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R.P. BenDedek

Magic City Book Basket 2015 No. 27
By R.P. BenDedek
Aug 2, 2015 - 7:10:22 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. 26

  1. Balance and Harmony by Elisabeth Falcone author of "Recipes for Tolerance and Understanding"
  2. "President Trump?" by Patrick J. Fornari author of "Commoner Sense"

Book Reviews Published Since Basket No. 26

M. Stevens-David Book Review: "The Curious Autobiography of Elaine Jakes" by H.R. Jakes
Jul 29, 2015

This book "The Curious Autobiography of Elaine Jakes," told by her son "H.R. Jakes" was very interesting to say the least. The book itself is not an "easy" read but the reader will learn a lot from what was written. Elaine Jakes lived in the eccentric community of New Hope, Penn., and in the 1970s and 1980s set out to discover her Welsh heritage, herself, and her God.

Milt Gross Book Review: "The Taking" by Dean Koontz
Jul 26, 2015

My impression of The Taking is that the story keeps repeating itself, the lead characters go to different places where the same gooey critters show up. This continues for most of the book, when, presto, the sun is out and the critters are gone. I've read a number of Koontz's books (for example Intensity which I reviewed in December 2012), but this one did not make the grade.

R.P. BenDedek
Email
: rpbendedek@hotmail.com
www.kingscalendar.com


No. 1.

"The Lemoncholy Life of Annie Aster"

by Scott Wilbanks

"The Lemoncholy Life of Annie Aster" by Scott Wilbanks
Annabelle Aster has discovered a curious thing behind her home in San Francisco--a letterbox perched atop a picket fence. The note inside is blunt--trespass is dealt with at the business end of a shotgun in these parts!--spurring some lively correspondence between the Bay Area orphan and her new neighbor, a feisty widow living in nineteenth- century Kansas.

The source of mischief is an antique door Annie installed at the rear of her house. The man who made the door--a famed Victorian illusionist--died under mysterious circumstances.

Annie and her new neighbor, with the help of friends and strangers alike, must solve the mystery of what connects them before one of them is convicted of a murder that has yet to happen...and somehow already did.

Annabelle Aster doesn't bow to convention-not even that of space and time-which makes the 1890s Kansas wheat field that has appeared in her modern-day San Francisco garden easy to accept. Even more peculiar is Elsbeth, the truculent schoolmarm who sends Annie letters through the mysterious brass mailbox perched on the picket fence that now divides their two worlds. Annie and Elsbeth's search for an explanation to the hiccup in the universe linking their homes leads to an unsettling discovery-and potential disaster for both of them. Together they must solve the mystery of what connects them before one of them is convicted of a murder that has yet to happen...and yet somehow already did. (Amazon Overview)

Scott Wilbanks graduated summa cum laude from The University of Oklahoma and went on to garner several national titles in the sport of gymnastics. Scott's husband, Mike, is a New Zealander by birth, and the two split their time between the two countries while Scott is at work on his next standalone novel.

"The Lemoncholy Life of Annie Aster"
by Scott Wilbanks
Sourcebooks Landmark
Published August 4, 2015
ISBN: 9781492612469
400 pages
Paperback $11.39
Kindle $7.90

No. 2

"The Passion Gene"

by Louis de Savy

"The Passion Gene" by Louis de Savy
United Kingdom -- As a former surgeon himself with a fascination for genetics, author Louis de Savy writes with authority on this revealing and fast-moving subject and which is still controversial today thanks to the ethics around topics such as organ donation. The Passion Gene is a love story with a difference; looking at how science may underpin emotions. At the same time it digs into the politics of the 1990s and the effect this had on the UK health service's ability to explore medical advancements, such as gene therapy, further. This is a book which is more than simply a love story that documents a period in history. That's because it also brings into question the bigger issues about humanity and to what extent our love for other human beings as well as our own health and social behaviour is already pre-determined. It then goes further to question the nature and direction of gene therapy and asks whether or not medical science has, in fact, opened a Pandora's Box.

Synopsis: Successful London-based consultant surgeon Robin Chesham falls heavily for a young and gorgeous Georgiana Gilmour whom he meets on a plane to Helsinki. The pair are en-route to an international medical conference investigating a new drug in the world of genetics (a subject they have a mutual career interest in). A happy family man, Robin's emotions for Georgiana take him completely by surprise -- especially since he can't shake off the eerie feeling that he's already met his young lover, a researcher from Bath, before. The book is set during the 1990s -- a period of extreme government intervention and privatisation in the NHS, where feelings of divisiveness run high amongst medical staff and politicians. By contrast Germany's re- unification is highlighted, as is the Gulf War and the fall of Thatcherism towards the end of that decade. Despite attempting to fight their feelings for each other both Robin and Georgiana -- for whom there is a 25 year age gap - unavoidably meet up at conferences and inevitably fall deeper in love. This is helped by a shared love of culture, intellectual debate and an overpowering physical attraction. It's only later that a chance encounter reveals to Robin why the passion he feels towards Georgiana -- and vice versa - is so acute. The story ends with Georgiana boarding a plane to California and Robin waving her off at Heathrow. The book features tasteful love scenes and many romantic encounters which are sure to appeal to a female readership. It also explores the influence of genes and the necessity for an intellectual as well as physical attraction in order to sustain a long-term relationship. 'The Passion Gene, from Memoirs Publishing, is available now: at Amazon UK

Louis de Savy (a nom de plume), a former surgeon, spent years writing articles for medical journals and books. The Passion Gene is his first published novel. It's not a complete work of fiction however since the love that develops between the eminent surgeon and young researcher is set against the backdrop of real discoveries in gene therapy during the 1990s. It also takes into account the political climate of that decade, including the Gulf War, re-unification of Germany and the fall of Thatcherism -- all of which the author also experienced as a first-hand observer.

No. 3.

"Courage, Compassion, Marine: The Unique Story of Jimmie Dyess"

By Perry Smith

Courage, Compassion, Marine: The Unique Story of Jimmie Dyess" By Perry Smith
ATLANTA -- In America the two highest awards for heroism are the Medal of Honor and the Carnegie Medal (heroism by a civilian). In order to earn these awards, one must perform an act of extraordinary heroism that is witnessed, documented and fully validated.

For risking his life to save a drowning woman, 19-year-old Jimmie Dyess received his first medal of heroism, the Carnegie Medal. Years later, after becoming Marine Lieutenant Colonel Dyess, he earned the Medal of Honor for saving four wounded Marines behind enemy lines and for exemplary valor and leadership. Dyess received this medal posthumously.

Dyess is the only person to have received America's two highest awards of heroism. His unique story of courage and compassion inspired Perry Smith, a best selling author and husband of Dyess' daughter, to write Dyess' biography.

In "Courage, Compassion, Marine," Smith highlights Dyess' accomplishments of being an Eagle Scout and all American marksman as well as his dedication to serving his community and country. Smith also takes readers through the history of the Marine Corps, the Medal of Honor, and the Carnegie Medal. He also highlights important figures such as General George Marshall, Admiral Chester Nimitz and Andrew Carnegie.

"When I think about the Carnegie Medal and the Medal of Honor, I find the similarities outweigh the differences," Smith said. "This nation is well served by these two awards and the stringent criteria which has made them so special."

Major General Perry M. Smith has served 30 years in the U.S. Air Force where he commanded an F-15 fighter wing, served as the Air Force's top planner and was commandant of the National War College. He holds a doctorate in international relations from Columbia University and has been seen on CNN, CBS-TV and radio, and NBC News as a military analyst. This is Smith's seventh book, with "Rules and Tools for Leaders" landing a top spot on Amazon.com's bestseller list. Smith and his wife reside in Augusta, Georgia and have two children and three grandchildren. For more information, visit www.genpsmith.com.

"Courage, Compassion, Marine: The Unique Story of Jimmie Dyess"
By Perry Smith
iUniverse Inc
Published 05/14/2015
ISBN: 9781491766910
220 pages
Softcover $17.95
Nook book $6.49

No. 4.

"World-Class Performance: The Commitment. The Pursuit. The Achievement"

By Michael G. Winston

"World-Class Performance: The Commitment. The Pursuit. The Achievement" By Michael G. Winston
POMPANO BEACH, FL. July 15, 2015 -- Speaking from authority gained by leading Fortune 50 companies through structural transformation, Michael G. Winston celebrates the launch of his book, "World-Class Performance." Inspired by the skill and determination of Olympic athletes, Winston lays out concrete strategies to keep up with the increasingly competitive and complex global business environment. book uses the Olympic athlete metaphor to inspire readers to regain their Olympic-like competitive edge and rekindle their desire to compete and win. Drawing on decades of experience in corporate America, Winston lays out a blueprint for the future of business and personal excellence that encourages individuals to perform at the top of their game while honoring their values and integrity.

"Change is occurring at a blistering pace, leaving many people unprepared" says Winston, who has shared podiums with Heads of State and given keynote presentations to hundreds of companies, "The leaders who dominate in this new era will not only understand the changes affecting them, but seize them, master them and use them to their advantage to achieve ever higher performance."

"World-Class Performance," published by Dragon Tree Books, includes chapters like "World-Class Competition," "Model the Olympics," "Organize by Design, Not Default," and "Developing the Next Generation." For more information, including a free sample chapter, visit www.worldclassperformancebook.com.

With over thirty years of experience as a business leader, change agent, and organization strategist, Michael G. Winston has been in the "eye of the storm" of businesses going through massive transformation. He served in executive positions for five Fortune 100 companies across three industries (high technology, aerospace, and financial services), working on organization strategy and performance, succession planning, leadership development, and leading change. Michael was hailed by Leadership Excellence as one of the "100 Most Influential Thinkers on Leadership in the World for eight consecutive years. Michael's work has been recognized by his inclusion in several "Top Business Thought-Leaders" lists and over twenty "Who's Who" Editions. He has won numerous corporate awards for exemplary performance.

Michael G. Winston holds a PhD from the University of Illinois, a Master's Degree from the University of Notre Dame, and is a graduate of executive programs from Stanford University and the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School.

"World-Class Performance: The Commitment. The Pursuit. The Achievement"
By Michael G. Winston
Dragon Tree Books
Published February 19, 2015
ASIN: B00TU47HCQ
218 Pages
Kindle $9.21
Softcover $14.99

No. 5.

"Our Beguine"

by Joel Levin

"Our Beguine" by Joel Levin
CHICAGO -- "When you trip over love, it isn't easy to get up, but when you fall in love, it is impossible to stand again." - Albert Einstein

These powerful words capture the essence of Joel and Donna Levin's heartwarming relationship. After meeting at a fraternity mixer in the 1950's, the pair was inseparable for the nearly the next 60 years.

"We, not I, became the whole of my life," Joel Levin said. "True love is when two people bond together in happiness and dedication."

After Donna's passing 2011, Levin was caught between feelings of despair and ongoing love. He penned a memoir of his relationship with Donna titled, "Our Beguine" to explore and recreate the soul-to-soul relationship shared by the two and celebrate their 57-years of love.

We all talk about life and death but in doing so use these words in a different manner. There before us is a table filled with many ideas and many beliefs or even a lack of belief. For some, this is all there is and there is no other life but the one we now own. For others, there is a strong belief in the hereafter. In today's world, there seems to be a coming together of religious belief and scientific thought processes, theories, and experimentation. This memoir serves not only to tell the story of Donna's and my life together in music, prose, and poetry but also explores the latest concepts regarding the mystery of the soul. We are all of humankind, and the quest belongs to all. "The hour of departure has arrived, and we go our separate ways, I to die, and you to live. Which of these two is better only God knows!" (Socrates). (Overview at AuthorHouse)

Joel M. Levin is a physician and a musician. He was a classical pianist for twenty years and remains a continuous lover of all kinds of music. He has been a physician for more than forty years, but his biggest accomplishment was his marriage to his wife, Donna.

"Our Beguine"
by Joel Levin
AuthorHouse Publishing
Published 3/23/2015
ISBN: 978-1-49695-947-8
320 pages
Hardcover $29
Softcover $20
E-book $4

No. 6.

"The Debaters"

by Barth Hoogstraten

"The Debaters" by Barth Hoogstraten
BALTIMORE -- With roughly 1.2 billion members worldwide, Catholicism is the second largest religion in the world. In fact, if Catholicism were a country, it would easily be the largest in the world. While there are many practicing Catholics, most are not as educated on their history as they could or perhaps should be. This understanding occurred to Barth Hoogstraten nearly a decade ago when his brother leant him a book on Desiderius Erasmus and Pope Adrianus VI

"Aside from their names and basic backgrounds, It dawned on me that I knew next to nothing about either Erasmus or Martin Luther; two of history's greatest minds whose actions led to the reformation and positive change in the Catholic Church," Hoogstraten said."

After years of research, Hoogstraten published "The Debaters". The book offers a glimpse of the final days of medieval Europe at one of the most crucial turning points in history. Readers experience first hand the personality conflicts between Luther, a sheltered family man and Erasmus, a bastard child, world traveler and one of the greatest humanists the world has ever seen.

History has defined Erasmus and Martin Luther as the two most influential thinkers in pre-Reformation Europe. Through their revolutionary words and writings, they shook the very foundations of Western society. But who were these men? One was born a bastard child of a priest and his maid and rose through academia to the high society of the kingly courts of Europe. The other rejected the life his father planned for him as a prestigious lawyer and instead entered a monastery to pursue his own spiritual path. (From Overview at Lulu)

Dr. Barth Hoogstraten has lectured in many countries and received a Senior International Fellowship of the Fogarty International Center to work and study a year in Egypt and Kuwait in 1978-1979. For twelve years he represented the USA at the International Union Against Cancer in Geneva. In 1988 he was honored as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine in London. He is a decorated World War II veteran, has authored four medical and three non- medical books and plans to donate all proceeds from "The Debaters" to cancer research.

"The Debaters"
by Barth Hoogstraten
Lulu Publishing Services
Published March 10, 2015
ISBN9781483426846
368 pages
Hardcover $35.29 (on Special)
Paperback $28
E-Book $11

No. 7

"Grace Has a Silent Voice"

by Nina Kelly

"Grace Has a Silent Voice" by Nina Kelly
NEW ORLEANS -- Writing about the negative side of humanity has become regular journalism these days, so author Nina Kelly felt compelled to share stories of silent heroes that aren't normally recognized in the media today in her new book, "Grace Has a Silent Voice."

Kelly realized how much these specific individuals had impacted her life and has decided to honor them. She holds nothing back when covering hot humanitarian and lifestyle topics such as volunteering, donations and cultural tragedies, like Katrina and the aftermath.

"Life often reveals itself in ways we would not choose," Kelly said. "Yet in those devastating times, the resilience of the human spirit has the opportunity to shine. It is in those moments that grace comes to weave the fabric we call life."

Kelly is an experienced humanitarian and community activist, wanting to share positive influences and role models she has observed. From New York City cops to those who participate in donating organs across the U.S., she's bringing awareness to everyone that everyday we are in contact with silent heroes who make a difference in this world.

"I have been afforded the opportunity to experience the benevolence of humanity, the selfless gifts of those whose hearts were touched by horrific events," Kelly said. "These are the uplifting journeys in 'Grace Has a Silent Voice. '"

Nina Kelly resides in New Orleans. She is a well-known community activist within the area. Kelly is the former president of the Children's Bureau of New Orleans, past chairman of the visiting committee of Loyola University School Of Music, former president of New Orleans Opera Association and former vice-president of Shreveport Opera. Kelly graduated from Pacifica Graduate Institute and is currently completing a two-year program at Assisi Institute in archetypal pattern analysis. She has completed a two-year program from the dream pattern analysis program and studied hypnotherapy at St John's University.

"Grace Has a Silent Voice"
Author: Nina Kelly
Balboa Press
Published Feb 5, 2015
ISBN: 978-1-5054-3
118 pages
Softcover $12
Kindle $.5.64
Hardcover $29

No. 8

"Hope for the Nations: Paul's Letter to the Romans (A Corporate Reading)"

by Tom Holland

"Hope for the Nations: Paul's Letter to the Romans (A Corporate Reading)" by Tom Holland
United Kingdom -- Among the twenty-seven books that make up the New Testament, 'The Epistle to the Romans' is often referred to as the "most important theological legacy" for its explanation and defence of the gospel of salvation through Jesus Christ. However, as Dr. Tom Holland proves in his compelling new book, scholarly interpretation of the volume has been fraught with misconceptions. In 'Hope for the Nations: Paul's Letter to the Romans (A Corporate Reading)' Dr. Holland attempts to correct these points of confusion and, in the process, challenge every level of readers' Biblical beliefs.

Synopsis: In this vigorously argued commentary Holland has produced a clearer and simpler reworking of his earlier scholarly work 'The Divine Marriage' to engage with the less expert audience. In this highly readable analysis, Tom Holland asks the reader to rethink familiar passages in Paul's Letter to the Romans in fresh ways. He corrects many widespread misunderstandings of Paul which have obscured the powerful message of the Biblical text, and his argument for a corporate reading permits the Reformer's forensic sense of justification to be maintained even in the light of the covenantal context of the New Perspective on Paul. Tom Holland's Hope for the Nations is both truly biblical and thoroughly theological. Church leaders, scholars and students alike will find their views on the well-known text challenged and transformed.

"There was a very fine line to be drawn with this book and its analysis," explains Dr. Holland. "I needed to make my arguments rest on unshakable evidence, while remaining true to the inerrancy and the infallibility of Romans being the very Word of God. See it as a work that is both scholarly and confessional. It's my hope that this becomes a seminal title in all fields of religion and theology, even though there are still dozens of questions we cannot answer."

Tom Holland is Senior Research Fellow in Biblical studies at the Wales Evangelical School of Theology. He has a DipTh from Cambridge, a BD from London and a PhD from the University of Wales. Before entering academia he founded and pastored two churches in Hertfordshire, England. His previous books include the internationally acclaimed 'Contours of Pauline Theology' and 'Romans: The Divine Marriage', and Tom teaches and preaches in Universities, seminaries and churches around the world. He is married to Barbara and they have three daughters and five grandchildren.

"Hope for the Nations: Paul's Letter to the Romans"
by Dr. Tom Holland
Apostolos Publishing Ltd
Published August 3, 2015
ISBN-10: 1910942006
ISBN-13: 978-1910942000
464 Pages
Softcover $31

United Kingdom Purchasing of 'Hope for the Nations: Paul's Letter to the Romans (A Corporate Reading)', from Apostolos Publishing.

  • ISBN: 978-1-910942-00-0 (Paperback, 462 pages perfect bound -- RRP £19.99)
  • ISBN: 978-1-910942-01-7 (ebook -- RRP £9.99)
  • Ebook available from all good ebook retailers from 1st September

No. 9

"Devils in Innocence"

by Gordon Andrews

"Devils in Innocence" by Gordon Andrews
United Kingdom -- It's not every day we get a first-hand account of what it was like to be a youngster in 1930s England. But author Gordon Andrews shows us exactly that -- and beautifully too. His Thurrock is a nicer, gentler place than researchers would have us believe us today, thanks to de-industrialization and high unemployment. Sitting 25 miles east of London on the north bank of the Thames, Thurrock is far enough away from the capital to be considered country but has its excitements nonetheless (many manufactured by Andrews and his friends). Real life (ie the politics and economics of the time) don't play a big role in this drama but there's a generational perspective. This was an age where children were 'seen and not heard' but had far more freedom than those who came after them.

Synopsis This is a funny tale of a group of young men running around causing mischief rather than terror. Their high jinks consists of such pranks as getting a wireless to work using a quartz crystal, piece of wire, battery and some lead acid accumulators -- and charged unknowingly to the local bicycle shop.

As the author so eloquently puts it in his own words: "Here is a story of childhood adventures, of young people roaming the countryside with little hindrance, yet adhering strictly to the lore of the countryside. Shutting gates so cattle couldn't escape, keeping under the hedges rather than ruining crops or pastures by small boots, treating their elders with respect and civility and yet stretching the bounds of the established rules to the point of breaking."

Historians will love the detail in this novel. For instance, television wasn't available so youngsters were left to their own imaginations. They created adventures, many of which are outlined hilariously in this book. Much of their time was spent outdoors and obesity was unheard of, despite three meals a day and the author's mouth watering descriptions of his favourite puddings -- golden syrup tart, plum duff, date pudding and rice with syrup. Readers may also be interested to learn of the single sex schooling at the time -- for co-education hadn't been universally introduced into the public sector. Boys, says the author, had matters other than romance on their minds in their teens. The depictions of an idyllic childhood are all the more poignant when you consider that years later these young men would be off to fight in World War II -- some of whom wouldn't return and others for whom the memories of their free and fun-filled childhood was all the more precious.

Gordon Andrews (aged 93) was born in Thurrock, Essex on 26 February nineteen twenty-two and is probably one of the oldest people in the UK to have a novel published. As a young man Gordon left grammar school and began forging a career as an engineering design draughtsman. However a stint in the Royal Electrical and mechanical Engineers during WW2 saw him rise to Sergeant and then Armament Sergeant Major. The role took him to India and Burma. On retiring from the army he worked in Property Services until a stroke forced him to leave work. As part of his recovery he began writing and hasn't stopped to this day. Devils in Innocence is his third book. His first, Fans and Feathers, came out in 2011 and his second, The Outlanders, the following year.

No. 10

"The Beginning"

By Michael R. Nardo

"The Beginning" By Michael R. Nardo
WILMINGTON, Del. -- With NASA's recent discovery of liquid water on Mars, it challenges the previously held theory that intelligent life can only be found on Earth. In his new fiction book "The Beginning," Michael R. Nardo presents a thrilling story based on evidence he's found that should prove extraterrestrials helped shape human life on Earth.

"Mainstream scholars, governments and religious institutions have forever cast doubt on the existence of intelligent extraterrestrial life," Nardo said. "The more studies I read, the more I'm convinced that there is other intelligent life in the universe and we are not alone. Recent polls indicate that more than 55 percent of Americans and 75 percent of young adults, from 18 to 24, believe there is intelligent life on other planets." Moreover, a National Geographic survey indicated that 77 percent of Americans believe there are signs that aliens have visited Earth."

The first installment of this science fiction trilogy explores the origin of man and the existence of alien life in the universe and its connection to the earth. It tells the story of how a top secret, quasi-government committee consisting of members from powerful corporations, intelligence agencies, scientists and the president of the United States are involved in numerous cover-ups of close encounters throughout history. (Read more overview at The Beginning. Com)

After 21 years in the Delaware attorney general's office, Nardo started the information technology company FuturTech Consulting in 1996 where he has advised more than 200 businesses in technology implementation since its conception. Although his daily focus is technology, the businessman-turned-author has always had a passion for reading and researching facts about extraterrestrial life which he has now turned into a book series. Nardo said, "I wrote the book to entertain people, but at the same time, make them aware of the real possibilities that extraterrestrials have visited earth all throughout human history."

Michael R. Nardo earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Delaware and worked for 21 years as a government administrator. Nardo started his own IT company, FuturTech Consulting, in 1996. He currently lives in Wilmington, Delaware, with his wife Mary. They have three daughters and five grandchildren. For more information, visit www.thebeginningbook.com.

"The Beginning"
By Michael R. Nardo
Archway Publishing
Published 5/1/2015
ISBN: 978-1-48081-673-2 (hardcover $36)
978-1-48081-672-5 (softcover $18)
978-1-48081-674-9 (e-book $6)


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