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R.P. BenDedek

What's in the Book Basket This Week? Conflict, Comics, Cuisine
By R.P. BenDedek
Feb 9, 2014 - 12:25:28 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 ten) book titles worthy of attention but which may or may not currently being reviewed by our reviewers and whose authors probably (but not always) have not provided us with any other material to publish. 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 something to publish in which their promotional details can be included. We are extremely grateful to those authors for providing our readership with material that may in fact be exclusive to us or who may simply be giving us the first chance to publish said material.

Articles published this week at Magic City written by various book authors include:
(Sun Feb 2 to Sat Feb 8)

  1. Free Gift for Everyone By Michael Wright author of 'Death of a Green Soldier.'
  2. Russia: The Land of my Childhood by Ekaterina Yuvasheva author of "Iam Angelo: Sense of Direction"
  3. Is Our Justice System Broken: Bondholder Rep Weighs In by By Ray W. Rowney, Jr. author of "License to Steal: Truth and Justice Are Inseparable"
  4. The Birth of Becoming By Dr. Peter J. Morry author of "Becoming"
  5. Uniting Christians with the Holy Trinity By Clifford Deister author of "That You May Know Him"
  6. Man Up to Your Children: Do Not Let Them Determine Your Love Life by By Sherrie Campbell, PhD author of "Loving Yourself: The Mastery of Being Your Own Person"
  7. I Survived, So Can You by Lisa M. Sobry author of "I Survived, So Can You"

Book Reviews Published This Week

Milt Gross Book Review: "The Lost Art of Walking" by Geoff Nicholson
Feb 2, 2014

Nicholson does write that he himself has done a lot of walking, some of which he describes. He also writes about walking itself, "...You can dress it up any way you like, but walking remains resolutely simple, basic, analog. That's why I love it and love doing it. And in that respect -- stay with me on this -- it's not entirely unlike a martini. Sure you can add things to martinis, like chocolate or an olive stuffed with blue cheese or, God forbid, cotton candy, and similarly you can add things to your walks -- constraints, shapes, notions of the mapping of utopian spaces -- but you don't need to. And really, why would you? Why spoil a good drink? Why spoil a good walk?"

R.P. BenDedek Book Review: "An Exceptional Zephyr" by Dorian Dalta
Feb 2, 2014

The writer does a good job of getting us inside the old man's head and leading us into empathy. Mr. Dalta does not spare us the physical degradation that Rahja suffers; the pooping his pants and being taken to the toilet and made to do childish exercises. There are a few funny moments in those baser aspects of life.

Jarod Chen Book Review: "I am Angelo: Sense of Direction" by Ekaterina Yuvasheva
Feb 2, 2014

"Sense of Direction" is obviously the overture to a series of Angelo's adventures. While it might be the beginning of what might be hailed as another classic fantasy series, a more polished writing style and some innovative features to distinguish Angelo from Potter will be needed in later episodes to help the series establish its own identity.

M. W. Johnson Book Review: "That You May Know Him" by Clifford Deister
Feb 2, 2014

I do not challenge the author's integrity, but as one might hear preachers preach from time to time, 'words have power' and in an age when Christianity is split into many different and often conflicting theological camps, how we phrase our expressions can lead people to assume something that was not necessarily what we intended to convey....I would like to say that I would recommend this book, irrespective of anyone's knowledge of the Bible or personal relationship with Christ.

M. Stevens-David Book Review: "Silk Armor" by Claire Sydenham
Feb 6, 2014

I did find that some of the author's descriptions of the archaic customs, mode of dress and setting of the Middle East were interesting but simply put, could not carry the story. A chapter might begin in one place and then, upon turning a page, one found one's self reading about another character set in a totally different place.

R.P. BenDedek

No. 1

"The Tiger's Den"

by T. Jack Lewis

"The Tiger's Den" by author T. Jack Lewis explores the clashing cultures during Japan's expansion during the early days of World War II. The novel examines the effect war has on today's society and how people deal with circumstances beyond their control.

"The problem with war is that when troops are sent to another country to take what their leaders want, people die and terror is the lone result," Lewis said. "Lives and families are ruined. Children are the inevitable victims. This is not acceptable under any circumstances."

Although Lewis' story takes place in Western Manchuria, when a border dispute ignited an armed battle between Russian and Japan, "The Tiger's Den" is not solely about Japan or war. Instead, it is about fear, courage, character and personal relationships. It is about love, growth and people doing the right thing when confronted by a stark reality.

"All of the aggressor nations, which were considered our enemies, had armies populated with honest young men," said Lewis. "These young men were dedicated to family and hated war. These men had to fight against American interests because they simply had no other choice."

Visit to learn more about Lewis and "The Tiger's Den"

T. Jack Lewis was born in Chicago in 1957. In 1984 he visited Japan for the first time and was so fascinated by the culture that he decided to stay and raise a family. A military historian, Lewis discovered many historical facts that led to the decision to write "The Tiger's Den." Through his writing, he hopes readers will connect the east and west and gain insight that will help the people of both worlds unite with a unique understanding of each other.

"The Tiger's Den"
By T. Jack Lewis

Paperback: $29.95
ISBN: 978-1-4918-0902-0
Available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and AuthorHouse

No. 2

"In Search of Shipki La"

by John Pollard

Author John Pollard and his wife have taken two road trips from England to India and visited over 60 countries in their lifetime of travels. Always fascinated by lands less traveled like the Middle East, Malaysia and especially the Tibetan passage Shipki La he was inspired to write a mystery novel, "In Search of Shipki La."

When a young American draft dodger from the Vietnam War disappears, his anxious parents seek the help of a Buffalo, New York, investigation company. The last coded postcard they received from their son indicated that he was hiding out in Afghanistan.

The investigator photographs two bearded American young men camped in Kabul arguing with a better-dressed Englishman, but neither is the missing son. The trail goes cold. Thirty-five years later, a western Australian friend of the widowed mother uncovers the names of an Australian couple who were camped in Kabul at the time and might be able to provide clues to the young man’s disappearance.

The search is renewed, taking the investigators to Pakistan, the Indian Himalayas, the red-light area of Bangkok, and to the neighboring Laos.

In Search of Shipki La
John Pollard
$13 Kindle
$18 paperback

No. 3

"The Kiss"

by Camelia Rose

Location: somewhere
The year 2000
The triangle:
Joram, a rich, neurotic art collector;
Janine, his ex-wife infatuated with The Kiss, a Gustav Klimt painting;
and Elizabeth, the second wife, a promising 21st-century painter.

Janine, a 60-year-old divorcee, returns "home" after a 35-year absence. She puts up a print of The Kiss on her bedroom wall; to remind her of her folly of kissing a stranger in a nightclub in Peru. In her nightstand she keeps Masochism in Modern Man.

Joram starts stalking Janine. Frightened, she engages Sensor Security; the same company Joram employs.

The full story is outlined on the author's website.

Author Camelia Rose has a varied and cultured past: she was born in Indonesia, was raised for three years in a concentration camp in Batavia and she was schooled in The Netherlands before immigrating with her family to the United States in 1957.

Her childhood abroad and rich life experiences as an adult have provided Rose with a unique set of tools for her writing. Her latest novella, "The Kiss," is testimony of these powerful tools.

"Life is sometimes a self-made prison," Rose says. "Imagination can open its windows."

No. 4

"A Conflict of Interest"

by MJ Greene

Not everything that happens in Afghanistan stays in Afghanistan. However in the case of MJ Greene, many of the powerful people she worked for would rather she keep her mouth shut. She won't.

In her book "A Conflict of Interest," Greene provides a candid look at the life of a female subcontractor working for a corrupt organization in Afghanistan. Tasked with daily duties that jeopardized her safety and freedom, Greene aims to empower other women to stand up for themselves and each other by trusting their intuition to fight for the truth.

In 2007, Australian-born MJ Greene reached a crossroad in her career. With a desire to do something new, exciting, and meaningful within another culture, she took the opportunity to work as general manager for one of the largest multinational organizations in Afghanistan. As Greene immersed herself into preparing for her new position, she had no idea that very soon, she would be mustering the courage to reveal the truth and stand up for what was right, regardless of the personal sacrifice.

Greene begins with the details of her journey as she left for Afghanistan as a fresh-faced subcontractor ready to help piece the country back together. But as she arrived in a hostile, ever-changing environment, she soon realized that she would need to rely on her instincts in order to survive. As she encountered daily work challenges that caused her to become suspicious that something was not right, Greene was led down a dangerous path lined with closely guarded secrets that forced her to rely on her moral compass for guidance.

A Conflict of Interest shares a true story of personal discovery as a woman living in war-torn Afghanistan must rely on her inner strength and resilience to challenge corruption, expose human rights violations, and help end discernible wrongdoing.

MJ Greene was born and raised in Australia. She is an avid supporter of humanitarian projects in Afghanistan and is currently hard at work on the sequel to her memoir about her experience uncovering and resolving corruption in Afghanistan.

A Conflict of Interest
by MJ Greene
$4 E-book
$21 Paperback
270 Pages ISBN: 978-1-49170-930-6

No. 5

"They Don't Have Horses on the Moon: Daisylands"

by Raoul Hawkins

In the future, a cryogenically frozen entertainment mogul runs the United States, space travel is normal for everyone, and one man wakes up after decades to discover a world changed.

Malt Daisy, the famed creator of the Daisylands amusement park, is resuscitated from a cryogenic deep sleep and elected President of America, which is transformed to a giant Daisylands. Waking in the same cryogenic facility, Neil Hamilton discovers a bizarre new world as he attempts to find out what has become of his life. The destinies of these two men are intertwined as a national scandal erupts threatening chaos and disaster, but the disaster is closer to home.

A parody of the modern world, They Don't Have Horses on the Moon has a serious lament underneath the fun and games that see its hapless hero rocketed through the 21st century, with a supporting cast of assorted oddballs you could only find in a Daisy cartoon.

Raoul Hawkins is a Sydney-based musician and educator with a BA from Southern Cross University. Schooled in London, New Jersey and finally Australia, he still lives in Sydney with his two children.

"They Don't Have Horses on the Moon: Daisylands"
by Raoul Hawkins
Paperback: $10.95
E-Book: $3.99
ISBN: 9781475992281

No. 6

"The Wrath of a Mediocre Hero"

by A.T. Sarfo

Las Vegas -- While other teens are finishing up soccer practice, catching up on TV shows or chatting with friends about the latest hallway drama, A.T. Sarfo is busy typing away on her laptop, recording her latest ideas for storylines and characters.

Working on plots set in completely different worlds, many of Sarfo's stories have remarkably familiar elements. Themes of finding self-confidence, struggling with friends and trying to fit in to the zoo that is the halls of high school are common in Sarfo's work. She aims to make her characters relatable, as real as your best friend, sister or even your algebra teacher.

"I wanted to create a main character that readers could connect and empathize with yet, realize that there is nothing particularly special about her -- much like the reader might feel themselves," Sarfo said.

Following an average adolescent as she deals with the stressors of high school, "The Wrath of a Mediocre Hero" shares the adventures of this ordinary girl in extraordinary circumstances. From being constantly compared to her "perfect" twin sister to fighting off the class clown role in her school, lead character Kimberly Fox is forced to live up to her heroic sounding name when she is dragged in to save an unknown world.

Sarfo's message to readers conveys that it is okay to be awkward and sometimes boring, you don't have to behave like you're under a spotlight because it is most important to just be yourself.

Born in Flint, Michigan and of Ghanaian descent, A.T. Sarfo is a high school student and lives in Las Vegas. She attends the Meadows school and enjoys listening to classical music, playing the piano and drawing. Sarfo is currently working on her other writing projects in the hopes that readers can relate and be taken to a new world with her stories.

"The Wrath of a Mediocre Hero"
By: A.T. Sarfo
ISBN: 9781481767460
Available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Author House online bookstores

No. 7

"Tribute: Lewis Carroll - Author of Alice in Wonderland"

by Michael L. Frizell

(art by Mark Stroud)

Tribute: Lewis Carroll - Author of Alice in Wonderland is a biography comic book based on the history and life of Carroll. Written by Michael L. Frizell and art by Mark Stroud, this book will be available in print as well as digital.

The whimsical, nonsensical stories exploring the fantasy world of Alice started with the simple friendship between young, beautiful Alice Liddell and the kind and creative Lewis Carroll. This book is a tribute to both the artistic use of the language displayed in the stories and the influence they have on modern literature, media, and art.

"Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland, perhaps one of the world's most emulated stories, was an interesting book to write. I wanted to capture the tone and feel of Carroll's Alice stories while offering something unique. To my knowledge, only scholarly works examined the man behind the stories, not creative ones. Thus, it was imperative that I attempt to connect the fanciful language with the real events behind the stories," Said writer Michael L. Frizell

"Many artists have interpreted Alice in Wonderland over the years, and the stories have permeated pop culture. From video games to cartoons, action figures to movies, Alice's stories are well known. Lewis Carroll, the man behind them, perhaps isn't as well known. He lived in a time when social norms governed public behavior, something we no longer see in a world connected by Facebook and Twitter. This comic was an attempt to unite the real people behind the story, Carroll and his muse, the young Alice Liddell, with the popular interpretations of her stories. Lewis Carroll was an interesting person, a creative genius that perhaps suffered in an age where desires were supplanted by social norms. His work, a product of an active imagination, was whimsical and unpredictable. Attempting to capture that feeling of anything could happen, constrained only by the limits of imagination, was difficult, leading to several rewrites," said Frizell.

The Tribute line of comic books tells the stories of the classic entertainers that have passed on," says Bluewater publisher, Darren G. Davis "It is a way for us to honor these people who have made a difference in the world.

Previous subjects that have been featured in the "Tribute" line include Bruce Lee, L. Frank Baum, George Reeves, Elizabeth Taylor, Frank Capra, Michael Jackson, Marilyn Monroe and James Dean.

Also being released this week is issue #1 of Alice In Wonderland's Queen of Hearts. A new original comic book series from Bluewater based off of the characters from Wonderland.

Off with their head!" This phrase has echoed through history as the driving force behind one of the most memorable villains in all literature. But who is the Queen of Hearts really? The History of one of fantasies most iconic characters comes to life in this exciting new series from Bluewater Comics.

The 22-page comic book, written by Adam Gragg, illustrated by Michael Shelfer.

Print copies of the book can be ordered at Comic Flea Market for $3.99:

Digital copies will also be available for $1.99. Download the comic to your e-reader from iTunes, Amazon, Nook, Kobo, ComiXology, Google Play, DriveThru Comics, Wowio, iVerse, and more.

About Bluewater Productions

Bluewater Productions Inc. is one of the top independent production studios of comic books, young adult books and graphic novels. Its extensive catalog of titles includes the bestsellers "10th Muse" and "The Legend of Isis" "Bluewater publishes comic books in partnership with entertainment icon William Shatner ("TekWar Chronicles"), legendary filmmaker Ray Harryhausen ("Wrath of the Titans," "Sinbad: Rogue of Mars," "Jason and the Argonauts," et al) and celebrated actor Vincent Price ("Vincent Price Presents"), Additionally, Bluewater publishes a highly successful line of biographical comics under the titles "Female Force" and "Political Power."

Bluewater aims to unite cutting-edge art and engaging stories produced by its stable of the publishing industry's top artists and writers.

For more information, visit

No. 8

"Marsh Township Sanitary District"

by John Kevin Scariano

Tongue-in-cheek tales from a sewage treatment plant

New nonfiction book uses humor to discuss mucky realities

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- A wise man once said life is too important to take seriously.

In his new book "Marsh Township Sanitary District," author John Kevin Scariano offers readers a humorous, coming-of-age narrative about his unfortunate teenage summer job -- working at a sewage treatment plant.

"People may think they've worked terrible jobs, but nothing compares to the eccentricities of this," Scariano said. "It was profane, entertaining and meaningful all at once."

Based on the real-life experience of Scariano, the book details the realities of working at a sewage treatment plant, urban living and Italian-American families.

Scariano's direct, comedic writing style not only tells an intriguing story, but also provides insight on the diverse subjects of corruption, racism and pollution.

The book also captures the history and feel of 1970s Chicago as Scariano encounters problematic co-workers and grotesque events.

John Kevin Scariano is a research assistant professor at University of New Mexico School of Medicine specializing in cancer research. He holds both a doctorate and master's degree in biomedical sciences. A Chicago native, he worked at a sewage treatment plant in Chicago during the summers of 1975 and 1976. His book "Marsh Township Sanitary District" commemorates the hometown, time period and characters he came to know and love.

"Marsh Township Sanitary District"
By John Kevin Scariano
ISBN: 978-1-4817-6289-2
Softcover retail price: $14.95
Hardcover retail price: $23.99
E-book price: $3.99
Available online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble

No. 9

"Taste of Tanzania: Modern Swahili Recipes for the West"

by Miriam Kinunda

Explore a new worldly cuisine and learn about the wealth of geographical treasures of Tanzania through the pages and recipes of Taste of Tanzania.

In her native language of Swahili, Miriam Kinunda often says "Ufurahie chakula chako!," or "Bon Appetit!" to her guests when making traditional Tanzanian recipes in her kitchen. A food blogger and owner of spice brand, Taste of Tanzania, Kinunda enjoys sharing the distinctive tastes and treasures found in this unique geographical location. And now, she's sharing this with others through her new cookbook, Taste of Tanzania: Modern Swahili Recipes for the West.

Blending influence from surrounding Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi and Malawi, as well as other areas such as Britain, Portugal and Asia, Taste of Tanzania offers authentic African recipes appropriate for even the greenest of at-home cooks. While most ingredients can be found in grocery or speciality stores, Kinunda offers alternatives for those that may be more commonly available in Africa. In addition, many of the delicious recipes call for the freshest of ingredients, offering healthy and flavorful options for the everyday diet.

Throughout Taste of Tanzania, readers will find descriptive recipes accompanied by vibrant and decadent photography. Some lesser-known but favorite Tanzanian recipes found in the cookbook include:

  • Kacholi - A potato-based appetizer commonly sold by street vendors
  • Kachumbari Ya Parachichi - A vibrant salad of avocado, cucumber & tomato
  • Maharage Ya Nazi - aka Swahili Beans, a daily staple in Tanzanian households
  • Makange Ya Kuku - A popular, flavor-packed chicken dish
  • Vipopoo - A homemade dessert pasta traditionally made during Ramadan

Born in Tanzania, Miriam Kinunda has traveled and studied in her home country as well as Kenya, Canada and the U.S. but always took with her the traditional recipes of her childhood. After many requests from friends and guests for the delicious Tanzanian recipes she prepared in her own kitchen, Kinunda began a blog to share her recipes with others. Her blog has now blossomed into the Taste of Tanzania brand, including her website, line of spices and new cookbook, Taste of Tanzania: Modern Swahili Recipes for the West.

No. 10

"License to Steal: Truth and Justice Are Inseparable"

By Ray W. Rowney, Jr.

Being a Nation ruled by “law”, the greatest danger to the future of America and to the preservation of our individual freedoms is from within our borders, from those who make the laws (Congress), those who enforce the laws (attorneys, judges, courts), and those who administer the laws (President and Chief Executive, commander of the US Armed Forces) governing these United States.

This noble experiment of a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, rather than being governed by a king or monarch who inherited or usurped such powers, staked its future on the “rule of law”, rather than “rule by birth” or “rule by might”. For America’s first 150 years, “Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Law” were used in Courts, the US Senate, and prestigious law schools to define the law and train persons therein throughout America. Blackstone taught that common law evolved from God, whose laws were absolute, and that no human laws were of any validity if contrary to the Holy Scriptures (the Bible).

In 1930 “Blackstone’s Commentaries” were discontinued as the governing source documents in US Law Schools, in favor of the “Case Law” approach, whereby US Laws and the US Constitution would be interpreted in an “evolving” manner based on “trends” in prior court decisions, rather than by Almighty God’s ultimate authority as envisioned by the Founding Fathers. (Read more)

Rowney issues this defining series of detailed examples of his 13-years in American courts, as a volunteer aggrieved bondholder rep, to tell how the law has been used “creatively” by the unscrupulous to steal without being caught. He describes some legal practitioners as “vultures on a road-kill” in Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings. In sum, this book convinces its readers of widespread scamming within both the legal system and federal government, and sets forth straight-forward, common sense recommendations that citizen voters can require to return America to the vision of the Founding Fathers.(Read More)

Ray W. Rowney, Jr. graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a Bachelor of Business Administration and later an MBA, majoring in accounting. He enjoyed 23 years of varied experiences with a multi-national corporation headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in all facets of accounting. In 1992 he founded a small public charity, Christian Self-Help, Inc. ("CSH") and has served as its Treasurer ever since. The author believes his volunteer court experiences to be an assignment by God to encourage America to repent.

"License to Steal"
By Ray W. Rowney, Jr.
ISBN: 978-1-4771-0527-6
Retail price: $19.99
Available at: Amazon, Xlibris and Barnes and Noble online bookstores

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