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R.P. BenDedek

Magic City Book Basket 2015 No. 35
By R.P. BenDedek
Dec 31, 2015 - 6:15:44 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.

NOTE: Book Baskets will only be published if and when there are a sufficient number of entries to justify the publication.

Author Articles Since Basket No. 34

  1. America's "Safe Space" by Patrick J. Fornari Author of "Commoner Sense."

Book Reviews Published Since Basket No. 34

M. Stevens-David Review: "Granny Glitter's Christmas Story" by Andreen Siracusa
Dec 30, 2015

This "children's" book "Granny Glitter's Christmas Story" by artist and graphic designer Andree Siracusa, was so beautifully written and colorfully illustrated that it takes the "reader's breath away. In my opinion, this is a story for all age groups and I'm certain that any child who has the opportunity to read this book for themselves, will cherish it too.

Martha Stevens-David Review: "A Drill Sergeant's Fame" by Kimberly Mae
Dec 30, 2015

After reading Kimberly Mae's heartfelt words and descriptions about training, battles and the on-going mental struggles she endured even after having left our military to return to her family, I really realized that even though our soldiers have been able to survive unspeakable atrocities in a war zone, these mental images never really leave them all the days of their lives. And I now understand why my two brothers, upon leaving the service, kept to themselves and never fully engaged with those who they felt "would never understand" the horrors they have lived through.

Milt Gross Book Review: "Go Set a Watchman" by Harper Lee
Dec 27, 2015

The story is well written and moves right along, but, looking back at it, I found a central part of the manuscript a work to expose bigotry. Blacks were still treated as not quite as "well" as whites, whatever that means. This central part of the manuscript appears to me to be a criticism of that white mindset. But it was in the Air Force in Biloxi, MI, where I recall the most blatant insult to blacks. A couple of white women had taken me to a Baptist church, about which I remember nothing, and on the way home as we approached the air base, one said, "They've got damn blacks guarding the base." That became my memory of Southern Baptists.

R.P. BenDedek review: "Seeing the Life" by Sophie Dawson
Dec 25, 2015

When one reads the Bible one must surely ask, 'how did they know Mary was a virgin?' Sophie Dawson provides the answer within this story. Have you ever wondered about the background story to Jesus' disappearance when he was 12 years old and how Mary and Joseph found him? That too is covered in the story. Have you ever wondered what was in Mary's mind when she asked Jesus to help out at the wedding in Cana? If so you will love the way that the author treats this issue. I burst out laughing! The storytelling was really inspired! It would I think be an interesting story even if it did not involve the life, ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus.

Milt Gross Book Review: "Breaking Point" by C.J.Box
Dec 20, 2015

Breaking Point was one of the best murder mysteries I've read for a long time. C.J. Box, the author, has written 13 novels featuring Joe Pickett. He has won several awards, and his books have been translated into 25 languages, according to the book cover. He lives outside of Cheyenne, WY with his family, a great place to live while writing Westerns.

Milt Gross Book Review: "Cover Story" by Gerry Boyle
Dec 13, 2015

Cover Story was a fairly typical murder mystery written by a Maine writer, a news reporter for the Central Maine Morning Sentinel. Although our first-person hero, Jack McMorrow, who in the story lived in the area of Liberty, Maine, as the reader who knows Maine can tell from his occasional comments about home. He had a girlfriend, Roxanne, who lived near his home. McMorrow who had written for the Boston Globe and the Times, was known to be a good news writer.

Martha Stevens-David Review: "A Year in the Village" by Petra Langa
Dec 13, 2015

This short story tells of the friendship of two young girls, Lisa and Eva and the different paths their lives have taken over the years. After years of separation, upon rediscovering each other, the two friends find that they still have much in common and Lisa sets out to help Eva gain control over her addiction to men, financial difficulties and alcohol.

R.P. BenDedek

No. 1

"Thou Shalt Kill"

By Tom P. Brown

"Thou Shalt Kill" By Tom P. Brown
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Deadly wars are waged all across the globe on a daily basis and yet the average life expectancy continues to rise thanks to advances in medicine. Although the two ideas seem to be in direct conflict with one another, it's only a matter of time before some enterprising mind finds a way to use one in service of the other.

In the futuristic thriller, "Thou Shalt Kill," author Tom P. Brown imagines that exact scenario. The world is untenably overpopulated thanks to a stem cell research breakthrough that leads to dramatically increased life expectancies. Soon, an ethically charged concept is introduced: a chip is implanted in all citizens, automatically terminating life at one hundred years. Chips with remaining years become valuable currency, and there's no better way to make a profit than to harvest chips from fallen soldiers on the battleground.

Brown, a doctor of osteopathic medicine and a veteran of the Gulf War, was inspired to write the book during his service in the Middle East.

"As a flight surgeon during Desert Storm, I learned a lot about the human cost of war," Brown said. "I couldn't help but think about all the ways in which the destruction on the battlefield could have been redirected to other causes, and that idea made its way into my book."

Tom P. Brown attended medical school at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, graduating in 1987. After US Navy Flight Surgeon Training in Pensacola, Florida, he was attached to a frontline Marine Helicopter Air Group during Desert Storm as a flight surgeon and personally witnessed the reality of war. He has been published on various medical subjects in Physician and Sports Medicine, Post Graduate Medicine, and and has maintained a keen interest in stem cell research.

"Thou Shalt Kill"
By Tom P. Brown
CreateSpace Independent Publishing
Published May 5, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-50492-916-5
354 pages
Hardcover $29
Softcover $13
E- book $4

No. 2

"Secrets of the IRS"

By Ann Hewitt

"Secrets of the IRS" By Ann Hewitt
SEATTLE -- An IRS audit is a scary thing for taxpayers -- but it doesn't have to be, if you know how to handle the situation.

Ann Hewitt is both a retired IRS auditor and the one-time subject of an audit that went terribly wrong. Hewitt wrote "Secrets of the IRS," a book detailing her experiences on both sides of the system, to teach taxpayers what to expect from an audit.

"Audits can be nerve-wracking, and it's easy to be bullied if you don't know what the agent is doing," Hewitt said. "But there are things you can do to protect yourself."

Hewitt, who worked two different stints with the IRS, was subjected to an audit when she returned to the agency after leaving for another job. Despite her familiarity with the process, the situation quickly turned into a nightmare, as the agency routinely abused its power throughout the process. Hewitt hopes to prevent others from falling into similar circumstances.

"Eventually, I won that audit," Hewitt said. "I hope 'Secrets of the IRS' will help others win theirs."

Ann Hewitt is a retired IRS auditor living in Wenatchee, Wash. She says: "I am now eighty-four years old and with "terminal cancer," per my doctor. This is very good news to me for two reasons. First, I have never wanted to live to be ninety, and second, the IRS threats of twenty-seven years ago no longer scare me. After all, I am going to die one way or another during the next five years. I don't care whether it's cancer or an assassin's bullet that gives me my wish. Needless to say, it will be appreciated if no suffering is part of the bargain."

"Secrets of the IRS"
By Ann Hewitt
AuthorHouse Pub.
Published August 4, 2015
ISBN: 978-1-50491-069-9
122 pages
Hardcover $24
Softcover $15
E-book $4

No. 3

"Future Man"

By Bruno de Marques

"Future Man" By Bruno de Marques
LISBON, Portugal -- What happened to the future? We live in 2015 and yet we have little to show for it -- no flying cars, no teleportation devices, no humanoid robots, no manned space exploration. When did those dreams die?

"Future Man," the new novel from author Bruno de Marques, seeks to revive that once-promising vision of the future. The tightly wound plot follows Vincent, an average, middle-aged man from Delaware, who is disillusioned by the unfulfilled promises of the science fiction of his youth. Determined to usher in a new era of technological advances, Vincent searches the world for scientists who can help turn his vision to reality. What follows is an adventurous journey across the globe -- and the galaxy -- as Vincent seeks to develop the technology that will create more interesting and fulfilling lives for people all over the world.

"For those of us who followed the world's quest for the moon and beyond, expectations over what the future might bring were high and diverse," said de Marques. "It's now the 21st century and the 'future' never came to pass."

"Future Man" is an action-packed adventure and homage to the classic science fiction tropes of the past. De Marques hopes to inspire readers to push for the future we've always envisioned.

"Changing the future is a gargantuan task," said de Marques. "It's a cause that will need us all."

Bruno de Marques resides in Lisbon, Portugal. The idea for "Future Man" came to de Marques after he learned of historian Rainer Daehnhardt, who researched the scientific activities in Antarctica by the German Nazi regime during the 1930s and '40s. For more information, visit

"Future Man"
By Bruno de Marques
Archway publishing
Published July 31, 2015
ISBN: 978-1-4808-1814-9
572 pages
Hardcover $37
Softcover $25
E-book $5

No. 4

"OTMA 82 -- The First Day"

By Serge Jusyp

"OTMA 82 -- The First Day" By Serge Jusyp
TORONTO -- Agnostics believe in a heavenly afterlife. Agnostics belief life ends at death. But what if there were a transitional state, where personality survives and spiritual consciousness is explored?

In the novel "OTMA 82 -- The First Day," author Serge Jusyp illustrates the possibility with an adventurous tale of a group of strangers forced to confront their first day in the afterlife. The plot eschews the controversial spiritual questions and instead focuses on the practical side of the afterlife -- what it looks like, where it's located, and what one would do there.

"I wanted to write a book that would make sense to both agnostics and atheists," Jusyp said. "I wanted to engage and stimulate their thinking and open them to the possibility of an afterlife that does not depend on settled religious concepts."

Jusyp grounds such lofty concepts in the engaging story of four unique characters, each searching for their own answers in a new reality. Jusyp hopes the novel will provoke readers to consider their own ideas of the afterlife with a fresh perspective.

"The search for truth challenges everything we believe about life, death, and what may follow," Jusyp said.

Serge Jusyp has been interested for many years in questions of personality survival after death, as well as whether science and faith are reconcilable. As a 1975 graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School with a Juris Doctor degree, he practiced law until 2002. He lives in Toronto, Ontario.

"OTMA 82 - The First Day"
By Serge Jusyp
iUniverse Pub.
Publishing November 10, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-46202-175-8
276 pages
Hardcover $28
Softcover $18
E-book $5

No. 5

"Listening for God's Voice"

By Ruth Pearson

"Listening for God's Voice" By Ruth Pearson
LONDON -- Ruth Pearson was struggling. She had been laid off from work and crippled by a particularly brutal lupus flare-up. Unable to walk without assistance and quickly losing hope of recovering her former life, Pearson was desperate for a reason to be optimistic -- and then a miracle happened.

Pearson was attending a women's retreat when she experienced a particularly impactful worship service. Without help from any of the other women, she began to walk. Then she ran. Then, overtaken by the music in the room and the feeling of her own joy, Pearson danced.

Pearson recounts this miraculous experience and many others from her recovery in her new book, "Listening for God's Voice." The book is a devotional aimed to help others overcome trials in their life by strengthening their relationship with God.

"I had stopped listening to God," Pearson said. "I found that as I reconnected with Him during my recovery, He gave me the strength to face another day."

In addition to her book, Pearson has also shared her experiences in motivational speaking engagements. She also founded Listening to Your Voice Ltd., an organization specializing in personal development, motivation, and leadership coaching.

Ruth Pearson is an inspiring motivational speaker and writer who utilizes her own personal experiences to empower others so that they too can overcome life's challenges. She is also an experienced educational consultant, coach, and counselor. She is the founder of Listening to Your Voice Ltd., an organization specializing in personal development and leadership coaching. She is available to speak in the United Kingdom, where she resides, and around the world. Read more at

"Listening for God's Voice"
By Ruth Pearson
Westbow Press
Published: 7/23/2015
ISBN: 978-1-49088-369-4
148 pages
Hardcover $31
Softcover $14
E-book $7

No. 6

"Smash-Mouth Jesus: A Memoir - God's Answer to Violence"

by Jack Flynn

"Smash-Mouth Jesus: A Memoir - God's Answer to Violence" by Jack Flynn
When Jack Flynn was a young boy, he knew his father was abusive but there wasn't anything he could do about it. Now, after living most of his life with depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, Flynn has devoted his adult life to helping others recover from domestic violence.

In his new book "Smash-Mouth Jesus: A Memoir -- God's Answer to Violence," Flynn opens up about his childhood in an abusive home and how his experience followed him to adulthood. Although his past has affected many parts of his life, at one point even contemplating suicide, he credits his faith in God for pulling him through it all and helping him understand that the answer to violence is through finding justice.

The life of an abused child is filled with pain and self-blame. And there is the never-ending question of why one of the people who is supposed to love you is also responsible for hurting you. Millions of children experience abuse and neglect every day. For most, their stories go untold. In author Jack Flynn's memoir, Smash-Mouth Jesus-A Memoir: God's Answer to Violence, he takes you on a journey of redemption through the nightmare of helplessness and self-hatred associated with child abuse. Flynn illustrates the challenges an abandoned and abused child faces when thrown into a cruel world with no direction. (Read More at Amazon)

Jack Flynn spent most of his life digging out of the quagmire of self-hatred caused by a childhood of abuse and violence. On his journey to find peace and happiness, he led a Christian recovery program and earned his undergraduate degree in journalism and his master's degree in psychology.

"Smash-Mouth Jesus: A Memoir - God's Answer to Violence"
by Jack Flynn
WestBow Press
Published July 16, 2015
ISBN-10: 1490886982
ISBN-13: 978-1490886985
138 pages

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