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R.P. BenDedek

Magic City Morning Star Book Basket 2016 - No. 2
By R.P. BenDedek
Jan 29, 2016 - 6:31:02 AM

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"Magic City Book Basket 2016" brings to the attention of readers via publication of publicity material, various new book releases. The book basket is no longer weekly since for some reason we no longer receive the number of publicity emails as previously. Frequency of publication and number of books in each basket will vary.

We do still have book reviewers at Magic City Morning Star (and would love some more), but we 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. There is no need to write an article around a recent book release.

  • 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 in 2014 and 2015. 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 2016 Basket No. 1

  1. Who Am I? by June M Davis author of "A Song in My Heart"
  2. So the entire "Back to the Future" trilogy is now all in the past by Bruno De Marques author of "Future Man"

Book Reviews Published Since 2016 Basket No. 1

Milt Gross Book Review: "Night and Day" by the late Robert Parker
Jan 24, 2016

This is one of seven Jesse Stone novels, set in a small coast town northeast of Boston, Paradise, MA. A woman school principal, Betsy Ingersoll, checks under her students' dresses at the beginning of the tale. Her husband is a high- powered attorney, who, of course, urges, threatens, and in other ways tries to get Stone, the police chief, to "lay off" his wife, after Stone begins to investigate her actions. Like all Parker books, Night and Day is fast, plot easy to understand, and a number of "wise guy" type comments. My kind of book.

Milt Gross Book Review: "The Bazaar of Bad Dreams" by Stephen King
Jan 17, 2106

Bazaar of Bad Dreams is the strangest Stephen King book I've ever read, all 495 pages. Most of these "short" stories I thought were good. Some were too strange for my tired old mind. This is not my favorite Stephen King tale, and, to be honest, I'm not sure which one was. But it was a full-length book. I recall waking on our late-night sofa after reading one of them and feeling, well, kind of spooked. Which I would guess was King's intention.

Martha Stevens-David Review: "Erosion" by Julie M.
Jan 15, 2016

This novel makes one stop and think about one's own upbringing and the way our own parents and families "loved" us. And I was happy to read on and find that if one can withstand all that "life" throws at you, you just might find happiness and fulfillment in the end. I found that the author "Julie M." had a "way with words" that very few authors have. Julie wrote about a little girl named "Kate," who is born into a family that doesn't know how to show her genuine love and affection. What they do know is how to "control" her every thought and action.

Milt Gross Book Review: "The Quartet" by Joseph J. Ellis
Jan 10, 2016

Were we too uneducationable (new word invented by me) to understand or was the world of education trying to simplify history so much they ended by creating a fictional history? "Ellis has given us a gripping and dramatic portrait of one of the most crucial and misconstrued periods in American history: the years between the end of the Revolution and the formation of the federal government." This story is too different from what we were all taught as young people to miss. For $27.95, the price on the cover and $18.37 for the hardcover at and $13.99 for the Kindle Edition. The front of the book lists ten others, all about early America, by the same author.

R.P. BenDedek

No. 1

"Lords of the Creek"

by Tony Nwaka

"Lords of the Creek" by Tony Nwaka
ASABA, Nigeria -- A November 2015 article in The Guardian states that pipeline vandalism and oil theft in the Niger Delta costs the Nigerian state and oil companies, such as Shell, $14 billion a year, adding that unemployed residents of the region frequently crack the pipes so that oil companies must hire workers to repair the damages.

This instability within the region has resulted in chiefs, paramount leaders and youth and cult leaders to use their power to their own advantages, creating divisions, wealth inequality and distorted power structures within communities.

In his new novel, "Lords of the Creek," Nigerian public policy consultant Tony Nwaka channels this current volatility of the oil-rich Niger Delta into a social and political thriller about a Nigerian oil businessman who is drawn into centuries-old conflicts during his attempt to rescue an abducted princess within the region.

Through his novel, Nwaka hopes to invite attention to the forces militating against the development of the Niger Delta and promote interethnic harmony within the region.

"By incorporating the links between interethnic tensions, opportunism of the oil mafia, interests of multinational oil companies and the government's efforts to maintain peace in the area, I hope to shine a light on the Niger Delta crises that endanger Nigeria today," Nwaka said.

Tony Nwaka is a public policy consultant in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. He has a bachelor's degree in history from the University of Lagos, as well as master's and doctorate degrees in social and political history from Nnamdi Azikiwe University. His studies focused on youth restiveness, ethnic conflicts and government policies in the Niger Delta. Nwaka has served in several prominent governmental positions within the region, including mayor. For more information, visit

"Lords of the Creek"
By Tony Nwaka
AuthorHouse Publishers
Published Sept 28, 2015
ISBN: 978-1-5049-5025-1
193 pages
Hardcover $28
Softcover $17
E-book $4

No. 2

"The Moral Vacuum"

by Martyn Gabe

"The Moral Vacuum" by Martyn Gabe
BRISBANE, Australia -- With the vast amount of terrorist uprisings around the world, civilians are at their wits' end as they search for answers. In his new book, "The Moral Vacuum," author Martyn Gabe reveals the story not told by the media.

"The Moral Vacuum" is a compilation of political and cultural insights Gabe gained through his extensive global travels. Having lived in numerous countries, Gabe has observed the dangers of globalization and the corruption it can cause. "The Moral Vacuum" covers world affairs such as the consequences of population explosion, the clash of civilizations and the political connection between the Sept. 11 attacks and the global financial crisis. "My motive for writing this book is to encourage people to question what they are being told, for when they question they are at liberty to confront their own opinions," said Gabe. "Change can only occur at a grass roots level."

Gabe knew he wanted to travel the world after visiting Spain in his early twenties. Gabe went on to spend 25 years working in the casino industry where he achieved his dream of traveling, spending two and a half years in Iran, three years in Denmark, two years aboard cruise ships, a year in the Philippines and finally landing in Australia where he has been for thirty years.

"To comprehend the terrorism of today you must first understand its motivation," says Gabe. Throughout this book readers will have the opportunity to conquer fear with education.

We are experiencing a clash of civilisations, which knows no national borders. Fervour has no specific boundary. When it is religiously motivated it is idealism not nationalism. The emergence of ISIS is a reaction to imperialism. There is a political nexus between 911 and the GFC, for both are not mutually exclusive. To comprehend the terrorism of today you must first understand its motivation. Action be-gets reaction. In order to comprehend the violence of Islamic State you must firstly understand the arrogance of contemporary imperialism, for it began on September 11th 2001. (Overview at Xlibris)

Martyn Gabe worked for 25 years in the casino industry. He worked in a total of 25 casinos around the world in various managerial positions and was the Director of three casinos. Gabe currently resides in Queensland, Australia with his wife. For more information go to The Moral

"The Moral Vacuum"
By: Martyn Gabe
Xlibris Publishing
Published 10/1/2015
ISBN: 978-1-5035-0792-0
416 pages
Hardcover $48
E-book $5

No. 3

"A Journey Through the Life of Jesus"

by Mike Folmer

"A Journey Through the Life of Jesus" by Mike Folmer
TULSA, Okla. -- While there are many programs and devotionals to read through the entire Bible in one year, there aren't many that focus exclusively on the life of Jesus Christ.

In "A Journey Through the Life of Jesus: A Yearlong Devotional Series of the Gospels, Vol. I," adult Bible study teacher Mike Folmer shares a 90-day devotional detailing the life of Jesus in the Bible's books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

The first book in a four-volume, yearlong series, "A Journey Through the Life of Jesus" shares a chronological look at the four Gospels, offers insight into each of the recorded accounts of the events in the life of Jesus Christ and provides the opportunity for readers to apply His Word in their own lives.

"Whether you are a person who has recently invited Jesus Christ into your heart or you have been walking with the Lord for a number of years, my goal is to encourage you to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ," Folmer said.

Folmer also includes "ponder points" at the end of each entry, encouraging readers to question and discuss how the Word of God can be applied in their own lives.

"By looking at the life of Jesus, readers are presented with the truth that Jesus faced life's struggles in a manner which continually brought glory to His heavenly Father," Folmer said. "In these teachings of Jesus Christ, readers can find the answers for life's struggles, tragedies and triumphs."

Mike Folmer has a bachelor's degree in church ministries and a master's degree in biblical literature from Oral Roberts University. He is currently a member of Hope International Ministries in Tulsa, serving the church as the adults' Sunday school teacher. For more information, visit

"A Journey Through the Life of Jesus"
A Yearlong Devotional Series of the Gospels, Vol. I
By Mike Folmer
West Bow Press
Published 7/1/2015
ISBN: 978-1-4908-8548-3
196 pages
Hardcover $34
Softcover $18
E-book $4

No. 4

"Down the U-Bend of Your Mind: A Look at Self-Examination"

By Kevin Barnard

"Down the U-Bend of Your Mind: A Look at Self-Examination" By Kevin Barnard
HALIFAX, England -- God wants whole human beings, not just Christians.

In "Down the U-Bend of Your Mind: A Look at Self-Examination," Rev. Kevin Barnard, a priest of the Church of England, channels his extensive pastoral experiences and philosophical education into a guide for self-examination of oneself in the light given by God.

In his book, which began as a Parish Lent study course, Barnard shares some of his personal experiences with failure and sin, in hopes that it will help others free themselves from their guilt.

"We can take on all the negative things about ourselves, real or imaginary, and come to hate ourselves," Barnard said. "To be self-satisfied is dangerous, but to be eaten up with self-loathing or views of oneself that are wholly negative is just as damaging."

Through his book, Barnard hopes to reassure readers about the church and to make the practice of self- examination more accessible to them when seeking God's forgiveness for their sins.

"Often the Christian package is summed up as 'Repent and you will be forgiven,'" Barnard said. "It is better expressed as 'You are forgiven. Now grow in learning what that means, and that learning is part of true repentance.'"

Kevin Barnard has served as a parish priest of the Church of England for more than 30 years, and is now Vicar of King Cross, Halifax, and Deanery Interfaith Officer. He is married to his wife Catherine, who is also a priest, and they have two children. Proceeds of his book sales will go to Christian Aid, a United Kingdom ecumenical overseas aid and development charity, and the Church Urban Fund, a charity supporting church- based social initiatives.

"Down the U-Bend of Your Mind
A Look at Self-Examination"
By Kevin Barnard
AuthorHouse Publishing
Published 9/22/2015
ISBN: 978-1-5049-8847-6
142 pages
Softcover $15
E-book $5

No. 5

"A Song in the Dark"

by June M. Davis

"A Song in the Dark" by June Davis
LOS ANGELES -- It is said that in the latters years of life the brain surfaces events of the past and forgets the current events. A simple thought may seem insignificant, but when brought in the light, can somehow bring depth to situations. Author, June Davis, can attest to this and because of the past, wrote her book "A Song in the Dark."

With experiencing many losses in her life, Davis knows what it is like to feel pain. At the age of two, her father died and when she migrated to the United States, her mother passed away. Not to mention that her only son died in 2006. Davis had the choice though: to mourn and enter a room of sadness or enter a room or happiness. She chose happiness and expresses that in "A Song in the Dark."

"All of the poems in my book are to bring inspiration to many. Sometimes we need to be reminded to saddle up and embrace life as it comes," Davis said.

"A Song in the Dark" is a collection of poems written by Davis that will allow readers to find peace with nature, the places around them, objects, and people. All of Davis' poems tell stories filled with sweet and sensuous feelings.

"I hope readers will find peace in whatever aspirations they may posses," Davis said.

As a book that ties in personal stories and Davis' faith, "A Song in the Dark" will leave readers inspired to find their passions and to acknowledge their problems and life in a positive way.

June M. Davis, a retired RN, lives in West Los Angeles. After the many deaths in her family, Davis started healing by writing poems and hopes to inspire thousands from her new book, "A Song in the Dark." Davis enjoys singing, playing the piano, and reciting poetry. She also is a Christian and is very involved in the Church of God.

"A Song in the Dark"
by June Davis
Xlibris Publishing
Publihsed 7/17/2015
ISBN: 978-1-5035-8716-8
132 pages
Softcover $20
Hardcover $30
E-book $4

No. 6

"Beloved Enemy: A Conflict of Love and Duty"

By Sheila Munds-Belbin

"Beloved Enemy: A Conflict of Love and Duty" By Sheila Munds-Belbin
CAMBRIDGE, England -- Focusing on the perspective of a British woman, Sheila Munds-Belbin's new book, "Beloved Enemy," goes back in time to World War II German-occupied France.

Set in the 1940s and spanning across a 20-year period, her book follows a young English spy in the British Women's Army who falls in love with the target enemy, a German colonel. This World War II historical fiction novel explores the conflicts of war, duty and forbidden love.

"'Beloved Enemy' shows the futility of war and I hope brings out the message that there are good and bad in all races," Munds-Belbin said.

The novel covers a twenty-year period beginning in 1942. Allison, a young woman in the British Women's Army whose mother was German, agrees to become a spy. She is parachuted into enemy-occupied France and helped by the French Resistance to reach the German border, where she is met by members of the little-known German Resistance. Her job is to seduce a colonel who works in intelligence and who is involved in troop movements. The novel explores the effect of war on the lives of people while keeping its central focus on a determined, sensitive, maturing woman. (AuthorHouse Overview)

Sheila Munds-Belbin draws from her experience of living in London through this time period and the influence of her friend with ties in both France and Germany to provide insight into the harsh realities of war. For more information, visit

"Beloved Enemy: A Conflict of Love and Duty"
By Sheila Munds-Belbin
AuthorHouse Publishing
Published May 2013
ISBN: 978-1481783514
242 pages
Softcover $20
E-book $9

No. 7

"Quintessential Bellydance: Beginner Class Companion"

By Evyenia Karmi

"Quintessential Bellydance: Beginner Class Companion" By Evyenia Karmi
TORONTO -- The exotic world of bellydance is a fun way to stay fit with gentle and fluid movements. Growing in popularity as a low-impact exercise, it helps build stamina, enhance flexibility, improve cardiovascular health and strengthen core muscles.

Evyenia Karmi, bellydance instructor, performer and choreographer of 22 years, is sharing her expertise beyond the dance floor with a new beginners guide titled "Quintessential Bellydance." Readers will learn basic beginner movements with this easy-to-read, dictionary-formatted book that includes pictures throughout for reference.

Karmi provides readers with weekly routine combinations that work core muscles and guide readers towards grace and elegance. Her compact, easy-to-use guide features a warm-up routine, basic arm movements, techniques for the upper and lower body, traveling steps, and an introduction to veil work.

"These basic steps are used by enthusiasts and professionals alike," Karmi said. "This is the starting point that will provide the fundamental dance steps needed to advance to the next stage."

Evyenia Karmi resides in Toronto, Canada where she also teaches bellydance. She has performed for the Greek, Turkish, East Indian and Arabic communities. As a member of the International Dance Council, Karmi continues to perform in theatres and festivals. This is her first book. For more information, visit

"Quintessential Bellydance: Beginner Class Companion"
By Evyenia Karmi
iUniverse Inc
Published 01/02/2013
118 pages
Softcover $13
Hardcover $23
E-book $4

Available online at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iUniverse and Chapters Indigo

No. 8

"An Epistle Concerning The Purpose Of Life"

By Randy Sweigard

"An Epistle Concerning The Purpose Of Life" By Randy Sweigard
HARRISBURG, Pa.- Religion has taken a back seat in our increasingly busy lives causing our innate curiosity to wane regarding where we originated and our purpose in life. Baptism can guide and cleanse those who are lost and have sinned to a stage of enlightenment between science, religion and life's purpose.

Appealing to a broad audience, "An Epistle Concerning The Purpose Of Life" by Randy Sweigard makes connections between religion and science to explain "Dark Matter" and the "Big Bang". An avid researcher, Sweigard looks to right the wrongs of current preachers of God and shares his own discoveries about the plan of salvation.

"I knew there had to be a purpose for our existence," Sweigard said. "I was determined to discover the truth and all the signs pointed to Christ."

"An Epistle Concerning The Purpose Of Life" not only helps to simplify why we are here, but how we came to exist in this world looking at both evolution and creationism. This topic of how the human population appeared has always been a battle between science and religion. Sweigard states that through the scripture "science and religion are not diametrically opposed, but rather they form a perfect synthesis when viewed from the right perspective."

By reading this book, readers will find them selves having their own epiphanies regarding seemingly unanswerable questions and feel a greater sense of purpose in life. This theological book will guide those once spiritually dead to a clear path of salvation and answers.

Randy E. Sweigard was born at home, in a pre-revolutionary war farmhouse and was the third of six sons. He has always been a free thinker. While he has no formal degrees, his unquenchable thirst for knowledge and his unconventional way of thinking has caused him to see correlations between science and religion. Sweigard looks to properly inform the readers about the plan of salvation.

"An Epistle Concerning The Purpose Of Life"
By Randy Sweigard
Xlibris publishing
Published 7/17/2015
ISBN 978-1-5035-7964-4
54 pages
Softcover $16
E-book $4

No. 9


By Lanayre Liggera

"Intrusion" By Lanayre Liggera
NEW YORK CITY -- Glamorized by entertainment, witchcraft, ghosts, wizardry and supernatural beings spark a trending fascination on the occult. While a fascination in entertainment may not be harmful, author Lanayre Liggera is concerned about the lack of understanding on occult practices.

With hopes to expose the dangers of the occult and encourage conversation about occult experiences, Liggera has blended natural and supernatural levels of struggle in her new theological thriller "Intrusion."

Following the protagonist Sir Carter Braxton, a judge presiding in a life threatening case, Liggera brings together characters of different faiths that work together in peace as they protect the protagonist from an oil-bunkering gang.

After understanding the power of evil, Sir Carter Braxton begins a journey of renewal that will keep readers on edge.

Lanayre Liggera holds a master's degree from Tufts University as well as Cambridge-Goddard Graduate School. Passionate about music, she played the banjo for the New Harmony Sisterhood Band. After pursuing her interest of early aviation, she began studying WWI and toured the Western Front. For 14 years, she was the chairman of the Western Front Associations' New England-New York chapter chairman. For 18 years, Liggera and her husband actively volunteered in their community. She is the author of "The Life of Robert Loraine: The Stage, the Sky, and George Bernard Shaw."

By Lanayre Liggera
Xlibris publishing
Published 11/24/2014
ISBN: 978-1499094817
168 pages
Softcover $20
Hardcover $30
E-book $4

© Copyright 2002-2014 by Magic City Morning Star

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