Magic City Morning Star

Advertising | RSS Feed | About Us 

Last Updated: Jan 25, 2015 - 5:00:06 AM 

An eclectic mix of news and information
Staff Login
Donate towards our web hosting bill!

Front Page 
  -- Local
  -- State
  -- National
  -- IRS News
  -- Win at Work
  -- History
  Tech Notes
  -- Comics
  -- R.P. BenDedek
  -- Kenneth Tellis
  -- M Stevens-David
  -- Down the Road
  Today in History
  -- Editor's Desk
  -- Guest Column
  -- Scheme of Things
  -- Michael Devolin
  -- Tom DeWeese
  -- Ed Feulner
  -- Jim Kouri
  -- Julie Smithson
  -- J. Grant Swank
  -- Doug Wrenn
  Agenda 21
  Book Reviews
  -- Old Embers

Web Directory Reviews
WDR Directory of Directories
Restore The Republic - The Home of the Freedom Movement!

R.P. BenDedek

Magic City Book Basket 2015 No. 2
By R.P. BenDedek
Jan 25, 2015 - 5:00:02 AM

Email this article
 Printer friendly page

"Magic City Book Basket 2015" brings to the attention of readers via publication of publicity material, various new book releases. This year the frequency of publication and number of books in each basket will vary and while we still have book reviewers at Magic City we unfortunately can't do book reviews for every book. We are still offering to assist authors in promoting their books via a "No Charge - No Pay" self-promotions service. We invite authors to send in 'stand alone' articles on a topic that readership might find interesting.

  • This is not an opportunity to rehash publicity material and authors should not use their book title as the article title.
  • When we publish author articles, we do include author bios and a photograph of the book cover and additionally add the link to a purchase page.

We are extremely grateful to those authors who took advantage of this offer in 2014 and a list of those authors and their articles for July-Dec 2014 may be found here. At the end of last year our book reviewers cut back on their book requests while waiting to see what changes would occur with a new editor in 2015. With the book baskets now recommenced I feel sure that our reviewers will once again start requesting books and once those books are received and read, will once again be offering us their reviews. (Books Reviewed July to December 2014)

Author Articles January 18th - January 24th

  1. Terrorism and The Reformation of Islam by Michael Moffitt author of "Granddad's Dictionary: Reflections on Life in America"
  2. 10 calculated steps abusive partners take to trap you by Sarah Salem author of "Twisted Forms of Love"
  3. An Olympic wrestler, his Czech girlfriend, and research for my first novel by John Dial author of "Choices of Power"

R.P. BenDedek

NOTE: I am no longer Editor of Magic City Morning Star but for the time being I am continuing to irregularly publish Book Baskets.

No. 1

"Bad Boy from Jamaica: The Garnett Myrie Story"

By Basil Waine Kong

"Bad Boy from Jamaica: The Garnett Myrie Story" By Basil Waine Kong
THOMASTON, Ga. -- Garnett Myrie was just a Jamaican boy from the countryside who was always in the midst of mischief growing up. As a young man he fought in the war of liberation in Angola and later returned to his home country to become a successful businessman and politician helping to improve the lives of his people.

In Dr. Basil Waine Kong's new book, "Bad Boy from Jamaica: The Garnett Myrie Story," he celebrates the culture of Jamaica--both good and bad--with his friend's life story. He felt that Myrie embodied the typical lifestyle of those who remember growing up in Jamaica and was inspired by his journey from a troubled teen to an upstanding citizen.

"I was looking for a vehicle to showcase Jamaican culture and thought my neighbor and friend, Garnett Myrie, was perfect. He has lived an interesting life," Dr. Kong said.

In the mid-1900s, many Jamaicans emigrated from the country following a destructive war and rising crime. Now the Jamaican diaspora are scattered across the world just like Dr. Kong. He migrated to the United States at the age of 15 where he remained until he retired and later returned to his roots in the Caribbean.

Dr. Kong speaks fondly of the rich culture in "Bad Boy from Jamaica: The Garnett Myrie Story" where his writing style resembles that of the legendary Mark Twain. After reading the complete works from Twain--all 100,000 pages--he wanted to paint a picture for readers to understand and appreciate Jamaican culture through written word.

Basil Waine Kong, Ph.D., JD, grew up in St. Elizabeth, Jamaica, and migrated to the United States when he was 15 years old. After retirement, Dr. Kong moved back to Jamaica for a few years to enjoy the rich culture he enjoyed so much as a child. He now resides in Thomaston, Georgia, with his wife. For more information, visit and Read Excerpts here.

"Bad Boy from Jamaica: The Garnett Myrie Story"
By Basil Waine Kong
Xlibris Books
Published 5/16/2014
222 Pages
Softcover $20
e-Book $4

No. 2

"Amish Scrambled Eggs With Humor"

By Joseph 'Chool' Crawshaw

"Amish Scrambled Eggs With Humor" By Joseph 'Chool' Crawshaw
LANCASTER, Penn. -- Welcome to Frogtown, where folks from all around the world come to experience life among the Amish. Joseph 'Chool' Crawshaw has condensed the stories of his past 17 years as the innkeeper of a highly successful bed and breakfast into his new book: "Amish Scrambled Eggs With Humor".

All stories in the book occur at a renowned bed and breakfast in the heart of old-order Amish culture. According to Crawshaw, it is a place where everyone is welcomed with open arms -- no matter their age, race, or creed. Guests originally come to see the Amish, but soon discover a rare kind of acceptance.

"Television and reality shows regarding the Amish portray their culture inaccurately," Crawshaw said. "They're hardworking, but they're also the friendliest and most sincere people you'll ever meet."

Between attending to guests at Frogtown, Crawshaw took the time to write "Amish Scrambled Eggs With Humor" to showcase a culture that is rarely discussed and often misunderstood. His stories from the eyes of an innkeeper are entirely true.

This book originated from the many interactions we have had with the persons who have entered our doors. All the chapters in the menu actually occurred-some serious, some sad, some funny, and some thought-provoking. Combining these ingredients with a concern about the loss of middle-class values, this book bakes up a solution for the television executives and others to consider. Place this dish in an oven, set the heat up, and see what happens. For more information about Frogtown Acres.

Joseph 'Chool' Crawshaw taught mathematics for 10 years and was a high school principal for 17 before he decided to open his bed and breakfast. He has been an innkeeper for the last 17 years, with his B&B now highly successful and attracting guests from all around the world.

""Amish Scrambled Eggs With Humor"
By Joseph 'Chool' Crawshaw
Xlibris Books
Published Oct 10, 2014
ISBN-10: 1499077963
ISBN-13: 978-1499077964
88 Pages
Hardcover $22
Softcover $14
E-Book $4

No. 3

"God's Mighty Warriors in the Last Days"

By Dr. Donald Bell

"God's Mighty Warriors in the Last Days" By Dr. Donald Bell
TACOMA, Wash. -- Donald Bell's new book, "God's Mighty Warriors in the Last Days," provides readers with specific insights concerning events recorded in the biblical Book of Revelation and how they relate to our 21st century American culture.

"This in-depth study of the Book of Revelation is a field guide for preparing Christians for the great tribulations which will precede the coming of the lord Jesus Christ to restore his kingdom on earth," said Bell.

Bell served 20 years in the Marine Corps and has a Masters of Divinity from Western Reformed Seminary and Doctor of Ministry specializing in strategic leadership from Faith Evangelical Seminary.

His life experiences, together with his passion for the Lord, have motivated Bell to share with others an understanding of our individual calling and why they should be prepared for challenging times that will soon confront our generation.

The mission of this book is to provide an understanding of these times by looking at biblical prophecy through twenty-first century eyes. This book is designed to reach out to Christians who sigh and groan over the ongoing abominations being committed in our country, with the hope of raising up strong, strategic leaders who will guide many to prepare for the challenging events that will precede the second coming of our Lord. The book's contents provide us with an in-depth study of the Book of Revelation, designed to be a serious field guide to help prepare Christian warriors for the great tribulations which will precede the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ to restore His kingdom on Earth. We are on the verge of devastating events that will create great fear and chaos throughout the world..Read More at WestBow Press

Don Bell is currently a partner in a CPA firm. He served in the Marine Corps for twenty years, including two tours on the front-lines of Vietnam. He retired as a Major at age thirty-eight, but was enlisted for six of those years. Don also attended seminary, where he received a master of divinity degree (MDiv), and some time later a doctor of ministry degree (DMin) specializing in strategic leadership. Don and his wife, Gery, live in the Pacific Northwest. They have had three children together and currently have six grandchildren. For more information, visit

"God's Mighty Warriors in the Last Days"
By Dr. Donald Bell
Westbow Press
Published 7/30/2014
ISBN: 978-1-4908-3975-2
384 Pages
Softcover $25

No. 4

"The House of Gathering"

by Erica Sarzin-Borrillo

"The House of Gathering" by Erica Sarzin-Borrillo
DENVER -- For the multi-talented Erica Sarzin-Borrillo, the elusive art of soul writing led to a stunning collection of poetry. A talented artist, performer and writer, Sarzin-Borrillo offers a reinterpretation of human significance in her new book, "The House of Gathering."

Sarzin-Borrillo has extensive experience with artistic successes, including her work onstage and creating visual art as well as directing the entertainment company she owns with her husband. In her collection of poetry, readers are encouraged to begin a spiritual exploration that encompasses the author's own.

"This book is a form of 'soul writing' somewhat reminiscent of the poetry of Hafiz and Rumi," said Sarzin- Borrillo. "Though it is timeless, it speaks very specifically to our times, our troubles, and our need to live in our very highest potential."

Unflinchingly addressing important issues like fate, destiny, and reaching one's true potential, Sarzin-Borrillo holds nothing back as she poetically documents the journey of the soul.

"Using words as wands, the wildly talented artist, performer, visionary, mystic and magic maker, Erica Sarzin- Borrillo offers a feast of life in all its stages and surprises," said Jean Houston, Ph.D. "Here is truth telling wrought in poetic images and stunning cadence. The Goddess takes up residence in this potent book and the reader is never the same."

Erica Sarzin-Borrillo has spent her life in the arts as a visual and performing artist. The author has professional experience in acting, miming, singing and creating visual art. She owns an entertainment company with her husband in Arvada, Colorado. the house of

"The House of Gathering"
by Erica Sarzin-Borrillo
BalBoa Press
Published: 8/12/2014
ISBN: 978-1-45251-686-8
168 Pages
Hardcover $31
Softcover $14
E-book $4

No. 5

"Breath of Dragons: Vanished"

By Tina M. Randolph

"Breath of Dragons: Vanished" By Tina M. Randolph
HOUSTON -- Set more than 1,000 years in the future in a world tempered with human-dragon alliances, "Breath of Dragons: Vanished," follows Jett Trace, a teen who has the natural ability to connect with dragons and control their magical breath.

The peaceful dragons' way of life is threatened due to a militia led by the Dragon Breaths Corporation, who attempt to artificially produce their own dragon warriors with the same powers as Drakon Masters such as Jett.

On a cryptic journey to find his sister and to prevent this tyrannical reign, Jett meets other Drakon Masters and soon discovers that all of their fates are intertwined.

Author Tina M. Randolph's latest novel teaches readers about finding truth, forgiveness and acceptance as four leagues of dragons battle for supremacy. "Breath of Dragons: Vanished," the first in a five-book series, entertains readers while following a classic yet intriguing storyline as readers determine if good will defeat evil.

"This isn't your typical dragon story," Randolph said. "This novel features 26 species of dragons on a futuristic planet, as well as the war of four leagues to control the essential elements of their dragon's breath."

It is 3088 in a world divided into four leagues of dragons, the evilest being Zealian who hungers to rule them all. Now a Drakon Master of the peaceful Aurian League has vanished. No one knows who kidnapped Aldaina Numara, who has the inherited power to control dragon's Air-breath. As the rumble of war spreads on the planet of Marquee Viridian, the Dragon Breaths Corporation declares itself as reigning governor of all leagues in an effort to bind the powers of fire, water, air, and ice. Read More at Amazon

Tina M. Randolph is the author of two other science fiction and fantasy teen book series: "Mystic Deja" and "The Keys of Fate." She received associate's degrees in visual communications from the Art Institute of Houston and in computer information systems from Education America. Randolph currently resides in Houston, Texas.

"Breath of Dragons: Vanished"
By Tina M. Randolph
Archway Publishing
Published Sept, 20, 2014
ISBN-10: 1480806153
ISBN-13: 978-1480806153
240 Pages
Hardcover $26
Softcover $15
E-book $4

No. 6

"Love Letter: For a Japanese War Bride"

by Stephen E. Price

"Love Letter: For a Japanese War Bride" by Stephen E. Price
SALT LAKE CITY -- When U.S. military man Stephen E. Price met Japanese socialite Ryuko Sato in World War II-era Japan, he knew their relationship could bridge the gap between different cultures, traditions languages and attitudes. In his memoir, "Love Letter: For a Japanese War Bride," Price tells their story.

Price and Ryuko speak only snippets of each other's language, but manage to fall deeply in love despite Price's status as an American soldier in post-war Japan.

The two must confront law and social custom to wed. As Ryuko defies her family and risks alienation to marry an American, Price challenges U.S. law that forbids interracial couples to be married. After continued persistence, the couple is able to build a life together -- until tragedy strikes. Following his wife's death, Price must learn to cope with grief and find love again, despite his tragic loss.

"I am publishing my late husband's book to honor him and this important love story," said Price's second wife, Arlene. "I have never met Ryuko, the heroine of the story, but I have come to know and love her."

Price's memoir is a raw, touching romance telling a unique story that is heartbreakingly and beautifully told. As Price and Ryuko strive to be together, they persevere through joy, sorrow, twists and turns. Their story shows how love can melt prejudice, bridge adversity, triumph over difficulty -- and how love can be found again after loss.

Set primarily in postwar Japan, the story provides a window into a new world, one that spawned cultural diversity, but one that was largely unprepared for and unaccepting of it. The tale chronicles the lover's perseverance as they struggle with both the US and Japanese governments to gain permission to marry. The narrative is woven into fabrics of cultures, traditions, attitudes, language and history, some of which may be unfamiliar, but all of which is captivating. Above all, the unending and redemptive romance in this story captures the purest essence of love with all its twists and turns, joys and sorrows, highs and lows, and culminates in a tragic yet transcendent ending. Read More at Amazon

Born in Los Angeles in 1935, the late Stephen E. Price was an American veteran who travelled across the globe and worked in a variety of professions. He lived with his wife, Arlene, in Logan, Utah. Stephen passed away in 2010.

"Love Letter: For a Japanese War Bride"
by Stephen E. Price Westbow Press
Pblished May 9, 2014
ISBN-10: 1490826157
ISBN-13: 978-1490826158
262 Pages
Kindle $4
Hardcopy $17 Author's Website

No. 7

"The Donation of Constantine"

by Simon LeVay

"The Donation of Constantine" by Simon LeVay
In the middle of the eighth century, the decaying city of Rome lies defenseless against the advance of the warmongering Lombards. The new Pope, Stephen II, appeals for help from the Eastern Emperor, but none arrives. In desperation, the Pope's younger brother and an English nun conspire to change the course of history--at the risk of their own souls. Based on real people and actual events, this is a story of intrigue, passion, war, and the struggle for control of medieval Europe. But more than anything it is an inquiry into the role of religion in political life.

"LeVay presents an intriguing view of the clash between social necessity and individual faith that successfully evokes a world with concerns familiar to modern-day readers. The complexity of the novel's issues provides room for reflection on the perversion of fact and dogma in the face of necessity." (Publishers Weekly)

"LeVay invests all of this with great energy and historical precision, and the result is a fascinating novel of religion's very real-world wheelings and dealings." (Historical Novel Society)

"Rome is the multicultural stage of the world, and the author a perfect puppet master." (

"LeVay's novel raises fascinating spiritual and ethical issues that are as contemporary as those being raised by the words and actions of Pope Francis." (Rev. Mel White, author of Stranger at the Gate)

Simon LeVay is a British-born neuroscientist turned writer. He is best known for a 1991 study, published in Science, which reported on a difference in brain structure between gay and straight men. He has served on the faculties of Harvard Medical School and the Salk Institute in San Diego, but he now lives in Los Angeles. Among his 12 published books are several on sex, including a college textbook titled Human Sexuality (now in its fourth edition), and Gay, Straight, and the Reason Why: The Science of Sexual Orientation. His most recent book is a historical novel, The Donation of Constantine. Once a fanatical bicycle racer, LeVay continues to ride his bicycle, though at a more sober pace. He is intolerant of creationists, lactose, and staying indoors.

"The Donation of Constantine"
by Simon LeVay
CreateSpace Independent Publishing
Published October 9, 2013
ISBN-10: 147013215X
ISBN-13: 978-1470132156
434 Pages
Softcover $13

No. 8

"The Battle of Top Hat Wood: Book One"

by Taylor Samuel Lyen

"The Battle of Top Hat Wood: Book One" by Taylor Samuel Lyen
SACRAMENTO -- You may think arachnophobia is an irrational fear. But see a spider in the shower and your tune might change. Taylor Samuel Lyen's The Battle of Top Hat Wood: Book One tells several wacky spider tales that may change opinions of these eight legged critters in the adventures of Dr. Greenstone and Jerry the Spider trilogy.

Jerry is a smart-aleck jumping spider who reluctantly joins a quest to vanquish the evil Sitharon. Hanging in her web above the entrance to the old Presbyterian Church in a small California town, Alma has a nightmare about the horrible slaughter of innocent spiders by a giant flying beast, a Sitharon who lives in the ancient English woodland called Top Hat Wood. Lyen's goal is not only to entertain, but also teach valuable lessons.

"I wrote this book because I believe K-12 education in public and private schools do not treat the sciences adequately enough, especially in grades K-6," Lyen said. "Politicians can't figure out why America doesn't produce enough scientists and mathematicians? Duh! In the first seven years of private and public school education, science and mathematics are pushed to the side because teachers aren't comfortable teaching science and math. They love reading and that's what is over-emphasized in the lower grades. Children are curious scientists from the time they are born to the time they enter school. The schools drop the ball at that point. The Battle of Top Hat Wood demonstrates how compatible reading, literature, writing, history, and science are. How easy it is to combine these subjects in a language arts/history-science core curriculum that brings science into every classroom in the United States."

Lyen was a teacher, reading specialist, principal, and deputy superintendent of schools in the Castro Valley Unified School District for 40 years. He supervised student teachers for Simpson University, a fundamental Christian University, and developed science partnerships between the CVUSD and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and school improvement partnerships with St. Mary's University. He holds a doctorate in education and is a Senior Associate in the California School Leadership Academy.

Taylor Samuel Lyen writes science fiction mysteries. An educator, advocate and student of arachnology, he has studied spiders around the world and traveled the lands that he brings to life in his novels. He currently volunteers for the Discovery Museum and Space Center, which serves 55,000 students in Sacramento County and Northern California. For more information go to

"The Battle of Top Hat Wood: Book One"
by Taylor Samuel Lyen
iUniverse Publishing
Published 5/1/2014
132 Pages
Hardcover $22
Softcover $12
e-book $4

No. 9

"Believe and Achieve"

by Joel Hopkins

"Believe and Achieve" By Joel Hopkins
LOS ANGELES -- Joel Hopkins, entertainment executive, marathoner, triathlete, and happily married family man, achieved success by taking stock of what hindered his self-confidence and self-belief, then eliminating it. This helped achieve unstoppable goal-realizing momentum, which he now shares his techniques with others in his new book, "Believe and Achieve". It is a book designed especially for those who have already failed their New Years Resolutions.

As a successful corporate executive in one of the most competitive industries in the world, Hopkins focuses on environment shifts referred to as "saturation busters" that one can incorporate for the next 30 days to prepare for any goal you desire. It is a self-help preparation that focuses on the power of the mind and the value of refreshing one's psyche. The book isn't designed with a specific goal in mind or lofty promise, but it is a guide to putting oneself into a mindset to accomplish any goal or program desired.

"I've seen what many would call ordinary people accomplish extraordinary things, and I will show you how to accomplish them too," Hopkins said "the goals can be as lofty as you want them to be. The key is in the preparation. If you are feeling average or less than average, it is only because you were taught to feel that way. It is time to retrain your belief in yourself."

In Believe and Achieve Hopkins provides a window into his years of goal accomplishing refinement that allowed him to reach his target in marathons, 10ks, triathlons, his education, his successful marriage, parenting, and a weight loss program as well as his corporate career. One never needs to struggle to the finish line, all one needs is the proper preparation and you can skip to the finish line.

Joel Hopkins lives in sunny Southern California and is married with three children. He is an avid runner and a lifetime member of Weight Watchers. He loves to be near the water and spends his spare time in La Jolla California, Maui Hawaii, and Lake Havasu Arizona. Hopkins enjoys fine wine and great conversation. Hopkins will be the first to tell you he is living his dream.

"Believe and Achieve"
By Joel Hopkins
Balboa Press
Published 11/3/2014
144 Pages
Hardcover $29
Softcover $12
E-book $4

No. 10

"Echoes from the Past"

by Peter Rimmer

"Echoes from the Past" by Peter Rimmer
United Kingdom -- While few have seen his face, thousands around the world know Peter Rimmer for his smash-hit novels 'Cry of the Fish Eagle' and 'Vultures in the Wild', which both became rapid bestsellers in Africa in the early 1990s. Breaking his hiatus, Rimmer is now back under the spotlight with his gripping new historical novel. 'Echoes from the Past' melds fact with fiction to tell the personal story of Rhodesia's first white hunter. But he didn't plan to end up in Africa. In fact, young Sebastian Brigandshaw was forced to move there by his father, all because of his thirst for a life of aristocracy.

Synopsis: It is 1887 and seventeen-year-old Sebastian Brigandshaw finds himself exiled from his English home and his childhood sweetheart, all because his egotistical, money-grasping father wants his youngest son out of the way. Why? The Sea Captain, Sebastian's father, wants his eldest son Arthur, to marry Sebastian's sweetheart who happens to be the only child of a Baronet, albeit an impoverished one. But it is that title the Sea Captain wants and 'marriage is a business'. For the future of his unborn grandchildren, the Sea Captain is intent on winning the prize regardless of the cost and the repercussions that are to echo down the years. Whilst his father, the Sea Captain, is relentless in his ambitions to become part of the aristocracy and all accompanying accoutrements, Sebastian, feeling lost and alone, finds himself far from home in the new colony of the Cape. Here he meets Tinus Oosthuizen, a Boer, and together they travel north to the land of Lobengula to hunt elephant. The land is hostile yet the wild beauty and game captivates Sebastian and his desire to build a future in the new and unexplored British colony of Rhodesia. But the Boer War is looming in South Africa threatening Tinus and Sebastian's new found peace and the unenviable position in deciding to join the fight or be branded as cowards. If they do, they'll be on opposite sides.

"This is my first new release in twenty-three years," explains the author. "My first two novels became a runaway success in Zimbabwe, but were never marketed internationally. But the advent of digital and self-publishing has afforded me an amazing opportunity to get them out to the wider world; my daughter has become my publicist and editor -- and both books were re-released earlier this year. The idea for this novel has been on my writing table for many years, and the new publishing opportunities finally inspired me to bite the bullet. It covers a period of history that seldom gets attention, and my narrative goes one step further to make it personal. I don't think you'll find insight like this anywhere else."

Rimmer's previous two novels are:

Peter Rimmer was born in London, England, and grew up in the south of the city where he went to school. After the Second World War, and aged 18, he joined the Royal Air Force, reaching the rank of Pilot Officer before aged 19. At the end of his National Service he sailed for Africa to grow tobacco in what was then Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe. The years went by and found him in Johannesburg founding an insurance brokering company. Over 2% of the companies listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange were clients of Rimmer Associates. He opened companies in the United States of America, Australia and Hong Kong and travelled extensively between the branches. Peter Rimmer now lives a reclusive life in his beloved Africa, writing his books in a remote and secluded part of South Africa.

"Echoes from the Past"
by Peter Rimmer
Kamba Publishing
Published 1/22/2015

© Copyright 2002-2014 by Magic City Morning Star

Top of Page

R.P. BenDedek
Latest Headlines
Magic City Morning Star Book Basket 2016 - No. 3
Australia My Country - A Poem
Magic City Morning Star Book Basket 2016 - No. 2
A Must Read: Anne Marie Waters' letter to Feminists
Magic City Morning Star Book Basket 2016 - No. 1

A Dinosaur of Education - a blog by James Fabiano.
Shobe Studios
Wysong Foods - Pets and People Too