available in softcover, hardcover, e-book
Available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Westbow Press online stores

Steven Panzer is a spiritual counselor to Christian entrepreneurs and a leadership coach to CEO's of secular companies. During his career he consulted with more than ninety companies, taught graduate courses as a professor at Pepperdine University, counseled hundreds of Christians and led a ministry to mentor business owners. Panzer and his wife Holly live in Los Angeles with their three rescue dogs. Website:

No. 7

"The Apocrypha: Does it Matter?"

by S. Laws

Scouring scripture: Excluded books of the Bible reveal chosen alterations. There is more to every story than meets the eye. Digging deeper into culture, society and belief systems can reveal astonishing information. In fact, the Bible, one of the most sacred religious books, has been through a strict editing process. Throughout time, a set of books has been included and excluded from the Bible as church leaders debated their value and worth.

Author S. Laws's new book, "The Apocrypha: Does it Matter?" explores those books that did not meet requirements for inclusion in the Old Testament. These books are called the Apocrypha and are commonly included in Roman Catholic Bibles. For many Christians, these books are commonly unheard of or misunderstood by most Protestants.

One can only wonder what stories have been kept hidden for centuries.

S. Laws was born and raised in Madison County, Indiana. At a young age, he began to question many interpretations of the Bible during the chaotic and conflicting times of the 1960s, and began to further explore and compile Biblical interpretations of many denominations into adulthood.

As an adult, after wearing out three King James Version Bibles from many years of personal study, meetings with ministers, and much prayer, he decided to attend Martin University of Indianapolis, Indiana. HE graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Religious Studies and proceeded with a master's Degree in Urban Ministry.

he intense required college courses introduced the author to the findings of the Qumran Cave and the books of the Apocrypha. Bibles had owned since childhood did not include the books of the Apocrypha. Class discussions motivated the author to continue studies of these books after graduation. He currently works in the field of education. (From

No. 8

"Quiet Water"

by Dr. Heather Rivera PhD.

Reincarnation is a concept that doesn't get a lot of serious thought outside the realm of Buddhism. For many, the idea of the human soul being recyclable is an uncomfortable thought.

But what do we really know of our souls anyway? Is it possible that each of us has lived a previous life?

In recent years, the concept of past lives is receiving more and more attention as people open themselves up to things like past life regression therapy and new religions. Dr. Heather Rivera, PhD explores the parapsychic science of reincarnation in her newest book, Quiet Water. A trainee of Dr. Brian Weiss at the Weiss Institute, Rivera has her doctorate in the science behind past life regression therapy and its many different facets.

Dr. Heather Friedman Rivera obtained her Ph.D. in Parapsychic Science in 2011, her Doctorate in Law in 2002 and is a Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist specializing in Past-life Regression. She trained with Dr. Brian Weiss at The Weiss Institute. Rivera is also a Registered Nurse with over 20 years of experience. She has served on the Board of Directors for the International Association for Regression Research and Therapies (IARRT) as Co-Director of Research. She is a member of IARRT, IACH, IHF and ICPT. Heather is an adjunct faculty member for AIHT and she and PLR institute provide dissertation mentoring for the students. She was recently asked to be a reviewer for the Journal of Regression Therapy.

Heather and her husband Mark have founded an organization for advancing past life research, PLR Institute, at Her personal history with chronic illnesses prompted her to publish several articles on managing chronic illness, evaluating nutritional supplements, and utilizing holistic health approaches.

She authored a book on her recent research and her journey of healing from past life regression. Her book Healing the Present from the Past: The Personal Journey of a Past Life Researcher was released Jan. 1, 2013 She has an article on her research that is available to read in the Journal of Regression Therapy Vol XXI, Number 1, March 2012.

  • She lives in Southern California with her husband.
  • Quiet Water is available for purchase at and
  • For more information on Dr. Heather Rivera, her research and her research institute, please visit:  or

No. 9

Jesus Didn't Fit In: Raising Nontraditional Children

by Janet L. Jackson

One teacher is on a personal mission to equip families with the courage to embrace uniqueness and rise above the challenges life often presents. Jesus Didn't Fit In takes on a more relaxed, conversational tone when approaching parenthood from a Christian perspective.

"As a parent and teacher, I've struggled to find the best way to encourage children who simply don't fit in," Jackson said. She hopes her book will encourage and inspire families to create a dialogue with their children. The book is a tool for parents to understand and address challenges with their nontraditional child, their teachers, the school system, difficult peers, and "perfect" families. "In some tough situations, one can cry or laugh. I choose humor."

The book examines the lives of some nontraditional celebrities, such as Colin Powell, Winston Churchill, Albert Einstein and Emily Dickinson. Jackson addresses issues like:

  • How can I help my child fit in more?
  • How do I approach my child's teacher or school?
  • How do I handle people who look down on my family and/or me because my child is different?
  • How can I manage my anger better?
  • How can I help my child be happier?
  • How can I find balance?
  • How can Jesus' life help me in my parenting?

About the Author

Janet L. Jackson has over thirty years of experience in various areas of special education within the public school system. She is well versed in teaching those with cognitive, learning and emotional disabilities. She is a mother to two grown children, grandmother to one granddaughter and proud wife to her pastor husband. She is a youth leader, children's ministry leader and has spent 25 years as a student of the Bible.

Jesus Didn't Fit In: Raising Nontraditional Children
by Janet L. Jackson
Published Octobere 2013
Pages: 212
ISBN: 978-1-49080-388-3
$18 softcover
$4 E-book

No. 10

"That You May Know Him"

by Clifford Deister

Is Christ divided? The apostle, Paul denounced the idea of an alienated faith and claimed that Christ prayed for oneness.

Retired minister, Clifford Deister, also believes that all Christians should be united under God. Upon witnessing varied interpretations of the Bible within the Christian church, Deister wrote the book, "That You May Know Him" to unite believers.

"That You May Know Him" brings together the 95 tasks that Jesus was assigned by the Trinity before the creation of the world. The book explains how Jesus accomplished these tasks and uses only Jesus' words and words he inspired from his apostles and prophets.

"I want Christians to become closer to God and be more in line with the teachings of Jesus Christ," Deister said. "I have listed 95 of these prophetic names, titles and designations that He was assigned and fulfilled and have given brief discussions of them in the hope this would help my readers to have greater faith in Him and get to know Him better."

Clifford Deister has preached the written and spoken word of Jesus Christ for 70 years. He is the author of two religious books, "Revelation, an Analysis" and "Paul and the Great Stone Wall." Deister lives in Fairfield, CA with his wife of 66 years, Irene.

"That You May Know Him"
by Clifford Deister
Published: 11/21/2013
$4 E-Book
$20 Soft cover
Pages: 346

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