From Magic City Morning Star

R.P. BenDedek
Magic City Book Basket 2015 No.6
By R.P. BenDedek
Mar 5, 2015 - 8:06:40 AM

"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 our reviewers have once again started 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 Since Basket No. 5

  1. How to Empower Children to Overcome Sibling Rivalry by Monica Iglesias Author of "You Are a Powerful Creator My Little One"
  2. Has America Lost Its Status as the "City Upon a Hill"? by Bruce Biller Author of "The god-man seed of Satan"
  3. Turning Point in my Marriage -- and my Life by Anita Dennis, Author of "Beyond Myself: The Farm Girl and the African Chief"

Book Reviews Published Since Basket No. 5

Milt Gross Book and Movie Review: "The Virginian" by Owen Wister
Feb 26, 2015

I would make the judgement that the book was better reading than the DVD was viewing, but I doubt if you can find a copy of the 1902 original book. Dolores found mine at the town's recycling center. I'm sure glad she found it and brought it home to become a part of my permanent library.....I wonder if the writer ever actually considered these ideas as he wrote. Or were these ideas added by others who read his book. Wister, it seems, was from a wealthy family, had the best education, and did a lot of writing in addition to this worthy western. He was born in Philadelphia in 1860, which must have been a good year as it also the year my grandfather was born, perhaps in Missouri.

R.P. BenDedek

No. 1

"The Seven Churches of Asia Minor"

by Dr. Orville R. Beckford

"The Seven Churches of Asia Minor" by Dr. Orville R. Beckford
NEW YORK -- The Apostle John wrote about it. Churches today all too often resemble it. In his book, "The Seven Churches of Asia Minor," Dr. Orville Beckford directly calls out the pastors of LA and other modern day church organizations for looking like the Laodicean church found in Revelation of the Bible.

He warns that pastors have become so consumed with making money that they have neglected the salvation of their congregation, putting wealth above the sacrifice of Christ.

"Churches today look just like the Laodicean church, making large amounts of money while Christ is on the outside knocking, pleading for a welcome in," Dr. Beckford said.

Dr. Beckford has pastored 5 churches, two in Jamaica, one in St. Vincent, and two in the United States. His passion is to see the church mended and returned to its former glory.

"I fear for where the church seems to be heading," Dr. Beckford said, "I am a voice in the wilderness crying out for the church to return to an intimate relationship with Christ."

He hopes that his book will serve as a wake up call to the churches that have left their first love--Christ.

Dr. Orville Beckford Sr. was born in Jamiaca and has pastored churches in Jamaica, St. Vincent and the United States. He is currently a pastor in New Rochelle, New York where he teaches discipleship and the art of preaching sermons. He and his wife, married for 36 years, have three sons and one granddaughter. He has a passion for the Lord and the church, and wants to see believers have a personal and intimate relationship with Christ, and less focus on earthly treasure and pleasure.For more information, visit

"The Seven Churches of Asia Minor"
By: Dr. Orville R. Beckford Sr.
ISBN: 9781490849829
Softcover: $17.95
Hardcover: $33.95
E-book: $7.99

No. 2

"Freedom, Vulnerability, and Love"

By Kathy Bazinet

"Freedom, Vulnerability, and Love" By Kathy Bazinet
TORONTO -- With 11 years of experience in the mental health and addiction services field and over 20 years working in self-help and public speaking, author Kathy Bazinet has sought to help others on their personal journeys even as she embarked on her own. Now, she seeks to help others embrace their true selves with her new book "Freedom, Vulnerability, and Love."

According to the World Health Organization, depression is the fastest rising mental illness worldwide. Bazinet sends the message that by grounding oneself in vulnerability and the present moment, depression and anxiety simply cannot survive.

"Finding your authentic self is a process that requires looking not outward or in the past, but within and now. From there, happiness is attainable," Bazinet said.

Bazinet encourages everyone to seize the privilege and responsibility of creating the script for one's own life, instead of acting out a script imposed by others. With her book "Freedom, Vulnerability, and Love", the simple process for unveiling mental stumbling blocks becomes clear.

This book is a journey of self discovery that explains how I finally embraced freedom—sweet freedom—found strength in the emotions of vulnerability, and learned the language of the heart. Be real and honest with yourself. Don’t put on a brave face, but rather experience the freedom that comes when your soul dances in the delight of expressing all that you are! In this journey of self discovery, your soul will welcome you home, reminding you of all that you have forgotten, but that you have always known. (Overview Balboa Press)

Kathy Bazinet has spent 11 years in the mental health and addiction services field and over 20 in self-help, personal development, coaching, consulting and speaking. She has a Bachelor's of Education in Adult Education, a Reiki Level Three certification, and is a certified Harmony Integration Life Transformation Coach and a member of the HI Master Coaches Mastermind program. She has spent her life in an active journey of self-discovery and lives with her two daughters. For more information, visit

"Freedom, Vulnerability, and Love"
By Kathy Bazinet
Balboa Press
Published 7/9/2014
ISBN: 978-1-45251-773-5
114 Pages
Softcover $12
Hardcover $29
E-book $4

No. 3

"The Red Rose of Romance and War"

By John A. Yates

"The Red Rose of Romance and War" By John A. Yates
NEWCASTLE, Australia -- Where there is no struggle, there is no strength. In his new book "The Red Rose of Romance and War," author John A. Yates unravels the complications and opportunities of war during the 20th century.

"It can be extremely emotional to delve into the heartbreak and horror soldiers faced," Yates said. "At the same time, war gave soldiers the opportunity to travel and see the world for the first time, and sometimes even fall in love."

The novel follows an Australian soldier's heroic tour of duty in Europe during World War I until trench foot brings his service to an abrupt halt. After reclaiming life in the rural bush in Australia, the protagonist is called back to duty during World War II.

Yates is the son of a World War I veteran and nurse, a wartime romance that inspired his novel. He draws on his father's experiences as an Australian soldier to write a fresh perspective on war and its effects.

"The Red Rose of Romance and War" shows readers the balance between spirit, heroism, hardship, romance and adventure.

Wilf Yates joined the army to make a difference, but nothing prepared him for his place in history-or in the heart of a nurse named Ann Davis. As a member of the Australian Imperial Forces, Wilf took part in the capture of Mont St Quentin in France, the greatest achievement of any army in World War One. In that fateful campaign, Australia suffered some three thousand causalities over three days of fighting, but those lives were not lost in vain; the victory helped bring the war to an unexpected end. (Read More Overview)

John A. Yates is a director of a packaging company in Newcastle, Australia. He is the son of a World War I veteran, which inspires his writing. Yates has three children and seven grandchildren. This is his first book to be published.

"The Red Rose of Romance and War"
By John A. Yates
Balboa Press
Published 9/15/2014
ISBN: 978-1-4525-2451-1
390 Pages
Softcover $23.99
E-book $3.99

No. 4

"Life Concepts"

by Vishwas Doneria

"Life Concepts" by Vishwas Doneria
BOSTON -- Have you ever wished for a how-to guide explaining the basic concepts of happiness and success?

In his new book "Life Concepts," Vishwas Doneria outlines practical tips for personal growth. By sharing anecdotes from his own journey, Doneria helps readers realize how to achieve their innermost goals.

"You have the power to live a happy, successful life that's not dependent on others," said Doneria. "Once you discover this truth, your life becomes more authentic."

After extensive research of the human condition and continued analysis of varied case studies, Doneria has summarized his findings in his easy-to-understand guidebook.

From the author's meticulous research as a foundation, readers will gain an in-depth knowledge of human nature, society's beliefs and laws of nature and derive easy-to-understand concepts about happiness and success.

"Life Concepts" gives readers the tools to build a positive foundation from which they can continue to achieve personal growth.

Vishwas Doneria, an information technology professional, has spent the majority of his life researching human and societal knowledge. At 30 years old, Doneria realized he had gained a significant enough amount of feedback and chose to compile his research in book format. He lives near Boston. For more information, please visit

"Life Concepts"
By: Vishwas Doneria
Xlibris Pub.
July 14, 2014
ISBN: 978-1-4990-4000-5
80 pages
Hardcover $24.99
Softcover $15.99
E-book $9.99

No. 5

"The Curious Prophecy of Birds"

by Amanda Darcy

"The Curious Prophecy of Birds" by Amanda Darcy
United Kingdom -- Many people dream of exploring remote Scottish islands, craving the seclusion and mysterious beauty of places a far cry from home. In her gripping new mystery novel, author Amanda Darcy follows two complete strangers who find themselves on the island of Faull for very different reasons. When their paths cross they are drawn into events more dark and terrifying than they ever could have imagined.

Synopsis: In the Curious Prophecy of Birds, four stories are woven together in a complex timeline. Fate, coincidence and the secrets of the past conspire to create a final dramatic twist in which the interconnections between strangers are revealed. The interwoven stories are those of Kate Simmonds, climber and ornithologist; Nick Johnson, university researcher; the islanders of Faull and the mysterious flock of birds that has descended upon the island. Kate is drawn to the island by reports of mysterious bird-behaviour. Nick is there to investigate the island's sinister past. Kate is drawn into using her climbing skills to help Nick investigate strange carvings and rock symbols. As they begin to unravel the islanders' secrets they are helped and hindered by the actions of the birds and various islanders. Together they survive several life-threatening situations only to realise that the islanders believe that their gods demand blood sacrifices. A ceremony is due within days. Unable to secure outside help they can only watch the barbaric cliff top ritual. Nick risks his life to prevent the sacrifice taking place. Two of the island elders die but the ceremony is only finally thwarted when a Chinook helicopter arrives, alerted by a suspicious coastguard. The islanders refuse to speak of the events of that night. Life on Faull appears to return to normal but the danger is not over yet.....

"While most people don't recognise it, fate and coincidence mould our lives. This book pushes those influences to the forefront of the narrative, and readers will turn the last page acutely aware of how they figure in their own existence," explains the author, a passionate photographer who took inspiration for the book's title from some of her photographic work. "Some entire communities have secrets and this novel blends them with folklore to produce an edge-of-the-seat saga that proves just how quickly seclusion can contort mainstream beliefs and cultures, and how powerless one is in the face of revenge. Where do the birds figure? While they are not the epicentre of the narrative, they are essential to the story. The island mythology states that the birds carry the souls of the dead between earth and heaven. They also avenge those souls who are not yet ready to leave. The book has had great early success."

Amanda Darcy lives and works in Sussex, UK. She writes for the pleasure of crafting and telling a good story with the emphasis on mystery, intrigue and fast moving scenes. Her first novel, "The Curious Prophecy of Birds", is a fast paced thriller, based in a small island community and explores how the past can so often come to haunt the present and define the future. Several more books are in the pipeline, including a sequel to "The Curious Prophecy of Birds".

No. 6

"Pathways to Fight or Flight"

By Rosa Mae Carrier

6. Pathways to Fight or Flight By Rosa Mae Carrier
BURLINGTON, Vt. -- Novelist Rosa Mae Carrier was born and raised in the place that molded her into the person she is today, but she believes everyone should understand the need to seek the seasons of their lives and embrace changes for personal growth.

That urge to help others find happiness--along with encouragement from children and grandchildren--was the cornerstone of inspiration in writing her book, "Pathways to Fight or Flight."

The story unfolds in a small town in New England where Millie Craig is struggling to grow and make a life for her two children and herself. Abandoned by her father at the age of two and neglected by her mother, she is a broken woman who has learned from her past and tries to reshape her future.

The author remembers living through hard times throughout her childhood and credits her faith in God for bringing her through those moments. Carrier purposely wrote "Pathways to Fight or Flight" with strong characters to be uplifting to readers as an example for their own lives.

"I would like to reach readers who need to know they are not alone, that they are better than the life thrown at them," Carrier said. "I hope readers can find their own courage to redesign the matter that causes them pain."

Rosa Mae Carrier has always loved to write and is determined to share her own seasons of life with readers to let them know they are not alone. "Pathways to Fight or Flight" is Carrier's second published book. Her first, "Fragile Blossom," was published in 2007. For information, visit

"Pathways to Fight or Flight"
By Rosa Mae Carrier
Xllibris Books
Nov 17, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-46539-396-8
274 Pages

No. 7

"Bitter Waters"

by Brian Hurd

"Bitter Waters" by Brian Hurd
DALLAS -- Good vs. evil: It's an age-old battle, but sometimes the things we believe to be good are not, and the things we know to be harmful can surprise us. Author Brian Hurd explores this concept in his new book, "Bitter Waters."

Hurd uses his writing to encourage readers to question what they believe to be true, to examine the boundaries of modern religion and to explore the world's unknowns. Readers of "Bitter Waters" will enter Depression era Chicago, where the rogue angel Wormwood begins a quest to instigate an apocalypse, becoming the puppet master in a a complex and provocative piece of fiction. He plans for private investigator Harold Darnier to become a pawn in his scheme, but is surprised when the detective learns more than he intended.

"My hope is that readers will be as captivated by this story as I was when writing it," Hurd said.

Although Hurd merely intended to write an action-packed adventure, readers may also learn invaluable life lessons. Messages about the importance of the right friend at the right time are woven throughout the novel.

You've never heard of the existence of angels and demons such as these. When a killer appears in 1936 Chicago, a realm beneath the earth emerges, where angels and demons exist and are able to beget children with humans. Among these entities, there is none more dangerous to the human race than the mad angel Wormwood. Shunned by both heaven and hell, he dreams a future for Earth to rival his greatest triumph: the Fall of Rome and the Dark Ages that followed. Read more overview)

Brian Hurd has loved writing since he was a child. Now, he has two children of his own, but the stories live on. His debut novel, "Bitter Waters," is the first installment in a series called The Wormwood Chronicles. Hurd resides in Denton, Texas.

"Bitter Waters"
By Brian Hurd
Xlibris Books
Sept 10, 2014
ISBN 978-1-49906-637-1
252 pages
Softcover $14
Hardcover $20

No. 8

"Meet Twinkle Toes!"

by Faye M. Parsons

"Meet Twinkle Toes!" by Faye M. Parsons
DETROIT -- Filled with vibrant colors and heartwarming lessons about acceptance, love, compassion and diversity, "Meet Twinkle Toes!" by Faye M. Parsons introduces a unique cat in search of friendship and love.

Twinkle Toes is a naïve and timid cat with a multicolored coat and large stature that searches for companions and a place to call home. Through the kindness of other, Twinkle Toes learns to embrace his differences.

As a teacher, Parsons uses her background in education to help children learn important lessons that will be impactful in early childhood behavior, such as learning right from wrong and being accepting of all people. In addition to "Meet Twinkle Toes!", Parsons intends to publish additional stories about Twinkle Toes and the morals he gains from his adventures.

"I wrote this book to help children learn valuable character traits such as: honesty, patience, forgiveness, respect, gratitude, friendship, honor and loyalty," Parsons said. "Twinkle Toes' stories convey these virtues in a humorous yet tender and endearing manner. Children will laugh, cry (just a little) and learn with him."

"Meet Twinkle Toes!" is a heart-warming story that encourages children to explore what makes them unique and accept the distinctive characteristics of others as well.

Faye M. Parsons is the author of the "Twinkle Toes" series of children's picture books that teach children important lessons about love and acceptance. Parsons has a Bachelor of Science Degree in education and a Master of Arts Degree in teaching. In addition to publishing, she has had an extensive career as a schoolteacher and a Sunday school primary teacher. Parsons is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. In her free time, she enjoys writing, playing golf and participating in church activities.

"Meet Twinkle Toes"
by Faye M. Parsons
AuthorHouse Pub
Published 8/7/2014
ISBN: 978-1-4969-3083-5
18 Pages
Paperback $16
E-book $3.50

No. 9


by M. R. Pickard

"Agape" By: M. R. Pickard
SYDNEY -- According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services children who grow up in fatherless homes are twice as likely to drop out of school and twice as likely to end up in jail at some point in their lives.

Luckily for Maryanne Pickard she grew up with a phenomenal father, who provided her with sage advice, guidance and support. As a teacher she became fully aware of the lucky straw she pulled. She has tried to help pass her father's wisdom onto the next generation of young men who seem to have become lost in a world where the media has no limits.

Pickard's new book, "Agape," collects her late father's life lessons and wisdom to be shared with a broader audience. Finding a positive role model for children can be extremely difficult, so Pickard hopes this new book can help parents, teachers or even older siblings set a good example.

"I wanted to help mothers, guardians and young men start conversations about what it really means to be a man, the negative affects of graphic media, the importance of marriage or even just what romance truly is," Pickard said.

"Agape" aims to help answer the questions most boys have, but are afraid to ask.

M. R. Pickard spent years collecting thoughts and ideas, storing them away in the back of her filing cabinet in a nondescript manila folder labelled "BOOK." Years of staring into the faces of her students-teenage boys in desperate need of good male role models-inspired her to jot down one jewel of wisdom after another. Channelling her late father, Ronald Ernest John Pickard, she has always endeavoured to display the qualities most in need of sharing while in the classroom. Now she's ready to transcend the classroom and share the lessons she learned from her beloved father with the world. As they ever have, young men today need answers to important questions. What does it mean to be a man? What are the effects of pornography on men, women, and children? Why is there suffering in the world? (Read More)

Maryanne Pickard worked in the corporate world and then spent 14 years as a secondary educator for boys with two years of co-ed teaching under her belt. She was born in Australia, has travelled through Europe and seen what modern boys and men act like globally. Knowing how profound of an affect her father had on her, she hopes to share that experience with others.

by M. R. Pickard
Balboa press
Published 3/31/2014
ISBN-13: 9781452513621
90 Pages
Softcover $9
E-book $3.50

No. 10

"Overcoming Loss and Embracing Hope"

by Kathy Trant

"Overcoming Loss and Embracing Hope" by Kathy Trant
TAMPA, Fla. -- The awful event of 9/11 scared millions of people. But, it was more than a scar on a nation; a wife was hurting for her husband.

In her book "Overcoming Loss and Embracing Hope," Kathy Trant tells a compelling story of life, love and loss. September 11, 2001 changed her life forever when she received the news of a terrorist attack on the world trade center. Thousands of people lost their lives, including her soul mate, Danny. After her husband's death, Trant fell apart, slipping into a deep, dark depression.

"The death of Danny was the hardest thing I've ever experienced," Trant said. "The life I had come to know and love left as fast as the planes flew into the buildings."

Her book describes the love that Danny and she shared, raising three children together. After 9/11, she learned to cope with the situation she faced. To this day she continues on the path to recovery. She hopes to inspire people facing similar hardships and to honor Danny, the love of her life.

On the morning of September 11, 2001, I was a happy woman, living a life I loved. I had a husband I adored and three amazing children. Life was good. In one horrifying instant, it seemed, my world was shattered when the twin towers fell. My loving husband was gone, and the life I had known went with him. It took me years to crawl out from the wreckage of that event, and though I can’t say I’m healed, I consider myself a survivor. The events of 9/11 changed our entire country as profoundly as it changed my young family. We all promised to never forget, and that is what I am trying to do by sharing my story. I want the world to never forget my husband Danny, as well as the events that took him away from us. He meant the world to me, and I want his legacy to live on the way he still lives in our hearts. (AuthorHouse Overview)

Kathy Trant is an emerging author in Tampa, Fl. She hopes to help people who've experienced trauma in their lives. She's been featured on Oprah and many other talk shows.

"Overcoming Loss and Embracing Hope"
by Kathy Trant
AuthorHouse Pub
Published 6/26/2014
ISBN: 978-1-4969-2045-4
118 pages
Softcover $15
Hardcover $24
E-book $4

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