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R.P. BenDedek

What's in the Book Basket: 'Finding Answers'
By R.P. BenDedek
Mar 30, 2014 - 12:27:17 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 (OK there are 15) book titles worthy of attention but which may or may not currently be in the process of being reviewed by our reviewers and whose authors probably (but not always) have not provided us with any other material to publish. We are now also publishing the Christian Book Basket Magic City the first edition of which was published March 26, 2014

We can't do book reviews 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 'stand alone' articles to publish at the bottom of which we can include their bios, photographs of book covers and links to purchase pages for their books.

We are extremely grateful to those authors who do provide our readers with interesting articles to read even if they are not related to the author's new book release and we appreciate that those articles are sometimes exclusive to us or at least that we have been the first to be given the opportunity to publish them.

Articles published this week at Magic City written by various book authors include:
(Sun March 23 to Sat March 29)

  1. Walking in the Wilderness: Healed in the Desert by Mona Hadeed author of "The Healing Desert"
  2. The Woodward Dream Cruise and Dream Machines By Ron Lundmark author of "Dream Machines"

Book Reviews Published This Week

Milt Gross Book review: "The Day of the Beast" by Zane Grey
Mar 23, 2014

Behavior that is common today was just beginning in those days right after the First World War. I kind of chuckled at the "evil" goings on in Lane's hometown, since they are so common today. But when Grey penned this book -- "not a western romance" the reader is warned on the cover, these behaviors were still new in the U.S.

M. Stevens-David Review: "I Am a Wish" by Marie Callegari
Mar 23, 2014

This children's book is lovely from the cover page right through to the final one. It is so well-drawn and colorful that children won't want to put it down or even share it with their siblings.

M. Stevens-David Review: "Sunshine after Rain" by J. R. Lucy
Mar 26, 2014

I was so looking forward to reading this book because the writer and myself are exactly the same age. But upon completing this 283 page book, I was rather disappointed

R.P. BenDedek

No. 1

"The Dragon In The Room"

by J.K.E Rose

"The Dragon In The Room" by J.K.E Rose
The saying goes, when life hands you lemons, make lemonade. So what do you do when life hands you a divorce, an unusual second marriage, five kids and an avalanche of fears, hopes and dreams? J.K.E Rose took what life handed her and made it into a memoir-style book. She hopes to connect with readers intimately through the stories she shares, using a poetic style of writing. In her book, "The Dragon In The Room," she recounts her life as a wife, mother and lover in a way to which others can relate.

Rose explores relationships, doubt and doubtlessness, self-worth, forgiveness and strength. Through her poetry Rose decides what living a loving life really means. This book shares the most honest thoughts and feelings of a woman who has lived with both the passion and desire of love and also the loss and deep betrayal of love. Rose hopes readers will pull courage from her shared experiences to become more confident in every aspect of life.

"There is too much pretending in love because people are scared. I've been scared but now I want to be doubtless -- whatever happens, without doubt, I will find a way to handle it. No more pretending -- no more fear," Rose says.

Rose wants readers to know they are not alone. She believes marriages and relationships come and go, and there is nothing wrong with that. Rose aims to empower readers to find their own strength and know, without doubt, they can live with dragons -- even happily ever after.

J.K.E Rose spent years writing for television and leading a complicated life. Currently she is pursuing her passions -- writing and family and rescuing animals.

"The Dragon In The Room"
by J.K.E Rose
ISBN: 978-1-4917-1317-4
Available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble Booksellers and iUniverse online bookstores

No. 2.

'Open to the Infinite Riches of the Universe'

by Zlatoslava Petrak

"Open to the Infinite Riches of the Universe" by Zlatoslava Petrak
A Guide for a Happy, Abundant, Balanced Life. Zlatoslava Petrak's 'Open to the Infinite Riches of the Universe' is a self-help book that teaches readers how to turn the Laws of the Universe to their favor.

Zlatoslava Petrak is dedicated to helping readers find wealth and abundance in all aspects of their lives. She has carefully honed her skills throughout her life, first for herself and then for others as a life mentor. As a result, she is perfectly poised to help readers reach their highest potential with her new best-selling book Open to the Infinite Riches of the Universe.

Open to the Infinite Riches of the Universe is a different kind of self-help guide. It teaches readers that they must be ready and searching for the answers to come -- and they have come, in the form of Petrak's book. Through it, she not only lets readers in on the ways the Laws of the Universe work, she also helps readers change their outlook, thereby eliminating the negative inner blocks to success and replacing them with positive changes that ensure success. With the blocks gone, the path to wealth and happiness, and the achievement of dreams and goals, is completely clear.

With chapter titles such as 'Realize your Desire,' 'The Power Within Yourself,' and 'The True Search of the Soul,' readers find themselves on a spiritual journey that will alter the fate of their lives. Petrak shows readers that the power is within them; once it's found, the possibilities are endless. Her positive affirmations and relatable, friendly tone ease the reader's journey towards happiness and success in all aspects of life. Open to the Infinite Riches of the Universe goes beyond monetary riches to guide readers to a balanced life, true abundance, and satisfaction for the soul.

Zlatoslava Petrak is a best-selling author, a life mentor and founder of As a child, she unconsciously used the Laws of the Universe to bring happiness and riches to her life. Then later, as an adult, she began to deliberately search for happiness and success. Through that long journey, Zlatoslava Petrak mastered the Laws of the Universe, gaining knowledge and awareness along with her happiness and satisfaction. Now she educates others so that they may achieve their own potential and thereby live their dreams.

"Open to the Infinite Riches of the Universe"
by Zlatoslava Petrak

No. 3

"Potty Theory"

by Amy Goodridge-Bakst

"Potty Theory" by Amy Goodridge-Bakst
As a natural-born "potty theorist," Amy Goodridge-Bakst knows that not all bathrooms are created equal.

"Not every potty experience proceeds as planned," Goodridge-Bakst said. Often there is an unforeseen snafu that leads to an unanticipated hitch. Potty education and everyday experience can help curtail such unfortunate events. You must learn to adapt like a chameleon to any obstacle that may creep into your path."

Her latest book, "Potty Theory," inspired by her mother's everyday advice and rules on bathroom etiquette is filled with laughable, but helpful tips and tricks for surviving any type of bathroom environment.

The experiences, observations and priceless potty lessons Goodridge-Bakst shares are bursting with humor, honesty and empathy that will have women laughing along as they relate to the familiarity of the dilemmas and men finally understanding why a simple trip to the ladies room can often take more than few minutes.

Amy Goodridge-Bakst entertainingly shares not only how to laugh at yourself while avoiding the germs lingering on toilet seats everywhere, but also how to maintain compassion, understanding and kindness for others both in and out of the "pottysphere."

Whether from the comfort and quiet of a home toilet or the torture and disgust of a public pot, "Potty Theory" is the perfect potty manual to help all readers take on toilets with confidence.

Amy Goodridge-Bakst has a B.B.A degree in marketing from the University of Cincinnati, a B.A. degree in fine arts from Northern Kentucky University and an A.J.P. diploma from the Gemological Institute of America. In addition, she has also had a notable career in retail working for companies such as Louis Vuitton and Tiffany & Co. As an outgoing and fun loving woman, Amy enjoys spending time painting, writing and traveling. Currently Amy resides in Cincinnati, Ohio with her husband Jeff and two cats, Midnight and Snoop.

"Potty Theory"
by Amy Goodridge-Bakst
ISBN: 978-1-4918-1702-5
Available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and AuthorHouse online bookstores.

No. 4.

"The Shouting Well"

by Asa Phillips

"The Shouting Well" by Asa Phillips
Imaginative stories of all kinds--thrillers, adventure novels, murder mysteries and even true crime novels--serve to entertain and frighten us. But, what if the story hit closer to home? Depression is one of life's greatest mysteries, affecting 17.2 percent of New Zealander's and 19.2 percent of Americans regularly.

In her new book, "The Shouting Well," Asa Phillips breaks down the perplexity of depression through a mystery novel of her own. Inspired by the worst of nightmares, Phillips tells the story of a young woman who is coaxed into a parking garage that is rumored to have magical powers.

It is believed that one can shout the name of any person, dead or alive, down the three-story stairwell in the center of the car park. This area is known as the shouting well, and it leads the woman to a world of panic and darkness that she feels she'll never recover from.

Similar to the feeling of hopelessness that many people with depression experience, the woman feels trapped and isolated. Readers will relate as she struggles through her journey, somehow finding refuge. Phillips hopes to instill positivity in readers by helping them connect to the desperation that the main character experiences, and depicting how she overcomes it. Even in the darkest of situations, Phillips asserts, there is always hope.

Though her story is dark, it is ultimately inspiring. Its central message of self-confidence and bravery encourage readers not to be defined by others, but to live life moment by moment.

Asa Phillips is a New Zealand native who has personally struggled with depression. She has spent years recovering and enjoying her journey of self-exploration. She strives to entertain her readers with enjoyable narratives that allow for and encourage personal growth.

"The Shouting Well"
by Asa Phillips
ISBN: 978-1-4931-2671-2
Available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Xlibris online bookstores.

No. 5.

"Catching Lightning in a Bottle: How Merrill Lynch Revolutionized the Financial World"

by Winthrop H. Smith, Jr.

"Catching Lightning in a Bottle" by Winthrop H. Smith, Jr.
Founded in 1914, the financial institution known as Merrill Lynch forever revolutionized the financial industry. Bringing "Wall Street" to "Main Street," Mother Merrill introduced an entirely new clientele to the world of investing: the average American.

"Merrill Lynch was a firm that grew and prospered because of its culture and the values that its founders created and their successors maintained," shares Winthrop H. Smith Jr., son of one of ML's founders, former ML EVP and author of the popular new book, Catching Lightning in a Bottle: How Merrill Lynch Revolutionized the Financial World. "It failed when that culture was purposefully changed."

Shortly after Stan O'Neal became CEO, Merrill Lynch lost it's initial focus on high ethical standards and the importance of employees, the moment that Win Smith knew he needed to leave the company after a 28-year career. Yet this exact experience is what inspired him to share the true story behind Mother Merrill and the core lessons other businesses can learn from the past to use implement today.

Born in New York City, Winthrop H. Smith Jr. received his BA in Political Science from Amherst College and his MBA in Finance from Wharton University. His long career at Merrill Lynch began in the "bullpen" and he held line and staff positions in human resources, finance, marketing, and investment banking. During Win's final decade with the firm, he was EVP of Merrill Lynch & Co., member of the Executive Management Committee, and Chairman of Merrill Lynch International. In the latter capacity, he led one of ML's four business units with 9,000 employees, over $2 billion in revenues, and client assets of $180 billion, developing senior client relationships in over eighty countries. Currently, Smith is the President of Sugarbush Resort in Vermont and director of four financial firms in the U.S. and Canada.


"Catching Lightning in a Bottle: How Merrill Lynch Revolutionized the Financial World"
by Winthrop H. Smith, Jr.

No. 6.

"Joey Willis to Another World"

by A.J. Kenyon

"Joey Willis to Another World" by A.J. Kenyon
A mother's mission: fostering a child's imagination through reading

A magical youth novel that encourages tweens to dream big

MELBOURNE, Australia -- Is the decrease in reading affecting children's ability to imagine? Mother of three, A.J. Kenyon believes reading is key in children's development.

In her new youth novel, "Joey Willis to Another World", Kenyon aims to spark both children and parents imagination. With dragons, caves and magical powers seen throughout the book, Kenyon brings to life the imaginary games she played with her own children.

"As a parent, I felt it was my duty to teach my children to read, otherwise, how could they learn to imagine," Kenyon stated. "Once children have the confidence in their reading abilities, their imagination can run wild with pretend stories. I believe this creativity will bolster success throughout the rest of a child's life."

An adventurous book that parents can read with their child, this story follows Joey Willis' magical journey to find his sister. Illustrating the power of a family, "Joey Willis to Another World" shapes the world of fiction into an exciting battle of innocent's verses illogical mischief.

"I wanted Joey Willis to be a role model for my young readers," Kenyon said. "At first Joey faces misunderstandings and differences that sprout unfortunate situations. By learning to look at situations from all points of view, Joey eventually gains irreplaceable characteristics of understanding, knowledge and forgiveness."

A.J. Kenyon strives to teach children to feel confidence in reading. Currently, she lives with her three children in Frankston South Victoria, Australia.

"Joey Willis to Another World"
by A.J. Kenyon
ISBN: 978-1-4907-0584-2
Pages: 378
Price: $21.55
Available at,, and

No. 7.

"The Colors of Blue"

by Lance McCulloch

"The Colors of Blue" by Lance McCulloch
Colorado native and chemical engineer turned fiction author Lance McCulloch introduces his readers to a compelling narrative of two emotionally shattered and vulnerable people, who gain a second chance at love and life through finding each other.

As the story unfolds, readers see two very broken people fall in love as McCulloch ties together the beauty of nature and the human spirit. The themes of adventure, love, intrigue, passion, and happiness are woven together tightly in this epic romance. Through strongly developed characters and rhythmic prose, readers are taken on a riveting journey that joins two hearts together and provides a renewed promise of true love and lasting happiness.

"Although The Colors of Blue is fiction, it is loosely based on the true story of my father's recovery from my mother's death," said McCulloch. "I also wrote it as a means of escaping the depression of my failing company."

The Colors of Blue is Lance McCulloch's first novel. He wrote this novel as a way to cope with the loss of his parents. He lost his mother to cancer and then his father in the crash of Egypt Air 990 in 1999

McCulloch has one brother who currently manages his family's cattle ranch. He worked for Fujitsu Microelectronics for several years in Portland, Oregon, followed by Cirrus Logic in the San Francisco Bay area. Then, he launched his own business in 2003. Born and raised in Durango, Colorado, McCulloch holds a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from University of Colorado. Currently, he resides in Colorado with his wife Jennifer and their three wonderful daughters.

"The Colors of Blue"
by Lance McCulloch

No. 8.

"Missing Angel"

by S.K. Stevens

"Missing Angel" by S.K. Stevens
According to the FBI, human sex trafficking is the most common form of modern day slavery.

In her book "Missing Angel," author S.K. Stevens tells a compelling story about a young girl and her guardian angel. Readers follow main character Holly as she battles with the forces of good and evil, falling victim to sex trafficking and enduring life-changing events.

"Holly's story teaches readers that we are not alone and we are heard in this universe," Stevens said.

As Holly attempts to escape the demons in her life, her guardian angel begins to fall for her. A tragic, romantic tale, "Missing Angel" proves the power of faith when facing pain and suffering.

Stevens, a gifted writer who has personally experienced the reality of sex trafficking, draws from her own tragic childhood to breathe life into the struggles of Holly. She hopes to spread awareness about sex trafficking and encourage readers to take a stand.

S.K. Stevens learned the importance of faith at an early age. After almost losing her life to sex trafficking as a child, she made it her mission to fight back and help others heal their own wounds. She worked in manufacturing for more than 25 years and also had a career in real estate. She currently resides in Winter Haven, Fla.

"Missing Angel"
by S.K. Stevens
ISBN: 978-1-4343-6274-2
Retail price: $18.49
Available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Author House online bookstores

No. 9.

"Grade Transformer for the Modern Student"

by Barbara Dianis, MA ED

"Grade Transformer for the Modern Student" by Barbara Dianis, MA ED
Every day over 7,000 school-age teenagers decide to become high school dropouts. Shockingly, in America, where public education is free, over three million struggling students annually fail to complete their high school education. Blame is placed on teachers, students, parents, community and economics, but solutions are few.

Barbara Dianis, MA ED, shares her groundbreaking tools through her new book, Grade Transformer for the Modern Student: Early High School Edition. Dianis, CEO and Founder of Dianis Educational Systems, LLC and with 21 years of experience counseling struggling students and parents, focuses her efforts on the high school demographic in her new parent-student guide. With an Dianis gives students and their parents a month-by-month guide to mastering the final grades of secondary school.

Barbara Dianis, MA ED, overcame dyslexia in her own life using self-taught strategies and techniques. She went on to earn a BA Degree in Education and Special Education, as well as a Master's Degree in Education, Special Education Pre-k- 12th, Language Learning Disabilities, and Psychometry. During her university studies she earned a place on the National Dean's List for achieving academic excellence. As CEO and Founder of Dianis Educational Systems, LLC she has influenced society to view students with various learning issues as capable students who can overcome their learning issues if they are taught properly. She has helped to restore hope, dignity, and purpose to students who are scholastically challenged and provide them with a proven pathway to help them achieve academically at their highest learning potential.

During her post graduate years, she designed and taught a program for students with learning issues at a college preparatory school. She has counseled parents for 21 years, teaching them to assist their student in implementing effective learning techniques during homework and study time. She has also run an educational tutoring business for the past 20 years that have helped thousands of students with Dyslexia, ADD, ADHD, Learning Differences, and Struggling Students to achieve enormous scholastic and professional successes. In 2010 Dianis was awarded The Biltmore Who's Who VIP in Education and the Executive of the Year award, as well as the Remington Registry of Outstanding Professionals in 2011 for her continued leadership and achievement in the field of education.

"Grade Transformer for the Modern Student"
by Barbara Dianis, MA ED

Twitter: @DianisEdSystems
YouTube: Ace the Test

No. 10.

"The House on Dead Boy Lane"

by Carter Johnson

"The House on Dead Boy Lane" by Carter Johnson
Charlotte, N.C. -- Even the happiest of childhoods are riddled with the dilemmas of thwarting bullies, making friends and the angst of young love. These issues are the source of much of the fear in a budding teenager's life, but throw in local hauntings and you've got some serious anxiety.

In his breakout novel, "The House on Dead Boy Lane," Carter Johnson shares a passion for the horror/mystery genre mixed with the familiarity of 'growing pains' during adolescence. Bullied heavily as a child, Johnson understands the pressure that daily harassment can cause and also the motivation it can inspire. In his youth, he turned to scary movies, always seeking reruns of old 1980s horror films on TV. Drawing on his own childhood memories, Johnson seeks to reach other adults and young adult readers who understand the sensitivity from childhood bullying.

"I try to infuse hope and happiness in with the horror to temper the story line," Johnson said. "It's not all about seeking refuge, but learning to understand that in the end it will be all right."

"The House on Dead Boy Lane" follows Derek, a young teen, as he is uprooted and moved to a small town in North Carolina. Alex, the cute blonde who lives next door, begins showing him around town and cluing him into its history. While exploring a supposedly haunted house, Alex cuts her hand on glass from a window and begins dreaming about the house frequently. As the pair investigates further, the mysteries of the house intensify, as do the puzzles of young love.

Johnson began writing short stories at 11 years old and took up screenwriting soon after. After several attempts at screenwriting and filmmaking, Johnson decided the Hollywood scene was not for him. Instead, he has chosen to expand his short stories and screenplays into novels. He currently lives with his wife in Charlotte, N.C. and is working on his second and third novels.

"The House on Dead Boy Lane"
by Carter Johnson
ISBN: 978-1-4918-3420-6
Available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Authorhouse online bookstores.

No. 11.

"Unrelenting Nightmare"

by Stan Yocum

"Unrelenting Nightmare" by Stan Yocum
LOS ANGELES -- It is not often you meet someone who leaves a successful career to chase his dreams.

Stan Yocum always knew he wanted to be a writer. After obtaining a degree in theater arts, Yocum shifted to a left-brain career in the analytical business world. 30 years later, the dream was still knocking and Yocum left his career as a businessman to become a full-time author. Eight manuscripts and two published books later, Yocum is establishing himself as a prominent voice in indie-suspense novels.

Yocum's thriller "Unrelenting Nightmare" follows Stuart Garrison, a virtual reality software developer on the cusp of industry domination, as he navigates a deadly cat-and-mouse game with an international assassin hired by his fierce competitor. The stakes are high, as Garrison tries to outwit his clever potential killer while releasing an innovative new technology to the world.

Yocum brings his theater background and extensive experience in the business world to "Unrelenting Nightmare" while tackling important topics in today's society, such as the prevalence of violence and the impact of virtual reality on youth.

"The story may be about virtual reality, but this book is grounded in the truth of the competitive nature of power, position, and wealth," Yocum said.

Stan Yocum uses years of corporate business experience and his storytelling background from his theatre experience for inspiration in his writing. He also raises and trains assistance dogs for Canine Companions for Independence. Yocum is married with two daughters and resides in Palos Verdes, California. For more information, visit:

"Unrelenting Nightmare"
By Stan Yocum
ISBN: 978-1-49171-681-6
Available in softcover, hardcover, e-book
Available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and iUniverse

No. 12

"Woman On Top"

by Deborah Schwartz

"Woman On Top" by Deborah Schwartz
Deborah Schwartz's Woman On Top is the triumphant story of a young widow whose journey to find herself takes readers on an entertaining, yet thought-provoking ride. Inspired by her true-life story, Schwartz' Woman on Top is a battle cry for any woman who ever let someone make her feel less than worthy. Further, it's a lesson to us all that we hold the power to reach any summit.

It is often said that, it's not the hills or mountains you have to climb that gives you strength; it's the challenge you face on your journey by having a pebble in your shoe. In protagonist Kate's case, the pebble felt more like a boulder. She was thrown into single-dom after her husband died from cancer. After a few years, she ventures back into the dating scene and meets Len, a Wall Street banker. What Kate discovers is a cocky narcissist who quickly tries to control every aspect of her life.

Readers will scream in frustration at Len's controlling behavior while high-fiving Kate's efforts and subsequent achievements to finding herself again. She shows us that we are truly in-charge of our destiny, and (in reflection) that there are more important things in life than what kind of car you drive. In her stand-up-and-applaud road to independence, she reaches the highest heights. Literally, with a rewarding climb of Mt. Kilimanjaro.

Born and raised in New York, Deborah Schwartz graduated from Tufts University and then obtained her Masters in History at Columbia University where she wrote her graduate thesis on "Feminism in Eighteenth Century England." She received her J.D. from Boston University. Always a New Yorker to the core, Deborah's passion now is writing.

Available on Amazon
Woman on Top
Publisher: Laudan Press
ISBN-10: 0985817704
ISBN-13: 978-0985817701
Page Count: 346 pages

No. 13.

"How Meg Changed Her Mind"

by Ethel K. Coffey

"How Meg Changed Her Mind" by Ethel K. Coffey
TUCSON, Ariz. -- How can parents help their children understand life's ups and downs and work through their feelings? Author Ethel K. Coffey thinks the trick to conversation could be through pets.

Set in the beautiful Sonoran Desert in Arizona, "How Meg Changed Her Mind" is a vibrant telling of the difficulties of navigating change and emotions. Following a fun cast of pets and desert animals, the book encourages children to accept change and turn negative thoughts into positive ones.

For more than 30 years, author Ethel K. Coffey worked closely with students as an educator and reading specialist. Her passion for teaching and assisting children translated into writing purposeful and helpful books.

"Through my books, I want to provide a medium for children to discuss difficult topics, such as family change," Coffey said. "It's important to offer positive ways to help children work through some of life's challenges, and literature is a powerful way to do that."

"How Meg Changed Her Mind"
By: Ethel K. Coffey
Paperback: $11.95
Audio Book: $3.99
ISBN: 9781452583778
Available at,, and

No. 14

"Summer Train: A Woman's Journey from Desperation to Celebration"

by Susan Rabin

"Summer Train: A Woman's Journey from Desperation to Celebration" by Susan Rabin
Until now Susan Rabin, former Family Living/Sex Ed Coordinator for The New York City Board of Education, was best known for her four books on the topic of flirting and romance, including two best-sellers. Today, a successful relationship coach for over thirty years, Susan recently published her first fiction novel, "The Summer Train: A Woman's Journey from Desperation to Celebration" at

The newest book by Rabin, her first novel, is set mainly in the idyllic Hamptons beach community of Long Island, NY in the 1970's before the impact of the feminist movement where, in fact, the reality was that many women were subjugated and forlorn. Also at that time, those living with any mental illness were shunned, shamed, and stigmatized. Rabin's female protagonist, Sandra, endured the hopelessness of suffering from both -- she was bullied, verbally abused, deceived and confused. Sandra hit bottom before she escapes her bonds, overcomes adversity, reignites with an old flame, recalls a past writing talent, stands for the new trend of 'equality' and begins to personally break down centuries old stigma--that of mental illness. The voyeuristic novel, filled with emotionally-charged situations, high-drama, and dialogue rich with passion and truth highlights a culture to which few are privy and where labels are plenty. The Summer Train is complete with ruthless characters you despise as well as those who can't help but warm your heart.

"Sandra lived at a time when women were considered the unempowered sex," says Rabin. "Her illness strengthened her resolve and the advent of the woman's liberation movement empowered her to become instrumental in changing the roles of women and attitudes toward societal issues that transcend generations. Although set in the transitional seventies, I know The Summer Train will resonate with and entertain modern readers. I hope it motivates them to take control of their own lives." In a very self-centered and materialistic world, Sandra finds the strength to face her mental illness, marital infidelity and emotional abuse.

Susan Rabin, MA is the author of two best-selling books published by Penguin, How to Attract Anyone, Anytime, Anyplace and 101 Ways to Flirt. Both books have been in bookstores for twenty years. In addition, she has authored Lucky in Love, Cyberflirt also by Penguin and The Summer Train: A Woman's Journey from Desperation to Celebration (2014). Susan has appeared on numerous radio and TV talk shows including Oprah Winfrey, Good Morning America, Letterman, Leno, CNN, the O'Reilly Report, and quoted by The New York Times and magazines such as Cosmopolitan, People and Mademoiselle. She was formerly the Family Living/Sex Education Coordinator for the NYC Board of Education and a Guidance counselor. She is presently a relationship therapist, trained in cognitive therapy by Dr. Albert Ellis. Her successful website includes clips from her TV appearances, seminars, testimonials, tips and describes The School of Flirting, which has traveled throughout the United States, Canada, and Australia. Susan is a native of New York City and lives in Manhattan.

The Summer Train
by Susan Rabin
$13 paperback

No. 15

"The Hooghly Girl"

by Monique Grandy

"The Hooghly Girl" by Monique Grandy
Monique Grandy's 'The Hooghly Girl: From My Childhood in Jail in India to My New Life in America,' is a stranger-than-fiction account of the author's incredible life and her dream to find the brother she lost so long ago.

Monique Grandy's story is nothing short of incredible. She was born in India, and remembers little of her early life. One day when Monique was three years old, she and her younger brother got on a train with their mother. During the long ride, the children fell asleep; when they woke up, their mother was gone. They didn't know their parents' address, and were too sad and afraid to tell the police their names, so they were sent to a jail with women and other lost children, and were renamed.

Monique's tale goes from the first prison to a much bigger prison, the Hooghly, where she was later separated from her younger brother. Eventually, she was adopted by a family from Minnesota and came to the United States. Unsurprisingly, the culture shock of going from a jail in India to the comparative opulence and luxury of America made for a somewhat challenging adjustment. Today, years later, Monique is an adult with a family of her own -- but many questions still linger: Where did her mother disappear to, that fateful day on the train? Whatever came of her brother? She still holds hope that one day, her questions will be answered.

Monique Grandy was born in India. Her parents gave her the name Kusum, and she has some memories of her life with them and her siblings. However, the majority of her childhood memories concern the jails in which she lived after becoming lost at three years old. Monique hopes that her book will be translated into Hindi and Bengali, and that the pictures included may lead to someone recognizing her so she may discover what came of her family. It is her greatest dream to find her brother Munna.

"The Hooghly Girl"
by Monique Grandy
383 pages
Bookstand publishing

© Copyright 2002-2014 by Magic City Morning Star

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A Dinosaur of Education - a blog by James Fabiano.
Shobe Studios
Wysong Foods - Pets and People Too