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R.P. BenDedek

What's in the Book Basket This Week? - Spirituality and Religion
By R.P. BenDedek
Dec 22, 2013 - 5:17:04 AM

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"What's in the book basket this week?"
brings to the attention of readers via publication of publicity material, one or two books titles worthy of attention but which are not currently being reviewed by our reviewers and whose authors have not provided us with any other material to publish.

We can't do a book review for every book, but we do assist authors to promote their books via a "No Charge - No Pay" service in which we invite authors to give us something to publish in which their promotional details can be included.

Articles published this week at Magic City written by various book authors include:
(Sun Dec 15 to Sat Dec 21)

  1. Navigating the holiday season singlestyle in style By Nicky Rolland author of "Stepping into Consciousness"
  2. Lost in Teen: Part 2 - A short story by Michael Wright author of "Death of a Green Soldier"
  3. 359 Bombers Over Berchtesgaden - Excerpt from Insula-Island of Hope by John and Ventis Plume
  4. A Commonsense Approach to Helping Your Child Succeed By Marc Lapointe author of "Standing in the Education Gap"
  5. Keeping the Family Together During the Holidays By Dennis Canfield author of "Back to Christmas"
  6. Prologue to "The Veil is Broken" by author Thomas Kaut

Book Reviews Published this week include:

Milt Gross Review: "Twelve Years a Slave", written by Solomon Northup

Northup wrote the book in 1858 after being rescued from slavery in 1853. Northup was a free black man in New York State until he was tricked and kidnapped in 1841, before the Civil War partly by accident freed all slaves and subjected them to the horrors of the years following. found the book much more complete and detailed as to the facts of Northup's unbelievably terrible experience than the movie.

M. Stevens-David's Book Review: "Mert, The Anxious Evergreen" by Claire Bowman

I received my copy of "Mert, The Anxious Evergreen" yesterday afternoon and being still a child at heart, I simply couldn't wait to read it. I liked the colorful cover and simple illustrations of the book.

M. Stevens-David Book Review: "David's Miracle" by A.D. Erving

I can well-remember what it was like to be a cheerleader for our high school basketball team back in the 1960s and you showed what it was really like for the players and the pressure they endured and overcame, to finally emerge the winners.

Jerrold Sobel Book Review: Insula - Island of Hope by John and Ventis Plume

Insula the book is a compendium of personal accounts by displaced Latvian families fleeing to Germany in fear of a second round of Russian invasion, during the waning days of World War II. The idea is fine, many of the stories are quite interesting but being dependent exclusively on personal accounts which go into the most minute details of their experiences gets a bit tough. Being devoid of a narrative, the book is rendered a little bit lifeless because each account is almost a replica of its antecedent.

R.P. BenDedek

Publicity Material received from various sources for books which we have not reviewed.

No 1

Life Is a Game" by DJ Con

"Life Is a Game" by DJ Con chronicles the personal journey of one man as he tries to move from the materialistic way of life to the spiritual side.

"This book shares the intimate details a challenging spiritual journey," Con said. "I eventually reached a destination so peaceful, alive, clear and vibrant, achieving a level of awareness that once seemed impossible."

Focusing on the ideals of numerology and astrology, "Life Is a Game" gives readers the tools to create their own reality, live in the present and contemplate the illusion of time. Con also covers the importance of learning how to manifest in order to break though the negative energy rampant in today's society.

"People should be prepared to be open-minded as they seek answers to life's questions," Con said. "Enlightenment can be achieved by seeing through the illusions of life and becoming aware that life is a game."

Besides chronicling his own personal journey, Con hopes to inspire others to seek out their own spiritual journeys.

"Life Is a Game"
By DJ Con
ISBN: 978-1-47595-939-0
Softcover retail price: $27.95
E-book price: $3.99

About the author

  • DJ Con was born in Dublin, Ireland. He earned a degree in construction from BSA Australia and works as a carpenter and builder. He and his wife have one child and live on the east coast of Australia.
  • Available at,, and

No. 2

Sunday Morning Stickup:
What Your Pastor Doesn't Want You To Know About Tithes.

By David Lee

After 20 years spent working side-by-side with "mega church" preacher T.D. Jakes, ordained minister David Lee began to question the ethics behind tithing - the practice of congregants giving 10% of their yearly income to their church - which led him to write his fascinating new book Sunday Morning Stickup: What Your Pastor Doesn't Want You To Know About Tithes.

In Sunday Morning Stickup, David Lee addresses important questions, such as:

What is the true essence of tithing?

Are congregants who don't tithe going to be cursed?

Does it take millions of dollars to win souls to Christ?

Is it okay for pastors to live lavishly while their followers struggle to pay the bills?

Has the church become a "big business"?

David Lee has 25 years of experience as a minister and served as a licensed Ordained Elder under the pastorate of Bishop T.D. Jakes for more than 20 years. He led the Sunday school department and instructed the first ministry class that led to the licensing of the first set of ministers ordained at the Potter's House of Dallas Inc. Website:

ISBN-13: 9781432791643
Publisher: Outskirts Press, Inc.
Publication date: 3/21/2013
Pages: 180
Radio Interview on Youtube

Sunday Morning Stickup is available on and Barnes&

No. 3

"The Veil is Broken" Thomas Kaut

Calvary was the advent of Jesus' ministry as well as the completion of his work. The events may have occurred 2,300 years ago and despite their importance, many of the details seem to be lost.

Author Thomas Kaut, a minister of 17 years, has been researching the events at Calvary for over 32 years. Now his new book, "The Veil is Broken," shed new light on what those moments mean in a modern world.

About the author

Thomas Kaut has been a hard worker for his entire life while avidly researching the events of Calvary for the past 32 years. He became an ordained minister 17 years ago, and retired at 55 to dedicate his life solely to the lord.

"The Veil is Broken"
By: Thomas Kaut
SC-ISBN: 978-1-4697-9565-2
SC-Retail price: $23.95
Available at and

Prologue to "The Veil is Broken" at Magic City December 20, 2013

This is a unique book in that it is structured and soundly based on the premise of energizing and stirring up the knowledge of the kingdom of God that is surrounding man here on Earth. This is done in order to raise the level of the understanding that is pertaining to the subject of "God with us," to become the very icon for our own lifestyles. The subject of "God with us," in the author's opinion, has been over a very long period of time, and it has suffered and is downgraded and further held in check or somewhat boxed in by the insistence of centuries of traditional church leaders and their world doctrines. This book lifts you up beyond the world doctrines into the spirit of Christ; glorifying our Lord Jesus being totally bound by faith, working side by side with his heavenly Father, God.

No. 4

The Dead Do Speak to Us: by Dayton Foster

Can the dead impart wisdom of life, love and death? Author Dayton Foster thinks so.

Foster loves the dead - so much so that he spent over 20 years cataloging old tombs by photograph. The images make up his new collection "The Dead Do Speak to Us..."

"The once avoided subject of death is coming alive," Foster said. "There is a new appreciation for antiquity and lost rituals, especially as the year comes to an end."

From Author House Website

This new book is an inspirational and visually beautiful collection of words and photographs memorializing the charm of old tombs, their poignant epitaph -- plus words of wisdom from leaned people on life, love and death. It blends the beautiful old tombs with an inspirational epitaph or thought of life and death.

Nothing has been done under this title or in this manner, with such a powerful and positive perspective on dying. There is a revival in our Western cultures in dealing with death, so this subject is apropos' for our 21st century. The audience will be diverse; appealing to those who read inspirational, philosophical, historical, artistic, poetic, spiritual, sociological, and religious books. It abounds with materials for eulogies, letters of condolence, sermons, epitaphs, and a video documentary.

No 5

Ragnarok: The Hammer: by Brian James

Superheroes are running rampant in our popular culture right now. Superman, Batman, The Green Lantern, Iron Man, Hulk, the list goes on and on. But the one superhero that seems to stand out is Thor. With Thor's brother Loki as the focal villain in the smash hit film The Avengers, and with upcoming sequel Thor 2 looking just as promising, Thor's god status is something that sets him apart from the other superhero flicks. And unlike the other superheroes on the blockbuster list, Thor's history begins a long time before the 20th century. Thor's image began in Norse mythology before the 7th century A.D., as the god of thunder, storms, strength, and protection.

Marrying this Old World Thor with the 21st century is author Brian James's new book, Ragnarok: The Hammer. A student of Norse mythology, James brings the original Thor, along with other Norse gods, into a modern context, making old myths accessible and understandable. And unlike the Thor that you'll see in the upcoming movies, this god has as many emotions and faults as any human.

Major themes in the book include:

  • A modern spin on Norse mythology
  • Comparing his own Thor with the one we see in the movies
  • Modern professions and lifestyles that echo their ancient personas
  • The coming of the Ragnarok, the civil war between all of the Norse gods
  • What the Ragnarok would look like in a present-day context

Brian James holds a degree in history and has devoted years to the independent study of Norse history. In addition to Ragnarok, he has also penned a historical fiction novel about the discovery of North America by Norse settlers in the year 985. His work has appeared in the Detroit Free Press, World Poker Tour magazine, Classic Rock magazine, and many websites. He makes his home in the Detroit area of Michigan.

Ragnarok is available for purchase on and

No. 6

"The Travelers: The Wonders of Journeying in the Afterlife" by J.L. Sconce

At Magic City on December 10, 2013 we published an excerpt from this book.

  • The main theme of the book is that the afterlife is real and substantial and that all of us, when we arrive there at some point, will soon realize this. Our spiritual bodies are very much like our natural bodies, except that the spiritual bodies are in perfect shape. Life in the afterlife is, at least superficially, very much like life on Earth. People in the spiritual world live in real places: beautiful cities or country locations in heaven, and noisome slums in hell. People there work as they do on Earth--willingly and joyously in heaven, not so in hell. They also enjoy time off from work, which is marvelous in heaven and, within strict limits, somewhat enjoyable in Hell. We are full human beings in the afterlife, up to and including that dreaded word for most religions--sex. But in the spiritual world, time and space function differently, being fluid and connected to our thoughts and emotions; deception is nearly impossible, and the economy is a moneyless one.

The author has sent the extremely interesting "prologue" to Magic City to be published (Jan 1, 2014). R.P. BenDedek is currently reading the book for a review.

Purchase Details:

Format: Perfect Bound Softcover
Pages: 662
Size: 6x9
ISBN: 978-1-45257-736-4
Print Type: B/W
Price $33.99

No. 7

"Musings of a Lifetime Bible Teacher" By: Larry Blacketer

On December 1st at Magic City we published an article by this author, titled: "I had to write a book!" The Press Release for this book states:

"If we are to be considered the salt of the Earth, then we should give people a thirst, a thirst for knowledge," Larry Blacketer, the ever-studious author and teacher, said.

Whether a well-versed student of the Bible or a member of the uninitiated, Blacketer's new book, "Musings of a Lifetime Bible Teacher," provides easy understanding through the application of real life examples and personal stories. "I consider myself to be a constant student," Blacketer said, "My natural curiosity has led me to discover previously unseen meanings in well known passages of the Bible as well as finding applications for even the most obscure passages."

Blacketer writes so he can share with a wider audience the beautiful hidden treasures within Scripture that he has discovered during his 40 years of teaching. "Jesus was able to illustrate the truths of his teachings by utilizing everyday events," Blacketer said, "I find this method makes the information relatable and relevant to those who struggle to think abstractly. My students have always found it beneficial." "Musings of a Lifetime Bible Teacher" helps people realize that all Scriptures can be applied to the modern world when one finds the deeper meaning within them.

"Musings of a Lifetime Bible Teacher"
By: Larry Blacketer
SC-ISBN: 978-1-4497-9371-5
SC-Retail price: $24.95
HC-ISBN: 978-1-4497-9371-8
HC-Retail Price: $39.95
Available at

About the author

  • Larry Blacketer attended Baylor University to join the ministry full-time, but decided to enter the business world instead. He began spending his free time volunteering in his community to help teach children and adults alike the meanings of the Bible and how they apply to the current world.

© Copyright 2002-2013 by Magic City Morning Star

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