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R.P. BenDedek

What's in the Book Basket This Week? It's all about Power and Control
By R.P. BenDedek
Oct 19, 2014 - 6:10:42 AM

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"What's in the book basket this week?" brings to the attention of readers via publication of publicity material, various new book releases. The regular Sunday Book basket usually lists 15 such books. On an irregular basis we also publish a Christian Book Basket specifically listing 'Christian Books' and a 'Children's Book Basket.' These are published on a Wednesday. The publication and number of books in those baskets will vary.

We have some wonderful book reviewers at Magic City but unfortunately we can't do book reviews for every book. We do however assist authors to promote their books via a "No Charge - No Pay" self-promotions 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 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. A list of such articles to the end of June 2014 may be found here. (For a list of book reviews published during this period click here.)

As you can see listed immediately below, we also list the articles published during the previous week which were supplied by book authors, and as well, we list whatever book reviews were published in the same period.

Author Articles published this week at Magic City
(Oct 12 - Oct 18)

No author articles this week

Book Reviews Published during the last week
(Oct 12 - Oct 18)

Milt Gross Book Review: "Becoming Joey Fizz" by Stuart A. McKeever
OLct 12, 2014

The story itself is okay, taking the reader from Korea through the hero's youth and start as an adult in some pretty seedy parts of New York City. The story goes into a lot of detail about crime, criminals, and the New York City justice system. Some lengthy side stories don't seem to have enough relevance to the basic story to justify their length and detail. It ends with Joey's move to the suburbs, being married, and far too many details about the other characters in the book.

R.P. BenDedek Review: "The Living Rainbow" by Amy LaNiece Stewart
OCt 12, 2014

The illustrations are very colorful and the rhymes with their messages are interesting. Not everyone will find teaching on Chakras to be their cup of tea, but for those who don't mind or positively understand chakras then this is a colorful but simple style of presentation designed to arouse awareness in young children of important life lessons. There is a strong emphasis on God and Love and the following is an example of the lessons taught.

R.P. BenDedek

No. 1

"First Bites: Tidbits of American History"

by Dixie Moss

"First Bites: Tidbits of American History" by Dixie Moss
RENO, Nev. -- Rhymes and storytelling have been shown to enhance child development and learning. Former elementary school librarian Dixie Moss uses these strategies in her new book "First Bites: Tidbits of American History for the Young and Young at Heart," to engage young readers with historical facts, key players and events.

Having worked with children for many years, Moss has firsthand experience with the difficulties students have with text heavy pages and dense information. By combining her own love of history and genealogy with her educational background, Moss created her book to make the past more approachable in the present.

"I want students to learn about our history in a way that is memorable, and maybe it will encourage them to learn and be excited about the unique country we live in," said Moss.

"First Bites" uses rhymes to teach readers about significant historical events ranging from the Mayflower to Paul Revere and beyond. Each story offers a taste of American History and provides young readers with an understanding of where they came from and an appreciation of the United States.

"We owe so much to our forefathers and families for their strength and courage," said Moss.

"I wrote this book because I want younger generations to understand our history and not to take it for granted."

Moss hopes the historical events and people covered in her book will evoke patriotic emotions in readers of all ages. For more information, please visit

Dixie Moss received her bachelor degree from the University of Oregon in Eugene, where she studied writing and speech. She has worked as an elementary school librarian and homemaker. She is mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother to many, and lives in Sparks, Nevada

"First Bites: Tidbits of American History"
By: Dixie Moss
ISBN: 978-1-4897-0205-0
LifeRich Publishing Publication date: 6/18/2014
Pages: 98
Hardcover $36
E-book $3.50

No. 2

"The ABCs of Yoga for Kids"

by Teresa Anne Power

"The ABCs of Yoga for Kids" by Teresa Anne Power
Hoping to create healthy habits as early as possible, multiple award-winning and best-selling author and yoga instructor, Teresa Anne Power, is encouraging children to explore the mind, body, and spirit through her vibrantly illustrated book, The ABCs of Yoga for Kids. This enchanting how-to yoga guide for children is a gentle introduction to simple yoga postures, which will leave kids rejuvenated and repurposed in a fun new way.

"My book, The ABCs of Yoga for Kids, serves a dual purpose by teaching young kids the alphabet and enhancing their reading and literacy skills as well," says Power. "Children will be exposed to dozens of wonderful yoga positions, new letters, and new ideas, while paving the way for a life-long tradition of health and fitness." Using the alphabet, rhyming vignettes, and a myriad of fifty-six colorful and lively illustrations, each pose in The ABCs of Yoga for Kids delightfully promotes flexibility and coordination, while encouraging kids to incorporate healthy activity into their daily lives. By using visual aids, little warriors will easily be able to acclimate and engage themselves into this non-competitive form of exercise.

Teresa Anne Power, avid yoga practitioner for over 30 years, is a leading authority on children's yoga. She has appeared on both local and national television, and has had articles published in USA Today Magazine, Yogi Times, Violet magazine, and The Palisadian-Post. She currently writes articles about children's health and fitness on For the past 10 years, Power has taught young children yoga in schools, yoga studios, and local organizations, helping thousands of kids develop a healthy attitude towards their body. She is a keynote speaker and teaches children's yoga training workshops. A graduate of University of Southern California, she earned her J.D. from Pepperdine University School of Law and has a California Real Estate Broker's License. In 2002, she completed a yoga training program with Indigo Yoga. She resides in Pacific Palisades, California.

"The ABCs of Yoga for Kids"
by Teresa Anne Power

No. 3

"The Last Election"

by Gary H. Collins

"The Last Election" by Gary H. Collins
What if campaign rallies and fundraisers where replaced with food drives and armies of volunteers building homes for the homeless? What if creating lasting change in a community was the goal of a political campaign? Would the public take notice? Can idealism and long lasting change overcome super PACs and negative attack ads? Those are the questions Gary H. Collins raises in his new book, The Last Election. "Like many Americans, I feel that goodness and idealism are consistently manhandled and dismissed in an increasingly selfish and brutal world. I wanted to do my part, in my own way, to change that," he shares.

In The Last Election, the relentlessly idealistic protagonist, John Quincy "Quinn" Barnes, doesn't like politics. Yet, he reluctantly enters a congressional race after an influential party boss convinces him to primary five-term incumbent, Saul Berg, over his refusal to address the growing problem of income inequality. Quinn sees the campaign as a unique opportunity to inspire volunteers --and the electorate -- to begin a movement that both redefines the state's expectation of its leaders and drives lasting change in their communities. His lofty goals quickly fall by the wayside as the campaign gets off to a terrible start, with Saul's campaign effectively stirring racial tensions among voters. Quinn is close to dropping out of the race but finds the inspiration to continue thanks to an exchange he has while reading to group of schoolchildren from the impoverished city of Bridgeport. Thereafter, Quinn pledges to run the race that he's always wanted to run -- one focused on real people and their real problems. Instead of holding fundraisers and marching in parades, he organizes his supporters to participate in food drives, helps build houses for the homeless and assists in restoring crumbling schools. The effort spreads like wildfire and, eventually, Quinn stuns both the state and the country by defeating the most powerful politician in Connecticut history. But, when the powerful Berg reemerges in the general election as an independent, the race is again up for grabs. In the end, Quinn is forced to choose between his idealism and the reality of modern politics to save his campaign, reputation and family.

Gary H. Collins is a lawyer, former congressional candidate, professor, philanthropist and author. He currently serves as the President of the Council for a Livable World, ( the nation's largest political action committee devoted to advancing a progressive agenda on national security and nuclear disarmament issues. Twice awarded with the Department of Justice's Victim of Crime Award and the recipient of the U.S. Attorney's Special Achievement Award, Gary taught government investigations at the University of Connecticut, School of Law from 2004-12. He's the co-author of Warning the Witness: A Guide to Internal Investigations. Gary also sits on the board of several non-profit organizations and is the founder of the Collins Foundation, Inc., ( ) which invests in initiatives that improve educational opportunity and strengthen community organizations in Connecticut. He lives in Portland, Connecticut with his wife, Amy Salvin-Collins and their two sons.

"The Last Election"
by Gary H. Collins
21st Century Publishing
September 2014
ISBN-10: 0990568377
ISBN-13: 978-0990568377
330 pages
Paperback $12
Kindle $4

No. 4


by Bobbie Sue Nicholson

"Chains" by Bobbie Sue Nicholson
INDIANAPOLIS -- The bond between a father and son plays an instrumental role in shaping future relationships. Author, Bobbie Sue Nicholson has highlighted this connection in her newest novel.

"Chains" is a Western narrative about a young man, Milo Black, who is resentful against being ordered to marry a woman from a refined Eastern family by his father, a former bounty hunter and lawman.

While Milo struggles to decide his own fate and become a better man than his father, the true dangers and injustice of the West come to life.

"I wanted to write a book that would take readers back to a different time," Nicholson said. "I focused on providing a story that was entertaining and emotionally insightful."

"Chains" highlights the difficulties of family dysfunction, while empowering readers to take charge of their life and not let emotions or fears hold them back.

Bobbie Sue Nicholson graduated from Denver University with a degree in Art Education and later attended Indiana State University, where she received her master's degree. Nicholson has a lifetime teaching license and currently resides in Rockville, Indiana with her husband. They have two adult sons.

By: Bobbie Sue Nicholson
ISBN: 978-1-49180-800-9
154 pages
Softcover retail price: $14.95
Hardcover retail price: $23.99
E-book retail price: $3.99

No. 5

"Running Man"

By Wesley Don Lawrence

"Running Man" By Wesley Don Lawrence
RUNNING MAN profiles the timeless story of man's never ending struggle to survive in a complex world of his own making. One man attempts to turn the tide against the ominous forces seeking to dominate the masses. A sinister Russian despot and a pretentious, religious autocracy in the United States were seeking absolute control over all citizens. Two women torn between one fleeting love for one man, all bound together in an explosive struggle of passion, ambition, punishment and supremacy.

Filled with action, romance and conspiracy plots to control the world, author and former U.S. Marine Wesley Don Lawrence's new book "Running Man" is the story of one man's struggle against those who would seek to dominate the masses. Lawrence spent a large portion of his life in the U.S. Navy and as a U.S. Merchant Marine traveling the world. Now, he has taken time to write a novel to enthrall readers with that sense of adventure. "Running Man" develops themes of international importance, including overpopulation, conflict over resources, and extinction of species. It is a timely and entertaining book perfect for edge-of-your-seat enjoyment.

With his unique background, Lawrence tells a dynamic story in "Running Man" that will have readers turning pages for hours.

Wesley Don Lawrence resides in Maine and is a graduate of Maine Maritime Academy. He has an Associate Degree in Engineering Technology and a BS in Electronic Engineering from Grantham College of Engineering in California. He is an US Navy veteran and spent many years sailing around the world with the U.S. Merchant Marine as Chief Engineer with American Export & Farrell Lines. He sailed on the only U.S. Atomic Merchant ship N/S Savannah as Senior First Engineer and Instrumentation Electronic Officer and other engineering positions. He recently retired from his job as a software programmer. He is a widower and has one child who is 47.

"Running Man"
By Wesley Don Lawrence
ISBN: 978:1491899823
Author House
Published: 4/21/2014
704 Pages
Softcover $30
E-Book $4

No. 6

"Launch an Attack: Evoking the Power Within"

By Ayana Prudhomme

"Launch an Attack: Evoking the Power Within" By Ayana Prudhomme
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad -- Author Ayana Prudhomme found an incredible peace in deciding to live a more positive life. The Trinidad based educator was so taken by the empowering feeling she had by figuring out who she was and what her strengths were that she put a pen to paper. "I was motivated to share what was given to me through inspiration of the gospel so that others will be encouraged to live their dreams and become who they were meant to be," Prudomme said. "There are always times when we feel hopeless and there are always moments when we see God bring us through those times."

In her new book, "Launch an Attack," she provides a compilation of inspirational poems meant to expose the gifts we each have inside of us. It provides hope for every circumstance and reveals the route to that hope and the way to achieve a life of abundance. "The book is an attack against negativity that may try to invade your life," Prudhomme said. "It will inspire you at your worst and energize you at your best. It is a divine message in a small package."

Prudhomme's poems are brief, direct statements meant to give readers the kick from behind they have always needed. "People who know who they truly are, they are the ones who will succeed in life," Prudhomme said. "Everything desired is within the realm of possibility."

Ayana Prudhomme has been an educator for the past 14 years. She is also a freelance writer, songwriter and poet. As a graduate of Kingdom University, her mission is to help others understand that everything desired is within the realm of possibility. She resides in East Trinidad with her husband, Sheldon, and their son, Judah.

"Launch an Attack: Evoking the Power Within"
By Ayana Prudhomme
Westbow Press
Published May 19, 2014
ISBN-10: 1490831428
ISBN-13: 978-1490831428
50 pages
Paperback $18


No. 7

"Reyyan's Penance"

By Waleed Khan

"Reyyan's Penance" By Waleed Khan
CHICAGO -- Reyyan is just eleven when the Soviets torture and execute his beloved elder brother in front of him and his mother. Devastated by the loss of her firstborn, she too gives up life moments later, leaving Reyyan an orphan. After the Soviets withdraw from his Afghan village, Reyyan's faith in goodness unravels, forcing him to fend for himself, and in so doing, caring little for others. (Read More at Amazon)

Pakistani-American and Muslim, Waleed Khan explores whether God is merciful to rebel actions in his new novel, "Reyyan's Penance." During the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, fictitious Reyyan witnesses his brother's execution and loses his sense of morality and good in the world. Under his wealthy aunt's lax supervision in America, Reyyan rebels into a playboy who selfishly indulges his carnal desires.

In this coming-of-age story, Reyyan learns his actions have consequences and struggles with the idea that God may or may not show him mercy.

"Salvation cannot be attained through our actions, but only through God's mercy," Khan said. "Our intentions and actions are a way of persuading God to grant us salvation."

Through Reyyan's search for understanding, Khan immerses his readers in South Asian and Middle Eastern cultures as well as inferences from Islam. Knowledge and understanding of all three are important to fully grasp current world events.

Waleed Khan is a Pakistani-American who grew up in the Middle East and the United States. He attended New York University and works as a strategy and finance executive. Khan also invests time in volunteer organizations, including Chicago Cares.

"Reyyan's Penance"
By Waleed Khan
Lulu Publishing Services
July 24, 2014
ISBN-10: 1483413772
ISBN-13: 978-1483413778
220 Pages
Hardcover $33
Softcover $13
E-Book $2.5

No. 8

"The Distorters of History: Unexpected Changes in the Media and the Motion Picture Industry"

by Robert D. Ronson

"The Distorters of History: Unexpected Changes in the Media and the Motion Picture Industry" by Robert D. Ronson
FRESNO, Calif. -- Can the media and motion picture industries change history? In his updated and expanded book, "The Distorters of History: Unexpected Changes in the Media and the Motion Picture Industry", author Robert D. Ronson assesses the impact the mass media and movie industries have on the past, present and future.

Ronson's critique focuses on how the media and film industries distort history when documenting current events. Combined with his own analysis of the most influential and valuable films in the past several decades, his expert perspective ties together politics, movies, and the media in a new and unique way.

Conroversial issues in politics and greed dominate our society with power struggles for change. My book tries to show how past mistakes lead up to how our system is working now but also discusses what I think are enjoyable films that adequately entertain the average person looking for temporary escapism.

"My book sheds light on significant facts and events that accompany the production of motion pictures," said Ronson. "I know more about movies than most people. My investigation of movies led to the uncovering of controversial facts that I thought the public should be aware of."

As a retired teacher, Ronson has had vast opportunities to discuss the mass media and movie industry from an outsider's perspective.

Robert D. Ronson taught secondary and elementary education for more than 36 years. At an early age, Ronson could be found writing scripts and creating films. This lifelong passion led to his pursuit of and critique of motion pictures.

"The Distorters of History: Unexpected Changes in the Media and the Motion Picture Industry"
By: Robert D. Ronson
June 1, 2011
ISBN-10: 1456762850
ISBN-13: 978-1456762858
Pages 176
Paperback $12

No. 9

"An Inconvenient War"

By J.F. Cronin

"An Inconvenient War" By J.F. Cronin
KONA, Hawaii -- The recent anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks alongside the resurgence of Islamic extremism in Iraq makes reflections on U.S. military operations and foreign policy unavoidable. The ebbing and flowing of America's interactions with brutal theocracies causes many to look back to the jarring introduction into the war on terror and the unfolding aftershocks to see if the U.S. could have done things differently.

Looking back to that time, retired USMC Major General J.F. Cronin has written a book titled "An Inconvenient War." In it, he informs readers by way of a professional breakdown of America's introduction into the global threat of extremist jihad. More troubling than jihadists, Cronin also points to members of the U.S. government, which he says threaten American prosperity even more direly than various terror organizations.

Cronin's novel is the second in a trilogy titled "Duty, Honor, Money." In it, Cronin obviously draws from his own experiences. He details the struggles of good soldiers having to fight for the careers of higher leadership instead of in the interest of military effectiveness. Readers will also find other current issues being discussed by the senior military officer, such as the role of women in combat and the fratricidal problems of sexual assault, as well as what he considers to be the looming danger of the war on terror.

"We will continue going to war as we have in Afghanistan and Iraq," said Cronin. "Even if we don't make the same mistakes, our continued combat is going to lead to a pyrrhic victory if we succeed in those endeavors." "An Inconvenient War" is a fast-paced read that gives readers insight into the mind of a two-star-general and an expert in international relations. For more information, visit

J.F. Cronin holds a master's degree in international relations from Salve Regina University. He served as base commander of Quantico, was Chair of the Marine Reserve Policy Board and as a commanding general of the 4th Marine Aircraft Wing.

"An Inconvenient War"
By J.F. Cronin
ISBN: 978-1-4917-3639-5
Soft Cover $19.95

No. 10

"If You Leave This Farm...The Dream Is Destroyed"

By Amanda Farmer

"If You Leave This Farm...The Dream Is Destroyed" By Amanda Farmer
Imagine having your life's work and daily routine chosen for you by your father who uses his religious beliefs to justify his actions. For many, this is an unfathomable expectation. However, for Amanda Farmer, this is reality. In her new book, "If You Leave This Farm...The Dream Is Destroyed", Farmer shares the story of one lady's family and their goal of relocating to Minnesota to farm together. Their second objective was to begin a new Mennonite community once there.

Farmer's detailed and vivid writing pulls readers into a world that many are unfamiliar with. Her book shows the internal struggle and conflict between personal desires, the crushing weight of constant submission to a father's misguided use of God-given authority and the need to belong and be accepted by one's cultural and religious community.

"This is a story of a dysfunctional family but not in the typical sense. We had loving parents and a fairly normal, happy childhood," Farmer said. "The problems did not begin until we were on the cusp of adulthood and attempting to farm together."

Catastrophic crop failures in the family's first year in Minnesota triggered an underlying psychological issue for Farmer's father. Suddenly, her father's exceptional management ability became a need to supremely control the outcome.

Having her own personal desires and an intense internal conflict between those desires and family expectations, Farmer eventually left the farm. "If You Leave This Farm...The Dream Is Destroyed" is her heartfelt memoir, expounding upon themes that many can relate to--whether living life on or off the farm. For more information, visit

Amanda Farmer grew up on the farm and worked there with her family until the age of twenty-nine. She earned a master's degree in nurse anesthesia. Farmer now lives with her husband on a hobby farm in southeastern Minnesota. They have one grown daughter.

"If You Leave This Farm...The Dream Is Destroyed"
By: Amanda Farmer
ISBN: 978-1-4808-0928-4
Available in softcover $16.99
Hardcover $33.99
E-book $4.99

No. 11

"The Fun and Frolics of Fifi a L'Orange"

by Mark David Woollard

"The Fun and Frolics of Fifi a L'Orange" by Mark David Woollard
United Kingdom -- Drag culture is well known for its flamboyant characters and quirky humour -- but there's no character on earth quite like Fifi a L'Orange, the hilarious star of Mark David Woollard's latest novel which chronicles Fifi's unconventional road to stardom. While the odds are stacked well against her, Fifi's personality alone is enough to break through the struggles and prosper in an industry where being 'normal' just isn't good enough. Thankfully, Fifi is as far from normal as anyone could get.

Fifi a L'Orange is a drag queen on a journey to find love, money and fame. But hers is no ordinary journey! Life is never a drag with Fifi around. It sure is a laugh a minute and sure is never dull! Follow her journey over a year and a half as it takes her from talent show auditions to dodgy dates to Mexican weddings to being kidnapped in the Amazon jungle to television presenting! She's crude. She's rude. She loves sex. She's a bitch. But she has a wicked sense of humour and a heart of gold.

"If you're open-minded and have a hardy exterior, you'll love Fifi's adventure!" admits Woollard, who took many of Fifi's attributes from his own fun-loving personality. "It's a great mix of gripping plot lines, naughty quips and more than a few encounters that will have readers' hairs (and possible other things!) standing to attention."

Continuing, "Part of the book's charm is the stark contrast between who Fifi really is and what she needs to 'become' in order to find fame. At her very core she has a heart of gold and would do anything for anyone, but is forced to develop cut-throat tendencies for the sake of her career. It's this grey area that makes things interesting."

'The Fun and Frolics of Fifi a L'Orange: The Fame Journey' is available now:

Mark David Woollard has just hit his 30's and graduated from Brunel University, West London back in the late 2000's with a degree in creative writing and journalism.

"The Fun and Frolics of Fifi a L'Orange"
by Mark David Woollard
Kindle Edition, 128 pages
Published June 17th 2013
Amazon Digital Services, Inc.

No. 12

"The Punisher's Brain: The Evolution of Judge and Jury"

by Morris B. Hoffman

"The Punisher's Brain: The Evolution of Judge and Jury" by Morris B. Hoffman
NFL players Adrian Peterson and Ray Rice have recently brought the subject of appropriate punishments into the media limelight, and into personal discussions of heated debates. If you're interested in the subject, you will be fascinated by a recently released book called The Punisher's Brain: The Evolution of Judge and Jury by Morris B. Hoffman published by Cambridge University Press. Hoffman is an active trial judge. Using evidence and arguments from neuroscience and evolutionary psychology, Hoffman traces the development of deeply held legal principles throughout human evolution, describing how the drives to punish and forgive became codified into our legal system, and the responsibility for punishing and forgiving assigned to a judge and jury.

Why do we punish, and why do we forgive? Are these learned behaviors, or is there something deeper going on? This book argues that there is indeed something deeper going on, and that our essential response to the killers, rapists, and other wrongdoers among us has been programmed into our brains by evolution. Using evidence and arguments from neuroscience and evolutionary psychology, Hoffman traces the development of our innate drives to punish - and to forgive - throughout human history. He describes how, over time, these innate drives became codified into our present legal systems and how the responsibility and authority to punish and forgive was delegated to one person - the judge - or a subset of the group - the jury. Hoffman shows how these urges inform our most deeply held legal principles and how they might animate some legal reforms.

Morris B. Hoffman is a trial judge for the Second Judicial District (Denver), State of Colorado. He is a member of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation's Research Network on Law and Neuroscience and is a Research Fellow at the Gruter Institute for Law and Behavioral Research. He is an adjunct professor of law at the University of Colorado and the University of Denver, where he teaches courses on jury history and selection, law and neuroscience, and law and the biology of human nature. His law articles have appeared in many journals. Judge Hoffman received his J. D. from the University of Colorado School of Law.

"The Punisher's Brain: The Evolution of Judge and Jury"
by Morris B. Hoffman
Cambridge University Press
April 14, 2014
ISBN-10: 1107038065
ISBN-13: 978-1107038066
368 Pages
Hardcover $23
Kindle $20

No. 13

"The Iranian Connection"

by Bill Relf

"The Iranian Connection" by Bill Relf
Since the advent of the internet, information about old and new cultures has been more accessible than ever before. Instead of saving up for a plane ticket, people have the opportunity to use chat rooms, forums, social media, and innumerable other options to inform themselves about international locales and cultures. Yet, even with these opportunities in our globalized society, a lack of knowledge regarding different cultural norms, customs, and history makes the difference between prejudice and understanding.

Author Bill Relf, Ph.D. examines these problems in his new novel, The Iranian Connection. Drawing from his own experiences abroad, as well as his Ph.D. in International Relations, Relf opens a dialogue about terrorism, political espionage, and unexpected alliances and enemies. "I have lived in Asia, and traveled to dozens of foreign countries," says Relf, "It's fascinating how different other cultures can be, and yet, how similar at the same time. We have such divisions in our country in regards to politics, economics, and religion. I want readers of my book to address the issues in a compassionate and thoughtful way to replace knee-jerk emotions and hostility. If people have in mind certain principles of geopolitics and business, they can better understand their world and develop a broader perspective about life in general."

Bill Relf has a Ph.D. in international relations as well as university degrees in economics, business, and theology. He has taught at four universities, owned six businesses, and had countless experiences abroad. Relf lived in Singapore as it began its economic miracle and has done research travels in Thailand, Indonesia, and Myanmar. He was in Laos when the communists were taking over, gave a seminar in Tehran before the Shah abdicated, met with Chinese party officials when China first opened to the West and analyzed the industrial capacity of Zimbabwe shortly before President Mugabe destroyed the country. An expert in both business and international relations, Relf currently lives in California with his wife, Virginia.

"The Iranian Connection"
by Bill Relf
Dog Ear Publishing
ISBN: 9781457523106
484 Pages
Hardcover $39.99
Paperback $16.95

No. 14

"Apache Courage: Trumpets Around the Camp"

by Cynthia Darling

"Apache Courage: Trumpets Around the Camp" by Cynthia Darling
For being the indigenous people of North America, Native Americans don't get a lot of attention. Before the recent controversy surrounding the name of a certain sports team, most people would associate Native Americans with archaic images: men of medicine and untold wisdom curing people with chants, or warriors painting their faces and riding horses into battle to scalp settlers with tomahawks. But the modern reality of this group is far from mystic.

In the new book, Apache Courage: Trumpets Around the Camp, author Cynthia Hearne Darling takes a closer look at the original Americans' modern lifestyle. Drawing from years of experience working on an Indian reservation, Darling weaves a tale of Native Americans from an outsider's point of view.

"Native Americans' lives have always been a popular, idealized topic," says Darling. "The world of the Native American is often not seen in its true form by many Americans. People from the East Coast in particular have mythologized the American Indian of today as an almost magical person, when in reality they are human just like the rest of us. They are not New Age wonders--they're just people. I wanted to take a closer look at the modern Native American, and bring their story to the forefront."

Cynthia Darling monitored federally recognized Native American tribes for the U.S. government, and was able to visit with dozens of tribes all over the country. Darling was inspired by their sense of humor in the face of adversity, their quiet ways and the differences among tribes. She has also done extensive work with missionaries and in foreign countries and cultures. She has a bachelor's degree in English as well as a master's degree in social work. Apache Courage: Trumpets Around the Camp is her third novel. She has also written books Shunned, about overuse of anti-depressants, and Georgetown Journeys, a love story.

"Apache Courage: Trumpets Around the Camp"
by Cynthia Darling
Kindle $15
approx 190 pages

No. 15

"The Bark of the Cinnamon Tree"

by Ashoka Sen

"The Bark of the Cinnamon Tree" by Ashoka Sen
The Bark of the Cinnamon Tree: Genre-Bending Book of Eighteen Short Stories Mixes Rare Literary Cocktail of British & Indian Culture. Written by a new but promising writer, Ashoka Sen, 'The Bark of the Cinnamon Tree' weaves mystery, romance, satire and just about everything else around under-pinning themes of British and Indian culture in the United Kingdom. It's hard to pigeon-hole the book into any single genre, as readers are invited to dive into short stories covering everything from arranged marriages to romance, from the termination of an unborn child to the obsessive parental love of a couple who turn into a pair marionette puppets in the hands of their own daughter.. 'The Bark of the Cinnamon Tree' stands as wholly-unique within the marketplace, and it's easy to see why.

In this anthology of short stories, Ashoka Sen articulates the meeting of British and Indian culture in the UK, bringing together English lyricism and the richness of Indian folk tales and legends. Woven into stories that take place both in India and in Britain, threads of urban fantasy and magic reveal the heartbreak and hope of the human condition. Stories include: 'An Arranged Marriage' - The story about the excessive motherly love of a woman called Mrs. Bose, who does not hesitate to produce a false bio-data of her daughter matching it with the bio-data of a prospective groom with good look and decent income. She does it because she wants to see her daughter settling in life with an economically secured future. Whereas her daughter brought up in modern Britain, alienated from her cultural roots, readily turns down the prosperous groom for the pursuance of her love for freedom and idealism. It is modern classic orchestrated with the same theme of Jane Austin's Pride and Prejudice.... 'An imperfect baby' - A deeply moving story which deals with the ethical dilemma of a couple to make a choice - whether to have a Down's Syndrome baby or to have it terminated. Both parents are torn apart with anguish and affliction.

The book also has great potential within an educational setting at the primary, secondary and University levels. 'The Bark of the Cinnamon Tree' is available now:

Ashoka, a born writer, came of a highly literary of family in Bengal. The quality of her writing had achieved some touch of professionalism when she did her Master's in Writing in Sheffield Hallam University, under the supervision of the award winning writer Jane Rogers. Ashoka has been writing over twenty years. Ashoka uses many literary forms in her writing -- from flash fictions to serious novels, from non-sense rhymes to lyrics, from long narrative verses to contemplative philosophical discourses. She is also an artist enjoys writing for children too and produces her own illustrations. The drama and conflicts of her story which always ends with a happy resolution and high morals are loved by almost all young readers. Her first book "An Untouchable King" published by AuthorHouse is hugely popular and is on sale now on Amazon. The readers can visit her website: and know more about her artwork.

"The Bark of the Cinnamon Tree"
by Ashoka Sen

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