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R.P. BenDedek

Magic City Book Basket 2015 No. 9
By R.P. BenDedek
Mar 26, 2015 - 5:42:01 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 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)

Laure McCourt Lopez Author Interview

Pedophiles in the Church: Interview with Carol Kuhnert
Published March 23, 2015

Author Articles Since Basket No. 8

  1. Meditation now a mainstream method of boosting mental health by Gurutej Singh Khalsa author of "Rajni"
  2. Obama's Dangerous Game in the Middle East by Bruce Biller author of "The god-man seed of Satan"

Book Reviews Published Since Basket No. 8

Laure McCourt Lopez Book Review: "No Longer on Pedestals" by Carol Kuhnert
Mar 22, 2015

I was so personally moved by this book; as upsetting and disturbing were the revelations, I gained enormous insight as to not only the reactions of the Catholic Church but was shocked by the behaviors exhibited by some parishioners against the victims. Throughout the pages of the book, the author unveils the years of pain and torment her family and others endured upon learning that the family member in their midst had sexually abused an ever-growing number of young congregants of the various parishes that Fr. Christian served in.

Martha Stevens-David Book Review: "Pathways to Fight or Flight" by Rose Mae Carrier
Mar 21, 2015

"Pathways to Fight or Flight" by novelist "Rose Mae Carrier" is not a book that will appeal to every reader because its topic is very difficult to read about... Left to the mercy of her narcissistic, self-absorbed mother, the little girl is left to fend for herself in every way, shape and form. While this book in and of itself is a very difficult read, that being said, I think that the story still has merit and should be read.

Milt Gross Book Review: "Golden State" by Sichan Siv
Mar 21, 2015

To be fair, the first page lists five other of Sic's published books, and a New York Post review called it "Required reading." Just not required for me. I only read a quarter of it. It was so confusing that I realized at that point I knew nothing of what had happened. The part that I read seemed to occur all over the globe, and maybe later in the book there's a connection among them. But I found the writing so awful and going nowhere, that I couldn't bring myself to finish the trip.

Martha Stevens-David Book Review: "Love Letters for a Japanese Bride" by Stephen E. Price
Mar 21, 2015

This story, as it unfolds, filled me with so many emotions, I felt; beauty, humbleness, great love, dedication, affection, spirituality, sadness, defeat, kindness, and so many more, many more. And I wasn't prepared for the ending which made me sit and wipe a good many tears from my old reader eyes. I truthfully can't recall having read another book in all my long love of reading that touched me the way this story has.

R.P. BenDedek

No. 1

"When Owing a Shilling Costs a Dollar"

By Carver Clark Gayton

"When Owing a Shilling Costs a Dollar" By Carver Clark Gayton
SEATTLE -- From Trayvon Martin to Eric Garner, and many other injustices in between that seem to go unnoticed, it's clear that the country is still divided when it comes to the issue of race.

In When Owing a Shilling Costs a Dollar: The Saga of Lewis G. Clarke, Born a White Slave, author Carver Clark Gayton describes the lifetime contributions of his great-grandfather, Lewis G. Clarke, and his role in American history throughout the abolitionist movement.

By detailing Clarke's involvement in the late 1800s anti-slavery movement, Gayton hopes to provide a greater understanding of American society's perspective of the meaning of race and diversity within families.

"Clarke's story emphasizes his lifelong attempt to have the kind of family life he never experienced as a child," Gayton said. "The factors of color and bloodlines in America made his vision not only challenging, but transitory."

Gayton's interest in his ancestry grew as a child, after his mother often read him a book called A Key to Uncle Tom's Cabin, a presentation of facts and documents which author Harriet Beecher Stowe provided as the basis for her book Uncle Tom's Cabin. In A Key to Uncle Tom's Cabin, Stowe names Clarke as an inspiration for her character George Harris.

Carver Clark Gayton has a bachelor's degree in history, master's degree in public administration and doctorate in political science, all from the University of Washington. He has held many prestigious positions throughout his career, including Director of Affirmative Action Programs at the University of Washington, Assistant Professor of Public Administration at Florida State University, Corporate Director of Educational Relations and Training at Boeing Company and Executive Director of the Northwest African Museum. Gayton is a life member of the NAACP and lives in Seattle.

"When Owing a Shilling Costs a Dollar: The Saga of Lewis G. Clarke, Born a White Slave"
By Carver Clark Gayton
Xlibris Books
ISBN: 978-1-4990-1781-6
226 Pages
Softcover $16
Hardcover $23
E-book $4

No. 2.


by Luxi Xu

"Vulnerability" by Luxi Xu
LISBON, Portugal -- Between her roles as head editor of a student paper, writer for a parent magazine, head of a school house, teacher assistant and now author, Luxi Xu's schedule suggests she desires something greater than a typical 16 year old.

In her new poetry collection "Vulnerability," Xu provides a humanized look into a variety of longings and emotions from her vantage point as a teenager.

"I spend the majority of my time creating personas and worlds in my mind, which I try to trap on paper before they escape," Xu said. "So these words will be strange and peculiar but all the more attractive."

Xu, a Portugal native with Chinese heritage, also reflects on different cultures in her work. With a passion for languages, she now speaks seven from four continents.

"My experiences are unique," Xu said. "Culture clash manifests itself within me through both controversial and extremist views of the world."

"Vulnerability" asks questions about love, life and humanity. Through her experiences, Xu illustrates hardships and glories.

Luxi Xu is a 16-year-old student from Lisbon, Portugal with a passion for writing. A junior in high school, she is the head editor of a student magazine, writer for a parent magazine and teacher assistant for 6th grade English class. She speaks Mandarin Chinese, Wenzhouhua, English, Portuguese and French fluently, Spanish at a reasonable level and knows basic Japanese. Beyond writing, Xu loves to read and draw. "Vulnerability" is her first book to be published.

By: Luxi Xu
AuthorHouse Books
Published 10/31/2014
ISBN: 978-1-4969-4417-7
156 Pages
Softcover $12.00
E-book $3.50

No. 3.

"Vreni and the Secret at Hengist Point"

by David Greason Walker

"Vreni and the Secret at Hengist Point" by David Greason Walker
United Kingdom -- When juggling all of the stresses and strains of reality as an adult, millions lay their heads on their pillows and think back to their youth; days when living was a whim and anything seemed to be within reach. In his new novel, David G. Walker celebrates this transition from youth to adult, while taking readers on an adventure they won't be forgetting any time soon. 'Vreni and the Secret at Hengist Point' is far from a traditional romance novel; instead thrusting readers on an adventure to uncover Nazi gold, its political implications and a showcase of the spirit of six young people who take it all in their stride.

Synopsis: In this romantic adventure story David Greason Walker applauds youth, life, love, adventure and the wide landscapes that are far beyond the restrictions of a cosy fireside. The story explores the twilight world between youth and adulthood, with its mixture of idealism, love, realism and sheer caprice. When Carl Hafod first meets Vreni outside a busy pub on a cold, snow-blown winter's day, he is totally unaware of the new direction his life will follow; including the discovery of a hoard of Nazi gold and how the gold has political implications that have remained buried in secrecy since World War Two. The story revolves not only around Carl and Vreni, and Carl's business interests in Fiji, but also around the lives of six other closely knit students. How they become victims of the ever increasing value of the gold. The final decisions they make and the all-encompassing passion Carl feels for Vreni and her abject beauty.

"I wanted to write something totally new; something readers would never have seen before," explains the author. "Therefore, I fuse my narrative with a good dose of philosophy, which will leave readers with plenty to think about after turning the last page. It spans a period of life that most readers would already have experienced, allowing them to empathise with the characters and thus bring the story to vivid light. I diligently wrote it to have a cinematic feel and, according to feedback from a local University, it could one day make solid film material."

But this isn't Walker's only literary endeavour. His other novel, 'Twenty Twenty Eight' sheds shocking light on what the future could hold, in a totalitarian new world on the brink of collapse, following the adventures of a group of forward thinking citizens who want their old lives back.

David Greason Walker was born, eduacted and raised in Bournemouth in a talented, artistic and slightly eccentric family. After spending some time in the family's hotel business, he persued a varied and diverse career in trading companies worldwide; before moving on to develop small independent businesses back in the UK. After several years in London he moved to West Wales where he retained a keen involvement in establishing new businesses whilst developing his interest in writing. However he has always been drawn to tropical and subtropical countries including the West Indies and Bermuda; gaining much from his experiences whilst working there. David and his wife now lives in Powys, where they enjoy entertaining friends and family, walking in the Cambrian mountains and amongst other things: holding archery competitions in the summer, together with their three children and eight grandchildren. His principal hobbies are travelling and writing, especially short stories and poetry.

No. 4.

"Flying Hung-over"

By Brian Oard

"Flying Hung-over" By Brian Oard
Is there anything worse than boarding a plane while nursing a hangover?

Brian Oard doesn't think so. In his book, FLYING HUNG-OVER, he deals with some of life's most pressing issues while simultaneously dealing with the throbbing in his head. From religion to race relations, traveling to parenting, Oard's frank, unfiltered thoughts hit their every target, often with humorous results.

Oard has spent years traveling all around the country, reading and conversing with viewpoints drastically different than his own. This exposure has given him a unique perspective.

"I have read the Bible, the Quran, the Book of Mormon, and 'The God Delusion,'" Oard said. "I tend to watch shows and documentaries that are more contrary to my belief system than similar."

Oard's combination of diverse sources with his own raw honesty creates an interesting picture of life in modern America.

Brian Oard was born and raised in Inman, Kansas. He earned a degree from Hutchinson Community College and currently works for Alcoa. "FLYING HUNG-OVER" is his first book. He still resides in Inman.

"Flying Hung-over"
By Brian Oard
Xlibris Corp
ISBN: 978-1-46537-194-2
50 Pages
Hardcover $25
E-book $8.50

No. 5.

"A Time to Pay"

by David Woods

"A Time to Pay" by David Woods
United Kingdom -- Just like winning the lottery, most could only dream of finding a stash of diamonds worth millions, with no apparent owner. This is exactly the luck bestowed on the protagonist in David Woods' thrilling new novel. But don't get too excited...nobody mentioned that it was good luck. 'A Time to Pay' fuses fate, greed, redemption and the resilience of the human spirit as this chance discovery serves as the catalyst for a disastrous journey to make things right. Right...and rich.

Synopsis: A riveting international thriller, A Time to Pay is the story of an ordinary man who's facing the worst luck of his life but isn't willing to give up quite yet. The year 1964 is a bad one for Brian Wilkins--and it's about to get worse. Son of an English farmer, Brian lives on a small, failing Kent farm facing bankruptcy. Depressed by his recent breakup, distraught by his mountainous money problems, Brian foolishly considers his discovery of a stash of stolen diamonds as good news. But just because the thieves were caught doesn't mean their loot is fair game. So when Brian heads to Antwerp to sell the gems, thinking he's riding off to find a fresh start, he has no idea the string of catastrophes he's set in motion. And though for a while things seem to go in his favor for once-- love, money, success--disaster waits in the wings. From the ruthless Belgian who should have received the diamonds to the British agent who knows where Brian's wealth came from, Brian's once unexceptional life is beginning to look like a dangerous high-stakes game he can't win.

"This story will really resonate with readers, because it puts them into shoes they could only dream of; uncovering something worth millions that would solve all of their life problems. However, as they quickly discover, when something isn't rightfully yours it can turn your life into a living hell. Brian only does what he believes is right for him; sparking an international chase to solve the original theft and bring Brian to justice for his inadvertent involvement. It will certainly get readers thinking about what they'd do in the same situation."

'A Time to Pay' is available now:

Also check out 'Drink with the Devil', which powerfully chronicles one man's attempt to recover from the brink of despair:

David Woods quickly rose to become a director after joining a small agricultural supply company in 1973. He soon found himself running 90 percent of the company. After being let down by his fellow directors, an outside offer to start a new company led him to move on. Today he owns a small business restoring old motorcycle and car instruments.

No. 6.

"Dr Darwin's Waterloo Pigeon"

by Henry Quinn

"Dr Darwin's Waterloo Pigeon" by Henry Quinn
United Kingdom -- While Charles Darwin often steals his family's limelight, his father -- Dr Robert Darwin -- has a fascinating story to tell. This enigmatic and highly-intelligent man turned a £20 gift from his father into £300,000 upon his death. But, in his new book, Henry Quinn shows how Dr Darwin's ability to amass wealth wasn't as honest as he portrayed. 'Dr Darwin's Waterloo Pigeon' is part of the author's wider 'Dr Darwin' series. In this volume, Quinn recount shows how it might have been achieved Darwin's collusion with Nathan Rothschild and some of the most powerful men of the era to exploit the outcome of the Battle Of Waterloo with a great aplomb. This feat allowed them to land a spectacular financial coup the biggest ever in English history of banking, all thanks to the Waterloo Pigeon.

Synopsis: In collusion with some of the most powerful men of the era, Darwin and his cohorts lead the London Stock Exchange to believe the Battle of Waterloo has been lost, which deflated the money markets due to the dire consequences of Wellington's defeat by Napoleon. This situation is exploited by Darwin's band of financial mercenaries with great aplomb, as they know British forces have emerged from the battle victorious, allowing them to land a spectacular windfall -- thanks to The Waterloo Pigeon. With radio, telephones and television still almost a century away, it could take days for first hand accounts from war zones to reach newspapers at home -- but thanks to a Shrewsbury foot solider well known to Doctor Darwin, who releases a pigeon from the battlefield destined for his home town with news of Wellington's triumph for the doctor, Darwin has the advanced knowledge needed to pull off the greatest undetected crime of the 19th century. Young Hussar William 'Mattie' Matthews, the unwitting accomplice in Darwin's plot, is acclaimed for his bravery on the battlefield and returns to Shrewsbury a hero, but is close to death from his wounds. He becomes the doctor's priority patient and his condition gradually improves, but while his health recovers so does his memory. Past events come back to haunt both men and soon allegiances and loyalty are being put to the test. It seems only a matter of time before the full extent of the scandal is revealed as an unofficial government agent arrives in the town to expose the guilty. The trail then leads to murder, suicide, embezzlement and smuggling. From the houses of the wealthy to houses of ill-repute; masons and churchmen, prostitutes and soldiers all become embroiled as Darwin strives to keep his secret under wraps. To save himself the knows Mattie must be sacrificed. -- but can Darwin risk one last gamble? 'Dr Darwin's Waterloo Pigeon' is available now:

Henry Quinn spent his early life in Birmingham and later moved to Shrewsbury. It was as a hotelier and involvement in the tourist trade, talking to visitors to the hotel, that he developed an interest in Dr Charles Darwin and his family. Mr Quinn has carried out many hours of research into the Darwin's and their impact on Shrewsbury, and this is ongoing. Mr Quinn has in the twenty years concentrated on Dr Darwin, and his business deals, and the Doctors every day life in and around Shrewsbury. Mr Quinn is considered an expert on the Darwin family in Shrewsbury and has made many appearances on both TV and Radio

No. 7.

"Buying & Owning Property in Central Florida"

By Garrett Kenny

"Buying & Owning Property in Central Florida" By Garrett Kenny
Garrett Kenny, CEO of Feltrim Group, has spent nearly 20 years cornering the residential real estate market in Central Florida. For the first time, he's compiled all of his knowledge into a book for consumers.

Kenny's book, Buying & Owning Property in Central Florida, is a one-stop shop for anyone interested in acquiring their own piece of real estate in one of the world's biggest tourist destinations.

"In my interaction with buyers, I was surprised by the lack of knowledge and annoyed with the amount of misinformation out there," said Kenny. "I wanted to be able to keep consumers informed of the 'do's and the don'ts.'"

Kenny was born and raised in Ireland, and has developed an extensive clientele base overseas. He has found that consumers from all over the globe share an interest in Central Florida.

"Central Florida has been particularly popular as a worldwide destination," Kenny said. "This is a smart investment -- Central Florida is the self-proclaimed Tourism Capital of the World."

Gary Kenny is the founder and CEO of Feltrim Group, a real estate firm located in Davenport, Florida. He is a lifelong entrepreneur having created, established and operated a number of successful business projects in the USA and abroad. He has sold over $600 million of real estate and has won numerous industry awards. Buying & Owning Property in Central Florida is his first book. For more information, visit

"Buying & Owning Property in Central Florida"
By Garrett Kenny
AuthorHouse Books
ISBN: 978-1-4969-6160-0
Softcover $17
Hardcover $28
E-book $4

No. 8.

"Nothing but the Truth"

by Allison True

"Nothing but the Truth" by Allison True
DUBUQUE, Iowa. -- As family members age, there might come a time when the idea of assisted living becomes a necessary conversation. On the outside, these facilities appear to be a careful, kind option for senior loved ones. However, Allison True offers an inside look into the often over looked dark side of senior care.

Allison True, author of "Nothing But the Truth" has a passion to change the way nursing homes treat their patients and their employees. With 16 years of experience as a Nursing Home Administrator, and experiencing the injustices first hand, True is uniquely qualified to offer the public insight into the business.

"It has always been my motto to do the right thing no matter what. Following that motto has inherent negative side effects," True said.

"Nothing But the Truth" recounts True's experiences in a small-town nursing home. Here, she witnessed great injustices against good employees and lackadaisical treatment of patients. True watched as ethical oversights in the work place destroyed good people, she included.

"This is the story of a nursing home that ate its employees. The good ones that is. This was a reflection of the culture of the community," True said.

True wishes to shed light on the often-overlooked issues within nursing home communities as a way to help others in similar situations, and improve a flawed system.

Allison True was born and raised on a farm in northern Minnesota. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Sociology and Anthropology from a university in her home state. True's desire to help and care for other has always been strong. She started her career as a social worker, then took a position in human resource, finally ending up as a Nursing Home Administrator (NHA). True's 16 years as a NHA make her uniquely qualified to write about the challenges associated with the business.

"Nothing but the Truth"
By Allison True
AuthorHouse Books
ISBN: 978-1-4969-3905
Softcover $12
E-book $4

No. 9.


by Miss D

"Squatters" by Miss D
United Kingdom -- Thousands know what it's like to have squatters move in on their street; an event that can turn any quiet and peaceful life into a circus of crime, legal battles and fierce discord. In her powerful new novel, author Miss D takes the concept of squatting to the nth degree. But don't be fooled, 'Squatters' doesn't pussy foot around the issue. In fact, each page is filled with the bad language, racial slurs and prejudices that perfectly replicate the nation's cultural fabric.

Synopsis: Tony and Laura had finally moved into their own home. They had only lived there for a short while, when their neighbour put their house up for sale. A cash buyer bought the house, which delighted their neighbour because the sale would go through quicker, so they thought. Before the sale is completed, the house is occupied by the squatters. This was no ordinary group of squatters though. They are involved in people trafficking and drugs. Tony befriends the neighbour's son Brad. After getting the Police involved and being told by the Police that it is a `civil` matter, they decide to deal with the squatters themselves. As news spreads between friends about their intentions, more and more men want to get involved. Gangs are soon formed. If the law can`t deal with them, they will. Squatters beware. `PRITOO` is their slogan. P-physical R-retaliation I-is T-the O-only O-option.

"I have to warn readers that my book contains very strong language, which I didn't include to shock, but rather to give an authentic grassroots experience of life on the streets. I've seen it first-hand and know how these people act, including what they say. Expect drugs, people trafficking and even a possible dose of terrorism. This certainly isn't a novel for the faint of heart. This is street vigilantism at its best and, transcending fiction, I use the story to highlight the resilience of the human spirit. There's nothing people won't achieve if their determination is strong enough."

'Squatters' is available now:

About the author, in her own words: I have experienced more things in life than most people I know. I have achieved a lot in life too, which has got me nowhere! I am a straight talking person who believes that people should speak out and stand up for what they believe is right, or try to correct what is wrong. The only banner I have held though is for `SHELTER` on a sponsored walk, when I was a teenager. This has nothing to do with my life or career. One thing I know for sure is, that people who are upset, shocked or angry, they communicate in a way that they know people will understand, especially when trying to make a point, and that is by using abusive language. On the other hand, it is fluent with a lot of people too, and this is the reason for using this type of dialogue in my book because it is a fact. If I am surrounded by people who are like the above, I do not judge. It is their way of life.

No. 10

"The Seventh Holy Man"

by William Brazzel

"The Seventh Holy Man" by William Brazzel
William Brazzel's debut science fiction novel, "The Seventh Holy Man," transports readers into a world where the Vatican has been overrun and innocent civilians are being murdered by Swiss Guards in St. Peter's Square.

The lead character, Sean Carrol, is an investigative reporter who bravely undertakes the responsibility of exploring the circumstances surrounding the current upheaval.

Attempting to link the ancient pagan kingdom of Malar to the current events talking place, unforeseen circumstances evolve as several deaths and potential threats to Vatican hierarchy are attributed to the progress of Sean Carrol's investigation.

With the very existence of the Catholic Church being threatened, the novel notes that there must be a revival of the seven holy men who represent the Seven Spirits of God.

"I created this book after exploring information about the church, especially demonic possession," Brazzel said. "It is such an exciting subject and my Catholic background made my story a natural theme to write about."

Brazzel promises that "The Seventh Holy Man" will be clearly different from anything science fiction readers have read before.

William Brazzel's love for science fiction was created the day he watched "The Day the Earth Stood Still" in 1956. Steadfast with his passion, Brazzel has since written a number of op-ed articles and short stories, but his ultimate goal was always to author a science fiction novel. Brazzel currently resides in Morris Plains, New Jersey and is actively planning his next novel. For more information, visit

"The Seventh Holy Man"
By William Brazzel
Xlibris Books
Published June 6, 2014
ISBN: 978-1-49901-181-4
116 Pages
Softcover $17
Hardcover $30
E-book $4

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