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R.P. BenDedek

Magic City Book Basket 2015 No. 26
By R.P. BenDedek
Jul 26, 2015 - 8:45:49 AM

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"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 has varied and while we still have book reviewers at Magic City we unfortunately can't do book reviews for every book. (List of Book Reviews 2015) 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 all of those authors who have already taken advantage of this offer both in 2014 and again this year. A list of those authors and their articles for 2015 may be found here.

Magic City Morning Star is looking for more writers and reviewers and additionally we invite all book authors to avail themselves of our 'self-promotion' offer.

If you would like to join our team just send an email to me at the address below.

Author Articles Since Basket No. 25

  1. Pure of Heart by Patrick J. Fornari author of "Commoner Sense"

Book Reviews Published Since Basket No. 25

Milt Gross Book Review: "A World War I Adventure" by a group of the main character's relatives (The House of Harkness)
Jul 19, 2015

From the hype in the book, the story should have been about Harkness' chores for the British -- he was from Australia -- during the First World War. But what I found were apparently unedited (unless for spelling) page after page of the fighter's journal, including only a minor part, of interesting reading. I found the wartime stories credible, but I'm not sure I would use the word "adventures" to describe them. The parts about the early aircraft, seeming to be somewhat like a modern day Piper Cub or a bit larger, were fascinating. I would guess about 60 old photos caught my interest. Apparently some family member found Harkness' journal in an attic. And apparently the self-publishing publisher accepted good money from the family to have this non-book material published.

Martha Stevens-David Book Review: "Just Maagy" by Virginia Burton Stringer
Jul 19, 2015

First of all, I commend the author, Virginia Burton Stringer for having the insight and courage to take on a task such as this. Not only is her description of the young princess very interesting but the way she depicted this young child's feelings about her place in life, was very interesting also. I also loved the author's inclusion of a "glossary" for the reader to check the meaning of new or difficult words in the story and the drawings of each new event little Maagy encountered in young life.

R.P. BenDedek

No. 1

"The Inward Outlook"

by Laura Basha, PhD

"The Inward Outlook" by Laura Basha, PhD
OAKLAND, Calif. -- Turning a life around can seem a daunting task. Sometimes, the work appears so hopeless that any attempt for improvement is over before it even begins.

Laura Basha, PhD, is familiar with watching doubt kill dreams. She wrote her new book, The Inward Outlook, to inspire and awaken others to learn and grow, unburdened by fear.

"I would like for any person struggling with life's sometimes constraining issues to see themselves as the source of what is possible," Basha said. Dr. Basha has dedicated her life to personal and organizational transformation and leadership development, working with thousands of clients to identify their strengths and limitations and articulate their purpose. She believes the key to self-actualization lies in distinguishing what one is authentically committed to, accepting oneself as is, then addressing the thinking that keep us inauthentically expressed.

"If we are willing to deal with ourselves, we can become the person we have always dreamed ourselves to be," Basha said.

"It is possible for people to see what has been obscured from their awareness. It is possible to step from the invisible to the visible. We are so afraid that we cannot be what we dream ourselves to be, that we stay hidden inside of a persona that we ourselves created for our survival. Bring the invisible to light so that you can begin to see your own beauty and claim your wholeness and your true voice. When what has been obscured is illuminated, you remember who you truly are. The result is an inherently synchronized person inspired to learn and grow, who is infused with the vitality of self-actualization. Such self-perception cannot be overestimated in terms of its capacity to produce extraordinary positive results." (Xlibris Books)

Laura Basha, PhD, is a certified trainer and holds a BA in Fine Arts, a MA in Counseling Psychology, and a combined doctorate in Clinical and Organizational Psychology. Through the years, the focus of her work has always been personal and organizational transformation and leadership development, and she has been an international consultant, educator, and personal coach for thousands of clients since 1978. For more information, visit

"The Inward Outlook"
By Laura Basha, PhD
Xlibris Books
Published 8/7/2014
ISBN: 978-1-49903-840-8
96 pages
Softcover $16
Hardcover $25
E-book $4

No. 2

"The Valentine Children's Summer Adventures"

by Dianne Sibeal Donahoe

The Valentine Children's Summer Adventures" by Dianne Sibeal Donahoe
SAN FRANCISCO -- Teaching children about cultures different from their own will leave a lasting impression, but some parents may find the task can be tedious or complicated.

"The Valentine Children's Summer Adventures" by Dianne Sibeal Donahoe introduces more than 120 French words to young readers through a story of exploration, imagination and culture. Each page expands the reader's vocabulary and worldview, turning the difficult task of learning a new language into an enjoyable experience.

By the end of the adventures the reader will be familiar with French culture and the vocabulary needed to join the Valentines' adventures, set outside the real city of Carcassonne. New words, phrases and names appear on the page with direction on how to say them aloud.

Learning about the Valentine children's adventures throughout the book encourages children to explore and imagine adventures of their own. The book actively involves the reader and engages them in learning, not just reading.

"My main goal when I first started writing this book was to help children feel comfortable with another language and feel at ease traveling to France or another French speaking country." Donahoe said.

Dianne Sibeal Donahoe lives in San Francisco and New York. She is a member of the Society of Children's Writers and Illustrators, Friends of the Smithsonian and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She has been an artist for more than 30 years, specializing in oil painting and other media and interior decorating.

"The Valentine Children's Summer Adventures"
By Dianne Sibeal Donahoe
Archway Publishing
Published 4/15/2015
ISBN SC: 978-1-4808-1730-2
ISBN HC: 978-1-4808-1731-9
60 pages
Hardcover $32
Softcover $24

No. 3

"There Is Hope"

By Suzanne Tyler

"There Is Hope" By Suzanne Tyler
DENVER, Colo. -- On December 13, 2013, a gunman walked into Arapahoe High School and opened fire, killing a student and scarring a community. Suzanne Tyler, a teacher at the school, was closer to the tragedy than most -- the shooter had written her classroom number on his arm before entering the building.

Shaken, Tyler faced a long road to inner peace in the aftermath. Her new book, There Is Hope, is the result of her healing process. The illustrated book, meant for readers of all ages, speaks of dark times in life. Throughout the story, the book's protagonist learns to confront and eventually control her "monster," the dark force in her life that follows her after a traumatic event.

"The healing began as I started to share my story, and others shared theirs with me," Tyler said.

Tyler recognizes that tragedy and trauma take form in all shapes and sizes, but that there is always a light at the end of the tunnel.

"I want to be an instrument for helping others to heal," Tyler said. "I want people to know that someone understands and that we all have hope."

There Is Hope is about a young girl who experiences a traumatic event. This event causes her to feel different emotions throughout the process of becoming the girl she is now. She becomes the new normal. The book is about confronting your monster and becoming greater and bigger than it is. Everyone has a monster. What is yours? (AuthorHouse)

Suzanne Tyler is an educator who, for many years, watched students deal with significant trauma and circumstances in their young lives, which they did not choose. On December 13, 2013, Suzanne also experienced trauma that was not a choice. She was a teacher at Arapahoe High School when a man with a gun came into the school and traumatized the students, staff, families, friends, and community. Everyone's life changed that day. Suzanne wrote this book as part of her healing process and hopes that through it, she will help you heal, too. For more information, visit

"There Is Hope"
By Suzanne Tyler
AuthorHouse publishing
Published 5/13/2015
ISBN: 978-1-50490-464-3
32 pages
Softcover $20
Hardcover $27
E-book $4

No. 4

"Endless Waves: A Story of Grace"

by Nancy Kruitof O'Farrell

"Endless Waves: A Story of Grace" by Nancy Kruitof O'Farrell
MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- At 34-years old, life for Nancy Kruithof O'Farrell already seemed futile. She has decided to kill herself. But God's grace intervened, and O'Farrell embarked on a long and powerful journey of healing.

In Endless Waves: A Story of Grace, she shares her life story and reveals the painful details of her struggles.

Through narrative, journal entries, counselor's notes, poems and scriptures, this memoir tells more than a story of abuse, addiction and relationship issues. It shares the specific, detailed steps that aided O'Farrell's healing.

"How can something from so long ago still have such an effect on me?" O'Farrell said. "How can it be possible that the way I look at people and events today is based on what happened more than fifty years ago? This is such scary stuff to talk or write about."

O'Farrell shares with readers how she was redeemed by God's power and love, and she offers encouragement for others who face the same challenges.

Praise for Endless Waves: A Story of Grace "It's amazing that a woman so filled with shame and self-loathing since childhood, whose only safety from horrific sexual abuse and pastoral exploitation was strong walls of self-protection, could step from behind that barricade and bare her soul. Nancy O'Farrell does so with grace, honesty, and eloquence . . . The story is heartbreaking and uplifting. Clearly, God continued to pursue this wounded, desperate woman and never stopped moving her toward healing. God showered her with endless waves". - Marnie Ferree, Author, No Stones: Women Redeemed From Sexual Addictions; Director, Bethesda Workshops, Nashville, Tennessee. (Read overview at Amazon)

Nancy Kruithof O'Farrell, a retired middle school teacher, earned a bachelor's degree in English and a master's degree in education from the University of South Alabama. O'Farrell has two dogs and two cats and lives in Alabama. This is her debut book.

"Endless Waves: A Story of Grace"
By: Nancy Kruitof O'Farrell
iUniverse Inc
Published Dec 4, 2014
ISBN: 978-1-49175-179-4
130 pages
Hardcover $23.95
Paperback $12.56
Kindle $5.37

No. 5

"Buzz Kill"

by William Goodspeed

"Buzz Kill" by William Goodspeed
BOSTON -- Witnessing many odd and humorous moments in corporate bureaucracy and human resources for more than 20 years, William Goodspeed learned the power of creativity and fun in the workplace. In his poignant new novel, "Buzz Kill," Goodspeed tells an unorthodox, yet uproariously hysterical tale of America's not-so-corporate culture.

"Buzz Kill" is an uproariously twisted tale of America's baffling corporate culture that will appeal to anyone who's worked in a large company, suffered through sensitivity training or wondered if Thanksgiving is an insensitive display of Euro-centric imperialism.

"Once I learned the power of enjoyment in the workplace, I vowed to write a novel juxtaposing fun and creativity with bureaucracy and political correctness," Goodspeed said.

Although a work of fiction, "Buzz Kill" draws many scenes from reallife events and people as Goodspeed reflects on his own life in this rumbustous paradox.

When Lund's Plastics Division hits the skids, it turns to its newly hired Chinese research and development director, Dr. Chen, who - despite his best intentions - struggles with both the English language and American corporate policies. When he's told to hire a new scientist, Chen advertises for a young Chinese male who is preferably single. (He isn’t sure what religion would be best.) Chen's innocent faux pas leads to mandatory sensitivity training, an experience so brutal, even Dick Cheney would call it torture. He builds a new R&D team, featuring Dr. Miao, a Chinese transplant who favors Red Man chewing tobacco and NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon. Read more overview at Balboa Press

William Goodspeed held several senior executive positions in various industries and companies. While working for large companies, he kept his passion of observing behavior. He launched his writing career with, "The Point," a seasonal Northwestern Michigan parody newspaper with 125 unpaid subscribers. A former resident of Charlotte, N.C., he currently lives in Maine and Michigan with his wife, Jen.

"Buzz Kill"
By: William Goodspeed
Balboa Press
Published 12/15/2014
ISBN: 9781-4525-9868-0
276 pages
Softcover: $18.99
Hardcover: $35.99
E-book: $5.99

No. 6

"The Heroin Heroin"

by Mindy Miralia

"The Heroin Heroin" by Mindy Miralia
Whether drugs, alcohol or other guise, many families are silently confronting the horrors of addiction. For Mindy Miralia, the demon was her son Micah's lengthy battle with heroin.

Micah and Mindy had contemplated coauthoring a book about the highs (fatherhood) and lows (homelessness) of Micah's 15-year addiction. Unfortunately, the two never got the chance to make this dream a reality. On March 29, 2011, her Micah took his own life while in relapse.

Driven by grief, healing, and desire to help others while paying tribute her son, Miralia penned "The Heroin Heroin," the story of the lessons she learned from her son's battle with drugs. It's Miralia's hope that her book will help other families struggling with addiction, illness or loss.

This is the story of a hero's journey - of dark and light, addiction and recovery, life and death and the afterlife. It is a story of sorrow and redemption, the bond between a mother and son, and the legacy of addiction that they heal together after her son crosses to the "other side."

The Hero in Heroin is Mindy Miralia's honest telling of her life as an international businesswoman who constantly strove to be the best parent possible despite her family's constant uprooting from one part of the globe to another - moves that were demanded by work. And although his childhood was filled with love, by the time her son was fifteen, Micah was hooked on drugs. He eventually succumbed to the lure of deadly heroin. (Read more at Author Website. Learn more at

"The Heroin Heroin"
by Mindy Miralia
Balboa Press
ISBN: 978-1-50432-637-7
286 pages
Softcover $19
Hardcover $36
E-Book $4

No. 7

"Origin of the Centred Self"

by Glenda Jackson

"Origin of the Centred Self" by Glenda Jackson
Australian author and educator Glenda Jackson shares her concerns about today's climate issues, world-governance and her understanding how Christian beliefs intersect with concepts of freedom, autonomy, social engagement and community, in her new book, "Origin of the Centred Self." Jackson is able to relate current campaigns encouraging others to act now to ensure a better world for your children.

"Origin of the Centred Self?" is a self-help guide for readers searching for a better understanding of faith, the bible, world-governance and their place in life. This book explains the challenging conundrum of living relationally while exercising free will. It shows how philosophers and theorist have recognized and yet struggled with what appears to be two selves. Jackson explains who we are as human beings and how we can be most alive.

Jackson is dedicating her time to helping teachers create success within the classroom. She gives advice on how to help students become adults, how to control their class better and how to teach your students to be the fully fledged citizens they are meant to be. She wants her audience to understand how their freedom and decision making works so they can be empowered and encouraged to live life to the fullest.

Our ability to live relationally while exercising free will has traditionally been a challenging conundrum. Philosophers and theorists have also recognised and yet struggled with what appear to be two selves: one self free to be open and expansive while the other trapping people into spiraling self-centred and destructive behaviour. Genesis 1-3 can be read as an explanation of the interlinked themes: God's type of government, the basis for free will, core themes in human identity, and the arrival and nature of the centred self. These concepts are traceable throughout the Bible and connect with our every day lives. (Xlibris Overview)

Glenda Jackson's interest in exploring the concept of the centred self began while working on a doctoral thesis in education. Early in her study program she was challenged to articulate her world view - one she recognised needed to span the philosophies and theories encountered in her discipline and research while also connecting with her Christian heritage. This book is the product of her journey to articulate a connected world view and the resulting unexpected discovery of the centred self.

"Origin of the Centred Self"
by Glenda Jackson
Xlibris Press
Published 12/6/2013
ISBN: 978-1-49313-111-2
156 pages
Softcover $46
Hardcover $76
E-book $4

No. 8

"A Dark Hole"

by Charlotte Pritchard

"A Dark Hole" by Charlotte Pritchard
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -- According to author George R.R. Martin, "Fiction is lies; we're writing about people who never existed and events that never happened when we write fiction, whether it's science fiction or fantasy or western mystery stories or so-called literary stories. All those things are essentially untrue. But it has to have a truth at the core of it."

Author Charlotte Pritchard is no stranger to the world of mysteries and thrillers. It is through the inclusion of every day situations and harsh realities while adding in complex twists and turns that makes Pritchard's writing engaging, relatable and uniquely suspenseful.

In her second novel, "A Dark Hole," Pritchard examines the all too common scenario of an abusive, dysfunctional family dynamic. "A Dark Hole" follows Marcy Finley--her immediate family is extremely dysfunctional. Her mother is negligent and her stepfather is abusive.

With the flair of a great mystery novel, Marcy witnesses a horrific scene, leaving her with a secret she can never reveal. Her secrets turn to nightmares and unusual behavior. It is in this aspect of the novel that Pritchard excels--examining the psychological and physical impact of abuse and experiencing trauma.

Abuse and its impacts on those experiencing it is an all too common reality. Through fiction, such realities are brought to the attention of the larger public. Through engaging, powerful writing, these stories will stay with those that read them for years to come.

Charlotte Pritchard was born and raised in South Dakota. Her interests include travel, scrapbooking, drawing, music, genealogy, and writing poetry. Now retired, she resides in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where she enjoys spending time with her family. This is her second novel.

"A Dark Hole"
By: Charlotte Pritchard
iUniverse Inc
Published Jan 8, 2014
ISBN: 978-1-4917-1811-7
148 pagers
Softcover $12.95
Kindle $5.37

No. 9

"From Happiness to Tragedy; to Bliss on the Borderline"

by Nicholas E. Cleveland

"From Happiness to Tragedy; to Bliss on the Borderline" by Nicholas E. Cleveland
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- To many Americans, mental illness seems like a distant problem. It would shock them to hear that, according to a 2008 study, the lifetime prevalence for borderline personality disorder is 5.9 percent.

This caustic and destructive disorder quickly threw author Nicholas E. Cleveland's life into disarray when he met his second wife. What started with intense physical and emotional connection turned into a "Fatal Attraction" tale, with Cleveland forcing his wife to seek psychiatric help.

Cleveland's story is offered candidly in his new book, "From Happiness to Tragedy; to Bliss on the Borderline." It is a close examination of life, love and loss from the perspective of a man who has been through a rollercoaster of joy and tragedy.

"Life can change in an instant," Cleveland said. "I was happily married to my first wife when she suddenly and tragically died. When I met my second wife a year later, what began with beauty quickly deteriorated due to a seldom-discussed mental disorder."

As a reflection on love, mental health, the hero complex, and depression over the loss of a loved one, "From Happiness to Tragedy; to Bliss on the Borderline" is Cleveland's memoir and attempt to disentangle tragic love and mental health.

Nicholas E. Cleveland is Chair of Information Technology at a major technical college, and has a masters in business, an associates in commerce in computer operations as well as a bachelor of arts in history, philosophy, and education. He was happily married for twenty-seven years until his first wife died, leaving him with his seven-year-old son. A year later, he re-married. Then, a second period of grieving was to begin.

"From Happiness to Tragedy; to Bliss on the Borderline"
By Nicholas E. Cleveland
AuthorHouse Books
Published 2/11/2015
ISBN: 978-1-49696-637-7
264 pages
Softcover $20
E-book $4


"The Abominations of the Obama-Nation"

By Betty Sue Prollock

"The Abominations of the Obama-Nation" By Betty Sue Prollock
SAN ANTONIO-- "The government is not America. We the people are America," author and Tea Party member Betty Sue Prollock proclaims.

In The Abominations of the Obama-Nation, Prollock challenges the current secular federal government and argues that the crusade against Judeo-Christian Americans directly endangers the morals of the Founding Fathers. She outlines how the increase of Islamic, secular and liberal influences aid the Obama-Nation's progressive campaign to separate the United States from its moral ideologies.

"We need to shake off our complacency in order to stop moving America down the path that leads to the end of our liberties," Prollock said. "We need to be bold and stand for what is right by God's natural law."

Prollock bases her book on research, lectures, study courses, life experiences and a renewed focus on God and country. In section two of the book, her chapter-by-chapter review of President Obama's biography Dreams from My Father, Prollock identifies inaccuracies and blatant messages of racism within President Obama's ideology.

"My book is fairly simple. I am fairly simple. I want American citizens to know God's protection is the only means for America's survival," Prollock said.

Betty Sue Prollock is a fulltime personal care provider for her 92-year-old blind mother. She accepted Christ into her life at the age of seven and has a deep love for God and country. Prollock comes from a military family, as her father served in WWII and her son is a US Army and National Guard veteran. She was formerly a member of the Forsyth County Tea Party and has recently joined the Tea Party near her new home in San Antonio.

"The Abominations of the Obama-Nation"
by Betty Sue Prollock
iUniverse Books
Published May 30, 2014
ISBN: 978-1-49173-391-2
369 pages
Kindle $5.37

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