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R.P. BenDedek

What's in the Book Basket This Week? Searching for the Answers
By R.P. BenDedek
Dec 7, 2014 - 5:10:32 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 from the end of June 2014 to December 2014 may be found 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
(Nov 30 - Dec 6)

  1. Are You Spiritually Gifted? By David Bertolacci by Ddavid Bertolacci author of "Grand Slam Theory of the Omniverse"
  2. Sticks & Stones or Words? by Peter Clay author of "If Only I Knew"
  3. Living and Teaching Authentic Christianity by Gordon Haresign author of "Authentic Christianity"
  4. Surviving the Holiday Mommy Meltdown by Teresa Taylor author of "The Balance Myth"

Book Reviews Published during the last week
(Nov 30 - Dec 6)

Laure McCourt Lopez Review: "Read Matthew to Live Your Life, Read John to Save Your Soul" By Douglas Kindred
Dec 3, 2014

There are many handbooks, DIY manuals and self-help journals that adorn the vast cyber bookshelves of the literary nook of the internet as well as its more old school component, The Book Store, yet this offering by author Douglas Kindred is a welcome breath of fresh air to a reader who is seeking a hands on approach for application to the spiritual journey. Don't let the mere 124 pages fool you; there is ample amount of wisdom in this book whose title touts a DIY approach: "Read Matthew to Live Your Life, Read John to Save Your Soul." This sage advice, relayed by the author's mother, acted as a healing balm particularly during a turbulent season of life that brought Kindred to his emotional spiritual knees.

Martha Stevens-David Review: "Lord Forgive Me... but I was a (Business) Bullsh*t Consultant" by Anthony Bunko
Dec 3, 2014

Lord Forgive Me... but I was a (Business) Bullshit Consultant" by Anthony Bunko (who has written many bestselling books for grown-up people with heads like damaged fruit) is described in the publicity material as "quite frankly a side-splitting blooming good laugh and one of the most entertaining reads of the year" and I think it perhaps lives up to this description.This book may not be everyone's cup of tea but held my interest and it was very informative about how the "real" business world really works.

Martha Stevens-David Review: "Wishes and Dreams" by I.H. McDonald Jr.
Dec 2, 2014

I think that any child would be mesmerized by the words and drawings in this book. And to read his poem from which the book's title was taken, "Wishes and Dreams" only makes this memorial book even more precious. I shall treasure it always.

Milt Gross Book Review: "Heidi" by Johanna Spyri
Nov 30, 2014

I found nothing online about the Swiss author, who includes much Christian content as a vital part of the story. I think she wrote it well and made it a complete story. If I came across a book written today with as much evangelicalism, I would label it as evangelical and probably not even read it. I found it a touching, complete story in which the storyline overcomes the evangelicalism, or actually, uses it to tell the story.

R.P. BenDedek

NOTE: I will cease to be editor of Magic City on December 31st, and at this time I am in possession of no information as to what will happen after I cease my Editorial function. I would hope that I shall be permitted to continue publishing the Book Basket in my column and that author articles will likewise continue to be published.

No. 1

"Traitor's Rise"

by Norm Thomas

"Traitor's Rise" by Norm Thomas
United Kingdom -- Everyone has their own views about life after death, and what happens 'up there'. In his intricate and spellbinding new novel, Norm Thomas unleashes the truth behind the often told stories of the heavenly battles between good and evil, as viewed through the eyes of a recently deceased human.

Synopsis: You're dead. You find out there is an afterlife. You learn that Heaven does exist and is populated with Angels. Sweet right? Well you would think so wouldn't you? But for Mike Carpenter this is where it gets interesting. A simple Street Sweeper on earth (who dreamed about nothing much more than being able to use an automated cleaning device) it's not long after the shock of dying and meeting his dead relatives has passed that he starts to understand that existence in the afterlife is anything but simple. For as he quickly learns life in Heaven is not all about reclining on clouds and painting rainbows. There are jobs to do and order to maintain and as he starts to become aware, not all is as it should be. There are dark forces at work in the shape of the Demon horde and the Angels are hard pressed to keep the peace. From Warrior Angels to Admin Angels, all have their part to play in the management of Heaven and the battle that has raged since Lucifer and his lot were thrown out of Heaven. To make matters worse, the spectre of a Traitor to Heaven hangs over events and, as Mike soon learns, he needs to make a choice as to the role he will play in the unfolding events. It is at Angel University that he is provided with the information and skills he needs to make those choices. But is it too late? For a traitor is lurking, awaiting an opportunity to destroy the hold the Angels have and give the Demons ascendancy.

Norm Thomas is an Australian who is living in London with his wife and daughter. "We moved from Australia to London in 2005 on the back of a piece of work I was asked to do for an Australian Construction and Property management company for whom I had been working. They had just purchased a house builder in the Midlands and I was asked to integrate the technology of the two organisations. We were only expecting to stay for 12 months but here we are 9 years later and counting!" Norm has spent the last 25 years immersed in the wonderful but often all-encompassing world of ICT. Spent mostly within travel and Construction industries Norm has struggled to find time to properly devote to his passion of writing.

No. 2

"Caught Between Two Worlds"

by Judith L. Cameron

"Caught Between Two Worlds" by Judith L. Cameron
FULLERTON, Calif. -- According to one expert, it's when we release the grip of daily life on earth that we can raise our mass consciousness.

In her new book "Caught Between Two Worlds," Judith L. Cameron, a clinical hypnotherapist, parapsychologist and former education consultant with NASA, provides a first-hand account of her experiences exploring possibilities of future earth.

"We really need to reach out there with our thinking," Cameron said. "I approach my research from a scientific viewpoint first, but it's when we break from our three-dimensional viewpoint that we discover new possibilities."

She shares her stories on encountering extraterrestrials, which she said she's done since she was 6 years old, and offers practical, straightforward advice for readers to do the same.

Cameron said she also wants to empower others who have had extraterrestrial contact but are afraid to share their experiences for fear of judgment.

Judith L. Cameron is a clinical hypnotherapist, parapsychologist and owner of Cosmic Angel Enterprises, LLC, an alternative healing center. A retired teacher, she taught for 40 years at every grade level, with the majority of time spent teaching high school science and psychology. She was also an education consultant with NASA for 13 years, her work earning her an invitation to the White House where she met President Bill Clinton, Hilary Clinton, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and other prominent astronauts. She also served as faculty for Challenger Center for Space Science Education. For more information, visit

"Caught Between Two Worlds: A Journey through Time"
By: Judith L. Cameron
ISBN: 978-1-4525-1541-0
Hardcover retail price: $37.95
Softcover retail price: $19.99
E-book retail price: $3.99

No. 3

"Inflagrante and Delicta -- The Common Period"

by Andrew Holt McMinn

"Inflagrante and Delicta: The Common Period" by Andrew Holt McMinn
United Kingdom -- This new novel is garnering rapid attention not only for its ability to defy any single genre -- but tackle a myriad of real-world issues from sexual dysfunction to genetic confusion. Readers are discovering that it's so much more than a fictional story.

Synopsis: This book of genetic confusion, physical dysfunction, love, loss, discovery and kindness is told through the eyes of two anthropomorphic dogs. We first meet Inflagrante and Delicta as the only two sperm of their low sperm-count father. Inflagrante is the brighter of the two, but very sensitive, and narrates the bulk of the story. She is an old soul and is often given to introspection to understand the meaning of life and why there is so much damage in the world, and why were she and her sister so lucky to end up in such a loving, but crazy, household. Delicta, who has a bad lisp, and is oversensitive to any form of sexual intimacy, be it human or canine, has a caring heart in spite of her particular aversions. She narrates sections which are moving as they are filled with her speech impediment which makes for sad, and amusing, reading. They are born into a dysfunctional Essex family where social services are called in to rescue them. The dogs are adopted by a rich gay couple from South London who have a motley crew of staff who form the basis for the dogs' care, insights and escapades. A few of these people are: Molly and Basil: conjoined Scottish twins; Scudders: the in-bred woodcutter from South Africa; Jemima: the pre-op, transsexual chauffeur, who is a sexual compulsive, Bunter: the creepy butler who is the Judas in the home; Humpy and Dumpy ( as they become known to the dogs ): The rich, gay (homo-homo) couple whose philanthropic style has drawn the above waifs and strays into their domestic circle. The book tracks Inflagrante and Delicta's exposure to human ( homo ) life as well as the ongoing journey of all the characters as they live with their varied sexual and genetic dysfunctions and confusions.

"There's multiple themes colliding in the narrative," explains McMinn. "From the normality of sexual confusion through to the reality that a happy and content life requires us all to seek out something bigger and greater than ourselves. Our two leading dogs could have spent their lives roaming the streets, but they instead found a life steeped in love and contentment. However, getting this did require them to integrate with some rather alternative characters. The takeaway here is that our idiosyncrasies are a normal part of life, and this uniqueness allows us to embrace and display more love than we could see by living in solitude. It's also a call to the lonely to go out there and take on the world. Whoever you meet, whatever they believe in and however they look -- their heart is what will ultimately shine through."

"Inflagrante and Delicta -- The Common Period" by Andrew Holt McMinn is the perfect read for all older teenagers finding their place in the world, as well as adults looking to solidify their beliefs or seek out a new life.

Andrew Holt McMinn was born in Surrey, England, but brought up and schooled in Kenya. He went to the University of Cape Town, where he read English and Psychology, following which he had a long career in the fashion industry, in Cape Town and in London. He lives with his three dogs Lourdes, Rocco and Tubs in South London. This is his first novel.

No. 4

"Broken Pieces: Nothing is Wasted"

By Ross Alan Hill

"Broken Pieces: Nothing is Wasted" By Ross Alan Hill
OKLAHOMA CITY -- "Ross (Alan Hill) has turned a piece of artwork into a metaphor that is larger than life," said best-selling Christian author Mark Batterson. "The stories he tells paints a picture of God doing what He does best -- making something beautiful out of the broken pieces in our lives." The artwork Batterson refers to is a Redento Raffinato, which is an elaborately handcrafted blown-glass vase that stands 33 inches or higher. What makes the Redentos special is they are blown from the broken pieces of other failed blown-glass projects. When something falls to the shop floor and shatters, rather than get thrown away as waste it is remolded into something more beautiful than before. In fact Redento Raffinato is Italian for "redeemed elegance."

Author and CEO Ross Alan Hill's new book, "Broken Pieces: Nothing is wasted," shares the story of his Redento Raffinato and the spiritual guidance it has provided for over 1,500 people. The vases are created from the inside out, which both Hill and Chris McGahan, the artist who creates them, realized this was how God builds His flock. He can rebuild us from the broken pieces we become during our greatest trials and tribulations, starting with the heart. "I chose my colors very specifically in the vase created for me," Hill said. "There is black to represent sin, a large amount of red to represent the blood of Jesus that cleanses us, a white wrap line from top-to- bottom representing the righteousness of God and a multitude of colors blended in to represent people from all walks of life."

The vase now stands in Hill's bank office as a spiritual "Whatsit" that sparks curious visitors to ask what it is. The spiritual meaning behind the gorgeous artwork has brought hope to hundreds of broken people who came to visit Hill for financial guidance. The story has brought people through divorce, the loss of a child, cancer and many other struggles we all face.

"I may work for a bank," Hill said. "But a business has no reason to exist if it doesn't help others build better lives." Learn more at

Ross Alan Hill is the founding president and CEO of Bank2 in Oklahoma City, which was ranked as a top-3 community bank in 2009 and 2010 by American Banking Journal. The bank was also listed as one of Oklahoma's "Top places to Work in 2013," in large part to Hill's open and warm demeanor.

"Broken Pieces: Nothing is Wasted"
By: Ross Alan Hill
SC-ISBN: 978-0-9883700-6-7
Available in English and Spanish

No. 5

"Parodies Lost"

by Glynn Leaney

"Parodies Lost" by Glynn Leaney
Pop songs come in all shapes and sizes and this collection of humorous lyrics with illustrations might just remind you of pop favourites from the 1950s to the present day. When hilarious sequels to works by Bob Newhart (The Driving Instructor) and Clement Clarke Moore (The Night Before Christmas) are also included, the result is an array of scintillating verse designed purely to entertain and amuse.

If you have an ear for music and can fit the lyrics to the originals, so much the better. For those whose taste in pop music does go back over the decades, the selection in this book is bound to revive happy memories and bring a smile to your face.

After serving for over 25 years in the Royal Air Force and over 23 years offering financial advice, Glynn Leaney has turned his attention to converting his hobby into a full-time obsession.

His love of writing comic verse started in his teens and over time he has expanded into writing a variety of poetry, plays, pantomimes, scripts and children's books as well as penning original popular music. Although officially "retired", Glynn has set his sights on becoming a full-time parodist and has already totally rewritten the musical "Les Miserables".

Many more are in the pipeline and a sequel to "Parodies Lost" is already planned for next year. Glynn lives with his wife, Kathryn, and their two sons, Christopher and Marc, in a village in Oxfordshire.

Parodies Lost is produced entirely in the UK. It is available to order from most bookshops in the United Kingdom, and is also globally available
Paperback ISBN 978-0-9929972-0-5 £6.99
Hardback ISBN 978-0-9929972-1-2
£9.99 Amazon Kindle £1.53.

No. 6

"Mission, Vision And Bulls#it"

by Y.G. Nash

"Mission, Vision And Bulls#it" by Y.G. Nash
United Kingdom -- While many graduates dream of tying a double Windsor knot and having a reserved parking space at the office, veterans of the corporate world know that's it is a ravenous beast chock-full of calamity, seat-of-the-pants fumbling and a culture of totally-meaningless buzzwords. Y.G. Nash has been there and, having also risen to become a renowned humour writer, fuses the two worlds together in his side- splitting new book.

'Mission, Vision And Bulls#it' will have any corporate cog or layperson doubling over as one man tries to make it "to the top".

Synopsis: "CAUTION. THIS IS NOT A STEP" This is the warning you will find at the top of most ladders that you can purchase at a home improvement store. The same holds true for the corporate world. There is not step at the top of the corporate ladder. So the question is how does one get to the top? Is it a STEP or a TRAP?

Mission, Vision and Bulls#it is the story of Shawn and his perilous, sometimes exciting, and often frustrating journey into the corporate world. Nash has adeptly woven multiple facets of corporate existence into a first class satire that repeatedly has the reader both laughing and nodding in acknowledgment as we experience all these things through the eyes of shawn. Is there a silver lining in the corporate cloud? Or better yet, is there an exit door?

"The corporate world can be so ridiculously serious that it does us good to step back and take a laugh at what we're doing," says Nash. "Egos collide every day in a world that's as tumultuous and fraught as a kindergarten. Sarcasm is the new stress buster and it adds spice to your corporate journey! This book celebrates the good and bad of a corporate "underworld" we have created for ourselves. Image and prestige is everything, yet the higher people climb, the more deluded they seem to become. Find out why as Shawn paves his own way through the jungle."

Y.G. Nash heads the Global Marketing Operations at Corporater Inc. and is also actively involved with the student community, conducting seminars for B-School students especially in the area of marketing and entrepreneurship. With sardonic wit and incisive social critiques. Y.G. Nash has become one of America's most appreciated humor writers. The great skill with which he slices through cultural euphemisms and political correctness, proves that he enjoys satire and is one of the most observant writers when it comes to today's corporate world.

No. 7

"The 7 Principles of Faith-Based Parenting"

By La Shawn B. Wells

"The 7 Principles of Faith-Based Parenting" By La Shawn B. Wells
CONCORD, Calif. -- As new challenges arise with a changing society, parenting styles need to adapt, as well.

"The 7 Principles of Faith-Based Parenting" is a step-by-step guide for parents seeking to raise successful and well-adjusted children. By emphasizing the importance of a strong family foundation, author La Shawn B. Wells helps to counteract the consequences of a society with weakened family systems and generational gaps.

Wells used personal experience with his own family and faith for inspiration when creating his method for effective parenting. Combining his professional background as a coach and lawyer with direct feedback from his daughters throughout the book, Wells brings an experienced, practical and faith-based approach to modern parenting.

"My wife and I discovered that in order to help keep our girls on the right track, we needed to bridge the generational gap," Wells said. "I wanted to share with other parents some methods and ideas to help open that line of communication between parent and child."

Featuring activities for both parents and children, "The 7 Principles of Faith-Based Parenting" provides key points and tools that help address real-life challenges through using the SMART system and sharing talking points and journal topics.

La Shawn B. Wells, CLC, JD, earned his law degree from John F. Kennedy University School of Law. He is the founder and CEO of Right Choice Coaching Inc. Wells and his wife have three daughters and one granddaughter, and he currently resides in Concord, California. To learn about more his business, visit

"The 7 Principles of Faith-Based Parenting:
Tips for Raising Happy and Successful Children in the Twenty-First Century"
By La Shawn B. Wells
ISBN: 9781491741757
Available in softcover
and e-book

No. 8

"The Girl Who Saved Christmas"

by William Thomas Thach

"The Girl Who Saved Christmas" by William Thomas Thach
With the Holidays fast approaching, I am thrilled to introduce you to a magical new Christmas story, "The Girl Who Saved Christmas." What would happen if one year all the children found themselves on the naughty list?

Featuring a red velvet cover, a gold reading ribbon, and a privacy clasp, this book is the perfect Christmas classic for the holiday season. Little ones will fall in love with Molly McAme and the magical story of Christmas forgiveness! Such a remarkable treasure that lifts your spirit and reminds us of the joy of the holiday season!

One Christmas, all the world's children are bad all except one! Molly must save the holiday by reminding Santa of the true meaning of Christmas. Written in the rhyme scheme of "The Night Before Christmas", this heartwarming children's tale is steeped in tradition, and yet sparklingly new. Featuring a red velvet cover, gold reading ribbon, and a privacy clasp, "The Girl Who Saved Christmas" is a perfect gift for any young child! "A charming Christmas book for all ages." - Kirkus Reviews at Amazon Here is a quick video teaser of the story: For more information,

William Thomas Thach grew up in St. Louis, MO. He attended Washington University, and then worked overseas with the Red Cross, finally settling in Los Angeles. He is the cofounder of Lighthouse Tutors, a private tutoring company. When he is not warning students to stop procrastinating, he enjoys writing children's stories. "The Girl Who Saved Christmas" is his first book.

"The Girl Who Saved Christmas"
by William Thomas Thach
Bowrider Press LLC
Published 2014
ISBN-10: 098256631X
ISBN-13: 978-0982566312
32 pages
Hardcover $24

No. 9

"Santa's Secret"

By Sunny Hoover

"Santa's Secret" By Sunny Hoover
LOS ANGELES -- He knows when you've been bad or good, but a clever kid might rightfully ask to know . . . How?

In author Sunny Hoover's new children's book, "Santa's Secret", Santa's helper elf named Purple Pants goes all over the world, making the list of misbehaving children. But Purple Pants has a special talent: he can only be seen by grown-ups.

The story of Purple Pants has been passed down for generations over 50 years, entertaining children and giving parents a new way to play with their kids near the holidays. Hoover is delighted to finally share this lighthearted tale with a broader audience.

"Santa's Secret speaks to the active imagination of a child," Hoover said. "Nothing is more exciting to them than the approach of the holidays and presents as a reward for good behavior!"

With the season of snow fast approaching, Santa's Secret is appropriate for any child who believes in Santa.

Santa's Secret is the answer to an age old question, How does Santa know which child has been good or bad? Boys and girls are often told that Santa knows if they are good or bad. Here is the answer. In these pages they can now learn how Santa knows these things and who helps him along the way and a little about where Santa and his elves live. Parents will love this story and will have fun playing out this story, pointing out that Purple Pants is peeking at them from behind a door or under a chair. Remember that only grown ups can see Purple Pants. An Excerpt from the book may be found HERE.

Sunny Hoover is a mother of 3 children and 2 step daughters, as well as an artist, seamstress, clothing designer and business owner. She has been married 27 years and has 10 beautiful grandchildren. She uses her family traditions and old fashioned stories of Christmas in her writing.

"Santa's Secret"
By Sunny Hoover
Author House
Published 3/7/2014
34 Pages
Color Printing
Price $35

No. 10

"It's My Choice"

By SM Chung

"It's My Choice" By SM Chung
HONOLULU -- Living in a world filled with constant pressure, stress and demands, it is sometimes difficult to see personal choice and free will in our lives. However, according to author SM Chung, recognizing personal choice and free will in all situations is paramount to personal happiness.

This is a journey through doubt, fear, pain, and joy. It's a story of healing self in mind, body, and spirit through choices made in a lifetime; a story belonging to anyone; a story without gender, race, or wealth. It's my choice! I think of the many times I've told myself that and the years it took before I believed it. They're reminders that I own my decisions regardless what the situation is or who tells me what to do. Today, self-reminders are less frequent because I feel in control of my whole life, not just part of it. Why? ..Read More at "Amazon

"It's My Choice" helps to remind readers of their personal choices and free will. Filled with positive and practical messages throughout the book, Chung walks readers through her own experiences and journey taking back control over her life.

Chung thoroughly examined her life after having an out-of-body experience during a coronary angiogram. This examination led Chung to find answers to questions from childhood to now of who, why, where, when and how. "It was only after considerable time, I began to see situations, concepts and people in a different way as I strove to answer the wherefores and discovered that I had a big part in answering my own questions. Choices in my life I had to own up to, a lesson in self-responsibility," Chung said. "During this process, I have come to believe in free will, God's unconditional gift to all, enabling us to choose and although at times we feel we do not have a choice, we do, for that, too, is a choice."

SM Chung has over 50 years of experience working in the health care system. After having an out-of-body experience, Chung began looking back at her life and questioning her purpose. Through looking back on her life, reading and gut instinct, Chung learned the valuable answers. Now retired, and living in Hawaii, Chung has written her first book "It's My Choice," sharing these valuable lessons with others.

"It's My Choice"
By SM Chung
Author House
Published Oct 17, 2012
ISBN-10: 1425192483
ISBN-13: 978-1425192488
176 Pages
Paperback $15
Kindle $4

No. 11

"Visions of God"

By Harold Fryday

"Visions of God" By Harold Fryday
SAN JOSE, Calif. -- "Commitment to truth and love can bridge the differences between religions and the conflict between believers and non-believers." So says Harold Fryday, author of the new book "Visions of God." In it, he uses both the theological knowledge he gained as a minister and the analytical methods of lawyers to offer an informative and thought-provoking book with a message for believers and non-believers alike.

"God is truth and God is love," Fryday said. "With this foundation in mind, all people of goodwill can join their efforts to reduce the causes of war and crime in mutual recognition and respect of each other's humanity."

In the Bible, each writer gives insight into different dimensions of God's relationship with humanity. "Visions of God" compares the different accounts found within the Bible concerning the nature of God and offers a nuanced view of Christian and Jewish scriptures.

"The Bible is a library of books of many literary genres," Fryday said. "Poetry and metaphors must be understood for what they are. Literal interpretations of these can be misleading. When the authors' messages are properly understood, the Bible is a rich source of wisdom and a helpful guide to living successfully in this troubled world."

Fryday goes on to defend his conclusion that the true worship of God consists of following the truth-- wherever the search may lead--and letting love be the controlling factor in our lives. This biblical love, he says, requires us to seek and value freedom, justice, mercy and peace universally.

Harold Fryday was an ordained minister in the Congregational Church, a business owner, trial lawyer and a professor of constitutional and corporate law. His waning enthusiasm with certain aspects of the church drove him closer to the Bible. His studies of scripture solidified his desire to explore the meaning of God in the face of the three problems that impacted him most: war, disenchantment with the various churches and the impact of crime--particularly on families and children. He now lives in Santa Clara, California.

"Visions of God"
By Harold Fryday
iUniverse Books
Published 8/14/2014
ISBN 978-1-49174-135-1
136 Pages
Hardcover $24
Softcover $14
e-Book $4

No. 12

"The Gadoomfs"

By Fiona Burdett

"The Gadoomfs" By Fiona Burdett
NEW YORK, NY -- Ask a parent and they'll tell you how important it is to entertain their kids with a good story while teaching them valuable lessons. The creatures of Figmentica are diverse and entertaining to say the least, in Fiona Burdett's new book The Gadoomfs. This highly imaginative tale conveys important messages through a fast paced fun adventure with a gripping story line. The epic adventure forces the little Gadoomfs to face their fears, work as a team and learn many important life lessons along the way.

"The story started as a fun little project for our kids," says Burdett. "I sat watching our kids goofing around. Their amusing antics inspired me to pick up the computer and start writing a goofy story about four little creatures called Goose, Boo, Daddoo and Bear (our children's nicknames)."

Goose, Boo, Daddoo and Bear set off on a wild adventure. Their mission is to find a mysterious map in a bottle. If they fail, the wicked Foosnags will invade Goodlybuttonswell and they will all be doomed! As they traverse across the mystical and wild continent of Figmentica, they find themselves on a voyage of discovery. They meet all sorts of fascinating and unusual creatures along the way and learn much about their continent, which they have never dared to explore before.

"When I wrote this book, I tried to let my imagination run freely just as children at play do," Burdett says. "I believe that this has contributed to the book being totally unique and extremely entertaining."

Fiona Burdett was born in Africa and has lived there all her life. She grew up in a remote part of Zimbabwe called Nyamandhlovu, which means Meat of the Elephant. She is the youngest of six children. Burdett is married to her best friend and soul mate -- Mark. She has four hilariously diverse children. They are a constant source of hilarity, frustration, love and inspiration. Whether writing or painting, she spends her working hours in her studio, which is nestled amongst enormous Masasa trees.

"The Gadoomfs"
By Fiona Burdett
Trafford Books
Published 7/1/2014
ISBN: 978-1-49074-080-5
204 pages
Softcover $12
e-book $4

No. 13

"The Misadventures of Wunderwear Woman"

By Denis Hayes

"The Misadventures of Wunderwear Woman" By Denis Hayes
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia -- Wunderwear Woman is different. She's not muscular or hard bodied. She doesn't turn into a spider or run up walls. She's formidable but feminine....blunt but beautiful. Because of her size, it's a wonder she can find anything to wear. She just speaks her mind and says it as she sees it. And most of all, she wants to change the world, not just save it. Denis Hayes' The Misadventures of Wunderwear Woman is an adult book that brings humor, satire and sex to a new level. Wunderwear Woman was specifically designed to irritate the conservative and politically correct.

In his book, Hayes brings readers into a romp through the life of an upper middle class English girl who is the opposite of Supergirl in just about every way and can't help challenging accepted thoughts and actions in an "in your face" and candid way.

"I became increasingly frustrated with governments repeatedly going in a different direction to that of general public opinion and instinct," Hayes said. "I wanted to forge a character that would provoke outrageously on most of the major issues in a forceful, blunt and yet humorous way." This book deals with the past, current and future issues reflecting timeless human attitudes, behavior and poses.

Denis Hayes is an English born author who has worked on many projects in many countries of the world, living an adventurous and sometimes dangerous life. He has entertained and has been entertained by royalty, premiers, ministers and VIP'S. He has mostly been entertained, charmed and at times irritated by almost everyone. After writing books for children and teenagers he decided to introduce adults to the same old world but viewed from a different perspective. He has been married four times and has eight children yet vigorously defends the sanctity of marriage and deplores the increase in the world's population. He currently lives with his lovely wife and three boys in Malaysia. He personally draws all of the characters by hand.

"The Misadventures of Wunderwear Woman"
By Denis Hayes
Trafford Books
Published Nov 1, 2013
ISBN-10: 1490701583
ISBN-13: 978-1490701585
116 Pages
Hardcover $31
Paperback $30
e-Book $5

No. 14

"75 Things I Wish My Parents Had Taught Me"

by Patrick Reynolds

"75 Things I Wish My Parents Had Taught Me" by Patrick Reynolds
United Kingdom -- Phrases such as "What people look like on the outside does not necessarily reflect how they feel on the inside" and "Get educated -- by any means" transcend the typical quote to impart vital life lessons on their reader. Author Patrick Reynolds grew up in a home of hard knocks and missed out on this vital guidance from his parents. Now all grown up and with plenty of time to reflect on life, he is putting pen to paper to ensure that others can benefit from such wisdom. The result is '75 Things I Wish My Parents Had Taught Me', with a title that pretty much says it all. This is a book that no parent should be without; containing verses every child needs to hear.

Synopsis: Patrick Reynolds grew up in the 70s in a poverty-stricken, Liverpool-Irish, working-class background -- leaving school at 16 with no qualifications. His upbringing was very tough -- no shoes, no bath, second-hand clothes and an outside toilet -- however, he went on to do and achieve some good things in life. Many years later with two children of his own he thought he would pass on a number of 'things' he wishes his parents had taught him. Why 75? No reason other than it's all the things he could think of.

"We all have very different upbringings, but there ought to be a basic foundation that we are all afforded. Unfortunately, I wasn't given this privilege and pretty much had to figure life out for myself," explains Reynolds. "Having my own children was a very grounding experience that inspired me to compile a long list of things I wanted to teach them. I quickly came to realise that it also had immense value to the wider world -- and this book was born! Some lines are funny, some are serious, but they are each powerful in their individual ways. It also makes for a very fun and entertaining read; allowing parents to slip quotes in here and there, rather than relentlessly lecturing their kids."

The author is donating 10% of his royalties to Children in Need, Unicef UK, The Red Nose Day initiative of Comic Relief and Save the Children.

Patrick Reynolds grew up in the 70s in a poverty-stricken, Liverpool-Irish, working-class background -- leaving school at 16 with no qualifications. His upbringing was very tough, however, he went on to do some good things in life. Patrick Reynolds is the author's pen name -- he wants to keep his real identity under wraps and explains why in his introduction to the book!

"75 Things I Wish My Parents Had Taught Me"
by Patrick Reynolds
CreateSpace Independent Publishing
Published Nov 18, 2014
ISBN-10: 1501078062
ISBN-13: 978-1501078064
82 Pages
Paperback $7
Amazon UK

No. 15

"Boundless: A wayward entrepreneur's search for peace Paperback"

by Greg Hopkinson

"Boundless: A wayward entrepreneur's search for peace Paperback" by Greg Hopkinson
United Kingdom -- Hopkinson has tipped life's scales in both directions. He was once a full-throttle international businessman who offset his risky business endeavours in Russia with sex, drugs, unimaginable stress and eventually a brain tumour. Fast-forwarding to 2014; he's a committed monk who meditates for up to three hours a day and knows the true meaning of peace and happiness. That remarkable transition is recounted in 'Boundless: A wayward entrepreneur's search for peace', which melds Hopkinson's memoir with a series of affirming and life-changing lessons for those struggling with contentment and love.

Synopsis: A near-death experience in an avalanche set Greg Hopkinson on a quest for happiness. He forged into the Soviet Union to make money, just as it collapsed. Ironically, the greater his business success the more he battled his inner demons. He caught a glimpse of what he'd become, and it wasn't pretty. As Greg stumbled out of Russia, his marriage failed and he was diagnosed with a brain tumour. He soon found his soul mate, but realised that he was incapable of sustaining a loving relationship. Full of despair, he committed to finding peace and love within himself, and he did the most unlikely thing - he became a monk. As Greg became calmer and happier he was able to reconnect with his soul mate and to begin to live the life he had always dreamed of. This book will change your preconceptions about happiness and success. It may also change your life.

"My 'awakening' was strange to say the least," admits the author. "I was heli-skiing in New Zealand's Southern Alps and suddenly found myself under an avalanche. Oddly enough, it was the first time in my life that I had experienced profound peace and I figured that, if I could have that experience while starting to die under ten tons of snow, surely I could experience it every day. I retired early and threw myself into this mission. I went on a retreat to Canada, became a monk and my life suddenly changed. Aside from being happy, I also became aware of what true love really was. My partner Sally and I now enjoy a relationship on a level that I didn't know could exist. Look guys, if a man like me who repelled women can change, so can you! At this end of this book, your consciousness will be irreversibly expanded and you will realise your boundless potential to work towards and embrace your heart's desire."

'Boundless: A wayward entrepreneur's search for peace' is available now:

Greg Hopkinson was born in 1958 on the West Coast of New Zealand's South Island. He studied engineering at the University of Canterbury by day and partied hard at night. After graduating he worked as an engineer in a diverse range of industries and locations before co-establishing a construction business in the Soviet Union as things started to unravel under Gorbachev's stewardship. Back in New Zealand he established a chain of retail stores with his wife and friends. Greg successfully exited the business and now lives in a remote location in the High Country of New Zealand's South Island. He lives there in a loving relationship with his partner Sally.

© Copyright 2002-2014 by Magic City Morning Star

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